An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. 

Published February 20, 2009


Exactly 39 days before the COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION LIVING STUDY COUNCIL ceases to exist (according to FS 718.50151) the Council has today its first meeting -- via teleconference. And the AGENDA shows that nothing will be accomplished, besides some organizational issues. It's exactly as the DBPR and the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes intended. They knew exactly what to expect from a bipartisan Council that would take its task seriously. Everybody knows that the DBPR is to blame for most of the problems in condos -- and that at a time when homeowners' associations desperately need regulation and strong enforcement. Secretary Chuck Drago rather insults Florida's taxpaying citizens who pay his and his employees salaries by making quotes like: ".... they had great things to say about the people who work here. I know that we will continue to improve the way we serve our licensees and the people of Florida . It takes great people to affect change, and we’re fortunate to have a wonderful team." Don't forget, Drago made this statement after meeting with his "customers" all over Florida, who had very little good to say about his staff!


It is a shame that these people are allowed to draw pay, paid for by Florida's citizens. 


It all started when Division Chief Michael Cochran made his self-serving legal interpretations and called a meeting of the Community Association Living Study Council for Friday, October 10, 2008 at 8:30 a.m., trying to sneak in his "buddies" from the former Condo Advisory Council as new members. Cochran claimed that appointments from the Condo Advisory Council are "holding over."


But the appointment offices of the Governor, Senate President and Speaker failed to make the necessary appointments to fill the seats. As of Monday, February 16, 2009, each office failed to make one appointment, despite the fact that they had plenty of time. Don't forget, H 995, the bill that created this Council, was signed by the Governor into law on May 1, 2008.  


Each office failed to make one appointment apiece, leaving the Council with only 4 members:
1.) Michael Andrew, Esq., Orlando (Marriott International, Inc.) , e-mail:  

2.) Rosa M. de la Camara, Esq., Coral Gables (Lawfirm Becker & Poliakoff), e-mail:

3.) Mark Benson, Ft. Myers (Former member of RCCAM), e-mail:

4.) Larry Wigdor, Boca Raton (Consumer Advocate), e-mail:


Just a little hint: Don't apply for a seat on the Council with the Governor's office if you have dared to criticize Secretary Drago and the DBPR, even if you stated known and proven facts! Secretary Drago's buddies in the Governor's office protect him and and want everybody to wear blinders and ignore the shortcomings of Drago and the DBPR! I always thought that only ostriches [when pursued hides its head in the sand and believes itself to be unseen (Merriam Webster)] are known for this tactic!


Why do we wonder that so many things go wrong in Florida, if our government officials can't even get simple things straight? Legislators pass laws and government employees ignore them -- or derail them to make them useless!



February 20, 2009

8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Suite 16 Conference Room/Northwood Center

Via teleconference 1.888.808.6959 (Conference Code 9227625)

1940 North Monroe Street

Tallahassee , Florida 32399


(1)               Introductions (Kevin Stanfield)

(2)               Establishment of Quorum of Council

(3)               Verification of Timely Publication of Notice of Meeting in Florida Administrative Weekly

(4)               Overview of Division (Kevin Stanfield)

(5)               Discussion of Sunshine Law (Kevin Stanfield)

(6)               Election of Officers

(7)               New Business

(a)   Future Meetings and Notice Requirements

(b)   Organizational and Planning Issues

(8)               Adjournment


718.50151  Community Association Living Study Council; membership functions.--

(1)  There is created the Community Association Living Study Council. The council shall consist of seven appointed members. Two members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three members shall be appointed by the Governor. One member that is appointed by the Governor may represent timeshare condominiums. The council shall be created as of October 1 every 5 years, commencing October 1, 2008, and shall exist for a 6-month term. The director of the division shall appoint an ex officio nonvoting member. The Legislature intends that the persons appointed represent a cross-section of persons interested in community association issues. The council shall be located within the division for administrative purposes. Members of the council shall serve without compensation but are entitled to receive per diem and travel expenses pursuant to s. 112.061 while on official business.