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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Majority vote: Majority of whom?

  • 08 Jul 2009 9:33 PM
    Message # 193151
    Deleted user
    The statute specifies that the association membership operates by majority vote.  Does this refer to a majority of all owners (or possibly all votes, if some parcels have more than one vote), or does it refer to a majority of the votes cast at the meeting (potentially including absentee votes)?  For example, if an association with 9 members calls a meeting, and a total of 5 members attend or vote by absentee ballot, does a 4-1 or 3-2 vote succeed or fail?
  • 09 Jul 2009 6:51 AM
    Reply # 193268 on 193151
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Not clear. Why would a parcel have more than one vote?
  • 09 Jul 2009 6:55 AM
    Reply # 193271 on 193151
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Todd Tolhurst wrote:The statute specifies that the association membership operates by majority vote.  Does this refer to a majority of all owners (or possibly all votes, if some parcels have more than one vote), or does it refer to a majority of the votes cast at the meeting (potentially including absentee votes)?  For example, if an association with 9 members calls a meeting, and a total of 5 members attend or vote by absentee ballot, does a 4-1 or 3-2 vote succeed or fail?

    If 5 members either attend, appoint a proxy, or vote by absentee ballot, and if all members have been duly informed of the meeting and offered the chance to do a proxy or absentee, then a majority vote is 3. This is assuming the question voted on was on the call to the meeting (aka agenda on the call). If not, and if the # of absentees could change the vote, then the absentees have to be polled for the vote to be final.  
  • 09 Jul 2009 7:59 AM
    Reply # 193283 on 193268
    Deleted user
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:Not clear. Why would a parcel have more than one vote?

    I only mention that for sake of completeness -- the statute provides that a parcel may represent "no more than 2 votes".  I presume that provision is there to give flexibility to associations in circumstances where it might make sense; for example, an association consisting of 9 1-acre parcels and 1 40-acre parcel might find it fair to allow 2 votes to the large parcel owner.
    Last modified: 09 Jul 2009 7:59 AM | Deleted user
  • 10 Jul 2009 5:54 AM
    Reply # 193672 on 193151
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    No, the two vote per parcel idea is so that if an association decided that if there are two owners who disagree, it may vote that all parcels be allowed two votes. It can't vote that just one parcel have two votes. It can vote on how much or little that parcel owner pays so long as "size of parcel" is applied across the board.  Voting that one larger parcel owner has more votes than all other parcel owners would not be doing that. The courts seem to honor a basic presumption of fairness, "similarly situated" means "similarly treated," and "similar" means parcel ownership; probably because it's use of the road that has historically  "behind the scenes" in these things, so to speak. Owning a large parcel does not mean that you will use the road more than owning a smaller parcel. I'm speaking here from general experience and my belief about the overall development of things here, not anything I've read in a decision, but that's what I think. If anyone, especially someone with professional knowledge of the law or just a general knowledge, agrees or disagrees, speak up!


  • 10 Jul 2009 8:31 AM
    Reply # 193690 on 193151
    Deleted user
    Interesting! I think the statute could be worded more clearly here, but your interpretation makes sense to me.
  • 14 Jul 2009 7:58 AM
    Reply # 195112 on 193151
    Deleted user
    I have a question.....What is the interpretation of "fair and equitable" and what is the interpretation of  "benefited by the way (or road)".  Does this mean that if my cottage is at the beginning of a four mile road, and I do not use the balance of the road, is it fair and equitable that I should have to pay for a road not of any interest to me? 

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