Local Legislative Update – August

Sale delays in Maple Heights, foreclosure bonds, agent liability issues, interviewing candidates, and more…

Since the last legislative update, the Government Affairs Department has been busy with outreach in several municipalities.

First, since sharing several concerns with Bedford Heights Mayor Fletcher Berger, a rental registration ordinance was pulled from the Council agenda and referred back to the appropriate committee for additional review.  If it had been approved as written, it was unclear what the responsibilities of the so-called “Agent in Charge” would have been, and whether or not Realtors® could be liable for the property owners actions or inaction, as the case may be.

Next, after hearing from a private corporation supporting foreclosure bonds and potential legislation in Cleveland Heights, the Legislative Committee appointed a task force to meet with the City’s Housing Director, Rick Wagner.  Wagner shared additional information about the bond program and reasons that it would not be a good fit for Cleveland Heights.  The group also discussed the Point of Sale program and suggested the City consider waiving the escrow requirement for owner occupants. We will follow up with the Housing Director and keep ACAR’s membership informed of our progress.

The GA Department received news regarding the Point of Sale inspection process in Maple Heights, and learned that scheduling inspections and re-inspections are resulting in significantly delayed sales. We are attempting to work with the City to help resolve this issue. If you have experienced a similar situation, please contact the Government Affairs Director at jmcmillen@akronclevelandrealtors.com.

The Legislative Committee reviewed a concern regarding the Akron Public Utilities “Realtor Temporary Service Contract.” It is unclear how long the form currently being used has been in place. However, Akron area brokers and ACAR raised serious concerns with the document. ACAR staff is working with the city department to resolve those concerns and protect our members.

ACAR’s President recently joined Realtor® associations across the United States offering comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on net neutrality. The letter urged the FCC to adopt Open Internet rules that will protect against blocking, discrimination, access charges, and paid prioritization. Proposed rules would do the opposite and would be potentially harmful to small businesses that rely on the Internet for communications.

Very recently, a member of Seven Hills City Council contacted us for input on an ordinance providing strict guidelines and fees for the installation of solar energy panels. The legislation is being reviewed and results will be shared with Council in late August.

In political news, the RPAC Trustees concluded several days of candidate interviews for state senators, state representatives, and county council candidates in both Cuyahoga and Summit Counties.  Candidates were asked to share their opinions on a variety of real estate related issues. A complete list of real estate friendly, RPAC supported candidates will be released soon. Watch the Membership Press for a complete list of RPAC supported candidates.

The third annual ACAR YPN RPAC Fundraiser is in the books. The country western themed RPAClogoColorevent raised more than $13,000, and we could not have done it without the support of our sponsors, volunteers, and attendees.  We are now looking forward to honoring our top investors, at the $100 level or higher, this fall at a special reception in October following the first annual meeting of ACAR. Want to know if you qualify?

Last but certainly not least, consider signing up for the clambake following the ACAR golf outing at Signature of Solon on September 15th.  Many local officials from our region have been invited to join us for dinner. Though there is no formal presentation from the officials, this will be an opportunity for you to meet some of our mayors and county officials.

The Government Affairs Director can be reached at jmcmillen@AkronClevelandRealtors.com.


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