The New Jersey Legislative Action Committee (NJ-LAC) is excited for this issue of Community Trends® focused on legislative updates and our work in that regard. We truly have a dedicated group, where each member of the committee takes an active role in participating in reviewing and drafting legislation, discussing legislation with lawmakers and the public, and taking extra time to attend political events to raise our profile and communicate our issues. We would also like to thank our lobbyist, Michele Jaker, a partner with MBI-Gluckshaw, for her invaluable guidance.
One thing you should know is that unlike in some prior sessions, the current session of the legislature has made a decision to ensure that bills are more carefully vetted, often through multiple committees. This has resulted in a somewhat slower process which, of course, is a double-edged sword depending on whether you like or do not like a particular piece of legislation.
However, we still have our hands full with important legislation. In fact, in August we met on Zoom with multiple key legislators to explain and promote our agenda. Through these efforts over the last number of years, we believe that we have developed credibility. While we cannot get everything we want in every piece of legislation, we can ensure that our voice gets heard and considered.
Prior to introducing the articles and authors, I wanted to note two things: (1) the CAI-NJ Board of Directors has authorized proceeding with the further appeal of the Radburn Regulations; and, (2) by the time you read this we will have submitted comments to the Department of Community Affairs’ proposed revisions to the Radburn Regulations.
These are some of the topics you will read about in this issue, all of which are priorities for us:
- Structural Integrity: Ed San George, MPA, PCAM of INTEGRA Management Corp., AAMC and Mitch Frumkin, PE, RS of Kipcon, Inc. write regarding the LAC drafted structural integrity bill that was introduced by Senator Troy Singleton, Chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and by Deputy Speaker Yvonne Lopez, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee.
- Fire Hydrant Maintenance: Roslyn Brodsky of Concordia Homeowners Association and Larry Thomas, PCAM of Taylor Management Company, AAMC, AMO write about how Assemblywoman Annette Quijano and Senator Linda Greenstein have, at the LAC’s request, introduced legislation that would require municipalities to pay for the cost of testing and maintaining fire hydrants in common interest communities (“CICs”) in the same manner as is done with other fire hydrants on public streets.
- Accessory Dwelling Units: David Ramsey, Esq. of Becker writes concerning various proposed bills intended to make it easier to construct “accessory dwelling units” (such as apartments within houses or in garages), and the efforts by the LAC to ensure that such legislation does not negatively impact CICs.
- Debt Collection: Andrew Podolski, Esq. of Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law writes concerning a proposed state-level debt collection law that may apply to associations attempting to collect their own debts, and the efforts by the LAC to obtain a carve-out from same due to the unique relationships that exist in CICs.
- Manager Licensing and Board Member Training: Cheryl Palent of Renaissance at Raritan Valley Master Association and Alex Scheffer, CMCA of Access Property Management, AAMC, AMO write about the topic of mandatory Manager Licensing and Board Member Training.
- Developer Bonds: George Greatrex, Esq. of Hill Wallack LLP and Christopher Florio, Esq. of Stark and Stark Attorneys at Law write about legislation proposed by the LAC that would permit municipalities to require developers to post bonds for certain CIC site improvements so that both the CIC residents and the municipalities are protected in the event that the developer does not follow through.
- How CAI Uses PAC Dollars: Liz Comando, CMCA, PCAM of Taylor Management Company, AAMC, AMO and Carol Shenk, EBP of SageWater describe the beneficial impact of Political Action Committee dollars on our agenda and protecting your interests… in other words, why you should donate funds and participate in PAC events.
We sincerely hope that you have found this issue to be educational, and that you bring these issues and our efforts to the attention of your constituencies. At some point, we will need their help in speaking and writing to legislators
to get the right bills passed!
MATTHEW Z. EARLE, ESQ. KATES, NUSSMAN, ELLIS, FARHI & EARLE, LLP LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE CHAIR