Three members of the Continental Country Club Board of Directors were recalled Saturday for either owning or allegedly supporting short-term rentals in the community.
Board members John Keegan, Robert Hoadley and Dustey Rhoton were all recalled from the board by over 500 of the 926 ballots that had been turned in, according to club general manager Tahlia Murray.
According to board president David Evans, the number of ballots represents close to half of the community's homeowners.
The recall occurred as a group of homeowners push to ban short-term rentals from the community.
Murray said the board will now need to appoint three new members, although there is no deadline to do so -- the club only requires three new members at the board’s earliest convenience.
Carl Wood, one of the residents who pushed for the recall, said since the recall was successful, they are now working to replace the outgoing board members with those who want to ban vacation rentals. Wood said he is in contact with a number of people in the community who could make good candidates and he is considering applying for a position on the board as well.
John Nilsson, another resident opposed to rentals with Airbnb, Vrbo and other companies, said after that, they will push the board to call another vote to implement a rule that homeowners must rent to tenants for a minimum of 30 days, essentially banning short-term rentals.
“I trust that the board will do the right thing,” Nilsson said, "after this vote came and they saw how many homeowners want short-term rentals removed.”
Calling such a vote requires a two-thirds majority by the board, which Nilsson said is why the recall vote was necessary.
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Keegan said he wasn’t surprised by the result in part because he believed many of those who voted didn’t truly know what the recall was about.
Keegan said he also felt homeowners had been misled by the inclusion of Rhoton with himself and Hoadley in the recall. While he and Hoadley both own short-term rentals in the community, Keegan said Rhoton has never been a supporter of the rentals.
Rhoton agreed and said she has only ever felt that after two community votes on the issue, the board should move on to other pressing issues.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened this way,” Rhoton said. “I mean, I have lived here for a long time and it has always been a great place to live, and now it’s just become kind of like the world today where everything is just so doom and gloom.”
The community first voted on whether to ban short-term rentals in 2012. Then, last year the board approved a vote on short-term rentals; ballots were sent to homeowners, but the board did not receive enough votes to make the election valid and thus ended the voting period.
David Chambers, who was president of the board at the time, said the question on short-term rentals was also paired with other questions that may have made the ballot confusing, and the board originally had no end date for when ballots had to be turned in until they closed the vote. Because of that, Chambers said it is hard to tell if homeowners didn’t vote because they were confused or if it was because they support vacation rentals.
Chambers, who is no longer on the board, said he hopes if another vote is called, it includes only the one issue and the board clearly communicates with homeowners about the issue of short-term rentals in the community.
Keegan added he is worried for the precedent the recall vote has set going forward.
“Now, any present or future board member, elected or appointed, has to worry about being recalled for having an opinion different than those who forced the recall. How can this board operate in that environment?” Keegan said.