EC elections - how do proxies work? | Executive Committees | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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Hi Brains trust!,
My issue is about creating a clear way for people to vote for multiple executive committee members ballot via proxies.
Background: Alot of our owners cannot attend and vote by proxy and therefore, their ability to vote for EC members is not straight forward. Due to the conflict in our strata scheme, most elections go to a poll vote.
Let's assume at the AGM the OC votes to have 7 EC members. The next step is the ballot to elect the EC members.
How do absent owners vote by proxy in this ballot? If I have 7 people in mind I would vote for to fill the positions(assuming they are nominated), How do I use the standard proxy form to lodge my vote for those 7 people? Can I rank my votes in order, so if the OC decides the EC should have 5 members, my votes will be applied in my preferred order?
In an EC ballot, do you vote FOR each nomination, or do you vote FOR AND AGAINST each nomination?
Thanks and regards,
p.s to all, thank you for all the answers to mine and others questions in this place. It is reassuring to see the energy people have put into helping others solve these difficult situations!
The problem with delegating your proxy is that that proxy holder has the final say on the poll vote for the EC nominations. On other matters you can ask them to vote a particular way.
So really, it comes down to a matter of trust with your nominated proxy. You can ask them to vote for a particular person, but they really don’t have to.
The best solution is for you to be there, or have a proxy you trust to do your bidding.
Hope this helps
Another thing to remember is that you can't truly vote for the EC by proxy becasue you don't know who will be standing until the AGM is underway and nominations are called for. The EC can invite people to nominate in addvance and even suggest that they send out information with the AGM agenda stating what their views are on the running of the EC for the next year. But that is all optional and very few ECs do that.
thebuildingmanager is right - choose the person you give your proxy to very carefully. And beware - if you take the lazy option and give your chairman a 'blind' proxy, even on the basis that they have done an OK job in the past, you can bet you will not be the only one and you and your fellow owners could be handing one individual an awful lot of power that they may not be particularly well equipped to deal with.
This is a pattern I've seen many times. A chairperson who hasn't done too badly suddenly has enough proxy votes to decide what will and what won't happen, select their own EC, drive the agenda and, with their handpicked EC loyally in tow, control the flow of information through the EC minutes. AGMs become perfunctory meetings where all the decisions have effectively been made in advance so debate is an irritation and distraction from the main game - getting elected for another year.
It may bring a level of stability but it's not healthy - either for the strata plan or the individuals involved. So choose your proxy carrier wisely and hope they do the right thing when tough decisions have to be made.
On the question of voting for or against members, the usual procedure is that you have one vote per candidate, per vacancy on the EC. So if you have seven seats, for instance, you have seven votes but you can only give one per candidate. There is no "vote against" but if you really don't want a candidate in there, make sure as many people as possible are voting for other candidates to fill the vacant seats.
Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce the size of an EC at an AGM? We have ours coming up in a few months. I'm keen to suggest reducing ours from 9 down to say 5 or 7, primarily because the current EC, of which I am part, does not receive much, if any input from most other members. We also have 1 member who has a conspiracy theory about every decision made. He attends meetings, participates in discussions (after driving most agenda items) and then spends each day between our quarterly meetings stating that he was not involved in voting to engage tradespeople etc despite the record of ECM minutes to the contrary.
This results in those of us who are engaged and active EC members spending way too much time reconciling all email documentation, meeting minutes and so forth in order to present the logical, sane and correct actions of the EC.
I have floated the idea of reducing our next EC to try and ensure this member is not re-elected, however other EC members are not keep, feeling that this is too blatant an attempt to block the rogue member.
I guess the only other option is to admit defeat, and retreat to the bliss of non-EC land, however the thought of this member continuing to have input into how my levies are expended is almost too much to bear. I know there are lots of posts on dealing with difficult EC members, however this one is something else. Vendettas against tradespeople trying to do the work we request has led to this owner following our gardener around, photographing him and making notes about everything he does, at every visit. The police were called by this owner because the gardener had his very old immobile dog with him! This is really just the tip of the iceberg, however despite all other EC members being happy with the work, email rants to us and the SM continue to escalate. Seems a shame to be spending almost the equivalent of full-time work on trying to prevent 1 person making the whole EC look incompetent - which we're not!
On the question of EC numbers the ACT Act has 7 as the maximum unless a special resolution is passed to have more. Perhaps the NSW Act has a similar provision?
Usually we don't have more nomination than 7 and don't decide on a particular size. Instead we try to get 1 or 2 nominations from each of 5 areas of the site and pass one resolution to appoint them all. Only once we had a vote on each nomination because one owner had made a point of writing on his proxy form to direct his proxy to vote against me and one other member of the outgoing EC. We were reelected with only 2 or 3 against but someone else failed to get 50% support, the only time someone who wanted to be on the EC did not get to be on it. There were certain ironies that AGM!
As per the NSW act
Schedule 3 Constitution of executive committee of the owners corporation and meetings of executive committee
2. Constitution of executive committees for strata schemes with more than 2 lots
(1) This clause applies to an owners corporation for a strata scheme comprising more than 2 lots.
(2) The executive committee is to consist of such number of members, being not more than 9, as the owners corporation may determine.
Another thing to remember is that you can't truly vote for the EC by proxy becasue you don't know who will be standing until the AGM is underway and nominations are called for ... thebuildingmanager is right - choose the person you give your proxy to very carefully.
So just by holding a normal proxy , that will allow the proxy holder to fully participate in the ballots for the EC members. (i thought it might be like voting for strata managers)
We have people we can trust who will attend the meetings, so that means we just need to fill out the standard proxy form, and to mark the form so the proxy holder can vote on all items.
Thank you all!
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