REGULAR COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS
PARTICIPATING BY SPEAKERPHONE?
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published December 30, 2009
Actually, the meeting of the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers (RCCAM) that took place on February 6, 2009 would have been the only RCCAM meeting in 2009 in which seven (7) members, as required by statutes (FS 468.4315), could have participated. One of the planned agenda items would have been the Election of New Council Chair. [Governor Charlie Crist has failed to appoint a new member to fill the empty seat for now more than six months. No new Chair was elected since the council is split 3:3 on this issue.]
But Council Member Margaret A. Rogers suffered from health problems and couldn't make the trip to Tallahassee. Her request to participate by speakerphone was denied. The reasons for the denial are definitely up in the air, because we have heard all kinds of different arguments.
Anthony Spivey, Executive Director for the RCCAM, ignored the actual request and opened the official meeting with the statement that he "talked to Maggie Rogers yesterday and she is officially excused for health reasons for this meeting." He did not even mention that participation by speakerphone was discussed -- and denied. But that acknowledgement would have put the denial on the official meeting record -- something Spivey clearly tried to avoid!
Vaccaro, Director of the Division of Professions, blames the bad audio
quality of the phone that was used to talk to her before the meeting
started. Funny, a tape recording of the events that took place before the
meeting was actually opened, allows her voice to be heard loud and clear
-- and paints a totally different picture for not allowing her to
participate -- including some grumpy remarks by Barbara Edwards, the
former General Counsel for the RCCAM. And since the meeting took place in
the DBPR building in
Tim Vaccaro offered this explanation in an e-mail dated December 4, 2009:
e-mail exchange was triggered by my inquiry why Chair Chris Brown was
allowed to participate by speakerphone in the November 20, 2009 meeting of
the RCCAM, which actually took place in a hotel in
Tim Vaccaro explained this as follows:
Funny, council member Margaret Rogers didn't receive the offer to participate by speakerphone when she talked to Spivey the day before the February meeting.
that mean that it is important for the Chair to participate -- no matter
what -- while the DBPR staff doesn't need a lowly council member --
especially a consumer advocate -- to participate if there is a quorum
anyway? Oh, by the way, if everything had gone as planned during the
February meeting, the DBPR RCCAM staff would have had to face a different
council Chair for the remainder of the year, not one who always agrees
with the DBPR staff and writes so-called expert letters that will never
find fault with any CAM -- no matter how bad the violation. Another
reason to deny council member
It shouldn't be up in the air for some DBPR employees to make decisions who can and who can not participate in the meetings by speakerphone. There should be a general rule that regulates participation by speaker phone. And since these are public meetings that take place in different locations, a speaker phone set-up should always be available to allow interested parties to participate and/or listen by phone.
of the reasons why CAM regulation is such a disaster in
face it: The regulation of the licensed community association managers in
need DBPR staff that is willing to go after the "bad guys" and
revoke licenses if needed. Too many people rely on CAMs -- their
professionalism, knowledge and honesty! When hiring managers, board
members should be able to rely on the fact that this CAM is licensed --
and not that the
Before I forget, remember how fast more than $1.2 million of association funds can disappear?