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Subject: Never Ending Votes
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Author Messages
McK
(Texas)

Posts:1


02/14/2018 12:24 PM  
To make changes to our Covenants need 75%/244 affirmative vote. At our Annual Meeting a vote was taken to change to 67%. Proxy Votes show if not in hour before meeting they dont count. They were short 34 votes & are canvassing the park to get yes votes. How is this a never-ending vote? They will try to run all new covenants next annual meeting & say that can be never-ending vote also & any agenda item can be done this way. Existing covenants dont address this.
CjC
(Maryland)

Posts:105


02/14/2018 12:37 PM  
Our covenant change took multiple years to get all the required signatures. When I went to the courthouse to see all of them (over 500) I was astonished at the variety of dates. But there is no "end date" per se.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:337


02/14/2018 1:35 PM  
Posted By CjC on 02/14/2018 12:37 PM
Our covenant change took multiple years to get all the required signatures. When I went to the courthouse to see all of them (over 500) I was astonished at the variety of dates. But there is no "end date" per se.




Seems like a problem right there. I bet if an audit was done of the votes, that many of the yes votes would be dissallowed because the people that cast those votes subsequently moved before the 500 threashold was met.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7294


02/14/2018 3:45 PM  
It took us up to 3 years to get approval for 5 very simple changes. Our rules required 75% for Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation. 90% for the CCR's. We had 107 members. It also took a special meeting to gather these votes. However, we were able to by-pass the special meeting requirement by having the lawyer draft up a document to sign away your right to attend a special meeting to cast your vote. So we had to have 2 signatures from every owner. 1 for the vote. 1 for giving up your right to vote at a special meeting. This allowed us to gather votes by going door to door and/or at our board meetings.

So yes it can take some time to gather the necessary votes. It may seem like forever but eventually if you push on and get inventive... It will be successful.

Former HOA President
ArtL1
(Florida)

Posts:83


02/14/2018 6:33 PM  
As a board member who'd like to get some CC&R changes done that will take 75% of the members to approve, I'm curious how dragging this out that long is possible.

My understanding was, the most you could do is adjourn a meeting to a later date (to keep the voting on an issue "alive"), but that proxies executed for the initial meeting would expire eventually. In FL, FS 720.306 specifies that a proxy expires 90 days after the date of the meeting for which it was originally given.

So, my plan for when we get the amendments written is to schedule a meeting at which we'd ideally vote, but more likely either not make quorum or more certainly not make the needed 75%, ask those present to execute proxies, and adjourn for some time (say 30 days). During those 30 days, we'd have to work on getting more proxies. At the next scheduled instance of the meeting of the members to vote on amendments, we'd count up the votes and proxies, and likely have to adjourn again, repeating the process until we either get 75% for, 25% against, or run out of time for the initial proxies to be valid. I suppose we could then approach those members who's proxies had expired and ask them to execute new ones.

OTOH, under FS 720.317, I believe we can implement electronic voting, and use one of those systems that allows for e-voting and e-proxies. If we have a meeting to vote on amendments, and members e-vote, if we adjourn to a later date to try to get more votes, are e-votes from the first meeting still valid to count at the next scheduled adjournment(s) of the original meeting? Or does collecting e-proxies make more sense, since those are valid at adjournments of the original meeting?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:208


02/14/2018 6:53 PM  
McK

I do not have my reference materials at hand. The Texas Legislature, in one of the previous sessions (2011/2013/2015), changed a higher percentage rule for amending certain documents, including the Declaration, to 67% for all POAs which fall under Section 209 of the Texas Property Code.

Associations with lower percentages than 67% were not affected, the lower percentage remained as written.

I'm having some difficulty following what you are asking. I recommend you seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in Texas Property Association matters. It appears you are attempting to modify the Bylaws, Declaration, or both. If you are attempting to change the percentage of the total number of votes which can approve the amendment, you may be tilting at windmills. The Legislature may have taken care of this for you.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2538


02/14/2018 8:03 PM  
How can you have a vote go on for 3 years. There are procedures in your governing documents, normally the Bylaws that allow the MEMBERS to adjourn to a later date, but not an indefinite time. Who's checking the validity of the votes? Who is checking to see if owners voting rights were suspended?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2087


02/14/2018 11:34 PM  
Art, I think your understanding is basically correct except for the reference to "e-proxies". It's true that FS 720.317 was enacted last year to allow for e-voting. I don't see anything about e-proxies in there. Regardless, 720.317(3) says any e-votes count towards a quorum "at the meeting". After some noticing and board resolution hoops are jumbed through, members who wish to vote electronically must consent in writing. From what you've described, even that might be a tall order for you.

But if you can get that done then the question of how long can the vote be held open is probably one best asked of some of the firms who provide e-voting services to associations. Many who offer that service do seem to have reasonable costs for setting up a vote based on the number of members in the association. See if they have a problem with you opening up the voting period and then wanting to hold the vote open for a few weeks or months while you round up more people to vote.

I think your problem is one of the exact scenarios that e-voting was meant to address.
ArtL1
(Florida)

Posts:83


02/15/2018 6:46 PM  
My thinking on the e-proxies is, there's nothing terribly special about them and since our documents allow for use of limited proxy already, an e-voting system that can generate proxies just makes it easier to "save" those votes for subsequent adjournments of the meeting.

Still, I'm curious about the mechanics of how a vote [on amendments or anything] could be held open for years, as was suggested above.
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