Finally Change of Politics?
By Jan Bergemann ( 9 -15 - 2001)
The shock which went through our country after the terrorist attacks seems to have changed the mind of some of our politicians. Many law-suits and pleas for help from all around the nation obviously couldn't touch the heart of many of our politicians. It obviously needed a big shock, before we saw a change of mind.
        Regarding flying the American Flag on Private Property

On Tuesday, the day our country suffered attacks from depraved international terrorists, I encouraged all Floridians who own American flags to fly them to show support for the victims, their families and emergency workers, as well as to show defiance to the perpetrators of these awful acts and their protectors abroad.

However, I have received e-mail from constituents alerting me that they cannot comply with this call to exhibit our patriotism because of restrictions and limits on the public display of the American flag imposed by some homeowners associations or other community agreements. While I firmly support in general the right of communities to set their own policies for those who choose to live in them, I nevertheless believe an exception applies to the flying of our flag.

No one should be able to sign away their rights to fly and display Old Glory. I therefore support amending existing laws to clarify those principles and call on all Florida homeowners associations in the meantime to repeal any such provisions in their agreements and allow their members to participate in the support of their fallen countrymen as Americans traditionally have done. 

Thank you, Governor! One great step in the right direction.
Please read my Open Letter to The Governor:
Dear Governor,
I would very much like to thank you for your above statement. Many homeowners living in mandated properties all over Florida will thank you for this statement of support. Quite a few, especially veterans, have already spent  a lot of money and time to fight for this right.
Your statement :" While I firmly support in general the right of communities to set their own policies for those who choose to live in them" is understandable, but actually not the real complaint of many of these homeowners. The real problem is the fact that many of these general rights you're speaking of are not enforceable for many Florida citizens, who don't have the necessary finances to fight for their given rights in lengthy court-battles against a deep-pocket industry. Flying "Old Glory" is only one of the many problems citizens living in mandated properties are facing. Please see our "Joint Resolution" regarding foreclosures and our request for a Mandated Property Reform Task Force.
Your further help would be very much appreciated.
Thank you so much for this statement!

With best regards
Jan Bergemann
Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Display of American Flag in Deed Restricted Communities

It was anyway "ridiculous" that homeowners' associations were not allowing homeowners to fly an American flag from a flag-pole. The excuse that this was done to protect property values was about as stupid as any excuse I've ever heard.  Please see as well the News release  from  the Arizona State Legislature below.

"God bless America!"
         Lawmakers hoping to void curbs on flags
By Howard Fischer 

PHOENIX - Some state lawmakers hope to parlay the new wave of patriotism into legislation to expand the rights of Arizona homeowners. 

Sen. Scott Bundgaard, R-Glendale, is resurrecting a measure that would overrule the regulations of any homeowners association or deed restriction that limits or bars the flying of the American flag. 

"A lot of people are showing their patriotism by flying their flag," said Bundgaard in the wake of the terrorist attacks. 

"But there are some of us that are prevented from doing that," he continued. "And the rest of the public should know there are rules in homeowner associations that prevent other Americans from participating in this patriotic fervor." 

He already has picked up support from fellow Sen. Sue Gerard, R-Phoenix, and Rep. Robert Blendu, R-Litchfield Park. Gerard said there is a need to get rid of all homeowner association rules that are "arbitrary." 

But the lawmakers are likely to find the same sticking points now as they did two years ago when similar legislation was killed. Should they allow any limits at all on how tall the poles can be, how big the flags can be and whether restrictions apply to state flags, POW flags and even flags celebrating gay pride? 

The fight traces its roots to Adolph "Doc" Wussow, who complained to lawmakers that the rules in his Scottsdale subdivision preclude free-standing flagpoles. Wussow said allowing him to attach a small pole to his house does not allow him to fly the 5-by-9-foot flag that was draped over the casket of his brother, Robert, who was killed in World War II while flying over Germany. 

While the bill cleared a Senate committee in 1999, it ran into trouble elsewhere. Many lawmakers said it is up to homeowner groups to determine their own restrictions without legislative interference. 

The problem with that, said Bundgaard, is that the procedures necessary to amend the rules of many homeowner associations are too cumbersome. He said it is far easier to simply change the law. 

He conceded, though, many of his colleagues think there need to be some guidelines, lest a homeowner put up a 50-foot pole with an oversize flag that obstructs the views of neighbors. 

"That's going to be part of our whole discussion of how far the rules go," said Gerard. She said a potential middle ground would be to align homeowner rules with local zoning. If a city allows flagpoles of a certain height in residential areas, then the rules could not be more stringent. 

Bundgaard, however, takes a more absolutist view. "I personally don't think there should be a prohibition on flying the American flag in any manner, whatsoever," he said. 

NEWS Release
Arizona State Legislature
Phoenix – Several state legislators are calling on homeowner’s associations that prohibit or restrict the display of our American flag to eliminate those rules and let Americans show their patriotism.

“Many of us have the opportunity to fly our American flag at this difficult time, but some of us don’t,” said State Senator Scott Bundgaard (R-Phoenix).  “The freedom we cherish as Americans to fly our American flag should not be restricted in any manner.  We would welcome a quick, positive response from homeowner’s associations.”

“This is the time for all Arizonans to be able to proudly display their flag and show the world that no insane act of terrorism will defeat out spirit,” said State Senator Susan Gerard (R-Phoenix).  “The arbitrary rules of these homeowner’s associations should be set aside.”

“I can’t imagine anyone in America being prohibited from flying their American flag,” said State Representative Robert Blendu (R-Litchfield Park).  “We intend to resolve this next session.”

Legislation will be introduced next session to allow the public the opportunity, no matter their address, to show their support for our country and display their American flag.

For more information please contact: 
Sen. Scott Bundgaard           Sen. Susan Gerard     Rep. Robert Blendu

Date:  September 12, 2001