2001

July 27th, 2001 Our first meeting!
Time: 10:30 am
Place: Social Hall

Was it Disorganized? . . . Yes; . . .
Was it Noisey? . . . Yes; . . .
Was it too crowded? . . . Yes; . . .
Was there a great turnout? . . . Yes;
Was nything accomplished? . . . Yes.

The Social Hall was filled to capacity with many Homeowners forced to stand & others spilling out the doors.

     

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich graciously sent Martin Gelfand, an attorney from his office, to meet with the Homeowners & hear their concerns. Mr. Gelfand, a kind & sympathetic young man, readily admitted he did not have all the answers but . . . . pointed out that the residents’ here actually had a dual role; Homeowner & Tenant.

He stated that since rent increases fell under the domain of the tenant relationship we hold with the park owners; that our first plan of action should be to organize a Homeowners’/Tenants Association. He also promised to arrange for a representative of The Cleveland Tenants Association to meet with Homeowners’ as soon as possible to guide us in recognizing what the law provides in “protecting” tenants.

Accomplishments:
1) A steering committee was formed to lay the groundwork for forming an association and
2) Telephone volunteers signed up
On Monday, July 29th, the new park owners announced they would meet with Homeowners’ on:

Tuesday, July 31st at 6 pm. and Wednesday, August 1st at 1 pm. & 6 pm.

They patiently listened to the Homeowners’ concerns & answered their questions. But concluded that the rent increases & other changes were all necessary & legal.

* * * * * * * * * * 

August 3rd, 201 Our second meeting!
Time: 9:30 am
Place: Social Hall

Disorganized? . . . Yes
Noisey? . . . Yes
Too crowded? . . . Yes
Great turnout? . . . Yes
Pouring rain? . . . Yes
Anything accomplished? . . . Yes.

Once again, the Social Hall was filled to capacity with many Homeowners forced to stand & others spilling out the doors. Many were forced to leave because they couldn’t get in the door & it was raining too hard to stand outside.

As promised, Martin Gelfand, an attorney from the office of U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich and Mike Foley, executive director of the The Cleveland Tenants Association, met with Homeowners’. Also in attendance were Tom Bush and Karen Straka, Olmsted Township Trustees.

Mike Foley advised residents to develop their own negotiating power by staging a “rent strike” before the new rental increases go into effect.

Accomplishments:
1) By-laws were read and unanimously approved;

2) Letter writing campaign to elected officials at the local, state &: federal level initiated.

3) The following individuals will serve as Officers of the Homeowners/Tenants Association until elections are held in November:

President: Pat Patterson
Vice Pres: Gil Miller
Sec’y: Rita Smith
Treasurer: Ed Patrick
Historian/Asst. Sec’y: Jean Katitis

Committee’s

Arrangements: Bob Lowe
By-Laws: Wanda Rudary
Communications: Duane Frayer
Laison: Rita Cox
Membership: Ann Palmer
Nominating: Mary Jane Whalen
Publicity: Mary Kubat
Records/Printing: Chuck Palmer
NEW! – Rent Check Collection: Brenda Kocevar
Research: Pat Savage
Snowbirds: Phyllis Scorzino
Volunteers: Lil Snyder

* * * * * * * * * * 

August 9th, 2001 HTA’s 3rd meeting!
Time: 9:30 am
Place: German Club

Disorganized? . . . NO
Noisey? . . . NO
Too crowded? . . . NO
Great turnout? . . . YES
Anything accomplished? . . . YES . . . YES . . . YES
Officials in Attendance:

Congressman Dennis Kucinich;
Martin Gelfand; Attornery for Mr. Kucinich
Olmsted Township Trustees: Tom Bush, Tim Hagan & Karen Straka;
State Senator: Sally Conway Kilbane
Mike Foley: Executive Director of Cleveland Tenants Organization
Eric Janus: County Commissioner Jane Campbell’s representative
Jim Snider: Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Matt Moennich; County Commissioner Tim McCormick’s representative
Lynn Whelan: Cuyahoga County Dept. of Senior Services

Before the meeting was called to order, Tom Bush, Chairman of the Olmsted Township Trustees, introduced himself. He announced that because he had to get to work, he would take time before the meeting to read to the Homeowners the letter being sent to the 8 New York investors by the Olmsted Township Trustees. The letter appealed to the new owners sense of fair play & good judgment toward Seniors on fixed incomes. It confirmed that the Trustees understood the Homeowners positions & offered assistance in resolving disputed issues.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am by Association President Pat Patterson. She said the goals for todays meeting were twofold:

1) initiate the rent strike and;

2) demand eminent domain by which trustees would take over property & preserve our homes.

Minutes of the August 3rd meeting were read by Rita Smith, Secretary, & accepted.

Pat Patterson introduced Martin Gelfand & he in turn introduced Congressman Dennis Kucinich who entered the room to a standing ovation.

Kucinich’s speech to the almost 1000 residents that attended the meeting touched on several major points: protection under the Fair Housing Act; intentions of owners vs. intentions of residents who desire security in their later years. He stressed – “stay united”. He concluded by pledging his political support, Mike Foley’s support & the services of Martin Gelfand to represent the Association in legal matters. He concluded that “eminent domain” may be the final solution for protecting homes, survival of the community & to insure that the will of the people prevail.

Pat Patterson announced that the new owners have hired a Cleveland lawyer & public relations firm. The Attorney who remains anonymous at this point is rumored to have said that: the owners are ready to negotiate if today’s meeting is cancelled.

Mike Foley from the Cleveland Tenants Organization was next to address the group. He verified that he had been called by the park owners attorney & restated that if this meeting was cancelled the new owners were willing to negotiate.
Upon entering the meeting, each Homeowner received a copy of a letter titled “Notice to Correct”. Based on the most serious concerns voiced by Homeowners’ at previous meetings, 10 items were selected & listed on the letter. Mike explained that each Homeowner should check the ones that apply to them. Then sign the letter & it would be collected by volunteers. The letters will be delivered to the owners before the strike.
Tim Hagan, Olmsted Township Trustee, addressed the group telling us that the Township Trustees feel strongly about the issues raised by the residents & will include the government of Olmsted Township in the rent strike. He called the increase in rents: immoral & outrageous.

Sally Conway Kilbane stated she was very impressed by the strength of our organization. She would be at the State level examining leases & work on legislation to protect Homeowners of Manufactured Homes.
Eric Janus of County Commissioner Jane Campbell’s office stated that Ms. Campbell stands with the others to save our homes.

The meeting was then opened for questions from Homeowners:
Answers to some questions included:

1) NO to charging Homeowners extra for leaf pick-up or road repairs

2) NO to assessing Homeowners for increase real estate taxes – illegal.

3) Rent checks will go into an escrow account. Money will be held at Berea Municipal Court. Court determines outcome or Homeowners renegotiate. Make rent checks for September out to: Berea Municipal Court. Under Ohio Law, Homeowners are protected from any form of retaliation. Payment for cable services & trash pick-up get mailed with coupon to bank in Rochester New York.

4) A resident from Twin Oaks on Cook Rd. which has 65 units requested membership in the Homeowners/Tenants Association. Their park was purchased by the same New York investors & they have had 2 rent increases. Pat Patterson & Marty Gelfand will meet with Twin Oaks people to help them form an Association & then form an affiliation.

5) Resident concerned about owning an older home & being forced to move out.

6) Florida addressed similar problems & passed legislation restricting rent increases to no more than the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which is usually 3%. State Senator Kilbane said Ohio will look at Florida laws.

7) If you turned in your lease, you will need to write a “notice to rescind lease” & request lease be returned. Turning in your lease does not affect your right to participate in the “rent strike”.
Martin Gelfand restated the benefits of a resident-owned community.
Procedure:
The government offers to buy the land. If owner says “no” then petition for enforcement of “eminent domain” is filed. This forces owners to sell.
Dennis Kucinich & Tim Hagan will “hand carry” September rent checks to Berea Municipal Court.

They will also go to the Cuyahoga County Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday, August 14th, and ask them to issue “general obligation” bonds to purchase Columbia Park.

Accomplishments:
1) short-term goal: rent strike initiated
2) long-term goal: general revenue bonds & emminent domain
Joe Holzer of the German Club was “thanked” for letting us meet there.

Association requested donations to offset start-up costs.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:30 by Pat Patterson, President.

Next Special Meeting
Date: August 23rd
Time: 9:30 am
Place: German Club

For those who work during the day!
Date: August 23rd
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Social Hall

* * * * * * * * * * 

When: Tuesday, August14th
What: Cuyahoga County Commissioners’ Meeting
Where: Cuyahoga County Administration Building
Why: Proposal for County Intervention to save Columbia Park

Homeowners gather in Social Hall to prepare for trip into Cleveland to attend the Cuyahoga County Commissioners’ Meeting.

Homeowners are interviewed by Tom Beres of Channel 3 News before making the trip into Cleveland for the County Commissioners Meeting.

     

Cuyahoga County Administrative Building where County Commissioners meet.

     

Homeowners’ wait for meeting to begin!

     

Pat Patterson is interviewed by Sophia Hall of radio station WTAM 1100 on the AM dial.

Congressman Kucinich greets Homeowners’.

Marty Gelfand; administrative staff of Cong. Kucinich & Mike Foley of the Cleveland Tenants Association attend the meeting.

Tim Hagan, Olmsted Township Trustee; Congressman Kucinich & Marty Gelfand before their presentations to the County Commissioners.

Cuyahoga County Commissioners
Jane Campbell, Jimmy Dimora, & Tim McCormick

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Jimmy Dimora.


Congressman Kucinch was the first to address the Commissioners who listened attentively while he spoke. He outlined for the Commissioners the details of what had already occurred. He asked the Commissioners to consider assisting in acquiring the property under the Law of Eminent Domain. He suggested that such action would protect Seniors’ from out-of-state developers.

Tim Hagan representing the Olmsted Township Trustees, assured the Commissioners that the Township was committed to preserving the Columbia Park community. He requested that the County Commissioners review the legal issues available to saving the community & informed them that rents from the community generated $300,000 a month. He concluded by saying that: Columbia Park consists of 200 acres of prime real estate, which is the largest parcel left in Cuyahoga County, & it is now owned by New York investors.

Pat Patterson Homeowner & President of Columbia Park’s Homeowners/Tenants Association testifies before the County Commissioners.

Commissioner Jane Campbell suggested to her fellow Commissioners that they meet with the Prosecutors Office, Budget Dept. etc. as quickly as possible.

Commissioner Tim McCormick commented that the process could be a complex & prolonged one & suggested the County move in a prudent fashion.

Mr. Brown from the County Prosecutor’s Office said he would be working on a roadmap of actions for the Commissioners.

* * * * * * * * * * 

August 23rd, 2001
WHAT: Homeowners Meeting
WHERE: German Club

As Homeowners lined up to leave the park this morning, they were stopped at the Guard House & handed a flyer!!

          

Homeowners’ arriving at the German Club for meeting.

First order of business:
stop at the Membership table to pay $2.00 per person membership dues!

     

Next stop!
Pick up the packet of papers you’ve signed. Read the attached instructions & make sure you understand them.

     

Then into the Main Hall to find a seat.

Looks like standing room ONLY !

          

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The meeting was called to order by Pat Patterson at 9:45am.

Minutes of the August 9th Meeting were read by Rita Smith, Association Secretary, and approved with no additions or corrections.

Wanda Rudary, By-Laws Chairman, read changes to by-laws. Motion made to approve & seconded. Changes approved after questions from the floor were answered.

Pat Patterson introduced our guests present on the stage:

1) Marty Gelfand, attorney from Congressman Kucinich’s office
2) Mike Foley, attorney & director of Cleveland Tenants Organization
3) Eric Janus, administrative assistant from County Commissioner Jane Campbell’s office

Ed Patrick, Association Treasurer, gave the Treasurer’s report. Motion made to approve & seconded. Report approved.

Pat reported that Mary Jane Whalen, has been working on the selection of : Interim Trustees. The Park has been divided into 6 Districts. Trustees will serve as “contact & resource people” for the district in which they serve.
Homeowners were instructed to check the maps posted to see what District they were in & to write down their Trustees name & phone #. The following names were submitted for approval:

Area 1: Bill Rudnikas; 37 Parkway; 235-1009
Area 2: Betty Gorman; 14 Parade; 235-1259
Area 3: Don Wasserman; 15 Symphony; 235-0520
Area 4: Robert Getman; 2 Church; 427-1010
Area 5: Skip Weithman; 63 Parkway; 235-0924
Area 6: Ken Miller; 5 Piccolo; 235-9360
Motion made to approve appointment of nominees & seconded. Trustees approved.

Pat asked for a show of hands of those attending their FIRST Homeowners meeting. Several hands were raised. She then reviewed past events:

1) Resolution 4801: Olmsted Township Trustees Declaration of full support of rent strike; their readiness to join with all branches of government to preserve the homes at Columbia Park.

2) August 14th: County Commissioners Meeting where Mr. Kucinich presented our case & cause for eminent domain.

Eric Janus, executive assistant to County Commissioner Jane Campbell, restated that her intention is to bring together Cleveland’s best minds from the Office of Senior Citizens, the Department of Budget & the County Prosecutor’s office to study the county’s ability to issue general bonds to purchase Columbia Park.

3) Letter to Homeowners from Congressman Kucinich. Any resident that hasn’t received one yet will be getting it shortly.

4) Letter from Columbia Park Management addressing the issues in the “Letter to Correct” signed by Homeowners.

5) Flyer from Columbia Park Management handed to Homeowners this morning.
The flyer from the Management is in response to a meeting on August 22nd between Marty Gelfand, Mike Foley, Homeowner Association officers, 2 owners, 2 of their attorneys, 1 public relations person hired by the owners & the County Commissioners.

Three major concessions from Management:
1) Rent checks no longer need to be mailed to New York. They can be dropped off at the PARK OFFICE.

2) Property taxes & assessments will NOT be passed on to Homeowners.

3) New equipment will be purchased.

4) NO CHANGE IN RENT INCREASE. IT REMAINS.

Pat Patterson called for a motion to GO FORWARD with the “rent strike”.
The motion was made & approved unanimously.

Marty Gelfand, addressed the Homeowners. Highlights of his presentation are below.

Marty introduced Mr. Shelby, executive director of HUD’s Cleveland Office, here to advise regarding laws on the Federal level. Marty then explained that the goals of the meeting on August 22nd were twofold:
1) lower rents to previous level &
2) sell property to Homeowners.

Owners expressed a willingness to sell but DID NOT BUDGE on the rent increase. He expressed optimism because at least there was some communication between the parties.

Mike Foley, Executive Director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization, briefed Homeowners on the MECHANICS OF A RENT STRIKE.

For those who signed the “Letter to Correct” at the August 9th meeting.

YOU ARE INCLUDED IN THE SEPTEMBER “RENT STRIKE”.
1) Make out your September rent check to:
Berea Municipal Court in the NEW AMOUNT

2) Bring your check to the Social Hall on:

Tuesday, September 4th from 1 to 4 pm. or on
Wednesday, September 5th from 1 to 4 pm. & 6 to 8 pm.

You will fill out a form provided by the stating your check has been deposited with the court with the amount under protest.

3) If you have cable TV, rec vehicle rent, trash, or any other charges, make that payment using the coupons you received & put it in the Drop Box at the PARK OFFICE. Your check & coupon MUST BE in an envelope. This is NEW !!
Special Note:
Our checks will be delivered to the Berea Municipal Court by Congressman Dennis Kucinich & Olmsted Township Trustee Tim Hagan.

Ours will be the LARGEST RENT STRIKE in the history of Ohio.

For those of you that DID NOT sign the “Letter to Correct” at the August 9th meeting. YOU ARE NOT INCLUDED; repeat ARE NOT INCLUDED; . . . IN THE SEPTEMBER “RENT STRIKE”.

1) Your September check for rent, cable & other charges along with your coupon can be dropped off at the PARK OFFICE in an envelope.

If, however, you wish to join in the rent strike for OCTOBER, you must:

Sign the “Letter to Correct” before September 1st & return it to the person you got it from. DO NOT turn it in at the office.
You will then be included in the “rent strike” for OCTOBER.

If, because of the Rent Strike, the owners are forced into foreclosure:

1) the court takes over the property

2) the property goes up for Sheriff’s sale

3) it can be purchased by another park owner or by the Homeowners Association.

Reminder for all Homeowners who signed the new lease:
If you signed a letter to “rescind your lease”:

return it to the person you got it from or to Pat Patterson.
DO NOT turn it in at the office.

Eric Janus announced he had been in contact with the Department of Adult & Senior Services DURING OUR MEETING & they will try to help anyone suffering hardship caused by the increased rents. APPLAUSE ! APPLAUSE !

Irene Nary, Membership Chairman, announced that dues of $5.00 would be due in January. This is of special significance to Snowbirds who will be gone at that time. Arrangements will be made for you to pay your dues so that your voting rights are protected.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.

* * * * * * * * * * 

When: August 23rd
Time: 7:30 pm (for those unable to attend this morning)
Where: Social Hall

First order of business: stop at the Membership table to pay $2.00 per person membership dues!

  

Next stop!
Pick up the packet of papers you’ve signed. Read the attached instructions & make sure you understand them.

  
Then find a seat.

      
This meeting also turned out to be standing room ONLY !

The meeting was called to order at 7:40pm. by Pat Patterson, Homeowners Association President.

Minutes of the August 9th Meeting were read by Rita Smith, Association Secretary, and approved with no additions or corrections. Pat Patterson added that the minutes were accepted by 1100 Homeowners at the morning meeting.

Wanda Rudary, By-Laws Chairman, read changes to by-laws. Changes to by-laws approved & seconded by evening group also.

Ed Patrick, Association Treasurer, read the Treasurer’s report. Report approved & submitted for audit.

Irene Nary, Membership Chairman, thanked all who payed their dues. Dues of $5.00 will be due in January.

Pat Patterson introduced new Committee Chairman.

Arrangements: Bob Lowe
By-Laws: Wanda Rudary
Communications: Duane Frayer
Laison: Rita Cox
Membership: Ann Palmer
Nominating: Mary Jane Whalen
Publicity: Mary Kubat
Records/Printing: Chuck Palmer
NEW! – Rent Check Collection: Brenda Kocevar
Research: Pat Savage
Snowbirds: Phyllis Scorzino
Volunteers: Lil Snyder

Pat reported that Mary Jane Whalen, has been working on the selection of : Interim Trustees. The Park has been divided into 6 Districts. Trustees will serve as “contact & resource people” for the district in which they serve.
Homeowners were instructed to check the maps posted to see what District they were in & to write down their Trustees name & phone #.

Area 1: Bill Rudnikas; 37 Parkway; 235-1009
Area 2: Betty Gorman; 14 Parade; 235-1259
Area 3: Don Wasserman; 15 Symphony; 235-0520
Area 4: Robert Getman; 2 Church; 427-1010
Area 5: Skip Weithman; 63 Parkway; 235-0924
Area 6: Ken Miller; 5 Piccolo; 235-9360
Pat asked for a show of hands of those attending their FIRST Homeowners meeting. Several hands were raised. She then reviewed past events:

Resolution 4801: Olmsted Township Trustees Declaration of full support of rent strike; their readiness to join with all branches of government to preserve the homes at Columbia Park.

August 14th: County Commissioners Meeting where Mr. Kucinich presented our case & cause for eminent domain.
Eric Janus, executive assistant to County Commissioner Jane Campbell, was present at the morning meeting and restated that Miss Campbell’s intention is to bring together Cleveland’s best minds from the Office of Senior Citizens, the Department of Budget & the County Prosecutor’s office to study the county’s ability to issue general bonds to purchase Columbia Park.

Letter to Homeowners from Congressman Kucinich. Any resident that hasn’t received one yet will be getting it shortly.

Letter from Columbia Park Management addressing the issues in the “Letter to Correct” signed by Homeowners.

Flyer from Columbia Park Management handed to Homeowners this morning.
The flyer from the Management is in response to a meeting on August 22nd between Marty Gelfand, Mike Foley, Homeowner Association officers, 2 owners, 2 of their attorneys, 1 public relations person hired by the owners & the County Commissioners.

Three major concessions from Management:

1) Rent checks no longer need to be mailed to New York. They can be dropped off at the PARK OFFICE.

2)Property taxes & assessments will NOT be passed on to Homeowners.

3)New equipment will be purchased.
NO CHANGE IN RENT INCREASE. IT REMAINS !!!

Pat Patterson called for a motion to GO FORWARD with the “rent strike”. She stated the morning group approved the motion unanimously. The evening group did also.

Marty Gelfand, addressed the Homeowners. He informed the Homeowner’s that Mr. Shelby, executive director of HUD’s Cleveland Office, was present at the morning meeting. His role will be to advise regarding laws on the Federal level. Marty then explained that the goals of the meeting on August 22nd were twofold:
lower rents to previous level & sell property to Homeowners.

Mike Foley, executive director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization briefed the Homeowners on the MECHANICS OF A RENT STRIKE. Highlights of his presentation are below.

Mike stated that there are 3 groups of Homeowner’s in the “rent strike.
1) those who gave notice to owners on August 10th;
2) those who gave notice after August 10th;
3) those who are in the middle of their lease.
For those who signed the “Letter to Correct” at the August 9th meeting.

YOU ARE INCLUDED IN THE SEPTEMBER “RENT STRIKE”.
1) Make out your September rent check to:
Berea Municipal Clerk of Courts in the NEW AMOUNT

2) Bring your check to the Social Hall on:

Tuesday, September 4th from 1 to 4 pm. or on
Wednesday, September 5th from 1 to 4 pm. & 6 to 8 pm.
You will fill out a form provided by the Cleveland Tenants Organization stating your check has been deposited with the court with the amount under protest.

3) If you have cable TV, rec vehicle rent, trash, or any other charges, make that payment using the coupons you received & put it in the Drop Box at the PARK OFFICE. Your check & coupon MUST BE in an envelope. This is NEW !!
Special Note:
Our checks will be delivered to the Berea Municipal Court by Congressman Dennis Kucinich & Olmsted Township Trustee Tim Hagan.

Ours will be the LARGEST RENT STRIKE in the history of Ohio.

For those of you that DID NOT sign the “Letter to Correct” at the August 9th meeting.
YOU ARE NOT INCLUDED; repeat ARE NOT INCLUDED; . . . IN THE SEPTEMBER “RENT STRIKE”.

1) Your September check for rent, cable & other charges along with your coupon can be dropped off at the PARK OFFICE in an envelope.

If, however, you wish to join in the rent strike for OCTOBER, you must:

Sign the “Letter to Correct” before September 1st & return it to the person you got it from. DO NOT turn it in at the office.
You will then be included in the “rent strike” for OCTOBER.

If, because of the Rent Strike, the owners are forced into foreclosure:

1) the court takes over the property
2) the property goes up for Sheriff’s sale
3) it can be purchased by another park owner or by the Homeowners Association.

Reminder for all Homeowners who signed the new lease:
If you signed a letter to “rescind your lease”:

return it to the person you got it from or to Pat Patterson.
DO NOT turn it in at the office.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

* * * * * * * * * * 

September 10th, 2001

WHAT: Rent checks are delivered to Berea Municipal Court

Homeowners gather to witness the depositing of their rent checks . . . .
BECAUSE they “woke the SLEEPING TIGER” !

      

      

As promised, Congressman Dennis Kucinich arrives along with Mike Foley,
Executive Director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization !

      

Checks are handed over to Ed Budney, Clerk of the Berea Municipal Court!

      

      

Congressman Kucinich, Mike Foley and Pat Patterson, President of the Columbia Park Homeowners/Tenants Association, speak to Seniors after the deposit of checks!

     

They came in wheelchairs & with walkers;
they came 2 by 2 in cars and carpooled in vans.
THEY CAME to defend & protect their homes !
THEY CAME because they just HAD TO !

          

          

Thanks to:

Congessman Kucinich for all of your efforts on our behalf.
Your support & guidance have been outstanding.

Kathy Skarrah
Communications Director
Washington D.C.
(202) 226-8139

Thanks to:
Mike Foley, Executive Director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization
Your expertise, knowledge and dedication have endeared you all the Homeowners here. Win or loose, we THANK you, Mike !!

WE would also like to express our gratititude to Channels 3, 5, 8 and 19/43 for being with us today & giving us the oppurtunity to express our concerns in such a timely fashion.

* * * * * * * * * * 

September 14th, 2001

WHAT: Homeowners Meeting
WHEN: 9:30 am
WHERE: German Club

The meeting was called to order by Pat Patterson at 9:30 am.

The meeting started with a prayer for the victims & the families affected by Tuesday’s terrorist activities in New York, Washington & Pennsylvania.

Pat apologized to all Homeowners who were not permitted in the building because the Olmsted Fire Department limited the building to 550 people. Some stood outside & others were forced to leave.

Rita Smith, Secretary, read the minutes of previous meeting. Approved.

Ed Patrick read the Treasurer’s report & filed it for audit.

Ann Palmer, Membership, reported we now have 1110 members.

Brenda Kocevar, Rent Check Collections, reported that 503 checks were deposited with the Berea Municipal Court for a total of $144,230.50. Owners will be charged 1% fee to recover any funds in escrow.

Next Meeting &
October Rent Check Collection
Thursday, September 27th at the German Club
9:30 am for Homeowners in Districts 1, 2 & 5:
12:30 pm for Homeowners in Districts 3, 4 & 6.

Instructions for SEPTEMBER Depositors
You will NOT be required to sign another Deposit form. You will receive a copy of the form you signed with your September rent check. In the upper left hand corner will be a CASE NUMBER & DATE. KEEP IT IN A SAFE PLACE.

Instructions for OCTOBER Depositors
(those who didn’t deposit with the court in September)
You can only participate in the October rent deposit if you signed a 30-day “Notice to Correct” and gave it to the Columbia Park Homeowners and Tenants Association before September 9th, 2001. If you signed a 30-day “Notice to Correct” after September 9th, then you will have to wait until November to begin the rent deposit with the court.
Management CANNOT retalitate against you.

When depositing your rent with the court, make your check or money order out to Berea Municipal Court. Regrettably, we believe that you should make your check out in the new amount rather than the old amount. We are protesting this amount, but given the lack of clarity in the law regarding the concept of “unconscionable” rent increases, we feel this is the safest way to go.

We will be collecting the rent checks on the following days at the German Club:

Thursday, September 27th
9:30 am for Homeowners in Districts 1, 2 & 5:
12:30 pm for Homeowners in Districts 3, 4 & 6.

If someone wlse is bringing your rent check to the Social Hall for you, they must be sure that you have previously signed the Berea court Deposit Form (if you deposited in September) or you can obtain one from your trustees.

If you did not participate in September, you will sign a form provided by the Berea Municipal Court, to be delivered with your rent check by the Columbia Park Homeowners and Tenants Association. Copies of the forms will be made and delivered back to you for your records.

The Association will deliver your rent checks to the Court by Wednesday, October 10th so that no late fee will be assessed. The Clerk of Court will then notify the landlord that you have deposited your rent so that they will also have a record of it and not think that you have not paid your rent.

Cable fees ARE NOT part of the rent strike and should be dropped in the slot at the park office on site.

Nominations of Officers for the November are tabled for now. If you would like to nominate anyone, please call: Mary Jane Whalen, Nominating Chairman at 427-1685

Snowbird Chairman, Phyllis Scorzino requests that those leaving for the winter months, please call her at 235-9846 with details of your plans

Lil Snyder, Volunteer Chairman, has absentee ballot applications available for anyone who needs one. A new school levy is on the ballot in November and there is also an election in February. If you plan to be gone during this period, it is strongly recommended that you use the “absentee ballot” to defeat the levies.

Pat Patterson read a article that expained why investors are purchasing mobile home parks. The article offered insight into expected profit margins & why investors are so attracted to investing in parks like ours.

Mike Foley, Executive Director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization, announced that he will be meeting with the Cuyahoga County Director of Development and other County Officials at 9 am. on Thursday to discuss eminent domain & partnership issues. WE are in the process of developing A MODEL FOR THE FUTURE. Not only for Columbia Park but for all of Cuyahoga County.

Candidates for office of Olmsted Township Trustee
were introduced to Homeowners.

Olmsted Township will hold elections on November 6th and the following individuals hope to be elected:

Jerry Gobble,  Greg Paradis,  Martin Strelau, Bryan ?

Rita Smith, Association Secretary, thanked the candidates for their presentations & opened the floor to Homeowners for questions.

Rita Smith made the following announcements before adjourning the meeting at 10:40 pm.

Donations for New York terrorist victims were being accepted.
Please fly the American flag on this National Day of Mourning.
Operation: Christmas Child will be held again this year.

* * * * * * * * * * 

September 27th, 2001

WHAT: Homeowners Meeting and October Rent Collection
WHERE: German Club
WHEN: 9:30 am for Homeowners in Districts 1, 2 and 5.

WHEN: 12:30 pm for Homeowners in Districts 3, 4 and 6.

The meeting was called to order at 12:40 pm. Following the pledge of allegiance, members prayed for the victims of the September 11th tragedy.

Rita Smith, Secretary, read the minutes of previous meeting. Approved with no corrections or additions.

Ed Patrick read the Treasurer’s report & filed it for audit.

Ann Palmer, Membership, reported we now have 1140 members representing 815 households out of the 1058. Only 243 households have not joined. There will be a membership table at every meeting for those who wish to join or pay dues for 2002.

Snowbird Chairman, Phyllis Scorzino requests that those leaving for the winter months, please call her at 235-9846 with details of your plans. She will accept rent checks if you mail them to her at 63 Periwinkle. She also has absentee ballot applications for those who need them.

Mary Jane Whalen, Nominating Chairman, opened the floor to nominations for Association Officers for 2002.

President: NO nominations
VicePresident: Frank Pojman nominated & accepted
Seretary: NO nominations
Treasurer: NO nominations
Historian: NO nominations
Trustees: NO nominations
Acceptance of present officers with Frank Pojman accepting the office of Vice President was unanimous. NO formal vote needed.
Pat Patterson’s comments on the latest developments:

* “thanked” Homeowners for all the cards, flowers & “get well wishes” received during her husband’s recent illness & reports he’s doing “much better”.

* Appointment of a Sargeant-at-Arms.

* receiving a hand-delivered letter from Management regarding the closing of the Social Hall, the Gate House & suspension of the Columbia Park Newsletter and taking the following action:

*  informing the Olmsted township Trustees. Karen Straka pledged her full support & offered City Hall for future meetings. Tom Bush ordered regular patrols of Olmsted Township Police thru the park.
*  informing Congressman Kucinich’s office. Claudia of Congressman Kucinich’s office, assures us that Columbia Park remains the #1 issue in their office. (Marty Gelfand, unable to attend the meeting due to the celebration of a religious holiday with his family, sent a letter expressing his regrets.)
*  gave a simple explanation of “eminent domain” and stated that the Cuyahoga County Commissioners have concluded that Columbia Park does serve a public purpose and, if necessary, are prepared to take the property thru “eminent domain”. The Association would then purchase the property from the County.
*  Jennifer Witner, will develop a business plan for the Association at no expense to Homeowners. APPLAUSE . . . . APPLAUSE
*  Announced that the Association would begin publishing a Newletter to be delivered to all Homeowners approximately one week following each meeting.
*  Introduced Mr. David Witt, who will represent us at the upcoming Court hearings.

David Witt, Attorney Native of Toledo
Notre Dame Graduate
Law Degree from CWRU
Specialist in landlord/tenant law
Magistrate in Housing Court
Mediation Specialist
Please click on the picture to see the larger view.
After introducing himself, Mr. Witt spoke about some general issues; the time frame for arguing the case; issues raised by Management; and the Collection of evidence. Homeowners were asked to sign up for those issues that were of special interest to them. Following his presentation he opened the floor to questions from the Homeowners.

Response from Mr. Spada, Ohio Congressman:
Homeowners who participated in the letter-writing campaign finally received an acknowledgement back from Mr. Spada. His unacceptable response suggests he does not need the support of Homeowners in this district at election time.

Norbert Fox, Columbia Park Homeowner, gave a short presentation detailing home ownership in a resident-owned community in Florida. He shared a lengthy list of amenities residents receive for a maintenance fee of $100.00/month. The maintenance fee, incidentally, includes cable, water & lawn care. Just an example of what our community can achieve!

Our “thanks” to Brenda Kocevar for the fine job she’s done handling the Collection of Rent Checks.
Meeting adjourned at 1:55 pm.

* * * * * * * * * * 

October 30th, 2001

WHAT: Meeting and November Rent Collection
TIME: 9:30 am for Areas 1, 2 and 5. AND
12:30 pm for Areas 3, 4 and 6.
WHERE: German Club

(These notes are from the morning meeting.)
The meeting was called to order at 9:35 am. by President, Pat Patterson.

Pat Bittner, Association Chaplain, guided us in prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rita Smith, Secretary, read the minutes from the September 27th meeting. Accepted without additions or corrections.

Ed Patrick, Treasurer, gave the treasurer’s report which was filed for audit.

(Break in Roberts Rules: New Business preceeds Old Business)

David Witt, Association Attorney, reports on negotiations and latest developments regarding legal issues.

* Court awarded owners $87,500 for September and $87,500 for October with the right to renegotiate the October amount.  THIS IS NOT A VICTORY FOR THE OWNERS.
Courts routinely release funds.

* In return for release of funds, the Gate House reopened and the Social Hall reopened to all groups except the Homeowners Association. An injunction, filed with the court, regarding the matter of the Social Hall will be heard tomorrow, October 31st.

* Possible trial dates for resolution of the rent increase issue are November 14th or November 16th.

Expert Witnesses:

Unconscionablity is the basis for our court case. The rent increase of 18-25% by owners of a senior citizen community are unconscionable. Expert witnesses can be very helpful in proveing unconscionability. Bruce Melville is and expert on rental increases. A CSU professor (unnamed), is qualified to look at the owners books & make a judgment regarding their profits based on increased rents.

Should our case be settled out of court, several issues would have to be guaranteed in the settlement, such as: rollback in rents, limited future increases, oppurtunity to purchase and the preservation to use eminent domain.

Mr. Witt answered a few questions from the members before leaving to return to court.

The meeting was adjourned at 11 am.
If, for any reason, you were unable to deposit your rent check at the meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30th, 2001, checks will be collected at 6 locations in the park on:

Wednesday, October 31st
1 to 3 pm. and 7 to 8 pm.
If your last name begins with the letter:

A thru C: Martha White: 3 Corktree

NEW LOCATION !!! D thru H: Ray Xavier: 4 Dogwood

I thru L: Brenda Kocevar: 7 Friendship

M thru P: Rita Cox: 17 Lee’s Lane

Q thru S: Marge Lechner: 18 Peach

T thru Z: Rita Smith: 20 Grand

If you are ill or handicapped or want to join the rent strike, call your area Trustee.

Brenda Kocevar will collect rent checks at her home through November 5th. Call 235-9195. If you check is not received by Nov. 5th, you will need to withdraw at the Park office.

* * * * * * * * * * 

November 20th, 2011

Over the week-end, Trustees passed out flyers to all of the members of the Columbia Park Homeowners/Tenants Association.

ATTENTION: ASSOCIATION MEMBERS

THE COLUMBIA PARK HOMEOWNERS-TENANTS ASSOCIATION HAS WON A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY IN BEREA COURT. JUDGE MARK COMSTOCK HAS RULED THAT WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE THE SOCIAL HALL FOR OUR GATHERINGS. THERE WILL BE AN INFORMATIONAL VIDEO SHOWN AT THE SOCIAL HALL ON TUESDAY, 11/20/01. YOU ARE REQUESTED TO COME TO THE SOCIAL HALL AT YOUR SCHEDULED TIME TO AVOID OVERCROWDING.

A REGULAR ASSOCIATION MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, 11/29/01 AT THE GERMAN CLUB. RENT WILL BE COLLECTED AT THAT TIME ALSO. THERE WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY AT 7 PM ON WEDNESDAY, 11/28/01 FOR THOSE THAT WORK TO ATTEND A MEETING AT THE SOCIAL HALL.

Informational Video by David Witt
Each area assigned a different time throughout the day. Place: Social Hall

(My time to view the video was at 2 pm. These are some of the highlights of what Mr. Witt had to tell us in the video. I am NOT QUOTING him but rather paraphrasing what he explained to us.)

After a short introduction, Mr. Witt discussed the following issues.

MAJOR SUCCESS: Use of the social hall restored to HTA.
Mr. Witt explained that he argued that you can’t target a single group, that use of the social hall was a matter of contract, that it was part of a sales tool and no group had ever been denied use of the social hall. A trial was held and Judge Comstock ruled in our favor.

RENT DEPOSIT ACTION
Homeowners signed a “letter to correct” noting several issues that needed to be corrected especially the rent increases. Release of rents is part of this process.

Management petitioned for release of funds for loan payments, routine park maintenance, etc. Under Ohio Law, landlords are permitted to do this. There was no trial. Agreed to release of $87,500 for September with additional amounts released for October and November. We fully co-operated with management because the goal is not to break management or destroy the park.

DEPOSITIONS:
When preparing for trial, attorneys commonly use depositions. Other side asks questions; you answer. Management has the right to depose each homeowner.
15-20 already done.

Usually takes 1 hour and they are held in downtown Cleveland.

If you are called to be deposed, the Notice goes to Mr. Witt or Mr. Foley who will then contact you.

You have an obligation to participate. Our attorneys prepare us by giving us a sense of the questions they will ask to help us be more relaxed.

6 most important words:
“I don’t know” “I don’t remember”.

Problem: short notice.
Homeowners are entitled to reasonable notice. If you have a problem, our attorneys will try to resolve it.

COURT HEARING on Wednesday, November 21st:
(It would be helpful if 50-100 homeowners attended the hearing. It would demonstrate our intense interest and also impress the court. You may have to stand outside the court room or on the steps but it does send a strong message to the court.)
Purpose of Hearing: continuing Jurisdiction in Berea Court

Berea Municipal Court can hear cases up to $15,000. The owners filed a “claim of bad faith” asking for $25,000 in damages from each homeowner. This sets up the jurisdiction issue.  The court can:
– dismiss the suit due to faulty filing or
– transfer the case
We would like to keep the case in Berea because Judge Comstock will probably be more sympathetic to Columbia Park residents. A judge in Cleveland may not be as sensitive (maybe) to our case.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Management claims it is not appropriate for Mike Foley and David Witt to represent all residents.

When you signed the “notice to correct” each person checked different ISSUES so not all complaints are the same. Management contends that one or two attorneys cannot properly advise you due to conflict of interest.

Our attorneys will argue that ours is a collective action. People understood they surrender some individual issues because collectively we are stronger.

A consent form of representation is prepared. It will be submitted to the court stating that we have been advised.  Homeowners are free to:
– withdraw from the case
– get their own lawyer at their own expense
– represent themselves or
– sign the consent and keep Witt and Foley exclusively your choice.

Mr. Witt encouraged everyone to read the brief submitted to the court by the owners and try and understand as much of it as they could. He closed by giving his phone # (440) 227-4708 to Homeowners.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE . . .
DO NOT CALL PAT PATTERSON ABOUT ANYTHING ON THIS PAGE.
She is bombarded by phone calls to the point of exhaustion.
We need to leave her alone or we will lose her !!

* * * * * * * * * * 

November 21st, 2001

WHERE: Berea Court Hearing
WHAT: continuing jurisdiction of Berea Court.
WHEN: 1 pm.

Tomorrow when you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner with your family, friends and loved ones, please remember to say “thanks” for the MAJOR VICTORY we celebrate today !!  God please bless David Witt and Mike Foley !!

Here’s what happened . . . . . .
The trial never took place. Our attorneys were at their table preparing to start when they were called into what is probably called the Judge’s chambers.

One o’clock came and went and nothing happened.

      

One thirty came and went and nothing happened.

      

Two o’clock came and went and nothing happened

.   

Mike Foley periodically came out and told us they were negotiating.
At approximately, 2:15 pm., David and Mike both came out and made the following announcement:

Our case will stay in Berea Municipal Court

Lawsuits against residents for $25,000 each have been dropped.

No more depositions

Polaris guard program restored

In return for the owners concessions, our attornerys agreed to:

All incidental issues on “Letter to Correct” are dropped.
Berea Court has permission to release all of old rent amounts to owners but hold the difference between the new amount and old amount in escrow.
The issue of retaliation in locking the Homeowners/Tenants Association out of the social hall has been preserved.

Pat Patterson asked for a voice vote for accepting the agreement and the approximately 70 Homeowners sitting and/or standing in the court room unanimously agreed to accept the agreement.

More dates to remember!
January 9th, 2002: Pre-trial hearing
January 29th, 2002: Trial starts and will probably last 4 days.

Judge is talking about holding the trial at the German Club.
(that would be nice.)
The rent strike continues until after the trial. Besides the December rent collection dates already announced, we will also be holding rent collections in January and February unless there is a negotiated settlement on rent increases before the trial date.

*  * * * * * * * * * 

November 28th, 2001

WHAT: Homeowners Meeting and Rent Collection
WHEN: 7:30 pm.
WHERE: Social Hall
Speaker: David Witt

WHAT: Homeowners Meeting and Rent Collection
WHEN: 9:30 am for Areas 1, 2 and 5 AND
12:30 pm for Areas 3, 4 and 6.
WHERE: German Club

Speaker: Mike Foley

Notes from Wednesday evening meeting.
The meeting was called to order by Pat Patterson at 7:10 pm.
Chuck Palmer led us in prayer followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance”.

Rita Smith read the minutes from the Oct 30th meeting. Minutes were approved without any additions or corrections.

Ed Patrick gave the Treasurer’s report which will be filed for audit.

Brenda Kocevar reported on rent collections.
November deposit: 799 checks totaled $228,683.75
December rent collection dates:

December 28th from 7 to 8 pm. in the social hall.
December 29th from 1 to 3 pm. in the social hall.
Rent checks will be accepted at Brenda’s home, 7 Friendship, until January 5th. Call her at 235-9195.

Ann Palmer reported that Memberships are still growing.
1191 members representing 848 households which is 80% of Homeowners.

Duane Frayer reported the Newsletter is looking for a volunteer for typing the Newsletter. Still need volunteers for distributing the Newsletter.

Mary Kubat attended the latest school board meeting & reported the following:
– meeting was held in school’s gorgeous cafetorium
– school board rented a trailer to serve as a temporary classroom for $68,000. Mary pointed out to them that they could have purchased one for the same amount.
– she suggested to the school board that Columbia Park residents be exempt from any further school levies
– based on the school board’s growth projections, it was discovered the projections amounted to 1 additional student per classroom.
– Mary disputed the comment in the Sun News regarding Columbia Park residents speaking “loud”. To the contrary, they were very courteous and dignified.
ANOTHER LEVY WILL BE ON THE BALLOT IN FEBRUARY. PLEASE EXERCISE YOUR “RIGHT TO VOTE”. IF YOU WILL BE “OUT OF TOWN”, PLEASE USE AN ABSENTEE BALLOT.
Rita Cox reports the Telephone Committee will continue to make calls to inform residents of important dates. If you do not receive a call: please let us know. Rita will be out-of-town and Marge Lechner (235-7495) will fill-in for her during that time.

Pat Patterson introduced our attorney, David Witt, to Homeowners because many of them had not had the oppurtunity to meet him at previous meetings held during the day. Following is a summary of Mr. Witt’s comments:

LIMITED SUCCESSES:

Use of the social hall restored to HTA.
last Wednesday’s hearing regarding jurisdiction
each Homeowner was being sued for $25,000 by owners which raised the jurisdiction issue because Berea Municipal Court can only handle cases up to $15,000. The judge could have ruled in 3 ways:
– instuct owners to lower the amount to Municipal standards
– dismiss the owners’ complaint and instruct them to refile
– transfer the case to Clevland’s Common Pleas Court
BARGAIN STRUCK: Bargains involve trade-offs.

Case stays in Berea Court because owners agreed to drop individual lawsuits against homeowners. A magistrate will hear the case. Skip Lazzaro is Judge Comstock’s magistrate. He will make recommendations to the judge but Judge Comstock will make the ultimate decision.
– rent deposit action is a double edge sword. State law requires suit be heard within 60 days of filing which is a very short time frame. Our expert witnesses need time to prepare. Homeowners could serve as expert witnesses but they are biased so the testimony of our expert witnesses are very important.
– Bruce Mellville is an expert in shelter costs using National Standards as well as trends in Cuyahoga County
– John Burke is an expert at evaluating the owners corporation. He will testify on the greed versus profit issues.
Depositions: Owners agreed to stop depositions in return for homeowners dropping claims of ancillary issues and focusing on the unconscionable rent increases
The retaliation claim against owners for locking Homeowners/Tenants Association out of the social hall was preserved.
Theory of case:
Owners’ attornerys will argue that we live in a capitalist society in which the market controls prices. Homeowners have options and although the solutions may be difficult they can always move. They may further argue that Ohio law does not provide for caps on rent hikes. Changing laws belongs in the State legislature not in the courtroom.

Mr. Witt will argue that although we live in a capitalistic society, it no longer is the 1900’s where a few of the wealthiest controlled prices. We now have a capitalistic society with regulations. The courts have already recognized the tenant/landlord laws and the manufactured home laws. Homeowners have limited options – can’t move!

The term, unconscionable, is poorly defined and has never been applied to rent increases. A settlement is recommended but at this time the owners’ show no willingness to settle out of court.

Homeowners are not asking for charity or feeling sorry for themselves. Rather they are mindful of the fact that have payed taxes all their lives and and perhaps it payback time.

Cuyahoga County Commissioners are proceding with eminent domain and believe the case is proper use of their authority.

This case is a bridge to eminent domain. It will buy relief for now and perhaps the next few years. Resident owned is the ultimate goal with the profit motive removed.

Frank Pojman, our newly-elected Vice President addressed the Homeowners.

There will be a preliminary meeting with a prospective financial partner next week.

RTA Senior Program: Provided seniors have a photo ID, they can ride RTA buses and rapids for 50 cents. RTA is willing to bring their equipment to the social hall if enough residents are interested in obtaining a photo ID. A show of hands indicated that many residents were interested.
Speeding: Although speed limits are posted, they are often ignored by homeowners and visitors. We have “walkers” on the property. They are endangered by speeders. Walkers should wear white and/or reflective clothing and use the sidewalks where available.

Parking: There is NO PARKING permitted on fire hydrant side of the street.

Bus to Windsor, Ontario for medications:
Homeowners who would like to know more about a FREE bus to Windsor to buy medications should come to the social hall on December 13th at 1 o’clock to learn more. Please direct any questions you may have to Mary Jane Whelan. Announcement will also be on Channel 6.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

* * * * * * * * * *

Columbia Park Homeowners/Tenants Association BY-LAWS

1. Name: The name of the organization shall be:

a. Columbia Park Homeowners/Tenants Association.

b. The official mailing address of the Association will be the home address of the presiding President.

2. Goals: of the Association are:

a. to represent the collective interests of the homeowners/tenants of Columbia Park.

b. to maintain the park as a Senior Community.

c. to work toward keeping good relations between management and homeowners.

3. Membership: A voting member of the Association shall be any member who:

a. is a resident of Columbia Park.

b. who is a paid-up member.

4. Meetings:

a. will be held bi-monthly (6 meetings yearly) at the Social Hall or other location on the second Thursday of the month pursuant to Robert’s Rules. Times will be posted for all future membership meetings.

b. Decisions of the membership will be made by a majority vote of the members present with due consideration for the development of consensus positions (discussion) before a vote is taken.

c. Special membership meetings may be called by the President and/or the Council.

d. A quorum for a membership meeting shall be a minimum of 25 members present.

e. The members may consider any item of business that may come before them in a regular or special meeting.

5. Executive Board: shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and six (6) Trustees elected by the Association membership. The duties of the officers are as follows:

President: will convene and chair meeting of the membership and the Council and act as a spokesperson for the Association. Be aware of all bylaws. Can appoint committee chairpersons and be considered a member of all commit-tees except the Nominating Committee.

Vice President: will carry out duties of the President in his/her absence and assist President as needed. Vice President will assist Treasurer in his/her absence or emergency situation.

Secretary: will keep records and minutes of all meetings and maintain the correspondence of the Association. Copies of minutes shall be given to President and Vice President.

Assistant Secretary: will assist the Secretary as needed and keep attendance of Council at all meetings. Will also serve as Historian.

Treasurer: will maintain accurate records of monies in a ledger; collect dues from the Membership Committee and report, in writing, a financial statement and itemized account of all income and expenditures at the Council and regular membership meetings of the Association. Copies will be given to the President and Vice President.

Purchase Request Form for advances for the amount over $150 from the Association funds must be submitted for approval by Council. All other expenditures require a voucher and receipt.

Trustees (6): shall be elected to represent the best interests of the members of the Association and shall be selected from all sections of Columbia Park.

a. An Assistant Trustee will be appointed by the Trustee or Executive Board and will be considered a member of Council.

An emergency decision requires a majority vote of the Executive Board.

6. Council: shall meet on the first Thursday of each month.

a. shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and six (6) Trustees elected by Association members. Assistant Trustees and Committee Chairpersons will also be considered members of the Council.

b. The duties of the council are:

1. to organize and conduct meetings of the members and to carry out the decisions that the members make at a regular or special membership meeting.

2. to determine policies and activities of the Association.

3. to receive periodic reports from the Association committee chairpersons.

c. Decisions of the Council will be made by a majority vote of the members present with due consideration for development of discussion before a vote is taken.

d. A quorum of 25% of the Council members and a majority of the Executive Board are required before the Council can make a decision.

7. Nominations and Elections: The Nominating Committee shall consist of a minimumof three (3) members.

a. The Association shall elect the Executive Board from among the members of the Association. Officers will be elected for a one (1) year term and serve not more than two (2) consecutive years in the same office unless vacancy cannot be filled.

b. Nominations to Executive Board positions will be held at the membership meeting in September of each year with the nominee’s consent. Any member of the Association may nominate any person for an officer position as long as that person has been a member for at least one (1) year.

c. Elections will be held at the November meetings with installation taking place after the 7:00 p.m. meeting. Officers’ terms begin in January after installation.

d. Election will be conducted by written ballot if more than one person is nominated for any given office. If position is uncontested there may be a show of hands to elect. If ballots are used, they will be counted by a Tellers Committee of three (3) chosen by the Nominating Chairperson. After count has been conveyed to the membership the ballots will be destroyed.

8. Dues:

a. The Council may establish a dues structure for the Association.

b. Annual dues for all members of Columbia Park Homeowners/Tenants Association shall be $5.00.

9. Vacancies on Executive Board:

a. Officers may be removed from their positions by a majority vote of the members at a regular or special meeting if members are given notice of the issue at least 48 hours before the meeting.

b. In the event of a vacancy on the Council, a replacement will be selected by voice vote at the next general meeting to fill out the remainder of the term of that position.

c. A vacancy occuring among the officers-elect before they take office will be filled by nominating and electing again at the next membership meeting. The President can select a replacement in the interim.

d. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, this vacancy shall be filled by the Vice President subject to the approval of the members.

e. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Treasurer, an audit shall be made of the records and completed within 15 days after receiving the records. A written report shall then be submitted to the Executive Board and the records transferred to the incoming Treasurer.

10. Audit:

a. An annual audit shall be made of the Association’s financial records by an Audit Committee comosed of 2 or 3 members appointed by the Audit Committee chairperson with the Treasurer in attendance.

1. The audit shall be completed within thirty (30) days after the close of the fiscal year ending December 31 and the records transferred to the incumbent Treasurer.

b. Recommendations by the Audit Committee Chairperson may be submitted to the Council for approval.

c. Final balance sheets and statements shall be submitted to the Executive Board. Approval of audit will be conveyed by the Treasurer to the Council at the February meeting.

Original adoption by Membership: August 3, 2001

Approved by Membership: August 23, 2001

*~* 2001 ends *~*

 

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