RSF Association votes against recorded board meetings

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Association passed a new resolution at its April 6 monthly board meeting. It mandates that Covenant residents and members of the media are no longer permitted to record monthly meetings — be it audio or video.

Before the resolution vote, Covenant resident Suzy Schaefer wanted to share her views on this issue during the member input portion of the meeting. She first wanted to know if the resolution was suggested by the Association’s new manager.

RSF Association President Fred Wasserman shared that it was not but instead was board recommended.

Schaefer’s concern was that by not allowing members to record the meetings, or even for that matter reporters, that this board resolution may give the appearance the Association has something to hide. Schaefer let the board know she wanted transparency.

Wasserman listened to Schaefer carefully and explained to her that the recording secretary is the only individual who is permitted to record.

“Any other recording is not an official record of the meeting,” he said. “That is the reason.”

Wasserman said that recordings outside of this could not be used for any other purpose whatsoever.

Before the board voted on the resolution, Wasserman suggested Association Assistant Manager Christy Whalen read it.

The areas covered indicated how Association members were invited to take part in open board or committee meetings; and, these meetings should be limited to members.

For those who were not Association members, individuals would need to be “invited or preapproved by the manager” such as members of the media.

Whalen went on to read that the recording secretary would record the board meetings; and, the destruction of those recordings would occur after the adoption of the meeting minutes.

“Surreptitious recording of any board or committee meeting is strictly prohibited, and violation of this rule may lead to disciplinary action,” Whalen read from the resolution.

According to procedures by the Davis-Stirling Act: “Neither individual board members nor attendees at a board meeting have the ‘right’ to electronically record board meetings.”

The RSF Association board unanimously approved the resolution, which is aligned with the Davis-Stirling Act making the prohibition of recordings effective immediately.

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