Old Ottawa South Community Association

OSCA Policy on Board Meetings

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Objective:       This policy statement is designed to outline procedures for the management of Board meetings to ensure that Board business is conducted in an efficient manner; that discussions are focused and backed up with the appropriate background material; and that decisions are taken in a timely and accountable manner.

By-laws:          OSCA’s by laws are the Association’s “constitution”. They outline rules governing the Board’s role and mandate. None of the following OSCA Policies shall conflict with the By-laws, but should be seen as supplemental to them. To the extent that there is a conflict between the OSCA by laws and policies, the OSCA by laws shall be paramount to the OSCA policies.

Principles:       Board meetings should be structured in such a way so as to make effective and efficient use of Board members’ time.

Board procedures and agendas should ensure that Board members are informed of the organization’s activities in a timely and strategic fashion, and that decisions to be taken by the Board are taken in an informed and expeditious fashion.

                        When asked to make a decision, Board members should benefit from clear and complete documentation that states what the decision is, the rationale for the decision and its implications.  Any written documentation supporting the Motion should be provided to Board members sufficiently in advance of the meeting to allow full consideration of the issue.

                        Board meetings are public and unless for legal or protection of personal privacy (including staff and personnel matters), agenda items are discussed in public and Board agendas and minutes (once approved) are posted on the Association’s web site. All issues involving solicitor-client privilege, litigation privilege, and/or issues of personal privacy shall be discussed by the Board in camera.

                        The Board accepts to hear delegations from the community, especially residents of the community. Consistent with other Board policies, delegations dealing with issues which are the responsibility of a Board committee would normally be expected to have discussed their issue with the appropriate Board committee (e.g. OSWATCH) first and the Board would have received any relevant advice from the committee involved before hearing the delegation. 

In situations where the issue is not the responsibility of an OSCA Committee, the Board would receive a delegation directly.  Delegations are expected to provide advance notice of their desire to present. Delegations will accept reasonable time limits placed by the Board on their presentations in order to allow for the effective management of Board time.  On joining, new members shall be appropriately briefed on the Board’s role, the association’s mandate, by laws, strategic objectives, and procedures to be followed at Board meetings.


1.      The Board agenda will be structured in the following manner: approval of agenda; approval of the minutes of the previous meeting; President’s opening remarks; Councilor’s report; decision items; information items; committee reports; and, any other business.  Public delegations will present their business for the Board immediately after the Councilor’s remarks and before the consideration of decision items or information items.

For a proposed format of the Board agenda, see Annex 1.  Board meetings should be managed so as not to last longer than 2 hours.

2.      Board members will be canvassed on the Monday of the week preceding the Board  meeting by the Secretary or the Executive Director on items (information or decision) they wish to have on the agenda.

3.      The President, in consultation with the Secretary or the Executive Director, will decide on the order of the agenda items and their timing, subject to item 1 above.

4.      The agenda and minutes of the last meeting will be circulated on the Thursday prior to the Tuesday Board meeting, along with any reports, information or notice of decision items and their supporting documentation.

5.      Discussion of decision items will involve a short presentation (5 minutes) by the proponent based on the summary documentation circulated in advance (see Annex 2, attached), followed by a Board discussion and decision. Decision items will normally not be considered in the absence of a properly circulated decision document (see Procedure 4, above).

6.      If a Delegation or Board member has failed to circulate the requisite information or give notice of a decision item, as per Procedure 4 above, the Chair will determine whether there exists extenuating circumstances that warrant the matter being considered by the Board in the absence of proper notice having been given.  In the absence of extenuating circumstances as to be determined by the Chair, the matter will be addressed by the Board at the following Board meeting.

7.      Information items, including committee reports, will follow decision items and will normally not be presented orally unless a decision is required by the Board or the matter of a significant nature. The Chair will ask if there is any discussion or questions about each information item on the agenda.  In exceptional cases where a presentation is required to explain a complex or important issue it will be no more than 5 minutes. Any such presentations will summarize the documentation circulated in advance of the Board meeting (see Annex 3 for the format for information documentation to be circulated to the Board).

Date Adopted: December 18, 2012

Annex 1

OSCA Board Agenda

OSCA Board Meeting – Tuesday_____________

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm @ the Firehall


1.       Approval of Agenda (7:30pm);

2.       Approval of Minutes of _________ (7:30-7:40pm)

3.       President’s Opening Remarks (7:40-7:50pm)

4.       Councilor’s Report (7:50-8:05pm)

5.       Public Delegations (8:05-8:20pm)

6.       Decision Items (8:20-8:45pm)

7.       Information Items (8:45-8:55pm)

8.       Committee Reports (8:55-9:10pm)

a.       Executive Committee

b.      Finance

c.       ECOS

d.      OSWatch

e.      Program

f.        Special Events

g.       Web/IT

h.      OSCAR

i.         FCA

9.       Other Business (9:10-9:30pm)

10.   Adjournment

Next Board Meeting – Tuesday _______, 7:30pm @ the Firehall

Dates  to remember:______________________________________


Annex 2





Note:  Decision documents are to be no more than 2 pages (additional supporting materials may be annexed, but should be no more than 3 pages).


Short summary statement (1-2 sentences) on the decision the Board is being asked to make and why it needs to be made at this time (e.g.  ”The Board is being asked to approve funding to help establish a community garden. The organizing committee needs to start work on constructing the garden by early spring so funding needs to be in place by March 31.”)


A short bullet format summary of the nature of the issue/problem being addressed, what has been done to date to solve the issue, why the problem remains unresolved and why Board action is critical to the solution.


This section would outline (again in bullets) what would be the proposed solution, how it would be implemented, how it would solve the problem, and what actions by the Board are essential to implementing the solution.  If the action proposed requires financial support by the Board a full budget should be appended, and a rationale provided about why OSCA is the proposed funder and what alternative sources of funding were sought.


The motion should clearly state, in summary form, the problem to be addressed, and outline specifically what action the Board would take if it approved the motion.


Name (of individual, group or committee requesting the decision)


Annex 3



(For Committee Reports and other Updates for the Board)

Note: This document shall normally be one page, annexes may be submitted, such as financial reports, but should be no longer than 3 pages.

TITLE (e.g. Report from Programme Committee)


In bullet format, summarize the key points to be conveyed to the Board, so they understand what has transpired, and explain its impact on the Board, on OSCA and on the community.


In bullet format, outline what key initiatives may be taken between now and the next Board meeting which many be of interest to the Board. You should flag any issues on which the Board may have to make a decision in the near term.







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