Minutes - April 25, 2017
OMCA Regular BoD Meeting
Ms. McCormack called the regular meeting of the OMCA Board of Directors to order at 7:04 pm.
Present: Ginny Thomas, Co-Chair; Bill McCormack, Co-Chair; Jonathan Edelson, Vice Chair; Kay Wisniewski, AC Chair; Lynn Engelke; Paul Verchinski; Sandy Cederbaum, Village Manager; Brigitta Warren, Event & Administrative Coordinator
Absent: Judy Gottsagen
Also Present: See resident list.
- Mr. McCormack read a thank you letter and displayed a plant that was received by the OMCA Board from the Stevens Forest ES PTA.
Opening of Meeting
- Ms. Wisniewski motioned to accept the April 25, 2017 agenda (ATTACHMENT “A”). Mr. Edelson seconded and the motion passed (6-0-0).
- Ms. Wisniewski motioned to accept the April 18, 2017 OMCA Board meeting minutes (ATTACHMENT “B”). Mr. Edelson seconded and the motion passed (5-0-1).
Follow up Discussion about Marsha McLaughlin’s Presentation at the April 18, 2017 Board Meeting
- Ms. Engelke gave a brief synopsis regarding her reasoning for asking for this discussion. She stated she felt the white paper that was provided by Marsha McLaughlin at the April 18, 2017 OMCA Board meeting lacked information. She also indicated that the email that included the white paper to be presented was sent on April 15, 2017, which left the OMCA Board only a few days to read through. Ms. Engelke asked for clarification regarding when the OMCA Board Co-Chairs received the white paper. She also asked for clarification regarding Ms. McLaughlin’s scope of work that had been pre-determined by the OMCA Board. Ms. Engelke distributed two documents with her concerns regarding this issue (ATTACHMENT “C” and “D”). Ms. Engelke stated she had reviewed past OMCA Board meeting minutes and found no record of where the full OMCA Board had been given the information referenced in the two attachments. She stated in the interest of transparency and providing a full record to the full OMCA Board and the residents in fulfillment of the contract in what looks like to be approximately $6000 of the $8000 that we agreed to spend; what else can we expect, what have we not seen, what are the reports, what are the suggestions that have been made and have any agreements been made that the OMCA Board is not aware of. For example, the members of the OMCA Board were surprised at the April 18, 2017 OMCA Board meeting when Ms. McLaughlin was scheduled to present her presentation to the other 9 village Board chairs on April 24th while the full OMCA Board themselves had not had time to digest all that was in the white paper. Ms. Engelke requested that there be a record of what took place to hand over to the new OMCA Board.
- Ms. Thomas responded that the date of January 10, 2017 was when Ms. McLaughlin began the scope of work that she had been given by the OMCA Board, but the final product was not distributed until a couple of days before it was presented to the full OMCA Board. Once Ms. McLaughlin had been given the scope of work, a choice was made to let her proceed on her own after some feedback from Howard County. Ms. Thomas stated that this was similar to each committee chair proceeding independently on their particular issues. Ms. McLaughlin worked with Howard County on behalf of Oakland Mills. She was looking into how the process could be sped up in the situation where an investor was found to be interested in Oakland Mills. Ms. Thomas stated that the OMCA Board did limit Ms. McLaughlin’s scope of work specifically to CB-29.
- Ms. Engelke stated she is only questioning why between September and April all of this went on without the full OMCA Board being made aware what was happening. She stated that each committee chair presents a report each month on the issues that they are working on. Since there has not been a monthly report, Ms. Engelke is requesting the OMCA Board Co-Chairs to go back and fill in the blanks so the full OMCA Board has that information to pass on to the next OMCA Board. She stated the whole OMCA Board signs a fiduciary responsibility statement and it is their responsibility to know how money is being spent.
- Mr. Edelson stated that anything the contractors do should belong to OMCA.
- Mr. McCormack stated that the first time he saw the draft of the white paper was the last two weeks. He stated the invoices that were given by Ms. McLaughlin were from meetings with people as she went about collecting information.
- Ms. Engelke stated that the scope of work that was detailed by the OMCA Board initially does not match up with the invoices that were presented by Ms. McLaughlin. Ms. Engelke asked for further details to be provided regarding what occurred during the time frame mentioned.
- Mr. Verchinski stated he would like a vote on the March 22, 2016 report that was submitted from NEAC relating to the Property Standards Evaluation. At the March 2016 meeting, the OMCA Board indicated they would revisit the issue later in the year. Mr. Verchinski is putting on record that he would like the property standards evaluation be done as recommended by the NEAC on March 22, 2016. He stated there has been more than enough time. Mr. McCormack asked if Mr. Verchinski was making a motion. Mr. Verchinski responded yes and Mr. McCormack seconded the motion.
- Ms. Wisniewski stated she was ready to go ahead with the property standards evaluation, but Oakland Mills will now have to hire and train a new Covenant Advisor for Property Violations as well as she was with the understanding that funding for this position was not included in second year of CA’s 2 year budget. Mr. Verchinski responded that it is his understanding that the CA takes requests outside of the budget. He also stated that the Property Standards Evaluator is hired an as independent contractor. This evaluator does a village wide evaluation initially and then each year following does an evaluation of each neighborhood. He stated that having to hire a new Covenant Advisor does not have any impact.
- Ms. Wisniewski stated that ultimately it falls back on the Covenant Advisor.
- Ms. Engelke stated that the NEAC came up with a plan that was submitted in March 2016. This plan was tabled. She stated that the idea of the evaluation was to get some sort of picture as to what the problems or complaints are in Oakland Mills and come up with a plan as to how to address those problems. She stated that the evaluation does not mean that the Covenant Advisor has to go and file complaints on all the people with a problem.
- Mr. Edelson stated that perhaps Mr. Verchinski and Ms. Engelke were not talking about the same thing.
- Mr. Verchinski stated that Oakland Mills needs a comprehensive review of all of the residents in Oakland Mills. The NEAC had provided a vetted set of recommendations.
- Mr. Edelson questioned the timing of this motion and asked why the board was not informed of the Old Business Agenda item prior to tonight’s meeting
- Verchinski said he did not have to provide advance notice to the board about the Old Business item.
- Mr. Edelson stated he is interested in hearing what the current NEAC was going to recommend and would like clarification as to what the property standards evaluation would consist of as it seems there is a mixed review of what the process will be.
- Ms. Engelke stated that after the OMCA Board tabled the March 2016 recommendations that were put forth, the NEAC was set to come up with ways to follow through with handling one issue at a time. She stated that this changed when the CA budget information became available. She stated that it seemed residents were unhappy with widespread covenant letters. She stated it was more about becoming aware of the covenant problems.
- Mr. Verchinski stated he disagrees; it is about making sure residents are doing the minimum to follow the covenants.
- Mr. McCormack gave clarification as to how the Property Standards Evaluation was done in the past.
- Resident Heidi Knott indicated that she felt the postcards that were sent out the last time seemed to be a bit aggressive and she is not sure what the intent will be this time.
- Ms. Engelke responded that the hope is to have confidence and trust in your neighbors. Mr. Verchinski stated it would be up to the OMCA Board to ensure the covenant violations were followed up on. Ms. Cederbaum stated that when it was done in 2004, the covenant process was followed up on.
- Ms. Engelke stated that she is comfortable committing the NEAC to expand on what to be more specific on as to what the survey will be.
- Ms. Wisniewski stated that she objected to voting on as controversial a matter as a PSE when it wasn’t listed on the agenda so residents who felt strongly pro or con could give their input.
- Ms. Warren reread the motion that was put forth. Mr. Verchinski motioned that on March 22, 2016 a report was given to the OMCA Board from the NEAC relating to a Property Standards Evaluations be done. Mr. Verchinski would like to have a Property Standards Evaluation done as recommended by NEAC on March 22, 2016. A vote was taken and was a tie vote which means the vote did not pass (3-3-0). A request was made for it to be put on the agenda for an upcoming OMCA Board meeting.
- Ms. Cederbaum distributed her report (ATTACHMENT “E”).
- Ms. Cederbaum also distributed the FY18 Budget to be voted on by the OMCA Board (ATTACHMENT “F”).
- Mr. Edelson motioned to approve the FY18 Budget as submitted. Ms. Wisniewski seconded and the motion passed (6-0-0).
- Ms. Wisniewski distributed her report (ATTACHMENT “G”).
- Mr. Edelson delivered his testimony to the County Council on Monday, 4/24, regarding requested funding for the renovations of Talbott Springs ES and Oakland Mill MS.
- Ms. Engelke distributed her report (ATTACHMENT “H”).
Board Bulletin Board
- Mr. Edelson thanked everyone for their work on the OMCA Board.
- Ms. Engelke also thanked everyone for their work on the Board.
- Ms. Warren gave updates as to the events that will be taking place at The Other Barn on Election Day this Saturday.
- Ms. Thomas thanked the OMCA Board and the OMCA staff.
- Mr. McCormack thanked the OMCA Board and the OMCA staff.
The regular OMCA Board meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
Respectfully submitted: Brigitta Warren, Event and Administrative Coordinator