Tom Bottorf vs. Trilogy at Vistancia HOA Board… Round 2

Tom Bottorf is running for Peoria City Councilman in the Mesquite District

My name is Tom Bottorf and I am a candidate for the Peoria City Council. On May 10th I was sitting in the lobby at Trilogy at Vistancia’s Kiva Club, reading my mail as I’ve done for the past six years. The only thing different this time was that I was wearing my “Tom for Peoria” hat and campaign T-shirt.

Imagine how surprised I was when I received a phone call just a few hours later from the HOA manager, telling me that I was no longer allowed to wear my hat or shirt in ANY common area of my Trilogy community. Furthermore, no one in Trilogy was allowed to wear ANY clothing with an active candidate’s name on it, whether it be for a local election, state, or even presidential! No Trump hats or Biden T-shirts anywhere on the premises… starting NOW!

When asked what was the reasoning behind this, I was told this was a violation of the Association Rules regarding “electioneering”. (I knew there was more to the story, however, because no rule was in place in election years 2020 or 2022.)

After sleeping on this, I wrote an email to the HOA manager the following day, saying that “the no political attire for any common area in Trilogy mandate is so over-the-top in violation of rights afforded by the 1st Amendment, I just cannot abide by it.”

The HOA attorney got into the action a couple days later and told me that the Board was about to consider sanctions as a result of my intentional violation of the rules… and that the Board has the authority to fine me, suspend my common area rights, suspend my voting rights and even seek injunctive relief in the Courts!

The attorney closed by informing me that he had the “right to request a hearing” with the Board within the next 15 days if I wished to “contest this matter”. And if I failed to schedule and attend a hearing, the Board would make a decision as to my punishment without my input.

Ironically, the threatening email ended kindly with a closing of “God Bless.”

James T. Harris caught wind of this story and invited me onto his 7:00 am show a week later. (Here is a link to the interview: Within a couple minutes after the 8-minute segment, I received an email from the HOA attorney stating there was no longer a “need for a hearing”. Hmm, coincidence? Apparently, the exposure of the HOA’s outrageous behavior was all it took for the Board to back off of this ridiculous position!

But… was it over? Well, not quite. The attorney’s email indicated that the Board would now be looking to the Trilogy community in order to get their “feelings” on the matter. The clear implication was that the community would be involved with some type of vote, poll, or community gathering to decide if political attire would be allowed inside the sacred gates of Trilogy at Vistancia!

So that’s where it now stands. My fellow residents and I are temporarily “allowed” to wear our “Tom for Peoria” hats and campaign shirts, as well as those for state and federal elections. But the community will ultimately determine if FREEDOM OF SPEECH is permitted or denied for Trilogy at Vistancia residents and visitors.

As shared with James T. Harris on his radio interview, I believe this boils down to one thing… I am a conservative Christian, and a number of fellow residents hate the very core of my family’s beliefs. They

have made this abundantly clear on social media. My running for public office as their Peoria city councilman is just too much for their wokeness to handle.

The obvious question is, “What’s next”? Perhaps the Board will reach out to the community for a poll to be taken regarding the 2nd Amendment! After all, some residents in Trilogy at Vistancia have made it very clear they are against guns. They would be thrilled if NO guns were even allowed within the walls of their pristine community! Or perhaps, only certain folks should be “allowed” to purchase a home in Trilogy… based on race or sexual preference?

Where does all this nonsense stop? This is one slippery slope the ill-advised and misguided HOA Board has created. I’ve emailed them several times regarding my remedy for this mess they have so foolishly created. They should email the entire community and apologize for this “misstep”. I don’t personally need or expect an apology from them. But they do owe this to the community at large.


  1. HOA must be in belief that they are a separate country within a country. Their ignorant wokeness is showing. There must be a law made that HOAs can’t make rules that violate our constitution.

    • Whether you agree or not with the HOA private entries are not subject to the 1st Amendment

  2. Isn’t it strange how the woke left always tries to suppress the views that aren’t in accordance with theirs, but then accuse those they are trying to suppress of being dictators.

  3. Tom I applaud your efforts, ones every home owner must be willing to undertake. Fascism must me stamped out anywhere it tries to take root. HOA are no exception. Personally, I would never live in one but anyone foolish enough to do so, I hope you stand strong. They will take every inch you give them.

  4. Jo, HOA CC&R’s never supersede the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court has made rulings in this area, supporting people’s First Amendment rights. That’s why in H.O.A.-governed areas residents can still post signs in their yard to support a political candidate.

  5. I learned in my twenties when I bought a townhome in an HOA that I should have read the CC&Rs before buying. Buyers as part of a real estate transaction sign a document that says they have a copy of the CC&Rs and acknowledge them. Always buyer beware. The alternative is to get elected to the HOA board and change things for the better. HOAs and CCRs are parameters/measures I avoid wherever they are employed. Good Luck changing that system.

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