|Columns||The City||Commerce||Links||About||Contacts||Send PR here.|
|Santa Monica Group's Vote Count Still Up in Air|
By Jason Islas
June 25, 2012 -- Candidates for the Wilmont Board are considering legal action after the Santa Monica group's officials failed to count votes over the weekend that were cast two weeks ago.
The 57 votes, cast during a tumultuous annual meeting June 9, are being held in a sealed ballot box by a third party pending verification of membership. A vote count anticipated to take place last Monday was postponed.
“On Saturday, June 9, the Acting Chair of (Wilmont) stood before its membership, the press, and the community and agreed that the ballots that had been cast at the Annual Meeting would be counted ‘within a few days,’” the eight candidates wrote in an open letter to the current board.
"Those 'few days' have now dragged into almost two weeks," said the letter, which was sent via email Thursday afternoon.
Although the letter asked for a response by Friday, June 22, the candidates did receive an answer.
“What do we do now?” former Wilmont Chair Jeanne Dodson asked rhetorically. “What do you do when someone refuses to leave?
“They have no more excuses,” she said. “We are looking at all possible options, including legal avenues.”
Wilmont is a California non-profit organization and is therefore under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State, Dodson said.
Failing to follow through on the elections, as required by the organization’s bylaws, could jeopardize Wilmont's non-profit status, Dodson said, adding that she hopes a resolution can be reached before such steps are taken.
The delay, Wilmont officials said, was the result of a broken hip suffered by the organization’s 84-year-old membership director, Marcia Carter, who kept the current membership list in her apartment, Wilmont officials said.
However, that issue was resolved when Carter, who is recovering from surgery, granted the group leaders permission to enter her apartment, Dodson said. But the votes have still not been counted.
“One of our candidates worked with a current Board Member to assure that, as of this past Tuesday, the Board now has full, authorized access to the apartment and the missing membership information,” the candidates wrote in their letter.
At the June 9 meeting, several candidates specifically cited Wilmont’s endorsement of the Miramar redevelopment project as their main motivation for running.
The project would add as many as 120 condominiums in three new buildings that would replace the two existing main buildings at the nearly 90-year-old hotel at the southwestern edge of the Wilmont neighborhood.
Current board members said they endorsed the development because it would add enough parking spaces to alleviate the neighborhood's chronic parking crunch.
Dodson said she ran because she was fed up with the way the group has been operating, noting that there has been a lack of transparency she finds disturbing.
|Copyright 1999-2012 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.|