Bush: Relax rules in homeowner groups
Article Courtesy of TCPalm.com
Published February 6, 2004
BY Diana Moskovitz 

PORT ST. LUCIE ó Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he supported relaxing rules homeowner associations can place on residents, such those imposed on the Jupiter man fighting to keep a flagpole in front of his house. 
 

Bush made the comments while visiting the Treasure Coast Builders Association to honor their contributions
to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and talk about
the positive effects mentoring can have in a community. 

After meeting with members of the TCBA, Bush told reporters he felt the boards might need additional regulation to keep them from overpowering homeowners. 

"We need some reforms," Bush said. 

Bush referred to George Andres, a former Marine who
has battled for three years to fly an American flag from
a 12-foot flagpole. His associationís rules only allow
flags flown from brackets attached to a house. 

After Andresí refusal, the Indian Creek Homeowners Association Phase IIIB began fining Andres. After
Andres refused to pay, the association sued to

 
Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at a
luncheon at PGA Learning Center in St.
Lucie West hosted by the Treasure Coast
Builders Association. Bush talked about the
successes of mentoring children during the
lunch, and the Builders Association
presented the governor with a
$25,000 check.
foreclose him and receive more than $300,000 in fines and legal fees. 

Such restrictions are ridiculous and should be outweighed by the flagís patriotic message, Bush said. 

"It adds value to the neighborhood," Bush said. 

The case is pending in the 4th District Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach. 

This follows a 46-page report from the governorís task force on revising the law governing homeowners associations. 

Among their recommendations were awarding triple damages to members who are the subject of lawsuits filed to intimidate, and making executive board members liable for legal fees in such cases. 

Bush said the members are finalizing their recommendations, which then may be proposed to the Legislature. 

A second state task force also has been created on the topic by House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City. 

While speaking to the TCBA, Bush emphasized the importance of increasing participation in local mentoring programs. 

He pointed to the leader of Stuart Sod, Mike Pogue, who mentors a 4-year-old named Chris. Pogue spends time writing rap lyrics with Chris to help Chris improve his reading and writing skills. 

"Why sit on the sidelines and watch sadness, loneliness and hurt become dominant features for kids in our society," Bush asked. 

The governor emphasized the positive strides being made in the state through tutoring programs and other volunteer opportunities. 

"Itís important to see the thousands upon thousands of adults and teens now in mentoring relationships," Bush said.