Rogue HOA Refuses to Comply with Arizona State Law Regarding Campaign Signs

Rogue HOA Refuses to Comply with Arizona State Law Regarding Campaign Signs

By Kurt Rohrs |

IronOaks Homeowners’ Association in Sun Lakes has been misinforming its residents. They are telling them that they cannot put up campaign signs in their yards until 71 days before the general election on November 8, 2022.

That is not true.

Communication from the Maricopa County Elections Office confirmed that fact and referenced Arizona state law, ARS 33-1808 (C), which clearly states that HOAs can only regulate political yard signs under the following specific conditions, including placement of signs 71 days before the primary election which was on August 2, 2022.

“ ….Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, an association shall not prohibit the indoor or outdoor display of a political sign by an association member on that member’s property, except that an association may prohibit the display of political signs as follows:

1. Earlier than seventy-one days before the day of a primary election (which was on August 2, 2022).

2. Later than fifteen days after the day of the general election” (which is on November 8, 2022).

When confronted with this discrepancy, several HOA staff members repeatedly responded with the refrain of “We have to follow our own rules and regulations.” Apparently, they are oblivious to the fact that Arizona state law clearly takes precedence over any HOA rule. That is what “… Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents …” in this statute literally means. This homeowners’ association simply cannot act as law unto themselves.

Cease and Desist

A cease-and-desist letter was hand-delivered to Veronica Semey, IronOaks’ HOA Director of Community Services, on August 26, 2022 demanding that the IronOaks Homeowners’ Association do the following:

1. Immediately, cease and desist from incorrectly informing residents that they cannot have campaign signs in their yards.

2. Within thirty days, publish a communication to every resident in the HOA correctly informing them of their rights under ARS 33-1808 regarding placement of campaign signs.

3. Within sixty days, update the HOA rules and regulations so that they are fully compliant with ARS 33-1808.

Retaliation

Upon delivery of this letter, the HOA threatened fines and sanctions if its clearly illegal rules were not complied with. This is in spite of the fact that their improper prohibitions were actually due to expire in a matter of a few days. This appears to be a petty and vindictive threat of retaliation that smacks of bureaucratic intimidation and bullying that many residents have become so disappointed with.

Another ploy that was advanced was to direct an appeal of any improper sanctions to the HOA board. This ignores the fact that the HOA board does not sit in judgment regarding Arizona statutes. It is expected to be in full and complete compliance with them as written.

There are other miscommunications by the HOA regarding political signs and campaigning.

Number of Yard Signs

Many residents believe that they can only have one political yard sign in their yard.

This is also not true.

The actual ARS 33-1808 (D) statute reads that the “… the maximum aggregate total dimensions of all political signs on a member’s property shall not exceed nine square feet.” This is equivalent to three standard 18” x 24” signs.

Door Knocking

Residents have also been led to believe that “door-knocking,” or residents going door to door to speak with their neighbors, is prohibited in the community.

This is also not true.

The actual ARS 33-1808 (H) statute states that there are only limited restrictions that an HOA can impose:

1. Restrict or prohibit the door-to-door political activity from sunset to sunrise.

2. Require the prominent display of an identification tag for each person engaged in the activity, along with the prominent identification of the candidate or ballot issue that is the subject of the support or opposition.

HOA Wars and Free Speech Rights

This situation is reminiscent of the “HOA Wars” from several years ago. Rogue HOAs that were abusing residents with tyrannical policies eventually had to be reined in by the Arizona legislature. The ARS 33-1808 legislation discussed here was most likely one of several statutes that were put in place to protect residents from the atrocious activities of HOA management teams.

These unlawful actions by the IronOaks Homeowners’ Association have deprived their residents of their rights to free speech that are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and by Arizona state statute. They have also caused harm to political candidates who rely on their free speech rights to present their campaign messaging to potential voters in order to win elections.

Suppression of the civil right to free speech is certainly not the direction that our citizens want the country to be heading in. Now, it’s time for HOA Boards to make sure they are in full compliance with all local, state, and federal laws before they impose any rules and regulations on their residents.

Kurt Rohrs is a candidate for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. You can find out more about his campaign here.

Stopping the Liberal Election Initiative Was a Major Victory for Secure Elections and the Rule of Law

Stopping the Liberal Election Initiative Was a Major Victory for Secure Elections and the Rule of Law

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Arizona voters can breathe a sigh of relief. On Friday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on our Free Enterprise Club lawsuit that concluded the radical “Free and Fair” election initiative lacked enough lawful signatures to qualify for the ballot. Securing this legal victory was not an easy feat, and the final days of litigation were far more suspenseful than they should have been.

In fact, the trial court came very close to letting the other side steal victory by initially adopting their lawyer’s rigged methodology to calculate the final number of valid signatures that would have snuck the measure back onto the ballot…

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Do SEL Programs Need to Be Defined Better to Make Them Less Controversial?

Do SEL Programs Need to Be Defined Better to Make Them Less Controversial?

By Kurt Rohrs |

Recent legislation mandates that public schools offer Mental Health Instruction and Social and Emotional learning (SEL) programs to their curriculum. But the legislation does not specify what those programs should consist of.

However, companion legislation does offer some guidance on SEL instruction by prohibiting instruction typical of Critical Race Theory (CRT) doctrine from being presented in classrooms.

The legislation gives seven specific prohibitions on social instruction: It prohibits teaching that:

1. One race, ethnic group or sex is inherently morally or intellectually superior to another race, ethnic group or sex.

2. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

3. An individual should be invidiously discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex.

4. An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex.

5. An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed by other members of the same race, ethnic group or sex.

6. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex.

7. Academic achievement, meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race, ethnic group or sex to oppress members of another race, ethnic group or sex.

Parents are concerned that SEL programs may still be used to usher in controversial political and social ideologies concerning race relations (CRT), child sexuality (CSE) and neo-Marxist political doctrine (“Equity” as Wealth Redistribution), which may be buried in the details of certain programs. Parents would probably be far more comfortable if these ideological considerations were carefully scrubbed from SEL curriculum.

It may be far more effective to base SEL programs on agnostic, apolitical concepts that are generally accepted across cultural boundaries and are not agenda driven by activist special interest groups. Programs that focus on good character and positive behaviors, instead of specific identity group grievances and restitution typical of cultural Marxist doctrine, would most likely find far greater support in the community.

Here are several positive social behaviors that are generally accepted across many cultures that we used to present to students and which generated little controversy. Perhaps we never should have gotten away from these fundamental principles of behavior.

TRUSTWORTHINESS

    • Be honest. Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal.
    • Have integrity. Do what you say you’ll do.
    • Keep your promises.
    • Be loyal. Stand by your values.

RESPECT

    • Follow the Golden Rule.
    • Be accepting of differences.
    • Be courteous to others.
    • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements.
    • Be considerate of others’ feelings.

RESPONSIBILITY

    • Do what you are supposed to do. Try your best.
    • Persevere. Keep on trying.
    • Be self-disciplined.
    • Think before you act. Consider the consequences.
    • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes.

FAIRNESS

    • Play by the rules.
    • Take turns and share.
    • Be open-minded. Listen to others.
    • Don’t take advantage of others.

CARING

    • Be kind.
    • Be compassionate.
    • Express gratitude.
    • Forgive others.

CITIZENSHIP

    • Do your share to make your home, school, and community better.
    • Cooperate.
    • Stay informed. Vote.
    • Be a good neighbor.
    • Make choices that protect the safety and rights of others.
    • Protect the environment.

“Whole Child” Concept

The newest iteration of SEL appears to be the “Whole Child” initiative, which combines the academic education of children and the management of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The “Whole Child” initiative is driven primarily by the Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in an apparent effort to expand government agency influence into the home life and parenting of children. It is described by the Whole School, Community, and Child (WSCC) model as having 10 components:

  1. Physical education and physical activity
  2. Nutrition environment and services
  3. Health education
  4. Social and emotional climate
  5. Physical environment
  6. Health services
  7. Counseling, psychological, and social services
  8. Employee wellness
  9. Community involvement
  10. Family engagement

Other collaborators are the Priscilla Chan/Mark Zuckerberg Initiative and Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Both these collaborators’ organizations have been criticized recently for surreptitiously weaving controversial Social Justice doctrine into seemingly innocuous education programs.

Whole Child programs can take on a variety of forms. The Chandler Unified School District’s approach includes several specific, and far less controversial, programs such as:

    • Athletics
    • Art Masterpiece                                   
    • Mandarin Dual Language                       
    • Academy and Traditional Schools
    • Special Needs Programs
    • Band and Orchestra
    • Spanish Dual Language
    • Gifted Programs
    • STEM Programs

There seems to be no generally accepted guidelines on SEL programs and the proper balance of academic instruction (the realm of teachers) and social instruction (the realm of parents). Both communities appear to be encroaching upon each other’s “turf” with parents recoiling about intrusive social instruction in the classroom and teachers dismayed about alternative school choice options being exercised by parents because of their discomfort.

It is long past time to resolve these conflicts with clear and distinct boundaries with respect to the education of, and raising of, children. Our children will be the ones who benefit most.

Kurt Rohrs is a candidate for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. You can find out more about his campaign here.

Prop 128 and 129 Are Necessary Reforms to Arizona’s Ballot Measure Process

Prop 128 and 129 Are Necessary Reforms to Arizona’s Ballot Measure Process

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Among the potential eleven ballot measures voters will see on their ballot this November, two make critically important reforms to the ballot measure process itself: Proposition 128 and Proposition 129.

Proposition 128: Fixing Unconstitutional Initiatives

Arizona is a target for out-of-state special interest groups that spend millions of dollars to put their radical ideas on the ballot. They take an issue that is unpopular with the electorate, like tax hikes, spend a few million dollars to park circulators in Phoenix and Tucson for a couple months, and throw bad policy on our ballots.

Take, for example, Prop 208, which narrowly passed in 2020…

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Arizonans Should Protect Their Wallets and Our State’s Economy by Voting Yes on Prop 132

Arizonans Should Protect Their Wallets and Our State’s Economy by Voting Yes on Prop 132

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

It seems nowadays, the only ones who want to raise taxes are the government and far-left elites. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. They’ll do whatever it takes to further their radical agenda—especially when their bank accounts go unaffected. But in a country that’s supposed to be governed by representation, too many tax increases in America—including right here in Arizona—are coming down to a simple majority.

Of course, we just saw this at the federal level when the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” passed on a 51-50 vote in the Senate thanks, in large part, to Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema. Now, because of the slimmest majorities along party lines, taxpayers are left with a $700 billion repackaged version of President Biden’s Build Back Broke plan.

But this issue isn’t limited to the federal government, Congress, or even state legislatures. Just look at what happened with Prop 208 in 2020. This disastrous piece of legislation, which was pushed by out-of-state special interest groups, passed with only 51% of people voting for it. And it would’ve turned Arizona into a high tax state had it not been for the court system killing it once and for all.

Allowing 51% of the population (who probably don’t have to pay the tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% to pay it, is wrong. And while today’s tax increase may not affect you, tomorrow’s most certainly will.

That’s why it’s critical that the people of Arizona vote YES on Proposition 132…  

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