As the first light breaks across the horizon, I just smile and realize I really am living in this paradise called Shadow Hills. The phone rings, and I answer to a homeowner greeting me with “good morning.” It is perfect!
The homeowner asks me about the changes to the CC&Rs and By-laws. We discuss a few of the changes that have been proposed. A little later, another homeowner calls to ask about some of the same changes. And then the next day, still another homeowner has questions about the same few sections of the proposed changes to the CC&Rs and By-laws.
It became clear to me that only a few of the sections of the proposed changes have initiated most of the conversation. It is also clear there is no right or wrong answer, only slightly different viewpoints; and, no matter the outcome, we will all be able to live with either choice, with neighbors that still say hello each morning.
How perfect is a process where we make decisions together about the rules we want to live by? For all that will ultimately be proposed, there seem to be less than 10 sections that are motivating 90 percent of the conversations. Seems simple, and it is; and the Board will try its best to make the process simple. But we will need your help and vote.
The Board plans to make the final revisions to the proposed changes in September. That will allow us time to explain the changes and the ballot to homeowners by early November. I will hold a couple of town hall meetings in early November to explain the ballot and how to fill it out for each section. Changes will occur in three categories:
- First, there will be a section with non-material changes. These are the changes that everyone should agree are administrative in nature. Example: taking out Pulte’s name and putting in the HOA. This section will be a “yes” or “no” vote on all the items in the entire section.
- Second, there will be changes/additions to existing language to clarify what already exists, but which needs explanation to eliminate ambiguity. Example: walls completely on the property of a homeowner has been interpreted to belong to the homeowner. New language will clarify this situation. This will be a “yes” or “no” vote on the entire section because it does not change existing interpretation or operations.
- Third, there will be changes that are material and which will alter how we operate. Example: We currently have two different voting methods for the Board election. One year is regular voting (one vote per candidate), and the next year is cumulative voting (you may cast all votes for one candidate). The proposed change is to have regular voting each year. This will be a material change from the past. This section will be done one item at a time because it will be a material change from past practice. It will be like filling out a proposition ballot in a general election. You will have the ability to say “yes” or “no” to each item as you see fit.
So, this fall, be looking for the meetings to explain how the ballot will work. And be sure to vote when the ballot comes out, hopefully in November.
That evening, after my last discussion with an absolutely charming homeowner, I did reflect on another beautiful day, the good morning phone calls, and all the kind people that smiled when we met. And I said to myself, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”