Now Have "Only One".
PHCA Board Disenfranchises All Domestic Partners Who Planned to Vote March 6th.
By The Frace-Heller Family
Published: Friday, March 2, 2012
Pimmit Hills, Falls Church, VA -- With just 4 days to go before the Pimmit Hills Citizens' Association is scheduled to take a vote of its membership on whether or not to approve a controversial proposal by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to build and run a halfway-house/group-home facility in Pimmit Hills, the directors of the citizens' association suddenly and without notice to members that they were considering such a move, authorized disenfranchisement of potentially half of PHCA's entire voting membership -- spouses and domestic partners -- who up until now shared equal voting rights at PHCA's Town Meetings with the head of their household under PHCA's By-Laws.
Up until yesterday, a neighborhood resident applying online for "Pimmit Hills Resident Family Membership" would pay $20 entitling the applicant at that "membership level" to receive a membership "bundle" for "up to two members" for one year.
The application form clearly specifies, "This membership level is for 2 adults residing at the same address." For those two new members the application also recommends the convenience that "each can have different email addresses to log on to the website".
On another Web page, association officials tout further the benefits and privileges of membership, holding-out the carrot to non-members the guarantee that: "If you are a Pimmit Hills resident, become a member and obtain voting rights at PHCA town meetings."
The following reproduces the application form that for months (if not years) has served as PHCA's official online membership application:
Thank you for supporting your community!
Select membership level *Mandatory fields* Membership level
That was yesterday's membership application form; today's is displayed below. Speaking of the term "members" as used in the above-mentioned "Bundle (up to 2 members)", it is appropriate here to cite PHCA's By-Laws and Amendments, specifically Article I, Sections 1-5:
Article I. Membership.1. Membership shall be open to all residents and non-resident property owners of single family homes within Pimmit Hills. Pimmit Hills is defined as that area within the boundaries of Route 7, Magarity Road, the Dulles Access Road and Pimmit Run. Members shall be eighteen or more years of age.
2. Membership shall be annual and will be granted upon payment of an annual membership fee effective from September 1 through August 31 of each year. At the annual meeting each year, membership fees will be determined for the next year.3. Voting shall be limited to members. Members shall not have proxy, absentee, or cumulative voting privileges.
4. The membership shall have the right to elect all officers and directors of the corporation.
5. The membership shall have the sole right, subject to the requirements of a quorum and majority as hereinafter provided.
a) To determine the policy of the corporation.
b) To authorize expenditure of corporate funds except as otherwise provided herein.
c) To authorize the corporation to enter into any contract, agreement or arrangement of any kind or nature.
Today Friday, writing about the March 6th Town Meeting on the PHCA Website's homepage and the upcoming vote on the County's controversial group-home proposal for Cherri Drive, PHCA officials are emphatic: there is to be "Only one vote per household."
That defining restriction will by itself disenfranchise half of every pair of PHCA members who had earlier signed up under PHCA's longstanding Pimmit Hills Resident Family Membership 'bundle' believing they had in fact contracted for as long as they kept their annual membership dues up to date (and unless changed by a vote of the membership) to have two votes should their household contain two adults.
The following is the new membership application that online greets prospective members now seeking to join the association, including those who will likely be waiting until the last minute to become members on the day of the upcoming vote so they can have an official say in the day's Town Meeting.
Please note the glaring omission in PHCA's 'new' Resident Member & Family Membership: the 2-member 'bundle' is no longer being offered (nor even is it mentioned).
Become a member of the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association (PHCA). Membership levels are:SEE: http://www.pimmithills.org/join-phca
- RESIDENT MEMBER & FAMILY MEMBERSHIP (Yearly Dues: $20)
- All homeowners and renters currently living in Pimmit Hills
- Family Membership enables two different email addresses to access the website
- NON-RESIDENT MEMBER (Yearly dues: $25)
- Owners of Pimmit Hills houses who don't live in Pimmit Hills
- Former residents
- Local businesses
- Friends of Pimmit Hills
When PHCA board members were contacted Friday for comment about this matter, one refused to take any questions or make any statement whatsoever, and another failed even to return the call.
Voter disenfranchisement is serious business. So is wholesale violation of a citizens' association's By-Laws by members of its own board. Various laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia may apply in the instant matter: Breach of contract; violation of Virginia's Consumer Protection Act, etc.. The arbitrary actions taken this past week by PHCA's board are also sure to focus member attention on another article in PHCA's By-Laws and Amendments, specifically Article IV, Section 5, which reads as follows:
Article IV. Officers.SEE: http://www.pimmithills.org/phca-bylaws
5. An officer may be removed from office only for cause upon the written complaint of a member or members. Such complaint shall be submitted at a regular membership meeting. A hearing on the charge or charges, before the membership, shall be scheduled for the next regular membership meeting or at a special membership meeting not less than two weeks or more than six weeks after submission of the complaint and only after notice to the membership of said complaint. Disposition of the charge or charges shall be determined by secret, written ballot of three-fourths of the members present and voting.
Contact: The Frace-Heller Family
Websites: The Pimmit Hills Observer
Yahoo! Pimmit Hills Moms and Dads Group