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Legislative Day at the Capitol: Sunday

March 24, 2017

CAI-CLAC has prepared a great first day for attendees of our legislative trip. We’re bringing you insider’s knowledge on how Sacramento works and how we lobby for the benefit of community associations. Also covered on Sunday is an overview of short-term rentals, and what boards, managers, and residents should know about this ongoing issue. Then we take a look at the Case Laws that have shaped our industry.

Finally, what are the hot bills of 2017-18? Our advocate, Louie A. Brown gives us the rundown on what we’re focused on this legislative session, and which bills will help or hurt our community associations.

11:00 a.m. – Noon – Welcome!/How a Bill Becomes a Law
Amy K. Tinnetti, Esq. with Hughs Gill Cochrane Tinetti, P.C. and Laurie Poole, Esq with Peters and Freedman, LLP

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch Roundtable
Boxed Lunches will be provided with roundtable-style introductions of Education Session attendees.

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Short-Term Rentals – The Arguments for Them, Against Them and Unintended Consequences of Rental Restrictions
Natalie Stewart with FHA Review

  • Does a City or other governmental body have the authority to restrict an HOA’s right to rent on a transient basis?  Who supersedes who? 
  • Can the Coastal Commission dictate the rights of your owners? 
  • Is the Board obligated to meet FHA or VA criteria to help owners with financing options?
  • What restrictions can we use with the least amount of consequences to our owners?

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – AB’s & SB’s: What About CL’s? Case Laws That Have Shaped the Industry
Jeremy S. Wilson with Associa PCM

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Hot Bills
Louie Brown, CAI-CLAC Advocate


About our speakers:
Amy Tinetti joined Hughs Gill Cochrane Tinetti, P.C. in 2007. In 2017, Ms. Tinetti became a shareholder at which time the name of the firm changed to Hughes Gill Cochrane Tinetti, P.C.  She has been representing homeowners associations since 2004 in all aspects of their corporate operations, including governing document analysis, interpretation, revision and enforcement, elections, real property and title issues, planning and collection of large special assessments, analyzing and drafting agreements with vendors, and member disputes and litigation.



Laurie S. Poole, Esq. has been a community association law attorney with Peters & Freedman, L.L.P. since 1993. Laurie is a Fellow of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Experienced in all aspects of community association representation, Laurie’s practice emphasizes interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, governing document amendments, restatements and petitions brought under California Civil Code Section 4275. She has published numerous articles concerning legal issues for community associations and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for CAI-San Diego and is on CCAL’s Amicus Review Committee.



Natalie Stewart is the President of FHA Review by a|v|s, which is a division of Association Vendor Solutions. She has been completing FHA Approval packages since the initiation of the new approval procedure.  Natalie has actively participated in several CAI chapters as committee member and chair of several committees in the past.  She was also nominated as Speaker of the Year for the Orange County chapter in 2009.



Jeremy Wilson serves as Regional Vice President of Associa-PCM. His expertise focuses on the operational aspects of the community association and education of community leaders as well as managers. Development of preventative maintenance programs, conducting operational audits, and redefining staffing models are a few of his many areas of responsibilities within Associa-PCM. He currently serves as the President for the Community Association Institute’s (CAI) Greater Inland Empire Chapter board of directors, and is a member of CAI national.



Louie A. Brown Jr. is a partner with Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP. He manages the firm’s Government Relations Team representing clients before the California State Legislature and various state administrative agencies. Louie specializes in providing clients with expert advice in maneuvering through California’s complex legislative and administrative process. He testifies regularly in the Capitol before many legislative committees on behalf of clients and has written numerous laws and played key roles in many of the Legislature’s major accomplishments and budget negotiations over the last decade.

Volunteer of the Year Nominees!

March 8, 2017

It’s that time of year again!

It’s time for CAI-California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) members to come together in Sacramento for the 2017 Legislative Day at the Capitol. It’s also time to recognize outstanding chapter volunteers for service to CLAC above and beyond the call of duty.

CLAC is pleased to announce seven nominations were received from the California Chapters. The CLAC Award and Scholarship Selection Subcommittee is comprised of the CLAC Chair, CLAC Vice-Chair and CLAC Past Chair as voting members. CLAC Advocate and CLAC Administrative Coordinator also participated in the discussion.  The winner will be selected based upon the nominees’ work in promoting CLAC within his or her chapter.

This year’s nominees include Chapter Legislative Support Committee (LSC) Chairs and members, a Board President, a Management Company Executive, CLAC Subcommittee members, as well as CLAC Delegates and Liaisons. Accomplishments among this exceptional group of volunteers include embracing and promoting the Buck-A-Door program, presenting the CLAC Moment at chapter events, encouraging member participation at fundraising and chapter events and leading the chapters’ grassroots efforts, including scheduling and attending local legislator appointments.

Additional accomplishments include initiating chapter LSC’s, complete with organizing consistent meeting schedules and encouraging chapter members to participate in the committee. Many of these outstanding volunteers are regulars at Legislative Day at the Capitol and support the event by obtaining sponsorships and encouraging attendee registration.

2016 Volunteer of the Year Award nominees are:

Janet Quinn Dennis with Pro Solutions – Bay Area & Central California Chapter

Jasmine Hale, Esq. with Adams|Stirling, PLC – Channel Islands Chapter

Clint Atherton, PCAM with Outdoor Resort Palm Springs – Coachella Valley Chapter

Robert Riddick, CMCA with Sunnymead Ranch PCA – Greater Inland Empire Chapter

Matthew Plaxton, Esq. with Tinnelly Law Group – Greater Los Angeles Chapter

Marcie Hvinden with Accell Property Management, Inc., AAMC – Orange County Regional Chapter

Kelly Mercado with BDS General Contractors – San Diego Chapter

Duncan McPherson Scholarship Recipient

In addition to these hardworking volunteers, last year CLAC established a scholarship opportunity for a Community Volunteer Leader or Association Manager to attend the 2017 Legislative Day at the Capitol. This scholarship was created in memory of Duncan McPherson, for his longstanding commitment to California legislation and CLAC.

While the 2016 Volunteer of the Year winner will remain a secret until it is announced at Legislative Day at the Capitol, CLAC is pleased to announce that Patrick Morrisey with the San Diego Chapter was selected among many deserving applicants, to receive the Duncan McPherson Scholarship. Mr. Morrisey has served as the board President of Yacht Club Condominiums HOA for eight years and also serves on the San Diego Legislative Support Committee.

Please join CLAC in thanking these outstanding nominees and scholarship recipient. We look forward to seeing you all at the 2016 Legislative Day at the Capitol on April 23rd and 24th in Sacramento to congratulate these awesome volunteers in person. The 2016 CLAC Volunteer of the Year will be named during Monday’s Award Ceremony.

Required Janitorial Service Registration

February 6, 2017

Effective July 1, 2018 Labor Code §§1420-1434 will be added to require persons or entities providing janitorial services to annually register with the California Labor Commissioner.

These Labor Code provisions will prohibit employers from providing janitorial services without the required registration (which can be revoked by the Labor Commissioner under various circumstances). The referenced registration process imposes a number of obligations upon the employer. Among them are mandatory sexual violence and harassment prevention education.

Labor Code §1432 (b) provides that any person or entity (including a community association) that contracts with a janitorial services business that lacks current and valid registration will be subject to substantial civil fines of $2,000-$10,000 for a first offense and $10,000-$25,000 for subsequent violations.

Associations that contract with janitorial service providers will be able to verify the registration of the janitorial employer in a public database that will be provided by the Department of Industrial Relations in the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

The referenced Labor Code provisions are not effective until 2018.  However, many associations enter into one year contracts with service providers and many contracts automatically renew under various circumstances.  Consequently, well in advance of the effective date of this new law, associations should carefully evaluate the terms of any janitorial-related contract executed, extended, renewed or modified. In that process, they should consider requiring provisions (in the body of the agreement or in an addendum), that require the janitorial service provider not only to complete its registration by July 1, 2018 (and thereafter maintain that registration through the entire term of the agreement), but also require that it defend and hold the Association harmless from any fines/detriment arising from a failure to do so.  Associations should also consider including a right to immediately terminate the contract if, at any time on or after July 1, 2018, the service provider is indicated as being not properly registered for any reason.

petchul_dirk_worddocDirk E. Petchul

Mr. Petchul is a Partner in Berding | Weil and serves as General and Litigation counsel to California community associations. His General Counsel work encompasses a full breadth of issues including preparation of opinion letters, disciplinary proceedings, governing document amendment, contract review, preparation and negotiation, election proceedings and strategic legal planning. Mr. Petchul has lived and practiced real estate and corporate law in southern California since 1991. For 15 years prior to joining Berding | Weil, Mr. Petchul, was a founding partner of the law firm of Hickey & Petchul, LLP, practiced almost exclusively within the community association industry, and in so doing, served as General and Litigation counsel to an extensive array of community associations and building owners.

“Who’s Your Legislator?” Contest

February 6, 2017

Hundreds of bills heard each year in Sacramento can affect California’s community associations. But how do our legislators know what’s best for homeowners? In addition to CAI-CLAC’s advocacy, it’s emails and phone calls from members like yourselves that have the greatest impact on elected officials. Enter our “Who’s Your Legislator?” contest and find your local legislators at!

Simply visit the site and choose Contact Your Legislator from the Get Involved drop-down menu. Then search by address.

A $50 gift card will be randomly awarded to an eligible winner who correctly identifies their Assembly, Senate, and Congressional representatives. Email the name of your chapter, your address, and the names of your elected officials to

Good luck!

All entries must be emailed no later than Friday, February 10, 2017. The gift card will be mailed or presented at a chapter meeting. All decisions regarding winners are the PR Chair’s. All decisions are final. Rules are subject to change. No cost or purchase necessary. An unknown number of people may participate. You must be over 18 to enter.

SB 814: Discouraging Excessive Water Use

January 23, 2017

California is experiencing the worst drought in over a century. While recent rains bring good news for our water supply, the California Legislature has enacted a number of laws aimed at water conservation that still stand. Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to take appropriate actions to prevent unreasonable water use.  To further the goal of preventing unreasonable water use, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law new legislation prohibiting excessive water use by residential customers during a drought (SB 814).

Specifically, SB 814, which adds Chapter 3.3 to Division 1 of the California Water Code, requires “urban water suppliers” to “establish a method to identify and discourage excessive water use.”  (Water Code § 366(b).)  Accordingly, a water supplier may adopt one of the following methods: (1) a rate structure using block tiers, water budgets, penalties for prohibited uses, and rate surcharges, or (2) an ordinance, rule or tariff (collectively, “Ordinance”) that defines the procedure by which water suppliers are to recognize and deal with excessive water use.  A violation of an Ordinance is punishable by a fine of at least $500 per one hundred (100) cubic feet of water, or seven hundred and forty-eight (748) gallons, above the established threshold.

In light of the foregoing, Associations should be mindful of the new prohibition against excessive water use, especially in condominium project where the units are not separately metered.

matthew-t-plaxtonMatthew T. Plaxton, Esq.

Matthew T. Plaxton, Esq. is an attorney at Tinnelly Law Group, PC, a law firm which has been devoted exclusively to providing legal representation to California community associations for more than 25 years.  He serves as the CLAC Liaison to the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of CAI, and is Chair of its Legislative Support Committee.

Legal Forum: California Communities – 2016 Keeping the Tradition Alive

January 23, 2017

The following was originally published in Connect Magazine.

The elegant Renaissance Resort and Spa, located in the quiet, yet welcoming, Coachella Valley community of Indian Wells, was the site of this year’s much-anticipated and well-attended CAI-sponsored California-centric legal educational conference.  For those readers who may not already be aware of, or familiar with, the conference known as the Legal Forum: California Communities, is an event sponsored by CAI (Community Association Institute), the largest organization in the country whose primary organizational objective is advocating on behalf of homeowner associations located  here in the United States, as well as a multitude of common interest communities world-wide.

Having taken place this past Oct. 21st , this year’s event marked the seventh time that CAI has brought the conference to California homeowners and managers, and the first time it has been presented in the Coachella Valley.   In past years the event has taken place in San Diego, Temecula, Long Beach (twice), Irvine (twice) and now adding the CV to its list of venues.  The challenge, as always, was to continue the tradition of presenting nothing less than world-class, value-added legal educational sessions to those who had invested the time, energy and finances to take part in this once-a-year event.  I’ll let you know my thoughts at the end of this article.

The actual hosting of the Legal Forum, as has always been the case in the past, falls on the capable shoulders of the Executive Directors of CAI’s eight California chapters, along with CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee, and deals with community association legal issues that are then the focus of a special one-day event designed for community managers, association board members and other interested homeowners.

This year, and again as in the past, the Forum was divided into two categories of session-types, with one being ideally designed for community association volunteer leaders (board members and homeowners), and the second targeting community managers who are tasked daily with managing our common interest communities.   No matter which category attendees preferred, there was no shortage of sessions available for them to attend, and to learn from.

In the category designed for association volunteer leaders, there were sessions that dealt with subjects ranging from Short-term Rentals to everything you wanted to know about Drones, as well as subjects like Social Media and Internet Presence in Associations.  

Running concurrently and for the manager-types in attendance, there were sessions that were unquestionably California-specific when it comes to the latest trending topics dealing with association law.   Topics that included learning how to Maximize Directors and Officer Liability Insurance Coverage for claims against Managers, Directors and even volunteer committee-members were presented and discussed, along with topics such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A Guide to HOA Law,  as well how to correctly identify Defamation and What to Do About It.   No doubt that there were sessions that were designed to appeal to just about every attendee-type that was there, and the “good news” was that each and every session was presented by extremely qualified and capable presenters who themselves were acknowledged experts in their fields.

As an added bonus, the keynote address was an enlightening presentation by Dawn Bauman, CAE, Senior Vice President Government & Public Affairs, Community Associations Institute, entitled Community Next: 2020 and Beyond   Envisioning the Future of Community Association Living, in which she described for the audience the results of CAI having embarked upon an initiative to forecast the future of community associations, by engaging fifty volunteer stakeholders and subject matter experts from around the world for a year-long deep dive on issues related to community association governance, management public policy, and external influences.   The audience listened attentively to what she had to say, and left the session with a greater awareness of what life in associations just might look like for the next generation of residents.   Fascinating stuff?   You bet!

And, of course, what would a well-managed conference be without the supportive industry business-partners, who represented the variety of experts that each and every association relies upon to make sure that all goes well within their communities, whether its the landscapers, the painters, the general contractors, the bankers, the pool specialists, the fence-builders, the security-providers, the attorneys, the reserve specialists, the insurance carriers and all the other service providers we all rely upon to keep things running smooth and hassle-free.   They were at the Forum as well, and offered their services and products for those in need of them, and in a professional way that spoke volumes about how much they care about how they are portrayed within this industry.  In other words, they were all ‘class-acts’ in their presentations.

Our California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) also participated in its annual role of creating a warm climate for encouraging donations targeted for use in continuing advocacy efforts on behalf of California common interest communities, with their fundraiser event that took place the evening before.  With the “Rat Pack” as its theme, we were treated to several amazing reincarnations of Frank, Dean, Sammy, Marilyn making their presence felt, and even Anne-Margret was “in the house”.   All in all, the committee proved again, that when it comes to fund-raising, few do it better.   And this year was no exception.

Wrapping up, I’m drawn back to the title of this article and what my thoughts are on whether or not CAI was successful in keeping the tradition alive.  Not enough can be said about how well this year’s Legal Forum was managed, and equally not enough can be said about the elevated enthusiasm expressed by those who were in attendance.   Having had the opportunity to speak with several of those who were there, I was left with an unmistakably-positive impression that this year’s Legal Forum was not only the best-attended one in its so-far brief seven-year run, but it was also the most informative (based on the variety and content of the sessions offered) Legal Forum that the California Communities has been offered.  Did it keep the tradition alive, of providing superb sessions?  Yes!   Did it keep the tradition alive, of providing nothing less than the cream-of-the-crop in speakers and presenters?  Absolutely!   And, did it keep the tradition alive, of providing to those in attendance an exceptional return on their investment of participating in the Legal Forum?   You Betcha!  Did the chapter Executive Directors do an outstanding job of managing the event?   But, of course!  And lastly, did the attendees, both community association volunteer leaders, as well as managers, leave with invaluable knowledge that they could use immediately?  No question about it!   They came, they learned, and they left ready to employ a refreshed and ample amount of knowledge that can and will make all their future endeavors for improving the quality-of-life within their association-living that much easier…….

robert-riddick-cmaRobert Riddick, CMA

Robert is the current President of Sunnymead Ranch PCA, and past GRIE-Chapter President. He is a past Chair of the CAI National CAVL committee, and past National Board of Trustees member.  He is also a past member of the GRIE-Chapter Board of Directors, and currently serves as the CAI-GRIE chapter CLAC Liaison, as well as its LSC Chair.  He is also currently serving as a Board member for the  CAI Foundation for Community

CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee Honors Three Leaders for Years of Dedicated Service to their Profession

December 22, 2016

The following is a press release distributed on December 2, 2016.

Sacramento, CA – Community Associations Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC), the nation’s largest advocacy organization dedicated to monitoring legislation, educating elected state lawmakers and protecting the interests of those living in California homeowners associations, announced today the designation of three of its long-serving members as Delegates Emeritus.

Honorees include:

  • Wendy Bucknum, Vice President of Business Development for Associa Professional Community Management, AAMC
  • Judy G. Campion, Principal, Campion and Company
  • Dick Pruess, President, Castlegate Homeowners Association

The Delegate Emeritus honor is awarded to CLAC delegates who have worked tirelessly to advance the committee’s goals and legislative objectives.

“CAI-CLAC would not be where it is today were it not for the vision, dedication and leadership of these three fantastic committee members,” said John MacDowell, Chair of CAI-CLAC. “We greatly appreciate their contributions through the years and welcome their continued support and guidance moving forward.”

Wendy Bucknum, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, serves as Vice President of Business Development for Associa-PCM. An employee with the company for over 23 years, Ms. Bucknum spent much of that time as Governmental and Public Affairs Manager onsite at Laguna Woods Village. She is Past President of the Orange County Regional Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and currently serves on the Chapter’s Legislative Support Committee. She is also a Delegate at-large on CLAC and serves on the Federal Legislative Action Committee.

Since November 2014, Ms. Bucknum has served on the Mission Viejo City Council, currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem. In this role, she also serves as commissioner on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and chairs the Jobs and Economic Development Committee of the Association of California Cities, Orange County (ACC-OC).

Judy G. Campion, AMS, PCAM, established Campion and Company, a portfolio management firm specializing in service to community associations, in 1990. A member of CAI’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter (CAI-GLAC) since 1982, she served as a member of CAI’s National Faculty from 1998 to 2013. An outgoing Delegate to CLAC, she served as the Committee’s Treasurer for nearly 10 years. She also chaired GLAC’s Trade Show, Education and Programs Committees and is past winner of the “Volunteer of the Year” award as well as the “Outstanding Service Award to the Homeowner Interest Group” for CAI-GLAC.

Ms. Campion is known throughout the industry for the workshop she created and presented at multiple national and local CAI conferences entitled “How to Deal with Difficult People.”

Dick Pruess, currently president of the Castlegate Homeowners Association in Pasadena, has served on the Executive Committee of the California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) for seven years, including two as Chair. In 2009, he was recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” for his role helping revise the Davis-Stirling Act, the law governing every community association in California.

In 2004, Pruess received the CAI Award for “Excellence in Chapter Leadership” and the GLAC President’s Award following his year serving as CAI-GLAC Chapter President. In 2013, he was awarded the CAI National “Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs.”

Bucknum, Campion and Pruess are among 15 individuals that have been named Delegate Emeritus since 1973.