On Sunday, May 29, 2011CONDO CRAZE & HOA'S featured special guest Senator Mike Fasano, the Senate sponsor of S1196 (2010) and S530 (2011). It surely was an interesting show -- with angry callers and weird answers from the Senator. (Click on link above to listen!)    


Let's give Senator Fasano credit for fighting against insurance bill S408 -- a bill that will make property insurance in Florida even more expensive, increasing the cost of living in Florida even more.


But I really listened up when Senator Fasano started the actual discussion

Senator Mike Fasano (R-Distr. 11)

about his community association bills with a disclaimer -- saying that he is not an attorney and is actually not well educated. 


When questioned about the Grand v. Cohn case, Fasano discussed his opinion about "vested" rights -- stating that he thinks VOTING definitely is a vested right. This explanation caused one caller to ask the Senator why the provisions that would have created HOA elections (FS 720) mirroring condo elections was removed from the bill, considering that election fraud runs rampant in Florida's HOAs. Senator Fasano claimed that it was very controversial and was removed in order to not to endanger the progress of the whole bill. Who thinks that creating better election provisions would be controversial? The same legislators who use "REDISTRICTING" as a tool to thwart fair elections?


Another caller asked: "Currently, the HOA owners have really no place to turn to if the attorney, the managers and the board decide to hijack the association. And really, the enforcement should not be the responsibility of the owners. So my question: Do you believe that owners should have to spend a lifetime savings to bring boards into compliance, to follow the law. And if you don't believe that this is our job, rather the state's job, what are you planning to do about it?"

Senator Fasano's answer: "One of the things, we'll talk about it later, is extremely difficult to legislate is the statute that deals with the many, many HOAs we have in the State, very difficult to have an entity on the government level to oversee them, because there are so many of them. There is very little the legislature can do....!"


That opened a Pandora's box of unanswered questions, all discussing the lack of regulation of the many mandatory homeowners' associations.


Most likely the most important question: "However controversial it is when it comes to HOA glitch bills? There seems to be a consensus out there that some more regulation wouldn't be a bad thing."

Senator Fasano: "For me it would be a logistical problem. There are so many HOAs throughout the State of Florida. There are many we don't even know about. There are HOAS created here in West Pasco that were created 30-40-50 years ago -- and we don't know if they truly exist any more. Some of the older associations are not in existence any more."


With this answer Senator Fasano showed once again that he still doesn't understand the difference between voluntary and mandatory homeowners' Associations. Members of the HOA TASK FORCE already tried to explain this important difference to Senator Fasano during their meetings in 2003/2004 -- obviously in vain.


It was interesting to listen to Senator Fasano's view of these problematic issues, but listeners were actually left with more unanswered questions than satisfactory answers.