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President’s Message Dear WSCAI Members,


  your Chapter President. It happens


H that way! Fortunately, I am surrounded by


outstanding Board colleagues and a dedicated WSCAI Staff led by Executive Director par excellence Michelle Leary. So please do not be too greatly alarmed.


Before I tell you about some initiatives coming up, I must thank our Immediate Past President, Karen McDonald, for her highly effective service to the Chapter. Under Karen’s focused leadership we met our goals of expanding WSCAI’s reach beyond the Seattle Puget Sound area with programs in Eastern Washington, Tacoma and Vancouver; assuring that each event is self-sustaining to protect the long-term  at key Chapter events. Karen oversaw our budget like the superb reserve professional she is, and we are well funded because of it. Beyond the objective goals met, Karen’s steady hand and easygoing attitude made this past year a most enjoyable one for me personally, and I am sure for the entire Board and Staff. Thank you, Karen!


Speaking of the Board, we are excited to have added Andrea  positions. Their industry experience is a great add and we are lucky to have them.


I have been asked what my vision is for the Chapter this year. In considering that question I recognize there is so much the Chapter does well, and I must be honest that there is no great “vision” in wanting to not mess up a good thing. Because of all the work that has come before, we have strong committees led by volunteers who give so much of their personal time and professional experience to make our Chapter thrive. I stand in awe of the level of commitment I have seen and know this is the heart of what makes the Chapter great. I want that to continue and want to create opportunities for even more of the deep talent that resides in this Chapter to be shared – in educational presentations, Journal articles, and Chapter activities and events. I invite any member who wants to explore the possibility of becoming more active to email or call me directly.


Beyond wanting to build on the good work of my 


6 Community Associations Journal | November/December 2019


from having an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program to assist communities quickly and inexpensively resolve disputes between owners, and between owners and the board, while preserving the long-term neighbor relationships that keep communities healthy. I plan to test that idea by appointing an ADR Task Force of Chapter volunteers to study it and make recommendations. I will report back as the Task Force’s work progresses.


I also want to focus special attention on and provide more resources to the advocacy piece of the Chapter’s mission this year. As most of you know, in addition to providing educational and other resources to its members, WSCAI provides legislative advocacy. WSCAI supports laws and public policies that help community associations and their members and boards, and opposes laws that jeopardize their interests. This advocacy is done through the Chapter’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC), whose members put in an enormous amount of time analyzing bills, drafting proposed legislation, and communicating the Chapter’s positions to lawmakers with the aid of a professional lobbyist employed by the Chapter. This is a vital part of the Chapter’s mission, because the laws that are enacted can profoundly impact our communities, yet most of the LAC’s work takes place under the radar. I am hoping to raise awareness of the LAC’s work and its relevance to every one of us, and strengthen our funding for this essential 


I guess that means I have two main goals, each of which can be summed up in neat acronyms: ADR and LAC. Thank you in advance for your support, and please be sure to check the Calendar of Events on the back page and get signed up! It’s going to be a great year to be part of WSCAI.


Sincerely, Tony Rafel, Esq., Chapter President (206) 838-2662 | arafel@rafellawgroup.com


elp! Several years ago, in a moment of weakness, I


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