by Kevin Dicciani

The Chestnut Hill Community Association’s board of directors will finalize bylaw amendments at a special meeting in early September, one of the last steps the organization needs to take before implementing its 501(c)(3) status.

At a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27, CHCA president William Detweiler said the CHCA was “moving along” in the process of amending the bylaws. He said the board was anxiously awaiting a conclusion after having worked on the modifications for well over a year, a conclusion that Detweiler said would be advantageous to the CHCA from a financial standpoint.

“We’re at a tremendous disadvantage not being a 501(c)(3) in terms of getting much needed operating funds,” Detweiler said.

John Falco, a ChestnutHill resident and attorney with the firm Pepper Hamilton, who was present at the meeting, said the goal all along has been to keep the bylaws as “consistent as the current organization’s bylaws.”

Falco said the area of the greatest concern has been the relationship between the board of the Chestnut Hill Local and the board of the new 501(c)(3). All of the documents that have been drafted, Falco said, provide the 501(c)(3) with the most amount of influence and control over the Local without there being a question if the two organizations are distinctive entities, in terms of a corporate liability and 501(c)(3) standpoint.

“We’ve got a document that I think is pretty tight and really does what the board expects the documents to do,” Falco said.

To approve the bylaws, there must be a majority vote from the entire board of directors who are currently in office. With 31 total board members, 16 members would have had to vote at the Aug. 27 meeting to pass the bylaw amendments. However, because there were only 20 members present at the meeting, the board felt it was best to delay the vote until the entire board could be in attendance.

Board member Julie Byrne, who was acted as co-chair of the bylaws committee in 2014, said she didn’t feel comfortable casting a vote as she never received the tracked changes to the bylaws documents. Board member Mark Keintz said he also never saw the tracked changes. Despite not wanting to vote until she sees the tracked changes, Byrne said she fully supports the organization becoming a 501(c)(3). Falco said he would make sure to circulate all of the documents to everyone on the board.

The board then made a motion to turn the meeting into an executive session, which passed unanimously.

When the meeting reconvened, a motion was made by George Coates to hold a special meeting, either on Sept. 8 or 14, to be held in concert with the Executive Committee meeting. There, the board will finalize the bylaws before presenting them, within 30 days, to the CHCA’s membership.

The motion passed with a 20-0 vote.