Article Courtesy of the Palm Beach Post
By Dara Kam
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
TALLAHASSEE - Palm Beach County homeowners associations are pleased that Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have increased regulation of the groups but made it easier for condominium associations to change their bylaws.
"A return to civil litigation for typical owner-association disputes reduces the benefits in time and money" of mediation over "protracted court proceedings," Bush wrote in his veto letter.
The bill also would have pushed back from 2014 to 2025 the date by which condominium common areas must be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems, an "arbitrary postponement of an already distant timeframe" and an "unacceptable safety risk, especially to Florida's many elderly condominium residents," Bush wrote.
"I can't tell you how thrilled I am," said Bob Schulbaum, president of the Delray Alliance of 64 associations representing 78,000 residents.
The bill "would add nothing to the management of associations," Schulbaum said.
The bill also would have required that associations undergo an audit and maintain reserves in their budget to handle capital expenses, which lawmakers felt necessary in the aftermath of the last two hurricane seasons.
With his veto, Bush also directed the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees condo and homeowner associations, to come up with a way to create parity between the two groups and examine the possibility of creating "a comprehensive common interest realty law."
Common interest ownership groups include condominium associations, homeowners associations and coops. Condominium associations are highly regulated under Florida law; homeowners associations are not.
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
June 28, 2006
Vetoing HB 391, sponsored by Representative Carl Domino, was absolutely the right thing to do, considering it would have seriously infringed on private property rights and was written by attorneys to benefit attorneys!
PLEASE SEE ARTICLE FROM TODAY'S PALM BEACH POST ABOVE!
In an open letter dated May 9, 2006, we had asked the Governor to veto this ugly bill, please read at: http://www.ccfj.net/CCFJOLGOVBUSHVETO391.htm
Thank you Governor Bush for listening to our request!
The amazing part of the veto was for me not the fact that the bill was vetoed -- we had hoped for it all along -- but the fact that Robert Schulbaum, President of the Delray Alliance, claimed to be thrilled by the Governor's veto of the Bill. I'm not sure if he realized that this was the bill he pushed for all along?
Robert Schulbaum is one of the strongest supporters of CALL (The Becker&Poliakoff lobbying group) and COCA (Richard Spears group of wanna-be community leaders and specialized attorneys) who were both pushing this bill. His comment just shows what I said all along: These people plainly don't know what they are talking about!
Governor Bush has asked the DBPR to come up with a way to create parity between the two groups and examine the possibility of creating "a comprehensive common interest realty law." Not sure if that is the right entity to ask for ideas, since the DBPR has proven over and over again that they are unable to take care of even regulating Florida's condos, a task they were given by the Florida legislature!
But, a comprehensive bill achieving just that is already being prepared and will be introduced for the next session of the Florida legislature. It is about time that we are seeing the necessary legislative reforms being enacted that will finally stop all this litigation nonsense and create an even playing field between associations and owners! It is high time! We homeowners really need "A Place To Come Home To!"
This VETO shows that we owners have a say in what is happening in Tallahassee, if we are working united on a solution.
I would like to thank the Governor for his VETO, the legislators, who helped us working on this veto, and the many, many homeowners who contacted their legislators and the Governor's office asking for this VETO! Homeowners plainly have to understand that as a group we have the power to achieve things! This was a great example!
UNITED WE STAND!