An Opinion By Jan Bergemann   
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published September 23, 2017

A homeowner of the Meadow Glenn of Marion County Homeowners’ Association, Inc., represented by the law firm of Glazer & Sachs, P.A., won an important election dispute arbitration case. In his SUMMARY FINAL ORDER arbitrator David R. Slaton made it very clear that – according to the Florida statutes – only owners can vote to elect an owners’ representative in a community that is still ruled by the original developer.

Remember: In 2013 the Florida legislature enacted HOA REFORM BILL HB 7119. The bill created lots of great HOA Reforms – especially provisions trying to rein in “developer dictatorships”. The bill was sponsored by Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. and we succeeded in having the Governor sign this important bill into law. Attorney Eric Glazer and our lobbyist Richard Pinsky were our voices in Tallahassee during the legislative session – and they obviously did an excellent job.

See Eric Glazer’s summary of the bill: Help Is on the Way for Florida's Homeowner Associations

Important parts of the bill: FS 720.307. For this case paragraph (1)(f) The term “members other than the developer” shall not include builders, contractors, or others who purchase a parcel for the purpose of constructing improvements thereon for resale and paragraph (2) Members other than the developer are entitled to elect at least one member of the board of directors of the homeowners’ association if 50 percent of the parcels in all phases of the community which will ultimately be operated by the association have been conveyed to members are of utmost importance.

The law clearly prevents shenanigans often used by developers in the past in order to prevent owners from having a say into the management of the association. With a representative of the owners – elected by the owners – being a board member it is a lot more difficult for developers to hide certain financial transactions.

That is a main reason why this arbitration ruling is so important for all owners living in communities that are still ruled by developers.