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December 2012

A Journal for California Community Association Leaders

Binding Arbitration vs. Jury Trial after Pinnacle


• Reserve Studies—How Should this Tool be Used? • Recall—Blessing or Curse? • When is Private Property Towing Protected by Law?

Change Service Requested ECHO 1602 The Alameda STE 101 San Jose, CA 95126

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The ECHO Journal is published monthly by the Executive Council of Homeowners. The views of authors expressed in the articles herein do not necessarily reflect the views of ECHO. We assume no responsibility for the statements and opinions advanced by the contributors to the magazine. It is released with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Contents 10

Binding Arbitration vs. Jury Trial after Pinnacle This article examines the myths about arbitration and explores the reasons why Pinnacle may not result in a significant movement of association defect cases to arbitration.


Reserve Studies— How Should this Tool be Used? How reserve studies must be used by your Board of Directors under the Davis-Stirling Act, and important alternate methodologies for using the component analysis and financial results within your reserve study.


Recall—Blessing or a Curse? Recall: what to do when served with a petition, how the process works, what the pitfalls are, how it can be used to boost the participation of the members, and what the most common situations are that lead to a recall effort in a homeowners association and how to avoid it.

Acceptance of advertising does not constitute any endorsement or recommendation, expressed or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered. We reserve the right to reject any advertising copy. Copyright 2012 Executive Council of Homeowners, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, except by written permission of ECHO, is prohibited. The ECHO membership list is never released to any outside individual or organization.

ECHO 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose, CA 95126 408-297-3246 Fax: 408-297-3517 Office Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Board of Directors and Officers


President David Hughes Vice President Karl Lofthouse Treasurer Diane Rossi Secretary Jennifer Allivato Directors Jerry L. Bowles Stephanie Hayes Robert Rosenberg Brian Seifert Steven Weil

When is Private Property Towing Protected by Law? Before a contractor can perform work, managers need to verify their contractor’s license, among other documents, before engaging them. Towing companies are not licensed by the State of California but there are qualifying documents that should be verified. This article covers the requirements that managers should know before using a towing company.





John Garvic David Levy Kurtis Shenefiel Wanden Treanor

Executive Director Brian Kidney


Director of Marketing & Membership Jennifer Allivato

32 Directory Updates

Director of Communications Tyler Coffin

35 Legislation at a Glimpse

Legislative Consultant Government Strategies, Inc.

38 ECHO Volunteers

Design and Production George O’Hanlon

39 Advertiser Index

Serving Community Associations


News From ECHO

33 Calendar of Events 36 ECHO Bookstore 39 ECHO Marketplace

On the Cover Binding Arbitration—page 10

ECHO Journal | December 2012


Join us at the

ECHO San Francisco Educational Seminar Thursday, January 17, 2013 McCormick & Kuleto’s 900 North Point Street, Suite H301 San Francisco, CA 94109 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Topic: Legal Review Speaker: Steven Weil, Esq. Lunch included and parking validated Price: $49 Members $59 Non-Members Register online at or fill out the form below.

Yes, reserve _____ spaces for the ECHO San Francisco Educational Seminar. Amount enclosed: $__________ (attach additional names) Name: Email Address: HOA or Firm: Address: City:



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Signature: Return with payment to: ECHO, 1602 The Alameda, Ste 101, San Jose, CA 95126 Orders will not be processed without payment in full. Fees for cancelled registrations will not be refunded. Telephone: 408-297-3246; Fax: 408-297-3517

News from ECHO

Dear ECHO Members, The Holidays are upon us, and family, social and business gatherings celebrate the season. Help your association to participate in the spirit of giving and “community” by sharing some good cheer with a neighbor and say thanks to your Board members and association manager. Sure, there are lots of issues to be addressed in community associations everywhere, but perhaps the most important, and most often forgotten, is restoring a sense of “community” to our neighborhoods. When we live in planned developments or condominiums or other community associations, we share more than a desire for secure homes and safe common areas: we actually own them together and we ought to enjoy them and be proud of them. “We are all in this together” is a much better way to approach the many issues confronting our communities than pitting Board member against homeowner, homeowner against homeowner, and everyone against the manager. There is much work to do getting budgets completed, approved and distributed to homeowner members. Review that old reserve study to make sure your association is prepared for the inevitable. Carefully weigh the desire to keep assessments low versus maintaining and improving the property and amenities that turn “assets” into “communities.” Your Board members have a fiduciary obligation to protect the assets of the association and maintain the property for the continued enjoyment of all the members. And your manager plays a key role in coordinating the work necessary to carry out the Board’s directives. Not everyone will agree about every decision, but we get out of our communities what we put in. Get involved, be constructive, appreciate the hard work that your Board and manager put in. And share that sense of togetherness. So, plan a get together in a common area (check your CC&Rs and/or schedule with your manager), and ask everyone to come, bring a dish or beverage, and share some food and drink and fun. Get to know your neighbors, thank your Board members and managers, and congratulate each other for contributing to the “community.” Warm regards,

Brian Kidney Executive Director


ECHO Journal | December 2012

2013 ECHO Educational Calendar Santa Rosa

ECHO Seminars Now there’s one near you.


San Rafael

Walnut Creek Oakland San Francisco

San Jose

If you’ve ever wished that ECHO would hold a seminar closer to your association, chances are that we’ll be nearby during 2013. We are adding more seminars during more times of the year than ever before. Take a look and mark your calendar. We can’t wait to see you there!

Santa Cruz

Fresno Monterey

Locations and Dates of New ECHO Events January 17 San Francisco Educational Seminar

McCormick & Kuleto’s San Francisco

February 9 Marin Educational Seminar

Embassy Suites, San Rafael

March 2

Central Coast Educational Seminar

Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz

March 23

Wine Country Educational Seminar

Fountain Grove Inn, Santa Rosa

April 5–6

ECHO Oakland Tradeshow

Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland

May 4

South Bay Educational Seminar

Orchard City Banquet Hall, Campbell

May 25

Fresno Educational Seminar

Park Inn by Radisson, Fresno

June 15

Walnut Creek Educational Seminar

Embassy Suites, Walnut Creek

Aug 23–24 ECHO San Jose Tradeshow

San Jose Convention Center, San Jose

Sept 7

Sacramento Educational Seminar

Le Rivage, Sacramento

Sept 21

Monterey Educational Seminar

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey

ECHO Journal | December 2012


Load Up With New Benefits from ECHO! Get ready to access new services. Sign up at


e are moving all of our members into our new membership system, and we need your help. Sign up today to get ready for new benefits from ECHO. What Can I Do? Option 1: Go to the ECHO web site: Fill out and submit the form. Done! 8

Option 2: Email us. If you aren’t a fan of the online form, just send an email to Please include your: full name; HOA name; primary email address; and whether you are a board member or homeowner. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (408)297-3246. ECHO Journal | December 2012

Why Should I Sign Up? Moving our data is just the first step. For you, your membership account will open up access to a continually growing library of HOA information and advice. For starters, your ECHO membership will allow you to connect with other associations and your own members, and to easily manage your account. In 2013, look forward to:

Online Video We’re working on dozens of videos about common legal questions and HOA best practices. All of our presenters are HOA industry experts who offer unique insight into common problems. Online ECHO Journal Can’t find that one issue of the Journal with that great article about pets? Don’t worry! All of our ECHO Journals will now be accessible to ECHO members on our website. Search for your article, pull up the Journal, and flip through it.

ECHO Journal | December 2012

Online Reference Library We are building an unparalleled reference library for California HOA board members and homeowners. Whether you are looking for the current codes, new legislation, explanations of confusing laws, definitions, guides, etc.—we’ve got you covered. You’ll get instant access when we launch our new site. Members will enjoy a constantly renewed and updated resource of the best HOA information.


Binding Arbitration vs. Jury Trial after Pinnacle

This is the second article in a twopart series on the Pinnacle case. In the prior article, attorney Matt J. Malone discussed the nature of arbitration, the details of the Pinnacle ruling and certain questions concerning its application. This article examines the myths about arbitration and explores the reasons why Pinnacle may not result in a significant movement of association defect cases to arbitration.

By Tyler P. Berding, J.D., PhD. and Randolph M. Paul he recent California Supreme Court case of Pinnacle Museum Towers Association v. Pinnacle Market Development (U.S.) LLC 1 found that binding arbitration provisions inserted into Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CCRs) by



developers of common interest developments can require that construction defect disputes be submitted to binding arbitration before a paid arbitrator

1 Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development (US), LLC; Supreme Court of California, August 16, 2012, 55 Cal.4th 223. ECHO Journal | December 2012

Is There a Clear Choice for Community Associations in Construction Cases?

rather than be heard by a sitting judge acting alone or before a jury. This is significant because binding arbitration denies a litigant the right to appeal legal errors to a higher court even if the arbitrator refuses to follow the law. However, just because developers now may invoke binding arbitration doesn’t mean they’ll do so. And, there may be cases where the Association itself may ECHO Journal | December 2012

opt for binding arbitration, even knowing the risks inherent in a “one arbitrator decides all” scenario. The Pinnacle decision may be a case of “be careful what you wish for.” Developers and their insurers may find 11

much to dislike about using private, binding arbitration instead of proceeding in a state court to resolve construction disputes with homeowners. Of course, arbitration—when enforced against the owner of a single-family home—may chill that owner’s desire to proceed because of the fees and costs associated with paid arbitration. But for community associations, cost will be less of a consideration, especially in counties where courtrooms are so congested that it may take a long time to get to trial and there are multiple parties to share the expense. Before any conclusions can be drawn as to when arbitration would best serve developers or associations (or both), there are several myths that should first be explored.

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Fees in a superior court are modest by comparison to arbitrators’ fees. The courts don’t charge fees that are anywhere close to what is charged by arbitration services.


“Arbitration is inexpensive.� Not true. Arbitrators, especially those working with the established arbitration providers like American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service (JAMS), earn fees which can exceed $6,000 a day. And those fees apply whether the arbitrator is hearing the case or just reviewing documents at home. Fees charged by the arbitrator in a recent two-party arbitration that required just 13 hearing days (a construction defect arbitration for a typical condominium project would take much more time) and the review of numerous documents and briefs, not unlike what would be encountered in a relatively short, straightforward jury trial, resulted in arbitrator’s fees to each party in excess of $75,000. And that’s not counting legal fees and outside costs. Fees in a superior court are modest by ECHO Journal | December 2012

comparison. The taxpayers pay the judge’s salary and the courts don’t charge fees that are anywhere close to what is charged by the arbitration services. “Arbitration is fast and efficient.” Sometimes. An arbitration of a small matter with simple facts can be done quickly. But arbitration hearings involving complex fact situations like those found in construction cases require just as much advance preparation and fact investigation as would be encountered in preparing for a jury trial. Scheduling trial dates in Superior Court is difficult with all of the budget cuts these days, but the best arbitrators are also very hard to schedule, and if they reserve a week for the arbitration hearing and it takes longer, the arbitrator will have to find room on his or her calendar and it may be months before it can continue. A superior court judge will finish a trial once it starts, regardless of whether it exceeds time predictions. In addition, a judge is motivated ECHO Journal | December 2012

by a caseload that numbers in the hundreds if not thousands, to handle cases efficiently. An arbitrator, paid by the hour, does not have the same incentive to expeditiously dispose of cases. “An Arbitrator will rule based strictly on the facts and the law.” Wrong. An arbitrator is just as capable of deciding things “as they should be” or, as lawyers say, by doing “equity” as any jury. By “equity” we mean compromising the ruling to fit the arbitrator’s view of what is fair and reasonable without regard to the applicable law or facts. Why is this bad? Because “arbitrators” are private judges—they are not intended to be “mediators.” By the time the parties reach an actual arbitration hearing or trial, they have undoubtedly tried to settle the matter several times through voluntary mediation without success and what they want then is a clear decision, not what amounts to further, but binding mediation. Also, arbitrators, unlike judges, depend upon the referrals of

attorneys and parties for future work. In other words, if they find against a particular lawyer’s client, she and others in her firm might not engage that arbitrator ever again. If that concern exists it can result in a decision which tries to make everyone “happy” but which in fact makes no one happy. “Arbitrators must apply state law.” Not necessarily. Arbitrations are conducted pursuant to the rules set down in the CC&Rs, the contract of the parties that requires arbitration, and/or the rules of the arbitration provider. While the contract might require the application of state law, the arbitrator may very well decide to ignore certain legal principles or statutes if to do so would fit the arbitrator’s view of how the case should be decided. Is there recourse for this failure to apply applicable law? The matter could be taken before a Superior Court in a motion to correct the arbitrator’s decision, but courts tend to favor arbitration and to uphold, rather than review, an arbitra13

tor’s award. The standards of appellate review of decisions by judges and juries are much more expansive, giving the parties comfort that clearly erroneous rulings will be corrected. “If you don’t agree with the Arbitrator’s decision, you can always appeal it or bring an action in Superior Court to overturn it.” This is not true in most cases. Contracts that include arbitration clauses usually state that the arbitration is binding on both parties. That means that there is no right of appeal to any court. Unless the parties specifically agree otherwise, only in very narrow circumstances can an arbitrator’s decision be overturned by a court. So the arbitrator’s decision is final on the law and the damages to be assessed. “If a matter doesn’t settle, it is easy to get a prompt trial date in Superior Court.” Not generally true. Trial dates are becoming harder to come by with the layoff of court personnel and the closing of trial departments by counties due to the budget crisis. If the Court won’t assign an early trial date, a matter can take longer to settle since most defendants feel no urgency to make their best offer until trial is imminent. “A jury will usually favor the claim of a homeowner.” This may be true in some cases. But juries also represent a cross-section of citizens and can be practical when reaching a decision on such things as costs of repair and could decide that the less expensive repair proposed by the defendant will work just fine. They also can be overwhelmed by the technical facts that you find in many complex construction cases. If the facts are not presented clearly and efficiently, or if they are too complex, the jury might be tempted to disregard some important evidence and reach a verdict that doesn’t take into account the key evidence, all of which makes a trial risky to both sides. But jurors are required to follow the judge’s instructions on the law and can deal with complex issues if the case is presented properly. Witness the recent case of Apple vs. Samsung in United 14

States District Court in San Jose. Jurors tend to be fair and independent, and if the jurors don’t follow the judge’s instructions or if the judge issues them improperly, there is always the right to appeal to that judge or to a higher court, unlike in a binding arbitration proceeding. “Superior Court litigation is expensive and time consuming.” No more so than a similar complex construction matter heard by an arbitrator. We discussed why arbitration can be just as expensive and time consuming as a court trial. Bringing a claim before a jury will usually mean just several more days spent arguing jury instructions and in jury selection. What might result in unusual delays these days is the lack of available trial courts.

The lack of the right of appeal is one of the primary downsides to binding arbitration.

So, assuming there is a choice, where should a lawyer bring a construction defect case? We don’t believe that there will be a major rush to arbitration. First, the lack of the right of appeal is one of the primary downsides to binding arbitration and it will often be seen that way regardless of which side of the case you are on. This can be true even if binding arbitration is required because a developer inserted the arbitration provision into the CCRs. When the reality of a claim finally hits, both parties will want to be able to look beyond the decision of the trier of fact and search for the grounds to support an appeal or a further motion to the judge or arbitrator on issues they feel were incorrectly decided. Second, the arbitration provisions are inserted by the developer, not its insurers. An insurer defending a major construction defect claim on a condominium or townhome project may be far less willing to put its interests and the interests of its insured in the hands of a single arbitrator with no right of

post-trial or appellate review. We predict that many insurers and the attorneys they appoint to defend these matters will choose to ignore binding arbitration provisions in favor of bringing the matter in a state court where the right of appeal can be exercised. Third, in multi-party cases, an arbitration provision binds only the owners, the association and the developer and does not necessarily require that other parties be joined in the same proceeding. It can be more difficult to join other parties and combine claims than would be the case in an action brought in a court. So where there are contractors, design professionals, material suppliers, and subcontractors whose liability also must be determined to resolve the dispute, the developer may face the daunting prospect of arbitrating with the association first, and then, if the plaintiff receives an award by the arbitrator, engaging in a series of further arbitrations or court trials to collect what it has been ordered to pay, instead of getting it all resolved in one action. It is difficult to assign liability to an empty chair, and it is even more difficult to settle a matter if all the parties are not present in the same proceeding. Another serious disincentive to arbitrating a complex construction case for the insurer of a builder is that insurance coverage cannot be as easily applied to settling the claim if a series of arbitrations or trials will be necessary to decide the ultimate liability of all of the defendants. It is also unclear how insurance carriers will react to the lack of a right of appeal, although most liability policies cover arbitration awards as well as court judgments, and the existence or lack thereof of a right of appeal will usually not preclude coverage in most cases. On the other side of the analysis, the growing lack of trial courts makes reaching settlements very difficult because the parties lack the pressure of an imminent trial date. Also, judicial departments may not be able to afford ECHO Journal | December 2012

civil cases much priority or give them long trial days once the trial starts. Judges with crowded calendars will have to hear proceedings in other cases on that same day. Many court departments are “dark” (closed) one day a week, or use other days only for other hearings. All of this can radically cut available trial time. An arbitrator, while costly, will hear evidence for a full eight hours on every day that is scheduled for the arbitration, and in such cases that may result in a faster hearing.

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Some cases will benefit from the schedule certainty that usually comes with arbitration; others will do better in a traditional court setting.


Assuming there is a choice, which forum to use will be based on several factors including the court calendar, number of parties, complexity of the case, the developer’s assets and available insurance, and other similar criteria. Some cases will benefit from the ability to schedule matters with more certainty that usually comes with arbitration and assuming its expense is tolerable to the client; others will do better in the traditional court setting preserving the right of appeal, even with its limitations. But this is a new and evolving situation, and we will keep you posted as the phenomenon of arbitrating complex community association construction cases picks up speed.

Oh the Things We See!

Tyler Berding is a founding partner of Berding|Weil, LLP, a real estate law firm located in Walnut Creek, California. For more information, please see the firm website at Randolph Paul is an attorney with Berding|Weil. ECHO Journal | December 2012


L L A C E R By Beth A. Grimm, Esq.

A Blessing or a Curse? T

his article is all about recall: what to do when served with a petition, how the process works, what the pitfalls are, how it can be used to boost the participation of the members, and what the most common situations are that lead to a recall effort in a homeowners association and how to avoid it. The word “recall” (the colloquial term 16

for removal) is bandied about loosely and frequently in response to someone’s dissatisfaction with Board actions. Most people do not really understand the intricacies: what it means to the community, how much energy and money are required whichever side you are on, how difficult and divisive it can be, and in some instances—how it can

actually energize the community and counter apathy. Beginning at square one—the most common questions are: “Can we recall a board if we circulate a petition and get it signed by owners?” And [from a board] “May we fire a Director?” ECHO Journal | December 2012

L ECHO Journal | December 2012


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The desire to “fire” may be directly triggered by the “heat” of the situation. The answer to whether a board can remove a director is usually no, but there are some exceptions (below). And as for the concerned owners’ side, circulating a petition for signatures and presenting it to the board demanding the director be removed is not a legal way to recall an HOA board member.

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Because the directors are elected by the members, they can only be removed by members (see Corporations Code Section 7222), with a couple of exceptions. A board by majority vote can remove a director that has been adjudged by a court to be of unsound mind or who has been convicted of a felony and a director can be removed from the board if he or she has missed more meetings than allowed by the bylaws. If a director no longer is qualified to serve according to the qualifications that appear in the bylaws, the board can remove him or her—sometimes called vacating the director’s seat. A director or member may seek to remove a director or directors by filing a court petition asking a judge to remove the person(s) for fraudulent or dishonest acts or gross abuse of authority or discretion in exercising authority. (See Corporations Code Sections 7221 and 7223.) It is not an easy task to unseat a board member who does not want to step down voluntarily. But keep in mind, as the evidence or angst piles up against a director, it is appropriate for a board to first ask the director(s) to resign voluntarily, before matters are made “public” within the association.

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There are other ways to harness or debilitate a director who abuses his or her authority, including censure, commitment to a Code of Conduct, exclusion from meetings, or “neutralization” by taking their title (as officer) away from them. Don’t get the actions confused though. Taking a director’s “office” away does not remove them from the board. But a director who goes from being President to holding no of18

ECHO Journal | December 2012

fice becomes a lot less powerful, even though they remain on the board. Now, back to recall. A special meeting of the membership may be called for a recall election but it’s not always necessary. In California, there are election rules in the Davis-Stirling Act that allow owners to vote by mail, without attending a special meeting. But keep in mind, having a special meeting, which may be called by the President of the Association, a majority of the board, or five percent of the owner/members presenting a valid petition, can be very beneficial for the entire association! Besides possibly a proposal for a huge special assessment, recall is the one single topic that draws out the largest percentage of the membership to see what is going on! If five percent of the owners/members sign a valid petition calling for a special meeting concerning recall, the board is required under the law set a date, so long as the petition is valid. A petition may be faulty or inadequate, especially when prepared by a novice or non-professional. Recall is a valid subject for a petition, but sometimes the signatures are faulty (because tenants are allowed to sign or two people from the same unit sign and the proponents consider both signatures to count toward the five percent). Novice preparers often forget to petition not only for recall, but for a subsequent election when the request is for recall of the entire board. If the petition is to remove the whole board, it is important to have in the works a process for a new election. The demand commonly has to be spelled out because many practitioners, and most owners, fail to understand the intricacies of setting up a proper process, given the complicated nature of trying to integrate the petition-for-a-meeting-process of the Corporations Code provisions with election requirements of the Davis-Stirling Act provisions. And sometimes the board and its attorneys rely on the naiveté of the proponents for recall, scheduling the recall elecECHO Journal | December 2012

tion but arguing the petitioners did not ask for a subsequent election, and thus one was not scheduled, leaving a real predicament—a ship without a captain, i.e., no board in place. I always hope owners with a righteous cause for recall can see through this kind of ploy and head it off, but truthfully owners are generally not informed enough to make sure all ducks are in a row, and to protect their process against systematic attacks by the association or its attorney. Yes, it can be a dirty game. When the petition is valid, the law says the meeting shall be scheduled in not less than 35 days or more than 90 days from the date of the petition. The notice of the meeting must be sent to members within 20 days of the presentation of the petition of a meeting. If the board does not comply with these mandates the owners can call a meeting. That opens the door to potentially serious consequences because leaving the owners to call a meeting often leads to fights over which group’s processes prevail, whose action is legal, who gets control of the books, the checkbooks, and the administration of the association. It often leads to two groups claiming to be the “real” board, to lawsuits and to thousands in legal fees to sort it out. So boards—in my playbook—it makes the utmost sense to set the meeting date and to give owners proper notice. Taking it from there, the truth is that the owners are likely to support whichever “cause” presents itself in the most professional, businesslike, and sensible manner. So I advise: engage in meaningful dialog with owners, communicate your accomplishments or concerns (depending on which side of the board table you are sitting on), conduct yourselves like professionals at all times, be pragmatic, and when necessary, counter misinformation that is being circulated with verifiable facts, not spitballs! Under current election laws, a ballot for the recall should be sent through the mail or delivered to members at least 30 days before the ballots will be 19

counted. The best use of the meeting (in my view) is to allow the proponents and the board to make a presentation to the owners on the issues and after that opportunity, to have the ballots counted, either at the special members meeting or a subsequent board meeting. The law complicates the meeting process. The Corporations Code intends that voting would occur at the meeting, but the Davis-Stirling Act requires the ballots to be sent out ahead of time—at least 30 days before counting, so there are different ways to arrange the process. The meeting could be scheduled before ballots are sent out, or during the voting period, or the day the voting period will wrap up. Most boards and owners would have trouble figuring out the best process, yet if a proper process is not put in place, then the election can be challenged by whomever loses. So it is important to comply with the law, and that means getting help from an experienced and knowledgeable professional. But I can tell you that few concerned owner groups want to spend the money for the involved assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. And many throw their money away working with an attorney that specializes in some other area of the law and doesn’t sort out the differences between the Corporations Code, the Civil Code and the association documents for a living. Recall efforts are often very emotional matters and commonly create or stem from serious political unrest. Sometimes the board wants to remove a director but the effort more often starts with a group of homeowners who are unhappy with something the board is doing. Disputes seem to arise naturally over very expensive rehabilitation projects, roofing changes, paint color changes (and the added expense that goes with them), and any expensive special assessment and related differences of opinion. Sometimes the fight is over management, sometimes there is simply a serious issue with trans20

ECHO Journal | December 2012

parency, and sometimes board egos are the cause. Sometimes a group of owners believes (and sometimes actually discovers) that the board is guilty of poor, irresponsible or illegal exercise of fiscal responsibilities. The catalyst is often only one or two dissatisfied (or disgruntled) owners but the cause can escalate when they start talking to other owners. It is less difficult to garner support if one can point out the specific areas of concern and back up the concerns with facts. A recall effort that is lead by only one or two people who cannot garner additional support generally goes nowhere. Many owners find it incredibly frustrating when they truly believe leadership is abusing its authority and no one seems to care. Apathy is a common barrier to a recall effort. People just do not want to get involved. The only way to get people involved is to threaten their “pocket book.” If a dissatisfied owner (or two) starts asking questions, and he/she/they are met with great resistance to records or information requests, that just adds fuel to the fire. If the board tends to hide out, to respond poorly to owner inquiries, to conduct business via email or without following the open meetings laws, to ignore situations that could lead to serious liability or losses, or the angry or worried owners can point out flagrant or extreme scenarios or losses, even the most apathetic of owners can wake up, and one or two people can soon give rise to a group of concerned homeowners, who usually call themselves “The Concerned Homeowners”! My litmus test for an owner who comes to me for advice on recalling a board is whether they can get enough owners involved to become a meaningful and dedicated group. If the call to arms by the homeowner(s) fizzles for lack of interest, they are going to be wasting their money, because one or two owners are not enough to make a dent in the board’s armor. Thus I ECHO Journal | December 2012


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would be discussing a different course of action to right any wrongs.

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What should a board do when faced with a demand for recall? The board should schedule a meeting within the timelines of the law, presuming things are beyond a simpler resolution, such as a meeting with the petitioners. As noted above, the law has been interpreted to allow the owners to call their own meeting if the board refuses. For that reason, in my opinion it is much more responsible as well as advantageous for the board to be the one calling the meeting. If that happens, reasonable controls can be put in place to prevent (or at least minimize the possibility of) mayhem and subsequent legal battles. The board members who want to fight to keep their positions should be willing to stand up and be counted and speak up, just like the opposing faction is going to do. Fair procedures are those that allow equal opportunity for comment from those subject to recall and the proponents of it. Homeowners not involved in the conflict should be given a reasonable opportunity to be present or participate and to be heard if they have opinions. Resisting the laws requiring such a meeting just breeds further distrust of the board and facilitates the ability of the concerned owners to gain allies. Last but not least, if there is one good thing I can say about recall meetings—although they are very difficult for a number of reasons—they tend to bring association members out of the woodwork and motivate them. I have yet to be present at a recall meeting where someone did not say—“This is the most people I have ever seen at an association meeting!” Beth A. Grimm is a community association attorney in California, chairperson of the East Bay Resource Panel, author of hundreds of publications about condominium living and the law, a frequent contributor to the ECHO Journal, and responsible for the popular web site


ECHO Journal | December 2012

Recall efforts are often very emotional matters and commonly create or stem from serious political unrest.



ECHO Journal | December 2012



ECHO Journal | December 2012

By John Ceragioli, PRA and Janis Lee, CCAM, CMCA

Reserve Studies How Should this Tool Be Used? n the August 2012 Edition of the ECHO Journal we discussed the history and requirements of reserve studies. We also looked at what reserve studies are about, and how the funding calculations are generated. This month we now explore how reserve studies must be used by your Board of Directors under the DavisStirling Act, and important alternate methodologies for using the component analysis and financial results within your reserve study.


ECHO Journal | December 2012

California State Mandated Requirements The Davis-Stirling Act Section 1365 requires that the Board of Directors of every Common Interest Development (CID) disclose to the members of their association the following information on an annual basis: 1. A summary of the association’s reserves based upon the most recent reserve study, which includes the following: a. The current estimated replacement cost, estimated remaining life,

and estimated useful life of each major component. b. The current financial condition of the association. c. The long-term (30 year) financial plan that the association has adopted. d. The Section 1365.2.5 Assessment and Reserve Funding Disclosure Summary. e. Whether or not any future Special Assessments are anticipated. f. A statement whether the Board of Directors has determined to defer or not undertake repairs or replacement of any major component with a 25

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remaining life of 30 years or less, including a justification for the deferral. Items a–e comprise the required Reserve Study Disclosure form and may be provided by your Reserve Analyst depending on the contract you have with your vendor. Item f must come from the Board of Directors. 2. These items are to be included in your annual pro forma operating budget package that must be distributed to the association members not less than 30 days, nor more than 90 days before the beginning of your association’s fiscal year. So, how should you use your reserve study? As a Document of “Continuity” Common Interest Developments have four documents which record the association’s history and tell its members the details of who, what, why and how it exists. These documents are: 1. The Articles of Incorporation: This document states the Association name and location. 26

2. The Bylaws: This document describes the association’s legal duties to its membership, the membership voting process (including electing the Board of Directors), positions and duties of the Board, and how associations may conduct business.

The reserve study becomes an important document that records the association’s past history.

3. The Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, commonly known as CC&R’s: This document describes the obligations of the association’s Board of Directors to its membership. It also defines who owns what on the property and who is responsible for property maintenance. 4. The Reserve Study: This document describes the common components that make up the common area of the association. It also describes

when each component is scheduled for maintenance, repair or replacement, and how the Board intends to pay for each component’s replacement. As such, the reserve study becomes an important document that records the association’s past history. It also provides a “blueprint” that the Board of Directors may use in making informed decisions regarding the future protection of the membership’s investment in the association. As a Budgeting Tool The reserve study provides valuable information to your Board of Directors every year. This information is vital in the completion of the following: 1. Financial Budgeting: The reserve study is part of the process which results in the annual pro forma operating budget disclosure package. The reserve study financial charts recommend an annual reserve deposit from your regular monthly assessments. Generally, the reserve analyst tries to find an adequate level of fundECHO Journal | December 2012

ing that doesn’t require future special assessments. Boards will use this information to adopt a budget that is appropriate and sufficient for your association’s needs. 2. Component Replacement Budgeting: Every reserve study includes annual expense charts. These charts are used by the Board to make informed decisions with regards to your association’s annual reserve replacement projects, and help the Board adequately fund for these projects. As a Tool to Lower Association Costs A complete and accurate reserve study can help lower your association’s annual expenses in the following ways: 1. Using the annual expenditure charts to make major decisions early in the year. Reviewing the charts early enough in the year will allow your property manager to go to bid earlier and lock in pricing well before major projects are due to be completed. This could allow your project to get on a contractor’s calendar well before the project commences as well as eliminating cost increases due to market fluctuations. 2. Allowing the association to practice preventative maintenance rather than reactive maintenance. Too many associations replace components only after they have failed, rather than replacing them before failure. Classic examples of this are the water heater which fails on a Saturday, resulting in the association paying a premium to a plumber, or the roof which fails during a rain storm causing interior damage to a unit for which the association must now pay. Both are examples of wasted funds, which no association can afford—no matter how well funded you may be. 3. As a planning tool for major reconstruction. Using a complete, detailed reserve study which accommodates long-term reconstruction needs allows Boards to determine the best timing and financial methodology for such a project. Continued on page 31 ECHO Journal | December 2012


By Burt Dean

When is Private Property Towing Protected by Law? very property manager understands that before a contractor can perform work they need to verify their business license, contractor’s license, W-9, certification of liability and workers compensation insurance, and signed job contract. Towing companies are not licensed by the State of California; they do not have a State Contractors License; but, there are qualifying documents that should be verified. State law, CVC 22658, allows each local city jurisdiction to regulate the licensing of tow companies and drivers, and control fees. In addition to the ba-



sic business license and insurance requirements, performing nonconsensual towing requires compliance with both local zoning ordinances and DMV Lien Sale regulations for the disposition of unclaimed vehicles. In most cities a “Public Auction,� in accordance with DMV regulations, will require a Special Use Permit, which includes compliance for the facilities with Americans with Disabilities Act and California Environmental Quality Act, for health and safety reasons to protect the public. Although only a few tow companies comply with these regulations

for nonconsensual towing, they are still approved to provide public roadside services, and perform CHP and some city emergency rotation towing. I cannot tell you why there is no DMV, CHP or city enforcement of these regulations for nonconsensual towing, other than a lack of funding, but their failure to enforce the regulations is no excuse for property managers to passively ignore the regulations for the purpose of their private property towing. What are the consequences if the tow company is not in compliance with DMV and local zoning regulations for ECHO Journal | December 2012

ECHO Journal | December 2012


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Component Reserve Analysis and Construction Project Management

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proper disposition of unclaimed vehicles? • If a tow company does not sell the vehicle at a public auction within five days, as required by DMV HTVR7, the residual value of the vehicle is not legally established. If the property manager had the vehicle towed, it is their responsibility verify the tow company has the ability to obtain the legal residual value of that vehicle on behalf of the registered owner. • If the tow company is not in compliance with the Public Auction regulations for Americans with Disabilities Act and California Environmental Quality Act, they would not meet health and safety regulations to protect the public. The property manager needs to verify that the facilities, where they require their residents to claim their vehicles, are in compliance with the basic health and safety regulations. Once the tow company can verify they have a current Special Use Permit for their facility, they would be in compliance with regulations for proper disposition of unclaimed vehicles. In order to secure the protections guaranteed under law, it is important that the property manager perform their due diligence in the selection of their private property tow company as follows: • Certification of Liability Insurance, and Certification of Workers Compensation • Copy of the current CHP Motor Carrier Permit • Business License • Tow Permit from local police or city jurisdiction • “Special Use Permitâ€? for the tow and storage facility • Written Agreement for General Authorization Towing from fire lane areas or blocking entrances Burt Dean is the owner of Rebello’s Towing Service. Previously he owned a management company. His companies have been ECHO members for many years. ECHO Journal | December 2012

Reserve Studies Continued from page 27

The more detailed and complete a reserve study is, the more accurately annual operating expenses can be projected. While operating expenses are “dollar in, dollar out,” reserve expenses take into account various accounting methodologies, which allow for more component replacement and financial flexibility for your association. Real World Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Your Reserve Study 1. Use it as a tool to practice preventative maintenance. Replace components before they fail, not after. 2. Use the information in the study during a walkthrough of your association with other Board members. Make decisions regarding your annual reserve replacement requirements early in your budget year. 3. Compare your association to other local associations. It has been shown that the decision to purchase a home is made in the first minute of a viewing. In every HOA that minute is spent looking at common area components. Does your property make a good first impression compared to your neighbors? In summary, reserve studies can be used as much more than a document to meet the requirements of California Common Interest Development disclosures. It can be used by your Board of Directors to make informed decisions, plan the Association’s future accordingly, and to help mitigate undue expenses for your association. John Ceragioli is the Director of Community Solutions for Associa Reserves and for Community Reserve Solutions, he has been a licensed Architect in the States of California, Illinois and Wisconsin and is currently a member of the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts. Janis Lee is Community Association Manager for Massingham & Associates, An Associa Company. She is a Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) and a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), and is currently a member of CACM and CAI. ECHO Journal | December 2012


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Directory UPDATES Updates for listings in the ECHO Directory of Businesses and Professionals, available online at

New Members Verity Properties 530 Showers Dr., Suite 7-318 Mountain View, CA 94040 Contact: Yolanda K. Faile, CPM RPA Tel: (650) 386.1280 Fax: (650) 963.2791 Dryden Construction, Inc. 349 Earhart Way Livermore, CA 94551 Contact: Derrick Nelson Tel: (925) 243.8750 Fax: (925) 243.8753 J & N Realty, Inc. 7033 Canoga Ave., Suite 12 Canoga Park, CA 91303 Contact: Julius Nagy Tel: (818) 349.2991 Fax: (818) 993.3649 Danmeier Architects, A Professional Corporation 7110 Redwood Blvd., Suite B Novato, CA 94945 Contact: Donald W. Danmeier Tel: (415) 893.1650 Fax: (415) 893.1654 Bong Hillberg Lewis Fischesser LLP 1255 Treat Blvd., Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 Contact: Gary Bong Tel: (925) 322.1150 Sperlonga Data & Analytics 671 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 610 Arlington, VA 22203 Contact: Ivan Choi Tel: (949) 287.3891 Fax: (703) 890.2568


ECHO Journal | December 2012

ECHO Events Calendar

Save these important dates... Wednesday, December 5 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon ECHO Office, San Jose

Tuesday, January 8 Central Coast Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Michael’s on Main, Soquel

Wednesday, December 12 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo, Campbell

Wednesday, January 16 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co., Rohnert Park

Thursday, March 7 North Bay Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Contempo Marin Clubhouse, San Rafael

Wednesday, January 16 Legal Resource Panel 6:30 p.m. Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

Monday, March 11 Accountants Resource Panel 6:00 p.m. Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

Wednesday, February 6 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon ECHO Office, San Jose

Tuesday, March 12 Central Coast Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Michael’s on Main, Soquel

Wednesday, February 13 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo, Campbell

Wednesday, April 3 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon ECHO Office, San Jose

Friday, December 14 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek Wednesday, December 19 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co., Rohnert Park Thursday, January 3 North Bay Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Contempo Marin Clubhouse, San Rafael Monday, January 7 Accountants Resource Panel 6:00 p.m. Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

Friday, February 15 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek

Wednesday, February 20 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co., Rohnert Park

Friday, April 12 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek Wednesday, April 17 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co., Rohnert Park, CA Wednesday, April 17 Legal Resource Panel 6:30 p.m. Porterhouse, San Mateo

Wednesday, April 10 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo, Campbell

Regularly Scheduled ECHO Resource Panel Meetings Resource Panel Maintenance North Bay East Bay Accountants Central Coast South Bay Wine Country Legal

ECHO Journal | December 2012

Meeting First Wednesday, Even Months First Thursday, Odd Months Second Friday, Even Months Second Monday, Odd Months Second Tuesday, Odd Months Second Wednesday, Even Months Third Wednesday, Monthly Quarterly

Location ECHO Office, San Jose Contempo Marin Clubhouse, San Rafael Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Oakland Michael’s on Main, Soquel Buca Di Beppo, Campbell Eugene Burger Management Co., Rohnert Park Varies


How to understand faulty construction

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Home and Condo Defects A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction $12.95 Member Price $17.95 Non-Member Price Construction defect litigation can be confusing, expensive and fraught with legal pitfalls. This eye-opening guide, written by accomplished constructiondefect attorneys, is an essential tool for board members who need to understand the legal process. Order today from ECHO!

Should you need construction help with:

An excellent guide to understanding the rights and responsibilities of condo ownership and homeowner associations operation. The question-and-answer format responds to more than 125 commonly-asked questions in an easy to understand style. A great resource for newcomers and veteran owners. Order today from ECHO! Call 408-297-3246 Fax 408-297-3517 Email:


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Legislation at a Glimpse As of December 1, 2012 Bill No.






AB 805


Davis-Stirling Revision Part 1

Signed by the Support Governor. Chaptered.

This is the first of two bills from the California Law Revision Commission that restate and clarify the Davis-Stirling Act.

AB 806


Davis-Stirling Revision Part 2

Signed by the Support Governor. Chaptered.

This is the second of two bills from the California Law Revision Commission that restate and clarify the Davis-Stirling Act.

AB 1547


Extend “Blight” Missed Fines deadline. Dead.


This bill would remove the sunset provision in a law that allows local municipalities to fine owners of foreclosed units for failing to maintain their properties.

AB 1557


Extend “Blight” Missed Fines deadline. Dead.


This bill would extend the sunset provision to 2018 for a law that allows local municipalities to fine owners of foreclosed units for failing to maintain their properties.

AB 1720


Gated Communities

Signed by the Support Governor.

This bill requires that gated communities grant access to licensed private detectives for the purpose of service of process, provided they produce required documentation.

AB 1726


Pool Maintenance

Failed passage. Dead.

Oppose Unless Amended

This bill would require that all public pools (including CID pools) use a “qualified pool operator” as defined by law. The operator must take state-mandated courses.

AB 1745


Short Sales

Missed deadline. Dead.


This bill would regulate short sales.

AB 1838


Association Records

Signed by the Support as This bill would require that a financial disclosure form be Governor. Amended provided in at least 10-point type. It would also prohibit cancellation fees for document requests under specified circumstances.

AB 1963


Tax on Services

Missed deadline. Dead.

AB 2273


Purchaser Information

Signed by the Support Governor.

When requested by the association, this bill would require that an owner who is selling his or her unit provide information about the purchasing owner to the association within 15 business days.

SB 1244


Foreclosure Procedures

Missed deadline. Dead.

This bill eases the notice requirements for units sold in a foreclosure sale. If a unit owner is not able to be served, the bill would, among other requirements, allow the association to post notice in a reasonable location.

ECHO Journal | December 2012



This bill would require the Legislative Analyst’s Office to assess potential changes to the tax code.


Netwion Edi

Beyond Privatopia $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 The rise of residential private governance may be the most extensive and dramatic privatization of public life in U.S. history. In Beyond Privatopia, attorney and political science scholar Evan McKenzie explores emerging trends in private governments and competing schools of thought on how to operate them, from state oversight to laissez-faire libertarianism.

Condominium Bluebook 2012 Edition $17.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

Condos, Townhomes and Homeowner Associations Member Price: $29.00 Non-Member Price: $45.00

Community Association Statute Book—2012 Edition Member Price: $15.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

To make these a sustainable investment, new buyers, owners and board members need to understand “best practices basics” of how this form of housing works and have more realistic expectations of this form of “carefree, maintenance free” living.

Contains the current version of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, the Civil Code sections that apply to common interest developments and selected provisions from other codes important to associations.

Robert’s Rules of Order $7.50 Non-Member Price: $12.50

The Board’s Dilemma $10.00 Non-Member Price: $15.00

A step-by-step guide to the rules for meetings of your association, the current and official manual adopted by most organizations to govern their meetings. This guide will provide many meeting procedures not covered by the association bylaws or other governing documents.

In this essay, attorney Tyler Berding confronts the growing financial problems for community associations. Mr. Berding addresses board members who are struggling to balance their duty to protect both individual owners and the corporation, and gives answers to associations trying to avoid a funding crisis.

2012 Community Association Treasurer’s Handbook Member Price: $29.00 Non-Member Price: $35.00

This well-known compact guide for operation of common interest developments in California now includes a comprehensive index of the book and a chapter containing more than 200 frequently-asked questions about associations, along with succinct answers.

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Home and Condo Defects Member Price: $12.95 Non-Member Price: $17.95 Construction defect litigation can be confusing, expensive and fraught with legal pitfalls. This eye-opening guide, written by accomplished constructiondefect attorneys, is an essential tool for board members who need to understand the legal process.

FOR Board Members Reserve Fund Specialists Property Managers Unit-Owners, Accountants Lawyers, Builders



The Handbook is an in-depth guide to all aspects of association finances, including accounting methods, financial statements, reserves, audits, taxes, investments and much more. Not for the accounting novice, this is a tool for the treasurer or professional looking for specific information about association finances.



JUFFS Reserve Fund Specialist

Two experts discuss reserve fund planning and control in a refreshingly readable and exceptionally levelheaded style.


OLIVER Board President (ret.), Reserve Fund Aficionado


Questions & Answers About Community Associations . Member Price: $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 For 12 years, Jan Hickenbottom answered homeowners’ questions in her Los Angeles Times column on community associations. Now collected in one volume, readers can find answers to almost any question about CIDs.


Reserve Fund Essentials Member Price: $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

The Condo Owner’s Answer Book $15.00 Non-Member Price: $20.00

This book is an easy to read, musthave guide for anyone who wants a clear, thorough explanation of reserve studies and their indispensable role in effective HOA planning. The author gives tips to help board members mold their reserve study into a useful financial tool.

An excellent guide to understanding the rights and responsibilities of condo ownership and operation of homeowner associations. The question-and-answer format responds to more than 125 commonly-asked questions in an easy to understand style. A great resource for newcomers and veteran owners.

Board Member Handbook Member Price: $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This publication is the essential guidebook for HOA Board members, dealing with governance, finances, insurance and maintenance issues. Revised and updated in June 2012.

ECHO Journal | December 2012

Dispute Resolution in Homeowner Associations . Member Price: $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This publication has been completely revised to reflect new requirements resulting from passage of SB 137.

Publications to answer your questions about common interest developments Order Online at

Bookstore Order Form Board Member’s Guide for Contractor Interviews $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

Executive Council of Homeowners 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101, San Jose, CA 95126 Phone: 408-297-3246 Fax: 408-297-3517 TITLE



This report is a guide for directors and managers to use for interviews with prospective service contractors. Questions to find out capabilities and willingness of contractors to provide the services being sought are included for most of the contractor skills that associations use.


Yes! Place my order for the items above. Board Member’s Guide for Management Interviews . Member Price: $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This guide for use by boards for conducting complete and effective interviews with prospective managers takes the guesswork out of the interview process. Over 80 questions covering every management duty and includes answer sheets matched to the questions.

q Check q Visa q MasterCard

Credit Card Number Exp. Date


Name (please print) Association (or company) Email Address City



Daytime Telephone ECHO Journal | December 2012



ECHO Honor Roll

ECHO Honors Volunteers

ECHO What is ECHO? Serving Homeowners to Build Strong Community Associations

ECHO Resource Panels

Regional Seminar Speakers

Accountant Panel

Central Coast

Marco Lara, CPA 650-632-4211

John Allanson Sharon Glenn Pratt, Esq. Wanden P. Treanor, Esq. Glenn H. Youngling, Esq.

Central Coast Panel

John Allanson 831-685-0101 East Bay Panel

Beth Grimm, Esq., 925-746-7177 Mandi Newton, 415-225-9898 Legal Panel

Mark Wleklinski, Esq. 925-280-1191 Maintenance Panel

Brian Seifert, 831-708-2916 North Bay Panel

Diane Kay, CCAM, 415-846-7579 Stephany Charles, CCAM 415-458-3537 San Francisco Panel

Jeff Saarman, 415-749-2700 South Bay Panel

Toni Rodriguez, 408-848-8118 George Engurasoff, 408-295-7767


David F. Feingold, Esq. Wanden P. Treanor, Esq. Glenn H. Youngling, Esq. Peninsula

Sandra Bonato, Esq. Omar Hindiyeh Wanden P. Treanor, Esq. South Bay

Sandra Bonato, Esq. Stephanie Hayes, Esq. Rick Coats & Sandra Long Alan Crandall Larry Russell, Esq. Wine Country

Kirk Denebeim David Hughes Roger Doncaster Mark Dunia Bill Mann Barbara Zimmerman, Esq. Bill Gillis, Esq.

Annual Seminar Speakers

Wine Country Panel

Maria Birch, CCAM, 707-584-5123

Legislative Committee Paul Atkins Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Sandra Bonato, Esq. Jerry Bowles Oliver Burford Joelyn Carr-Fingerle, CPA Chet Fitzell, CCAM John Garvic, Esq., Chair Geri Kennedy, CCAM Wanden Treanor, Esq. 38

June 23, 2012 ECHO Annual Seminar

Dawn Anderson, AIA Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Brad Barroso Tyler Berding, Esq. Sandra Bonato, Esq. Wendy Buller Ian Brown Jeff Draeger Tom Fier, Esq. Kevin Frederick, Esq. John Garvic, Esq. Vic Giacalone Sandra Gottlieb, Esq.

Beth Grimm, Esq. Allan Henderson David Kuivanen David Levy, CPA Helen Loorya Richard Lowenthal Kerry Mazzoni Mike Muilenburg Andrea O’Toole, Esq. Ann Rankin, Esq. Larry Russell, Esq. John Schneider Brian Seifert Jim Shepherd Dean Shibler Richard Tippett Steven Weil, Esq.

The Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO) is a nonprofit membership corporation dedicated to assisting California homeowners associations. ECHO provides help to homeowners associations on many fronts: finances, legal issues, insurance, maintenance and management. Members receive help through conferences, trade shows, seminars, a monthly full-color magazine and discounted publications.

Who Should Join ECHO? If your association manages condominiums or a planned development, it can become a member of ECHO and receive all of the benefits designated for homeowner associations.

Recent Contributing Authors

Benefits of ECHO Membership

August 2012

• Updates to the Association Statute Book

Adrian Adams John Ceragioli, PRA ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D. Marc Dunia Janis Lee, CCAM

• Subscription to monthly magazine

• Frequent educational seminars • Special prices for CID publications • Legislative advocacy in Sacramento

ECHO Membership Dues

September 2012

Tom Fier, Esq. Michael Hardy, Esq. Sharon Glenn Pratt Will Simons, RS Rosalia Burgueño Tapia October 2012

James H. Ernst, CPA, MS-Tax, CCAM David F. Feingold Esq. Matthew A. Haulk, Esq. Geri Kennedy Jeffrey T. Smith AIA, NCARB

HOA Size Rate 2 to 25 units


26 to 50 units


51 to 100 units


101 to 150 units


151 to 200 units


201 or more units




ECHO Journal Subscription Rates Members




Businesses & Professionals


November 2012

Tom Fier, Esq. Beth A. Grimm, Esq. Matt J. Malone Mike Muilenburg

ECHO Journal | December 2012

How Do You Join ECHO? Over 1,800 members benefit each year from their membership in ECHO. Find out what they’ve known for years by joining ECHO today. To apply for membership, call ECHO at 408-2973246 or visit the ECHO web site ( to obtain an application form and for more information.

ECHO Marketplace

Advertiser Index

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A collection of “Condo Q&A” published in the Los Angeles Times Questions & Answers About Community Associations By Jan Hickenbottom

Ace Property Management . . . . . . .12 American Management Services . . .19 Angius & Terry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Applied Reserve Analysis . . . . . . . .32 A.S.A.P. Collection Services . . . . . .15 Association Reserves . . . . . . . . . . .31 Bay Community Management . . . . .31 Berding | Weil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 BTC Bob Tedrick Construction . . . . .34 Cityscape Property Management . . .22 Collins Management . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Community Management Services . .34 Compass Management . . . . . . . . . .21 Cool Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Cornerstone Community Mgmt. . . . .20 Ekim Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Eugene Burger Management Co. . . .23 First Bank Association Bank Srvcs . .21 Flores Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Helsing Group, The . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 M&C Association Mgmt. Services . .30 Massingham and Associates . . . . . .26 Mutual of Omaha Bank . . . . . . . . . .12 PML Management Corp. . . . . . . . . .27 Pollard Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 R. E. Broocker Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski .2 Rebello’s Towing Service . . . . . . . . .13 REMI Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Saarman Construction . . . . . . . . . .15 Statcomm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Member Price: $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 For 12 years, Jan Hickenbottom answered homeowners’ questions in her Los Angeles Times column on community associations. Now collected in one volume, readers can find answers to almost any question about CIDs. Order today from ECHO!

Call 408-297-3246, fax at 408-297-3517 or order online at

ECHO Journal | December 2012



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