OMVNA General Meeting Minutes, October 4, 2010

Recorded by Robert Cox, OMVNA Secretary

(1) General remarks

a.       The meeting was held at Landels Elementary School, 115 West Dana Street.  The meeting had two purposes.  The first part of the meeting, which was held from 7-9PM, was a forum for the candidates standing for election to the Mountain View City Council.  The second part of the meeting, from 9-9:30PM, including a voting on amendments to the OMVNA bylaws, submitted by Ed Swierk, Mike Reiche, Robert Cox, Carter Coleman, and Julie Lovins.

(2) Candidate forum

a.       The candidate forum was moderated by OMVNA Chair Laura Lewis and consisted of several parts.  These were:

i.      An open house, from 7-7:30PM at which candidates circulated with and chatted with the neighbors in a casual setting.

ii.      Opening statements from each of the candidates.

iii.      Two general questions posed to each of the five candidates present.  The candidates were asked how they would spend a donation of $10 million targeted for the downtown and Old Mountain View neighborhood, and to give three advantages of the proposed high speed rail project.

iv.      A grab bag round, in which five questions were  drawn from a grab bag, each of which was answered by one candidate, after which another candidate had the opportunity to give his or her follow up remarks.

v.      A lightning round , in which candidates were asked their favorite place in Old Mountain View and their views on affordable housing.

vi.      Closing statements from each of the candidates.

b.      The forum was attended by all six of the candidates for city council: Margaret Abe-Koga, Mayor Ronit Bryant, Vice Mayor Jac Siegel, Dan Waynolis, Greg David, and Aaron Jabbari.  Aaron Jabbari left before the forum was complete to attend a birthday celebration.

c.       The candidate forum was featured as the lead article in the Mountain View Voice October 8, 2010 print edition:

http://www.mv-voice.com/morguepdf/2010/2010_10_08.mvv.section1.pdf.  It was also the subject of an OMVNA newsletter article by Deb Keller: http://www.omvna.org/candidates-speak-out

(3) Bylaws voting

a.       Chair Laura Lewis called for a discussion of the proposed bylaws amendment before the vote.

i.      Jack Perkins urged that Amendents 1 and 3, proposed by Ed Swierk, and Amendment 4, proposed by Mike Reiche, be rejected because Ed and Mike were not present.

ii.      Bruce Karney raised the issue that Amendment 5, proposed by Robert Cox, would require the nominating committee to perform a criminal background check on residents seeking office.  He also objected to the amendment because it minimized the role of the nominating committee in determining which candidates would be put on the ballot.  Robert Cox said that no background check would be needed for any candidate who was a registered voter and that such information was publicly available.  He noted that the amendment was offered to give any reasonable candidate the opportunity to run in the steering committee elections without prejudice.  Jack Perkins spoke against the amendment, stating it was too long.

iii.      Carter Coleman noted that Amendment 7 was needed for OMVNA to be compliant with their current claimed tax status.

b.      Voting.  Ballots were distributed during the evening and were then collected after the discussion.  The original intent was to allow people to drop of their ballots through the evening, but Bruce Karney stated that this would not be in compliance with OMVNA bylaws.  Since there was no copy of the bylaws available at the time, the steering committee deferred to Bruce’s request and required that the ballots be collected only after all of the amendments were discussed.

c.       The votes were counted by Secretary Robert Cox and Vice Chair Kim Copher.  Results are summarized in the note below, which was posted by Robert Cox to OMVNAtalk on the following day.

d.      During the counting of the ballots, a number of issues were discussed.  Foremost among these was the interest of some people in the Shoreline West Neighborhood Association to have their association rejoin OMVNA.  The Shoreline West area was originally a part of OMVNA, but split off to form their own neighborhood association.

OMVNA Bylaw Election Results

by Robert Cox

At the General Meeting last night, Monday, October 4, 2010, nine amendments to the OMVNA bylaws were put to a vote.  All bylaws amendments require a 2/3 vote to APPROVE to be PASSED. A total of 24 ballots were cast.  A few ballots had some amendments with no vote, so the count does not always add to 24 on each vote.

The votes were tallied by OMVNA Secretary Robert Cox and OMVNA Vice-Chair Kim Copher.  A second counting of the ballots was performed for Amendments 2 and 3, because they passed by the precise number of votes needed.  The recount showed no changes in the vote.

Here are the certified results:

Amendment 1: (Proposed by Ed Swierk) Split Article I Purpose, Point 3 into two points:

“OMVNA will seek to

– Provide a forum for residents to discuss issues related to the
neighborhood and to build consensus where possible.

– Act as a liaison between neighborhood residents and the City of Mountain View or other decision makers, communicating the wishes and grievances of residents while remaining neutral on issues where there is no apparent consensus.”

APPROVE            14                           DISAPPROVE      10                           NOT PASSED

Amendment 2: (Proposed by Robert Cox) Add new language to Article II. Membership

No person shall be prohibited from having his name included on the ballot of an OMVNA election based on any other criteria including race, age, gender, country of national origin, religion, sexual preference, office held in this or any other organization, location of residence within the Old Mountain View neighborhood, or whether he/she owns or rents the property where he/she lives

APPROVE            16                           DISAPPROVE      8                              PASSED

Amendment 3:  (Proposed by Ed Swierk) Delete Article IX Meetings point 1 subpoint 1

The meeting at which the Steering Committee is elected shall be held in September or October.

Add a new point to Article VII:

Elections in 2009 and prior years that occurred outside the months of September or October are valid if they otherwise complied with the by-laws then in effect.

APPROVE            16                           DISAPPROVE     8                              PASSED

Amendment 4:  (Proposed by Mike Reiche) Add new article

Any written communications with governments with the intention of expression the opinion of OMVNA must be distributed to all members in writing not less than seven days and not more than fifty days prior to the date of the General Meeting and must be approved by a majority vote at the General Meeting before being sent.

APPROVE            4                              DISAPPROVE    20                             NOT PASSED

Amendment 5:  (Proposed by Robert Cox) Add new language to Article II. Membership

Any person desiring to have his name included on the ballot for any OMVNA Steering Committee position shall submit an application in writing to the Nominating Committee no later than four weeks before the election.  The application shall include the person’s name and address and the position that he/she is seeking, and will indicate that he meets the following criteria.  The nominating Committee will certify any person meeting these criteria for inclusion on the ballot for the position that he/she seeks.

1.  Is a resident of Old Mountain View neighborhood.

2. Is 18 years of age of older.

3. Is eligible to vote in the OMVNA election.

4. Would not otherwise be disqualified from voting in an election for Mountain View City Council due to a criminal record.

APPROVE            14                           DISAPPROVE      10                           NOT PASSED

Amendment 6:  (Proposed by Carter Coleman) Add additional bullet to Article III Steering Committee Members, following paragraph 10

“Whenever a Steering Committee member has a financial or personal interest regarding purchasing decisions coming before the Committee, the affected person shall a) fully disclose the nature of the interest and b) withdraw from discussion, lobbying and voting on the matter.  Any transaction or vote involving a potential conflict of interest shall be approved only when a majority of disinterested officers determine that it is in the best interest of the Neighborhood Association to do so.  The minutes of meetings at which such votes are taken shall record such disclosure, abstention and rational for approving.”

APPROVE            22                           DISAPPROVE      2                              PASSED

Amendment 7: (Proposed by Robert Cox) Add additional bullets to Article VI Nominations for Steering Committee Members and Subcomittee Chairs following paragraphs 1-4

“A sample ballot shall be available for review by any qualified voter in both electronic and hard copy formats no later than two weeks before the election.”

APPROVE            17                           DISAPPROVE      6                              PASSED

Amendment 8: (Proposed by Robert Cox) Add a bullet to Article VII. Election of Officers

In the event of a contested position a vote counter will be selected by the Chair of the Nominating Committee.  Each candidate will have the option to appoint an observer of the vote counting process.  Vote counting will proceed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

APPROVE            18                           DISAPPROVE      5                              PASSED

Amendment 9: (Proposed by Julie Lovins) Delete the second sentence from Article VII Election of Officers point 2

“Those individuals elected to the Steering Committee in the fall of 2003 shall serve as officers from November 1, 2003, until December 31, 2004.”

APPROVE            24                           DISAPPROVE      0                              PASSED

Thanks to all who participated in the vote.

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