Know Thyself and Thy Association Or Dogs and Hogs
By now we have received ballots for a special two-part election to allow motorcycles to be ridden inside the gates and dogs in our parks. It is very important that we all know the ramifications of this vote, but first it is helpful to fully understand some of the mechanics of what is happening.
Our governing documents are divided into four separate categories. We have our Articles of Incorporation, which register Lake Wildwood Association as a California corporation; our Declaration of Restrictions, which specify certain things that can and cannot be done inside the gates; our Bylaws, which describe how our the Association is governed; and our Rules and Policies, which address issues that are not covered in our Restrictions and Bylaws. Our Restrictions and Bylaws are the legal core of the Association and are held to a higher standard than Rules and Policies.
There are three types of elections that may take place. The first is to change a Restriction or Bylaw. This is commonly referred to as a “super majority” election. It requires an affirmative vote from over 50 percent of all memberships in good standing. If we have 2,840 memberships in good standing, 1,421 must vote yes to change a Restriction or Bylaw.
The second type of election is to levy a special assessment in excess of five percent of the previous year’s total budget. This requires a simple majority of a 50 percent quorum of memberships in good standing.
All other elections require a simple majority of a 25 percent quorum of memberships in good standing.
Both the prohibitions against motorcycles within the gates and dogs in the parks are in our Declaration of Restrictions and require a “super majority” vote of the membership to change. As a point of clarification, our goose dogs are classified as working dogs and do not fall under this restriction while they are on goose patrol. Rules and Policies do not require a membership vote to be initiated, deleted nor amended but do require a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
The vote to allow dogs in our parks is very simple and straight forward as it removes the prohibition in the Restrictions and specifically allows leashed dogs on our parks and beaches. Any Rules and Policies that presently apply to dogs remain in force, and the Board has the discretion to amend, delete or add new Rules and Policies as circumstances dictate.
The vote to allow motorcycles to be ridden inside the gates is a bit different, as many of the items that would normally appear in Rules and Policies appear in the Restrictions. Generally, Restrictions are a bit less specific than the proposed Section 6(d); however, there is nothing wrong with doing it this way. This has its good and bad connotations, depending on your point of view. Once in the Restrictions, Section 6(d) can only be amended or deleted by another “super majority” vote, and that might appeal to those members who are on the fence and worried that another Board could change some of the eight Operating Restrictions.
The TWI Editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Wildwood Independent’s Editorial Board, a group of Wildwood residents, former board members, writers and community leaders. Contact the board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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