3:31 PM EST, November 19, 2012
Your Nov. 15 editorial and accompanying cartoon regarding proposed legislation to reclassify Columbia Association unfortunately contained inaccurate and incorrect information.
The proposed reclassification of CA under state law as a nonprofit community service corporation would not make CA any less transparent. In fact, CA already goes above and beyond what is required of it by the Homeowners Association Act. The proposed legislation would codify CA's current practices and ensure continued transparency and openness under state law.
The intent of this bill has never been primarily motivated by saving time and money for CA's attorneys. With an increasing number of HOA-related bills coming before the state legislature (more than 20 a year, on average), reclassifying CA could help prevent the potential negative consequences if one of these bills passed, consequences that would not only affect CA and the villages, but also the residents served by them.
A significant majority of those bills are proposed in response to problems at much smaller homeowners associations that are, on average, about .3 percent the size of CA and have far fewer controls than CA has in place. Those bills generally are not intended for an organization such as CA, and many of the lawmakers deciding on these bills often have little familiarity with CA.
In addition, CA would still be under the Homeowners Association Act despite the reclassification; the proposed legislation would simply create an additional category in the Act, something seen often in governance.
Last, the contention that the deadline is nearly past for CA to introduce this bill into the General Assembly is incorrect. The deadline is the first week of February.
Residents seeking more information can go to ColumbiaAssociation.org/ProposedLegislation.