SCA Cumulative Voting – Yea or Nay?

Apparently, there is a controversy brewing within Sierra Canyon about the use of Cumulative Voting with regard to the upcoming election of Board Members (Directors). So, what is Cumulative Voting? Simply defined: “A system of voting in an election in which each voter is allowed as many votes as there are candidates and may give all to one candidate or varying numbers to several.”

Cumulative Voting has been permitted in the election of Sierra Canyon Association (SCA) Board Members since 2006. this in accordance of Section 4.05 (e) of the SCA Bylaws which state:

“Section 4.05 (e) Cumulative Voting. Each Member entitled to vote at any election of directors where two or more positions are to be filled by a vote of the Members shall have the right to cumulate his or her votes by giving one candidate a number of votes equal to the number of directors to be elected, multiplied by the number of votes to which the Member is entitled, or by distributing his or her votes on the same principle among as many candidates as he or she desires. No Member shall be entitled to cumulate votes unless (a) the candidate’s or candidates’ name(s) have been placed in nomination before the voting, and (b) a Member has given notice at the meeting, and before the voting, of the Member’s intention to cumulate his or her votes. If any one Member has given such notice, all Members may cumulate their votes for candidates in nomination. Those candidates receiving the highest number of votes, up to the number of directors to be elected, shall be elected.”

So, given the preceding, why the controversy? This because the current SCA Board has stated that Cumulative Voting will not be allowed in the upcoming election.  Why? Apparently based on a legal opinion that an NRS Statute only permits Cumulative Voting if so defined within the SCA CC&R’s (Declaration), which it is not. Therefore, it is immaterial that Cumulative Voting is provided for in the SCA Bylaws. However, is this the correct intrepretation? Let’s take a look at NRS 116.2107(4)(b), which states:

“NRS 116.2107  Allocation of allocated interests

4. The declaration may provide:
(a) That different allocations of votes are made to the units on particular matters specified in the declaration;
(b) For cumulative voting only for the purpose of electing members of the executive board; and
(c) For class voting on specified issues affecting the class if necessary to protect valid interests of the class.”

Note that the Statute does not say the CC&R’s but refers to the “declaration”, which the SCA legal advisor must believe is synonymous with the CC&R’s. However, NRS 116.037 defines Declaration as follows:

“NRS 116.037  “Declaration” means any instruments, however denominated, that create a common-interest community, including any amendments to those instruments.”

One could argue under this definition, note the plural “instruments“, that the Bylaws are also a denominated instrument in the creation of the SCA.

Note also, that the NRS Statute states that the declaration “may provide” for cumulative voting and not “must provide” nor does it prohibit it from being addressed in any of the Association’s Governing Documents, which include both the CC&R’s and the Bylaws.

Regardless of how one may want to define “declaration”, It is clear that the intent of this statute is to allow for Cumulative Voting if so authorized under an Association’s Governing Document. Also, we all know that Homeowner Association legal opinions have not always been correct, when challanged before the Ombudsman’s office or in the Courts.

So why the change at this time? How did the legal opinion to support this change come about? Do some of the current Board Members fear that Cumulative Voting will result in them not being re-elected?

Good questions, perhaps our readers can provide some insight or comments on this matter.

15 thoughts on “SCA Cumulative Voting – Yea or Nay?

  1. The purpose of cumulative voting is to make a “tyranny of the majority” harder to achieve.  Conversely, eliminating cumulative voting makes such a tyranny easier to achieve, and harder for a significant minority to achieve representation on an elected board.

  2. The reasoning for suddenly disallowing cumulative voting is based on a very narrow, if not completely incorrect, interpretation of the NRS. This is a perfect example of how the current BOD uses its “advisors” (and SC’s $$$) to justify and rationalize the policies and procedures they want to enact. There’s no reason to disallow cumulative voting when all now on the board have benefitted from that exact provision in past elections. It’s time for this board to move on and let others represent the community for a while so we can put an end to the hostile atmosphere that has been created over the last few years.

  3. This article precisely hits the nail on the head. Fellow owners beware. Your right is being taken away from you. Hopefully, a board member agrees and can stop this shenanigan before ballots are erroneously printed and mailed and then need to be correctly re-printed and re-mailed at double the cost. Would like to see the community manager step up to the plate, but she is unlicensed and perhaps doesn’t know. Posted using my maiden name as fear retaliation.

  4. Cumulative or not, my choice is whatever results in all those running for reelection losing. That’s what I support. I also support any method that eliminates and person who this past Thursday says she’s withdrawing from being a potential candidate, and low and behold today she’s now back in the running. How and why did this happen ? Where does it say that someone who quits in a public meeting can be brought back as a candidate ? Who’s behind this move ? Why are they doing this ?

  5. I don’t believe in “Cumulative Voting” but I do think each individual living in the household should be allowed to vote versus one vote per address.

  6. The SCA Board have their own agenda and it seldom aligns with what is good, overall, for the association.

    1) The only way to correct this is DON’T vote for a current incumbent!
    2) Only vote for someone from the private sector. Public sector folks balance budgets by raising taxes rather than reducing expenses.

    We have one of the most expensive HOAs in northern Nevada – over $225 a month! That lowers your prospective buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan by $43,000! That’s 10% of the median home value in Sierra Canyon!

  7. I believe that your interpretation is correct.The current Board wants to be reelected.I persona lly will vote against the members coming up for reelection. Long time ago they forgot that they were owners themselves , elected to serve us , and not to become Board members given the authority to rule as emperors.They stopped li stening to owners and it became us versus them.
    No more. They all need to go!!!!!

  8. If the election is conducted improperly with cumulation of votes disallowed, it is illegal and needs to be properly done over again.

  9. Although I am not a member of the SCA, and whether or not you approve or disapprove of cumulative voting, it is hard to defend the SCA Board decision to disallow cumulative voting in the upcoming election. This given past precedence and the provision that permits such in the SCA Bylaws. The flimsy reliance on NRS 116.2107(4)(b) is certainly suspect and ripe for an Intervention Affidavit complaint to the NRED Ombudsman.

  10. I am in favor of and the Statues support, cumulative voting. The Board’s attempt to once again ‘bend the rules’ to insure their continued dominance is, sadly, in keeping with the attitude of those currently ‘serving’. (It’s no coincidence this issue is being raised right before elections, although some of the current Board members benefited from cumulative voting.) It is time to clean house! Please – do not vote for ANY current Board member running for reelection nor someone they appointed, without community input, to their own ranks, despite the community’s opposition. If we are to move forward and return to the amazing Association we once were, we need a clean slate. We need Board members/neighbors who consider the ‘needs of the many’ instead of the ‘wants’ of the few. Ego should have no part in the process. Hopefully, the new Board will recognize the need for a new site Manager – one who has an attitude of service, not disdain, for it’s members. We can not continue being treated like second class citizens (or demented children, incapable of making their own decisions) in our beautiful Lodge. (Which we own and support.) The current Manager’s attitude is a mirror of the current Board and we need a clean slate there also. Our neighborhood is not a giant Assisted Living Facility! We have a voice. Let’s use it!

    1. Couldn’t agree more. And I think it’s tragic that another person posting on this thread is afraid to display his/her name for fear of retaliation by the current board and staff. That kind of says it all about the toxic environment they’ve created.

      1. Evelyn ……… sadly, this is the type of situation that the current BOD’s love. They simply wallow in this crap. Fear is their friend. Power is their friend. Control is their friend. Ego is their driving force.

        They took this to a new level when they reinstated the BOD candidacy of one female candidate who removed herself from those being considered for the current upcoming election. She did this at the “Meet the Candidates” meeting this past Thursday. This person is a known supported of the members on the current board, and they in turn support her.

        So you might ask, how does a person withdraw her candicy only to be reinstated 4 days later. Hummm, interesting how that happens. I’m now in the process of going through the Nevada NRS regulations to see if this is legal. It would provide me with unbelievably great joy to throw an NRS regulation at the Board, rather than the other way around.

  11. Thank you Evelyn and Don! I agree with your comments. In my opinion, NEW Board Members and NEW management is absolutely needed. SC HOA fees have increased by $312 in the past two years (2018-2020)…. AND…..the CURRENT BOARD and MANAGEMENT continue to spend for items that do not always seem to reflect the desires of the homeowners/residents. In my opinion, the CURRENT Board’s practice of banning homeowners/residents from their own Aspen Lodge reflects a serious lack of training of the CURRENT Management and Board members. Hopefully, the current board will soon be voted out by homeowners in the election now in process. Look for your ballots in the mail next week. Your ballots must be received in the Aspen Lodge office no later than Feb 11, 2020. Votes will be counted on Feb 12,2020. Election results will be announced at the Feb 12, 2020 Board Meeting.

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