Ballots for the Board election have been mailed to you. This election for two Board members was thought to be uneventful since only two candidates are running for the two seats. We still need a quorum for the election to be valid, so please be sure to vote quickly so we don’t have to have another election at a cost of about $10,000.
There will be another item on the ballot for your consideration, so be sure to fill out both sides of the ballot. The Board has decided to present the residents with one proposed amendment to the CC&R’s/By-laws. This amendment would change how the CC&R’s/By-laws could be amended. The Board decided to include this measure to save the HOA money and give the homeowners an opportunity to be heard and vote on important voting requirements in our Governing documents. Let me give you the background:
The current By-laws require 51% affirmative votes of all the homes in the HOA to change a By-law. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51% of 3,450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people voted, the measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people voted to pass any By-law change. If 100% of all 1,759 had voted in favor it would still be defeated.
There were 2,123 ballots cast in the last election for changing the By-laws. In order to get 1,760 votes to be affirmative-it would mean 82.9% of the 2,123 ballots would have to have voted in favor of the change. Thus, a large number of votes is required to pass a change in our Bylaws requiring substantial voter turnout. That is why the Board made great efforts to ensure as large a turnout as possible. It is to our HOA’s credit that we had a voter turnout of 61.5%, which statistically is a high voter turnout. National elections range from 40-60% voter turnout. We sent out three mailers and then called every person in the complex to ask them to vote if we had not received a ballot. HOA Elections records show the highest voter turnout in the last 3 years for our elections was 2,156, or 62.5%.
The question is are the current CC&R’s/By-laws so strict that changes are unduly difficult, perhaps impossible. Given that the highest voter turnout was 62.5%, it would only take 397 votes (11.5%) out of the 3,450 votes to block any change to the CC&R’s/By-laws. In the last election, even though 70.56% of those voting wanted to remove cumulative voting, it was defeated because of the current requirements.
As a result, the Board has decided to offer homeowners a chance to change the requirements on the April 9th ballot. The Board is proposing an amendment to change the current requirement in the CC&R’s/By-laws. The proposed change would state, “two-thirds of the votes cast when ballots are received from at least a majority of the Voting Power of the Members”. This will mean we need a minimum 2/3 (66.67%) of those voting in favor to pass any amendment as long as a majority of all homeowners vote.
The Board is asking homeowners to consider this change for the future. In doing so we need everyone to vote so we get as large a voter turnout as possible. Your ballots should be arriving at your home any day now, so please take a moment, fill out the ballot and send it back. If passed, this measure will not affect or change in any way the results of past votes and will only apply to any proposed changes to our governing documents presented in the future. Nothing would help the HOA more than if we could get everyone to vote on this measure, helping to resolve for the future our ability to change our governing documents when a substantial majority of voting homeowners approve of any such change.
Please vote right away when you receive your ballot. Every day we get ballots back saves us money from sending out more notices, so take a moment, fill out the ballot and send it back today. You can also drop your ballot off in one of the ballot boxes at either clubhouse. There are two sides to the ballot so be sure to mark both sides correctly. If you want more information on filling out the ballot correctly please see the website, we have instructions posted. After logging into the home page for Residents only, click on ‘Top Stories’ under the ‘News’ tab. First story listed will be how to fill out the ballot correctly.