By Jan Bergemann 

Published November 29, 2013


Elections for the board of directors are most likely the hottest topic in community associations. It is just amazing how many power-hungry dictators live in homeowners associations – dictators who will do anything to prevent fair elections.
Nominating committees have always been a favorite tool of dictators to disallow other potential candidates volunteering to run for office. Board members created nominating committees, appointing their spouses and close friends to this committee. The goal: Only to appoint candidates they want to serve on the board.


In former times these dictatorial board members used this excuse when confronted by not nominated candidates: “You can always nominate yourself from the floor.” This in reality a stupid excuse since they knew that the election would be long decided by mailed-in ballots before this nomination could take place.


But now it has gotten even worse. Since July 1, 2013 the HOA election provision [FS 720.306(9) – see below] contains a sentence that even takes away this small chance of having a real election: “…if the election process allows candidates to be nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not required to allow nominations at the meeting.”


I just watched the video of a meeting where an attorney and a CAM explained to the members that no nominations from the floor are allowed because of this new law. Guess what: The mail-in ballot only contained the names of the five sitting board members; all other candidates were not nominated! With other words: A SLAM-DUNK ELECTION!


It’s amazing how power-hungry people can get. Some of these dictatorial board members never had a parking ticket in their life, but they think it’s totally ok to hold Banana Republic-style elections.



(a) Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the governing documents of the association. All members of the association are eligible to serve on the board of directors, and a member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting where the election is to be held; provided, however, that if the election process allows candidates to be nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not required to allow nominations at the meeting. An election is not required unless more candidates are nominated than vacancies exist. Except as otherwise provided in the governing documents, boards of directors must be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by eligible voters. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are announced.

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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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