Opinion By Jan Bergemann
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
January 30, 2008
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.
are all used to Berger's ranting, but this time she won another prize for getting
it all wrong: 5 out of 5!
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.
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: "www.cai-seflorida.org or call
954-816-0661" and for information about the CCFJ Conference on
February 1/2, 2008: "See the group's Web site, www.ccfj.net."
What's wrong with that? Some conspiracy from the media?
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?
"ousted" former condo ombudsman Dr. Virgil Rizzo was removed
from office by supplying false information to then Governor Jeb Bush.
See article: "Top
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.
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!
ALL WRONG: 5 out of 5.
CCFJ and I as the president should be honored by reading what we can all
the Speaker of the House to create a House Select Committee to file
House Select Committee hosting these hearings on direction of CCFJ,
with the media to write all false articles.
that really would be great achievements!
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.
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?
Subject: RE: Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner Association
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 04:24:29 +0000
you for the summary of what took place, Dick. I was out of town at a CAI
Seminar and CCAL Dinner in
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.
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.
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:
The CCFJ had several days' advance notice of this meeting before the
Sun Sentinel Reporter, Joe Kollin, directed
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;
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;
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.
D. Berger, Esq.
From: Dick Herman [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sun 1/27/2008 2:50 PM
To: robert schulbaum
Cc: Barbara Zee; Ed Goldwasser (email@example.com); Evelyn
Spielholz (firstname.lastname@example.org); Jack Miles (BOJAC7010@adelphia.net); Larry
Zalkin (email@example.com); Lori Venikoor (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mort
Mazor (email@example.com); Nancy Brin (firstname.lastname@example.org); Phyllis Levine
(email@example.com); Rhoda Greifer (firstname.lastname@example.org); Donna Berger;
Harry Charles; Richard Spears
Subject: Select Committee on Condominium & Homeowner
Bob Schulbaum, Barbara Zee and I (as
board members) attended the session of the Select Committee on Condominium
& Homeowner Association Governance on Saturday, the 26th of January
that was held in
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
office of the Ombudsman, the head of the DBPR and Mark Benson (a Community
Association Manager from
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
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 -
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
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.
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
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!