Opinion By Jan Bergemann
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
took 133 days for a recall petition to put the new board in power at Forest
Ridge Village Condominium Association, Inc. on Amelia Island, Florida…
…133 days -- because the
sitting board and their attorney, C. John Christensen from the law firm of
Becker & Poliakoff P.A., came up with a shameful scheme to delay action on
the recall decision. They contrived
to "invent 24 ghost units" to postpone the recall decision and spend
large amounts of association money to stay in power.
Just read the
Summary Final Order dated March 22, 2006
-- it speaks for itself!
But this lengthy time frame
also speaks for itself. How
difficult can it be to look behind the fabricated excuse for not certifying the
The problem started with arguments over a special assessment and the common
argument over its necessity. See: Ouch
- condo assessments !
former president, Steve Jordan, complained about the article in a letter
to the editor and called the article "full of errors and
misleading" -- topping his letter with the headline: "Get the
on December 3, 2005, I challenged Jordan's opinion. Please read my response
stating: "Get The Facts Straight? That would be great!"
opinion at that time? "The only reason the recall wasn't certified?
The board is hiding behind the excuse of insufficient ballots, because
they quickly added 24 'ghost units' to the total number of units.
These 'ghost units' were in the original plans, but were never built
and never had any dues-paying members! This
decision will cost the association members even more money -- money that is
already in short supply in this association."
my prediction was absolutely correct. The owners recalling the board even had to
hire an attorney to represent their interests, because the other side stalled
and nothing got done.
again the question: Why do these DBPR Division arbitrators take so long to do
do they allow boards and attorneys to stall the procedures and turn a simple
recall petition into a lengthy legal issue that doesn't really serve any purpose
-- other than to prolong the process? This
stalling tactic allows the recalled board to stay in power and make some more
decisions unwanted by the majority of the unit owners.
And last but not least: Delays
create some more fees for attorneys!
recall provisions were created by the Florida legislature in order to simplify
the procedure and save owners time, money and frustration. But it is obvious that the Arbitration Section of
the DBPR is unable -- or unwilling -- to follow the legislative intent -- as
do condo owners have to pay for the inability of a Division -- they even pay for
this with annual dues -- to sort out the simplest issues?
is another example that something is totally wrong -- that the Arbitration
Section is not doing the job the Florida legislature asked them to do!
When will this change?