Realtors replace board during special meeting held Wednesday

Realtors replace board during special meeting held Wednesday

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Local realtors, unhappy with their association’s board of directors, successfully removed the board at a special general meeting last week, electing a new slate of representatives.

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“It was a very drastic move,” said veteran realtor Terri Davidson, who was voted in to replace one of the old members of the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association.

“It was the first time in the history of the board to do such a thing.”

Davidson said while there were issues behind the special meeting and the vote, the main problem was a “lack of confidence” in the old board due to it making some major decisions without consulting its membership.

“Large issues are to go to the membership and that wasn’t happening.”

Hundreds of real estate agents gathered for the meeting at the Brantford Golf and Country Club, including those holding dozens of proxy votes for other agents, chartered accountants and a lawyer overseeing the vote counts. The BRREA has close to 500 members in the association.

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Members reported that several board members had already resigned and been replaced over the last year.

“The membership was very strong in the vote that they weren’t happy,” said Davidson.

She was voted onto the new set of directors, along with Jason Tangorra, Chris Costabile and Judy Lillico.

Former board members Joshua Wall, Matt Allman, and Alex Grinton were voted out with the motion to remove the entire board, but voted right back in when they stood for office again.

Davidson said members did not vote on board president David De Dominicis’ position due to the fact he hadn’t been voted president by the members but by his board and the meeting was told the membership couldn’t vote on his position according to articles of incorporation.

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De Dominicis provided The Expositor with a list of the newly elected board members on Thursday and said the group will select a new president-elect at its next meeting, later this month.

“This board is committed to engaging with members in a transparent and collaborative way to ensure that the decisions taken, and the manner in which they are decided, is aligned with the will of the membership,” De Dominicis said in an email.

Two members of the association, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed disappointment that De Dominicis didn’t step down with the other directors.

“There have been longstanding governance issues within the board,” said one of the realtors, noting the concerns led to another special general meeting in December.

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Last week’s special meeting was called after signatures were easily gathered to push for a motion demanding the board be removed.

“We fully anticipated (after the December meeting) the concerns would be addressed in a timely manner and that reports of progress would be shared among the members.”

The agent added that members have expressed concerns about the board not adhering to its bylaws, quorum issues, financial reports being withheld, excessive spending and how committee members are chosen.

BRREA executive officer Felicia Finnegan flatly denied those claims.

“We wholeheartedly reject any allegations of … improper actions,” Finnegan said in an email.

“BRREA is always open to new members and the fresh perspectives these individuals bring. By the same token, we experience regular turnover as board, and committee responsibilities are a significant commitment and are performed on a voluntary basis.”

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Before the board-changing meeting, a former board member downplayed the event, saying the special general meeting was only to deal with a disagreement over which MLS provider should be used locally.

“Probably the most boring technical issue you could think of,” said Ryan Campbell.

Last month the London and St. Thomas real estate association also held a special meeting to consider ousting its board over similar concerns about a lack of group consultation.

With almost 1,000 agents voting, the motion to remove the board was defeated with 83 percent of the votes against the move.

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