BALLOTING / VOTING QUESTIONS
When were the ballots mailed?
The ballots were mailed on November 4, 2013.
What should I do if I don’t receive a ballot?
If you don’t receive a ballot by November 15, 2013, please call Accurate Voting Services (AVS), Inc. toll free at 1-855-588-5522 and a ballot will be mailed to you.
What is the deadline to return my ballot?
The deadline for your ballot to be received by mail is Monday, January 6, 2014. However, you are encouraged to return your ballot as soon as possible.
I will be away during the entire two-month balloting period. Can you mail me a ballot at another location (i.e. my sister’s home in Florida, my son’s home in New York)?
Yes! CLICK HERE to fill out a brief form. A ballot will be mailed to you.
Can you mail me a ballot to an international address (i.e. my daughter’s home in Canada, my brother’s home in Mexico)?
Yes! CLICK HERE to fill out a brief form. A ballot will be mailed to you. You may need to add additional postage to the ballot’s green mailing envelope. Please check with the local postal service in your area.
Can I use a proxy or designate someone to vote on my behalf?
No. Proxies are not permissible in Foundation elections. Each household is entitled to one vote only. To ensure the ballot’s integrity, ballot envelopes must be signed by the Foundation member connected to that household.
I don’t remember if I mailed my ballot. Can you check for me?
Yes! If you are unsure if you mailed your ballot, call AVS toll free at 1-855-588-5522.
I lost my ballot. What should I do?
Call AVS toll free at 1-855-588-5522 and a replacement ballot packet will be mailed to you.
I lost one of the envelopes. What should I do?
Call AVS toll free at 1-855-588-5522 and a replacement ballot packet will be mailed to you. It is very important that the ballot is returned in Envelope “A” (white), which is placed inside Envelope “B” (green). Don’t forget to sign the green envelope!
Where do I mail the ballot?
The green mailing envelope is postage-paid and pre-addressed to the Inspector of Elections, Accurate Voting Services, Inc., PO Box 6117, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-6117. Drop the ballot in a U.S. Mailbox as soon as possible. Your ballot must be received before 12:00 noon on Monday, January 6, 2014. You may also hand deliver your ballot to Clubhouse 4 between 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.
English is not my first language. Can you mail me a ballot in another language?
The ballot and election materials are mailed in English only. However, you can read all election materials at lwsb.com in over 70 languages.
I’ve heard a quorum is necessary before the ballots can be counted. What is a quorum?
A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present to make meeting proceedings valid.
In the case of the Trust extension, ballots are being mailed to all Foundation members, or 6,608 households. A quorum of 2,203 members, or 33 1/3% of the membership, is required before the ballots can be counted.
However, 3,305 yes votes, or 51% of the membership, are needed to pass the proposed Trust extension. Therefore, the Foundation is hoping the majority of the membership, or at least 4,000 members, participates in this election. Your vote counts!
When will the ballots be counted?
The ballots are scheduled to be counted at a special GRF Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in Clubhouse 4. A quorum of the Foundation members is required before the counting can begin. If a quorum is not achieved, the counting will be postponed a minimum of 30 days.
What if I change my mind after I return the ballot?
The ballots are non-revocable. Your vote cannot be changed after you return the ballot.
What is the Golden Rain Trust?
The Golden Rain Trust is the corporate document that charges the Golden Rain Foundation with specific tasks, such as handling the community’s assets and acting as the property management company for the Mutuals under a separate management contract. The Trust was created under a Declaration of Trust dated December 21, 1961, and recorded on July 10, 1962, in Book 6172 at Pages 617-632, of the Official Records of Orange County, CA.
Who is the Trustee? Who is the Trustor? Who are the beneficiaries?
The Mutual corporations are the Trustor and beneficiaries. The Golden Rain Foundation is the Trustee.
The Trust was established when the Mutuals had mortgages. Now that the mortgages have been paid, why do we need a Trust?
The Golden Rain Trust was created in 1961 at the request of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the lending bank when the community was being built. The Trust was required by the lending bank to ensure that its investment would be secure.
The last Mutual mortgage was paid off in 2004, therefore omitting the old lending bank and FHA from the Trust. However, if there is ever a need for a bank loan in the future (example: major disaster, insufficient roofing reserves), a lending bank would likely require the same security and stability of the Trust. Having the Trust in place is critical to the community’s continued financial protection.
The Trust refers to Mutuals One and Seventeen a lot. I live in a different Mutual. Why are Mutuals One and Seventeen referenced so often?
Mutual One was recorded as the original beneficiary of the Trust in the County of Orange. The remaining Mutuals were subsequently recorded. Mutual Seventeen became the last beneficiary of the Trust in 1981.
I’ve heard a rumor about the property being sold. Does this have anything to do with the Trust? Can the Trustee (Golden Rain Foundation) take action for its own benefit?
NO! There has been a rumor floating around for years that the property will be sold for profit. There are no known plans to sell or ‘develop’ the property.
Section VII of the Trust, Paragraph J, states that the “Trustee is expressly prohibited from exercising any power vested in it for the primary benefit of Trustee, or for the benefit of any person other than the beneficiaries of this Trust and their stockholders.” This means that the Golden Rain Foundation can’t take any action where it would benefit financially. Therefore, the Golden Rain Foundation can’t sell property.
What is the proposed Trust amendment?
The only proposed change or amendment to the Trust is the extension of the expiration date. The Trust expires in 2024 and the Foundation would like to extend that date to 2044. Both the GRF Board of Directors and the Mutual Boards of Directors have approved and recommended this action. The change in expiration date is the ONLY proposed amendment to the Trust.
Why does the Trust have to be extended?
The Trust expires in 2024. Legal counsel has advised the Foundation that the simplest way to avoid termination of the Trust is to extend it. For simplicity, the Foundation is recommending the Trust be extended 20 years from its current expiration date of 2024 to 2044.
If the trust doesn’t expire until 2024, why are we taking action now?
It is timelier and more cost-effective to extend the Trust now. A great deal of time and money has been spent over the past 18 months in preparing for this vote. If a quorum is not achieved, or if the majority of the members vote “no,” then the Foundation will attempt to extend the Trust again, needing to spend more money and more time in order to achieve quorum and a “yes” vote. If the second vote is unsuccessful, the Foundation will appeal to the Courts. These delays are extremely cost and time-prohibitive.
What happens if the Trust expires?
If the Trust is allowed to expire in 2024, there will be no centralized and uniform management of the common areas and facilities. Each Mutual will have to arrange for the management of its property.
Imagine this scenario: Let’s say the interior of Clubhouse One needs to be painted. All 6,608 Foundation members agree there is a need to paint the interior white. Which shade of white? A vote of all 6,608 Foundation members would be needed to determine which shade of white paint to use. This would create a nearly impossible effort to get 6,608 members to agree.
The Trust was established with the governance system that we currently use to protect and ensure the management of common areas, property and facilities. If the Trust is allowed to expire, that governance system goes away.
Does the Trust extension impact future sales?
Realtors are required to provide prospective buyers with specific community data, such as financial reports and copies of the Trust and various agreements. If a prospective buyer sees that the Trust is set to expire in 2024, would they want to move here, not knowing what could happen to the community in 10 years?
What happens if I vote yes?
A “yes” vote means that you are voting FOR the amendment to extend the Trust. If the majority of voting members vote “yes,” then the Trust’s termination date will be extended from 2024 to 2044. Nothing else will change!
What happens if I vote no?
A “no” vote means that you are voting AGAINST the amendment to extend the Trust. If the majority of voting members vote “no,” then the Trust will expire in 2024.
I’m not interested in politics. Why should I vote?
The Trust extension is not about politics, it is about continuity. By voting yes, you are stating that the community you know and love continues to operate under the same agreement in which you purchased your share.
I don’t like change. Why should I vote?
If you don’t like change, then vote “yes!” By voting yes, you are stating that you want to keep what you know and love about the community!
I still have questions about the Trust. Who can I speak with?
Please call Miss Courtney Knapp in the Administration Office at (562) 431-6586, extension 303.