Assistance Requested for Annual Election

August 10, 2008

Robert I. Cooper
Senior NRP/CP Specialist
City Finance Department
Development Finance Division

RE: Jordan Area Community Council Annual Meeting

Dear Mr. Cooper,

We are writing to ask for your assistance with the Jordan neighborhood’s annual meeting in October of 2008. Because there have been a number of irregularities as well as violation of the organization’s bylaws, we do not have confidence in the Jordan Area Community Council to hold a fair and legitimate election for new board members. We would like to see this election monitored by a neutral outside party, perhaps a city official or the League of Women Voters.

Here are our concerns:

• There have been no general membership meetings in the past year despite a bylaw requirement for a minimum of four. This means membership is not informed about current activities of JACC.
• The current Board frequently makes important decisions in either the Executive Committee (minutes are not available to members or other board members) or in closed portions of the monthly board meeting, thus preventing members of the organization access to what decision have been made, or how they were made.
• We have heard reports at board meetings about board activities to “recruit” new members to the organization. JACC is using a Membership Registration form that states, “In accordance with Non-Profit Laws, a Membership Registration must be on file with the Jordan Area Community Council a minimum of three (3) days before any applicant will be legally eligible to vote. This membership must be renewed annually in September.” We believe this contradicts the 2002 amendment to State Statute 317A.441 [RIGHT TO VOTE] and the Citizen Participation Agreement which requires compliance with the State Statute.
• Further, because there are no general membership meetings, there is no way for the general membership to know about JACC’s requirement that they be registered prior to the election in October. Our concern is that JACC may try to bar people from voting in the election. Some people have received copies of the registration form but many others have not. It has been a very selective process.
• Finally, we wish to ensure that the bylaw requirements for election to the board are followed; i.e., “A simple majority of all votes cast at the meeting shall be necessary for election of any Director.” This has not been followed in the past few elections. If seven seats are open, the top seven people were installed whether or not each one received a majority of the votes cast.

In summary, because of the secretive way the JACC board has operated for the past two years, existing conflicts of interest and the elimination of citizen participation in discussions and decisions, we are asking that the city assist us in attaining oversight for the October annual meeting. We feel this is the only way to ensure that all members of the Jordan neighborhood can participate and that directors will be fairly elected to their positions. We do not have a date for the annual meeting yet but will provide that information when it is announced by JACC.

Signed:

______________________ _________ ____________________________________
Ann Yin Date 2700 Logan Ave N
Board chair Jan to Jul 2003

______________________ _________ ____________________________________
Anne McCandless Date 2814 Irving Ave N
Board chair Jan to Oct 2004

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