Opinion By Jan Bergemann
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
Published Wednesday, May 24, 2006
is very understandable that neighbors have an opinion about developments in the
neighborhood. It happens all over -- like it or not! And it is great if the
neighbors get together and organize the opposition, as suggested in the Newsletter
of The VILLAGE
OF KINGS CREEK
issue April 2005.
But what board president Astrid
Buttari forgot to tell her neighbors was the fact that SHE had decided to donate
$10,000 of the association’s money to an outside group, dedicated to fight the
zoning change. The donation was not made public, it wasn't in the budget, it
wasn't publicly discussed during a board meeting according to unit owners -- it
just showed up in the financials.
Unit owners filed
a complaint with the DBPR, upset about what they consider waste of association
dues. And, according to the warning letter of the DBPR,
this constitutes a clear violation of the Florida Statutes, which limits
spending of association dues as follows:
718.115 Common expenses and common
(1)(a) Common expenses include the expenses of the operation, maintenance,
repair, replacement, or protection of the common elements and association
property, costs of carrying out the powers and duties of the association, and
any other expense, whether or not included in the foregoing, designated as
common expense by this chapter, the declaration, the documents creating the
association, or the bylaws.
DBPR acknowledged this clear violation of the Florida statutes and wrote the warning
letter -- see below! Warning
letter is OK, but what about the money? The association is clearly short
$10,000 -- that's a fact! Whoever made the decision violated Florida
statutes and used other people’s money for a personal agenda. This has to
stop, and just a “warning letter” from DBPR doesn't do the trick!
of all, read the warning letter to the end. The board is being warned that any
further violation "may result in an enforcement action by the Division,
which may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation." Now,
guess what? If the board decides to further violate the statutes, the
membership, already out of the "donated" $10,000 would have to come up
with another $5,000 to pay for the fine. Isn't that adding gross insult to
owners have complained that board members paying "donations" or
"retainer fees" to CALL (the lobbying arm of the law firm of Becker
& Poliakoff) are clearly violating the Florida statutes. We have shown
the example of board president Mary
Ann Casatelli from the Lighthouse Point Plaza Condominium, who "donated
$200 to CALL" and had this money reimbursed from association funds
at a later board meeting.
If board presidents think that a
particular cause is worthy of a donation, they should do it from their own
money. It's always easy to be
generous with other people’s money -- in this case, unit owners' money!
Plainly, this practice has to stop!
When you want to donate -- use your own money!
But as long as nobody stops this practice and forces the board
members in charge to repay the money, which was squandered for
"worthy" causes, we will continue to see board members wasting
association dues for "donations."
bother to enact the Florida statutes, if nobody is minding the store?
V, No. 4
CLOSE FOR COMFORT!
By: Astrid Buttari,
President - firstname.lastname@example.org
the first few days in March, unit owners at The
Village of Kings Creek should have received a Notice of a Public Hearing
scheduled to take place on March 29, 2005.
One of the purposes of that hearing was to consider a zoning change that
is being requested by H&H Development Co., who is the developer of a
proposed project by the name of Dadeland
The zoning change is being requested in order for the developer to be
able to build 640 condominium units in 11.11 acres of land.
Many owners in the area attended the meeting.
The developer, however, requested that the Zoning Council consider its
application to a
The Council approved same and placed the Developer's zoning change
request as the last item on the Agenda for the April 26, 2005 Public
project is proposed to be built on Kendall Drive from S.W. 77th Ave.
towards 79th Avenue. This location is, of course, approximately 2
blocks north of The Village and parallel to the South side of the proposed
presently exists a
rental community with 3-story buildings - or a total of 307 Units, which
have not been very well maintained for several years.
the sight will be
much, much better, this project could also impact our property in a negative
the of this writing, Dadeland Breezes Apartments will consist of the following:
towers facing East
- 8 stories each
towers facing West - 8 stories each
tower facing South - 6 stories
tower facing North - 6 stories
- 5 stories
townhomes will border part of the parcel of land according to the latest plans.
increased density will add
to the already bad traffic
situation on the eastern end of Kendall Drive.
There will be more vehicles, more delays and more accidents - not to
mention the overcrowding of schools and emergency services in the area.
attend the April 26, 2005 Hearing and express your opinion.
The Hearing will be at the Kendall Village Center-Civic Pavilion, 8625 S.W. 120 Avenue, at 7:30
LETTER FROM THE DBPR)
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION
CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT Receipt No.
7004 1160 0001 0280 9139
Astrid Buttari, President
Village of Kings Creek Condominium Association, Inc.
RE: The Village of Kings Creek Condominium
per my April 26, 2006, telephone conversation with you, the Division has
completed its investigation, and is addressing the allegation below through this
warning letter pursuant to Rule 61 Br2l.003, Florida Administrative Code.
Association, in violation of section 718.115(l), Florida Statutes, used
Association funds for other than common expenses.
Specifically, the Board of Directors approved the donation of $10,000.00 of
Association funds to an outside group in support of contesting a zoning
718.115(l), Florida Statutes, provides that common expenses are for the
operation, maintenance, repair, replacement or protection of the common elements
and association property, costs of carrying out the powers and duties of the association, and any other expense, whether or not included in
the foregoing, designated as a
common expense by this chapter, the declaration, and the bylaws.
discussed, rule 6IB-21.002(4), Florida Administrative Code, provides that
associations must provide a written response to a warning letter. The Division requests a response to this letter by May 11,
2006. Your response must include a
description of the Association's plans to prevent this violation from
occurring in the future.
note that failure to reply, take corrective action as requested herein, or
repeated violations of a
similar nature within two years from the date the
is resolved may result in an enforcement action by the Division, which may
result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.
Village of Kings Creek Condominium Association, Inc.