By Jan Bergemann

Published January 27, 2023


The statutes regulating Florida’s community associations clearly give owners the right to speak at public meetings – on agenda items. Very nice! But the provisions don’t close the loopholes these provisions allow.


Many associations still hold Zoom meetings despite the fact that emergency powers are no longer in place. That actually violates the Florida statutes, statutes that require meetings at locations where owners can participate. And you know how it works at Zoom meetings: The person in charge can, with one click of the button, shut up everybody if he/she doesn’t like what that person has to say. I even have heard of Zoom meetings where only board members can speak while owners can log in, but can only listen.


And then comes the magic word: “ON AGENDA ITEMS”! Well, while condos regulated by FS 718 and FS 719 have to post agendas with the meeting notices, HOAs (FS 720) are not required to post an agenda. That leaves the question: How can owners speak on “agenda items” if there is no agenda posted?


And here is another way to subdue owners’ right to speak: Many boards hire off-duty deputies as “security” and use them to remove owners who want to use their “right to speak” saying things the board or the president don’t want to hear. I have heard of many cases where owners were removed by deputies, violating their rights to speak guaranteed by the statutes. Since most of these deputies don’t know the statutes regulating these meetings they just do what the president or CAM is telling him/her to do. My suggestion to avoid wrongful removal by deputies: Deputies willing to make some extra bucks to serve as security at community association meetings should show proof that they attended a board certification seminar, so they know what’s right or wrong, and not just listen to dictatorial board presidents.


We always talk about free speech and our “SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS”. Obviously nobody cares about it in our community associations.

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Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida 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 Tallahassee - 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 Florida 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 in Florida !

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