DEBATES BEFORE ELECTIONS?
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.
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
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
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.
||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