Rancho Santa Fe Association prohibits recordings of meetings


The Rancho Santa Fe Association board passed a resolution on rules relating to meetings of the board and its committees at the April 6 meeting. According to the new rule, any member may attend Association board or committee meetings; however, audio or video recordings are no longer allowed.

Per the language of the resolution, only the recording secretary will make an audio record of the meeting, which will be destroyed after the committee or board adopts the final version of the minutes.

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

RSF resident Suzy Schaefer wanted to know where the resolution came from, as she often recorded the meetings for her personal use. She said not allowing recording of meetings doesn’t make the board seem like it is being transparent and open and that if the resolution passed, it would be perceived as though the Association has something to hide.

RSF Association President Fred Wasserman said the resolution was proposed by the board.

“Recording is not permitted except by the recording secretary,” Wasserman said. “Any other recording is not an official record of the meeting and can’t be used for any purpose whatsoever.”

According to Davis-Stirling, the portion of the California Civil Code that governs common interest developments, neither board members nor attendees have the “right” to electronically record board meetings. Association meetings are not public gatherings and, under the Open Meeting Act, members can attend and give public comment but boards have the authority to set their own meeting practices, including restrictions on recording their meetings.