BOARDROOM REPORT: February 7, 2020

Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. (HGAR)
February 7, 2020
HGAR Offices, White Plains, New York

HGAR Management, Financial & Membership Reports

Treasurer Anthony Domathoti presented the Treasurer’s Report as of Feb. 1, 2020. After discussion the Directors approved a motion receiving the February Cash Report.

CEO Richard Haggerty informed the Directors that a one-hour sexual harassment training session, as was discussed at the Jan. 22, 2020 meeting, would be offered to the Directors at HGAR’s Board of Directors meeting scheduled for April.

President Gail Fattizzi then reported that the length of the minutes prepared for each meeting would be significantly shortened. President Fattizzi indicated that John Dolgetta, Esq. and Brian Levine, Esq. had attended the National Association of Realtors’ Legal Conference and it was recommended by NAR counsel that the minutes should only include action on items. Other items should only be listed. Dolgetta indicated that a way of shortening the minutes was by allowing the committee and council chairs to provide written reports that could be provided to the Directors at or after the meeting.

Haggerty provided an update with respect to the progress of merger discussions with the Bronx Manhattan-North Association of Realtors, Inc. (“BMNAR”) advising that a meeting was held on Jan. 27, 2020 between key officers and legal counsel for both organizations.  Haggerty reported that John Dolgetta, Esq. had commenced preparation of initial drafts of the merger documents. Haggerty reported that it is being contemplated that a Bronx Chapter of HGAR would be formed and that it would receive one voting Director on HGAR’s Board of Directors. It was also discussed that the Bronx Chapter would receive representation on the Commercial Investment Division and the Legislative Council. Haggerty indicated that if all went smoothly, a general membership meeting could potentially be held in late spring or early summer to approve the merger. He again pointed out that the current Bylaws would need to be revised to address issues relating to the merger as well as additional needed revisions and indicated that a Bylaws Task Force would likely be established.

In-House Counsel and Director of Legal Services Brian Levine, Esq. then presented Ethics Decision 263-E, which was provided to each of the Directors prior to the meeting. After review and discussion, the Directors confirmed the recommendation of the Hearing Panel. Levine further reported that a Professional Standards Training Session would be held on Feb. 19, 2020 and that it would include 7.5 Continuing Education credits.

Strategic Plan Task Force Reports

Immediate Past President Ron Garafalo, the 2020 Liaison to the Strategic Plan Task Forces, and President Gail Fattizzi provided an update to the Directors and Officers regarding the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Garafalo noted that Renee Zurlo, who was not present, was the chair of the Leadership Task Force. In her absence, COO Ann Garti provided an update on the task force’s progress to date, specifically outlining the new Leadership Accelerator Program. President Fattizzi indicated that she had reached out to the Broker Tool Kit Task Force Chair Marcene Hedayati and they are in process of working on this project. President Fattizzi noted that there would be various regional events held throughout our geography during the year to update members on important information. The Regional Directors would begin to work on the first of these to be held shortly after the mid-Winter NYSAR Meetings. President Fattizzi also indicated that there would a push to recognize individual members of HGAR in “Connections” on a weekly basis highlighting positive charitable and community type activities. She also reported that we will be initiating an RFP process to identify a company to produce podcasts and PSAs. President Fattizzi indicated that funds were already allocated for these initiatives in connection with the implementation and approval of the Strategic Plan.

President Elect Crystal Hawkins Syska presented the report on behalf of the Advocacy Task Force. She indicated that at the Advocacy Task Force meeting, the focus was on implementing public service announcements (“PSAs”) focusing on two areas/components: (1) “Realtors and Who Realtors Are” and (2) Fair Housing Issues.

Fair Housing Task Force

Director Dorothy Botsoe presented a report from the Fair Housing Task Force advising the Directors that a BOM Breakfast on conducting Fair Housing Training at office meetings, and reviewing a “Fair Housing Toolkit” was scheduled for March 18, 2020 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, New York.

Legislative Issues and RPAC

CEO Haggerty then reported on the recent Guidance issued by the New York State Department of State relating to the prohibition of landlords and landlords’ agents requiring tenants to pay a rental fee and the prohibition of a landlord’s agent to collect any such fee. CEO Haggerty stressed that all listings on the MLS requiring the payment of such a fee by a tenant must be immediately modified and any reference to same removed. He reported that HGAR had sent out an “Alert” to the membership and pointed out that the open rate was over 50%.

Immediate Past President Ron Garafalo presented his report on RPAC and noted that the first RPAC event of the year was scheduled for Feb. 18, 2020. He pointed out that a total of $41,653, representing 18% of the 2020 RPAC goal, had been raised to date. Garafalo also indicated that the RPAC Committee would be sending out RPAC pledge forms to all committee members and Directors in an attempt to increase fundraising. Garafalo also recognized Director Anthony Domathoti for reaching the RPAC Platinum pledge level.

OneKey MLS

OneKey MLS, LLC Board of Managers Chair Leah Caro and CEO Haggerty provided a status report on OneKey MLS, LLC. Caro pointed out that a handout, “OneKey MLS is coming… Here are the New Changes,” was provided in the Directors’ packets highlighting some of the new changes. Caro also reported on additional notable changes to the new MLS Rules. She indicated that “coming soon” listings must be limited to 14 days and then must be listed on the MLS and made available to the public. She noted that the “Clear Cooperation Policy” of NAR must be adhered to and that any violation of the new MLS rule could subject a violator to a fine of up to $2,500 and also a fine of $100 per day for each day beyond the 14-day period the property is not offered to everyone on the MLS. Haggerty and Caro reported that a soft launch of OneKey MLS could take place in the latter half of February, and that a hard launch could take place at the end of March. Haggerty indicated that LIBOR and MLSLI had not yet approved the Services Agreement, but were scheduled to meet to approve it toward the end of February.


Chair of YPN Richard Herska reported that the networking event held on February 5th at the Bistro Z Bar and Lounge at the DoubleTree Hotel was a success and that proceeds raised from the 50/50 raffle would go to the HG Foundation.


CID Chair John Barrett reported that HGAR’s first CID Breakfast of the year was well-attended. It included an informative panel discussion on the commercial real estate forecast for 2020. Panelists included Paul Adler, Chief Strategy Officer, Rand Commercial; William Cuddy, Executive VP, CBRE; Sarah Jones-Maturo, President, RM Friedland; and Glenn Walsh, Executive Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank.


Director Roseann Paggiotta provided an update on behalf of the Women’s Council of Realtors. She thanked CEO Richard Haggerty and In-House Counsel Brian Levine for the Market and Legal Update they presented at the Mount Kisco Holiday Inn in January. Director Paggiotta pointed out that the Women’s Council had organized the mock Ethics Hearing being held immediately following the Board Meeting and that there would be another event scheduled for March at Mulino’s Restaurant in White Plains.

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