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Commission on Common Ownership Communities

Minutes of the Monthly Meeting

May 7, 2014

(Approved)

The monthly meeting of the Commission on Common Ownership Communities was called to order at 7:05 pm by Vice Chairman Arthur Dubin.

Present: Commissioners Dubin, Stone, Fishbein, Zajic, Kabakoff, Mays, Weinstein, Coyle, Brandes, Fonoroff  (10).

Absent: Commissioners Molloy, Alkon, Cromwell, Winegar, Ethier.

Also attending: Associate County Attorney Walter Wilson; CCOC Staff Ralph Vines and Peter Drymalski; Larry Dorney.

Request to videotape CCOC Meeting:

Mr. Dorney asked permission to videotape the CCOC meeting.  Mr. Wilson reviewed the Maryland Attorney General’s Open Meetings Act Manual and advised that, according to the Manual, a public body may only restrict the videotaping or sound taping of its meetings if those restrictions are part of previously adopted reasonable written rules.  He went on to note, however, that the public body may not adopt an outright prohibition on the videotaping or sound taping of its open meetings.  Vice Chairperson Dubin stated that the consensus of the Commission was to object to the videotaping, but acknowledged that Mr. Dorney could proceed with videotaping despite the Commissioners’ objections.  Mr. Dorney then stated he would not videotape the meeting.

            1. MINUTES.  The minutes of the April meeting were approved as drafted (Ms. Kabakoff abstaining).

            2. COMMUNITY FORUM:

            None.

            3. NEW CASES PRESENTED FOR REVIEW:

            The Commission voted unanimously to table discussion of #22-14, Lakeview Condominium v. Peverly, in order to allow the parties time to attempt to resolve the dispute in mediation.

            The Commission voted unanimously to accept jurisdiction of #24-14, Prue v. Old Georgetown Village Condominium, and to refer it to a hearing panel for further proceedings (Brandes and Dubin, abstaining).  The hearing panel will include Mr. Fishbein and Ms. Mays; a date will be selected by the panel later.

            4. REQUESTS TO THE COMMISSION:

            None.

            5. DECISIONS AND ORDERS ISSUED; OTHER LITIGATION:

            None.

            6. COUNTY ATTORNEY'S REPORT:

            None.

            7. STAFF REPORTS:

            Staff circulated its statistical report for April, noting that for the second time this year it had received a record number of new complaints (19).

            8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:

            Mr. Dubin reported that the Education Committee has completed the drafts of some episodes of the next round of instructional videos.  Many more must be written.

            There was no report from the Annual Forum Committee.

            Mr. Stone reported for the Legislative Committee.   The Committee supported the concept of a survey to gather information on the subject of restricting rentals in condominiums and on the topic of making it easier to amend condominium bylaws.  Mr. Zajic will prepare a specific survey proposal for consideration at the next monthly meeting, along with a position paper to explain what the issues are.

            Mr. Stone also summarized the bills that passed the General Assembly.  Chief among these is the law that repeals the court ruling in Tracey v. Solesky on pit bulls.  The new law states that community associations and landlords are not strictly liable for injuries caused by dogs running loose—they are only liable if they themselves are somehow negligent.  The “open meetings” law for housing cooperatives also passed.  Finally, the legislature amended the contract lien act to allow associations to foreclose on liens that include interest (but not late fees).

            9. OLD BUSINESS:

            Discussion of the Ethics Commission ruling against the CCOC is postponed until the June meeting.

            Discussion of the CCOC budget is also postponed until the June meeting.

            10. NEW BUSINESS:

            Mr. Dubin recommended also that the CCOC take up the issue of adopting reasonable rules for video and sound taping of its meetings at the June meeting.

            11. NEXT MEETING:  The next meeting will be Wednesday,  June 4, and the following meeting will be Wednesday, July 2, 2014.

            The meeting adjourned at 8:10pm.

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