Franklin Estates Residents Association

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Franklin Estates Residents Association

Board of Directors

As of Spring 2006:

President - Rich Mickel
Vice President - VACANT
Secretary - Monica Diacopoulos
Treasurer - VACANT
Past President - VACANT

FERA By-Laws

As Amended and Approved as of
October 13, 1997



Section 1: This association shall be known as:
Franklin Estates Residents' Association (FERA) referred herein as the association.



Section 1: The objectives of this Association shall be: to take concerted action with respect to all matters of common interest to owners of property in the Franklin Estates Plan of Lots, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; to provide and preserve an attractive, enjoyable environment consistent with a high-quality residential community; to maintain and provide for the common safety, health, recreation, and general welfare of all residents of Franklin Estates; and to do and perform all concerted acts necessary or desirable to achieve these objectives, including securing enactment and enforcement of laws, regulations and policies on behalf of the residents by appropriate state, local and municipal authorities, agencies and boards.



Section 1: The qualifications for membership shall be as follows and shall be subject to verification by the Board of Directors:

(A) Members: Any person(s) who owns or has contracted, individually or jointly with any other person or persons, for real personal property within the limits of Franklin Estates excepting corporate owners, realtors, builders, and/or developers shall be eligible for membership. Admission to membership shall be contingent upon payment of an initiation fee as hereinafter provided. Absentee owners may remain members until they sell their property assuming they adhere to the requirements of membership and notify the FERA treasurer of their new address no later than one week prior to any change of residence.

Section 2: If, after admission to membership, the status of any Member shall change, their membership shall be immediately terminated without a refund of any fees or dues.

Section 3: The immediate family, and the bona-fide guests of all Members shall be entitled to participate in all the recreational activities conducted by the Association and to use and enjoy all the recreational and athletic facilities provided by or to the Association, except as the same are limited by the by-laws, or by any rule or regulation established by the Board of Directors and approved by the general membership.

Section 4: Application for membership shall be made to the treasurer.

Termination of Membership

Section 1: The Board of Directors shall be authorized to terminate the membership of any Member for:
(A) Failure to pay the established dues or assessments charged such Members for their membership in this Association.
(B) Violation of these by-laws or any rule or regulation adopted by the general membership for the management and conduct of the affairs of the Association; or conduct deemed by the general membership to be destructive to the best interests of this Association by preventing or inhibiting the orderly transaction of the affairs of this Association.


Initiation Fees and Dues

Section 1: No person shall be admitted as a Member who has not paid an initiation fee as provided herein. The initiation fee for a group of joint property owners or tenants shall be the same as the initiation fee for a single owner or tenant. The amount of the initiation fee for the current fiscal year shall be proposed by the Board of Directors at the annual business meeting and shall be decided upon by vote of the general membership present during that meeting.

Section 2: The dues for a group of joint property owners shall be the same as the dues for a single owner. The amount of the dues for the current fiscal year shall be recommended by the Board of Directors at the annual business meeting. This recommendation shall be voted on by the general membership present during the meeting. If the motion is lost, the dues will remain the amount of the previous year. Dues shall be due and payable within one month following the annual business meeting, and shall be deemed to be in arrears two months afterwards.



Section 1: All assessments for money to be levied by the Association shall be established, on a per lot basis, in the following manner: The proposal for assessment shall be submitted for discussion as a regular or special meeting of all the details concerning the expenditure including scope, cost and assessment per lot. The Secretary of the Association shall duly record all discussion and pertinent comments in the minutes of meetings concerning the proposed project, copies of which shall be given or mailed to all Members. The officers of the Association shall then present a ballot to all member lot owners and tenants for their vote of "yes" or "no". Voting by Members will be in accordance with Article VII except as provided in this Article.
Parties failing to return ballots within three weeks from mailing shall be considered as willing to abide by the decision of those responding. Upon approval of a two-thirds majority of the Members responding, the petition shall be considered as approved and the previous specified assessment shall be billed to each Member. If a petition fails to carry the two-thirds majority of the Members who respond, the assessment shall be denied.
Upon completion or termination of any project for which an assessment has been made, all money remaining from the assessments collected for that project shall be returned on a pro-rated basis to each Member paying such assessment. The Treasurer shall have an account record recording assessments paid and expenditures made toward a project to facilitate this return of unused funds at the completion of the project. Funds in an assessment account shall not be used for any other purpose than the project for which the assessment was made.


Voting Rights of Members

Section 1: Voting rights of members shall vary according to their membership and resident status.
(A) Members owning lot(s) within the limits of Franklin Estates shall be allowed each individual owner one vote. Each joint owner shall be allowed one vote with no more than two votes allowed per lot.

Section 2: Voting on all questions shall normally be by voice vote; upon the request of any three members present the vote shall be taken by show of hands, roll call, or by ballot. Following a request of three members for such a public vote the secretary shall record the votes in the minutes of the meeting.

Section 3: Members shall have the right to vote by proxy during a meeting providing the proxy shall have been supplied in writing by the Member and is specific to that meeting. A proxy may be specific for one question or may be a general proxy as specified in the written proxy.



Section 1: Election of new officers to the Franklin Estates Residents' Association Board of Directors shall be conducted once a year, at the annual business meeting, held during September by not later than October 20.



Section 1: The Board of Directors shall be Members of the Association and consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and immediate past President. During the annual business meeting, the name of the previous year's Vice President shall be automatically placed in nomination for the office of President provided the vice president is willing to serve. The officers shall serve for a term of one year.

Section 2: The Board of Directors shall constitute the Executive body of the Association and shall hold regular executive meetings during the year as deemed necessary. These meetings shall be open to the Members but Members shall not have voting privileges during these Board meetings. The Board shall be responsible for the management and control of the Association and of the finances and property of the Association subject to these by-laws. All votes during Board meetings shall be by a majority of a quorum present, a quorum being four board members. The Board shall make whatever purchases and payments which it shall deem necessary and proper for the conduct of the Association business and shall exercise general supervision over the interests and affairs of the Association consistent with the by-laws.

Section 3: The Board of Directors shall audit the treasurer's books annually following the fiscal year-end of August 31.

Section 4: The authority of the Board of Directors to expend funds shall be limited to $50.00 except for specific projects for which the Members have voted at the general meeting in September, Special events sponsored by the Association may deposit funds designed to cover the cost of the event in an account specific to that event and the Treasurer may approve purchases for that event not to exceed the amount deposited. The $50.00 limit will not apply to these accounts.



Section 1: President The President shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Association and Board of Directors, shall preserve order therein, shall call special meetings at the request of five or more members when made in writing, shall call special meetings of the Board of Directors at the request of three or more Board members when made in writing and shall, by and with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoint and have jurisdiction over all working committees and any consultant, agent or attorney acting on behalf of the Association and paid by the Association: appoint such special committees as may be necessary and expedient; shall represent the membership of the Association in all Civic matters, except when such representation is specifically designated by the Members to be a Committee or group named for such purpose; and shall otherwise conduct the business affairs of this Association, performing any other duties normally considered as pertaining to this office. The President shall approve all expenditures as authorized by the Board or the Association for payment by the Treasurer.

Section 2: Vice President The Vice President in the event of absence or unavailability of the President shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President as stated in Section 1 of this Article. The Vice President shall perform all duties as assigned by the President and shall at all times remain informed of the business of the Association and prepared to assume the duties of President if required.

Section 3: Treasurer The Treasurer shall have charge of and be responsible for all funds, securities, receipts, and disbursements of the Association, and shall deposit or cause to be deposited in a banking institution, monies in the name of the Association, and any other assets of the Association. The Treasurer may maintain a petty cash fund of no more than $100.00 for incidental expenses or as a refundable deposit for recreational activities of the Association. The Treasurer shall maintain records of accounts such that expenditures may be balanced against deposits for various activities of the Association. The Treasurer shall utilize interest-bearing depositories for funds not being actively utilized on a current basis. The Treasurer shall prepare regular statements and present to the Membership the status of receipts, disbursements, balance on hand, accounts receivable, accounts payable and other pertinent fiscal information to the Members at the annual meeting. The Treasurer may preside at any meeting at which the President and Vice President are both absent and shall perform other duties as may be assigned by the President. All checks written on Association accounts shall be co-signed by the Treasurer and the President or by the Treasurer and the Vice-President.

Section 4: Secretary The Secretary shall prepare notices and mail or distribute said notices, prepare official Association correspondence and newsletters, and mail and perform other duties as assigned by the President. The Secretary shall keep minutes or arrange for minutes to be kept of all meetings of the Board and the Membership Meeting. The Secretary shall maintain a file of the minutes of these meetings and shall provide copies to any Member desiring copies. Newsletters, directories, and copies of material will be done via electronic means (website or email).

Section 5: The officers shall serve for one year, or until their successors are duly elected and take office. They shall assume office during the meeting in which they are elected. In the event of a vacancy in any elective office the Board of Directors shall appoint a successor to serve the unexpired term except in the case of the President in which case the Vice President shall assume the office of President and the Board of Directors shall then appoint a replacement to the office of Vice President.



Section 1: There shall be a regular annual meeting of the Members of the Association during September of each year or soon thereafter, at a time and place designated by the President, at which all matters relating to the business and affairs of the Association shall be open for discussion, and such action initiated as shall be determined by the Members.
Section 2: Special meetings of the membership and of the Board of Directors shall be called by the President as provided in Article X, Section 1.
Section 3: Requests for the call of special meetings submitted by Members must be in writing and must contain a statement of the purposes and objective of any such meeting.
Section 4: Written notices of meetings shall be hand delivered, e-mailed, faxed or mailed to each member at their home or post office address, as shown on the records of the Association, at least seven (7) days before the date of such meeting, and shall contain in the case of special meetings a statement of the purposes and objective of the meeting.
Section 5: Quorum of Meetings A meeting of the members is constituted by a quorum consisting of those Member present and entitled to vote, or absent and represented by proxy, provided that seven (7) days notification of the meeting has been made to the entire membership.
Section 6: Order of Business The order of business shall be determined by the President but shall include as a minimum:
1. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting.
2. Treasurer's report
3. Old business or unfinished business
4. Election of new officers (annual business meeting only)
5. New business
Section 7: Rules of Order The Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings and the presiding officer shall decide all points in conformance to those rules.



Section 1: The Board of Directors shall decide on the need for committees and appoint chairpersons and members to committees, as they deem necessary. Committees and Chairpersons are to report to the Board of Directors and shall have no authority other than that specifically authorized by the Board.



Section 1: The by-laws of this Association may be amended at any time by a vote of two-thirds of a quorum of Members present at any advertised meeting as specified in Article XI provided due notice of the proposed amendment or change has been submitted in writing two (2) weeks prior to the meeting at which a vote shall be taken.

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About our association

How FERA Began

The land for Franklin Estates was originally purchased in the mid-1950s by a group of developers. In 1970-71, the residents of Franklin Estates (FE) discovered that IDC (a developer) intended to build a Planned Residential Development (PRD) between Route 22 and Mt Vernon. This plan sparked the founding of FERA. Residents were able to stop the Planned Residential Development.

Due to the continued efforts of FERA members over many years, as of 2005 an agreement has been reached between the developer and the municipality which favors the majority of the desires of the Franklin Estates residents. The developer will exchange the area between Lexington and Jefferson (which will be designated as protected parkland) for land at the end of Mt Vernon (which will be used to build 17 high end homes), as well as 1 estate lot at the end of Lexington Court. The builder will also build a 'tot lot' in the new development on 1 acre of land and will fund the play equipment. Building as slated to start in Summer 2005, but the developer has not initiated any action to date.

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