By Jan Bergemann

Published October 23, 2020


Debates are great – and can be very helpful to voters to decide which candidate they should vote for – as long as it is a real debate and not dictatorial monologues of a so-called moderator.


I am not sure how debates could create fairer elections in homeowners’ associations. The election process as written in the HOA Act gives sitting board members more or less “carte blanche” to do whatever they want – and whatever will keep them in power.


How fair can an election be if some candidates are getting endorsed by sitting board members using the official e-mail list of the association, while other candidates are being refused access to this e-mail list and are being told by association attorney and CAM that they are not getting access and that they don’t have enough money to sue for it.


Instead of having debates and/or “Meet the Candidates” meetings, we should first see that the election process in HOAs (FS 720.306) is changed to stop cheating and ballot-harvesting for specific candidates preferred by sitting board members. A common trick:     This proxy is just to create the necessary quorum – but in reality it’s a valid general proxy.


Too many owners are plainly ignorant when it comes to understand the whole association system, and fall for simple tricks.


That’s why I always say that ALL OWNERS should attend board member certification seminars, not just board members.


Owners, who are being promised “EASY LIVING” in community associations, have to understand that this promise was just a sales-gimmick to get their signature on the dotted line. Reality is very different: A BAD BOARD can quickly ruin the private finances of any family.

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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:

Educational Website:

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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