History of the DCMA!
In 1976, the Manager and Board of Directors of the Irene Condominium realized that managing the newly-constructed high rise buildings presented unique problems and attempted to start a Manager Association. Two condominiums, the High Point South and the Pyramid, joined the Irene, and the three became charter members of the new association.
Although another condominium joined the following year, it wasn't until 1978 that most of the high-rises from 94th to 118th Streets joined. By-Laws were written, rules established and a Board of Directors elected. The first President was Dick George, Manager of the Goloden Sands Club Condominium, and the first Vice President was Sea Watch Manager, Ann Horner. In 1980, Ann became President and T.C. Kusterbeck (then of K&W Management) was Vice President.
By the mid-80's, 40 condominium associations from Ocean City and Delaware were managed by DCMA Members. Associate Memberships were made available to those with a condominium business relationship.
By the end of 1993, 35 Associate Members and 43 Property Managers or Management Firms were DCMA Members. Today, in 2012, the membership continues to grow in both areas with almost TWO HUNDRED MEMBERS!
Accomplishments Over The Years...
SPRINKLERS - Ocean City required that every building more than 5 stories have a sprinkler system. This didn't make sense for many high-rise buildings so DCMA conducted a study of buildings with inside corridors and with outside corridors. They were unable to get their laws changed and collectively, condominiums saved millions of dollars in project expenses.
SUNSHINE LAW - Ocean City considered passing a "Sunshine Law" requiring that all condominium association meetings be open to the public. A DCMA Committee, which included Ocean City Council Members and private citizens, determined that each condominium already had rules governing meetings. When they presented their findings to the Mayor and City Council, the law was not enacted.
WATER BILLS - Ocean City water rates retroactively increased twice without proper notification. Since the first one wasn't significant, DCMA took no action. The second increase however, nearly doubled the rates so DCMA engaged an attorney to fight it. Although they didn't win, Town of Ocean City officials promised it would never again increase water bills retroactively.
DUNES - In 1979, there were no protected dunes in front of the high-rise buildings. A demonstration dune was erected in front of the Sea Watch Condominium by the Worcester County Soil Conservation District. They installed fencing, and students of Ocean City Elementary School planted dune grass. By year's end, nearly all the high-rises had followed suit. DCMA formed the Ocean City Dune Stabilization Committee, which in 1980 was instrumental in having the town supply dune fencing to the condominiums at cost. The Committee later constructed demonstration dunes along the Boardwalk at 2nd Street, at 41st Street and at 91st Street.
COMMUNICATIONS DURING STORMS - DCMA Managers, fearful that a storm could disrupt telephone communications, bought bull-horns to communicate with each other. The system worked, and messages were relayed from the Carousel on 118th Street to 94th Street by use of bull-horns.
HURRICANE DRILLS - On several occasions, DCMA sponsored highly successful hurricane drills at which many of the anticipated problems of a hurricane or other catastrophe were simulated, i.e., injuries, stuck elevators, lack of communications, etc.
TODAY, with improvement in technology between cell phone usage, surveillance cameras at the condominiums and around Ocean City and internet access, DCMA Managers are more preapred than ever to assist when disaster strikes the town. Many Managers are members of the Ocean City CERT Team and work with Town of Ocean City Officials by being prepared for all sorts of emergencies that could potentially impact the town.