OCHS, ODJ agree on new board voting process

New procedures will allow members to directly vote for nonprofit's leaders

Feb. 24, 2017 — The Oregon Coast Humane Society (OCHS), in close consultation with the Oregon Department of Justice (ODJ), has settled upon the process the nonprofit organization will use to elect its new board of directors.

In a letter sent to current members and prospective board members, and later posted on social media, OCHS detailed the voting and election process for interested people.

It stated that the nonprofit is “transitioning back to a membership organization, whereby members elect the board of directors.”

Primarily due to tensions that arose between members and some OCHS Board directors over the past six months spurred by disagreements surrounding the legitimacy of the current OCHS board, an elections coordinator has been appointed to oversee the agreed upon process.

Florence attorney Jane Hanawalt has been given the responsibility of oversight authority, in consultation with the ODJ, for ensuring the integrity of the upcoming voting process.

Hanawalt’s office confirmed her appointment as election coordinator and added that a special drop box has been installed at the Law Office of Jane C. Hanawalt, at 327 Laurel St. in Florence, to facilitate the voting process.

The OCHS special election will be conducted by mail.

To be eligible to vote, a person must be an organization member in good standing by no later than March 12.

Ballots will be sent to members, via mail, on or about March 30, and completed ballots must be received by Hanawalt by 4 p.m. on or before April 16.

In order to be a candidate for the new board, interested individuals must be OCHS members in good standing, and must submit a candidate form to Hanawalt no later than 4 p.m. by March 12.

Membership and candidate forms can be obtained at the OCHS website or from Hanawalt’s office.

Completed ballots and candidate forms can then be mailed to P.O. Box 1153 or delivered in person at the drop box located at Hanawalt’s office.

According to the literature provided to the public on Friday by OCHS, the nonprofit seeks to seat a minimum of seven new directors during this election cycle. Elected board members will serve until June 30, 2019.

Senior ODJ Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth M. Grant said the process now in place was agreed upon by OCHS and her office with the goal of providing members the means to directly elect the board.

It is also hoped the election will contribute to a transition process that has been difficult for the community and the organization.

OCHS’ letter stated, “The process will be open and there will be no nominating committee. The newly elected board will select board officers at its first meeting and will schedule a future membership meeting.”

“We are encouraging any interested individuals to apply for a board position,” Grant said. “We have worked in conjunction with the OCHS to come up with this process and we believe we have put in place a way for members to elect a new board and move forward in a positive way.”

Grant also stated the ODJ will be working with Hanawalt to review applications for candidates who wish to be included on the ballot, as well as the members who will be allowed to vote for the new board.

The results of the election will be announced on or before April 18.

For more information, visit oregoncoasthumanesociety.org.


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