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Condo coup fails

November 21, 1997

Condo coup fails

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

Four members of the board of directors of a Hagerstown condominium association survived a Thursday night attempt to unseat them over the board's attempt to force a couple to stop baby-sitting for their great-grandson.

Some Edgewood Place Condominium owners, upset over a lawsuit filed by the board against the couple, attempted to remove the board members. But the incumbents prevailed on a 17-13 vote, said Bob Foltz, a board member who was the lone dissenter in the 4-1 decision to file the suit.

"The meeting did not go the way we would have liked it to have gone," Foltz said.

This quiet community of mostly senior citizen condo owners nestled off Edgewood Place near Dual Highway was plunged into bitter infighting over the suit, which was filed Nov. 7 in Washington County Circuit Court against Walter and Betty Nye. The suit seeks an injunction prohibiting the couple from providing child-care services.

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The suit characterizes the activity as an "occupation of providing child-care services for an infant."

The Nyes contend that they merely baby-sit for their 2 1/2-year-old great-grandson a few times a week.

Thursday's meeting, which culminated in the 17-13 vote, was indicative of a condo complex where neighbors have turned against one another, condo owners said.

Foltz said the other board members kicked his attorney out of the meeting and refused to accept his proxy votes from owners who are in Florida. He conceded, however, that with 17 votes, the directors had enough support to keep their seats.

There are 33 condo owners, and a majority vote was needed to unseat board members.

The other board members refused the proxies because they were not officially obtained from management, but Foltz said they had accepted them at a past meeting.

John L. Snyder, a condo owner who supported the Nyes, said tempers flared at the meeting.

"We didn't win. Everything's status quo. It was a big madhouse," he said. "We didn't accomplish a thing."

Dorothy Eichell said she and her husband made a special trip from New Hampshire, where they live part of the year, to be on hand for the vote.

"The Nyes are the most gracious, loving people you would want to know," she said. "We have never been bothered by the child."

Harold Schleigh, a board member who supports the suit against the Nyes, declined to comment after Thursday's meeting. The day before, however, he noted that the condo owners just voted for the present board members during the regular election in October.

"It's just such a ridiculous thing," he said. "It's unbelievable that something like this has ever developed It's something that never should have happened. Board members are supposed to take care of problems."

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