First Thoughts on Tonight’s (9/28) NENA Election

UPDATE (10/1): Over 300 ballots were cast in-person and online. Results posted at NENA website. Congrats to Amy Allgeyer, Drew Alexander, Nola Walker, Julie Varin, and Julie Madsen. See below on why 6th place Laurynda “Ryndy” Williams should be named to fill even-year seat vacated earlier this year by our friend Chrystal Allen. Thanks to everyone who stepped forward to run and right the NENA ship!

Thanks to everyone who came out to vote tonight! I know many people stood in line in the cold for well over an hour. I arrived at 6:45, voting started after 7:30, and I was the last person to vote when it must have been after 9:30.

Having run two very clean election processes for NENA in the last year, I asked early on if I could ask some questions of the (unidentified) person hired to run the election. He promised to answer my questions when the voting was finished. But when the time came, he refused to give his name, answer any questions about how the counting would be documented (like we video’d the counting of recall ballots in March), and got hostile even as I repeatedly asked to have a calm conversation about the process.

Then he declared that his contract was with the board, that he would certify his findings to them, and that the only information available about the election would come from the board.

He refused to offer his name, any clarification about his business name, had no business card or website. When we google the business name we find only a “consulting and agriculture” outfit in Idaho, which kind of makes sense as his role is really starting to smell like a ranch, if you know what I mean.

In March, we counted hundreds of recall paper ballots in three hours, in a public place (13th and Alturis, no less), with many people, on video. Fully transparent. Online votes can be counted in minutes, and take a bit longer to double check for duplicate votes, all documented automatically by GoogleSheets.

I can imagine no reason the counting should not be done (and documented on video) by the end of business tomorrow. Yet the results have been promised in a couple, or few, days. I hope it won’t take that long.

I’m especially interested in who will finish in 6th place. There are six open seats, but only five were decided by tonight’s voting. This board will fill that sixth seat – but will they fill that seat before or after they certify tonight’s five winners? Either way, will they vote to ignore the sixth place finisher on hundreds of ballots tonight – and choose somebody else instead?

There were many good people on the ballot tonight. I thank them all for their willingness to run and do the work. I don’t think the neighborhood will lose tonight’s vote – in spite of those running this election, not because of them.

I just hope we can get the name of this mystery vote counter, get his documented results soon, that the previously removed board members certify those five quickly, and that the new members will make quick work of refilling the rest of the board with more good people, prepared to do the work in skillful, transparent and gracious ways the removed five have shown over and over again that they cannot understand, much less embody.

Once seated the new board members should (1) vote to remove, per the bylaws, the two recalled directors who’ve missed three consecutive meetings, (2) vote to stop spending neighborhood money on lawyers working to dismiss the legitimate recall vote (by over 90% of almost 800 members) last March, and (3) vote to accept the results of that recall vote directly. This is how we get a truly clean slate and move on.

Long live NENA and the spirit of the North End, which came out, onsite and online, in droves tonight! Thank you all! –Michael Herman

NENA Member Vote Goes to Court

Here is the Press Release from North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) members who have just filed a petition seeking a Court Order that would lead to a new election for the NENA Board of Directors. 

There has been a nearly year long controversy embroiling the neighborhood in the wake of a contested October 2020 Board election. Following procedures in NENA Bylaws and the Idaho Non-profit law, NENA members took steps necessary to hold a special membership meeting to vote on Removal of five Board Directors.

Nearly 800 neighborhood residents participated, and all five Board members were Removed by a democratic vote.  Four of the five were Removed by a 90% vote. They have refused to vacate their Board seats.

The petition asks the court to declare that the membership vote was valid, order the Recalled (or “Holdover”) Board Directors to vacate their board seats, and that a new Board election be held so NENA can have a functioning Board.

250+ Petitions Delivered – How You Can Help Now

PETITION DELIVERED: On Wednesday, May 19, copies of the petition to hold a 15-seat NENA Board Election with over 250 verified neighbor signatures were delivered to NENA’s attorney, Brit Kreimeyer, at her office, and to removed Vice President/Acting President Sarah Foregger. 

Ms. Kreimeyer refused to accept the petition signed by over 250 NENA members. Her copy was left at her office despite her refusal. Sarah Foregger did not answer her door, so the petition was left on her doorstep and was not picked up for days. 

An electronic copy of the signatures was also delivered via email to all removed directors and to Ms. Kreimeyer, so there is no question about delivery and receipt. 

WHAT’S NEXT: It appears that the R5 will continue their previous method of “dealing” with the 700 North Enders who voted for their removal by ignoring us and hoping we go away. Although we have made efforts to reach out and engage with the R5 to hold a special election for the 15 open board seats, including having pro bono legal counsel reach out to Ms. Kreimeyer on behalf of the membership, all avenues so far have been dead ends. 

We hope that the R5 will honor the petition to hold a special election. Unfortunately, if they refuse, this means that the next step may be to ask a court to order the election. While this is an admittedly slow process, your support is more important than ever. 

We will continue to provide updates as information is available to share, and questions are always welcome!

HOW YOU CAN HELP: The agenda for the May monthly meeting is now posted on the NENA website. It was posted after the petition requesting a special election signed by over 250 neighbors was hand-delivered to Sarah Foregger and electronically to all the removed directors. Yet, consistent with the R5’s pattern of ignoring neighbors’ voices and concerns, the agenda fails to include any item to discuss – or even acknowledge – the petition. Don’t let your voices go unheard yet again.

Significantly, the agenda also reflects Sarah Foregger presenting the Treasurer’s Report, so she is essentially acting as President, Vice President, and Treasurer of NENA, and her brother, Daniel Foregger, holds the only remaining office of Secretary. 

Please email (and cc and demand that the R5 acknowledge they received the petition and that the petition be added as an agenda item, or email them with any specific concerns you may have regarding NENA.  

Thank you for your continued support!

Legal and Petition Processes Continue

We have been engaged through legal counsel with Brit Kreimeyer, the attorney representing the NENA board. In the interest of working together on an election, we asked the Removed Five (R5) to halt their plan to appoint new board members during the board meeting held on April 27, 2021, and the R5 did not appoint new directors at this meeting.  We appreciate this change as an expression of good faith by the R5. 

We hope that the R5 will schedule a special election to elect all of the NENA board members, as we have requested. In support of our request, we have collected over 200 signatures from neighbors on a petition requesting a special meeting to hold an election of all board members. Those NENA members elected in a special meeting vote will have the legitimate support of the majority of the membership, including any of the R5 if they choose to run for an open seat. 

We further hope that the R5 will announce their intention to work collaboratively with NENA members to plan and set a date for a special election for all 15 open Board seats.  

We are still collecting signatures for the petition for a 15-seat election. If you still have not signed the petition and would like to do so, you have two options to sign:

(1)   IN-PERSON: The petition is available to sign in-person at:

  • Franklin House Backyard, located at 1502 Franklin Street (on the corner of 15th and Franklin Street), Wednesday through Saturday between 5 and 10 pm. 
  • Jill Giese & Associates, located at 1606 Hays Street (at the end of Harrison), Monday through Friday between 11 am and 6 pm.

(2)   ELECTRONICALLY: Please and state you would like to sign via DocuSign, and we will email you the petition to sign. 

We look forward to sending an update soon, with a firm election date, procedures for becoming a candidate, and candidate details to inform your vote. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please let us know.