PMCC’s New Restrictions on Voting

For 50 years of PMCC’s history, all meeting attendees had an equal vote in decisions and elections. You simply had to show up. [Articles VI, conversations with Board members]

In October 2022, in an obvious attempt to limit involvement at the community center and control the voting pool, the Board kicked out the majority of the original membership area and imposed restrictive voting requirements, as described below.

drastic limits to the voting population

PMCC founders included “any interested resident of the community known as ‘Pine Mountain’ or the immediate surrounding area” as eligible to participate and vote. [Articles VI]

The Board’s new rules allow only those listed on the Pine Mountain Volunteer Fire District (PMVFD) coverage area to participate in the PMCC organization at all. This eliminates all but a fraction of the original area. The application to vote is all the more exclusionary. [2022 By-Laws 1.1–2]

voting locked down

Would you be eligible to apply to vote?

  • Your name must be listed on the PMVFD coverage area records.
  • You must have volunteered twice previously and continue volunteering twice more every year. [Appl. + By-Laws 3.1.d, 3.3.a]
  • The volunteering must have been done (and continue to be done every year) at only Board-sanctioned opportunies, of which few are offered: 1 in all of 2022. [Appl., By-Laws 3.1.d, PMCC Facebook]
  • If you are unable to assist in person within these very limited conditions, such as due to work, caregiving, or health conflicts, the PMCC By-Laws give you no avenue to become a voting member. [Appl. + By-Laws 3.1.d, 3.3.a]
  • Fallen behind on your fire dues? Then you can neither apply nor vote. PMCC is not funded by fire dues: Is there any reason to tie voting to payment of fire dues, except to exclude anyone who is struggling financially? [By-Laws 3.1.c+g, 3.2.a+b, 3.4.c]
  • (Imagine if PMCC, a registered charitable organization, assisted rather than punished?)
  • Do you know two people who will sponsor you with their “Voting Member Seconding signatures”? This gatekeeping maneuver requires the idenfication and agreement of two existing Voting Members (of whom there are few, and PMCC offers no published list). [Appl. + By-Laws 3.1.e]
  • Even if you are able to meet all of these requirements and are approved, your voting rights can subsequently be stripped. [By-Laws 3.2.d]

lack of transparency

Board members surreptitiously adopted these new rules: initially, only PMCC’s inner circle were given copies of the voting member application, at an unannounced meeting on Oct. 20, 2022. Only after being called out on this website and on social media did the Board offer information about their new policy. Conveniently for those who wished to hold on to their seats, this timing made almost no one eligible to run for a seat or to vote. Additionally, the Board also moved that long-planned meeting (holding only a potluck instead) and never announced the new date or time to the community nor answered questions about when it would be held.