Thursday, July 4, 2019

Bourne Property Owner Fines Of $21K Plus Could Be Passed On To Tenant - CapeNews.net

Bourne Property Owner Fines Of $21K Plus Could Be Passed On To Tenant - CapeNews.net


Bourne Property Owner Fines Of $21K Plus Could Be Passed On To Tenant - CapeNews.net

Posted: 03 Jul 2019 08:00 AM PDT

A tenant who has allegedly interfered with a landlord's attempts to address health and safety code violations could be ordered to pay the fines assessed by the town against the property owner.

The fines currently exceed $21,000.

The matter concerns violations uncovered at a residential property at 141 Williams Avenue in Pocasset.

At the June 26 meeting of the Bourne Board of Health, board members said that they may seek to levy the fines against the tenant rather than the landlord.

Initially, at the board's meeting on June 12, members decided to fine owner Paula Hoffman $300 a day, retroactive to April 17. That came to $17,100, with the register still ticking until all violations are cleared up.

As of the board's meeting last week, the tally was up to $20,700.

An inspection conducted on April 17 uncovered water damage throughout the house, damage to the roof, and all the windows in need of replacement. In addition, a mold specialist had to be called in given the extent of the water damage.

Orders were issued to clear up the violations, and a second inspection was done on June 10. The only correction made was replacement of the home's carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. The tenant renting the home from Ms. Hoffman complained of the conditions and requested the inspection.

However, Ms. Hoffman's attorney, Karyn A. Morris-Devine of Hyannis, told the board at its June 26 meeting that it was the tenant who was responsible for much of the damage not being addressed.

The tenant's actions, Ms. Morris-Devine said, has led to a problem with retaining contractors willing to do the necessary work.

"We had contractor after contractor say they were going to start and then disappear," she said.

She said a contractor recently found that the tenant had defecated in the toilet and not flushed. The tenant also owned a pit bull that prevented contractors from doing work at the house. In addition, a dehumidifier placed in the house three years ago that was installed to combat moisture causing mold issues was constantly being turned off, she said.

"So the tenant is actively interfering with the work being done, interfering with the contractors," she said.

The most recent contractor hired, a plumber, cleaned the toilet and did the work needed to be done, but, she said, he described the inside of the house as "absolutely disgusting."

Board chairman Kathleen M. Peterson said that everything Ms. Morris-Devine was saying was only hearsay without corroborating evidence or testimony, either from the tenant or one of the department's health inspectors.

She urged Ms. Morris-Devine to contact the department as soon as possible when such a situation occurs. The board of health can then order the tenant to appear before them, and explain that the fines can be transferred to him," Ms. Peterson said.

"You'd be surprised how quickly the dog disappears, the door stays open, and the dehumidifier stays on when they're getting fined $300 a day," she said.

Ms. Morris-Devine asked that the board acknowledge the $10,000 Ms. Hoffman has spent addressing the violations at the Williams Avenue residence. She said that her client is not wealthy and the tenant has not paid any rent for months.

New windows have been ordered, a mold mitigation company has been hired, and the contractor has started working on the rear of the house where rot has been detected.

"She's doing the best she can, and I have not ignored this," Ms. Morris-Devine said.

Board members urged Ms. Morris-Devine to document any and all actions taken by the tenant to prevent the work being done, and forward that documentation to the health department for their records. The board agreed to continue the matter to its meeting on Wednesday, July 24.

High school board changes meeting days - The Galt Herald

Posted: 03 Jul 2019 02:53 PM PDT

Trustees of the Galt Joint Union High School District met June 11 for their last regular meeting before taking a quick summer break. During the meeting, trustees changed the day of the week for their meetings for the rest of the year, approved a 6 percent salary increase for the superintendent, approved the 2019-20 proposed budget and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), and tabled for the next morning, an emergency resolution to enter into a contract to fix water and mold damage at Liberty Ranch High School. This was approved at a special meeting the next morning, June 12.

Noting conflicts for future meetings, the board chose to change regular board meetings from the second Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday of each month, except in December when there is a conflict. The board will continue to meet at City Hall at 6 p.m. for those regular meetings. Future meeting dates are Aug. 1, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 19, to accommodate for the CSBA conference.

At the December meeting, board members will readdress meeting dates, times and location during their regularly scheduled organizational meeting.

Trustees approved an overall 6 percent salary increase for Superintendent William Spalding, who just completed his first year at the helm of the district.

According to Spalding's contract, his term of employment was continued by one school year to June 30, 2022 and is eligible to receive a salary increase consistent to other employee groups at 3 percent. In addition, Spalding was granted a column increase of 3 percent for a total of 6 percent.

Trustees agreed to revise the superintendent's contract so that all contractual monthly expense allowances, such as car and cellular, be included into the total salary for the superintendent. This will eliminate the additional payment of expense allowances in the future.

Spalding's total salary will be $193,900 annually.

"I want to commend Bill (Spalding) for the job he's done this year," Board President Dan Denier said at the meeting. "It has been a completely different turn around in direction that the board and the district is heading, and I think we owe that to you. You came in and you've gotten us through and we've had things – like with all the construction where you've brought in value engineering that has saved the district money. I think that's important that people understand that – that the job you've done has been pretty significant for the district this past year."

Spalding started his tenure at the opening of Hawk Stadium and just last month celebrated the ribbon cutting of the new Warrior Stadium, as well as the groundbreaking of the state-of-the-art two-story science building at Galt High.

Denier went on to thank the entire administrative team at the district level, as well as all the teachers and staff of the district.

"I really do look forward to working, in the distant future, with you (Spalding) and this board, because this is a good board we have right now," Denier said.

The item was approved 4-0. Trustee Mark Beck was absent.

Trustees approved the 2019-20 budget with a 4-0 vote. And although the district will be deficit spending in the next couple of fiscal years, staff concluded that the district would still be able to meet its financial obligations for the current and subsequent two years.

"Administration is confident that the district will be able to maintain prudent operating reserves, and have the necessary cash in order to ensure that the district remains fiscally solvent," the staff report concluded.

The district operates on an approximate $27,000,000 budget.

Needing the approval of the entire board, trustees tabled approving an emergency resolution to enter into a contract to fix significant water damage in the agricultural building at Liberty Ranch High School. On top of the water damage, "unhealthy forms of mold" began to grow within the walls.

Because Trustee Beck was absent the resolution was tabled until the next day, when all trustees could meet together. It was passed 5-0 on July 12.

Although testing results showed that there is unhealthy mold growths encapsulated inside the south wall of the ag building, air quality in each room was in the good or normal range at this time.

"None of the mold found has become airborne or made its way into the interior class and shop space, thus there has been no health risk posed to students or staff," staff reported.

Because of the "emergency situation" concerning potential safety and there is an immediate need to repair and restore the building to begin the new school year, district officials sought an emergency resolution to expedite the project.

The emergency resolution's expedited timeline eliminates the district's need to go through the normal bidding process, allowing the district to move forward immediately.

An emergency resolution requires a unanimous vote from all board members, as well as the blessing of the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, David Gordon.

As the newest building on the Liberty Ranch campus, district staff is puzzled as to how this could happen.

"From the inspections with representatives from the builder, roofer, and district M&O (maintenance and operations), the issue was found to be significant with moisture and damage under the roofing layer, but with no obvious cause or source. The roofing itself appeared intact," staff reported.

The district has hired an "expert forensic water intrusion inspection team" to determine the cause and source.

"After the abatement is completed, walls and air quality will be retested to ensure healthy levels and that the substance has been fully removed and cleaned," staff reported.

District officials plan to have the walls removed and reconstructed in time for the first day of school Aug. 12.

"Our aim is to have everything returned to normal and to be able to re-occupy the building in time to start the new school year," staff reported.

Consumer Diary: Insurance myths busted | Business - Journal Inquirer

Posted: 03 Jul 2019 09:30 PM PDT

Are you aware that women typically pay higher health insurance premiums than men, and that most people incorrectly believe comprehensive auto coverage covers car damage from a collision?

Those are just some of the findings of the nationwide 2019 Insurance Myths and Misconceptions survey published June 19 and commissioned by the website Insurancequotes.com, which provides free rate and coverage comparisons. The findings include:

• Myth: 68 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that comprehensive auto insurance covers car damage from a collision.

Truth: Comprehensive pays for damage from something other than a collision, like fire, theft, vandalism. Liability insurance pays for the policyholder's responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. Collision insurance pays for property damage to your vehicle.

• Myth: 36 percent incorrectly believe you pay more for a red vehicle, including 41 percent of those between 18 and 34.

Truth: Rates depend on vehicle year, make, model, body type, and engine size.

• Myth: 36 percent believe that federal law requires riders of battery-powered scooters to have liability insurance.

Truth: It's not required unless the scooter rental company or city or town granting a permit requires it.

• Myth: 35 percent believe a standard homeowner's insurance policy covers flood damage, while 34 percent believe it covers mold damage.

Truth: You can pay an extra premium for flood insurance from the federal National Flood Insurance Program covering up to $250,000 in structural damage and up to $100,000 in content loss, limiting basement coverage to structural elements and necessary equipment — electrical and HVAC systems.

The NFIP defines "flood" as "partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties." It does not cover any other water damage.

• Myth: Mold remediation is covered by standard homeowners policies.

Truth: Generally, only if it results from a covered item like a burst pipe.

• Myth: 66 percent believe men and women pay the same health insurance premiums.

Truth: Although the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires equal premiums, data from eHealth Inc. — a private online health insurance marketplace — show that in 2018 women paid an average $43 more monthly for insurance bought via the healthcare marketplace.

"Our report on the ACA's open enrollment period for 2018 coverage showed that men who didn't receive ACA subsidies paid an average monthly premium of $418 while women paid an average premium of $461," eHealth spokesman Sande Drew told me. For 2019 to date, he said, "Unsubsidized men paid an average monthly premium of $431 while women paid an average monthly premium of $465." The reason, Drew said, appears to be "that women tend to pick plans with higher average premiums than men."

I think that could be because women are rightly more concerned about their health than men.

• Myth: 46 percent thought that life insurance companies can't use a pre-existing medical condition in figuring premiums.

Truth: They can and they do.

Now you know. Meanwhile, continue to celebrate our national holiday ... with or without tanks in the street!

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