About Proxies

A proxy statement is a legal document that lets you give your vote at the annual shareholders meeting to someone else. Why would you want to do that? Because shareholders meetings can be LONG,   and can stretch for hours, or even days. If you don’t want to wait until the vote is called, then a proxy statement will let someone else cast your vote for you.

A “proxy” is someone listed on the proxy statement that pledges to be there at the meeting for you and cast your vote. Most proxy statements have multiple proxy holders listed so that if something happens to one of them at the time a vote is called, then the remaining proxy holders can still vote. Being a proxy holder is a huge commitment, since it means you have to attend an entire meeting, even when the board drags it on for hours in an attempt to discourage people they don’t like from voting.

Proxy holders must work together to try to vote according to the wishes of the people they hold proxies for. In the case of a board election, if a member of a slate of board candidates decides to withdraw, then the proxy holders should vote for a different person that represents the will of the people they represent.

Additionally, giving your proxy to a group of people that you agree with gives them some additional powers. If proxy holders clearly hold the majority of votes at a meeting, then they can vote on a variety of things at a meeting, including approvals of minutes, agendas, changes in bylaws and more. It can help the meeting go quicker and more smoothly.

If you change your mind after you sign a proxy statement, its not too late. You can do the following to make sure your vote is counted:

  • You can appear in person at the meeting and vote. Or,
  • You can sign a proxy for the opposing side. As long as you put a date on the new proxy that is after the date on the earlier proxy, the new proxy will be the one that counts. Or,
  • You can sign a statement and send it to the proxy holders saying you are withdrawing your vote. You would only do this if you decide you want to abstain from the vote and cannot attend in person, but you have to trust that the proxy holders will honor your request, since you won’t be there yourself.

Since a proxy statement is a legal document, it must be printed and physically signed. Click below to print out the proxy for Neighbors for Better Water, sign it, and mail it to us to help us replace the current board of directors with a group that lives in the community, and will be fair and honest in the management of the water company.


Author: shannon

Shannon and his wife April have lived in East Palo Alto since they were married in 1991. He is the Executive Director of the Ravenswood Youth Athletic Association, which oversees the soccer club that plays at Cesar Chavez school in East Palo Alto.