Wednesday, April 9, 2008


E-mail readers, click on "Quorum" title above for full story.

Pronunciation: \ˈkwȯr-əm\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, quorum of justices of the peace, from Latin, of whom, genitive plural of qui who; from the wording of the commission formerly issued to justices of the peace
Date: 1602
1 : a select group
2 : the number (as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business
3 : a Mormon body comprising those in the same grade of priesthood

One of my major concerns with the proposed CC&R amendments is small in actual words, but big in impact. It has to do with changing the quorum required for votes of the membership in meetings from 50% to 25%. The stated intent behind it is that it's becoming more and more difficult to get quora in other HOAs. And given the attorney's explanation, I don't dispute that.

But does anyone else find it interesting that yesterday we get a letter reminding us to vote on the CC&Rs, and in effect establish a quorum for that vote? I'm fairly confident that the association will receive at least 67 votes. And if that's the case, then the process will actually have illustrated that a little reminder can go a long way. Why lower the bar, and the opportunity to include as many voices as possible in the most important decision we have - electing a board of directors - if we can take measures like this to help avoid quorum problems?

AB 1921 is a bill recently introduced in the California legislature that proposes a rewrite of the Davis-Stirling Act, the law that governs community associations. One of the changes proposed for it is a reduction in quorum to one-third of the voting power, unless the governing documents say otherwise. I honestly don't see why we'd want to lower ours below even the proposed state standard. And I still don't think we should lower it at all until we have demonstrated a problem that occurs consistently. Even should we not make quorum one time, reducing the quorum would seem a rash decision. Seabridge is not the same as other associations, and I think we should pride ourselves in the community participation we have rather than remove incentive for it.

It's unfortunate that this change is included in the proposed governing document amendments, as I do think the core changes to clarify maintenance responsibilities would be helpful. I'll be interesting in seeing if we get a quorum for the vote, and whether the changes pass. We'll know soon.

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