By Jan Bergemann   

Published August 10, 2018


Wouldn’t it be nice if we would see a lot of happy faces when meeting the neighbors in our community associations?

According to the many e-mails and telephone calls I’m getting daily, it doesn’t seem like many owners have a reason to smile. And the headlines of our media outlets report a lot more about lawsuits and fights among neighbors that about events in associations that would make owners smile much more often.


But is it even possible to make a HAPPY FACE in our political climate? What has been promoted as “SOCIAL MEDIA” is anything but social, it has turned into a meeting place for people, who – under the cover of anonymous postings – use outright hostile language and don’t mind insulting anybody who doesn’t agree with their – often weird – opinions.


In this “climate” it seems difficult to hold community parties like we have seen in the past. There is often nothing “neighborly” any more among these neighbors – and the fight often starts in the moment when a community event is announced.


Immediately questions pop up, asking:

  • Who pays for it?

  • Who can participate?

  • Who else is invited?

  • Who allowed the use of the clubhouse for this event, but not for similar ones?

  •  And the list of questions goes on and on!

Under these circumstances it’s often difficult to plan successful community events – and I can understand why not many people are inclined to organize such events.


In all honesty: The most happy faces I have seen by owners of property in community associations were at the moment when they could finally tell me: I MOVED OUT OF MY ASSOCIATION – AND WILL NEVER BUY INTO ONE AGAIN.


P.S.: I had that kind of Happy Face in 2005 – and I never regretted moving out of the gulag I lived in!

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida 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 Tallahassee - 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 Florida 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 in Florida !

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