Dear Association Members and Residents of Sandy Hill:
With our Annual General Meeting just around the corner, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and interest in the work that Action Sandy Hill is doing. It is satisfying to see the community rally around the issues that matter to them and to be working with such a great group of Directors that has permitted us to agitate, negotiate, facilitate and celebrate with you.
This year we have an unprecedented number of candidates stepping forward for positions on the Board of Directors, meaning that an election by vote is likely to replace our more traditional election by acclamation. It has been brought to my attention that there exists some angst around eligibility for Association membership and that there has been discussion on the topic of proxy voting. I would like to address both of these matters in this message.
In 2011, the Bylaws of Action Sandy Hill underwent a long overdue review and revision. Much had changed since their last iteration: the City of Ottawa amalgamated, the University of Ottawa doubled in size, the pressures on our community evolved. We used the opportunity to ensure the Bylaws aligned with the objectives of Action Sandy Hill – which can be found here on our website – including a commitment to represent the increasingly diverse interests of our community with informed positions on planning and development, housing, heritage issues, transportation and traffic, recreation, the environment, and other issues of neighborhood concern. In order to be an effective and relevant Board, it is important for all stakeholders – home and business owners, renters, young and old, new and established residents – to see themselves reflected and have an opportunity to participate in their community association business, either by voting at annual general meetings, working on a committee or even sitting on the Board of Directors. Without the opportunity for input from all of its stakeholders, a community association risks alienating segments of its professed constituency or even becoming an irrelevant organization. To that end, the ASH Board worked hard to ensure that membership requirements in the Bylaws were inclusive and that all stakeholders in Sandy Hill could be represented on the Board of Directors. You, the membership, have the important responsibility of determining who those Directors will be by way your vote.
The revised Bylaws were presented to the Association and approved unanimously at the 2012 Annual General Meeting.
This year we have fourteen candidates running for ten positions available on the Board, including four incumbents standing for re-election. You have already been invited to attend the AGM on Thursday, May 16, to cast your vote and the report of the ASH Nominating Committee can be found here. If you are unable to attend in person, the Bylaws allow for proxy voting by Association members. This is the first time this process has ever been invoked and, as such, no precedent exists as to how we should proceed. Therefore, in the interest of granting each Association member the opportunity to cast their vote, the following four-step process is being implemented for this year’s AGM for those that are interested in voting by proxy:
- Express: Please press “reply” to this email and clearly express your desire to vote by proxy. To prove your identify, please also provide your full name and address.
- Verify: Your membership will be verified against the master membership list. As per the Bylaws, only those whose membership status is active and whose dues have been paid will be allowed to vote.
- Vote: You will be sent an e-mail ballot by 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, that includes the list of all eligible candidates that are standing for election. Candidates were asked to submit a brief bio about themselves and you will also receive these bios to help you make an informed choice.
- Return: Please return your proxy ballot by pressing “reply” to the email that contains the proxy information, identifying the full names of up to ten candidates for whom you wish to cast your vote, and then press “send.” You must return your ballot by email no later than 3:00pm on May 16, 2013, for it to be counted in the election that will be held at approximately 9:00pm that evening.
(Note: ASH is fully aware that this process does not allow for candidates from the floor to be included on the ballot for proxy voters. If you are aware of an eligible candidate that may present their candidacy from the floor, you may list them as one of your choices. However, should that person not stand for any reason, you may not revise your vote.)
Please be advised that this is the only process for proxy voting that will be accepted for the 2013 AGM.
Our community is in a great state of flux and we hope that we can count on your involvement to steer it in the direction you would like to see it go. If you have not already committed to attending on Thursday, please do so. And if you are already planning on attending, please bring a friend or neighbour along.
I look forward to seeing you the AGM.
Yours in community,
Action Sandy Hill
Last Updated: 14-May-2013