ELECTION TIME? REALLY?
Published November 15, 2019
Well, it’s autumn
and for most of Florida’s community associations it’s time to
hold the annual elections. Actually, not counting the many
associations who hold their annual meetings in summer, so they
don’t have to put up with the snowbirds.
Let’s be very
honest, while condominium associations have to follow pretty
strict guide-lines – see FS 718.112 (Condominium
Election Process Overview) – in HOAs it’s free for
While the motto of
general elections in this country is: "VOTE EARLY AND VOTE
OFTEN" (no photo ID required), the motto of elections in
community associations is: "HOW TO PREVENT OWNERS FROM
VOTING" in order to keep the sitting board in power.
In the twenty years
I’m now dealing with community association issues I have seen it
nearly all – but some boards and managers are still good for
surprises when it comes to cheating at elections.
elections in summer without properly informing the snowbirds –
including all the folks that are not in permanent residence to
not mailing the election info to all owners, especially the ones
not living not in the USA, or even filling out the ballots for
them – I have seen it all.
The real big one is
for HOAs having election nomination committees, stacked with
family members and friends of sitting board members (the board
appoints the committee members), who then only nominate
candidates that are either sitting board members or their
“buddies” and only nominating as many candidates as there are
open seats on the board. Owners will then only find the names of
the “chosen few” on the ballot mailed out to them. And that
normally means in our world that these candidates will be
elected since the apathy of a wide majority of homeowners don’t
really care much about the whole system.
Be vigilant when it
comes to voting: Bad boards can ruin the financial welfare of
you and your family!
YOUR VOICE BE HEARD –
LATEST AT THE POLLS!
||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