PRIORITIES FOR THE NEW YEAR
Published January 8, 2021
Im not much into resolutions. I have realized over the years
that resolutions are as fast forgotten as they are being made.
But I have priorities and these are my priorities for this
year: FIGHTING FOR MORE OWNER-FRIENDLY STATUTES!
About half of Floridas population lives in so-called community
associations. There are lots of statutes regulating these
communities, but enforcing these statutes and rules is tricky
and often very expensive. Owners face deep-pockets actually
their own money and often face dictatorial boards backed by
attorneys whose priorities are money, not the law or whats
right or wrong.
But owners have to understand one thing: Just winning in court
or arbitration means just winning a single battle the war is
still being waged.
And some of the statutes are just a joke. Take a look at the
election provisions in the HOA Act for example. It allows
sitting boards to manipulate the elections and legally keep
other owners from having a fair chance in elections. What good
is an election if a board (or a committee appointed by the
sitting board) can decide whose names will be on the ballot? If
the association uses mail-in ballots, the provision in FS
member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the
board at a meeting where the election is to be held; provided,
however, that if the election process allows candidates to be
nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not
required to allow nominations at the meeting
says it all.
So, if the board or its committee decides that a candidate
is not qualified or simply disliked the owner willing to run
for the board has lost before even given the chance to campaign.
We have in this country anyway issues with elections, even if we
are arrogant enough to send former presidents to other countries
to supervise their elections.
I guess its just a matter of time before the CAI campaigns for
using Dominion voting machines to count the ballots in community
But we need to fight for more owner-friendly laws laws that
are easy to enforce. Otherwise we should just try to convince
our legislators to enact a law requiring each community
association to post a big sign at the entrance, saying: YOU
ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN ZONE!
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking