Courtesy of the Miami Herald
Published November 20, 2005
happy ending seems hard to come by for the Camelot
After residents served their board of directors with
a recall petition with forms from 84 out of 140 townhomes in the
community, the current board of the community off Southwest 142nd Avenue
and 94th Circle Lane filed for state arbitration last week.
''We feel very confident we're going to prevail,''
said Steve Sotnick, a Camelot resident. "The amount of effort we have
to go through is phenomenal.''
Sotnick is part of the group seeking to replace the
current board of directors using a written recall.
Condominium association boards can be recalled by
two methods outlined in Florida statutes: recalling the board at a meeting
where a quorum is present or gathering recall ballots from 50 percent plus
one of residents, said Dr. Virgil Rizzo, state condo ombudsman.
The recall petition is officially served to the
board or a registered agent of the board such as an attorney. The board
then has five days to either accept the recall or file for arbitration
with the state.
''When unit owners are very unhappy with the
management or mismanagement of their boards, [having a recall] is the
ultimate way to take over their own destiny,'' Rizzo said.
The board has filed for arbitration in the recall on
Nov. 15, said Jonathan Rubin, the association's attorney. Danilo Gallardo,
the current president of the association, declined to comment.
Part of the motivation for the recall was the lack
of information concerning community-wide roof replacements as well as
questions about the association's financial health, Sotnick said. ''All we
want is a transparent process of doing things the right way,'' Sotnick
said. "[The board is] trying to get me to accept something without
According to Florida statutes, condominium owners
have the right to request official documents from the association, such as
association rules, minutes from past meetings and contracts for repairs.
The board has five days to comply with resident requests. If the board
does not comply within 10 days, it can face a fine of $50 per day for 10
''You're buying into this association on good faith
and there is no guarantee,'' Sotnick said.
In the Patio Homes of the Crossings, one
homeowner is challenging the neighborhood association's fines for
noncompliance with neighborhood building codes.
''They're fining us for our fence being a shade off
and we still have a tarp on the roof,'' said Crossing resident Patricia
Irvine was served with notice that her fence was the
wrong color and her garage door should be repainted by Sept. 24. After
appearing before the review committee and having the issue delayed, Irvine
said she later received a letter from the board of directors saying that
they had overturned the committee's decision and decided to levy a fine of
$100. But after the active hurricane season, Irvine said she is more
concerned about repairing her home first.