Notice of Annual Meeting: MassLandlords Annual Elections December 6 through 18, 2017

Rich Merlino (left) moderating an event with Attorney Henry Raphaelson (right) in September, 2017.

Members in good standing must vote in-person at events or online at MassLandlords.net/governance

Each year in December we elect a member to the Board of Directors, and we also recognize a non-member with the MassLandlords Good Neighbor award.

For the convenience of our members, our annual meeting is conducted in stages electronically and at four locations. Electronic voting will take place at MassLandlords.net/governance starting December 6, 2017 and running through December 18, 2017.

In-person voting will take place on Wednesday December 6 from 5:30pm to 8:20pm at 380 Winter St, Waltham; Wednesday, December 13 from 5:30pm to 8:20pm at 1 Skyline Dr, Worcester; Thursday December 14 from 5:30pm to 8:20pm at 700 Wolf Swamp Rd, East Longmeadow; and from 5:30pm to 8:20pm Monday, December 16, at 1 Broadway, Cambridge.

The Good Neighbor Award

This year, two attorneys have been nominated.
Attorney Stuart Schrier of Dorchester gave testimony at the Just Cause Eviction Hearing in Boston, March 2017. He identified a new and compelling legal objection to just cause eviction rent control. A reduced version of the ordinance has passed Boston City Council, but Attorney Schrier’s legal reasoning will likely prevent it being approved by the statehouse.

Attorney John B. Stewart of Springfield is working the Fred Basile appeals before the Supreme Judicial Court. He is participating on a team with Attorneys Jason Ferenc, Peter Vickery, and Stanley Komack (the three of whom are MassLandlords members). If successfully defended, the cases would prevent establishing the precedent that individual managers have no rights to sign as lessors.

The Good Neighbor Award recognizes a non-member’s efforts to advance property rights or to improve the quality of rental housing in Massachusetts. All nominees are sent a letter of thanks. The nominee chosen by the membership will receive a commemorative plaque.

The Board of Directors

Four members have been nominated for election. Two have declined for personal reasons, and although they are outstanding role models for civic participation and very worthy of praise here, we will respect their privacy and not mention them. A third member is still considering their nomination. This leaves us with one nominee to present.

Rich Merlino of Whitinsville has been the MassLandlords Worcester event emcee since October 2015. Since he started volunteering, event attendance has increased from 64 to 83 per month, and the average feedback card score has increased from 67% positive to 91%. Rich’s vision is that Worcester attendance should double from here, and that the best practices we’ve learned from years of experience should be filtered out to all 20 locations across Massachusetts where landlords regularly meet to network, share, and learn. Rich is extremely busy as a moderately large landlord in his own right, has experience managing a team of on-site and remote employees, and is willing to be director ‘as long as there’s free food.’ Rich’s sense of humor, strong sense of legal compliance, and general business savvy make him a great choice for the Board of Directors.

Directors serve a five-year term. The Board of Directors has no operational responsibility, rather, their job is to oversee. In particular, they must hire or fire the person currently in the Executive Director’s role, if necessary. They must also review financial reports and verify that association business aligns with our mission.

The final deadline to submit names to appear on the ballot is December 1, 2017. Write-in’s will be allowed. Email hello@masslandlords.net to nominate a Director or a Good Neighbor. Log in at MassLandlords.net/governance between December 6, 2017 and December 18, 2017 to view final ballots and biographies, and to vote electronically.

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