OVA Bylaws Change Vote is Off For Now

            The OVA Board stepped back from holding a community vote on whether to reduce quorum requirements for changing Association bylaws, concluding that the issue was doomed to fail.

            For nearly 60 years, amending bylaws has required approval “by a majority of the voting power of the Association.” Currently with just over 3,200 voting residences in Oakmont, any bylaw update requires at least 1600 affirmative votes. 

            At its November meeting, the board had approved asking residents later this month to vote on whether or not to allow bylaws to be amended by “approval of the board and the affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of at least 40% the OVA voters,” roughly 1,200 yes votes.

            But members of the Bylaws Revision Committee, which had proposed the quorum change by a vote of the membership only, objected to the part that required that any proposed change also have board approval.    

            “You guys are getting advice from a law firm that you have to be involved,” said bylaw committee Chair Hugh Helm, “Well, that is not the law. There is no law to that effect.”

            Even with the support of the bylaws committee, community support for the measure was not a forgone conclusion. But without that committee’s help “I have zero confidence that we would be able to get the number of votes required to make any change,” Board President Tom Kendrick told a Dec. 1 virtual meeting.

            “Given the cost and the effort required to run a vote, it really makes no sense to carry this forward until such time as we can re-approach this with a clean slate …We’re not saying never, We’re just saying not now.” It costs about $10,000 to hold a member vote.

            “I don’t think we should be doing this until we are all in open meetings again,” said Director Noel Lyons, noting its consideration has been limited to ZOOM meetings without a larger audience of members.

            In addition to committee meetings, the board held two virtual town halls to discuss the bylaws proposal.