Category: Meeting Summary

2020 Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

There was no quorum for the annual meeting. See a draft of meeting minutes here:

Traditionally we have held the annual member meeting and election of board of directors in September of each year. Due to extra planning required to conduct an online meeting, this year’s annual meeting and election was postponed to November.

All members of the Rio Crossing Homeowners Association were sent candidate application forms in September, and a meeting notice with a hard-copy ballot and postage-paid return envelope in October, with an early November deadline.

A quorum is normally described as the number of people that need to be present at a meeting in order to conduct business, such as an election. Arizona statutes (ARS 33-1812) state that absentee ballots also count toward a meeting quorum.

Our Bylaws state that one-tenth of the Eligible Votes constitute a quorum, and with all members eligible to vote and 345 homes in the community, the quorum requirement is 35. There were 28 absentee ballots to be counted as “present,” and only 3 association members present — all of whom had already voted absentee ballots, so their presence did not add to the number “present” for purposes of quorum.

What happens to the election? Nothing. The election is part of the business of the annual meeting, and there was no quorum, so no business can be conducted.

Who are the directors now? The incumbent directors — those previously in office at the time of the election — remain in office, per the association bylaws in section 3.1.

This is the second consecutive year with no quorum at the annual meeting. Quorum was present in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and historically not very often before that.

Thank you to those of you that took the time to send in an absentee ballot.

March 2020 News!

You can get your March 2020 news in so many ways!

If you want to watch (or re-watch!) specific items from the YouTube video, but don’t want to wade through all of them, look for the topic below and click the link to go direct to that topic in the video:

  1. Check your first quarter assessments – link
  2. Heatherbrae Entrance and the Landscape Revitalization Pilot Project – link
  3. Community Town Hall – Saturday March 21 at 11am at Roma Park – link
  4. Monthly Meeting Dates and Venue Changes – next meeting Thursday March 12 at Avondale City Hall – link
  5. Revisions to Policies: Collections, Violation & Fines – link
  6. Register for access at – link
  7. Changes to Architectural Request Review Process – changes to Design Review Committee meeting processes – link
  8. Can You Volunteer an Hour a Month? – link
  9. Holiday Decorations Should Be Down By Now – link
  10. Vehicle Parking on Lot and Bulk Trash Violations – link
  11. Maintenance of Home Exteriors – link
  12. Upcoming Social Events – link
  13. Tenant Registration Policy – link
  14. Tot Lot Sand Sifting – link
  15. Avondale Police Department Community Resource Program – visit by Officer Archer and Vice Mayor Pat Dennis – link

2019 Annual Meeting Summary

The Quick Version

A handout was available to all members present, with agenda for this meeting, minutes from the 2018 annual meeting, and financial data as of August 31, 2019 (including the balance sheet and the monthly budget comparison statement). [download a copy here]

There was not enough “eligible votes” represented to establish a quorum for the annual meeting, therefore no official association business could be conducted. An informal discussion took place among those attending, which included incumbent board members, one homeowner, two guests, and our community manager.

The incumbent board of directors will continue to serve.

The More-Detailed Version


The Annual Member Meeting was scheduled for last Wednesday, September 25. Every year an election for the board of directors is held in conjunction with the annual meeting. A call for board candidates went out in August, and ballots were mailed to the then-current owners in early September.

Though our bylaws permit proxy voting, Arizona statutes now prohibit proxy voting, but allow absentee ballots. “What’s the difference between proxy and absentee?”, you might ask. With a proxy vote, you assign someone else the right to cast a ballot on your behalf; what often happens is that someone goes around and obtains a proxy to vote on behalf of many homeowners and then casts all the ballots for one person, giving the advantage of choice to the person with all the proxy votes. With an absentee ballot, you make your own choice on the ballot and send it in, but you do not have to be present for your ballot to count. This way, no one person can cast all the votes based on personal choice.

Arizona statutes also dictate that absentee ballots “count” when computing the quorum present for a meeting.

What’s a Quorum?

A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present at a meeting in order to conduct official business. (Some people mistakenly think there is no meeting if there is no quorum. This isn’t true, according to most parliamentary procedures, like Robert’s Rules of Order. A meeting occurs when there is less than a quorum present, but only a limited number of actions can be taken by those who are attending.)

Our bylaws require 10% of the membership to be present for a quorum. With 345 homes in Rio Crossing, that amounts to 35 votes (rounding up to a “whole vote”). For this year’s meeting, the number of absentee ballots plus the number of members attending who had not voted was under 20.

Last year (September 2018) we had 46 members (mostly absentee ballots plus a few attendees).

Who Was Elected?

When there is no quorum, there is no election. The election is one of those items of business that can’t be done when there is no quorum.

“Then what happens?”, you might ask. There are a couple of possibilities:

  • One of the actions that can be taken without a quorum is a decision to reconvene the meeting at a later date, in the hopes that a quorum can be established then – either with additional absentee ballots, more attendees, or both. That is often referred to as an “adjourned meeting”. If a quorum is established at that adjourned meeting, the election (and any other association business) can proceed.
  • The members can adjourn the existing meeting without designating a future date for reconvening, and in this case, the incumbent board members (from the “current” term of office) continue as board members for the succeeding term.

In our case, only incumbent board members were on the ballot, so going to the effort of reconvening at a later date would not really have had a significant outcome other than just allowing the current board to continue. (There would have been one minor difference: one of the incumbent board members did not submit a candidate application for the upcoming year, and therefore if there were any write-ins, a write-in candidate could have been elected.)

If we were just a few members short of a quorum and could have made a quorum later by collecting just a few more ballots or with a couple more attendees, then we might have considered reconvening at a later date. But with barely half the number of required members and the fact that the pool of candidates was essentially the same as the incumbent board, the likelihood of having a quorum at a subsequent session was small and this option was not considered.

Bottom line: the incumbent board members will be retained on the board for the subsequent year.

The Results Are… In?

The Annual Member Meeting and election of board members for the next year was scheduled for last night. Before I give you the results, here’s a quick run-down of what you, as an association member, should know.

In order to “conduct business” at the annual member meeting, we’re required to have a quorum — a parliamentary procedure term meaning “the minimum number of people present to conduct business”. Our bylaws tell us we need ten percent of the eligible voters, and with one vote per lot and 345 lots here in Rio Crossing, ten percent of that is 35 (rounded up to the nearest “whole vote”).

Most parliamentary procedure rules (like Robert’s Rules of Order) say that a quorum has to be made up of people actually present at the meeting, However, Arizona statutes (specifically ARS 33-1812 subsection B) says that anyone who submits an absentee ballot for the election is counted in the quorum computations. This is probably because not many people actually come to HOA meetings, but in many cases, people are interested enough in what happens with their HOA to vote for the board members who represent them.

About Last Night…

Last night, there were under 15 absentee ballots, and only 4 members present eligible to vote (and 3 of them had already submitted their vote with an absentee ballot — just in case they were not able to attend).

So essentially we needed 35 voters, and we had less than 20.

Last year — September 2018 — there were 48 voters… more than twice as many as this year. And 2018 was the largest Rio Crossing HOA voter turnout ever. Why the difference?

I don’t really know. I have some ideas. Let me tell you my story about little Timmy…

About Little Timmy

Little Timmy was 8 years old, but had never spoken a word — not ever. But this one morning, his mother was getting Timmy his favorite breakfast: a nice warm bowl of oatmeal. Timmy dipped his spoon in the bowl, pulled up a nice spoonful of oatmeal, and proceeded to put it in his mouth, as he had done oh so many times before. All of a sudden, Timmy shouted! “Mom! This ^#%@$ oatmeal is too *@&#% hot!!” Both of Timmy’s parent were ecstatic that Timmy, who had never spoken before, was now somehow speaking. Curious to know why, after all these years, Timmy could now speak, his mother asked, “Timmy, why haven’t you ever spoken before?”

Timmy’s reply: “Because up until now, everything has been just fine.”

We Do Like to Hear from You!

HOA board members are always happy to hear from owners. Most of us are even pleased when our owners come to us to complain. Perhaps a bit like Timmy’s parents, we’ll ignore the emotional (and sometimes harsh) part of the message, and focus on the fact that we are getting input.

For elections at the national, state, and municipal level, there’s a lot of talk about “voter apathy.” The same sense occurs for involvement and awareness of government operations, things like budgets, rule making, administrative functions, and communication: nobody has time for that; besides, what can I do about it?

At the HOA level, we know you still don’t have much time. That’s why here at Rio Crossing we try to communicate frequently about as many things as we can fit into a relatively small space. You may not read every one of them, but you do hopefully scan the headlines and read the things you think are important.

If you are not on our mailing list, you should be. Click the link and subscribe!

Now, About the Election

Since the quorum requirements were not met by a long shot, and since the only candidates on the ballot were incumbent board members, the incumbent board members will continue for the next year.

I hope the lack of voter participation this year is an indication that everything is just fine. If not, you will let us know, right?

Meeting Dates

OLD INFORMATION – Do Not Use. Retained for historical purposes.

At last night’s special board meeting (see the announcement here), the board made the official designation of “fourth Wednesday” for regular board meetings, and the official designation of Wednesday September 25, 2019 as the date of this year’s annual member meeting.

See the preliminary meeting minutes here.

These changes were required because the venue where we now hold our meetings can no longer accommodate Thursday’s (when we’ve historically held our meetings). The changes were discussed informally at the June meeting, but the July meeting didn’t have a quorum of board members, so a special meeting was necessary to make the designations “official”.

October Meeting – Draft Meeting Minutes

Some of you like to keep up with what goes on at the regular board meetings, and since the middle of 2018 we’ve been striving to put draft minutes up.  I haven’t been really good at getting them up in a timely manner… but we’re working on getting this to be a more regular, timely thing.

Keep in mind these are not the official meeting minutes, but a draft version that will be corrected and/or approved at the upcoming November meeting.

View the Draft Minutes of the October 25, 2018 Board meeting here: 2018-10-25-BoardMeeting-Open-DRAFT