In his monthly Condo Advisor column for the Chicago Tribune, Howard S. Dakoff, partner in the community associations practice of Chicago law firm Levenfeld Pearlstein, recently offered some COVID-related suggestions to associations and cooperative corporations looking for some advice on navigating the ongoing pandemic.
For those looking to hold a virtual annual meeting (as many communities are):
The notice of meeting (the timeline of which is prescribed by the association’s or corporations governing documents) will include access information for the virtual video conferencing platform being used, as well as telephone conferencing information if it is being offered.
Except for the voting portion of the meeting, business will be conducted via the video and/or telephone conferencing platform.
To greatly reduce the need for any in-person voting, boards should either:
Adopt absentee ballot rules, which must be adopted at least 120 days before the annual meeting, or
If proxies are used, designate a specific proxy holder to vote all proxies to eliminate a large number of owner-appointed proxy holders from attending the open voting portion of the meeting
In-person voting should be set up to maximize and observe social distancing.
Noting the recent maximum capacity reductions for Chicago fitness centers, Dakoff also recommends that residential property managers continue to limit guest entry to 5 people per single-member household, such that the total indoor gatherings do not exceed 6 people. For out-of-school programs taking place in condominium or co-op common areas, the maximum number of participants has been increased from 10 to 15 individuals, he notes.
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