Confident in integrity of ASPOA election
October 16, 2013
In an Oct. 12 "Other Voices" article by Fred Crowder, he alleged election misconduct on the part of the ASPOA Nomination Committee, comprised of myself, Julie Reaney and John Ford.
The insults contained in his article are without foundation because each of his allegations is untrue, as I offered to explain to him repeatedly at the meeting he referenced.
As was stated at the board meeting that sparked Mr. Crowder's article (and in our bylaws, online and the Alta Sierran), any ASPOA member in good standing is eligible to run in the election, and members may even nominate themselves. We are asking for voluntary information to provide voters with a quick sketch of their candidates, though it is not required to run in the election and will only be used to provide candidate information to voters.
The association has hired, for a nominal fee, the reputable accounting firm of Dai Meagher CPA and Associates to ensure the fair and accurate election we know our members deserve. Upon collection of nomination forms, four sets of photocopies will be made under the watchful eye of Mr. Meagher and will be given to each of the three committee members and the ASPOA secretary so she can vet nominees against the membership list. Candidates may not and will not be eliminated for any reason if they are members in good standing.
On election day, Mr. Meagher will collect completed ballots from secured locations and transport them to the election location to be counted by volunteers in front of interested observers. Members may submit ballots by mail until Nov. 29 or in person until 10 a.m. Dec. 2.
No membership dues will be used, or can be used, to promote one candidate over another. Each qualified candidate will receive equal opportunity to participate in all avenues of candidate communication, including the candidate summary mailed with ballots, email, website, etc.
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In an outreach effort, which the board hoped would bring our community one step closer toward ending the ongoing conflict in our community, the board appointed a prominent recall proponent, Enid Powell, to the Nomination Committee. At our first meeting, she resigned from the committee, citing an unexpected vacation that would remove her from the country during the entire election process. Another member was appointed by the board, who is a retired Placer County sheriff and was at one time in favor of the recall. Ms. Powell has also nominated herself for election.
The allegations made by Mr. Crowder and the insults from which those allegations stem are completely and absolutely false. I attempted to answer Mr. Crowder's questions, but he said he was not interested in my reply. I have also offered to answer his questions via email, which he also declined.
In spite of his baseless allegations, as a member in good standing, Mr. Crowder is absolutely eligible to run in the election, and about one important point, he is totally correct: It is my moral and ethical duty to protect his right to run for election, and I will do so. As a former election inspector for each of the California counties I have lived in, I have always supported an unbiased election and worked to protect the rights of individual voters, regardless of my personal feelings.
If you would like more information regarding the official ASPOA election Dec. 2, 2013, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nomination Committee is looking for six members to volunteer for ballot counting. A limited number of observers are welcome on election day, provided they do not disrupt the ballot-counting process.
I'm confident in the integrity of our election process. This could be the first election requiring a secret ballot that ASPOA residents can recall, based on the number of people who have indicated interest in running. Bylaws require a balloted election only if the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies, which is probably why the recallers have said the current board is "self-elected."
In spite of the insults thrown around, I'm honored to be part of the capable team coordinating this exciting election on behalf of our membership.
Julie Siegenthaler is a seven-year resident and homeowner in Alta Sierra and an ASPOA director.