The Condo Advisory Council,
is nice to see you will
have the second meeting on Thursday,
February 24, in Tallahassee. I
would like to make a few remarks in regard
to the approach of this council meeting.
very little has been achieved and it seems very obvious that the
chairman has his own agenda. In
my personal opinion,
it is unlucky that a member of the same law firm that heavily opposed
the bill creating this council was awarded with being elected chairman of
this council. I guess it can
only happen in Florida?
And if another member of this law firm publicly states that the newly
appointed condo ombudsman is a catastrophe,
then we all know where we stand!
to the Condo Ombudsman: Many
condo owners feel that the creation of the Ombudsman
Office was a big step in the right direction.
There are most likely more steps to come, despite the opposition of
certain industry members. Even without staff and the necessary resources,
Dr. Rizzo has already started to make an impact
and has gotten lots of support from owners.
(See a letter attached below!)
We know that especially some attorneys don't like his existence,
since they obviously don't like to see their actions monitored,
especially during association election time.
Please be advised that these provisions in the statutes were created
because of complaints from many condo
owners, who compared their election process with Banana Republics.
And it is pretty obvious that certain attorneys helped to create this
please don't take letters of complaints from certain attorneys too serious.
If they ran
the elections as required by Florida Statutes,
it wouldn't be necessary to monitor the elections.
is no doubt that there is big demand for insurance reforms.
And suggestions are welcome to find solutions for the problems many condo
owners faced after last year's hurricanes. There are already certain
bills pending trying to deal with this problem.
But creating legislation giving board members emergency powers that
would make any dictatorship proud is definitely not the right approach.
You might know that owners
have heavily criticized decisions of boards in many condominiums, some
even leading to recalls. Giving these boards nearly unlimited power is in my
opinion ridiculous! Owners all over the state are in the moment trying to
push for legislation to level
the playing field. Actually, when I read the proposal, I wasn't sure if the
author was really serious.
The existing system, written by these same attorneys, has definitely failed
in condo and homeowners' associations.
since the attorneys love to use polls to make a point, how about this one
from the website of the Community Associations Institute:
general, would you recommend community association living to a friend?
on the friend [ 4.0%]
town hall meetings have shown that there are lots of problems in these
associations. Last Saturday
in Plantation, Florida only one participant out of more than 400 stated
to have no problems in her association.
Everybody else was there to ask questions regarding many problems.
get into the real discussion and forget about the fairy tale published by
the service providers that “only
a few disgruntled owners” are unhappy!
We have a serious problem and it is about time for all of us to face
is about time that the members of the council will go public and go to the
areas where you find many condos and the people having the problems. They
are willing to speak up;
the interest is there! Last
Saturday in Plantation was a very good example that owners and board members
were asking questions and wanted answers. The Condo
Advisory Council was created to find the problems
-- and to
propose solutions to solve these problems. You will not succeed by
in areas where there are very few condos!
owners are the citizens with a vested interest, not law firms or other
service providers. The Condo
Advisory Council members were appointed to help the legislature find
solutions to improve a flawed system, not to promote personal agendas of the
much said, please
get busy and do the work that the Florida legislature created this council
functions of the advisory council shall be to:
from the public, input regarding issues of concern with respect to
condominiums and recommendations for changes in the condominium law.
The issues that the council shall consider include, but are not limited to,
the rights and responsibilities of the unit owners in relation to the rights
and responsibilities of the association.
evaluate, and advise the division concerning revisions and adoption of rules
improvements, if needed, in the education programs offered by the division.
wish you all a successful meeting and hope that the public will finally be
informed and made part of the deliberations!
Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
League of United Latin American
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 11
Property Owners Association in the Villages (POA)
Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches (FHCGPB)
Consumer Advocacy Network (CAN)
Tuesday, February 22, 2005 6:22 AM
Board Mandate for installation of
hurricane shutters to unit owners rescinded
a long grueling fight against the Palm Beach House Condo Association against
having to install hurricane shutters in unit members condos, and with the
aid of Jeb Bush's new Ombudsman, Virgil Rizzo, giving me assistance against
such a mandate from the association without owner voting approval, the PBH
Board of Directors by a 9-0 vote officially rescinded their foolish mandate
last night (02-21-05) which went against the State Statutes
regarding this matter. Without Mr. Rizzo's expert advice and
assistance, the unit members and I at the Palm Beach House could not have
succeeded in fighting the Board and their lawyers concerning this
truly, Jack Smith