The Instigator
RegencyOaksATL
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Raisor
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

RONA needs a conflict of interest policy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Raisor
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 791 times Debate No: 84821
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

RegencyOaksATL

Pro

After surfacing behavior unbecoming of RONA leadership - 2011-2014 Advisory Committee member established two companies and profited by writing own checks unknown to community members and some other Advisory Committee members.

Do you think we need to incorporate a Conflict of Interest Policy in the organization's Bylaws?

CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY [DRAFT]

REGENCY OAKS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, INC.

Article I Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to protect the interests of Regency Oaks Neighborhood Association, Inc. (the "Corporation") when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director or committee members of the Corporation or might result in a possible excess benefit transact ion. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations not exempt or exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Article II Definitions
1. Interested Person

An "interested person" with respect to the Corporation is any director, officer, or member of committee with powers delegated the Corporation's board of directors or its designee, if such person has a direct or indirect financial interest, as defined below.

2.Financial Interest

A person has a "financial interest" if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family:

a.An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the Corporation has a transaction or arrangement,
b.A compensation arrangement with the Corporation or with any entity or individual with which the Corporation has a transaction or arrangement, or
c.A potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the Corporation is negotiating a transaction or arrangement.

Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial.

A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. Under Article 111, Section 2, a person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the appropriate governing board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists.

Article Ill Procedures
1.Duty to Disclose

In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person SHALL disclose the existence of any and all possible financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the directors and members of board committees considering the proposed transaction or arrangement.

2.Determining Whether a Conflict of Interest Exists

After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion with the interested person, he/she shall leave the board or committee meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon. The remaining board or committee members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists.

3.Procedures for Addressing the Conflict of Interest
a.An interested person may make a presentation at the board or committee meeting, but after the presentation, he/shall leave the meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the possible conflict of interest.
b.The chairperson of the board or committee SHALL, if appropriate, appoint a disinterest person or committee to investigate alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement.
c.After exercising due diligence, the board or committee shall determine whether the Corporation can obtain with reasonable efforts a more advantageous transaction or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a conflict of interest.
d.If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably possible under the circumstances not producing a conflict of interest, the board or committee shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in the Corporation's best interest, for its own benefit, and whether it is fair and reasonable. In conformity with the above determination it shall make its decision as to whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement.
4.Violations of the Conflicts of Interest Policy
a.If the board or committee has reasonable cause to believe any person has failed to disclose any actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall inform such person of the basis for such belief and afford such person an opportunity to explain alleged failure to disclose.
b.If after hearing such person's response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the board or committee determines that such person has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action, including but not limited, to removal from assigned position.

Article IV Records of Proceedings
The minutes of the board and all committees with board delegated powers shall contain:

a.The names of the persons who disclosed or otherwise were found to have a financial interest in connection with an actual or possible conflict of interest, the nature of the financial interest, any action taken to determine whether a conflict of interest was present, and the board's or committee's decision as to whether a conflict of interest in fact existed.
b.The names of the persons who were present for discussions and votes relating to the transaction or arrangement, the content of the discussion, including any alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement, and a record of any votes taken in connection with the proceedings.

Article V Compensation
a.A voting member of the board who received compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Corporation for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member's compensation.
b.A voting member of any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receive compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Corporation for services is precluded from voting on matters pertaining to that member's compensation.
c.No voting member of the board or any committee whose jurisdiction includes compensation matters and who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Corporation, either individually or collectively, is prohibited from providing information to any committee regarding compensation.

Article VI Annual Statements
Each director, officer and member of the committee with powers delegated by the board shall annually sign a statement which affirms such person:

a.Has received a copy of the conflicts of interest policy,
b.Has read and understan.ds the policy,
c.Has agreed to comply with the policy, and
d.Understands the Corporation is not-for profit and/or charitable and in order to maintain its not-for profit or federal tax exemption it must engage primarily in activities which accomplish one or more of its tax-exempt purposes as prescribed in governing documents.

Article VII Periodic Reviews
To ensure that the Corporation operates in a manner consistent with it prescribed purposes and does not engage in activities that could jeopardize its tax exempt status, periodic reviews shall be conducted. The periodic reviews shall, at a minimum, include the following subjects:

a.Whether compensation arrangements and benefits are reasonable, based on competent survey information and the result of arm's length bargaining.

b.Whether partnerships, joint ventures, and arrangements with management organizations conform to the Corporation's written policies, are properly recorded, reflect reasonable investment or payments for goods and services, further charitable purposes and do not result in inurnment, impermissible private benefit or in an excess benefit transaction.
Raisor

Con

I will negate the Resolution with the following counterplan:


Resolved: RONA should disband. Any property and standing finances owned by RONA should be sold with proceeds donated to the Against Malaria Foundation.


A) Homeowner’s Associations are coercive and unfair, restricting individual freedom and harming the dignity of the individual. The lack of basic internal accountability mechanisms makes them unfit to wield the expansive power HOAs carry.


As private entities, HOA’s have been ruled to be outside the restrictions imposed on governmental organization by the Constitution. This means that there is very little HOA’s cannot demand of their constituents, giving an HOA near tyrannical power over the domestic lives of its residences:


“There are few areas of residential life that HOAs have not tried to regulate...displaying the American flag and other political symbols... holding political meetings on common property, and living with their own spouses, but they can also maintain constant surveillance on vehicular and pedestrian traffic, employ inspectors to look for infractions of the rules, demand access to one's home "for repairs at any time," require residents to "carry their identity tags at all times," compel residents to water their lawns during droughts, impose special assessments that could exceed tens of thousands of dollars, fine residents for violating rules, put a lien on one's property, and even foreclose on one's home. [1]


Such rampant ability to trample fundamental American freedoms like speech and assembly in our own homes is an abomination to the core principles of this country.


Pro may claim that the abhorrent power HOA’s hold over their constituents is justified, since members of an HOA agreed to the terms of agreement. But this ignores that the rules HOAs impose can change after an individual joins. Once these rules change, escaping the governance of an HOA can only be done by thoroughly upending a family’s domestic life - a family must sell their home and relocate. This can be disturbing and disruptive to the lives of children as families switch school districts and move away from old friends. Of course this is only the case if a family has the financial wherewithal to move- many are trapped in abusive HOAs due to financial circumstances that prevent them from leaving.


But surely an HOA is a democratic organization- homeowners can voice their discontent nd work to change the policies which bind them? This is sadly not the case. Researchers have bemoaned than in HOAs ““the vision of self-governance and participatory democracy within these groups often is illusory” [2]. HOAs are fraught with petty politics and oligarchic political structures that generate apathy and pessimism. The HOA exists as an entity which perpetuates political inertness, passing restrictive ordinances which are impossible to repeal.


The situation is exacerbated when HOA’s govern properties inhabited by renters. HOAs routinely limit voting rights to property owners, barring renters from any political voice at all. [2]

The lack of these two key accountability mechanisms - the ability to flidly exit an organization and adequate voice in an organization, coupled with the expansive governing powers of an HOA, make them an inherently unjust organization which must be opposed in every instance. The power structure of an HOA is fundamentally unjust in the same way that a dictatorship or oligarchy is unjust. In our American democracy the HOA cannot be allowed to perpetuate itself.


B) Disbanding the HOA and donating to charity will save the lives of children


The independnt charity auditing organization givewell.org estimates that for every $2,838 donate, the life of one child will be saved. [3]


If disbanding RONA saves the life of even one child, it will be worth doing. Judging from the RONA website, the HOA owns hundreds of thousands of dollars through the clubhouse property, gym equipment, and membership dues. [4] Dues are listed as $850 a year. If there are 100 houses in the HOA, donating a year’s worth of dues will save 30 children. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to an unjust political machine, the resources being dumped into RONA should be put toward saving the lives of children.

C) RONA is completely unnecessary

Pro will probably spout some pablum about how RONA "serves the local neighborhood." Don't pay attentions to these platitudes. Pro needs to explain exactly what RONA does that is worth $850 a year, why RONA couldn't provide its services for free, why RONA needs to exert legal authority over its constiuency, and why RONAs use of resources is more important than the lives of children.

My neighborhood has block parties, but we don't force anyone to pay fees if they aren't interested. Communities should be built on goodwill and volunteerism, not coercive politics and wasteful spending.

Seems like a no-brainer to me. RONA doesn’t need any new policies, it needs to disband.


[1] http://pvtgov.org...


[2] http://scholarship.law.uc.edu...


[3] http://www.givewell.org...


[4] https://sites.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
RegencyOaksATL

Pro

RegencyOaksATL forfeited this round.
Raisor

Con

Pro has conceded his opportunity to resond to my arguments.

Per the usual DDO convention that no new arguments be permitted in the final round, Con should not be allowed to make new responses to my arguments.

Thanks,

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
RegencyOaksATL

Pro

RegencyOaksATL forfeited this round.
Raisor

Con

Raisor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Hayd 1 year ago
Hayd
Lol, I love this. Super cool that you did this Raisor
Posted by c.driskell 1 year ago
c.driskell
Establishing a policy that sets realistic expectations and discourage abuse of public trust is a requirement.
Posted by Hayd 1 year ago
Hayd
Welcome to DDO
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Hayd 1 year ago
Hayd
Welcome to DDO
http://www.debate.org...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Rosalie 1 year ago
Rosalie
RegencyOaksATLRaisorTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF.
Vote Placed by spacetime 1 year ago
spacetime
RegencyOaksATLRaisorTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con for Pro's forfeits. Arguments to Con because his counter-plan completely undermined Pro's case, and Pro obviously never responded. Down with the HOAs !