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MCL Jan/Feb 2014 - Leading Off
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Leading Off

By Matt Drewes, Thomsen & Nybeck, P.A. Attorneys

Matt Drewes"People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." - Rogers Hornsby

As I introduced to you in an article appearing in our CAI-MN’s Community Living magazine’s November/December issue, the gameplan for 2014 is roughly to mimic (in our own way) the calendar of events that occurs for Major League Baseball and its teams in throughout the year. Not every phase of the MLB calendar is going to fit perfectly with a topic we think will serve your interest, but even the best hitters in baseball don’t bat 1.000. We just hope to make good contact throughout the year and drive home a lot of good information for common interest communities.

We’re leading off with our January/February issue. In early to mid-February players start reporting to spring training facilities and, by the end of February, teams will begin their preseason schedules, so the general theme will be that it’s the preseason. But early in January and even through February, baseball teams are finalizing their rosters, exchanging salary proposals and completing the arbitration process with those arbitration-eligible players who haven’t signed a contract, signing those last key free agents, all leading up to spring training and their preparation for the regular season. Allocating funds and building the team are also timely topics.

Our Minnesota Twins are no exception. At the time I’m writing this (early December) the Twins have already signed two new free agents (Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes) to the largest contracts ever handed to any free agent in franchise history before this year (four years/$49 million and three years/$24 million, respectively). Roster construction and resource allocation have begun, and are likely to continue into January as Twins General Manager Terry Ryan has indicated he’s not done wading through the pool of free agents.

When looking at your own budgets, you may be reminded of something Yogi Berra is credited to have said: "A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” In this and upcoming issues we hope to include articles that discuss the importance of having spring and summer contracts in order with service providers who you may not need until the summer. Get on the schedule with contractors for projects, large or small, before prices increase. Make sure you’ve inked those deals you need to make before contractor availability dries up and their books get full, taking those free agents off the market. 

And, in the spirit of building your own rosters or joining a new club, we want to spread the word about the benefits of becoming members of CAI (I’ve recently learned that a surprising number of you reading this are not already members, especially those of you who are Community Association Volunteer Leaders (CAVLs).

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to just stare out the window and wait for spring. There is plenty to do to keep ourselves occupied and to prepare for warmer weather. Hopefully this issue will help you prioritize those goals and plan for next season.


2014 MCL Magazine Themes & Editorial Schedule

Are you interested in contributing an article to an edition of the MCL? We take the time to consider each article that is submitted for publication in CAI-MN’s magazine. So if you enjoy writing, enjoy researching industry topics, or want to share your findings on a discovery you’ve made, then feel free to contact us and submit your article. Articles can be sent to This year’s magazine themes and article deadlines are listed below.

Theme: "Pre-Season”
Topics: Contracts, arbitration, member benefits

Theme: "Spring Training”
Topics: Training managers and board members, spring walkthroughs, bids

Theme: "Play Ball”
Topics: Operations, putting training into practice, lawn care, community
Article Deadline: March 1, 2014

Theme: "All-Star Game”
Topics: Promoting all-stars in HOA, honoring employees, growing business
Article Deadline: May 1, 2014

Theme: "Post-Season”
Topics: Budgets, finishing the year strong
Article Deadline: July 1, 2014

Theme: "Off-Season”
Topics: Evaluating the year, analyzing strategy, looking ahead to next year
Article Deadline: September 1, 2014

Published by Community Associations Institute — Minnesota Chapter, copyright 2013. All articles and paid advertising represent the opinions of authors and advertisers and not necessarily the opinion of either Minnesota Community Living or CAI–Minnesota Chapter. The information contained within should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, or other professional services by the CAI–Minnesota Chapter, or by Minnesota Community Living, or its authors. Articles, letters to the editor, and advertising may be sent to Chapter Staff Editor Joanne Penn at, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.

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