MEETING May 14, 2005

What A Difference Minutes Can Make


An Opinion By Jan Bergemann

Published June 9, 2005

Anyone who reads the minutes of the first meetings and the draft of the minutes of the recent meeting will very clearly see where The Powers That Be want to steer the ship called Advisory Council On Condominiums.  It’s pretty obvious that the Council is on a DESTROY mission, instead of doing what it is supposed to do – working for the welfare of Florida’s condo owners.

Instead of working on the many problems created by statutes and administrative rules – as was the legislative intent – the Council members are trying to create their own rules and take on tasks that only help their own personal agendas. 

And the draft of the minutes of the May 14 meeting in Panama City (see below) show clearly what this is all about:  The bashing of an Office that has already helped the condo owners, much to the displeasure of the “specialized attorneys” who are afraid their income will decrease if the Ombudsman Office is as effective as it seems. 

Just read these minutes and it’s pretty obvious where The Powers That Be have put their preferences.  Presentations from the public – especially if they don’t fit in the concept of the chairman – garner a few words in the minutes, often not even reflecting the actual contents of the presentation.  Excuse:  ‘Minutes should just be the short summary of the events, not a detailed report.’

It seems The Powers That Be consider the presentations by public speakers to be a necessary evil – discarded with a few skimpy words in the minutes.  According to the statutes (FS 718.50151), public statements should be the input the Council is supposed to use for recommending improvements.  I don’t think that the Council has anything to show in this regard after four meetings.

But if it comes to issues the chair has on his private agenda, you suddenly find not only a summary in the minutes -- you find the word-for-word conversation!  I looked through the statutes – back and forward:  There is absolutely no mention that the Council is supposed to evaluate the work of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman Office. 

If the Council would at last decide to do what it is supposed to do according to the statutes, the money spent on these meetings would finally serve a real purpose.  The work of the Council should benefit the condo owners whose money is being used to pay the expenses of this Council -- not serve the private agenda of some service providers. 

Hopefully, the experience of this Council so far will help the Governor, Speaker of the House and the Senate President to make some wiser decisions when it comes to appointing new members to the Council on October 1, 2005.  Florida’s condo owners deserve appointees who are willing to work for the welfare of these owners, not the gain of certain service providers, who are known to fight any reform attempts in the first place.


Advisory Council on Condominiums

May 14, 2005 at 9:00 a.m.

Panama City, Florida

Edgewater Beach Resort Conference Center



The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chair Joe Adams.


Members present:                                                           Division Staff present:

Joe Adams, Chair                                                   Carol Windham

Mark Benson, Vice Chair                                          

(Vice-Chair Benson present via speakerphone)

George Geisler                                                

Karen Gottlieb

Peter Dunbar

Tom Sparks

Mike Cochran


Verification of publication of public meeting notice by Carol Windham.



Jerry Melvin; Lobbyist for Cyber Citizens for Justice.  Discussed the Office of the Ombudsman and was very supportive of the functions of that office.  Stated that lack of education of officers and unit owners creates most problems.  Suggested the Division work with community colleges to offer educational programs.


Clay Smith; condominium manager.  Commented on Section 718.223(2)(a) regarding material alterations; stated that he can not get a definition of material or substantial alteration and feels the law should be clarified.


Ross Pritchett; Would like to see HOAs governed by the Division.  Stated that he feels there is no recourse for owners other than court.  (Member Cochran made statement regarding the Division’s HOA Mediation and Arbitration Program).


John Scott; former condominium manager, retired.  Suggested change to Chapter 718 regarding voting by proxy.  Expressed concern that proxies that are not returned count as a “no” vote, instead of not counting at all.  Felt that required percentages should be based on actual votes, not membership interests.  Suggested change in law regarding required 100% approval for termination; would like to see a lower percentage.  Member Dunbar commented that there has been legislation to change to 80% vote or decision by a judge; did not pass but will be attempted again. 


Susan Cox; CAM, unit owner, board member from Ft Walton Beach.  Stated that she does not agree with recent proposed legislation; felt that items proposed by legislature should be in condo documents rather than in the law – for example, requirements for owner to live in unit 6 months of year in order to qualify to run for board.  Education should not be mandatory via the law, but in documents.  Related history of two complaints filed with Division against her association; stated that one was a good experience but other appeared to be unresolved. 


Tony Taylor; property manager.  Spoke regarding Rep. Robaina’s legislation; stated that he worked to defeat the bill. Felt the bill gave no consideration to other than owner occupied condos, such as resort condos in Panhandle. Also critical of proposed $2500 foreclosure rule and board term limits.


Ren Brady; Unit owner in condominium converted from apartments.  Suggested changes to law that would require rules & regulations to be in place prior to developer transition.


Joy Carlisle; unit owner. Stated that she agreed with fighting requirements for unit owner occupancy in order to run for board.  Posed questions regarding insurance; how to determine proper replacement value for condominium.


Don Jordan; unit owner.  Clarified purpose of Council and requested that the agenda and other documents contain the Council’s email address and other contact information.


Jack Willie; president of association in Panama City Beach.  Asked that Council be careful regarding making any recommendations for term limits and requirements for board members to be owner occupied. Felt it would make difficult to get good board members in resort condos.


Member Sparks brought up CAI’s condominium classes and solicited comments from any audience members who have attended courses: Geraldine Bratcher said she had attended class several times and thought they were excellent, more should attend.  Bart Kennedy felt classes were invaluable and also felt the discussions and interaction with others is invaluable.

J.L. Franklin thought classes were great.  Laurie Smith complimented Ray Neuman of Becker Poliakoff as a CAI instructor.  She also praised Peter Dunbar’s book, “Condominium Concepts” and stated that a copy is given to each new board member at her condo. 


Judy Honey stated that her association is having problems deciding on appropriate reserve funding.  She feels the reserves should be increased as the condo is aging.  The majority of unit owners have voted to waive.  Suggestion from Council that unit owners could set aside private funds to cover any future special assessments.





MOTION:            Member Dunbar; to approve minutes of 3/31/05 meeting as written.

SECOND:          Member Geisler

VOTE:                Unanimous


Presentation by Kara Collins-Gomez, Staff Director for OPPAGA (Office for Program Policy and Government Analysis); made presentation based on summary of her office’s report, OPPAGA Report No. 05-24 entitled “Condominium Program Should Process Complaints, Disputes Sooner and Enhance Program Services”. 


Council members asked Ms. Collins-Gomez the following questions and received the following responses:

Q:        Did the report look into declaratory statements issued by the Division?

A:         No.

Q:        Did the report review to Office of the Ombudsman?

A:         No, as the Ombudsman was not yet in place during the time period covered by the review.

Q:        Will the follow up report include the Ombudsman and the declaratory statement process?

A:         Yes, if the Council and/or the Legislature wishes.

Q:        Report stated that Division exceeds statutory timelines in cases; is this timeline for action or closure?

A:         Data is as stated; Legislature needs to make timelines more clear.

Q:        Does report recommend stronger enforcement action?

A:         No, OPPAGA’s reports do not make recommendations, but instead presents policy options. No recommendation for stronger enforcement action.

Q:        Did report review types of cases in arbitration that could have been mediated instead?

A:         No.

Q:        Does OPPAGA have an opinion as the Division’s 90 day timeline for cases – closure vs. action?

A:         No.


Presentation by Colleen Donahue, Office of the Ombudsman

Ms. Donahue made brief presentation that described the Office of the Ombudsman: stated that she is an attorney and Dr. Rizzo’s administrative assistant. She works in Tallahassee and Dr. Rizzo is working in Fort Lauderdale.  Stated that since the office was created, they have received over 3500 phone calls, emails, and faxes.


Ms. Donahue answered questions from the Council:

Q:        Does the Ombudsman always require a written complaint, and does he acts on phone calls? 

A:         No written complaint required.  Calls are not always complaints; there are inquiries that come in as well.

Q:        If an inquiry comes in, looking for information, does the Ombudsman give an opinion, guidance, or a declaratory statement?

A:         The Office does not give declaratory statements or legal opinions per se.  She or the Ombudsman would talk to a person to come up with best avenue to resolve their problem.

Q:        Is the Ombudsman governed by the APA. 

A:         “I would imagine that he is. What do you think?”

Q:        Does the Ombudsman have a process in place regarding notifying an association of an inquiry or complaint made by a unit owner?

A:         Yes; not necessarily for an inquiry, but definitely for a complaint.  The Ombudsman is currently working on policy for this process.

Q:        Can you explain the process in the case of a complaint from a unit owner against their board?

A:         The association would be contacted, the complaint described, and an attempt made to deal with the issue.

Q:        Concerned about due process and lack of any procedures in place for complaint process.

A:         The Ombudsman is working on a policy.

Q:        Reference made to Ms. Donahue’s previous statement that over 3500 calls, faxes, emails have been received by the Ombudsman, and that “genuine complaints” would be referred to the Division. 

A:         Stated that she made a misstatement and withdraws the comment; she actually meant that complaints within the Division’s jurisdiction would be referred to the Division.  Also stated that most of the complaints received by the Ombudsman are outside the Division’s jurisdiction. 

Q:        Asked for examples of complaints that would not be within the Division’s jurisdiction. 

A:         Could not provide, but will find out and submit this data to the Council. 

Q:        Reference made to Page 2 of Quarterly Report: A Summary of Inquiries and Complaints: 35% regarding Board Mismanagement.  Asked if the 35% figure applies to complaints or inquires – because there is a significant difference between the two. 

A:         Ms. Donahue will find out and provide this information to the Council.  

Q:        What type of data is the Ombudsman maintaining regarding complaints/inquires, and what procedures are being followed? The data appears to be inconsistent within the Quarterly Report - is there empirical data that the Council can review? 

A:         Could not provide, but will ask the Ombudsman to provide the Council with that


Q:        Referred to Page 5 of Report, regarding election monitoring: does Ombudsman have established procedures regarding notifying an association of the cost of election monitoring process?

A:         The Ombudsman provides information on cost to each caller.  Will also ask Dr. Rizzo to provide the Council with his standard election monitoring cost information. 

Q:        Referred to Page 3 of Quarterly Report, regarding statement that the Division’s complaint system is “bogged down with its own inefficient and lengthy process...” ; does the Ombudsman have a position on whether 90 day timeline is the best date for closing a complaint versus processing a complaint?  (Expressed his concern that the focus is on a quick rather than a good resolution.) 

A:         The Council will have to ask Dr. Rizzo. 

Q:        Expressed concern that Division was not contacted regarding soliciting of information or data for the Ombudsman’s Quarterly Report, as the Division and Department learned about report from a reporter; report was released to media without providing to Secretary, the Division, or possibly the Governor.  Regarding data for purpose of Chapter 119 requests – where is data stored? 

A:         Assured the Council that she has read the public records law and it is being followed.  Also stated that some records are maintained in Tallahassee and some in Ft. Lauderdale; any public records request should be made to the Tallahassee office and will be processed appropriately.  

Q:        Regarding statement on Page 4 of Quarterly Report: “Some CAMs have intentionally defied and obstructed” the Ombudsman, and on Page 5 of Quarterly Report “some association managers, directors, and their attorneys have obstructed the election monitoring process”. Is there data to support these statements? 

A:         She will obtain data from Dr. Rizzo and provide to Council.

Q:        Referred to Page 6 of Quarterly Report regarding coalition groups that provide education, and requested names of these groups as potential education providers. 

A:         Ms. Donahue will provide this data to the Council.

Q:        Referred to Page 7 of Quarterly Report: Ombudsman states that Divisions’ procedures and rules are “inefficient, ineffective, etc.”  Is there a report or analysis that forms the basis of this opinion, or is this the Ombudsman’s personal opinion? Did he perform a study and/or gather data? 

A:         Stated that it is the opinion of the Office; she can not answer for the Ombudsman.  She will ask the Ombudsman for this information.

Q:        How did the Ombudsman develop his proposed changes to Chapter 718, F.S. – was there any public input? 

A:         Will ask Dr. Rizzo to provide that information to the Council.

Q:        Referred to Page 1 of Quarterly Report: statement that the Office of the Ombudsman is the “office to oversee governance and regulation of over 18, 000 condominium associations” – where in the law is this authority conferred upon the Ombudsman?

A:         Did not write the report and can not answer this question, but will find out and provide this information to the Council.

Q:        The Quarterly Report states that the office is staffed by several volunteers; asked for the names of these volunteers. 

A:         Ms. Donahue does not know their names but will provide this information to the Council.  

Q:        Would also like an understanding of the basis upon which a government agency appoints volunteers to discharge statutorily-mandated functions.  What kind of training do the volunteers receive?

A:         Will have the Ombudsman respond.

Q:        Referred to the categorization of inquiries in Quarterly Report: terms included were management abuse, board mismanagement, manager abuse, etc.  The use of these terms (abuse, mismanagement) suggests that there was something amiss in each inquiry or complaint - where would an informational inquiry fall in these data categories.  

A:         These might be the 10% referred to as “Inquiries”.

Q:        Referred to Page 4 of Report, which states that simple problems regarding general mismanagement is brought to attention of an association via an informational or instructional letter.  Where is a legislative mandate for these types of letters to be issued by Ombudsman; isn’t it the intent of the legislature for the Ombudsman to be neutral resource?

A:         Can not answer this question for the Ombudsman, but she felt the letters are a furtherance of his duties to educate the public.

Q:        The statute mandates that Ombudsman shall make recommendations for legislation regarding Division procedures, rules, jurisdiction and function.  The Ombudsman’s proposed revisions to 718 are regarding substantive condominium law issues, i.e. board term limits - does not see legislative mandate for Ombudsman to do so.  Does the Ombudsman have recommendations relevant to Division procedures, rules, function as required by statute?

A:         Stated that when and if he does have any such recommendations, they will be provided to the Council in writing.

Q:        Regarding the proposed election rule, asked if Ms. Donahue had any specific suggestions regarding election rule.  What does the Ombudsman object to in the Division’s proposed rule? 

A:         Advised that the Ombudsman was still working on his draft of the rule and would be ready in time for the May 23 hearing.  Dr. Rizzo’s draft has not yet been submitted to the Division.  

Q:        Referred to Page 4 of Quarterly Report:  statement that the Ombudsman requests a board to consider the information provided in his letter and apprise the Ombudsman as to the Association’s plans to remedy certain issues.  In how many cases has this type of action occurred? Expressed concern that this is duplicative of Division’s complaint process and also about the lack of statutory authority for Ombudsman to require an association to do anything.  Would like to hear from the Ombudsman in his statutorily required report to the Council why this is being done.

A:         Will ask the Ombudsman to respond.

Q:        How many complaints come from area of the state above Orlando?

A:         Did not know, but will find out.  Did not know how data is maintained (whether by county, city or by complainant’s last name).

Q:        Referred to Quarterly Report, which says that CAI is ineffective – and pointed out that public input during meeting says otherwise. 

A:         Stated that she does not know anything about CAI; the report is by the Ombudsman, she can not argue for or against.

Q:        Asked if Ms. Donahue is a member of the Florida Bar as well as an administrative assistant, and does she responds to complaints? What information does she record?

A:         She is a member of the Florida Bar, and she does answer complaints.  She stated that she records general data – names, addresses, phone numbers, name of association, name of CAM, their problem, etc. 

Q:        Is this same procedure of recording information followed in Ombudsman’s Ft Lauderdale office?

A:         She assumes so.

Q:        Does Ms. Donahue or Dr. Rizzo provide interpretation of statute?

A:         She does not but can not speak for Dr Rizzo.


Member Cochran stated that he would like record to reflect that he has concerns regarding the operations of the Office of the Ombudsman.

May 9, 2005 letter from Dr. Rizzo to the Advisory Council:

Chair Adams: Read letter from Dr. Rizzo aloud, and expressed his feeling that the letter is disrespectful to the Council.  Stated that he is personally disappointed that the Office of the Ombudsman has chosen to communicate with the Council in a manner such as this letter.  Also stated that he invited the Ombudsman to the January Council meeting but never received a response.  Stated that the Ombudsman should review the statute, as it requires the Ombudsman to provide reports to the Council, not the other way around.  


Member Dunbar: Stated that letter is inaccurate, and felt it would be appropriate to respond to Dr. Rizzo to explain the activities of the Council, and again offer the opportunity for Dr. Rizzo to attend future Council meetings, so that any questions regarding coordinating the work of the Council and the Office of the Ombudsman can be discussed.


Chair Adams will prepare response to Dr. Rizzo.


2005 Legislation

HB291: Structural deficiencies and claims of construction defect; only change to 718 passed in this session. Member Dunbar: After Governor signs this bill, how does it interface with Chapter 558, F.S.?  Also wants to know if Council is satisfied with this bill, or does the Council wish to discuss any concerns.  Chair Adams notes Member Dunbar’s concerns, and will revisit upon discussion of Council’s plan of action.


HB 565: Relates to mobile home park rent increases.


HB 1520: Timeshare agricultural bill; exempts “travel clubs” from Timeshare Act. Member Andrew explained effect of this bill:  people are buying condominium units, then submitting them to a “travel club”; this bill says they are not a timeshare interest.  Will make it difficult for associations to regulate use of units; some association documents prohibit timesharing.  Stated that neither Secretary Diane Carr nor Laura Glenn (Bureau Chief of Standards & Registration) were aware of this amendment prior to its passage.  Member Andrew felt that since he was employed by the Marriott Corporation, which is opposing the bill, he would abstain from voting.  Chair Adams read aloud an email from CAI regarding its opposition to this bill. Considered the bill a major blow to community associations and their attempt to preserve residential communities. 


MOTION:         Member Sparks, to oppose bill; Chair Adams will send letter to Governor asking that he veto this bill.

SECOND:       Member Gottlieb

Vote:                Carries unanimously, Member Andrew abstaining.


MOTION:         Member Dunbar, for Ombudsman to consider this bill’s potential effect on individual owners’ rights and join the Council’s position.

SECOND:       Member Geisler

VOTE:             Carries unanimously, Member Andrew abstaining


Election Monitoring Rule

Pertains to Section 718.5012; if 15% or 6 owners petition the ombudsman for election monitoring.  Chair Adams led brief discussion of proposed rule.  Member Cochran: the Ombudsman originally petitioned and challenged the rule; Division came up with new revised version from input received at December workshop.  May 23 hearing will review and take input on latest draft rule.


Chair Adams wanted to know where the Division and ombudsman disagreed with this rule. Member Cochran did not know, as the Ombudsman has not yet submitted his draft for the May 23 workshop.


Discussion ensued regarding election monitoring process, including determining costs of process, how monitors will be trained.  Member Dunbar expressed concern that how would we know petitioners have met 15% threshold – discussion ensued regarding ways to address this issue. Member Cochran noted the concerns and stated that he would come up with a way to address.  Chair Adams asked that the Division take the Council’s comments into account for the proposed rule.


Role of the Council:

Chair Adams recited Council’s statutory charge; led discussion regarding making a written report to the Division and the Legislature once the Council has taken public input. Discussion ensued regarding when the report should be prepared and how. 


MOTION:         Member Andrew; to generate written report that summarizes public testimony and conclusions reached from Council’s study of Division and Ombudsman, submit to Division and Legislature.

SECOND:       Member Gottlieb



MOTION:         Member Dunbar; to summarize public input separately from Council’s findings and present report to Legislature in two sections.

SECOND:       Member Geisler

VOTE:             Unanimously carried


Discussion ensued regarding timing of report; time would be needed to cover the state with public input meetings before finalizing the report.  


MOTION:            Member Sparks; report should be issued in December

SECOND:          Member Geisler

VOTE:                Unanimously carried


Role of Division/Role of Ombudsman

Member Dunbar expressed desire to see the issue of clarifying the role of the Ombudsman, procedures, in addition to reviewing the role of the Division.

Member Gottlieb asked if Division had “lost business” because of Ombudsman; Member Cochran stated that he has no data to answer this question.  Member of public asked if there was any way to determine double complainants – made to Division & Ombudsman.  Member Cochran stated that he does not know anything about the Ombudsman’s tracking system to determine this data. 


Member Dunbar expressed concern that the Ombudsman is offering assistance; Division has standards and procedures to follow but the Ombudsman does not and is more vulnerable.

Member Dunbar also asked if the Council has the ability to take public input and make recommendations, or can the Council make recommendations on its own?  Chair Adams stated that the Council can make recommendations on it’s own as well.  Chair Adams also stated that the Council needs to hear from the Ombudsman too, and asked Ms. Donahue if Council can have requested information prior to the next meeting.  Ms. Donahue stated yes.  Member Andrew stated that he reads the Ombudsman’s statutory charge to be more passive; yet the Ombudsman seems to be operating more aggressively.

Ombudsman’s proposed changes to Chapter 718: 


Regarding his suggested requirement that proposed amendments to documents be sent via certified mail to all unit owners; Member Dunbar stated that there are unit owners who can not receive certified mail (out of country, for example) and that people who work during the day often can’t pick up certified mail.  Member Sparks pointed out the cost that would be involved for the association.  Member Gottlieb stated that it was a good idea. 


Ombudsman’s suggestion to take away association’s ability to waive financial reporting would not be sensitive to smaller communities.


Recommendations regarding reconstruction of condominium: Member Dunbar expressed concern that association be held to 60 days timeline following a disaster, and the Ombudsman’s suggestion includes requirement to hire an architect. 


Recommendation for unit owner inquiries, response sent via certified mail: Member Dunbar pointed out again that not all unit owners live in the United States and are able to receive certified mail. Discussion ensued regarding limitation on number of unit owner inquiries.  Chair Adams stated that this limitation was put into the statute because of unit owners disrupting operations of community in abusing requests.  Ms. Donahue stated that the Ombudsman would address this issue.


Board meetings:  Recommendation regarding “No action shall be taken” without unit owner vote; this limits the abilities of management to operate the association. 


Special Assessment: Add “cost & breakdown” to the notice.  Member Dunbar pointed out that often meetings are held to decide between bids for projects, so no cost would be finalized for the notice.

Member Dunbar: good idea, but poorly worded. 


Term limits and holding offices:  Member Sparks stated that term limits “throws” good officers away.  Member Dunbar suggested changing to read “consecutive” terms, otherwise would create problems for smaller communities – who would serve on board of 4 of 5 unit communities?

Would force small communities to hire directors.


Eliminate the right to opt out of the statutes regarding the election process: Member Dunbar stated that this would penalize smaller communities.  Chair Adams stated that some communities opt out of statute yet substantially comply in their documents.


Unit owners’ right to vote on items at annual meeting: Ms. Donahue stated that this is an avenue to get items on agenda by unit owners.  Member Dunbar stated that could be a productive method for unit owners.


Vote to provide no reserves: Chair Adams asked Ms. Donahue why the Ombudsman would make this recommendation. Ms. Donahue did not know.  Member Dunbar stated that not all communities are the same. 


Common Expenses: Basic cable: adding the term “basic”.  Chair Adams expressed concern over the differing definition of “basic” cable, depending on the provider.  Member Dunbar stated that this could possibly eliminate the “community” channel used by some associations to post their notices.


Assessments, late fees: Eliminates application of payment to attorney’s fees first.  Discussion ensued; Member Andrew expressed concern of association’s ability to find attorney to assist in debt collection if attorney is paid last. 


Liens should not be filed until after 30 days of unit owner being served.  Chair Adams stated that the idea merits further discussion; however, if someone does not accept service then time and additional costs will accrue.  Suggested instead to state after certified mail to last known address.  Member Dunbar stated again that not every unit owner has ability to receive certified mail, but that he likes idea of providing notice to last known address.


Contracts; no automatic renewal.  Chair Adams stated that he thought it was a good idea.


Section 718.5012, suggested revision that “Division defer to Ombudsman’s findings". Chair Adams expressed concern regarding due process. Member Andrew questioned the term “expedited” and wanted to know what legislature intended expeditious to be.


Chair Adams asks Ms. Donahue if Ombudsman is giving legal advice to associations.  Ms. Donahaue answers no.  Chair Adams states that the immunity section of the proposed statute uses the terms “advice” and “opinion”, and this is not included in the Ombudsman’s statutory job description.  Ms. Donahue stated that she assumes the Ombudsman is offering legal advice.  Member Andrew stated that the Council needs clarification as to whether the Ombud is offering legal advice or not; and if so, the Council needs to address the liability issue involved.  Asked if it is appropriate for the Ombudsman to be offering legal advice.  


Minutes will reflect the Council’s position on the Ombudsman’s suggested changes to Chapter 718.


Advisory Council Website

Council reviewed and approved its official website, located on the Division’s Condominium page. Chair Adams introduced an ACC website that has been created by Member Benson, and which is located on Member Benson’s company website.  Council members viewed Benson’s Council website.  Discussion ensued regarding appropriateness of the second website, and regarding asking Member Benson to remove.


MOTION:              Member Gottlieb; to discuss with Member Benson at next meeting.

SECOND:            None



MOTION:         Member Andrew; to ask Member Benson that he immediately take down his website until the Council can discuss at next meeting.

SECOND:       Member Dunbar.

VOTE:             Passed 5-1, Member Gottlieb dissenting.


Chair Adams states that because of the Sunshine Law implications, staff member Carol Windham should contact Member Benson and relay this decision.


MOTION RESTATED:            Chair Adams, that Carol Windham will call or email Member Benson, asking him to voluntarily disable his website until next meeting, when Council can discuss whether Member Benson should re-enable the website. 

SECOND:            Member Dunbar

VOTE:                  Passed 5-1, Member Gottlieb dissenting.


Discussion of website to be added as agenda item for June meeting.



Chair Adams stated that he felt people who attend CAI classes value them but not enough people attend.  People also really like the Division’s manuals, such as Budgets and Reserves. 


Member Cochran stated that an interactive CD is in development now that contains all of the Division’s educational materials available.


Member Dunbar suggested that the Division expanded potential providers who may have innovative ideas; CAI has good publications list, perhaps develop the same for the Council, with a menu of issues to help unit owner find his issue.


Member Cochran stated that CAI contract is up for renewal soon. Chair Adams stated that CAI education seems to be more for board members; perhaps Division might be able to deliver education directed at unit owners.  Jerry Melvin suggested adding new questions to the website “Frequently Asked Questions” as they come in. 


Next meeting to be held in Miami in late June; Ms. Windham directed to poll Council members, Dr. Rizzo, and Representative Robaina for best availability.  Ms. Windham will also ask Rep. Robaina for suggested meeting locations. Chair Adams also requested that Ms. Windham arrange for a Spanish interpreter for the June meeting.  Agenda for June meeting will be “loose”, to allow for a lot of public input.


Meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm, CST.