EASTER EGG HUNT IN FOREST HILL PARK MEADOW
Saturday April 13th.
The City of Cleveland Heights is holding a Spring Egg Hunt for children ages 1-9, Saturday, April 13, at 10:00 am (SHARP!) in the Forest Hill Park Meadow (near the playground). The event is FREE!
TO SEE CHILDREN ENJOYING THIS ANNUAL FOREST HILL PARK TRADITION, CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for resident Dick Secor’s detailed map of the park, showing location of the meadow as well as playgrounds, trails, lakes, parking lots and many other features of the 235 acre park that you can plan on enjoying at future visits to the park.
Children should wear old clothes and boots in case of inclement weather and must bring their own bags or egg baskets. Registration deadline is April 12; call 216-691-7373.
You are asked to contribute a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Heights Emergency Food Center. (Note: if the weather is severe the day of the hunt, the program may be moved to the Forest Hill Tennis Courts or inside the Community Center. Call 216-691-7373 the day of the event for information).
FHHO IS A LEGAL HOA GOVERNED BY THE OHIO REVISED CODE FOR NON PROFITS, CHAPTER 1702 (ORC-1702).
IT DOES NOT QUALIFY AS AN OHIO PLANNED COMMUNITY.
After years of controversy caused by a few residents spreading misinformation about FHHO being illegal and not even being an HOA because it was not functioning as an Ohio Planned Community (OPL) and was not using bylaws written according to the Ohio Planned Community Law (OPCL), the FHHO bylaws committee recommended to the Executive Committee that the Association engage an attorney who could perform an analysis of our covenants - the document which determines whether we qualify as an Ohio Planned Community, and provide an opinion on whether we qualify as an OPC and if so whether we can use any of the tools provided by OPCL. Bids were obtained from three different law firms and a recommendation of Ken Kuehnle, a highly qualified Columbus attorney to perform the analysis made to the board. Mr. Kuehnle’s analysis clearly establishes that our bylaws must be written according to ORC-1702, the law that FHHO has always used for its governance.
For the legal opinion received from Mr. Kuehnle, CLICK HERE
ANNUAL MEMBERS’ MEETING
Our Annual Members’ Meeting, was held on Tuesday, December 11th, 6:30pm at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING:
Trustees for 2019 were elected by the members. For the list of new trustees CLICK HERE.
Our speaker for the evening was Ken Kuehnle, the attorney from Columbus who we had engaged to provide an analysis of our covenants and opinion on whether, we could use any parts of the Ohio Planned Community Law (OPCL) in our governance (See below for more details). His analysis, which you can read in full HERE, clearly established that FHHO does not qualify as an Ohio Planned Community. Despite a few technical difficulties, Mr Kuehnle was able to speak to us via FacetTime from Columbus, summarizing his professional background, the role he had played in working with the Ohio legislature while they were writing the 2010 Planned Community Law (OPCL), and several examples of case law over the subsequent 8 years in which HOAs, which did not qualify as planned communities based on their founding documents, had incorporated aspects of the OPCL into their bylaws and been successfully sued by members of the HOAs. He also discussed the reasons that our covenants do not allow us to qualify as a planned community and answered questions from the audience. He summarized by saying that his analysis of our covenants clearly establishes that our bylaws must be written according to ORC-1702, the chapter of the Ohio Revised Code for Non-Profits that FHHO has always used for its governance.
Reports and Awards:
The Minutes of the last Annual Meeting were approved. The association’s Treasurer, Tony Rupcic had handed out the Year’s End Financial Statement. He reported that in addition to the routine expenditures, we had two large unusual expenses this year. One was $2,000 for interim help with the website, which had not been functional since July 2017. This included the cost for hosting and training Jo Fox and Jan Milic to take over management since we no longer had the free services of Laura Grebus, who had so generously developed the site and managed it in previous years. The other was $2,500 for the legal opinion on the covenants to establish whether or not FHHO qualifies as an Ohio Planned Community. In response to a question as to whether bids were obtained for services, Mr Rupcic responded that two bids were always obtained. Dr. Fox commented that although our budget is small and an external audit is not required, a previous Trustee had requested one. Based on this, we had obtained two bids and would be obtaining an external audit of our 2018 budget in 2019. The Treasurer summarized that despite our two unusual expenses, expenses were only a little more than $1,000 greater than revenues this year so we were optimistic that we would end the year with a balanced budget, which after several very generous contributions made by members attending the meeting, was a goal that was achieved.
Sue Kenney then gave a dynamic presentation about the Forest Hill Aging in Place Resource Guide which she has developed together with Judy Charlick. Examples of information provided include places to call for transportation, utility problems, home repairs or home help, and even library book delivery and pick-up. Sue told a story about how she had visited one large chain and asked if they would deliver prescriptions to people who were unable to leave their homes or drive to pick them up - the answer was No. When she went to another chain and asked the same question she was told that they would deliver up to 3-prescriptions at a time. Tips such as these are documented in the resource. Sue and Judy are looking for residents to help them get this resource into the hands of every Forest Hill resident who could benefit from the information it contains, as well as spread information about it to other communities. Several organizations in both East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, including Future Heights, which published an article on it in the December issue of the Heights Observer, have already received the resource with great enthusiasm. In addition to the benefits of the information it contains, Sue and Judy see distribution of the resource as a way of extending neighborliness and engaging community. You can download a copy of the Resource Guide HERE.
Other reports included a summary provided by Dr. Mary Rice, VP of membership. This year, there was a record 60 sales by the end of the year, in part due to the movement of many of the previously bank-owned homes. Prices are also rising, with those in the low $200,000 range not being uncommon.
This year, contests and rewards for outstanding contributions were reinstated and brought a sense of fun, appreciation, and energy to the meeting. Attractive certificates of appreciation were presented to several people who had been working behind the scenes, often entirely of their own initiative, to further the reputation, community spirit or mission Forest Hill or FHHO. One was given to Pete Grebus for his persistence during the years that it took to get “the Walden House” through all the foreclosure procedures to the point where, just a few days before the members meeting, the case finally reached tax foreclosure court and the land bank got possession of the house. Laura Grebus was acknowledged for the hours she has put into in-depth research, communication with the Attorney General’s Office, and resident education about legal and governmental issues pertinent to our community, making herself a valuable resource to residents who would like to understand our legal status or the truth about any information they might hear.
Jamain and Kesha Owen were acknowledged for the recognition that their renovation of Forest Hills Blvd has brought to Forest Hill.
Finally, awards were presented to the winners of the East Cleveland Forest Park Fall Photography Contest organized in collaboration with Dick Secor and the East Cleveland Park Association. First prize went to John Satola for a spectacular photo of the meadow. When the 16 x 14 print that had been made for John was held up it drew gasps of appreciation from all present. John reported that he had to sit for 15 minutes until the sun was just right for the photo but Dick Secor responded that the result was perfection in every way and this was by far the best photo entered into the contest. John had needed to leave the meeting early so the print was accepted on his behalf by neighbor, Eda Daniel. Second prize went to Devany Carswell for showing the most artistic creativity in every one of her submitted photos; one in particular, was picked as showing the most artistic and creative talent and will be converted into an acrylic print for her. Sharon Leary congratulated Devany on behalf of the contest organizers; Devany’s deprecating and other humorous remarks as her prize photo was shown on the screen brought much laughter and applause as well as post-meeting comments about the sense of community and friendship that they felt had been brought back to FHHO this evening.