Advocacy Update

Forrest Wall March 2021Written by HBA and AAM CEO, Forrest M. Wall, CAE

Emotional Support Animal Legislation Introduced

New legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives which would strengthen state law to help prevent the false representation of possession of an emotional support animal (ESA). As you may recall, efforts to pass similar legislation in the last few legislative sessions has garnered support but fallen just short of full legislative approval.

House Bill 5751, introduced in February, would create the “Emotional Support Animal Act.” First, the bill would define an emotional support animal and differentiate it from a service animal. An ESA would be a common domestic animal which a health care provider would determine is necessary to alleviate the disabling effects of a mental, emotional, psychological, or psychiatric condition or illness. Definitions for a health care provider as well as the scope of the provider-patient relationship are also included in the legislation.

Second, the bill proposes requirements for those health care providers who wish to certify a person’s need for an emotional support animal. Those requirements include:

  • The provider has an established relationship with the patient for at least 30 days before the provider can certify the need for an ESA
  • The provider determines there is a need for an ESA

Third, the legislation states that a provider shall not receive a fee or other compensation solely in exchange for certifying a patient’s need for an ESA. It goes on to state that any certification is invalid if made solely in exchange for compensation for providing that certification, and, that a provider shall not falsely certify a person’s need for an ESA.

Fourth, the bill outlines a required written notice for ESA registration that a provider must give which states that the registration does not qualify the animal as a service animal, and that false representation of an animal as a service animal or service animal in training violates the law.

Finally, penalty provisions are included in the proposed legislation for knowingly violating the act. Those provisions include:

  • For a first offense, a civil fine of not more than $1,000
  • For a second or subsequent offense, a civil fine of not more than $2,000
  • That a violation of the act may be prosecuted by county prosecutors or the attorney general.
  • The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform for consideration.
Posted in 2022, MAY 2022 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

Season Shift Safety

Written by Daniel Aday,  CompOne Administrators Safety & Loss Prevention Specialist

When the temperatures start to increase and the days seem to last longer and longer, we begin to settle into a new season. However, before we begin to become too comfortable with the new season, we should always ensure that we tidy up the hazards that were brought in from winter. Winter can be hard on equipment, buildings, roads, the environment, and even us. Which is why it is important that we assess any damages every year around this time. Looking at the surface of parking lots, sidewalks, and other surfaces around our work environments is critical to ensuring that no twisted ankles happen. We should also inspect our winter equipment so that it gets stored away properly and won’t cause any issues come next winter. Lastly, inspect the grounds of your company to ensure that no foreseeable accidents may occur.

We all know that winter is hard on the roads. Between salting the roads, ice expanding cracks in the pavement, snow shoveling, and plow trucks, it’s amazing that there is anything left once all the snow has melted. But once all the snow has melted, this becomes the perfect time to inspect these surfaces for any holes, substantial cracks, or even shifts in the level of the surface. These are common hazards that contribute to several rolled ankles, broken bones, and even litigations each and every year. While it might be tempting to just throw some asphalt to level out the surface, the right way is to properly clean out the hole, crack, or uneven surface; fill in any deep holes with a proper pack up to about 2 inches below the surface level, making a good base and compact it down; determine how much liquid asphalt you need; then lay down enough asphalt to compact down and make level. If desired, you can coat the whole surface before the next winter and you will never notice that the hole, crack, or uneven surface was even there.

At the end of each winter, it is always a good idea to inspect all winter equipment for damage, check for preventative maintenance, and verify any safety equipment. For snow blowers, check the cables, rotor blades, and scraper. For snow plows, inspect all hydraulics for leaks or the start of any leaks. Inspect all frame components, headlights, connectors, blade, springs, etc. Additionally, while it may be tempting to just put all tools and equipment away for summer, it is wise to wash off any salt, debris, mud, or anything else, as this may cause the equipment to rust while in storage and become a bigger hazard for winters to come.

While most trees are unbothered by cold winters, older trees or trees that are more susceptible to the cold can become critically damaged during deep freezes. If you have any trees on your company’s property, they should be inspected around this time and evaluated to determine if there are any branches (or the whole tree) that needs to come down due to a risk of it falling. Signs you should look for are significant loss of branches, trees leaning, damage to 25 percent of the tree or more, or parts of the tree not starting to grow. All tree trimming and removal should be done by professionals.

Hazards are always going to be present throughout the year. It is up to the employer to ensure that not only the employees are being safe, but the environment and equipment that they are working with and around are also safe. Doing seasonal shift inspections are a great way to always ensure that you are prepared for the upcoming season.

If you are interested in any form of assistance with safety or compliance inspections for your company, please contact Daniel Aday at daday@compone.net.

Posted in 2022, MAY 2022 | Comments Off on Season Shift Safety

Vehicle Safety

Written by Daniel Aday, CompOne Administrators Safety & Loss Prevention Specialist

Regardless of whether you have a whole fleet of company cars and trucks, or just a personal car that gets you to and from work, vehicles are a critical aspect of your everyday operations as a company or business. To ensure that there are no hiccups, unneeded mechanical repairs, or even accidents, it is imperative that you keep your vehicles in great condition, inspected often and stocked with emergency items.

Nothing seems worse at the time when you get into a vehicle and go to start it but nothing happens. It is frustrating, to say the least, whether it is the starter, the battery, alternator, bad gas, fuel pump, spark plugs or any other reason why a car won’t start. That is why it is critical to keep up on preventative maintenance for everything. Every vehicle has some means of service maintenance schedule that will involve changing fluids, inspecting tires and brakes and changing/replacing other parts, as well. Maintaining vehicle safety starts at purchasing the right vehicle. Pick out a vehicle that has great reviews, crash test ratings, reliability and quality. After that, you need to be able to find a trustworthy mechanic, if you are going to be having a third party work on your vehicles. Regularly take it in to get inspected and know that it is better to replace worn or aged parts before they break and you are left stuck on the side of the road or even in an accident.

Things to always keep in your vehicle may depend on where you are located, what hazards you are exposed to and your level of preparedness. What every vehicle should have is a light first aid kit, some snacks that don’t expire for at least a couple years (like energy bars, some trail mix, beef jerky), bottled water (kept out of direct sunlight), some means to charge a phone and a flashlight. Things that you may need depending on where you are located are a bigger first aid kit (if you live far away from any kind of hospital), blankets, roadside lights or flairs, ice scraper and a pair of gloves and safety glasses in case you need to do any light maintenance or change a tire. If you are unsure of what you might need, consider what could go wrong and plan accordingly. Additionally, if you are going to keep something in a vehicle, ensure that the driver is aware of what is there and how to use the items.

Arguably, the most important things on your vehicle are your tires. Your tires are the only means of contact between the road and your car. Regularly inspect your tires before driving, especially if driving for longer distances. What you want to look for is enough tread on the tire (there are usually indicators on the tire that show when the tire has worn down too much), any cracks on the sidewall that would indicate dry-rotting (more common on older tires), any objects that may have been lodged in the tire (such as nails, hooks, or road debris) that may cause it to pop and periodically check the air pressure. With many new cars, the air pressure of the tires can be checked on your dash or instrument cluster. Having good traction is a must, which is why your tires should always be based around the weather and the roads you drive on. Summer tires are superior to all season tires in the warmer months and winter tires are a world of difference in terms of improved traction in the winter. Never underestimate a good set of tires for your vehicles.
Keeping your vehicle in roadworthy condition is not only important for your personal safety, but also means that there is one less stressor you will have when worrying about the rest of work. Although not always predicable, vehicles that are well-maintained generally last longer and are safer on the roads.

If you are looking for assistance with safety policy, procedure creation or training for any other safety topic, feel free to reach out to us at 734-309-3456 or at daday@compone.net

Posted in 2022, APRIL 2022 | Comments Off on Vehicle Safety

Advocacy Update

Forrest Wall March 2021Written by HBA and AAM CEO, Forrest M. Wall, CAE

Prohibition On Disclosures Introduced
Legislation which would broaden the scope of the Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act and add a section to that act has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. House Bill 5920 proposes an expansion of the act to include in its scope the prohibition of “certain disclosures from prospective tenants.” The legislation then adds a section to the act which would bar a landlord from requiring a prospective tenant from disclosing any of the following:

  • A conviction that has been set aside by court order under Michigan law
  • A finding of juvenile delinquency under federal statute
  • Participation in a juvenile diversion program
  • The assignment of youthful trainee status under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act
  • The entry of a judgment or order of disposition by a court of another state based on a finding that a juvenile violated a law of another state that would have been a criminal offense if committed by an adult in that state.
  • The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary for consideration.

Help AAM Make A Difference In Election 2022!
2022 promises to be a very interesting and important election year for Michigan. First, all key leadership posts (Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State) and legislative offices are up for grabs. Second, to make this election year even more intense, redistricting has altered the landscape of our state legislative and congressional districts. In some cases, incumbents are being pitted against one another under the newly drawn lines. Given all this, your Apartment Association’s role in researching and financially supporting candidates for state office is vitally important to the health of the multifamily rental property industry.

One great way you can assist us in this effort is by supporting AAM-PAC. AAM-PAC is the Apartment Association’s political action committee, which utilizes contributions from members and aggregates them into one fund. This fund is used to financially support those candidates who understand the important role of rental housing in Michigan’s economy. In short, we do the legwork for you to find the candidates who will best represent your business, and then support their campaign.

Please call Riva Gulli at 248-862-1002 to make your contribution today! AAM-PAC contributions must be made via personal, partnership, LLP, or LLC check or credit cards.

Posted in 2022, APRIL 2022 | Comments Off on Advocacy Update

Michael Stoskopf Announces His Retirement; Forrest Wall, CAE, Becomes Next CEO

Nearly 14 years ago, in April 2008, Michael Stoskopf stepped into the role of CEO for the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA). He became the Association’s seventh executive officer since its formation in 1928, following the death of Irvin H. Yackness who had served in that position for over 50 years.

On January 22 of this year, Michael met with HBA President Ben Templeton to notify Ben of his intention to retire by June 30, 2022. “Being the CEO of this remarkable association has truly been the highlight of my career,” said Michael. “However, over the past year, several personal experiences have given me a different perspective and appreciation for life, especially with respect to family, priorities and, quite honestly, time. After prayerful and careful consideration, I am announcing my intent to retire from the HBA.”

Forrest Wall March 2021After subsequent notification to the HBA Executive Committee, a subcommittee conducted an interview with the candidate Michael had recommended as HBA’s next executive officer: Forrest Wall, CAE.

While Forrest’s position, prior to March 1, 2022, was Director of Regulatory & Legal Affairs for the HBA of Michigan, he also has over 20 years of experience on the staff of HBA of Southeastern Michigan and Apartment Association of Michigan.

The subcommittee was collectively impressed by his background, experience, vision for HBA’s future and his readily apparent passion for what he termed as his “dream job.”
It is with great pleasure that the HBA Executive Committee has announced that Forrest will become the next CEO of the HBA of Southeastern Michigan.

Forrest will begin at the HBA on or about March 1st for a planned, month-long transition and will officially be taking over as CEO by March 31, 2022.

Michael will continue in an advisory capacity until on or about May 6, 2022.
At a special Board of Directors meeting held on February 15, 2022, the changes were announced. Michael spoke briefly about his gratefulness for the opportunity to serve HBA, his commitment to ensuring an orderly transition and his desire to rededicate the next phase of his life to his wife, children and grandchildren.

Following the remarks, several Board Members commented on their surprise, their regret that Michael is leaving, commendation of the many positive things that he accomplished and brought to HBA during his time here, their good wishes for him in his retirement and their support for Forrest as the next CEO.

Both Michael and Forrest commended HBA’s other professional staff members who “represent a culture of teamwork and dedication to the mission and members of HBA.” Forrest indicated his intention to keep current staff in place and support the work they are doing.

Both Forrest and Michael wish to express their sincerest gratitude to the HBA Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, staff and membership for their support as the HBA transitions to the next chapter of its storied history.

Please watch for news in the coming months as we recognize Michael for the many, significant ways he shaped HBA into the successful organization it is today and for a more in-depth introduction of Forrest Wall as he steps into his role leading HBA into the future.

Posted in 2022, March 2022 | Comments Off on Michael Stoskopf Announces His Retirement; Forrest Wall, CAE, Becomes Next CEO