October 18th Special Members Meeting to Vote on Revised Documents – Why Was the Vote Continued?
Posted on November 1, 2022 6:30 AM by Mary Cheston, President, Board of Directors
The first phase of our vote for revised Governing Documents took place from September 6th to October 18th. The results were inconclusive because less than 300 owners voted. This total was announced at the meeting and included all the electronic, absentee and in-person votes as of that date. Due to the lack of participation, the Special Meeting was continued beyond the October 18, 2022 meeting date.
There is still time for you to participate and vote!
Generally, the voting for a set of revised HOA governing documents can be a drawn-out affair – averaging 8 to 12 months in many cases. The Board of Directors hoped to conclude the vote in time for our 2023 budget preparation because the revised documents would change the assessment methodology. Since a new budget must be approved by December 1, 2022, we plan to prepare assessments based on our current documents and await the final vote results.
There have been a few questions about the continuation or adjournment of a Special Meeting under Roberts Rule of Order. Here are some facts to help you sort out this process.
- Per Roberts Rules, it is not required to name a specific date for the meeting to resume. The Board is considering all options to reconvene as conveniently as possible for owners.
- The requirements for Special Meetings are defined in the Nonprofit Corporation Act, VA Code 13.1-839. Special Meetings of the Members are different from Board meetings or Annual Meetings. Only business as described in the meeting’s notice may be conducted. Our notice was for the purposes of voting, not providing presentations or taking comments. We encourage anyone with a question on the documents to submit it to the Board for a written response (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Electronic votes count towards a meeting quorum – VA Code 13.1-847C
- The possible vote to continue the meeting was anticipated and made known to Members. Each ballot contained the language – “I further approve any adjournment or continuation of the Special Meeting.”
Recall that in 2020 the first NTRA homeowner Board of Directors extended the vote for the First Amendment to the Master Declaration (related to Savannah Square) in order to gather enough “yes” votes to pass the amendment. (Please see the Town Criers of June, July, August and September 2020 for how this was handled – https://www.ntrawilliamsburg.org/news-articles/
However, in the current election NO ONE HAS COUNTED THE BALLOTS OR IS TRACKING THE FOR AND AGAINST VOTES. The electronic votes are locked in the ezVote software system and Chesapeake Bay Management has control of the paper ballots as part of their professional responsibility. We are holding a secured, honest and fair election that has not yet been called.
The Association needs sufficient New Town wide participation to determine the will of most owners. Ballots from less than half of our 618 lot owners do not do that.
Owner apathy hurts everyone in our community. Get involved! Use an absentee ballot or your electronic ballot link from ezVote to let your voice be heard.