|COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS À LA FLORI-DUH|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published July 28, 2009
see daily many columns headlined: ONLY IN FLORI-DUH. And we
normally get a good laugh out of these stories!
All the folks involved in community associations know the problems of licensing CAMs (community association managers) and enforcing the rules. But they all have to admit that the DBPR employees have made it an art protecting the CAMS against any complaint filed against them by some "overzealous" and/or "disgruntled" owners, who, in the eyes of the Department, don't even know what they are talking about.
And the citizens, who dare to file a complaint anyway, get a "feel good" letter explaining to them how their complaint will be handled and what a well thought-up system will deal with their complaint.
How about this form letter sent to these unruly complainants who dare to flood the Department with "unfounded" complaints?
This letter contains a whole
paragraph (see above) of false explanations as to the further processing
of the complaint.
Why are citizen knowingly misled,
when they file a complaint against a member of a regulated profession,
regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation?
only one making this determination is Phil
Monte, PH., Prosecuting Attorney, Office of the General Counsel.
And he is totally overwhelmed with an ever- increasing number of
complaints filed by
But the Form Response Letter clearly misinforms citizens filing complaints and gives them the impression that there is a functioning system in place using the decision of a board – and not just a single person – to determine the validity of the complaint.
The system that is in place clearly doesn’t work, but does the Department have to use lies and misinformation to cover up the fact that proper enforcement of FS 468.431 - 438 -- Part VIII is more or less non-existent?
to Secretary Drago and Department employees asking for an explanation are
left unanswered -- as usual. Secretary Drago is busy explaining to the
public that he is surrounded by dedicated employees "....
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
After hearing from many "unhappy" owners and board members, whose well-founded and documented complaints against licensed CAMs went nowhere, I tried my luck with a CAM complaint -- a complaint based on documents and testimony that a CAM lied, knowingly gave false information to an association board and caused the association to waste good association money for unnecessary legal fees? As usual, the complaint went nowhere -- but in record time!
to the DBPR, it is absolutely within the statutes and rules that a
Shortly after the board of the PINE FOREST ROYALE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. unceremoniously fired embattled CAM CJ Nylund, the newly hired CAM Glenn Dorsey (CAM License 30012) obviously felt obligated to prove to the board that they made the right choice by picking him. Not only did he immediately get involved in picking the "right" candidates for the next election, he as well proposed huge assessment increases and a new collection and fine policy that scared quite a few of the owners.
But when one of the owners dared to send an e-mail to some of her neighbors, criticizing budget procedures and reserve fund issues, CAM Glenn Dorsey got hold of the e-mail, posted it on the association bulletin board:
and felt obligated to add his own response -- calling the owner a trouble-maker:
Criticism answered with name-calling? When will these CAMs learn that these owners they are insulting are paying their salary? How about: Instead of name- calling just post an explanation on the bulletin board? That should immediately settle the argument -- without name-calling!
But -- gee -- this is FLORI-DUH!
Community Association bill H-995 (Sponsored by Representative Julio Robaina and Senator Alex Villalobos) not only created many owner-friendly condo provisions, it as well created significant changes to FS 468.431 - 438 -- Part VIII -- among it the requirement for Community Association Management firms to be officially licensed. But shortly after the bill became law (October 1, 2008) Florida's owners had to realize that the DBPR didn't take this new law very seriously, because DBPR handed a license to everybody -- good or bad -- no matter what history the main players of the firm had.
BEACON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT OF BOCA, LIMITED LTD. CO.
Neither one of the two main players (according to the Division of Corporations) of this firm: John L. MCKENZIE and/or KAREN MCKENZIE has a valid CAM license, but the firm was issued license # CAB3126 on May 22, 2009.
Considering the past license history of the person who is doing the managing, it is absolutely amazing. Just take a look yourself:
Name: MCKENZIE, JOHN L ; Lic. # 3718
Please note: Voluntary Surrender doesn't really mean voluntary. Surrendering the license is the easy way to avoid extra cost when you know full well that your license is going to be revoked. And a look in the files will tell you that there was nothing voluntary about it!
Equipped with a new license for the firm, John McKenzie can now manage community associations again -- armed with a license supplied by the DBPR -- the same entity that took away his license in the first place. ONLY IN FLORI-DUH!
According to documents and testimony of owners, this ruling was quickly circumvented by a new "election," an election a wide majority of owners didn't know about. It seems that in communities managed by ALL Florida Management only the management-friendly owners are notified about the "upcoming" election, so only these folks can submit their candidacy papers. And since not enough candidates "volunteered," the wife of the ousted president won a seat by default. According to the complaint filed, Ms. Carty quickly signed a power of attorney for her husband to act on her behalf as board member.
The Concerned Owners of the LAKE AND TENNIS VILLAS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. filed on July 10, 2009 a complaint addressed to Michael Cochran, Division Chief of the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. The complaint is filled with serious accusations against ALL FLORIDA MANAGEMENT, Barbara Blanco and the law firm of FEIN & MELONI.
What would you think if you request financial documents and information from the association and receive an answer from the management company that the President of the Association is the person in charge of signing checks? Makes sense, right?
only gets a "little complicated" when the "president"
named in that letter mails a letter
to the management company and the law firm stating (quote):
"I discovered yesterday that you have been using my name in connection with the Lake and Tennis Villas Condominium Association business without my knowledge or express approval. I have never been a member of the Board of Lake and Tennis Villas, never attended a Board meeting, and never signed any Association checks.
Now what? Don't forget: This is FLORI-DUH!
ALL Florida Management seems to attract associations where the majority of owners fail to get election notices. It's clearly a pattern, as can be seen by the many complaints and arbitration filings. Here is an accumulation of cases:
Many owners from various associations have filed complaints against CAM Barbara Blanco and ALL FLORIDA MANAGEMENT. But the DBPR feels that nothing is wrong and Barbara Blanco and ALL FLORIDA MANAGEMENT can continue with the described shenanigans.
seems very obvious that the licensing and regulation of community
association managers is just a system created to make the owners hiring
CAMs feel good -- giving them the feeling that they are hiring a licensed
professionals or firms that know what they are doing. Far from the
It's just another non-functioning system that fails the citizens of this State! But I will never understand why the many honest community association managers don't push the DBPR to do its job? It's their reputation -- and their money -- that is going down the drain!
ONLY IN FLORI-DUH!