15-Apr-18 A new ordinance aimed at protecting the privacy of condominium unit owners will not restrict access to ballots and proxies, according to a lawyer defending the city against a unit owners lawsuit.
With the lawsuit filed only recently, Shorge Sato has asked a Cook County Circuit Court for a temporary restraining order to delay the ordinance from taking effect, which otherwise will happen on April 18.
Passed by the City Council on March 28, the ordinance makes names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and weighted vote of each owner exempt from records a condo association must make available to an owner within ten business days of a written request.
Sato a lawyer and secretary on his buildings condo board says the ordinance will keep owners from learning who voted in a condo board election and what the actual results are, beyond what the condo board shares with owners. Incumbent directors, he says, could freely discard ballots, manufacture proxies, stuff ballot boxes, manipulate election results, and declare victors and losers without any meaningful ability to contest or challenge.
Corporation Counsel Edward Siskel disputes this, saying unit owners can still see ballots and proxies on all matters voted on by a condo association in the past 12 months.
||The ordinance does not even refer to, let alone restrict, the ability of condominium unit owners to request from the board of directors of their association such records should they so choose to, writes Siskel (left) in his response, filed on April 13.
As far as obtaining from his condo association a current list of unit owners, for the purpose of organizing opposition to the condo board, Siskel says Sato does not explain how he, personally, would be harmed by not being able to this.
While [Sato] posits that an outsider purportedly would be unable to campaign on the same terms as board members without access to a listing of all owners, [Sato] stops short of asserting that he even is campaigning for election to any board.
Siskel says a restraining order would be a a drastic action, for which Sato has provided no reasons. A motion hearing is scheduled for April 16.