Monday, May 2, 2011 | 12:42 p.m.
CARSON CITY – A bill on Nevada’s open meeting law should be expanded to include homeowner associations because they “operate like dictatorships,” a state senator says.
Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said Monday these HOAs handle millions of dollars, can increase rates and take a person’s property.
The bill, as it stands now, would require a nonprofit corporation that has the power of eminent domain to comply with the current open meeting law.
Assembly Bill 389 would also require a government body to make a “reasonable effort to allow the expression of competing opinions” during an open meeting.
Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, the sponsor of the bill, said nonprofits can take a person’s property so they should be subject to the open meeting law.
Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, said the original bill had common interest communities subject to the open meeting law, but he said it was deleted in an effort to get the bill passed by the Assembly.
Schneider said most homeowners are “livid” when they learn of the actions of HOA members in closed meetings. He said he might ask the Senate Government Affairs Committee to amend the bill to include HOAs.
The bill gained the support of Barry Smith of the Nevada Press Association, who said these nonprofit organizations with the power of condemnation should have to comply with the open meeting law.