Town Opposes Bill Impacting Senior Communities

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

  BRICK – The township’s governing body passed a resolution during the most recent council meeting opposing a state bill that would create a new state agency to provide oversight on community associations.

  On June 10, the State Senate passed Bill S-2425 which would consolidate laws concerning common interest communities, such as adult communities in Brick, including the taxation of common property. The State Assembly version of the Bill, A-3851 will be up for a vote next.

  “Our local association boards are more than capable of managing and dealing with local issues rather than a state agency,” read Councilman Paul Mummolo.

  During public comment, Brick resident and Republican chairman of municipal elections Alan Cartine said he lives in one of the adult communities that would be impacted by the bill.

Acting School Superintendent Sean Cranston thanked the council for urging the state to create a new school funding formula. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  He said a lot of his fellow residents have been asking him about “this wild rumor” that there’s a bill about to be passed that would allow residents to sell their homes to people under the age of 55.

  “People were in fear of their investment and wanted a clarification,” Cartine said.

  Township Attorney Kevin Starkey said that rumor is “absolutely false” for two reasons. First, there is nothing in the bill that addresses underage people buying homes in adult communities. And second, Starkey said the 55 and older communities are governed by federal law.

  “That is across the entire country,” he said. “Our state legislature couldn’t change that rule if it wanted to,” Starkey said.

  Cartine said he served as a Sergeant-at-Arms at the NJ State Senate for 16 years and recalled that the bill goes back “quite a few years to when complaints were made to legislators to people living in condominium communities that were living in a police state.”

  Those residents felt that they did not have any recourse and they were not allowed to participate in their communities. “So a few of the legislators thought about this over the years, and finally a bill was introduced in 2018,” he said.

  Councilwoman Marianne Pontoriero, who is an attorney, said that Cartine made several good points.

  She said she is familiar with and has been watching the creation of the bill for a long time.

“What it’s turned into is, it’s created a lot of false fears and rumors of what could happen, and it struck fear in a lot of residents,” she said.

  Pontoriero said she agrees with Cartine, that the bill needs to be opposed.

  “Why can’t these community organizations continue to do what they’ve been doing without the state’s interference?” she asked.

  “The journey against this bill started a long time ago, and anyone who was interested in it knows it’s history and politicking on both sides that led to the creation of what I believe would be disastrous,” she added.