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CAI-CLAC Legislative Day – Sponsor Spotlight – John MacDowell, Fiore Racobs & Powers

April 9, 2012

CAI-CLAC members gather each year in Sacramento to meet with each other and their representatives to discuss important issues and pending legislation.  The CAI-CLAC Legislative Day is possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.

We’ll be highlighting these sponsors throughout the week and in the week following our Legislative Day, beginning with John MacDowell of Fiore, Racobs and Powers.

John R. MacDowell
Fiore Racobs & Powers

1)      Tell us a bit about your firm and your specialties.

Fiore, Racobs & Powers, A Professional Law Corporation, has been representing community associations in Southern California for over 35 years.  We serve as corporate counsel to associations, and handle litigation and appeals. We provide a full array of legal services to community associations, and are also dedicated to the education of our clients and industry professionals.  The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside and Palm Desert, and our lawyers are active in CAI.

2)       How do you and firm work with CAI-CLAC and members?

The firm has a long history with CLAC.  Our founding shareholder, Dick Fiore, chaired CLAC for many years.  Dick was instrumental in hiring Skip Daum as CLAC’s advocate, and he and other lawyers in the firm were involved in the legislative process when the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act first became law.  Dick is still an Emeritus member of CLAC.   We have continued our commitment to CLAC and its mission, now, through my involvement as a delegate to CLAC.

3)      How long have you been involved with CAI-CLAC and Legislative Day?

I attended my first CLAC Legislative Day about 15 years ago, and I’ve been attending regularly ever since.  I was appointed to represent the Orange County Chapter as a delegate to CLAC this year, and I served as liaison for a few years before that.

4)      What are, from your perspective, the big issues that attendees should focus on during the upcoming Legislative Day?

Assessments and assessment collections remain a vital issue for Associations this year.  Many associations are still struggling with budget shortfalls because owners affected by the economic downturn can’t pay their assessments.  The CLAC-sponsored bill to require banks to record deeds promptly upon taking title after foreclosure will assure that banks pay the assessments they owe.  Other bills threaten to jeopardize associations’ ability to collect the funds necessary to maintain and preserve buildings and amenities.  For most of us, our homes are our largest investment.  When associations have the duty to maintain people’s homes, they need the money to do so.

5)      Do you have any tips for first time attendees?

The most important tip for new Leg Day attendees is this: Yes, you do make a difference!  Your Assemblymember and Senator need and want to hear from you, their constituent.   They and their staff members will be happy to see you and interested in what you have to say.  Attending Leg Day is a great and fascinating experience.  It is our democracy in action!

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