We are fast approaching another election on April 9, 2019. This election for two Board members might seem uneventful because only two candidates are running for two seats. But we still need a quorum for the election to be valid. Please be sure to vote quickly so we don’t have to have another election at a cost of about $10,000.
There will also be another item on the ballot for your consideration. The Board has decided to present the residents with one proposed amendment to the CC&Rs/Bylaws. This amendment would change how the CC&Rs/ Bylaws could be amended. Let me give you the background:
The current Bylaws require affirmative votes by 51 percent of all the homes in the HOA to change a Bylaw. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51 percent 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 vote, a measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people vote to pass any Bylaw change. If 100 percent of all 1,759 people vote in favor, it would still be defeated.
There were 2,123 ballots cast in the last election for changing the Bylaws. In order to get 1,760 affirmative votes, 82.9 percent of the 2,123 ballots would have to vote in favor of the change. Thus, a large number of votes is required to pass a change to our Bylaws, and this requires a 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 great credit that we had a voter turnout of 61.5 percent, which statistically is high. Voter turnout in national elections ranges from 40 - 60 percent. We sent out three mailers and then called every person in the complex to ask them to vote if they had not received their ballot. HOA Elections records show the highest voter turnout in the last three years for our elections was 2,156, or 62.5 percent.
The question is: are the current CC&Rs/ Bylaws so strict that changes are unduly difficult, perhaps impossible? Given that our highest voter turnout was 62.5 percent, it would only take 397 votes (11.5 percent) out of the 3,450 votes to block any change to the CC&Rs/Bylaws. In the last election, even though 70.56 percent 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 9 ballot. The Board is proposing an amendment to change the current requirement in the CC&Rs/Bylaws. The proposed change would require “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 you need two-thirds of those voting 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 ballot should be at your home by now, so please take a moment and fill out the ballot and send it back. Nothing would help the HOA more than if we could get everyone to vote on this measure, helping to resolve for the future how we govern.
Once I fill out my ballot, I will enjoy my sunset knowing we all work together in a beautiful place called Shadow Hills. And no doubt about it, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”