By the time you receive this magazine, the deadline might have passed to apply for one of the advisory groups or area networking groups. If it isn’t yet December 5 when you are reading this, I strongly encourage you to get involved with your Association.

If you’ve missed the emails or postcards (for those 60 or so members who don’t have email addresses), it is dues time. Make sure you pay by the deadline of December 1 to make sure none of your HAR member benefits are turned off. It is only with prompt payment of the dues that we are able to continue providing our award-winning benefits to our members.

As we prepare for the 85th Texas Legislative Session, which begins on January 10, 2017, we are proud that we had a 91.8 percent success rate for our supported candidates in the past election. We look forward to working with each of them to protect property rights and do what is best for homeowners and our members. As you might have seen, HISD voters opposed the recapture proposal, so the Texas Legislature will likely take up some sort of action to revamp the school finance (read property tax) system in the state. Make sure you stay informed by reading all of the HAR communications that will be sent about this vital issue. You may read more about the election results here.

REALTOR® Celebration will be taking place on Wednesday, December 7. This is the chance to congratulate our new 2017 Chair Cindy Hamann, as well as the other executive officers and board members being sworn in. The two award recipients will also be honored: Ward Arendt as REALTOR® of the Year and Bill Baldwin as the John E. Wolf Community Service Award recipient.

Since this is my last column as chairman of the Association, I want to thank each of our 35,000 members for making this an unforgettable year. The goal is always to leave the Association better than when you took over. I hope that we accomplished that, and I feel like we have. Having worked with Cindy Hamann as chair-elect for the last 11 months, I know that we are in more than capable hands going into 2017.

Mario Arriaga
HAR Chairman of the Board