After several weeks of trying to figure out what to do about the screwed up election, there is finally a plan. Four days ago, on the Hawks Nest website, www.hawksnest-marathon.com, the office posted an explanation of what happened, and what is being done to correct the problem. I have included the post below:
From: Hawks Nest Board of Directors
To: Hawks Owners
Due to inadvertent errors in our election voting process, a decision was made to give owners who might have been disenfranchised by those errors, a second opportunity to vote. This decision is in compliance with our attorney’s opinion regarding the errors which included: 1) Postage on return envelopes was insufficient, causing concern that we did not receive everyone’s return ballots. 2) The Second Annual Meeting Notice stated that the ballots had to be returned by May 4, 2017 when it should have stated “by the beginning of the meeting on May 7, 2017”. 3) Canadians were directed to fax their ballots which is contrary to law and our by-laws. Based upon these errors, our attorney, and the Board are of the opinion that the election process was flawed and not in compliance with our By-Laws or Florida law.
Based upon this, our By-Laws and Florida law, our attorney advised us on how to proceed to correct these errors and to allow all owners the opportunity to vote. Under this procedure, all owners will receive a Revised Second Notice of Annual Meeting to be mailed on June 19, 2017.
All owners will receive new proxies to complete and return. Because the prior proxy contained the following statement (which is required by law to be included): “THIS PROXY IS REVOCABLE BY THE UNIT OWNER AND IS VALID ONLY FOR THE MEETING (May 7, 2017) FOR WHICH IT IS GIVEN AND ANY LAWFUL ADJOURNMENT…”, those May 7th proxies are not valid for the rescheduled Annual Meeting and new ones need to be completed. These proxies, per our By-Laws, must be completed and received by our CPA on or before July 15, 2017.
The ballots from owners that were properly received have been saved and will be counted at the rescheduled Annual Meeting. Please note that Section 61B-23.0021 of the Florida Administrative Code states “Upon receipt by the association, no ballot may be rescinded or changed.” In other words, if your ballot has been properly received, you may not alter that vote or vote again. Only owners whose ballots were not properly received are receiving new ballots to be completed as directed and to return them so that their votes will also count.
The Board apologizes for this error and delay, but toward the goal of giving all owners a voice, holding a valid election and upon advice of our legal counsel, the meeting has been rescheduled for July 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the Hawks Nest. If we have a quorum, the ballot counting will commence and we will proceed through the agenda as listed on the notice. If there is not a quorum, or if the counting of ballots takes longer than the stated agenda on the Notice through Item 8, we will adjourn the meeting to 3PM to announce the outcome of the vote. However, all owners will be permitted to, and are encouraged to, remain in the room to observe the counting of the ballots. Please everyone complete your proxies and those of you who have received ballots, please vote.
Some people seem to think that some incumbent members of the board voted to have a new partial vote because they were afraid that the the vote as it was wasn’t going their way. That’s absurd, since none of the votes that were received have even yet been opened.
Interestingly, of the three incumbents that are running for reelection, two abstained from voting on the matter of postponing the vote. The only one of the three that did vote was Secretary Rosemary Smith who voted no.
Jim Dobbs and Charles Lea told me that they felt that their voting on the matter could be seen as a conflict since they had a direct interest in the outcome of the vote. Once the decision to postpone was made, however, they both were involved in doing what was needed to implement the decision in a fair, equitable, and legal way, as did the rest of the board.