Setting the agenda for a board meeting is an important parliamentary protocol as the agenda establishes what will be discussed at the upcoming meeting. Though an agenda is required by the California Civil Code, California law does not specify how to set the agenda, and association governing documents are often silent on the issue. California’s Open Meeting Act (“Act”) (Civ. Code §4900 et seq.) was established with the intent of increasing transparency of the conduct of board business in common interest developments in an effort to keep owners involved and aware of board business. The Act prohibits boards from discussing or acting on an item of board business outside of a board meeting (Civ. Code §4910(a)). Civil Code section 4930 also prohibits boards from discussing any board business which was not previously placed on the agenda prior to the meeting, with some exceptions outlined in Civil Code section 4930 (b) through (d) and discussed below. Thus, agendas are more than just a loose guide for meetings; they restrict what boards can discuss and act on. If an item of business is not on the agenda, then generally, a board cannot act on that item unless certain criteria are met.
Thanks to Jullian Wright, Esq, and Dea Franck, Esq of Epsten APC, for providing information on this subject.