Opinion By Jan Bergemann
December 14, 2005
we must be doing something right!
I have no explanation for the agitated letter sent by Donna Berger, an
attorney of the "reputable" law firm of Becker &Poliakoff
P.A. (Please see long
letter below.) Rarely
have I ever seen such a letter full of more lies and falsehoods.
If an attorney, a member of the Florida BAR, goes to this extreme
of lying and twisting the truth in order to protect her cash cow, she
must really feel threatened by CCFJ publishing the real truth about the
actions of these service providers.
Rizzo can speak for himself -- and I'm sure he will -- but Berger’s
heated statements about the members of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
are outright libelous, because some are absolutely wrong and
are used to a lot of things from Donna Berger, whose title is Executive
Director of CALL (COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION LEADERSHIP LOBBY).
So far, I have always been in doubt if lawyer jokes or blonde
jokes better fitted her personality.
When Berger had threatened me with criminal prosecution for
cyber-stalking, just because I had dared to send her an e-mail message
-- I started doubting her seriousness.
But then I doubted her sanity, when Berger mailed this defamatory
letter to association board members.
Some of these association board members are paying retainer fees
for by association dues – to receive “periodic newsletters”
from Berger’s office. Berger’s
letter is full of outright lies, falsehoods and libel.
She may have gotten the names and a few facts right, but that was
letter actually speaks for itself -- or lies for itself?
the Florida BAR condones such letter writing by one of its members, I
can understand why the respect of Joe Citizen toward the legal
profession is at an all- time low.
And if legislators and government officials are still willing to
carry the torch for organizations like Donna Berger’s CALL, it may
really be time for Florida’s citizens to seriously vote for
night I had found this e-mail written by Donna Berger in my e-mail
inbox. Obviously, this
e-mail had been forwarded to me by one of the many homeowners and condo
owners CALL claims to represent when talking to legislators.
(Please see both e-mail messages below.)
look like the sender wants to be represented by CALL? I don't know the person who sent this e-mail to me and never
before had contact with the person!
had to edit the e-mail to remove any evidence that can be traced back to
the sender. The attorneys
of Becker & Poliakoff P.A. are known for not showing very much
kindness to people who spill the beans.
This letter shows clearly what type of "service
providers" Florida's homeowners and condo owners have to cope with
on a daily basis!
are no laws that protect us against this kind of abuse.
has to change real fast!
you have any detailed questions about the contents of the letter in
regards to the truth, please send me an e-mail at: [email protected]
(Name and other
information withheld to protect the identity of the person who
had forwarded Donna Berger’s e-mail to Jan Bergemann.)
I am one of the
unfortunate residents of xxxxxxxxxxx, FL.
Our Homeowner's Assoc.
is (unfortunately) represented (bilked) by Becker &
From: [email protected]
xx , 2005
Subject: THE ACTIONS OF THE OMBUDSMAN
One of our most important functions of CALL is to monitor all legislative activity which can impact the quality of lives of our
community association members.
Over the last two years, we've watched in dismay as a small (approx. 160
members) but very vocal band of dissidents known as the Cyber Citizens for Justice (CCFJ) have gone about sowing misinformation among members
of the Legislature as it pertains to community associations and what they truly need and want to successfully manage their private
residential communities. Under the guise of a being a consumer watchdog,
the President of that group, Mr. Jan Bergemann, has never missed an opportunity to decry isolated association horror stories as part of his
ongoing anti-board, anti-association agenda.
Imagine my surprise when Mr. Bergemann recently touted the new website of the Condominium Ombudsman (an appointee of the Governor) being
unveiled at www.myflcondo.org. One of the links on this new government site is called Resources and when clicked takes you to a link to the
Florida Statutes. Imagine my further surprise that when you click the link to the Condominium Act you are taken directly to the Cyber Citizens
propaganda-laden website. The site actually says "This is the Condo Act,
very hard to read and quite boring."
Rather than the Ombudsman utilizing the links to the Florida Statutes which can easily be found on either the Senate or House websites, he
purposely chose to funnel traffic through the CCFJ site and subversively
at that since most people clicking on the link expect to read the Condominium Act and not to be driven to a special interest website.
The fact that Mr. Rizzo has chosen to link to the CCFJ website is just the latest in a long string of actions that demonstrate his total
disregard for appropriateness and his unwillingness to conduct himself as the fair and impartial dialogue facilitator that was envisioned when
we helped create this Office. At this point, I am duty bound to advise our CALL members of the relationship between the current occupant of the
Ombudsman's Office and the CCFJ organization. Mr. Rizzo was one of the original members of this organization after being embroiled in a lengthy
and costly battle with his own community association but he resigned hismembership upon being appointed Ombudsman. He continues to appoint a
current CCFJ member as an election monitor; one community was recently charged $3,000.00 for "monitoring" a condominium election.
While the Office of the Ombudsman could prove to be a useful resource to
many, many condominium owners throughout the State, the current occupant
seems bent on using his position for his own agenda which appears to mirror that of the Cyber Citizens organization. Since the Ombudsman
serves at the pleasure of the Governor, it is sincerely hoped that the Governor will respond to the hundreds of thousands of responsible
community association residents who do not want to see their Condominium
Ombudsman aligned with an organization whose goals and tactics are repugnant to them.
The goals of the Cyber Citizens are to extend the reach of the Ombudsman's Office to include control over all types of community
associations including HOA's. It behooves EVERY community association resident to become aware that this Office exists and what the current
occupant is doing. If you are similarly concerned please feel free to contact Gov. Bush at
[email protected] or [email protected] as well
Simone Marstiller (the Division Director and Mr. Rizzo's boss) at
[email protected]. It is very important that your
communities' voices be heard as our government officials make decisions and take actions that can impact your daily lives.
If you have any questions about any of the information contained herein,
please feel free to contact me.
Donna D. Berger, Esq.
Executive Director, CALL