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  California's Leader in Community Association Law September 13, 2020
ELECTION TIMELINE
CALCULATOR
 
There has been a great deal of confusion and frustration over the extended election timeline imposed by SB 323. Any missteps in complying with the complicated sequence opens associations to litigation and penalties.
 
Election Calculator. To make life a little easier for board members, managers and inspectors of election, we did a little programming (actually, a lot of programming) and created an Election Timeline Calculator. It will eliminate some of the stress and potential errors in preparing for elections.
 
How It Works. When you put in a date for your annual meeting, it creates a timeline with dates and instructions for each of the key points in the election cycle. If you have not allowed enough time to meet election requirements, it tells you that as well.
 
Election Menu. You can find the Election Calculator and a full menu of election information and procedures in our Election Menu.
 
Many thanks to Senior Attorney Wayne Louvier in our Orange County office and our website tech guru Eugene Ladyzhenskiy for their work creating the calculator.

ANNUAL ELECTION
QUESTIONS

Director not on Title. One of our board members is not on the title of his home (his wife is sole owner). We have some homeowners complaining that he cannot continue to serve. He knows he cannot serve next term. Can he remain on the board until the election?  ‑Rhonda S.

RESPONSE: Yes, he can continue to serve until his term ends. (Corp. Code §7220(b).) After that, he can no longer serve no matter how much the community might want him. This is one of the many detrimental provisions imposed by SB 323. 

Waste of Money. We are a small HOA of 22 single-family homes with an annual budget under $40,000. Bids to outsource the inspector of election function (previously handled by our HOA manager for free) have come in between $700 and $1,000. Those bids were dead on arrival. Do we really have to use an outside firm to send out election notices and count ballots for 22 homes?! This seems like a complete waste of homeowners' dues. ‑Gregory H.

RESPONSE: Small and medium-sized associations throughout California previously used the services of their management companies to handle their elections. Most elections were handled efficiently and without controversy. SB 323 removed that option. If you can find a volunteer, you can still conduct your elections without the need to hire an outside company. The trick is finding a volunteer.

No Quorum? After many months of delays, our HOA board finally agreed to hold an election. The three board members who are up for election decided not to run but are encouraging people NOT to return ballots so a quorum cannot be reached. Does that mean they remain on the board? ‑Irene M.

RESPONSE: Yes, they remain on the board. A corporation cannot legally operate without a board of directors. Accordingly, your three directors remain in office until their replacements are elected. (Corp. Code §7220(b).) You need to encourage everyone to vote so you meet quorum and elect a new board. Then, amend your bylaws to eliminate quorum requirements for the election of directors so this never happens again. We include the provision whenever we restate bylaws for clients (along with eliminating cumulative voting, write-ins, and floor nominations). It makes elections easier and less expensive.

Candidate Positions. With annual elections coming up, how am I supposed to determine a candidate's position on matters so I can make an intelligent decision when I vote? -Hank J.

RESPONSE: Common sense tells you that candidates should be allowed to include their position on issues in a candidate statement mailed to members along with a ballot. Unfortunately, this is another pointless restriction imposed on associations. If candidates are allowed to advocate a point of view via association media, equal access must be provided to all candidates and all members advocating a point of view. (Civ. Code §5105(a).) To avoid problems, most associations limit candidate statements to pictures and bios only. If candidates wish, they can separately send their own position statements to members.

Reverse Mortgage. If a board member does a reverse mortgage can he still be on the board? -Beverly D.

RESPONSE: Yes, he can remain on the board (and run for re-election). When an owner takes out a reverse mortgage, title to his home remains in his name.

 

NorCal Counties. The following Counties have designations which have changed: Amador County went from Tier 1 to Tier 2; Placer County went from Tier 1 to Tier 2; Santa Clara went from Tier 1 to Tier 2; Santa Cruz went from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

Butte County’s COVID-19 website and dashboard cannot be updated and one of their hotlines is down as a result of the Bear Fire.

Contra Costa County has a new order of September 4, 2020 which allows for specified activities involving children and youth, allows mining and logging businesses to operate, and clarifies that vehicle gatherings remain an exception to gatherings of those from more than one household.

Marin County has 15 schools which have been cleared to resume in-person classroom learning as of September 8: Press Release dated 9/3/20 re 15 Marin Schools Cleared to Open. Marin County issued a press release on September 8, 2020 indicating that the County’s planned move to Tier 2 has been delayed while the State conducts further review:  Press Release dated 9/8/20 re Marin Not Moving to Tier 2 Yet.

Mendocino County has a new order dated September 8, 2020 which removes the 24-hour vacancy restriction between reservations for transient lodging and campground establishments, removes the specific capacity number on permissible outdoor gatherings, and allows the number of attendees which can be accommodated in the outdoor location maintaining six feet. The order also removes the prohibition of use of commercial wedding venues, commercial event centers and conference centers for outdoor religious and cultural ceremonies. The order also instituted a requirement that places of worship and providers of religious and cultural ceremonies maintain a sign-in sheet for attendees of such services/ceremonies for at least 14 days following the event to share with health officials for contact tracing purposes.

Placer County moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and issued a press release dated September 9, 2020 indicating that the County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution declaring the end of Placer County’s local health emergency, but reminded residents that the State Emergency and Orders are still in effect: Placer County Press Release dated 9/9/20 re: End of Local Health Emergency.

San Francisco has new health directives allowing gyms and fitness centers to open outdoors: San Francisco County Press Release dated 9/9/20 re Outdoor Gyms and Fitness Centers Open.

Santa Clara County moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and updated their County order to reflect the same. The following are now permitted to open in compliance with industry-specific directives: schools (after 14 days in Tier 2); indoor personal care services; museums, zoos, aquariums indoors at 25% capacity; gyms and fitness centers indoors at 10% capacity; and indoor shopping malls at 50% capacity. Indoor dining, indoor movie theaters, and indoor gatherings remain prohibited.

Santa Cruz moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and issued a press release dated 9/8/20 indicating that the following are allowed to open indoors with modifications: personal care services such as waxing, nails and massage; restaurants; places of worship; movie theaters; gyms and fitness centers; museums, zoos and aquariums. No schools may open for in-person instruction until the County has been in Tier 2 for 14 days.


SoCal Counties. Los Angeles County issued guidelines on Halloween, not permitting Halloween gatherings of non-household members, including outdoors; further, carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted houses are also not permitted. The Health Department does not recommend door-to-door trick or treating. The guidelines also provided ideas for safer Halloween celebrations of online parties and contests, car parades, and Halloween drive-in movies.

The County also updated its tennis & pickleball protocols that doubles play is permitted when standing six feet apart from each other and wearing a mask when not actively playing on the court.

*Los Angeles made a major concession in its pool policy--masks are not required when in the water.

Orange County provided a new Health Order as of September 8, 2020 as it moved to Tier 2 in the State system, where personal care services, gyms, movie theaters, museums, and restaurants can open indoors with specific modifications and capacity limitations for each industry sector. There are mandatory flu vaccinations for providers in congregate settings, health care providers, or emergency responders. All other residents are strongly recommended to obtain flu vaccinations.


READING THE CHART. Because the chart is large and the text small, you can easily make it larger for viewing by holding down the "Ctrl" key on the left side of your keyboard and then using your finger to scroll forward or backwards with the wheel on your mouse. You will see the text grow larger or smaller as you move the wheel. For a list of county restrictions and links to health department orders, see County Chart 9-10-20. The chart is also posted on our website.
 

Thank you so much for alerting us to this terrible law [AB 3182]. It is a mystery to me why this was passed; it does nothing to help the housing crisis is California. But I wish the letter to Newsom were more specific about the problems with this new law. I know these messages should not be too long, but the last two points in your problem list should have been pointed out specifically it seems. -Joan W.

RESPONSE:
Everyone should immediately ASK GOV. NEWSOM TO VETO AB 3182. Please feel free to compose your own email message rather than use the one proposed by CAI-CLAC.

I'm just shocked that these idiots in Sacramento keep up the onslaught [AB 3182]. After reading your newsletter today, I posted a notice on the local NextDoor website to communicate this to all the condominium readers in the Tarzana area. -Julian M.

RESPONSE: Assemblyman Phil Ting, author of AB 3182, is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Harvard University. I checked each school's curriculum and common sense is not a course taught at either school.

WHO ELECTS THESE IDIOTS IN SACRAMENTO?? -Hank J.

RESPONSE: With the steady stream of bad legislation out of Sacramento, we need to elect different people to the Assembly and Senate. In addition, everyone needs to sign-up for CAI-CLAC's newsletter and write your legislators whenever alerts are sent out.

Limiting Rentals. Thank you for helping us contact the Governor about AB 3182. How does an HOA limit the number of rentals? We are currently near 30–35% rentals. If we wanted to place a limit of 25%, for example, how would we go about making that change and implementing it? -Robert C.

RESPONSE: The best way is to amend your CC&Rs, which requires membership approval and is easier to enforce in court. Because CC&Rs are difficult to amend, boards can amend their Rules & Regs to have something in place until such time as their CC&Rs can be amended.

OUTSTANDING, AS ALWAYS!!! -BILL B.

Your newsletter is wonderful--what a great resource. Always fun and informative to read! -Sonal J.


 
Boards can contact us for friendly,
professional advice.


Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner
ADAMS|STIRLING PLC
DISCLAIMER. Our newsletter provides commentary based on sketchy information we receive from readers. From time to time, we add a little humor. Some find it amusing. Others are appalled. Some readers are excited when they score free legal advice. Not so. Our newsletter provides commentary only, not legal advice. You need to pay real money for an attorney to review all the facts and give you a legal opinion. We do that too, but you have to actually hire us. It's okay, we're friendly. You can call us. Keep in mind we are corporate counsel to California associations only.

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