Tag: annual meeting

Annual Meeting 2021

There is a history of low attendance at Rio Crossing Homeowners Association Annual Meetings.

Okay, I get it: meetings in general are boring, and what could be more boring than an HOA meeting, right?

Except this is your association. You belong. You are a member (if you’re an owner of a home in Rio Crossing). You have a right to be there, and a right to vote.

Vote? Vote for what, or whom? There are five of us currently on the Board of Directors. According to our Bylaws, an election is held every year – technically “at the annual meeting”. But keep in mind that our governing documents were written back in 2004, when meeting in person was pretty much the only viable option for most people.

Fast forward to today. Everyone Zooms! Most people don’t want to “get presentable” and drive to a location they know nothing about and meet with people they’ve never seen before. Now you can meet with us via Zoom, see what happens at a board meeting (it can still be pretty boring – but not always!), and get to know those of us that represent you in the overall management of the community.

Details… You Want Details!

Call for Candidates – Responses Due No Later Than September 13 at 8:30am

Want to be on the board? We welcome new volunteers! A Call for Candidates is in the mail and should arrive in your postal mailbox around September 1, and is sent to the owner’s mailing address on record for each lot.

To be included on the ballot, your response to the Call for Candidates needs to be submitted no later than Monday September 13 at 8:30am, and can be submitted via postal mail, email, or fax. Submittal instructions are included with the mailing.

Owners Receive Ballots – Around September 20

The ballots and the official Meeting Notice will be prepped for mailing starting September 13, and normally take about a week to arrive in owner mailboxes, around September 20 or soon thereafter.

Ballots Due In – Date and Time Depend on the Method of Submittal

Here’s where it gets tricky. When your ballot is due depends on how you intend to vote.

If you’re going to physically mail it in via USPS or any other means of physical delivery, it should be received in the PDS office several days before the Annual Meeting. We all know that postal service timing of deliveries has not been very speedy in recent months, so we recommend you send some other means… otherwise, send early!

If you are going to send via Email or Fax per the instructions on the ballot form, your ballot needs to be received no later than noon on the day of the Annual Meeting, to allow time for printing (hardcopies are always generated) and processing.

ARS 33-1812 states that “The association shall provide for votes to be cast in person.” If you wish to cast a ballot in person, bring your completed ballot to the picnic area along Roma between 5pm and 6pm on the day of the Annual Meeting. I will be there along with John Lavin, another community member, to collect any in-person ballots. 6pm is a firm cut-off time, because then the ballots have to be scanned and sent electronically to PDS for counting.

Annual Meeting – Thursday October 28, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom

Last year’s annual meeting was virtual. This year’s will be as well.

Details of the meeting, including the Zoom link, will be sent by our management company via “E-Blast” to anyone registered on the RioCrossing.org web site. Information will also be in the ballot packet you’ll receive around September 20. If you’re not registered on the website or can’t find your ballot form, contact Lisa to get the information.

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.

Annual Meeting and Election Postponed

At its regular board meeting in early July, the board made the decision to postpone the annual member meeting and board election to Thursday, November 5, 2020.

Note: It was originally rescheduled for November 12, 2020, but that’s the day after Veteran’s Day; it was moved forward a week to November 5.

Like most people, we were hopeful and optimistic that the COVID-19 situation would be way better by now. While there is some indication that the situation may be improving, the board indicated an intention to move forward with an online meeting in November.

“But we usually meeting in September — don’t we have to meet every September?” While we’d love to stick with tradition, the association’s bylaws state “An annual meeting of the Members of the Association shall be held at least once each year…”, which is generally understood to mean once during each calendar year.

At the board’s next meeting (scheduled for September), we’ll review and approve an election process and meeting approach being worked on by the president, the community manager, and the association’s attorney.

If you are new to Rio Crossing, the process for the election usually goes something like this:

  1. The management company sends out a “call for candidates”, and anyone wanting to submit their name for the ballot fills out and returns a form.
  2. The management company prepares a ballot and a candidate information handout.
  3. The ballot, candidate information handout, and a postage-paid return envelope are mailed to each owner’s address (mailing addresses may be different than the property addresses for some owners).
  4. Owners submit a ballot (1 ballot per lot owned) per the included instructions via postal mail, email, or fax; alternatively, an owner can chose to attend the meeting in person and cast a ballot there.
  5. During the annual meeting the ballots are tallied and the results announced.

Obviously, if the meeting is online and not in-person, then it’s not possible to “come to the meeting and vote”. Also, there are some alternate methods of voting electronically, but to meet the security and processing requirements of an association’s governing documents and various state statutes, available suitable electronic voting technologies tend to be cost-prohibitive.

We’ll send more information out just after the September board meeting. We will do what we can to facilitate the election process and everyone’s attendance at an online meeting. The last few board meetings have been hosted by PDS using the GoToMeeting online service, and a few homeowners have “attended” the meetings successfully, so we’re confident that this will work well.

Anecdotal information from other HOAs is that online annual meetings have been much better attended than prior in-person meetings. We hope that is the case here in Rio Crossing, and look forward to seeing you online!

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?