Town Hall Focuses on Vote Requirement for OVA Bylaws Change

A second Town Hall that focused on changing the threshold for the quorum required to amend OVA’s bylaws from the originally proposed 25 percent to 40 percent continued to draw some opposition from residents who participated online November 10. 

Describing the bylaws as “old and creaky,” Tom Kendrick, vice president of the OVA board, acknowledged the issue has proven to be a much bigger debate than the Board thought it would be. Prompted by feedback from the first Town Hall, the change would require at least 1280 OVA members to participate in a community wide election compared to 1600 under the existing bylaws. It would also apply to amendments to the Association’s CC&Rs. 

Underscoring the higher requirement is a steep climb, Kendrick noted the current bylaws are dated and inconsistent with state law. As examples, he cited the Davis-Stirling Act which invalidates the process for special assessments and dues changes spelled out in the current bylaws and SB 323 which removes restrictions on terms limits on an HOA board member. 

The board has not yet set a date for a vote on changing the quorum requirement for bylaws and CC&R changes. 

Among those commenting in Open Forum was Hank Kelty who criticized the lack of transparency on the issue while acknowledging the 40 percent quorum is not unreasonable. Describing the move is more than negligible, Don McPherson said he objects to using a simple majority as a standard for approval. 

“It’s better to have a 10 percent margin,” McPherson said. “When majorities produce close votes, it is unstable.” He cited the U.S. Senate rules change for approving Supreme Court justices and the Oakmont vote on pickleball. His view was supported by Bruce Bonn who argued for a 55 percent super majority. 

“It’s a fairness issue,” said Kenrick, arguing requiring a super majority puts minorities in charge which is not a desirable outcome. 

Announcing he had enough information to cast a vote, Sohrab Dorabji added he rejects the characterization by a minority who believe members leave their intelligence and their integrity behind when they serve on a board. 

Sandra Sebastian opined that she believes most people are worried about dues changes which Kendrick noted is a decisioning part of the Board’s responsibility except when an increase exceeds 20 percent when state law takes precedence.