The Lents Neighborhood Association Interim Executive Board
Calls for a Special Election
March 22nd, 2022
The Lents Neighborhood Association was seriously wounded September, 2021, when the then Executive Board resigned days before elections with no published elections plan in place. The LNA Board Member then in charge of Elections had resigned at the August, 2021 General Meeting. There was no announced place, time, or published slate of candidates, to enable September 2021 Elections to be held.
Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) intervention was requested by a group of LNA Members.The Oregon DOJ stated that the LNA Board was in dereliction of duty. Their remedy – appoint an Interim Board before the old board can leave. An Interim Board was appointed in mid-November, 2021.
Last Autumn, when the folks on the Interim Board were brought together, we were faced with a situation (the entire Board resigning) not anticipated in the bylaws of the LNA. They did anticipate that a director might quit, and had process for how to name an interim replacement. That process was extended, with involvement from Oregon DOJ, to install a core Interim Board in November. Part of that process is to conduct a confirmation vote by Membership.
So, since we, the Interim Board, were not voted in by the LNA Membership, we felt we had a limited mandate – Get stewardship of the LNA back into the hands of an elected board as fast as we could.
We had to learn how to do that.
- Reconstruct the LNA physical and web infrastructure.
- Find folks that were interested in being stewards of the LNA.
- Outreach to the Residents of Lents.
- Run the various election events leading up to a hybrid physical/online vote.
Winter holidays made this a slower process than desirable.
The bylaws allow the Executive Board to call for Special Meetings, to take these Membership votes. We will use that power to call a Special meeting to run the Special Election in March, we can’t wait for September 2022.
Re-Establishing an Annual Election cycle of 2-year term Board positions
The bylaws stipulate that certain positions, Chair, Secretary, etc, are voted in odd number years and others in even number years. This structure is a good thing. IIt overlaps experience with fresh eyes. We need to re-establish it.
- Even number Years
- Vice Chair
- Public Safety Chair
- Two At-Large Directors
- Odd number Years
- Land Use Chair
- Transportation Chair
- Three At-Large Directors
- Even number Years
This is an even year, 2022, we should only be electing 6 positions. And three of the core positions, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
But we’re trying to fill all of these seats AND somehow follow the bylaws. So, to re-create the staggering of 2 year positions into an annual election, we will elect the Even Year positions to serve for the years 2022 thru 2024, and the Odd Year positions to serve for the years 2022 thru 2023.
There are certain bylaw changes needed to fully implement this plan. In August 2021, Membership prioritized Bylaws Revision as now-urgent. Current bylaws are not in compliance with the ONI Bylaws Template.
Candidate Recruitment (Ending Feb 21st)
Deadline for Candidates to declare to get on print-ballot: Monday, February 21, 2022, 11:59 p.m.
We Aim to Recruit between 7-13+ Candidates.
See the Post: Are You interested in Serving on the Board?
There will be three Special Candidate Forum Zoom meetings in March. They will be recorded and posted online.
Write In Candidates (Feb 22nd thru Feb 28th)
Deadline for Candidates to announce write-in candidacy: Monday, February 28, 2022, 11:59 p.m.
Any votes cast for write-in candidates who have not announced candidacy by February 28, 2022, will be discarded.
Submit the same form as above. See the Post: Are You interested in Serving on the Board?
Your name won’t be on the Ballot, but folks can write your name in on the ballot and it will be counted.
Election Voting Structure
Voting will be Ranked Choice. You can vote for as many candidates as you want.
The Candidate that gets the most votes picks which position he wants to hold.
The Candidate with the next highest vote count will pick the position they want to hold.
And so on down the list until all positions are filled, or we run out of candidates.
The New Board needs to at least fill the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary positions in this process (Oregon DOJ).
Election Voting Process
Physical Voting – Lents Seventh-Day Adventist Church Activity Center (outside in parking lot if weather permits). March 22nd, 2022, 5pm to 6:30pm
Online Special Meeting and Voting – A Zoom meeting from 7pm to 9pm. The URL will be posted here.
The Results will be announced at the end of the Zoom meeting.
Who is eligible to vote in the Lents Elections?
Voting is open to LNA members. To be an LNA member, you have to fulfill all the following conditions:
- You need to be 18 years old or older.
- AND Live in Lents
- OR – Own property in Lents
- OR – Own a Business in Lents
- OR – Operate a Non-Profit
Who is eligible to run for a position on the LNA Board?
To be an eligible candidate, you need to be LNA member.
Please see our Bylaws for additional details.
What do I have to do if I want to run for a position on the LNA board?
See the post: Are You Interested In Serving on the New LNA Board?
- Deadline for Candidates to declare to get on print-ballot: Monday, February 21, 2022, 11:59 p.m.
- Deadline for Candidates to announce write-in candidacy: Monday, February 28, 2022, 11:59 p.m. (Any votes cast for write-in candidates who have not announced candidacy by February 28, 2022, will be discarded.)
Do I have to submit a photo and bio/intent to run if I want to run for a position?
Your name, address and email address are all that’s required.
Is there an option to mail in ballots?
Mailing ballots is not and option at this time.
Who will be counting the ballots?
The ballots counting process will be supervised by independent parties.
“A committee of at least two non-candidate members will tally the votes and announce the results before the meeting is adjourned.” (LNA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 5)
What’s your plan for keeping the community safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on election night?
We take our responsibility of keeping the community safe very seriously. We are running a bare bones voting poll station for physical voting, and an on-line Zoom meeting for those who can’t make it to the poll.
Why does this matter?
This November, 2022, there will be a charter reform proposal on the ballot. In it, among other things, should be a provision to elect city commissioners by district. Whatever Portland SE district is formed, Lents will be a large part of it. With a beholden district representative, Lents will be in a position it has never been in before. It will have credible influence with that office.
The Lents Neighborhood Association (a 501c4) remains the officially recognized neighborhood advisory body, the voice of the neighborhood. How powerful our voice is largely depends upon an incorruptible, approachable board (as much as humanly possible) committed to inclusion of diverse voices AND a vigilant membership.
This sounds like a lot of work. Do you need any help/volunteers?
Yes! We always need more volunteers. Please email LentsNeighborhood@gmail.com if you’d like to help.
If you’d like to do outreach to your neighbors about LNA Elections, a printable pdf flyer is available at:
Keep an eye out for future LNA Board and General Meetings and for opportunities to join Committees that might interest you.
Thank You …
… For your engaged support as we collectively put the LNA back on track.