Bill 436 (Sponsor
Senator Thad Altman) is on the agenda of the Senate
Appropriations Committee this Thursday. There are many good
provisions in this bill, but there are as well two serious
flaws that will destroy protections for owners that were
created by the HOA Task Force in 2004. One would more or
less legalize election fraud, the other one would seriously
complicate recall procedures -- an issue the HOA Task Force
tried to make as simple as possible.
is a copy of the e-mail I sent to the main sponsor --
Senator Thad Altman, who in his district is definitely no
stranger to serious community association disputes!
April 16, 2013
S 436 -- 2 very controversial issues
Senator Thad Altman,
are sponsoring Senate Bill 436 -- a bill creating many
changes regarding community association law.
was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task Force
that created owner-friendly reforms in 2004, at that time
sponsored by Senator Jeff Atwater. Among many other issues
we added into the bill election challenges and provisions
regarding the recall of board members. Many owners
testified in front of the HOA Task Force about these two
important issues and asked for these much needed reforms. Election
challenges and recalls are the only way to make sure that
owners have the ability to remove unwanted and/or
dictatorial members from the board.
bill (version S436 C2) contains a provisions that
makes election challenges nearly impossible:
597 -598 (Condo FS 718); Line 1373 - 1375 (Co-Op FS
719); Line 2019 - 2021 (HOA FS 720)
597 c. Any challenge to the
election process must be commenced
598 within 60 days
after the election results are announced.
harmless, but makes it nearly impossible to challenge any
fraudulent election. There is no tool -- court or
otherwise -- to get the election documents within 60 days
if the board is not giving the challenger the docs
voluntarily. Nobody can file for election arbitration
without having copies of the complete election documents.
With this language in place a board could announce totally
false election results, declaring victory even if they
lost. On day 61 they could even admit that they announced
false election results -- and nobody could do anything
is the proposed fix:
Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within
60 days after turn-over
of all requested election documents.
the momentary language is enacted the bill legalizes
recall provisions created by the HOA Task Force worked
since 2004 without serious problems. The members of the
HOA Task Force decided on the language to make it
easier for owners to successfully recall an unwanted board
without creating high legal fees. The experience of
the last 8 years showed that we succeeded. No matter what
certain people are trying to tell you, the amended
language makes things a lot more complicated and makes it
partially even necessary for owners to hire expensive
legal help. Actually, that seems to be the reason behind
these proposed changes to the recall wording.
changes: Line 652 - 746 Recall Condo (FS
718); Line 1449 - 1542 Recall Co-op (FS 719); Line 1746 -
1887 Recall HOA (FS 720)]
Altman, with all due respect, please don't help to destroy
the owner-friendly reforms the HOA Task Force created in
2004. If you feel that the election challenge language
should stay, please add the language proposed above.
recall language works as is. Why making changes to a
"winning solution?" Associations already pay a
big share of their "maintenance" fees for legal
bills. Why adding more billing hours?
If you have any specific questions, please let me know!
Your help to resolve these problems in an otherwise good
bill would really be appreciated!
Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
1156 Tall Oaks
write e-mails to the committee members -- see
below -- asking them to remove these two serious
flaws before voting YEA on the bill. These two
provisions are outright dangerous.
COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE
Senator Negron, Chair
Senator Benacquisto, Vice Chair
Thursday, April 18, 2013
TIME: 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
PLACE: Pat Thomas Committee Room, 412 Knott Building