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Member News: January/February 2009
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Minnesota Community Living   January/February 2009

From the President
By Mark Schoenfelder

Featured Community: Glen Edin of Edinburgh
By Don McGuire

Avoid Silly Mistakes on Your Tax Returns

Getting the Most Out of Your Vendors
By Steve Hoogenakker, Taylor Made Lawn and Landscape

Misconceptions About Property Values

Member News


Member News Back to Index

CAI Joins Fix Housing First Coalition
Community Associations Institute (CAI) has announced that the 29,000-member organization has joined the Fix Housing First coalition, a national effort to address the current housing crisis and broader economic downturn.

The Fix Housing First coalition brings together a variety of stakeholders — including homeowners associations, builders, manufacturers, suppliers and others — united by the concern that home prices and property values continue to decline dramatically across the country, affecting hard-working Americans everywhere.

The Fix Housing First coalition supports a stimulus package that effectively addresses the root of the current economic crisis — housing — by offering incentives to encourage Americans to buy homes again. Specifically, the coalition is urging Congress to adopt a meaningful, non-refundable tax credit and a mortgage rate reduction for all home buyers.

The mortgage foreclosure crisis is having a major impact on homeowner and condominium associations across the country. According to a recent CAI membership survey, 48 percent of association-governed communities face “severe” or “serious” financial issues as a result of the housing crisis.

Close to 60 million people — about one in five of all Americans — live in an estimated 300,000 association-governed communities.

“This crisis is impacting virtually every part of American society — families, community associations, corporate employers and municipalities,” says CAI Chief Executive Officer Tom Skiba, CAE. “Meaningful measures are needed now to stem the downward spiral. That’s why we are part of this effort to urge strong government action.”

The solution proposed by Fix Housing First asks that Congress enhance the Home Buyer Tax Credit for residences purchased between April 2008 and December 2009 to up to 10 percent of home price or $22,000, depending on geography. In addition, buyers should have access to discounted mortgage financing that would encourage eligible home buyers to enter the market.

“Housing is at the root of the financial crisis in our country,” says Andrew Fortin, CAI’s vice president of government and public affairs. “The government has to take action to increase the current demand for housing. We need to give incentives to home buyers to make their purchases now instead of later. Only that can stop the fall in home values, decrease inventories and, ultimately, restore consumer confidence and spur job creation.”

CAI is a national membership organization that represents homeowner and condominium associations, providing education and resources to the volunteer leaders and professionals involved in the governance and management of common-interest communities. CAI members include community association volunteer leaders (board members), community association managers and management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to community associations.

New CAI Leaders Take Office
Edward D. Thomas, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, chief executive officer of Property Management People, Inc., in Frederick, MD, will begin his one-year term as president of Community Associations Institute (CAI) Jan. 1. He will be joined by three new members of the Board of Trustees and 16 newly elected or reelected members of CAI’s Membership Representation Groups (MRGs).

Elected by members of the CAI board, Thomas has been involved in community management for more than 25 years and has been a CAI member for nearly as long. See related news release in CAI’s online Press Room at

P. Michael Nagle, Esq., founding partner of Nagle & Zaller, P.C., in Columbia, MD, will serve as CAI’s 2009 president-elect.

The 2009 CAI board will include three newly appointed members:

• Dennis C. Abbott, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Abbott Enterprises, Inc., AAMC, Charlotte, NC
• Julie McGhee Howard, Esq., Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, P.C., Atlanta, GA
• John McInerney, AMS, LSM, PCAM, Talis Management Group, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC

“It is a great honor to serve as president of CAI—a great organization with such an important mission and purpose,” Thomas said. “I look forward to working with the board, other CAI leaders and staff to identify and develop new and better ways to serve CAI members and support community associations across the country.”

“In these difficult economic times, CAI is very lucky to have such dedicated professionals willing to volunteer their time and energy to help us bring even more value to each individual member and the industry at large,” said Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Skiba, CAE. “The strength of our education, advocacy and member service is a direct reflection of the talent and commitment of member volunteers—from board and MRG members to our dedicated faculty, legislative advocates and chapter leaders.”

Barton C. Gernander Named Partner at Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC
The Eden Prairie law firm of Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC is pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has named Barton C. Gernander a partner.

A member of the firm’s Litigation and Employment Law Practice Groups, Bart primarily represents clients in banking, construction, real estate, entertainment, and others involved in standard and complex litigation in both state and federal courts. He serves on the Minnesota State Bar Association Court Rules and Administration Committee, the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Fourth District Ethics Committee, and is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association ad hoc Committee on Pretrial Litigation Forms.

In 2006, he was named to the Minnesota Law & Politics “Rising Star” list, representing the top 2.5% of young attorneys in the state. Bart obtained his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and earned a B.A. in Philosophy, graduating with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania.

“Bart has demonstrated legal talent and devoted client service,” says Chad A. Johnson, Managing Partner. “We are delighted to recognize his contributions and look forward to his continued success in serving the clients of this firm.”

Amy Dullum Joins HG&K, Ltd.
Amy Dullum has been hired by HG&K, Ltd., Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, to work with their Common Interest Community (CIC) clients providing accounting and advisory services.

Amy comes to HG&K with more than ten years of experience working with CICs and knows the industry and numerous associations well. Amy will provide accounting and assurance services, tax planning and compliance, specialized consulting services and board/committee meeting participation for her clients.

HG&K has been providing tax, auditing and assurance services, in addition to business valuation and consulting services to individuals and businesses for over 40 years. Serving many industries, they have unique expertise in the areas of construction, real estate, nonprofits and homeowners associations.

A Big Thank-You from Ronald McDonald Charities
Many thanks to all of you who bought a raffle ticket for a chance to win the basket of goodies, valued at around $200, and provided by Cornerstone Management Group and Dorglass, at the vendor appreciation luncheon held on December 10 at Royal Cliff. 167 tickets were sold making the total gift of $835 for the Ronald McDonald Home.

There were 48 families with children who are terminally ill who spent the Holidays at the Ronald McDonald house this year. The dollars you gave helped change the lives of these children and kept families together during their darkest days.

The focus of the Ronald McDonald Charities is to tend to the critical needs of children. This could not be done without our support. What a wonderful feeling it is to know that you made a difference in the lives of families during a critical time of their lives.

Congratulations to Laukka Management, Inc. as the Winner of the 2008 Recruitment Competition!
Laukka Management, Inc. recruited 14 new Special Sponsors as part of the 2008 Recruitment Competition. Mike Laukka, owner of Laukka Management, Inc., serves as Chair for the CAI-MN Membership Committee and has been a CAI member since 1992.

Additional thanks to Gittleman Management Corporation for recruiting 12 new Special Sponsors. Mark Gittleman, owner of Gittleman Management Corporation, serves as President-Elect for CAI-MN and has been a CAI member since 1991.

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