Why ‘Yes’ means ‘no’ for Dogs
June 14, 2018
Following the recent ballot measure on dogs in parks, there have been questions about why the positive vote plurality (996 to 855) did not amount to approval of the measure and why the number of eligible voting lots was less than the total number of lots.
The criterion for approval of a measure to amend the Declaration of Restrictions, which was this ballot measure's objective, is stated in Article XI Section 1 of the Declaration, which was quoted in the Board President's letter accompanying the ballot mailing: "This Declaration may be amended or revoked in any respect by the vote or assent by written ballot of a majority of the membership eligible to vote." In this case, 1,379 yes votes would have been required.
It has proven very difficult over the years to amend any part of the Declaration as long as there is no modification of the above section itself. For example, the ballot measure in 2006 which included a proposed amendment to permit more unrestricted use of goose dogs received 1,266 yes votes and only 143 no votes, but it still fell short of the majority of all eligible lots which was required for approval.
In the balloting just completed, the number of eligible lots (2,757) represented those owned by members in good standing on the record date of March 12. The remainder of our 2,845 lots were deemed ineligible due to a past due balance.
In addition to the above explanation, it should be noted that there were several ballots (but far from a decisive number) that could not be processed because the return envelope was not signed, even after calls were made to the owners, or there was no identifying information, as required by law. We attempted to keep this number low by iterating these legal requirements in our mailing letter as well as by placing a sign on the ballot box in the office, in an effort to receive as many valid votes as possible.
Two-thirds of eligible voters cast ballots, somewhat less than in recent ballot measures. With the next election, for Board Directors, beginning next month, we hope to see this percentage rise.