Mail-in Balloting Will NOT Pass
Mail-in balloting is one of the items on the agenda at this year’s annual meeting. It will not pass. It’s a shame, because it is the only way that many of our members would be able to voice their opinions about the direction of our community. Right now, if you can’t make the annual meeting, you can’t vote. And that is the way it will stay.
Many members have voiced the desire to have the option of mail-in balloting added to our bylaws. Many people were outraged when the hurricane warnings and flooding kept them from attending last year’s meeting. Vacationers spoke up. Commuters who are exhausted and busy on Saturday mornings spoke up. People who work on the weekends, part timers, and anyone who had obligations on that Saturday morning last August, called for mail-in balloting.
This is not the first time the idea of mail-in balloting has come up. It has been defeated before because it is almost impossible to change the bylaws, and this particular set of bylaws requires that the people who can’t or won’t come to meetings must show up and vote. Also, they have to show up in huge numbers, because the bylaws themselves require a two-thirds majority of the vote to make a change. So, for every person that goes to meetings, likes the way things are, and doesn’t want the change, TWO people have to be there to vote for the change. In other words, a “yes” vote is only worth half of a “no”.
Many people think that mail-in balloting makes sense. It seems really simple. You buy a property, you should get a vote. Every homeowner should get a vote, right? You pay the same dues, you pay your taxes, you own the property, therefore you should get to vote. Seems like a no-brainer. Many people think the measure will pass, because who would be against it? Who would be against the member who works on Saturday and can’t get to the annual meeting? Who would be against the single mother who chooses her child’s ballgame instead of an annual meeting? Who would be against the people who have vacations in August and won’t be in town? Who could be against the member who simply can’t stand the screaming and posturing that spill out at every annual meeting?
Well, someone, obviously. Actually, a lot of someones. Several were at last Saturday’s Town Hall meeting. They will vote against it because they think that if you don’t go to meetings, you can’t be well-informed enough to vote. They will vote against it because they think that if you are not a full-time resident, you should not have a say in what goes on here. They will vote against it because they are afraid you will spend all their money on programs for your children. They will vote against it because they refuse to vote for anything until their roads are paved. And they will vote against it because it means that they won’t be able to do an end run around the election process by running from the floor anymore. And they WILL show up to vote against it.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is a story that warns about dangers to the environment. The Lorax holds the very last Truffula tree seed. He entrusts it to a young boy with the word “unless”. This year’s annual meeting is our last Truffula seed, and the bylaws changes will not pass. The same faces will hold our community to standards that didn’t even make sense when they were created decades ago. The same circus-like meetings will embarrass our community. The same people will be shut out of making changes in our community that will benefit more than just the small group in charge. Unless…
On the morning of August 25th, at the Pocono Mountain West High School, there have to be twice as many people voting for this change than voting against it or it will not pass.