Welcome to the fall edition of our company newsletter,
The CFM Distinction.
In this fall edition of our company newsletter, The CFM Distinction, I am disappointed to announce that our Governor signed SB 323 into law which will become effective January 1, 2020.
What does this mean? Before I dive into the details, first let me say thank you to all of you who made the calls, and sent the emails, in an effort to defeat this bill. We came very close! The bill was literally sent to the Governor because of one vote, and it took the author several hours on the Assembly Floor petitioning in order to get this passed. Our voices were heard! And even though the bill passed, our opposition forced the bill to be amended so it is not as bad as originally drafted, but unfortunately it is still a bad bill and there are changes that need to be made.
Here are the highlights as published by CLAC:
- It limits the right of an association’s membership to set qualifications for candidates.
- It prevents non-owners from running for the Board and allows associations to disqualify candidates only if they have been owners for less than one year, if a joint owner was on the Board or a candidate, if they have been convicted of a felony that jeopardizes the Association’s fidelity bond insurance, or if they were delinquent in assessments.
- It prohibits associations from ever suspending an owner’s right to vote.
- It requires the inspector of elections to be an entity or individual with no previous contractual relationship with the association, which disqualifies an association’s existing managers, attorneys and accountants, among others. This will be a new cost for many associations.
- It requires associations to post the requirements for running for the Board at least 30 days before the nomination deadline.
- It requires associations to post the list of candidates, deadline for returning ballots, time and place of the annual meeting, all 30 days before ballots are mailed.
- It allows owners to review the signatures of all other owners on the outside mailing envelopes, and to copy voter lists, including parcel numbers. As a condition of casting a ballot, homeowners must give up their right to keep their signatures private.
- It makes member e-mail addresses part of the membership list available to all members, upon request. Members can opt out of having their e-mail addresses included with the membership list, but the bill makes NO allowance for e-mail addresses that have already been provided to associations.
The bullet point I highlighted was to make you aware CFM can no longer serve as your inspector of elections if you are currently under contract for financial management services. We are actively pursuing other options for our clients in need of these services.
The first thing that must be done for any Association is the amendment of your current election rules. Our industry attorney firms are all wrapping their heads around the new law and most will be providing flat fee rewrite proposals. As you can see from the bullet points above, the timeline from start to finish for an election is longer than it was previously, and planning will be critical for any upcoming elections. Please contact your attorney immediately and if you need assistance or referrals, please let us know.
Read what our clients are saying about us…
“We are very grateful to have such a competent company (finally!) helping us…”
Colleen McFerrin, Prior Board Member
1734 Bay Street HOA
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We appreciate you!
Stacie & Linnea
Condominium Financial Management Inc., ACMB