GEE – NOT ANOTHER ELECTION
Published November 13, 2020
To me it’s pretty obvious that this
country is on the warpath with elections. While in other
“civilized” countries elections go smoothly, here elections seem
to create nothing but chaos. And that’s not only happening in
general elections, it’s actually the same in elections for
community association boards. It seems that in much too many
cases courts and arbitrators decide the outcome of the
elections, not necessarily the voters.
In his blog on Monday Eric said in his
blog: “And if
you’re not sure about something, ask your attorney. It’s a lot
better than having to go through the election process twice.”
The idea may be good, but it often doesn’t work out that way –
especially not in homeowners’ associations, where the election
process is regulated by
FS 720.306. In recent weeks I have seen advice from
so-called specialized attorneys that violated every statute and
the bylaws of the association. Sometimes I get the feeling that
some attorneys don’t really care about what’s right or wrong –
as long as their bills are being paid.
According to the statutes the annual election should take place
together with the annual membership meeting. FS 720.306(2) is
very clear about it. Well, how about an HOA allowing a ZOOM
meeting, where the owners were not even allowed to speak (a
clear violation of the Florida statutes) and the election didn’t
take place due to lack of preparation. Actually, the election is
now taking place by written ballot, which, according to the CAM,
can be done as well returned by e-mail. I really wonder how
anybody can return a secret ballot (required by the association
bylaws) by e-mail. And that was all blessed by the association
attorney who, unlike the members, was allowed to speak. These
were just the high-lights of this annual membership meeting with
election. By the way, the meeting should have taken place in
July – according to the bylaws – but were postponed due to the
This is just one example of many “weird” elections I have heard
about in the past weeks. Bylaws and statutes are plainly ignored
– and the fight is on. Much to the enjoyment of the attorneys
who just love to hear their cash-registers ringing!
I guess the folks in so-called THIRD-WORLD-COUNTRIES
are doing a better job with elections than we do here in the
USA. Fair and accurate elections are the basis of democracy.
What happened to democracy in this country? ARE WE LEAVING
THE “AMERICAN ZONE”?
||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