Two proposals in one motion

This page originated from an article from Australia and it caught my interest. I encourage everyone to look at the original.

Why would anyone combine two quite different proposals into the one motion?
Look Up Strata
19 July 2016

Passing a resolution
The usual way to pass a resolution at an owners' meeting is to make a motion, have it seconded and then the owners debate the issue, perhaps amend the motion if it seems necessary, and then put it to a vote.

However, if the proposed resolution is included in the proxy form that was included in the meeting information meeting, the motion may not be open to amendments.

Two proposals, two motions
Here is an example of two motions being being put to a vote because they deal with two independent decisions. This wording is included on the proxy form as part of the meeting information sheet.

We should paint the Party Room and replace the flooring.
Yes: ______
No: ______
Abstain: _____

If you voted yes, do you prefer:

(a) We paint the walls beige?           Yes: ______
(b) We paint the walls light blue?     Yes: ______

Two proposals, one motion
A practice has emerged where two quite different proposals are being bundled into a single motion. They do not have a common purpose, and they are not alternatives. They are joined together with the word ‘and’, and are presented to the owners in the one motion.

Here is a typical example:

Ratification of Insurance Renewals
We resolve that the board of directors confirm the insurances set out below and the board be authorised to seek quotations and effect a renewal of the policies at the expiration of these policies.

YES _____

NO  _____


There are two separate proposals. The first one is to confirm the insurance policies as described in the information package.

The second proposal is to authorize the board to seek quotes and agree to the new policies and costs when the present policies expire without requiring the owners' approval.

Both proposals stands on their own.

In Australia, so far, this practice of bundling motions seems to be limited to the strata insurance Statutory Motion.

It is their experience that this practice generally occurs where the property management sources the strata (condo) insurance quotes and (secretly) claims the commission, generally up to 20% of the premium.

Why board of directors persists with this bundling option is unclear. It certainly offers no benefit to the owners.

Second example
In Ontario it is very common for the Chair to ask for a motion to renew the auditor's term for another year and for the board to set the auditor's renumeration. The Chair gets the motion, gets a seconder and puts it to a vote without any discussion.

Three things here. It is a bundled motion which can and possibly should be dealt with as two separate motions. The second point is that this is passed so quick, most owners do not realize what is going on.

Finally, it is becoming common for the property management companies to be adding this combined proposals in one motion and adding it to the proxy form.

Read the package
It is up to the directors, and failing them, the owners to read all meeting packages that are prepared by the management company very carefully and especially the proxy forms to look for anything that seems questionable.

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