Article Courtesy of The Key News
By Tony Winton
Published June 12, 2019
Residents of Key
Biscayne’s largest condominium complex now
face fines and other penalties if they
videotape board meetings of their own
association and then post them to YouTube,
part of sweeping new rules adopted at the
urging of Key Colony President Antonio
Camejo. Other rules make it more difficult
to request condominium records and impose
strict time limits for owner participation.
A condominium law
expert and an owner’s rights activist questioned the video
rule, saying publication bans in Florida do not appear to
have ever been tested in court.
Condominiums have a “wide berth” to make reasonable rules,
said Dana Goldman, a condominium law attorney and also a
member of the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission. Goldman has
been conducting a series of seminars in Miami-Dade County to
educate condo residents about their rights, but sees Key
Colony’s rule as breaking new ground.
“I think the rule is a little restrictive,” she said.
But, she said could not opine about how a court would rule.
“It’s a clash of the policy interest of the board versus a
First Amendment right to publish,” she said.
Jan Bergemann, who heads the property rights advocacy group
Cyber Citizens For Justice, blasted the Key Colony rule.
“These are dictatorial board members who don’t want the
public to see the underhanded measures they are using,” he
He predicted the rules would prove unenforceable.
In this image from video, Key Colony Homeowners’
Association Directors Matt Bramson and Luisa Conway, left, listen to
President Antonio Camejo, right, during debate over rule prohbiting
owners from posting board meetings on social media, June 5, 2019.
The rule, adopted Wednesday, allows owners to record meetings, a right
granted by Florida law. But sharing the recording to social media or perhaps
even making a copy and handing it to a friend is now prohibited.
“Dissemination of any such recording is not permitted,” the rule states.
Camejo said publication of a recording would transform a private meeting
into a public meeting. “You put it on the internet, it becomes a public
meeting,” he said.
He said there are many reasons why condominium board meetings should not be
considered public sessions, such as negotiations with vendors.
Matt Bramson, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he was troubled that
unit owners had no prior notice of the 13-page rules package. Camejo
initially told the small number of owners present — who all spoke against
the rule — that Wednesday’s meeting would be a discussion only, but changed
his position as the meeting wore on.
Bramson said he saw little cause for the rules. “I don’t like creating rules
when there is not a necessity for them,” Bramson said.
Association attorney Rosa de la Camara said detailed notice was not required
because the rule did not affect unit use, even though violations of the rule
could lead to denial of amenity privileges at Key Colony’s beach, pool,
tennis courts, saunas or child playground. One board member, Rene Vela, even
suggested violators could have their electronic access fobs deactivated at
Key Colony’s front gate, raising the possibility that owners defying the
rule could have to wait in line to enter the 1,179-unit complex.
Owner Maria Bueno, who has been threatened with a lawsuit if she did not
remove earlier recordings, said she would continue to record meetings. She
said her objective is to keep more owners informed, noting most meetings are
“I don’t edit the videos. I just post the whole thing,” she said.
She noted many other associations have meetings professionally recorded, a
practice she wants Key Colony to adopt.
It may be some time before there is a resolution. Before it can attempt to
impose penalties, Key Colony would need to create an appeals tribunal that
would rule on alleged violations, something the association has never done
in its four decades of existence.
For her part, Goldman says the effect of social media on condominium life
will be fodder for her next condominium seminar.
“It’s fascinating,” she said.