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Nov. 27, 2020 | Friday
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Letter: 5 of 9 directors resigned from residents association board
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Dear editor:

I am writing further to an Oct. 29 opinion piece in The Lake Report by Victor Tarnoy, "Trouble in paradise; Chautauqua needs strong voice to advocate for change."

In that article, Victor wrote that five directors had recently resigned from the board of the Chautauqua Residents Association (CRA). It has come to my attention that the news of those resignations has not reached some members of the CRA and I am writing so that they may become aware of the information. 

At the 2020 annual general meeting on Sept. 14, 2020, the CRA members voted overwhelmingly to increase the size of the board to nine and to elect three new directors (including myself) and six returning directors for the following year. The process followed was the same one that was used at the 2019 annual meeting to increase the size of the board to eight and to elect directors for the following year. 

The first meeting of the new board was set for Oct. 5, 2020. When we attended, we were told by one of the returning directors that he had decided that due to errors by the board on Sept. 14 we were not properly elected and would not be allowed to join the board. There was no vote by the directors on this.

On Oct. 13, my fellow new directors and I emailed the six returning directors outlining how we believed we were legally elected. We further outlined how, under the CRA bylaws, we could be formally appointed directors even if the board felt that it did not wish to deal with possible technical problems with the election.

We said the board had a duty to carry out the clear wishes of the members to see us on the board. We asked for a meeting to discuss the matter and we made it clear that in our view the membership of the CRA should be provided with full disclosure. In response, the same returning director replied by email, rejecting our position. No meeting was scheduled. 

During this period, two of the returning directors each emailed all directors more than once, saying that a meeting should be held and that the three new directors should be allowed to join the board.  

As of Oct. 19, no meeting had been scheduled. It was evident to the two other new directors and myself that there was little likelihood that our status would be resolved in a timely manner. Accordingly, we advised the board that we were resigning or standing down as the case may be. Two of us asked that the CRA membership be advised of our resignation and the reasons for it, but this has not happened as of the writing of this letter. 

Following our resignations, the two returning directors noted above also resigned from the board in support of our concerns. 

Whether some of the remaining directors made errors during or after the election, or both, it is time that some new directors are elected who can provide the necessary leadership and put in place the necessary bylaws, election processes, board practices and records management procedures that Chautauqua residents deserve.  

Margot Devlin

NOTL

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