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From the Chair (December 2023)

I would like to thank Fred Knowles of George Mason Forest HOA for bringing to the attention of Council members a new legal requirement that appears to apply to all associations, namely, the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Originally signed into law in 2021 with an effective date of 1 January, 2024, the CTA requires a report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the Treasury Department. Fred has contacted Congressman Connolly’s office on this matter. I have reached out to Chadwick Washington (the law firm that made a presentation to the Council on HOA legal concerns in February of this year). Attorney Bruce Easmunt provided me with an article that he co-authored on this topic. (Disclaimer: This article provides much useful information but does not, in and of itself, constitute legal advice as that term is understood. I encourage you to contact your law firm directly for legal advice concerning your reporting responsibilities under the Corporate Transparency Act).

I have also contacted Supervisor Walkinshaw and the Fairfax County Federation of Citizen Associations about this issue. I will provide any updated information as it is received. Please note that the initial report is required by 31 December, 2024, so there is no need to do anything right away. But do definitely keep this matter on your agenda for action at the appropriate time.

Since the September meeting, the Council has held two excellent presentations. One was sponsored by the BDC Aging in Place program and was on the topic of “Medicare 101.” Arranged by AIP coordinator, Paul Hartwell, in conjunction with the Kings Park Library, and presented by speakers from the Virginia Insurance and Counseling Assistance Program (VICAP), this presentation in late October provided a wealth of information for seniors about to transition to Medicare or who are currently on Medicare. Approximately 25 people attended, making this a very successful kickoff of the coming year’s AIP lecture schedule (check the “Senior Outreach” tab on our website).

At our November meeting, speakers from the Fairfax County Adult Protective Services gave a presentation on how County agencies deal with cases of elder abuse, which comprises neglect, physical/mental/sexual abuse, and financial abuse/exploitation by responsible individuals or facilities. The speakers provided information on how to spot potential elder abuse situations and how to report them.

Looking ahead to our January meeting, we will offer a presentation on Fairfax County zoning regulations. This will provide excellent information on the various types of issues that associations encounter in their neighborhoods. Please plan to attend this informative meeting on 17 January, 2024 in Braddock Hall, starting at 7 p.m.

At the November meeting, I discussed our outreach efforts to build Council membership. The Executive Committee is continuing to contact associations. We are happy to welcome Surrey Forge/Olde Creek and Stone Haven to the Council. We are expecting checks from a few other associations that have sent in their application online, so we are slowly but steadily moving ahead toward our goal of 40 members in 2024. We again ask for your help in talking up the Council to people you know in other neighborhoods. That would multiply our efforts greatly. A testimonial from a current member will go a long way to convincing potential member associations that there is value in being an active part of the Council.

Finally, I would like to encourage all associations to have a representative at the Best of Braddock Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 6 December, in the Kings Park Library meeting room, starting at 6:30 p.m. The Council supports this annual event by helping the supervisor’s staff select the winners, paying in part for the refreshments, underwriting the cost of the plaques given to the award recipients, and assisting with the setup/cleanup. This year’s Best of Braddock winners definitely represent the kind of caring and contributory people who make Braddock District such a great place to live. Each and every award recipient deserves our individual and collective thanks and congratulations. I hope to see you there for the ceremony.

Bob Cosgriff

Chair, BDC

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