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  California's Leader in Community Association Law May 16, 2021
SENATE BILL 392
EMAIL NOTICES & DOCUMENTS

Senator Bob Archuleta, representing the 32nd District (portions of Los Angeles County and Orange County), authored Senate Bill 392. The bill makes email the default method for associations to deliver notices and documents to their members.

Cost Savings. Currently, HOAs are required to print hundreds of pages of documents annually and physically distribute them. For medium to large associations, this is costly and inefficient. By making email the default method for delivery, associations can reduce expenses and avoid delays caused by the postal system.

Going Green. Distributing notices and documents via email is also kind to the environment. It reduces negative environmental impacts by reducing the amount of paper headed to landfills. Another significant benefit is that homeowners are more likely to store important documents electronically for future reference.

Handicapped. Another important benefit is that visually impaired members can more easily read electronic notices or have them read to them by computer programs. The same is true for those who do not speak English — computer programs can translate electronic documents into the person's primary language. These are significant benefits which are readily available online at no cost to consumers if documents are electronic rather than paper.

Paper Still Available. For those who prefer paper, they still have the option of requesting that documents be delivered by traditional mail as is done now.

Safeguards. Currently, there are no safeguards regarding an association's use of a member's email address. The bill adds safeguards by prohibiting associations from selling a member’s personal information or transmitting it to a third party without the consent of the member or as required by law. It gives members the right to bring an action against an association and recover attorneys' fees if they violate this prohibition.

Marjorie Murray. CAI's California Legislative Action Committee will alert everyone when it is time to send emails to legislators asking for their support of the bill. Despite the benefits Senator Archuleta's bill brings to consumers, the disabled, and the environment, Marjorie Murray's Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL) is on record opposing the bill.

 
ASSEMBLY BILL 502
UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS

Assembly Member Laurie Davies, who represents the 73rd District, encompassing southern Orange County, authored the much-needed Assembly Bill 502.

Existing law allows for elections by acclamation, but only if an association has 6,000 or more members. AB 502 removes that restriction and extends to all associations the cost savings of elections by acclamation.

Making Quorum. As boards already know, very few associations can make quorum on the first try at their annual meetings. That means meeting adjournments, pleas for members to return ballots, and rescheduling inspectors of election. Some associations never make quorum and existing boards continue in office indefinitely.

Uncontested Elections. The problem is exacerbated when elections are uncontested. It means members are forced to bear the expense of mailing out ballots and multiple meeting adjournments for lack of quorum, despite the fact that the outcome of the election is already known because the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of open seats.

Cost Savings. AB 502 eliminates all these expenses when the election is uncontested. The cost savings now enjoyed by large associations will be extended to all associations, regardless of size. In addition to saving money, it eliminates the quorum problem so directors can be elected who would otherwise not be seated for lack of quorum.

Marjorie Murray's CCHAL. As might be expected, Marjorie Murray's Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL) is on record opposing the bill. If their opposition to Assembly Member Davies's election bill and Senator Archuleta's electronic documents bill is successful, CCHAL will continue to burden consumers with higher costs.

 

Many readers contacted Ms. Murray questioning her opposition to Senator Min's emergency meeting bill, and were unhappy with her responses. I can't print them all. Following are just a few. -Adrian

Marjorie Murray #1. I wrote to Marjorie Murray to withdraw her opposition to SB 391. Following is her response. I’m not sure why she felt it needed to be highlighted but I found it to be a very rude response. Thanks so much for your informative newsletters. -Michele P.

Michele — Adrian Adams says the bill “gives” HOAs the right to convene electronic (zoom) meetings. This is a falsehood. HOAs had had this right for ten years — since 2011 — when SB 563 was signed into law..

What Adrian Adams is hiding from you is that SB 391 eliminates the right of homeowners to witness election returns and the counting of ballots, including elections that set special assessments.

I urge you to read and to STUDY SB 391.

RESPONSE: It’s truly remarkable how misguided is Ms. Murray's opposition to this bill. She refuses to acknowledge that Senator Min dispenses with a physical location so boards and HOA members can more easily communicate during declared emergencies. She also refuses to recognize specific language in the bill that allows members to witness the counting of ballots. Another reader received a similar response where Marjorie shouted at the consumer in all CAPS and highlighted everything in yellow.

Marjorie Murray #2. FYI, Can’t believe this response!!! Nothing makes sense with this person!! -U.H.

RESPONSE: I agree, Ms. Murray's hostility toward consumers who live in associations is hard to understand. She must have had a bad experience with an association once and decided to wage war against all associations.

Marjorie Murray #3. I just wanted to put in my two cents about Marjorie Murray and her inexplicable stance on issues concerning HOAs. I emailed her for the first time about one of her bills and instead of clarifying her stance, she was very defensive and called y'all a bunch of liars. This is the juvenile trouble maker we are faced with. It appears she's in it just to make a name for herself and not in a good way. Whomever voted her in or appointed her needs to get a clue to her destructiveness & get her out! -Heidi A.

RESPONSE: Nobody elected her. Marjorie Murray appointed herself as a lobbyist. Even though she is not a lawyer, she is CEO of the Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL) — an organization that refuses to release a list of its members and hides the source of its funding. Two years ago, CCHAL sponsored the dumpster fire SB 323 that complicated elections for 9 million residents of associations and turned them into costly four-month ordeals that consumers must endure each year. CCHAL is now on the wrong side of four more bills:

1. SB 391: Communications during declared emergencies.
2. AB 1101: Insuring association funds against loss.
3. SB 392: Distributing notices and documents via email.
4. AB 502: Allowing uncontested elections.

Ms. Murray should support these bills, not oppose them. To urge her to reverse direction, you can reach her at [email protected] or call her at (510) 435-6642.

SB 391. I actually wish Senate Bill 391 went a step further and permitted 100% electronic attendance for all meetings, not just during emergencies. Working people like us don't typically have the opportunity to attend any but annual meetings (always on a Saturday), because the regular monthly meetings are held on weekdays. Participating in regular meetings electronically has been a real eye-opener. -Erica G.

RESPONSE: Many readers expressed the same sentiment. In addition, too many associations lack facilities for in-person meetings. They meet in garages or alleyways or rent offsite facilities so that everyone has to drive. At a minimum, the statute should eliminate the requirement of meeting at a physical location for associations that don't have them.

 
 
Federal Update: CDC Updated the following guidelines:

When You've Been Fully Vaccinated;

People with Certain Medical Conditions;

How to Set Up Safe Watering Points;

Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines;

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination;

Living in or Visiting Retirement Communities;

Travel Requirements of Proof of Negative Test or Recovery for All Air Passengers Arriving in the US

Statewide Update. The State issued a 12/11/21 Press Release re: Vaccinations for Those 12-15.

5/13/21 Press Release re: Pfizer Vaccine Minor Consent Guidance.

5/13/21 Guidance for Overnight Camps.

The following Counties have changed Tiers: Madera (Red Tier to Orange); Mono (Orange Tier to Yellow); San Mateo (Orange Tier to Yellow).

Northern California. Alameda County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability for Those 12-15.

Butte County issued  5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccination for Those 12-15. The County issued a 5/14/21 Press Release re: State Masking Mandate Still in Effect.

Contra Costa County issued a 5/12/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability for Those 12-15. The County issued 5/14/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Clinics to Open in Schools

Fresno County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccination Availability for Those 12-15. The County issued a 5/14/21 Press Release re: State Face Mask Guidance Still In Place Despite CDC Guidance.

Madera County moved from the Red to Orange Tier and issued Guidance re: Re-opening.

Marin County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccination for Those 12-15 Beginning.

Mono County moved to the Yellow Tier and issued a 5/11/21 Press Release re: Move to Yellow Tier.

Monterey County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccination of Those 12-15.

Placer County has a sample pool plan that has been added to the chart.

San Joaquin County issued a 5/7/21 Press Release re: County Filing Brief Supporting Small Business Challenge to State Blueprint.

San Mateo County moved to the Yellow Tier and issued a 5/11/21 Press Release re: Move to Yellow Tier and Aligning with State Masking Guidelines. The County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Access to East Palo Alto. The County issued 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability for Those 12-15.

Santa Clara County issued a 5/12/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability for Those 12-15.

Stanislaus County issued a 5/10/21 Press Release re: Mobile Vaccine Clinics. The County issued a 5/13/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability to Those 12-15. The County issued a 5/14/21 Press Release re: Variant Found in County.

Sutter County and Yuba County issued 5/7/21 Press Release Rescinding Facial Covering Order to Comply with State Guidance.

Tulare County issued a 5/12/21 Press Release re: Vaccination Availability.

Tuolumne County issued a 5/7/21 Press Release re: Variant Found in County.


Southern California. Imperial County Press Release from May 6, 2021 regarding update on vaccination rollout, including shifting to indoor clinics due to warm weather.

Los Angeles County Press Release County begins to vaccinate youths 12 to 15 years old and nearly 70% of County residents over 64 received their second dose of the vaccine. Revised the following protocols: Informal Social Gathering updated the fully vaccinated people section with CDC guidance. Golf Courses: up to five players from different households can be in same playing group. Fully vaccinated persons can take off mask while playing on the course. Persons not vaccinated must continue to wear a mask on the course. Reduction of cleaning to align with CDC cleaning guidance. Private Events (Meetings, Receptions, and Conferences): if eating or drinking at the event, can only eat or drink at assigned seating and may not eat or drink elsewhere in the facility. Indoor Live Events provided a summary table at end of the document.

Kern County Press Release regarding water safety. Press Release Youths 12-15 are now eligible for Pfizer Vaccine.

Riverside County Press Release Youths 12-15 are now eligible for Pfizer Vaccine. Press Release City of Palm Springs to reopen indoor recreational facilities to the public in reduced capacity.

Press Release City of Palm Springs in addressing the CDC guidance for face coverings recently released, the City will continue to follow current face covering guidance from California Department of Health.

San Bernardino County Press Release City of Fontana returns to in-person summer recreation programs, including recreation open swim, summer camps, and senior centers.

San Diego County Press Release regarding youths aged 12 to 15 years are starting to receive vaccine shots around the County.

Santa Barbara Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask if I've Been Fully Vaccinated? Plus a Press Release regarding changing strategy for vaccination to meet the needs of the community, including partnering with local schools.

Ventura County Press Release youths aged 12-15 are now eligible for Pfizer Vaccine.


 
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 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. Keep in mind we are corporate counsel to California associations only. Request a proposal to represent your association. It's okay, we're friendly.

PAST NEWSLETTERS. Readers can find current and prior year newsletters posted here. Older newsletters are not posted since the information they contain can change over time with new statutes and case law. The website itself is kept updated with current information which can be found via the "Index" or through our website's internal "Google Search" feature.


Larry Stirling authored The Noblest Motive How to bring about fundamental change for the public good. (Available at Amazon)
To schedule in-house training of managers on how to safely reopen association facilities, contact Miranda Ward for NorCal presentations and Candace Schwartz for SoCal presentations.

I join Adrian in inviting you to contact us for your association's legal needs.

Hon. Lawrence W. Stirling, Senior Partner and author of the Davis-Stirling Act

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