OWNERS’ RIGHTS TO SPEAK AT MEETINGS!
Published January 27, 2023
The statutes regulating Florida’s community associations clearly
give owners the right to speak at public meetings – on agenda
items. Very nice! But the provisions don’t close the loopholes
these provisions allow.
Many associations still hold Zoom meetings despite the fact that
emergency powers are no longer in place. That actually violates
the Florida statutes, statutes that require meetings at
locations where owners can participate. And you know how it
works at Zoom meetings: The person in charge can, with one click
of the button, shut up everybody if he/she doesn’t like what
that person has to say. I even have heard of Zoom meetings where
only board members can speak while owners can log in, but can
And then comes the magic word: “ON AGENDA ITEMS”!
Well, while condos regulated by FS 718 and FS 719 have to post
agendas with the meeting notices, HOAs (FS 720) are not required
to post an agenda. That leaves the question: How can owners
speak on “agenda items” if there is no agenda posted?
And here is another way to subdue owners’ right to speak: Many
boards hire off-duty deputies as “security” and use them to
remove owners who want to use their “right to speak” saying
things the board or the president don’t want to hear. I have
heard of many cases where owners were removed by deputies,
violating their rights to speak guaranteed by the statutes.
Since most of these deputies don’t know the statutes regulating
these meetings they just do what the president or CAM is telling
him/her to do. My suggestion to avoid wrongful removal by
deputies: Deputies willing to make some extra bucks to serve as
security at community association meetings should show proof
that they attended a board certification seminar, so they know
what’s right or wrong, and not just listen to dictatorial board
We always talk about free speech and our “SECOND AMENDMENT
RIGHTS”. Obviously nobody cares about it in our
Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking