Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Information About Recent Mailing from MIA

Dear Neighbors,

Many of you eagle-eyed detectives have already noticed that there was an error with our most recent mailing.  Thank you to the many of you who are paying attention and working to keep us all informed and on the ball.

For those who don’t already know, we sent out ballots for our symbolic election of MIA board members recently, but did not include envelopes to return the ballots.  Aaaaaargh!  Luckily we have five very capable members of our community who have come forward to volunteer to be on our board, and also five positions to fill.  We are taking steps to correct the error, but please be assured that even though we made a mistake, all five of the volunteers will become board members, even if the voting is not as smooth as it would have been had we done it right the first time.   

We are obligated to provide ballots every year by our governing documents, and we only recently realized that we had been missing that detail in many past years.  This is one of many parts of our governing documents that is outdated, and the incoming board is already discussing the possibility of updating our rules so they make more sense in a modern, busy world.  We also should make changes to comply with many of the new laws that have been provided by our government so that they are compatible.  If you have thoughts about this and other parts of our governing documents, please make your voice heard.  Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome at the MIA board meetings. 

What led to the error was that our transitional board (as we are operating with only three of us while old board members are already gone and our new board has not come on yet, and our most recent member has only been with us for a few weeks!) voted to have our management company prepare the mailing, and have our bookkeeper actually mail the material because it was less expensive.  (Our bookkeeper has the best list for reaching all of us, because we need to keep that list accurate for our dues collection.)  There was a missed communication between the two, and the envelopes were left out.  Please be assured that our management company has worked with us to help figure out how to fix it, and that they are totally committed to helping us make it right.  They have already spent hours during nights and weekends answering concerned calls and drafting explanations of what to do next so that we can have confidential voting for new officers.  All this at no additional cost to our community.  We extend our thanks to Rob March and the Masters Group for all of the great support they have already provided us in getting through this transition, and for helping us to get the voting in order.

The Masters Group has provided voting instructions to all members who already have e-mail notifications set up.  Specifically, members may use their own envelopes to mail to the Master’s Group or bring to the annual meeting, write their own address on the envelope and sign the envelope.  Separate neutral ballot counters will open the envelopes and confirm their validity, and then the contents will be separated into a different ballot counter’s collection of ballots.  The envelopes will be confirmed separately from the ballots to ensure secrecy of the ballots.

For those members who do not have e-mail addresses on file, Mr. March has sent instructions by a separate mailing so every member of the MIA will know how to vote. 

We apologize for the mistake.  We understand that it is disconcerting to have a very visible part of the workings of MIA not be in order.  But please be assured that we are taking steps to fix it, and we hope no serious harm comes out of it.  Do not hesitate to contact us if your specific concerns are still not addressed.  We can be found at board@MIAhomeowners.com.

Perhaps the most important lesson for me out of all of this is that we need to have an electronic means of communicating with the neighborhood quickly and inexpensively.  Although this certainly would have helped in this situation, I think of what could happen in a serious emergency, and how we would be much more able to reach every household if we had e-mail addresses for everyone.  The more important part of the mailing, in my mind, is the form letting the board know how to reach you electronically.  Please be sure to fill out your form and get it to our management company.  Although I am leaving the board, I am planning to help the board organize a street-by-street committee to make sure we have an electronic contact for everyone.  If you are willing to help me by being a street captain for your street and collect email addresses, please let me know at lily@halem.com.

Warmly,

Lily Halem

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