Fair Campaign Guidelines
TAHOE DONNER ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION FAIR CAMPAIGN GUIDELINES
The purpose of this document is to provide members and candidates with guidance regarding what actions are acceptable in running an election campaign for the Tahoe Donner Association Board of Directors Election. The overarching assumption is that candidates have a moral obligation to abide by basic principles of decency, honesty and fair play. The right of candidates to engage in campaign activities must be balanced by the right of the members to peaceful enjoyment of all Tahoe Donner Association property and facilities. The goal in articulating these expectations is that every individual participating in the elections process (candidates, members and staff) understands his or her rights and responsibilities under California law as well as the Covenants, Bylaws and Rules of the Tahoe Donner Association.
Candidates participating in the Tahoe Donner Association Board of Directors Election will abide by the following:
- The posting of signage, flyers, etc., on association media (official bulletin board, notice board, kiosk, official website, broadcasting on association television monitors or other notices mailed or delivered by association members) is not permitted, unless specifically authorized by the board of directors. (See Section 1.1 of the Tahoe Donner Association Voting and Election Rules). If authorized, a dedicated election bulletin board will be made available during the campaign period for official candidates to post campaign information. The campaign period will begin when the roster of candidates is approved by the Elections Committee and will terminate when Elections Committee announces final election results.
- Campaign signs are permitted on private property (Separate Interest) within Tahoe Donner with the owner’s permission.
- Town of Truckee regulations provide that temporary political signs may be posted 60 days preceding the election and shall be removed within 14 days following the election and may be located within the Town of Truckee right of way as long as they do not create site distance conflicts or other safety hazards (see Town of Truckee website). These rules shall be applicable to Tahoe Donner Association elections.
- Paid advertising in Tahoe Donner News by candidates is not permitted.
- Candidates are encouraged to exercise caution in the public distribution of all public information. Candidates shall not knowingly distribute or disseminate information of any kind to the members which they know is false or materially misleading. When using social media (Nextdoor, Facebook, etc.) candidates shall abide by the site or app’s stated rules and regulations. Tahoe Donner Association is not responsible for content by candidates using social media, nor does it have any control over the use of social media by candidates.
- In accordance with California law and association rules, candidates are permitted access to common areas for campaign purposes.
- Candidates have the right to access members for campaigning purposes, and members have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of all Tahoe Donner Association properties and facilities. As such, candidates are asked to respect members’ right to peaceful enjoyment at all Tahoe Donner Association properties and venues.
- If a candidate believes that their access to the membership is restricted or if a member believes that their right to peaceful enjoyment is infringed upon, please inform the Elections Committee immediately via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Elections Committee will follow-up with the individual lodging the complaint, and all candidates will be notified of the outcome. Depending on the severity of the complaint, the board of directors might become involved.
- Members occasionally submit questions to a candidate or candidates. If the candidate(s) needs assistance from staff to answer such questions, the question should be forwarded to the Elections Committee mailbox at email@example.com. The Elections Committee, in conjunction with the general manager or designee, will identify the appropriate staff member to answer the question and consult with the candidate(s). Once an answer is received, it will be shared with all candidates. This process will ensure that all questions asked are answered correctly, factually and shared with all the other candidates.
- The Elections Committee will monitor the election process to help assure its fairness and impartiality. To that end, the Elections Committee, in conjunction with the inspector of election, will monitor campaign activities of candidates, respond to and investigate inquiries/complaints from members, staff and/or other candidates, and inform the board of issues that may be in conflict with the association’s Covenants, Conditions & Regulations (CC&Rs).
- It is a goal of the Elections Committee to make opportunities available to the membership to meet and interact with the candidates during the election period so that members may inform their vote for the board election. Formal Elections Committee-sponsored candidate access to the membership will be made available on separate occasions, scheduled early in the election cycle. Dates and times of these events will be published in each Election Candidate Packet, posted online and sent through email to inform the membership. These events include: Candidates Night with Formal Questions and two Candidate Meet and Greet Events.
These guidelines reflect new California regulations that went into effect in January 2018 (Civil Code 4515) that govern “Rights of Assembly and Non-Commercial Speech” in homeowner associations. While specific implementation of the regulations is still being worked out, our legal counsel advises that the bottom line is that associations must balance members’ rights to peaceful enjoyment of the properties with candidates’ rights to campaign. Candidates have the right to approach members and attempt to engage them in conversation about the election. Members have the right to engage in discussion with the candidate, or to “opt-out” of that dialogue by simply informing a candidate that they do not care to discuss the election. Anyone who believes their individual rights under this scenario are not being respected is encouraged to contact the Elections Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.