Article Courtesy of The Sun
By Fallan Patterson
Published October 18, 2008
difficult part of replacing Florida's condo ombudsman may be finding a new
Since former ombudsman Danille Carroll resigned Sept. 2, efforts to find a
successor have stalled, mainly due to a lack of applicants.
"We currently have one application on file for the vacancy and we are
still accepting applications for the board appointment," said
Sterling Ivey, spokesman for Gov. Charlie Crist.
The Governor's Office receives applications through its Web site and from
individuals in the community, Ivey said.
applicant is Nathan Bond, a real estate attorney from Tallahassee who is
currently the director of the House Committee on Courts. Bond served as
director of the state's Select Committee for Condominium and Homeowner's
Governance earlier this year.
"At this point, we have not engaged in newspaper advertising, as the
position just recently became vacant. We have been working with the
Department of Business and Professional Regulations," Ivey said.
"We will continue to work with the industry to solicit applications
and will consider other options as our search continues."
Assistant Ombudsman Bill Raphan, who heads the Fort
Lauderdale satellite office, said he doesn't know why the Governor's
Office has not announced anyone yet. Raphan said the delay is not
hindering activity at the office.
"We are functioning the same way, running as usual as far as
administration goes," Raphan said. "We do need someone to head
the office but we also have an attorney [Colleen Donahue] in Tallahassee
that helps us out."
Despite Raphan's comments, condo advocacy groups are growing concerned
about the time it's taking to fill the position, which serves as a neutral
resource for the Florida condo community.
"I am surprised [the appointment] hasn't happened yet, but you must
remember that it is a thankless job requiring a huge amount of time, low
pay and an unrealistic expectation that one person can solve the plight of
condominium owners statewide," said Donna Berger, managing partner
for Katzman Garfinkel and the executive director of the Community Advocacy
Network. "I'm really not surprised attorneys aren't knocking down the
door to fill out applications, and I have not seen widespread publication
of the fact that the position is open."
Charlotte Greenbarg, president of the Broward Coalition, a condo and
homeowners' association advocacy group, is asking her organization's
members to contact Crist's office about getting the position filled in a
"I'd hate to think that our populist governor would delay an
appointment of someone that just about everyone I speak to thinks is
invaluable," Greenbarg said.
Ivey said the delay is not intentional and that the governor is giving
other applicants the chance to apply.
"We're still in the recruiting process and we have no timeline,"
Ivey said. "Obviously we'd like to do it as soon as possible."
After resigning, Carroll became the new director of the Civil Rights
office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Sept. 12.