H 319 --
REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE MORAITIS MALARKEY
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published February 11, 2012
be very honest I have barely ever seen more malarkey than the excuses Representative George Moraitis offered to defend his House
Bill 319 in the Sun Sentinel last Tuesday, especially after adding
amendments to this bill which clearly made it an anti-owner bill.
Let's start with saying that the bill, when originally filed, had a few good provisions in it. We liked especially the board member certification provision for HOA members and a few other provisions that clarified prior language. With a few changes it could have turned into a good bill that would have really helped associations and owners. All that has been removed from the bill by Rep. Moraitis.
is absolutely nothing left in the bill that could actually be considered
helpful to associations and/or homeowners and condo owners. What Moraitis
is calling CLARIFYING is actually adding more PROTECTION FOR BANKS to the statutes -- protections some judges
obviously were not willing to grant under certain circumstances.
when Moraitis stated that he considers Donna Berger one of the premier
advocates for association residents I was pretty sure that Moraitis had
really lost his mind.
opinions differ: In my opinion Donna Berger is, together with Peter
Dunbar, the NO.1 ENEMY of owners of property in
in his right mind can support a bill with flaws like this? A bill with
provisions making community associations even bigger dictatorships than
they already are!
H 319 would legalize ELECTION FRAUD. The few
words: "Any challenge to the election
process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are
announced" will make it impossible to challenge any
election. In order to file for arbitration it is necessary to have all
election documents. There is no tool in place to force the sitting board
to hand over the election documents within 60 days, even if the laws say
otherwise. After 61 days the board can hand the election docs to the
challenger and laugh at them -- because even if the docs prove that
election fraud was committed, the deadline for filing has passed. This is
an open invitation for successful election fraud!
The wording of the bill allows the board to suspend the voting rights of
foes, but leave the voting rights of friends intact, even if they are more
than 90 days in arrears with dues. The wording leaves it up to the board
members whose voting rights they want to suspend. And if all else fails,
they can levy fines for trumped-up charges and tell opponents: "Either
you pay the $1,000 fine, or we suspend your voting rights." Open
invitation for dictatorship.
To top off this election scam, the amended wording of the bill fails to
create a provision that reduces the number of total voting interest by the
number of suspended voting rights. This makes fair elections or even
recalls impossible in communities where many owners stopped paying dues or
in communities where the board suspended many voting rights. If the board
suspends enough voting rights, the board members are protected against any
attempt to oust them.
only thing that could be considered a "high-light" for
associations is the provision that allows associations to exempt certain
elevators from specific code update requirements. However, this way to
save money comes at the expense of safety of the folks living in these
condominiums. This provision is most likely aimed at helping associations
to save money to pay for the ever-increasing legal bills caused by these
short, there is absolutely nothing in the bill that would help
associations/owners deal with the financial mess many associations are in.
This bill will create even more financial disaster in
it seems some legislators don't care about facts or fairy tales. I guess
that's the reason why I always say that