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Security Cameras

Our HOA board recently installed security cameras in our hall ways, while I personally don’t object to security cameras I believe they should have been more transparent. We were not even notified that they were going to be installed. I believe in part they were installed because our HOA President is using them as a weapon against one or more of the home owners. Our CC&Rs state that board meetings most follow the open meeting laws except when sensitive materials are being discussed e.g., law suits, personal information issues, and that meeting notices must be posted 48 hours in advance for executive board meetings and 10 days for owner board meetings. They also state that if board members can not meet in person that there must be a speaker phone available so everyone can hear what is being discussed and voted on. Not all board members were notified that the meeting was going to take place, the two board members were each contacted by phone and when they let their reservation s known they were each told that they were the only ones that objected. There was not even a notice given that security cameras were being installed in the hall ways. The board gave the reason for the cameras was because some packages were stolen and that they would be able to see who stole them. When they were first installed my husband said that the President just wants to spy on people she didn’t like and he told me that he old prove it, well I believe he did not being the most diplomatic he would give the finger when he passed a camera and sure enough last night at a board meeting the president said there was a man in a wheelchair that was giving her the finger on the camera and that is considered a terrorist act and could have him arrested. It appears she is watching the cameras most of the day to be able to catch him. There is nothing in our CC&Rs on the use of Security Cameras

4 Responses

  1. DennisL

    Leilani,

    There are many appropriate and legitimate reasons to install security cameras. And in fact, the association may be held liable for crimes that occur on the property if they do not take necessary precaution to protect the residents if credible threats exist or could be reasonably assumed in the area. See Woodmar IV Condo v Martinez. But as you mention there are appropriate ways for associations to take any action, and appropriate ways for associations to communicate their decisions to the members or unit owners. Yours does not appear to have done either of these things appropriately. I would need to know more about how the vote and decision was taken to provide any opinion on the appropriateness of the process for the decision. This is yet another example of the difference between how an association board can take actions and how they should take actions. It is not unreasonable for homeowners to question the motivation of installing cameras when they were never informed that they were to be installed or for what reason. You have a right for privacy and security. Getting one at the expense of the other is always inappropriate without some assurances on how the cameras will be used and monitored.
    The actions of your husband were not at all inappropriate and if I were in his place, I would have done the same and maybe more. The threat of the board president is absolutely meaningless and idle. There is clearly a difference between security and unwanted surveillance and invasion of privacy.

    Dennis

  2. Shirley Waldvogel

    I feel I must reply to the many false accusations on this previous statement by what is called in many seminars a “disgruntled” resident who wants badly to be President.
    First we have had cameras since I believe 2014. 8 in garages, 1 on each west and east entrance/exit. One in basement entry area, 2 in basement lobby area, one on first floor lobby and front entrance and elevator, 2 in exits 1 on west 1 on east. NOW for a person who wants to “SPY” on some obviously jealous, person, I had may cameras to do so. My time is valuable, and certainly would not waste it on something or someone . The cameras are viewed by Community Service Staff, for our protection and also have been viewed by Police for various reasons. When Cox came to do an upgrade, they asked if I still wanted cameras facing elevator doors as other Associations in Community have. I asked what the cost would be. They would waive installation if I decide while they were doing the upgrade. Minimal charge added for each building. I asked the Board if they would agree, 4 did. One did not. In here there is an erroneous statement about the vote. I had 3 votes yes, when I phone 4th person. I told her I needed her vote now, She asked questions, i told her cost and 0 installation and she voted yes Obviously she took the statement to mean I needed her vote to pass, I did not. It is not only the recent thefts , the real concern is damage to the elevators Those that have to okay the bills know how much just travel time is to repair and if caused by a mover or delivery or someone holding the doors open too long and break timers, knows how much that costs and if you have a pic of them doing damage, they pay.
    Just another thing that is good for the Residents that this person does not see.
    I am sure an organization saw the actions of one of their members they would be dismayed.
    I said at the meeting, I was told of a man in a wheel chair that gives the single finger salute to the cameras when he wheels on by. I thought, consider the source. But said that it was sad. I also stated that I was told this could be considered a threat, and if I wanted to I could press charges. Certainly not a terrorist threat. That is just plain stupid. I never said I would have him arrested.
    Also it was posted that Cox would be installing cameras. BUT in her particular building postings can go up at 9:30 AM and are removed by 10:00 AM Seem like someone get jolly off taking down postings.
    I had our vice President put up postings, I think in one day he put up 4 and all were taken down. You cant go anywhere now, with this litigant society , that don’t have cameras.
    This kind of behavior has only started in the last year and a half.
    It was always a very caring 2 buildings . We cared for each other and I have been here for 29 years, President for about 8. I care for the Residents of our Association and look out for spending unnecessarily. It shows when places come up for sale they look at our balance sheets and see the care given to our Treasury and we have no problem with sale of units.
    Most of our Residents are happy here. There is just this group of about 5 that are bitter. (that I know of anyway)
    Thank you for your time in reading this, but these allegations needed to be addressed.

    1. DennisL

      Shirley,

      I decided to actually post your comments but do not want this site to become a battle ground between individual homeowners and will not allow this issue to be aired or fought on this site. This site is about helping homeowners or board members deal with the issue they face. If you had taken the time to read my response to the initial post. You would have seen that I told her that there are many legitimate reasons for boards to install signs the real issue is communication and transparency. The decision to install cameras must be done in an open meeting of the board and resident given an opportunity to comment on that motion prior to the vote. Then all unit owners should be provided notice of when and where the cameras will be installed and their purpose along with who will be monitoring them if any. If you want a peaceful community as a board member you have a duty to be open and transparent in your actions. While I recognize that many people get emotionally charged and sometime embellish their descriptions of issues. If people are pulling down posting from bulletin board put a plexiglass cover and lock it rather than putting up cameras. I’m really not sure what the boards motivation is for the cameras, but the board has a duty to act in good faith and to say one thing but have a hidden agenda for taking an action is not acting in good faith. As a board member you cannot make everyone happy but that is not your job your job is to take action in the best interest of the community as a whole. If you honestly do that no one can every fault you because that is what you were put in job to do.

      Dennis

  3. DennisL

    Shirly,

    One more thing from your description of events it is clear to me that in taking this action the board violated the open meetings laws for Arizona Condominiums. It appears that you were attempting to use the “Action without a meeting” provision to take this action. But that provision requires unanimous consent, and you did not have it. That decision also can only be used in an emergency where the action must be completed in less time than is required to notice an open meeting of the board. Because the vendor was scheduled to be there the next day does not constitute an emergency, you could have easily delayed the service until you had an opportunity to hold the open meeting to discuss the issue and received the same deal. The board could have debated the issue correctly listened to unit owner input on the matter and then voted as they desired.

    If you want peace and tranquility in your community, you want to start by reading and understanding the Law relative to open meetings and the need for transparency in board actions.

    Dennis

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