The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Appearance of Bias for Member Communications Sent Through Association?

In early March, upon learning that less than half of eligible residents in the Covenant were registered to vote, Rancho Santa Fe resident Nick Krnich embarked on a campaign to increase voter registration among fellow homeowners. This campaign included, among other communications, establishing this news website, a website dedicated exclusively to voter registration (http://RSFRegister.com), and a Facebook page.

The campaign is part of an effort to “increase participation and make information more accessible,” says Nick. “Every member should be able to exercise their right to vote. 100% registration is the goal.”

Pursuant to rights provided under California law (see below), Mr. Krnich requested that the Association distribute the following letter to its members:  ArticleDoc1.jpg

The letter was accompanied by the following disclaimer placed in the message by the RSF Association Board:

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Subsequently, another group utilized the right to communicate a message in favor of the Garden Club Building Purchase:

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Below is the disclaimer attached to the communication in support of the Garden Club Building Purchase:

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Krnich, curious about the apparent inequity between the treatment of his neutral letter intended to increase voter registration and a communication clearly intended to advocate in favor of a position on an upcoming vote, brought some concerns to the attention of Assistant Manager of the RSF Association Board, Ivan Holler.

The following exchange ensued. For reference purposes, California Civil Code Section 5105 Reads:

(a) An association shall adopt rules, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by Article 5 (commencing with Section 4340) of Chapter 3, that do all of the following:
(1) Ensure that if any candidate or member advocating a point of view is provided access to association media, newsletters, or Internet Web sites during a campaign, for purposes that are reasonably related to that election, equal access shall be provided to all candidates and members advocating a point of view, including those not endorsed by the board, for purposes that are reasonably related to the election. The association shall not edit or redact any content from these communications, but may include a statementspecifying that the candidate or member, and not the association, is responsible for that content

*READ FROM BOTTOM TO TOP FOR PROPER CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

On May 7th, Mr. Holler mailed a letter in response to the May 2nd email below. He sent a large package of meeting minutes for any meeting where the Garden Club was mentioned. However, none of the other issues or questions were addressed. After waiting another 10 days, Krnich sent another note to Mr. Holler requesting a full response:

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Response from Nick Krnich to Mr. Holler:

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*Updated 5/3/2014*

Attached answers highlighted in italics from Mr. Holler:

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Response from Mr. Holler

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Email from Nick Krnich to Mr. Holler

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*Updated 5/1/2014*

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