QUESTION: Less than sixty days before our annual meeting a group of homeowners submitted a petition to recall the existing board. As required by statute, the board gave notice of a special meeting. It will take place a month after the annual meeting. Under the circumstances, what is the effect of the petition?
ANSWER: Recall petitions submitted close to an annual meeting are ill-conceived. If a recall is held prior to the annual meeting and is successful, the new directors only fill the remaining terms of the ones they replaced. That means they may be up for reelection in thirty days.
Post-Election. If the recall is scheduled to follow the annual meeting (as you described), the petition is no longer valid. The board for which the petition was submitted no longer exists. Even if the same directors are elected, it's a new board with new terms in office. If the petitioners want to recall the newly elected board, they need to submit a new petition (and then explain why members should recall the board they just elected). The petitioners' rights are in not impaired since the petition requirements are so low they are easily met with a new petition if members really want to recall the newly elected board.
Recommendation: To avoid these kinds of situations, associations should amend their election rules to put reasonable limits on recall petitions.
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