An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published July 5, 2011


I always have to admire the ingenuity of some board members and their attorneys in their attempts to circumvent the provisions of the Florida Statutes.


Anybody halfway familiar with FS 720 -- the Statutes regulating mandatory homeowners' associations -- knows that ALL board meetings have to be public. 

Two Exemptions 

1.) Meetings between the board and its attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation where the contents of the discussion would otherwise be governed by the attorney-client privilege.

2.) Meetings of the board held for the purpose of discussing personnel matters.

These meetings can be held behind closed doors -- but that's it!


We have seen many attempts by board members to keep out these pesky homeowners -- you know the guys always asking in public the wrong question at the wrong time, like: "Where is the money from the reserve funds?" or "Why did you sign a contract at outrageous cost with the landscaping firm owned by our board president?"   Just to name a few questions board members don't like to hear.


But I have to admit that this new attempt, named ACTION WITHOUT MEETING made by the board of the COLLEGE CHASE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. in Ruskin, is most likely the most blatant effort to shut out the owners from the daily business of the association. 


Why bother to leave home, if a simple telephone call -- or just an e-mail -- allows board members to make the decision whenever needed? They don't even have to miss the latest "American Idol." They can sit on the sofa, munch on their potato chips -- with a cocktail in the other hand -- and "consent" to the proposal. And no more interference from these pesky homeowners who never know when to quit asking questions.



Section 4. Action Without a Meeting: Any action which may be required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken is signed by all the members of the Board of Directors; such consent shall be placed in the minute book of the Association with the minutes of the Board of Directors. Any action so approved shall have the same effect as though taken at a meeting of the directors.

Section 5. Notice to Members:
(a) Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to all members, and notices of meetings shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the Association property at least 48 hours in advance, except in an emergency. Notice of any meeting in which assessments against parcels are to be established shall specifically contain a statement that assessments shall be considered and a statement of the nature of such assessments.