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Newport re-elects board members

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – About 209 people packed the halls of Newport Country Club and Conference Center and cast about 1,111 votes per three at contest positions at the January 12 Annual Meeting of the Members in Newport.
Dan Kasprzak had the most votes counted, 792. Charley Lenderman records 778 votes. Walt Kroupa’s count was 776. Bruce Lindsay received 303 votes, Richard McDill, 304 and Lisa Worthen, 382. There were two other write in candidates. Kasprzak, Kroupa and Lenderman keep their board positions from last Thursday’s vote until 2009.

That is the most votes cast in any Newport election. There are 4,300 lots with 1875 single family homes in the subdivision.
From the nearly 250 homeowners at a January 5 meeting of Concerned Members of Newport, many on Monday contended that about 400 or more of the votes cast were cast by the board from the Newport Fund. Some residents related to the contenders are again demanding to see not how individuals voted but what the source of the votes were. The board’s contention that one cannot be isolated from the other and that they are defending the privacy of the voters will echo.
Whatever the source, homeowners cite a previous NPOAN agreement that developer’s votes would only be used to count a quorum; however, it is stated that the developer is independently holding only about 37 votes now, and that the rest have been transferred to Newport Fund.
The election follows accusations of election irregularities in the October Special Called Meeting. The board indicated then that there were no irregularities, then they decided to make changes and now, election issues have been resolved.
If the board casts the developer’s property votes that are in transition to builders then the board will retain an advantage in determining election outcomes including maintenance dues, deed restrictions, and ultimately who is elected to the board.
The board’s attorney has issued statements that they are not subject to state election laws and the board is not subject to the open meetings act but that all changes made to the election process were based upon other homeowners association’s procedures.