Community Associations bill was sop to special interests

Letter To Editor Palm Beach Post

By Jan Bergemann

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I would like to thank Post staff writer Dara Kam for her story about Gov. Bush's veto of the community associations bill, HB 391 ("Governor vetoes bill regulating associations," June 28).

This bill was written by service providers, namely the Community Associations Leadership Lobby, the lobbying arm of the law firm Becker & Poliakoff. Knowing where this bill was coming from, it was obvious from Day One that it was not consumer-friendly. Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, surely didn't consider his constituents' welfare when sponsoring this special-interest bill.

As usual, this bill was promoted by so-called community leaders such as Sandy Greenberg of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations (COBWRA) and Robert Schulbaum of the Delray Alliance, who cloak their political amibition in the cover of representing the homeowners in their districts.

But when the tide turned and the governor vetoed this bill, Mr. Schulbaum was quoted in the article as "being thrilled about this veto, because it would add nothing to the management of associations." But it would have added big-time to the wallets of specialized attorneys. That's why the governor vetoed it.

These so-called community leaders prove daily that they don't know what they are talking about. Did Mr. Schulbaum forget that he was one of the bill's main supporters, who announced that they were thrilled that it passed House and Senate?

As long as we owners fail to unite and make an organized effort to create insurance and association reforms, we will not see any changes. More of our neighbors will lose their homes to outrageous insurance premiums and frivolous lawsuits. We just can't rely on these so-called community leaders who will sell us out for political gain at the next opportune moment.

JAN BERGEMANN, president

Cyber Citizens For Justice