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

Published January 30, 2008


After reading Donna Berger's e-mail -- see below -- I really don't wonder any longer why we see all these problems in these associations, as for example reported to the House Select Committee meeting in Pembroke Pines on Saturday, January 26, 2008.


We are all used to Berger's ranting, but this time she won another prize for getting it all wrong: 5 out of 5!

  1. CCFJ had no earlier notice than the lobbyist of CAN, Pete Dunbar, who is not a government official but a lobbyist, but can be found in the official distribution list of the HOUSE. 

  2. The Sun Sentinel article ( Condo unit owners urged to attend upcoming free events ) pointed the readers to exactly the right places. Info about House Select Committee to Representative Julio Robaina: "Call his office at 305-442-6868,"  to the CAI, the organizers of the trade show in Wynmoor, to: " or call 954-816-0661" and for information about the CCFJ Conference on February 1/2, 2008: "See the group's Web site," What's wrong with that? Some conspiracy from the media?

  3. There was no videographer from CCFJ -- not that I know? Our organization didn't order one -- and actually I would like to see a tape of the event. And honestly, I can't afford having lackeys -- and I don't have the necessary title to award me lackeys -- like Duke or Esquire?

  4. The "ousted" former condo ombudsman Dr. Virgil Rizzo was removed from office by supplying false information to then Governor Jeb Bush. See article: "Top DBPR Officials Lied To The Governor And To The Media" He wasn't there as a "witness", he made suggestions regarding necessary owner-friendly reforms. And Rizzo is definitely much better qualified to do so since he has no personal financial interest in keeping the statutes adverse for owners like Donna Berger and Leigh Katzman do.

  5. It looks like not only Berger's reading abilities are impaired, so are her counting abilities. Most reports I read showed that more than 200 people attended. But I didn't rely on reports like the one from Dick Herman -- see e-mail below! It's an amazing statement to claim that less then 100 people attended, but more than 100 testified and made presentations. Did they send their ghosts to talk? Gee - again the conspiracy of the media!

THAT'S ALL WRONG: 5 out of 5. 

Actually CCFJ and I as the president should be honored by reading what we can all do: 

  • Influence the Speaker of the House to create a House Select Committee to file "our bills."

  • A House Select Committee hosting these hearings on direction of CCFJ, Inc.

  • Conspire with the media to write all false articles.

Gee, that really would be great achievements! 


The reason for Berger's e-mail is pretty obvious: She needs board members to support the CAI legislation in Tallahassee and defeat any owner-friendly legislation, in order make it easier for service providers to fleece the homeowners and make sure that the status quo, that contains very little protection for owners, stays in place.


From people who claim to be leaders, one normally expects a little more due diligence. This e-mail shows that Donna Berger clearly forgot to inform herself about the actual facts and just started to rant without doing her homework! But, what's new?

From: "Donna Berger" <>
Subject: RE: Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner Association Governance
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 04:24:29 +0000


Thank you for the summary of what took place, Dick. I was out of town at a CAI Seminar and CCAL Dinner in Las Vegas but every attorney on my Transactional Team at Katzman & Korr was in attendance and will be giving me a report tomorrow morning. My partner, Leigh, was also there and spoke with members of the Committee.


Unfortunately, none of this surprises me at all. We saw the same shenanigans back in 2003 when Julio Robaina served on the first Select Committee on Condominiums and that set off a whirlwind of nonsensical community association proposals every session since then.


You have to ask yourself why a House Committee seems to be hosting these public hearings at the direction of a special interest group like CCFJ. Even though it is open to the public, the following missteps should raise every common interest owner's attention:


1. The CCFJ had several days' advance notice of this meeting before the general public;

2.  Sun Sentinel Reporter, Joe Kollin, directed Broward County readers to the CCFJ website for more information about the Committee and its upcoming meetings instead of more properly directing those folks directly to the House website;

3.  An independent videographer was not obtained and, instead, the general public and presumably the Committee itself must rely on evidence provided in video form by a Bergemann lackey;

4.  The Committee had as its first "witness" the former Condominium Ombudsman, Virgil Rizzo, who was ousted by Governor Bush; and

5.  Despite accounts by most people that the turnout was rather small (less than 100 people), reporter Joe Kollin's article today focuses on the "horror stories" told by a crush of owners.


If items #1-5 aren't enough to wake up the silent majority, perhaps the prospect of having some of the proposed legislation posted on the CCFJ website become reality in condo and HOA land on July 1, 2008, will do the trick.


CAN is proud to have the esteemed Pete Dunbar as our lobbyist to represent our clients and members' interests in these matters. We will be working tirelessly throughout the session with Pete to ensure that the senators and representatives who will be asked to vote on the Select Committee/CCFJ bill understand what makes sense and what doesn't.  It might also be necessary for a contingency of community representatives to go up to testify on these bills as they wind their way through the various committee stops. The carefree tactics that may be acceptable to the Select Committee will certainly not be employed by every standing House or Senate Committee Chair that hears the Select Committee/CCFJ bill so due deference will be given to those of you who choose to go up there and state your case.

It is important as Dick states below, for you not to underestimate the seriousness of the battle facing community association members this Session. Whatever we can do to assist you, please let us know.



Donna D. Berger, Esq.

From: Dick Herman []
Sent: Sun 1/27/2008 2:50 PM
To: robert schulbaum
Cc: Barbara Zee; Ed Goldwasser (; Evelyn Spielholz (; Jack Miles (; Larry Zalkin (; Lori Venikoor (; Mort Mazor (; Nancy Brin (; Phyllis Levine (; Rhoda Greifer (; Donna Berger; Harry Charles; Richard Spears
Subject: Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner Association Governance


Bob Schulbaum, Barbara Zee and I (as Alliance board members) attended the session of the Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner Association Governance on Saturday, the 26th of January that was held in Broward County .
It was chaired by Rep Robaina with Zapata, Glorioso, Petronis Jr., Gibbons, Sands and Garcia Jr. on the dais. Backing them up were the Raphens from the Ft. Lauderdale office of the Ombudsman, the head of the DBPR and Mark Benson (a Community Association Manager from Ft. Meyers ).

As we entered the foyer to sign in, there were two boxes of propaganda from the Concerned Citizens For Justice (CCFJ).
In the rear of the auditorium, one of the speakers representing Jan Bergman set up a video recording system to tape the session.

Our group was told that the session would start at 11:00 AM so when we got there at 10:30 and signed in, we were surprised to learn that the session had actually started at 10:00 AM.

We then sat through five an d a half hours of listening to diatribes and horror stories about how boards are abusing unit owners, how boards are looting the association's treasury, how boards are getting kickbacks from contractors and finally how all our contractors are mafia shills and that route 95 is flooded with New York mafia cars coming down to Florida to reap the harvest. During none of these diatribes did Robaina muzzle anyone or limit their initial discussion - it all had to go on the record. When there was no one from these "errant" boards to respond to these complaints, Robaina indicated he would subpoena the boards and their records for the Miami hearings.

After five & a half hours, many people left, so there is no way of knowing what their input would have been, but it appeared to me that many of the complainers (speakers) were PRESELECTED. I do not believe speakers were taken in the order that the signed up.

My presentation was interrupted about three minutes into a five minute presentation and concluded with Robaina criticizing the Posey - Gardner bill.

During his diatribe, the individual video recording the session, indicated that copies of this session could be obtained from Jan Bergman of the CCFJ.

I recognize that the Alliance has remained non political since its inception, but I believe that we owe it to our membership to let them know which politicians support home and unit owners, and their way of life, and those that represent them, versus those that are actively trying to destroy a way of life and make it so that associations can not be efficiently operated. We should also actively try to defeat those who would destroy our way of life. If we do not become active in the political arena to counter the CCFJ, we cause our own downfall.

Bob: I expect to discuss this at our next board meeting.

S/ Dick Herman

(AUTHOR'S NOTE): The author of this e-mail is Richard Herman, President of the BURGUNDY A ASSOCIATION, INC., a condominium in Delray Beach, FL. The same annual report lists his wife, Judy Herman, as the association's Treasurer. No wonder he is dead-set against the proposed changes to the Condo Act.

The three people listed in the e-mail -- Bob Schulbaum, Barbara Zee and Dick Herman -- are board members of the Delray Alliance. Robert Schulbaum announced in an article dated January 21, 2008 (Delray Alliance officials to speak with legislators on Saturday) published in the Sun Sentinel that (quote): "The Alliance will reserve a bus and transport to and from this meeting, free of charge for any members who wish to attend."
I guess the three didn't need a bus? Honestly, I can understand that nobody wants to join people who are writing e-mails like that, showing how uninformed and misled they really are!