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Commentary: Vote no on THCA bylaws change

May 10, 2012|By Doug Cortez and Phillip LeBlanc

We urge all residents of Temple Hills to vote no on the new Temple Hills Community Assn. bylaws. Ron Chilcote has been the president of THCA for 40 years.

THCA is not a community association. Its Articles of Incorporation (not posted on its website) state its purpose is: "To work with other neighborhood associations, and together provide community input to city decision-making by assisting with the development of guidelines and the establishment of criteria for zoning and future development of the city of Laguna Beach and its environs."

THCA is a political advocacy group that teams with other groups and intervenes in public matters at City Hall, not just in Temple Hills, but throughout the city. They certainly do not welcome "community input."

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We have been members of THCA for nine years, hosted an annual party and attended every annual business meeting since 2003.

Prior to the December meeting, we submitted a motion making a general statement to amend the bylaws to include democratic voting procedures and other changes that would reform THCA into an open association that welcomes all points of view. Chilcote refused.

At the meeting, 19 unidentified people voted once to elect a single slate of 23 members to the board by a count of raised hands. The bylaws say: "The number of directors shall be three (3)." The ballot that was mass-mailed to residents says there are 14 board members.

At the meeting, a single slate was moved for a vote — no debates, no voting for individual candidates, no discussion. A group of us tried to challenge this rigged election, but we were shut down.

Chilcote states in the ballot: "Consistent with the original bylaws, all residents are members of the association, but only dues-paying members are entitled to vote on association business."

Nowhere in the bylaws is this stated. Article 2.3 of the existing bylaws states, "Each member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members."

Members are defined as residents of Temple Hills. Dues are voluntary. Chilcote's pro bono attorney has stated the bylaws are vague. A simple read says they are very clear.

Now Chilcote states, "... only dues-paying members are entitled to vote." Then in contradiction, he states, "Voting for approval of the updated bylaws is open to all residences within our geographical area, but there can be only one vote per residence."

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