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

Published January 3, 2008


Don't ask too many questions or dare to ask to see financial documents or copies of contracts if you are a director of the board and your association contracts with Miami Management, Inc.


You could be an ex-director faster than you can blink your eyes! Ask Rosa Ortega, now ex-director -- recall arbitration is pending -- who was a director of the board of the LAKE LAURA CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. until the licensed CAMS from Miami Management decided that they had to silence a critic. 

Easiest way -- if you ask CAMs Martha Reidy and Laura Ortiz: Recall according to statutes FS 718.112(2)(j) and Florida Administrative Code 61B-23.0026 61B-23.0028

And it's even easier if you cut a few corners, use a form you make up yourself and spread false accusations to convince the unit owners that it is in their best financial interest to sign the recall petition. Read the self-made recall ballot -- licensed CAMs should know better -- and the letter that the CAMS distributed throughout the community. On the way to a "successful recall" they bent quite a few rules and failed to show the recalled director the "valid" recall petitions used to certify this recall. This recall was actually more an ambush than anything else.

"Gee, heck, what does a dumb board director know about recall provisions?
We are licensed CAMs -- and we make our own rules."

Who cares if the recall petition form lacks specific requirements like providing opportunity for unit owners to vote to retain or to recall or to name a representative for the unit owners?  According to Martha Reidy, the association attorney, Andrew Cuevas, Esq., signed off on this petition form.  I had my doubts that a licensed attorney would allow such a petition form to be used, until I received an e-mail from him stating (quote): "With regard to a threat of litigation, we have reviewed the procedures followed for the recall and are comfortable with all procedures taken. The Association will defend any action filed, and in the event the Association prevails, the Association will seek recovery of all attorney fees and costs incurred for its defense."  If Cuevas were familiar with recall procedures and recall arbitration, he most likely would have avoided these empty threats!

It surely will be interesting to see how the DIVISION OF FLORIDA LAND SALES, CONDOMINIUMS AND MOBILE HOMES reacts to these clear violations of Florida statutes and Florida Administrative Code.  The DIVISION seems to have serious problems enforcing rules and is rather trying to water down the legislative intent of the Florida Condo Act aimed at protecting condo owners.

It is high time that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation enforces the rules and stops money-grabbing management companies from taking over our communities. The big questions owners are asking:  Will the DBPR take decisive action?  And if affirmative, how long will it last this time?

Latest News: DBPR sends "Order To Show Cause" -- Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the DBPR executives are trying to make fun out of the statutes enacted by our  legislators! They are making a joke out of "LEGISLATIVE INTENT!"