From the Chair (March 2023)
The February meeting featured a presentation on “Liability Insurance and Best Practices” by Mr. Tiago Bezerra and Ms. Lindsey Davis, attorneys with Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn, PC. They provided an excellent summary of the Virginia statutes governing the operation of various types of associations and stressed the importance of knowing what an association’s foundational documents (Deed and Declarations, Covenants, By-Laws) say about how its board must act with respect to proper insurance coverage. All association boards have a responsibility for due diligence in assessing risk exposure, which varies with the type of association. Insurance is not a nice-to-have thing; it is a necessity, but what types of insurance and the amount of coverage are up to each association board to determine based on its own assessment. The presenters provided handouts of their briefing to the attendees. A link is attached for those who were not at the meeting or who would like another copy.
The second presentation of the evening was by Lucas Bickford of the Fairfax Villa Neighborhood Association. Lucas, a student at W.T. Woodson, was the 2022 Braddock District Young Person of the Year (High School category) for his efforts in organizing the Villa Neighborhood Cleanup project. He outlined why he started picking up litter around his neighborhood and in Fairfax Villa Park. He recruited a friend, but soon realized that this was more than a two-person endeavor, so he organized other young people in the neighborhood to take part in a worthwhile and fun project which is now part of the fabric of his community. In addition to contributing to overall neighborhood and park appearance, the project has helped to remove a large amount of non-environmentally friendly material from the landscape. A grass-roots project like this is something that is replicable in other neighborhoods in Braddock District. It’s a great way to create a stronger sense of community as well as to contribute to an overall improvement in appearance and environmental health. Here is a link to Lucas’ presentation.
Coming up in April is the annual Legislative Report meeting, at which the elected officials who represent portions of Braddock District in Richmond will gather to discuss the results of the 2023 session of the General Assembly. This is an excellent chance for BDC members to meet their delegate and senator and hear first-hand from them about the state budget and new laws. Since some General Assembly district boundaries will change for the 2023 elections, this is also a chance to find out if you will have a new delegate or state senator come November. So mark your calendar for Wednesday, 26 April, and plan on being at Braddock Hall for this informative meeting. Please note: the date for the meeting is the fourth Wednesday of April. The legislators had a conflict on the third Wednesday of the month, which is our regular meeting date.
As this article goes to press, I am pleased to announce that we have 17 active members. But when you realize that there are about 165 associations of various types in Braddock District, we are a long way from having a truly representative membership. The BDC Board is going to work on getting more associations to join the Council. This will provide a broader forum for addressing issues and concerns, sharing best practices, and supporting the supervisor’ initiatives to build community in Braddock District. If you are reading this and belong to an association that is not yet a member of the Braddock District Council, I urge you to speak to your board of directors and have someone contact me (email@example.com) to discuss the benefits of membership.