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Piney Orchard Candidates Prep for Election

Five of the six candidates for Piney Orchard's board of directors met in a forum with community members on Wednesday.

 

Candidates for Piney Orchard’s Board of Directors met with community members on Wednesday, offering their opinions on issues ranging from pond repairs to nearby development.

The Piney Orchard Community Association held its annual “meet the candidates” forum, featuring five of the six residents seeking board positions in the April elections.

Candidates gave statements introducing themselves to the community, then answered a series of questions in a session lasting about an hour. About 25 residents attended the forum.

The community association is seeking to fill three board positions.

The candidates for those spots are:

Tyler Balderson—A River’s Edge resident who works for FA Bartlett Tree Company. Balderson was unable to attend Wednesday’s forum.

Kelly Bowlus—The POCA secretary and a member of several committees is seeking reelection to the board. 

Scott DiBiasio—A lobbyist in Washington who has lived in Piney Orchard for seven years. He has been critical of the POCA board for maintaining too large a reserve fund, arguing that a smaller fund would allow residents to pay lower assessment fees.

James Fraser—An engineering consultant who resides in Piney Orchard with his wife Jessica O’Kane, and his two children. Fraser and said he was running to ensure residents were informed of the status of the Odenton Town Center developments. He said he would prefer that his wife serve on the board.

Jessica O’Kane—The wife of James Fraser and a lawyer. Active in the MOMS Club of Piney Orchard.

Derek Olszanowski—Regional property manager with The Dolben Company, which owns apartment buildings in Piney Orchard.

Wednesday’s forum covered a wide range of issues, with questions submitted to the candidates from residents in advance.

Candidates agreed that the community should move forward in making upgrades to the pond near the community center and also supported stricter enforcement of POCA covenants.

There was some disagreement over the size of the community’s reserve fund, which is about $1.6 million. DiBiasio said the reserve was unnecessarily large and he would prefer to see residents pay lower assessment fees.

“The reserves are excessive, especially in these hard economic times,” he said.

Bowlus said the community worked with outside consultants to study the reserve as recently as 2010 and received compliments for not depleting it.

“They congratulated us for having our reserves at the level they should be,” Bowlus said.

DiBiasio was also critical of POCA by-laws that permit the Dolben Company to represent apartment residents in community elections. Dolben owns about 725 apartments, and is capable of casting all of those votes to a single candidate if it chooses.

DiBiasio also pointed out that Olszanowski, the Dolben employee running for the board, resides in Columbia and not Piney Orchard. 

Debbie Roebuck, a Dolben employee who will serve on the board through next month, clarified for those in attendance that an assessment is paid to POCA on each of the 725 units, not just three apartment communities as a whole.

Olszanowski told community members that he expected to spend considerable time in Piney Orchard if he were elected to the board and insisted that he would not be compensated by Dolben for serving. There is nothing in the POCA by-laws requiring Olszanowski to reside in the community.

Candidates all responded to a question about whether the POCA by-laws should be up for review, given that they were written more than 20 years ago. Most were noncommittal on the issue, but indicated that it was an issue worth examining.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go looking for problems if there were none apparent,” Fraser said.

POCA will hold its board elections during its annual meeting at 7 p.m. April 10 at

Residents can be added to the election ballot at the annual meeting if they receive a nomination from another community member.

Ronald Grossman March 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Understood. I want to know how much was paid to Ms. Rappap for 'opinions' concerning any complaints. Jeff has already disclosed what was paid based upon yor complaints. At a Board meeting he disclosed what was paid based upon my complaints. All of this appears to be a violation of Confidentiality unlees all fees are disclosed. I guess I should ask theapartment complex owners since they obviously run the Board. And why would anyone comment on changes to the by-laws since they can never happen without the apartment complex owners permission? What a joke!!!
Ronald Grossman March 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM
If this isn't a personal attack then I don't know what is. Why are you still allowed to post. The truth is that everything has already been decided before the meeting and this is a public farce and fraud. I think you know where you can put those baloon animals.
Ronald Grossman March 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM
The dismissal was not ruled on for several days. The lawsuit to be filed after the General Election will not be able to be dismissed so easily. AND this one will name the mebers of your so called Nominating Committee. Based upon your assertions I will ask the Clerk of the Court to investigate your claims of an immediate dismissal. I believe that most people are truly getting wise to you at this point.
Ronald Grossman March 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Not sure who this is directed at. The only thing that would make this a better place is simply getting all the lazy people that live here out to vote. Maybe then the Board would truly represent us instead of the apartment owners.
Ronald Grossman March 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM
All of this carefullly manipulated by those that choose to do so.

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