IGNORANCE RUINS WHOLE COMMUNITIES
Published October 25, 2019
Not only dictators
can financially ruin whole communities, but so can the ignorance
of board members. It’s amazing to see how folks “serve”
on boards for many years, but fail to know the meaning of FS 718
(CONDO ACT) or FS 720 (HOA ACT).
Too many board
members plainly rely on what they are being told by CAMs or
association attorneys, without having even a basic knowledge of
the rules, what’s right or wrong.
Many board members
seem to forget that CAMs and attorneys are in it for the money,
not necessary for the welfare of the community, meaning the
legislature, in its infinite wisdom, recognized the need for
board member education, but, as usual failed to do the “right”
The wording of the
statutes allows board members to serve, if they follow these ”education”
rules: (FS 718.112(2)(d)4.b.)
Within 90 days
after being elected or appointed to the board of an association
of a residential condominium, each newly elected or appointed
director shall certify in writing to the secretary of the
association that he or she has read the association’s
declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws,
and current written policies; that he or she will work to uphold
such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability;
and that he or she will faithfully discharge his or her
fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. In lieu
of this written certification, within 90 days after being
elected or appointed to the board, the newly elected or
appointed director may submit a certificate of having
satisfactorily completed the educational curriculum administered
by a division-approved condominium education provider within 1
year before or 90 days after the date of election or
about the same!
Allowing a board member to just sign a “certification” that
he/she knows it all is plainly ridiculous – and actually defeats
the whole purpose of the law.
remember: Board members can easily financially ruin whole
communities, make owners homeless. Allowing board members in
charge of the financial welfare of many families to rule these
associations without even having a basic knowledge of the rules
governing these communities is actually reckless.
very near future more than 50% of all Floridians live in some
sort of community association – and their financial welfare
could be in the hands of totally ignorant people.
||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