As published in The View, April 2022:
In Review and Looking Forward
As we sit down together, your Board President and Board Treasurer, to compose this article for The View, we are doing so just weeks before our Annual Meeting and election on April 5, 2022. You will probably be reading this just days before it goes up on our website near the end of March or in the hard copy of our Association monthly magazine which will be in the mailing tubes April 1. Our Board meeting on March 28 will mark the completion of our first year of service on your Board.
It hardly seems possible that it has been almost a year since our election and we excitedly took our seats on your Board of Directors, replacing two previous volunteers. Hoping to make a difference, we began the necessary process of learning the intricacies of our operations. We quickly became immersed in the day-to-day decisions required to run our HOA in a manner that has hopefully been pleasing and respectful to the desires and wishes of the vast majority of our members. We always tried to do so by using good faith and judgment, while attempting to make the best possible decisions for the community as a whole.
In doing so, it was necessary to work with our three other Board members to make decisions that we felt were in the best interest of the community; hash out our differences as much as possible; and come to a consensus or at least a majority decision on one matter at a time. Whether you judge those decisions favorably or unfavorably, they were the decisions of a Board of five members in which all had a voice and an equal vote.
At this time, we wish to acknowledge our two departing volunteer Board members, our Secretary, Fera Mostow, and our Member at Large, Carey Thompson, and thank them for their service as they return to the ranks of homeowners. (We will officially thank them again later at an open Board meeting.) In doing so we recognize that, as a result of your votes that will be tabulated and announced at the Annual Meeting, three of the six candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring will join us in constituting a new Board, with a couple new faces for certain. As a result, there will necessarily be a new balance of views and thinking as the Board handles daily issues and as we arrive at decisions by consensus or majority. We both look forward to that process and will strive to work cooperatively with the new Board members selected by the homeowners as we continue in the second year of the terms we were elected and entrusted to perform.
At the time we are writing this, HOA Elections has advised us that only 554 out of a total 3,450 ballots have been returned. You can do the math but, with three votes per household for Board candidates and one vote per household on ballot measures, it is clear that many potential votes remain outstanding. So, if you have not yet voted, PLEASE do so. You may mail in your ballots to HOA Elections (they must arrive before April 5), deposit them in the ballot boxes in both clubhouses, or deliver them personally at the Annual Meeting by 9 am when the polls close.
This is your community and your investment -- your votes are important. There are six candidates for three Board seats, and you may cast your votes cumulatively (i.e., all three votes for one candidate, or two votes for one candidate and one for another candidate, or one each for three separate candidates). You may write in candidates, but before doing please have the approval of the person whose name you are submitting. You may recall that, in the past, the vote tally between winners and losers was sometimes very narrow, so each vote can be very important. We want all your votes to count, so please carefully follow the instructions provided with your ballot before submitting it.
There are also three ballot measures. The Board has submitted the first, proposing an amendment to the Bylaws section that would grant permission to future Boards to enter into multi-year contracts (for more than one year as currently specified) for food services as set out in the materials included with your ballot. This measure requires at least 1,760 favorable votes to pass. If it passes, we both assure you that neither of us would ever vote to enter into any such multi-year contract without substantial community buy-in and on terms favorable and protective of the HOA. Also, if any such contract has terms that are different from or that go beyond the provisions of the proposed amendment, we believe this would require another vote by the owners.
In no event would either of us support executing such a contract if it only had 260 favorable votes (a simple majority of a quorum of 518) by homeowners. Whether the proposed amendment receives the necessary votes for passage (1,760 favorable) or not, it will be a referendum of the owners indicating the direction the majority wish future Boards to pursue.
The second ballot measure regarding IRS Revenue Ruling 70-604 is placed on the ballot each year and simply authorizes our financial managers to obtain the best possible tax treatment for our HOA for member income; it also permits the HOA to potentially save money if passed. A simple majority vote will pass this.
The third and last ballot measure is the pro forma approval of the minutes of last year’s Annual Meeting. Again, a simple majority is required to pass.
Some homeowners do not like election season because of the many differing views that are often articulated about various community issues and concerns. We view it as a time of heightened community interest and involvement when many owners who are often silent come forward to express their views and preferences and participate in the management of their HOA by casting their votes and influencing the direction they desire their community to go. We both have endeavored to exercise our votes on each issue, one issue at a time, taking into account the expressed desires and best interests of homeowners consistent with the Governing Documents which bind us all.
The two of us have not always agreed on every matter, but we have worked together with the other Board members and pledge to do so on the new Board going forward in the best interests of the community as a whole. We appreciate those who have supported and complimented our past. We share the view that things have indeed gotten better, can get better yet, and will continue to do so on and after April 5. It is the constant obligation of all Board members “to reason together” to make the necessary decisions entrusted to us by the homeowners and the Governing Documents.
Finally, we believe that the state of our community is good and financially sound thanks to the efforts of the many homeowner volunteers who contribute their time and efforts to the management and operation of our HOA.
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