A MESSAGE TO CLEARWOOD COMMUNITY MEMBERS FROM: Valerie Cawley (former board director)
“This message is addressed to Clearwood Community members encouraging them to read the small print before they vote to approve the Amendment to the Covenants.
This is a complicated issue and a little background might help to explain it. The Covenants are updated every 20 years and September 2010 is the critical date for recording any new amendments, otherwise they will remain unchanged for a further 20 years,
The board, unable to complete the changes in the time allowed, decided to make only one change this year, to extend the duration of the current Covenants for a year or two, not specified, to allow time for amendments to be prepared.
In the Minutes of the March Board Meeting and again in the May Spring Newsletter it was clearly stated by the President of the Board that the lawyer is recommending that we only amend the duration of our Covenants this year and when a Directed Proxy Postcard/ballot arrived in the mail on May 5, 2010 everyone expected to vote on that small amendment.
We discovered that this was not the case. In the small print on the back of the letter accompanying the proxy ballot we found cause for concern in proposed new language
which reads “The Board shall review any proposal that the Covenants be amended and determine whether to submit a proposed amendment to the Covenants to Owners for approval
This raises a number of questions. Since when did the board have the power to determine whether to seek member approval? The Bylaws contain strict language defining what the board can and cannot do, and historically all voting issues have been turned over to the membership for approval. Is the board creating new language in the Covenants allowing it to change the Bylaws to take away voting rights of the members?
In addition, by using a Directed Proxy Postcard, the board overcomes any hurdles imposed by the Bylaws, with regard to members in good standing and is denying the dissenting voice at the same time. Clearwood resolutions allow for pros and cons but on this important issue there is no opportunity for members to voice their concern. Proxy votes must be received by June 23, 2010 and the only meeting to discuss the ballot is on June 26, 2010.
I urge Clearwood owner/members to read the material very carefully before voting to approve the Covenant Amendment ballot, There is too much at stake to treat this lightly.
More information can be found at www.clearwood.org.”
(former board director)