Laws Outline What Members Can Vote On

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 19, 1998 | Go to article overview

Laws Outline What Members Can Vote On


Byline: Jordan I. Shifrin

Often a board will hear members complain about not being able to vote on certain matters at board meetings or participate in discussions.

Owners must be reminded that an association is the purest example of representative democracy. Directors are elected to represent all of the owners. Association business is handled at "board" meetings where only the directors may participate in he discussion and vote on board business.

Unfortunately, too many times a board meeting will deteriorate into a "coffee klatch" because the board members do not want to hurt anyone's feelings. In this scenario, owners in attendance begin speaking out of turn, raising irrelevant issues and chaos reigns. After all, only the directors have liability for decisions made by the board or policies enacted by association.

Owners have very limited power, which is generally spelled out in the bylaws and statue. Illinois law affords owners specified powers in addition to those set forth in the by-laws. The following is a list of issues members are permitted to vote on:

- Election of board members.

- Merge/consolidate/dissolve the association.

- Sell, lease, mortgage or pledge the assets of the association.

- Purchase and sell land.

- Two-thirds of all members of an association, at a special meeting, can remove board members.

- Review rules and regulations prior to adoption by the board.

- Review a budget before it is adopted.

- Approve street dedication.

- Approve cable TV installation.

- Fifty-one percent can overturn a budget or special assessment if it exceeds 115 percent of the previous year's total revenues, after the board is petitioned.

- Amend the declaration and by-laws or challenge a board adopted special amendment. …

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