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Annual Meeting FAQ

May 11, 2022 :: Latest News

We’ve received a few questions about the upcoming meeting, how to vote, and how to use the proxy. Our attorney tried to simplify the voting process, but perhaps it’s not as clear as it could be. We’ll try to help, so here are answers to some questions we’ve received about the election and the board in general…

When is the annual meeting?
The meeting will be held on May 16, 2022. Sign-in begins at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Where is the annual meeting?
The meeting will be at Lees Corner Elementary School, located at 13500 Hollinger Avenue in Fairfax, between Lees Corner Road and Stringfellow Road. This is the elementary school that serves Foxfield.

Do I need to use the proxy if I plan on attending the meeting in person?
No. The proxy is used only if you don’t attend the meeting in person.

There are five candidate names listed on the proxy. Can I vote for somebody else?
Yes. Simply write that person’s name on one of the blank lines.

How do I vote for specific candidates using the proxy?
Simply put a check mark in the box in front of the candidate names. Then choose Option B or Option D. Sign your proxy and make sure it gets to our property manager by the start of the meeting.

How do I return my proxy (slow method)?
You can mail it using the return envelope or give it to somebody you trust to bring to the meeting. If you have doubts about whether your proxy will make it to the meeting in time, return it using the fast method.

How do I return my proxy (fast method)?
You can scan or take a picture of it, then send the image by email to our property manager.

What is the difference between Option A and Option C?
Option A lets the Association Secretary, currently Curtis Stevens, cast your vote in the way he thinks will best serve the community. Option C lets you choose somebody else to cast your vote in the way that person chooses.

What is the difference between Option B and Option D?
Option B instructs the Association Secretary, currently Curtis Stevens, to cast your vote for you, voting for the candidates you selected on the form. Option D instructs somebody else you choose to cast your vote for you, voting for the candidates you selected on the form. Both these options will direct the person you choose to vote for the candidates you selected.

I heard there are people going door-to-door in the community, trying to collect proxies. Is that legal?
Yes, it’s legal. You are allowed to give your proxy to somebody you know or don’t know, but be aware that the person requesting your signed proxy likely has an agenda and is trying to collect multiple votes in order to influence the outcome of the election.

I heard a board member was replaced a few months ago. What happened? Why wasn’t there a new election back then?
A board member decided to resign a few months ago; he was not asked to resign or removed from his position. The remaining members of the board then checked the HOA bylaws for the proper procedure to follow and followed that procedure by finding another volunteer to serve in the vacant position until an election could be held at the next annual meeting. A notice of the change was promptly posted on the Foxfield website.

If I give my proxy to somebody and choose Option C, is that person required to vote a certain way?
No. If you choose Option C, the person who holds your proxy may vote any way that person chooses.

What is the deal with Option E?
You may choose Option E if you only want to say you are participating in the election but don’t want to vote for any candidates. This option doesn’t give you a voice in who will be elected, but it does help us reach quorum.

What is “quorum”?
“Quorum” is the minimum number of people we need to participate in the election in order for it to be considered legally binding. Foxfield’s bylaws require a quorum of ten percent, which means ten percent of Foxfield members must be present at the meeting either in person or by proxy. If you’re not sure you’ll be able to attend the meeting in person, returning the proxy helps make sure we can reach quorum.

I heard the voting process is not transparent. How can the process be fair if the existing board of directors counts the votes?
The rumor you heard is false. The board of directors does not count the votes and has never counted the votes at any election. Votes are tallied by our property manager and two volunteers selected from the audience during the meeting. Votes are counted out in the open in front of everybody in order to assure maximum transparency.

Why does the proxy have more options this year than it had last year?
Foxfield owners used to be able to vote by mail. A few years ago following some complaints, the option was removed because a few people thought the system was biased. This year we invited community members to submit their names in advance to appear on the form, gave a deadline, waited for submissions, then printed and mailed the form, thereby giving owners the chance to again vote by mail. People can still write in additional names if candidates missed the deadline.

Why did I receive the proxy and notice in the mail with less than two weeks before the election?
The annual meeting requires a large amount of planning and preparation. We were fortunate during the last two years when we held annual meetings outside at the tennis courts and the weather cooperated — it would have been complicated and expensive if an outdoor meeting had to be canceled and rescheduled because of rain. This year we wanted to return to an indoor setting, but we didn’t find out until April that Fairfax County was allowing HOAs to meet in public schools again. (We hadn’t been able to meet there for two years because of COVID restrictions.) After we had reserved the only date available at the closest elementary school, we were able to prepare the paperwork. In addition, our attorney needed to review the new proxy format and suggest revisions, which prompted additional questions and additional revisions, all taking several more days. Once all the documents were prepared and approved, it took an additional week for the printer to receive and print the mailing, put everything in envelopes, take the envelopes to the post office, and have the post office deliver the notices to Foxfield owners.

Are there any requirements for when the annual meeting notice must be mailed?
Yes. If the notice is mailed, it must be put into the mail no earlier than 50 days before the election and no later than 10 days before the election. The notice was mailed on time.

What do you mean, “if” the notice is mailed?
There are other notice options available including personal notice, publication in a newspaper, and posting on the property. As far as the current board knows, those other options have never been used.

I still don’t understand about the notice. Doesn’t the board basically do nothing all year? Why didn’t you start planning for this year’s annual meeting a year ago?
As stated in a previous FAQ, we weren’t able to pin down a meeting location until last month. Unfortunately, COVID is still affecting our operations. More to the point, though, the board constantly has business to address. We look at and vote on every architectural change application that residents submit, often visiting the property. We investigate all complaints of guest parking violations and covenant violations. We look at the home every time a homeowner is accused by another owner of not maintaining it properly. We look at homeowner delinquency reports each month and decide which accounts should receive further collection action, then hold hearings. We debated whether to reenable a basketball hoop as some residents were requesting after a recent board member urged it be disabled, ultimately deciding to reenable the hoop. We installed new basketball nets at the basketball courts. We recently finished drafting a new policy that governs electric vehicle charging stations. We updated the rules for the swimming pool. We arranged with Dominion Energy to repair non-working community watch lights at no charge to Foxfield. We contacted and arranged with a vendor to clean the swimming pool deck, saving the HOA over $1,000 compared to the price quoted to our property manager by our swimming pool vendor. We twice investigated “forts” being built in the woods on County-restricted common property, both times then asking a vendor to dismantle and discard them. We began planning for an upcoming yard sale. Earlier in our term, we studied competing vendor proposals and selected one of them to have virtually every Foxfield-owned street repaved or repaired.

Those were all projects taken on by your board this year, with assistance from our property manager.

I thought the property manager does everything. Do board members really do all this?
Yes. The board receives much assistance from the property manager, but many times the property manager submits questions or documents to the board that require decisions and answers. The board almost always investigates onsite issues.

Do all board members have a say in what actions the board takes or does one board member run the show?
All questions that come before the board are discussed between board members. Sometimes people have different opinions and we debate, but ultimately decisions are made by consensus. The board consists of a group of people working together to keep Foxfield running smoothly, not a single person doing the job.

Do board members need to know anything about Foxfield bylaws, resolutions, and other rules?
Yes, although knowing these things is not a requirement for new board members. All decisions made by the board must be in accordance with our governing documents. New board members learn these rules over time by seeing how the board makes decisions, participating in discussions, and by reading. Rarely, the board sees a new need and approves new rules. Individual board members are not allowed to invent their own rules outside of the board and apply them to the community.

Do board members need to do any physical labor as part of the job?
No, although some board members choose to take care of common area minor maintenance items on occasion.

This looks like a fun gig. How much are board members paid?
Board members are not paid for their work. They volunteer their time to benefit the community.

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