Recently, Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG) filled 5 board seat vacancies. The manner in which SNG hosted this election came into question just before the July board meeting and time was spent at the July board meeting trying to determine the error. A task force met to determine a resolution, and upon looking back at how the election was conducted deemed that it was a legitimate election and the results of the newly elected board members stand. See below for more explanation.
Pre-pandemic, SNG would fill board vacancies one at a time, welcoming the member to a
meeting to get to know the board and SNG activities. At the next meeting, when the candidate was not present, the board would vote on that person taking the vacant seat. This has been a very atypical year of adapting our processes and procedures to work within the confines of the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with proposed bylaw revisions that were pending approval from the board.
Between the February and June meetings, five board seat vacancies happened for a variety of reasons (moving, career change, personal life). Also between February and June, the board’s plate was very full responding to needs in our community related to a potential development, COVID, and then the unrest, such that the board was unable to fill board vacancies in our typical way. We were thrilled to have 14 candidates step forward over the course of nearly a month of notifying the neighborhood about the vacancies and working on recruiting efforts. At two SNG board meetings in June (a special board meeting was added due to the amount of business to cover), prospective board candidates were welcome to attend. The SNG board is accustomed to voting via email for matters that cannot wait until the next board meeting. The board could not wait until the July meeting to have the election, because its membership would have dipped below 12 and become an inactive board. Therefore, the plan to conduct the election via email was planned and explained at both June meetings in which candidates were
The question about the election was that it did not permit those in attendance at the regular June board meeting to vote in the election, as the Bylaws indicate: “Directors and any SNG members present will elect a director to fill the vacancy….” However, since the vote was conducted via email between meetings, that clause did not apply to this election.
A task force met to determine our board’s options on how to proceed. The SNG board reviewed the options and overwhelmingly decided that the election was valid and that the results of the election stand.
As two board vacancies are expected to open during the month of August, SNG invites
interested members to apply for the board seats. The introduction of candidates and election will take place during the September board of directors meeting on September 23rd. As had been the process for pre-Covid meetings, attendees will be asked to fill out a check-in form and potential SNG members will have the opportunity to opt-in to being a member through this process. By opting in for membership, attendees will have the opportunity to vote for board candidates.
We take these matters very seriously and welcome any feedback you may have regarding this process.
Seward Neighborhood Group’s Board of Directors