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

Published June 22, 2010 


It seems that this community in Titusville , Florida has all the right ingredients for being a nice place for great outdoor living, starting with the name: THE GREAT OUTDOORS PREMIER RV/GOLF RESORT. Nice homes with amenities like a privately owned and operated golf course are inviting potential buyers to purchase their dream home in Florida at "THE GREAT OUTDOORS." Unfortunately, it is mandatory that you become a member of the Master HOA (CSA), as a condition of ownership.


Considering all these nice surroundings, why is it that owners are selling their homes and can't wait for the day they are moving away -- totally disgusted with the people "running" this community? If you are not familiar with the circumstances, you may ask WHY?


Let's face it: Homeowners' associations and great living are oxymorons -- they just don’t go together. The association system itself already has too many flaws to make it work, but if you add board members and owners with financial interest and a dictatorial community association manager (CAM) into the mix, you have soon a hostile environment, exactly the opposite of what people had hoped for when looking for the "THE GREAT OUTDOORS" living.


As usual, it's about power and money. According to documents, e-mails, official complaints and statements from involved parties, the situation in this community has turned from bad to worse since community association manager Hiram Keith Lamb ( CAM license 30710) took over. Complaints filed with the DBPR speak their own language. The complaints ranged from lack of professional care, financial irregularities – payment of employees -- to lack of oversight.

Here is the DBPR information regarding complaints filed against CAM Hiram Lamb:



Incident Date



Disposition Date


Licensed Activity


Under Investigation




Licensed Activity



Letter of Guidance Issued



Licensed Activity



No violation found



Licensed Activity



No violation found



CSA board members seem to have their own private financial agenda, considering an amendment that would eliminate even more of the private property rights of the owners.



The PLANNED AMENDMENT has two main issues, combined in one amendment. 

A. General Common Expenses shall also include the costs of:

1.)  Collecting and removing trash and debris

2.)  Providing sod lawn mowing, trimming, fertilization, weed and insect control, and irrigation head maintenance and repair on all individual Parcels and Units (That's where the money is!)

B. The Association shall have a perpetual non-exclusive easement over all individual Parcels and Units.


Since the board knows that it will be difficult to get the super majority of votes of approval from the members, here goes the scare tactic: "If you don't vote in favor of the amendment we will stop your trash collection!" But that is definitely an empty threat since the Community Services Association (CSA) has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the waste collection company who contracts with the County. Meaning if they would stop collecting the waste, the CSA would breach the existing contract. And the contract can only be canceled by Waste Management, not by CSA! Empty threat, yes, but the board hopes that there are enough gullible owners who would believe nearly everything -- and quickly vote to approve the amendment. The main issue of this amendment: They want to force the owners to pay for their lawn and garden maintenance as a common expense.  Never forget, quite a few of the folks in charge have a serious financial interest in enacting this amendment. 


Furthermore the board seems to be determined to buy a building known as the Hospitality House (aka the Killing House), a pretty run-down building that from the looks of it would be more expensive to maintain than to buy it. But the best part of this planned purchase is the explanation of a board member on the voting for the purchase. Since the purchase would, according to Florida statutes, require a super majority vote of approval, the board is scrambling to find the right statute that allows them to approve the purchase with the lowest number of votes. The great idea of the people behind this purchase: Use Florida Statutes 617 and 720 -- whatever fits the purpose. MIX and MATCH! They quoted FS 720.302(2) Unless expressly stated to the contrary, corporations that operate residential homeowners' associations in this state shall be governed by and subject to chapter 607, if the association was incorporated under that chapter, or to chapter 617, if the association was incorporated under that chapter, and this chapter. This subsection is intended to clarify existing law. 


Nice quote, but it doesn't fit according to specialized attorneys. In mandatory homeowners’ associations FS 720 governs the corporation. And only if FS 720 is silent on a specific matter, FS 617 kicks in. If you check FS 720, it's really not silent on this matter! But you can always try – can’t you? Especially if private agendas are at stake!


There have been lots of arguments about the COMMUNITY SERVICES ASSOCIATION MEDIA

From “board directors using it to defame members” to “banning members from posting" – all the usual issues are being argued. While in former times videotapes of board meetings were posted on the dedicated cable channel, these tapes are now BANNED, as editing before posting was mandated by Mr. Lamb, the Manager/CAM. The original tapes are now edited before posting to eliminate anything the board doesn’t want heard by members that were not personally at the meeting.


Let's face it, HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION and PEACEFUL COMMUNITY LIVING are OXYMORONS, as proven over and over again. And as usual the war doesn't rage because of restrictions and regulations that were in place when the owners bought their homes, but because of changes board members are trying to force upon the owners.


Another HOA battle that is killing the commonly used argument: "You should have read the governing documents before buying into the community."