Our great neighborhood has been around for over 90 years at this point and our original homes association bylaws are still in place today. Over the last 6 months a dedicated group of OMG residents have selflessly given their time working as a committee and with local attorney’s to update these bylaws and bring our neighborhood’s governing documents current to where they should be in 2018 and hopefully for another 50 or more years. Below are some notes from the committee on the proposed changes to the bylaws as well as a PDF copy that can be downloaded and reviewed.
If you have any questions about the proposed bylaws changes you can contact Valerie Schroer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also will have a table at our upcoming neighborhood social where you can review the bylaws and ask questions. Then finally we will have a special meeting on Wednesday July 11th at the Waldo Library (Room B) from 7-8 pm for any questions our neighbors may have.
The committee has worked hard on this and we are proud to present the proposed updates and changes to the Oak Meyer Gardens HOA Bylaws below.
Summary of Proposed New Bylaws to Oak Meyer Gardens Homes Association
The Purpose of the bylaws is to provide guidelines for how the Corporation – or Association – should be operated. We think the original bylaws were established in 1938, when the homeowners at that time took over the responsibility of the association from J.C. Nichols Investment Company. Since then, the neighborhood has grown in population and in homes. With this update, we hope to provide more detail to the guidelines. We also hope to include the ability to use electronic means for voting in the future, as well as to make it easier for Members to participate.
Article I merely provides definitions for terms used within this document.
Article II defines the requirements for membership and Member responsibilities. Again, very little change.
Article III describes the requirements for the Board of Directors. It changes the board membership from 5 to 7, to fit the size of the HOA more appropriately. It encourages the appointment of a Nomination Task Force to seek nominees to serve on the Board. It describes the process for adding to or removing Board Members.
Article IV changes little. It describes the Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors.
Article V provides more detail for describing the duties of the Officers. It describes how to replace an officer who can no longer serve. Most importantly, this article clarifies the rights of members to have access to copies of official HOA documents and outlines how to get them.
Article VI – Committees. One of the major reasons for updating the bylaws is to make it easier for Members to become involved and make for a stronger community. One way of doing this is to form committees to distribute the work of the Board Members. It is recommended that Board Members serve on the committees to help bring institutional memory to each committee, and to help the committee members form their annual goals. But it is also hoped that the committees will form task forces for each of their goals and distribute the work even further.
The three committees recommended to be formed are the Finance Committee, the Communications and Activities Committee, and the Beautification Committee. The responsibilities of the Finance Committee will be to assist the Treasurer in the preparation of the annual budget, and in the seeking of bids for contractor expenses. The Communications and Activities Committee will be responsible for maintaining the Corporation’s website and social media platforms, planning and managing all special events, and such things as marketing and any development activities that may occur. The Beautification Committee will be tasked with maintaining the monuments and markers throughout the HOA as well as the plantings. More details of these responsibilities may be found in Article VI of the proposed bylaws.
Article VII. This article formalizes the requirements of the annual meeting, what should be included, and how it should be run. The bylaws venture out here to change how we vote for Board Members from voice vote to written ballot. (See more in Article X.) This article adds requirements for calling special meetings, and describes how Members can initiate an action by having a topic placed on the agenda of a Board Meeting. This article also formally includes electronics to allow Board Members to participate in meetings using digital communication.
Article VIII adds an indemnification clause to protect the officers and directors from expenses and liabilities in connection with certain legal proceedings with the exception when one has been found guilty of misfeasance or malfeasance in performance of duties.
Article IX adds several paragraphs to protect the Corporation from a director acting in his or her own interest over that of the Corporation.
Article X – Voting. This is a big change. Again, we are hoping to get more members involved. Voting for Board Members will start several weeks before the annual Members’ meeting with ballots and information mailed out on each willing nominee. Only one vote is allowed per lot owned. This is the existing rule now as well. Ballots may be mailed in by a certain date or be brought to the meeting where they will be formally tallied and the results announced. The Board of Directors will decide who the officers will be for the following year.
Finally, we are introducing the possibility of electronic voting for Members. We hope to establish this after a secure but simple method for doing so is researched and found.
Articles XI. No change here. This merely describes how the bylaws can be amended.
Article XII states that in case of any conflict, the Declaration of the Homes Association shall prevail over the bylaws.
The Declaration is original to when the HOA was founded in 1927. A copy of it, along with the Restrictions, the original bylaws, and the proposed new bylaws may be found on the Oak Meyer Gardens website at oakmeyergardens.org.