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A short announcement on the Bella Vista POA Facebook page caught members by surprise on Friday, May 15.

"On May 14, the Bella Vista Property Owners Association Board of Directors voted to remove Steve McKee from the board due to multiple violations of POA policy," the announcement said.

Contacted by phone on Monday, McKee said he didn't believe he violated any POA policy.

According to governing documents, Policy 1.12, the process to remove board members begins with a written "misconduct allegation form" addressed to the board chairperson. The policy goes on to state that the accused director has seven days to consider the charge and collect evidence and witnesses. The charge is then considered by the board in an executive meeting.

If the board agrees that the charges are valid, actions that can be taken include: to require a formal apology; to give a written warning; to suspend the director or to remove the director. A two-thirds majority of the board is necessary for any of those actions.

In an email on Friday, Board Chair Ruth Hatcher said, "Board policy dictates that all Directors 'shall always act in a manner that brings credit to the Board and the Association and avoid behavior, or even the appearance of behavior, which brings discredit to their service on the Board or to the Board as a whole.' Multiple allegations of violations of this policy by Mr. McKee were brought to my attention as Chairperson of the Board. Following our procedures, I notified Mr. McKee of the allegations and set the required executive meeting of the full Board for May 14, 2020."

Hatcher didn't provide any further information on the nature of the violations.

McKee said he had received a copy of the allegations seven days before that May 14 meeting. While he didn't want to comment on the specific charges, he said they were related to his activities on Facebook pages.

He said he was always careful when he posted on Facebook to include a statement indicating that it was his own opinion and he was not speaking for the board. He knew other board members often disagreed with him.

"Healthy dialogue is a good thing," he said.

McKee posted a response to his removal on Facebook.

"I believe all of the charges brought against me were unfounded and unproven during the unannounced hearing. Any that may have had the slightest merit certainly did not warrant removal from the board. As well, there were other irregularities."

McKee was elected to the board in May 2019 and had two years left on his term. He will be replaced with a person the board selects to serve one year.

The annual board election was underway when the action was taken. The original announcement said that the new board -- to be seated on June 1 -- will select McKee's replacement.

POA attorney Doug McCash confirmed that the association's Bylaws in Article 3 state that if a vacancy occurs after the ballots are printed but before the election, the vacancy is filled by the new board after the annual meeting.

In May 2021, the remaining year of the term will be filled during the annual board member election.

In 2018, Board member John Nuttall was removed during the annual election period. The appointment to replace him took place after that election and several of the candidates on that ballot who were not elected asked to be considered for the seat. In June of that year one of those candidates, Mike Abb, was selected to fill Nuttall's seat.

General News on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: McKee removed from POA Board

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