Florida Condo Ombudsman -- Thank you!

Letter to Governor Bush!


                 at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc.


August 27, 2005



Gail Sharpe              - President

Miren Arbide           - Vice President

Expedito Santiago    - Treasurer

Lilian Bernal            -  Secretary

Pedro Figueroa        -  Director

Septernber 24, 2005


Govemor Jeb Bush

PL 05 The Capitol

400 South Monroe S

Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Govemor Bush,

RE:   A fair election was conducted by the Condominium Ombudsman on 8-27-05 for

         Heron at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc., Miami, Florida

Unit owners at Heron at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc. and the five newly elected Board members thank you for supporting the legislation in 2004 that allowed Florida

to have its very first Condominium Ombudsman.

We are also grateful to Representative Julio Robaina for submitting the legislation and for fighting so valiantly for its acceptance, last year.

As a direct result of your appointment of Dr. Virgil Rizzo, M.D., J.D. as Ombudsman, we were given the opportunity to have a fair election for our Board of Directors on August 27, 2005.  We do not believe this would have been possible, without this new 2004 legislation.

There were more than three votes cast for each new board member compared to one vote cast for each of the old board members.  No incumbents were re-elected.

We needed a fair election that would reflect the  will of the unit owners at the Heron, and we believe we got it on August 27.


Upon being petitioned by 15% of our membership to intervene, Dr. Rizzo and his dedicated staff set about overcoming all of the obstacles that were delaying and preventing our election.  They did so with great determination and persistence in the face of much resistance and non-compliance by the old Board.

The Ombudsman very quickly established an updated Heron voter's list, as the old Board's Roster was disenfranchising many of our 264 voters and had proven to be outdated and inadequate regarding the address and contact information.

The association's Attorneys, Hyman, Kaplan, Ganguzza, Spector & Mars, were engaged by the old Board to attend the first two election attempts in March and April 2005 and the election held on August, 27, 2005.  To many of the unit owners present on those occasions, it appeared as if the Attorneys were focused on keeping the old board in power, at any cost to the rest of the unit owners.

Many of us also felt that the Attorneys gave no indication they were interested in preserving the rights of all the Heron unit owners.  We did not see or hear the Attorneys attempt to persuade the old Board to cooperate fully with the Ombudsman's Office.  Many of us felt that the Attorneys should have focused on having the old Board cooperate with the state agency, as required by the Florida Statutes.

The Ombudsman and his team even braved the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which had passed over Miami-Dade area less than two days earlier.  The Ombudsman's party traveled long distances, at great personal inconvenience to themselves, to conduct our election on August 27, 2005, as planned.  We applaud their gallantry in the face of such daunting odds.

Governor Bush, we want you to know that we believe you have an exemplary group of dedicated and committed people working as a team in the Ombudsman's Office.  We believe they have proven to be unrelenting in their commitment to fulfill their mandate to all of the condominium unit owners of Florida.

To you, Governor Bush, we say a big “Thank You.”

To the Ombudsman and his staff and volunteers, we say, “Lead on, Macduff   .. ..... !”



(Gail Sharpe)

( + signatures of the complete board and more unit owners)

Board of Directors and unit owners

Heron at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc.

Miami, Florida