BOARDROOM REPORT: April 21, 2021

Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.
April 21, 2021 via Zoom

HGAR Management, Financial & Membership Reports

President Hawkins-Syska presented the President’s Report providing her perspective on the state of real estate in the first quarter, observing that buyers are becoming frustrated due to the lack of inventory and bidding competition. President Hawkins-Syska also reported on fair housing issues and related developments indicating that fair housing issues exist in all areas and not just in areas that were featured in the Newsday report and need to be addressed by everyone.

CEO Haggerty presented the CEO’s Report, indicating that the HGAR offices would be reopening on May 3rd and that half of the staff would come in on a two-week staggered basis. CEO Haggerty also announced that Freddimir Garcia was hired as the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of HGAR. He also indicated that there would be a more in-depth review of the newly adopted Policies and Procedures as well as more comprehensive committee reports at next month’s Board Meeting.

HGAR Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee Gail Fattizzi reported that the committee had reviewed 16 applicants for the vacant HGAR Directors position and was recommending Christina Stevens to fill the open position for the balance of this year. After discussion, the Directors confirmed the recommendation.

In-House Legal Counsel and Professional Standards Administrator Brian Levine then presented the Ethics Decision designated 270-E, which was provided to each of the Directors prior to the meeting. After review and discussion, the Directors affirmed the recommendations of the Hearing Panel in this matter.

President Hawkins-Syska then requested the Directors consider making a contribution of $25,000 to the NAR Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund was first established in connection with the 9-11 attacks in 2001. She explained that the funds go to those Realtors and their families who have been affected by natural disasters and other emergencies. She also indicated that NYSAR had committed to contributing $75,000 from its reserves. After discussion the Directors approved the $25,000 contribution to the NAR Disaster Relief Fund.

CEO Haggerty then requested the Directors approve an expenditure of $2,500 to have HGAR purchase a booth at the NAR C-5 Summit being held at the Marriot Marquis in New York City in September, 2021. He explained that the C-5 Summit was similar to the annual MIPIM Summit held in Cannes, France and pointed out that it was a commercial program. After discussion the Directors approved the expenditure.

Treasurer Carmen Bauman and Ron Garafalo, Director and Chair of the Policies and Procedures Committee, presented additional proposed language that was suggested at the previous Board Meeting relating to a specific dispute resolution and notification process to be included in the Policies and Procedures Manual. The Directors were provided a copy of the proposed language prior to the Meeting. Treasurer Bauman reviewed the language in detail. After discussion the Directors approved the proposed language.

The Board of Directors were provided an opportunity to interview and listen to the candidates for NAR First Vice President, Mike McGrew and Tracey Kasper.

CEO Haggerty reported on the amended Bylaws that were necessary for the Hudson Gateway Multiple Service, Inc. (“HGMLS”) in light of the joint venture with the Long Island Multiple Listing Service, Inc. establishing OneKey MLS, LLC. CEO Haggerty pointed out that the corporate HGMLS entity was kept in place to take advantage of certain tax deductions and benefits. HGAR Counsel John Dolgetta, Esq. reviewed the proposed amended and streamlined HGMLS Bylaws in detail. After discussion the Directors approved the revised HGMLS Bylaws.

Director Ron Garafalo reminded the Directors about Lobby Day which was scheduled for April 27th and stressed the importance of attendance. He indicated to the Directors that they had to register for two separate Zoom segments, one was the NYSAR segment and the other was the HGAR segment. CEO Haggerty indicated that Phil Weiden was going to e-mail the legislative initiatives to the Directors.

Director Barry Kramer reported on the call to action relating to the Co-op Transparency Legislation in Westchester County. Director Kramer pointed out that the issue has received significant publicity recently and reported that there may be enough votes on the Board of Legislators to pass the new element to the current legislation, which will require co-op boards to provide a written reason for denial.

President Hawkins-Syska then reported on the upcoming Fair Housing Summit scheduled for April 29th. She reported that Richard Rothstein, the author of the “Color of Law,” and Bill Dedman, one of the authors of the Newsday undercover investigative report, “Long Island Divided,” would be guest speakers at the Fair Housing Summit. President Hawkins-Syska also reported that 46 individuals took the Fair Housing Challenge.

President Hawkins-Syska pointed out to the Directors that reports of the various Committees and Councils (i.e., Members Day Work Group, HGAR Professional Standards Committee, HGAR Fair Housing Committee, HGAR Education Council, HGAR Legislative Committee, HGAR RPAC Committee, HGAR Global Council, HGAR Commercial and Investment Division and HGAR Realtor Foundation) had been provided to them via e-mail and had also been included in their Directors’ packets.

President Hawkins-Syska indicated that the session scheduled with Nicole Furlonge, Ph.D. would follow the close of the business portion of the meeting.  Furlonge then conducted the diversity, equity, and inclusion training session.

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