Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vote for Your New Board of Governors!

In the hardcopy December Caper, we all received informational bios on the candidates for the 2011 CSC Board of Governors and a ballot.  If you've misplaced yours, as I have, there are extra copies down at the Improvement Association office.  Please take a moment before January 7th to place your votes to determine who will guide our community through the upcoming year.  The election includes the Board of Governors, the Budget Committee, and approval of the FY2011 budget.  The Cape is a big neighborhood with a BIG operating budget, and the Board and Budget Committee get to determine in large part how that money is spent.  I think they've done a great job in the past, but we should be interested in having a say.

I can tell you in 17 years here in the Cape, I've voted in community elections once, maybe twice.  It just hasn't been on my radar.  I do intend to vote this year, but it occurred to me that it would be REALLY great if we could do it online.  I do find it difficult to remember to fit a trip down to the Clubhouse into my daily craziness (that's a little lame, but true).  You can mail in your ballot, but finding a functioning pen, an envelope, addressing it, finding a stamp, taking it to the mailbox...  Again, SO incredibly lame, but that's the reality of why it doesn't get done in this household.

I would cast my vote in a heartbeat, though, if the ballot were readily available online.  I'm envisioning a reminder e-mail with a link to the bios and an online ballot on the CSCIA website.  Maybe even a question and answer page where Capers can post questions for the candidates online.  There are ample online voting software packages available - eBallot, Vote Pro, Big Pulse, etc.  I'm sure there must be a way to verify residency and one vote/person or household.  I have to believe such a capability would dramatically increase the level of participation in our elections.

The fact is, a very few people elected by a VERY small portion of the Cape (I don't know what the typical voter response is, but I'm guessing less than 20%? 10%?) controls the direction of this community.  Again, I have been pleased in the past with the work our hardworking Board has done, but I'd like to see more community involvement and input, as would they, I imagine.  Making use of available technology to make voting and information more accessible would be a great start.  Perhaps this has been batted around at those meetings I'm so bad about attending.

While we're at it, how about a CSCIA Facebook page?  Twitter feed from the CSCIA office?  Live video feed of the community meetings with an option to play back the video?  Strategically placed webcams around the community so we can go online and see if the water is high at Deep Creek, or if it's crowded at the Main Beach, or if our kayaks are safe at Lake Claire or the Little Magothy?  OK, I know there are privacy and security issues with the last one, but it would be really cool.  I love the Bay Bridge traffic cam and the Naval Academy harbor cam.  Why not some Cape cams (vandals might have a go at them, but at least we would have them on video in the act)?  Anybody else have other ideas?

Community involvement has been a struggle in the Cape for decades, and now the technology is available to change that.  Maybe something for the new Board to consider.  Please take a moment and cast your vote the old-fashioned way before January 7th.  It's still every bit as important if a little archaic.  You can also place your vote in person at the Membership Meeting at the Clubhouse on January 11, 2011 at 7:30PM.  I'm off right now to cast mine (if the office is open, that is.  Online voting would always be open, 24/7.  I'm just saying...) www.tips-fb.com


Christy said...

A Facebook comment from Kathleen Mooneyhan:

Thanks for your post, Christie. We are really hoping to get a good turn-out for this year’s election. We have one new candidate and three incumbents. We are also trying to get the December/January issue on the CSCIA website soon. FYI, there is a drop box next to the door to the CSCIA Office, where folks can drop their ballots, as well. No need for a stamp! On another note, you raise some really interesting ideas about ways we could re-vamp our communications strategies. Thanks for sharing them! Respectfully, Kathleen Mooneyhan, CSCIA BOG, Chair, Bldg. Comm., building@cscia.org

Christy said...

Thanks for the drop box reminder, Kathleen! I stand corrected, you CAN vote 24/7 (although it will still require me getting out of my pajamas - oh the inconvenience!) :)

Christy said...

My friend Beth suggested paying our association dues online. How great would that be! Bet collection would go up. It would also have been a more efficient way to get the votes for changing the covenant language.