Why I joined the LAC, and How You Can Help

May 7, 2014

First, I would like to introduce myself as one of the newest members of CAI's Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (LAC). My name is John Carney and I presently manage Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, POA a community consisting of 1360 homes and 498 lots. WLE is a beautiful community with largest marina on Lake Wallenpaupack . I have managed WLE for 24 years and before that I was employed by the Hideout, POA for 14 years, so my working career has been in the field of POA’s. Like a lot of community managers it was not my plan to be a manager it just happened to work out that way and it has worked out for the best for me and my family. It is comforting now to hear that there are people now working on CAI’s designations to enter the field of Community Association Management.

As a member of the LAC, we are all asked to contribute with an article or blog content and as a new member I did not feel qualified to write on any of the bills before the PA Senate or House. Presently, I am gaining knowledge of the bills by reading the blogs found here on the chapter’s website and listening to other members with much more knowledge than myself.

Before I got involved with the LAC I had no idea of all that was involved with what the committee does. As members of CAI, we are all kept updated with different bills being proposed and CAI’s stand on these bills. I had an opportunity to go to Harrisburg last year with the LAC and I found it quite interesting and firsthand I got to see how LAC members interact with our elected representatives. It was also the first time that I learned of all the bills that the committee has an interest in. After the day in Harrisburg I inquired about being on the committee because I knew at that time just how important this is to all community associations and as a manager we all should be aware of what is going on in Harrisburg. Not everyone might have the interest to be on the LAC, but we all need to be more knowledgeable about how proposed bills can help you or hurt community associations. Bills can go nearly undetected if there is not someone watching the legislative process and reviewing new bills as they are introduced. Many bills have been introduced because of a disgruntled property owner presenting his case to his representative. This is where having a lobbyist in Harrisburg is so important. Without professional representation, legislation could slip by without any knowledge until the bill was approved. The LAC will make its position known to lawmakers on bills impact community associations and provides background on reasons why the LAC has adopted a certain position on legislation.

As a manager, I feel managers need to be as educated as possible to be able to guide their Boards of Directors. Knowing what is going on in Harrisburg is just as important as knowing your community documents and the UPCA. In my location in the Poconos, there are numerous community associations, from a single road and 12 homes to large communities occupying the area of an entire town. Many of these communities may or may not be members of CAI or may not attend too many CAI meetings so reaching out to these communities on legislative issues is extremely important. I am also the President of the Wallenpaupack Community Associations consisting of communities around Lake Wallenpaupack and I often update these communities on legislative affairs and CAI positions so they can be made aware of what is happening in Harrisburg.

The LAC is mainly funded by contributions, fundraisers and sponsorship and it does cost money for the LAC to operate; the single biggest cost is lobbying expenses. So please consider donating to the LAC. Your contribution will be appreciated very much and will be used to educate policymakers on issues important to community associations. Information for contributing can be found at this link. A list of pending legislation and CAI's positions can be found here.

John Carney, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, PA LAC Delegate
Community Association Manager
Wallenpaupack Lake Estates POA, Lake Ariel, PA

 


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