We've received a number of phone calls from members about the complete reversal of LHCC's position on voting policies applicable to the upcoming vote on proposed governing documents. For the vote currently scheduled for 6/10/06, LHCC plans to:
- vote for the new declaration at large, instead of section by section
- allow M & S to vote lots for which it is not paying dues
Combining at large voting on the proposed declaration with allowing M & S to vote its over 700 non-dues paying lots, if allowed to take place, would determine the outcome of the election. For example, it would mean that the declaration for Section 6A with its 259 lots, a section where M & S owns no lots as of 4/30/06, could be amended even if every member in that section voted against the proposed declaration, because of the impact of M & S voting its over 700 lots. The impact on approval of the proposed Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation is even dramatic.
The directors and management of LHCC were adamant in public meetings in the spring of 2005 on 2 points: that any vote on the proposed declaration would be section by section, and that M & S would not be allowed to vote lots for which it is not paying dues, including voting its lots in an election on the new governing documents. This is a change of course if ever there was one.
In the spring of 2005, LHCC held a number of town hall-style meetings to sell members on approving changes to the governing documents. At 4 of these meetings over more than a 2 month period, members asked questions about voting policies for approving revised governing documents. At the 2/19/05 Town Hall Meeting, LHCC accepted questions but answered them in writing after the meeting. The very first question was on the important point of voting policies, and LHCC's written answer was:
Approval of the revised Declaration requires approval by 67% of the eligible membership by Section. Votes will be counted by individual sections and the revised Declaration adopted in those sections receiving 67% approval.
Similarly, the issue of M & S voting lots for which it doesn't pay dues and isn't a member was asked at the 4/11/05 Town Hall Meeting. The answer was straightforward:
The developer pays no assessments (annual or special) for the trust property of 722 lots that they purchased. They also have no voting rights for these lots. … Once assessments are paid on a lot, voting rights accompany ownership.
The directors of LHCC seem driven to predermine the outcome of this important election and force revised governing documents on members. Right up until the September 2005 vote on the governing documents, the directors of LHCC planned to vote the Association's over 240 lots in favor of the revised governing documents. It resolved to do this in writing by Resolution 2004-08. Only 1 director voted against this resolution. This policy was only changed after we filed our complaint and obtained, on behalf of all members, emergency relief from the court. A few days later, the directors of LHCC indefinitely postponed the election. Did LHCC's directors conclude that since they couldn't vote Association lots and pre-determine the outcome of the election, it made no sense to go forward with the vote?
Now, a new vote is scheduled to take place approximately 9 months after the first scheduled vote. Since the directors of LHCC can't vote Association lots, they had to change what they already told members about section by section voting and allowing M & S to lots for which they aren't paying dues. Members should ask and not stop asking each and every director of LHCC: why are you so obsessed with pre-determining the outcome of this election?
We shudder to think what they'll come up with next once this scheme fails.