Regulation of Homeowners' Associations?

3345 Kings Rd. S.
St. Augustine, Fl. 32086
Phone: (904)794-0888      

E-Mail: [email protected] 

10 - 20 - 2003

SUBJECT: Regulating Homeowner Associations?

Dear Governor Bush,

with all due respect I honestly think it's time that you start speaking for yourself in regards to homeowners' associations.
We heard from Julie Baker, DBPR, Vice Chair of the HOA Task Force, that "Governor Bush doesn't favor HOA regulation". Joe Adams, representing the CAI, was quoted in a newspaper article "Governor Bush wants less government and less regulation". And if I correctly understood through the telephone, Randy Lion, representing the Association of Florida Community Developers, stated that "neither the Governor nor the legislators are in favor of regulating homeowner associations".
It was refreshing to hear from House Representative Julio Robaina, who addressed the Task Force on Friday in Miami, that there are still legislators willing to fight for the welfare of their constituents and are in favor of regulation and enforcement.
He was quoted in an article: "We're hearing complaints about everything from fraud in elections to no accountability by boards to nepotism to criminals serving as managers to two and three special assessments a year. There's no enforcement because the state doesn't have any laws to get investigators out to properly investigate and get state attorneys involved.'' 
He hit the nail right on the head!
We think it's time that you officially take a stand in this matter, not letting other people speak for you - or make statements on your behalf, especially not government employees or industry representatives.
Estimated 5 - 7 million Floridians are affected by issues of mandated properties. They deserve to know where the Governor, whom they elected to protect their interests, stands on this matter.
I can assure you -- you will have a very interested audience.
The few homeowners on the Task Force are hoping for an open mind. If the dice are rolled already, like it seems from the quotes above, then why having these meetings? We don't have an expense account to pay for travel and room and board like the industry representatives on the Task Force.

Going down to Miami has cost me personally about $400+. I don't mind spending this money, if I have the feeling it might help the many problems home and condo-owners are facing in Florida.
Otherwise I might have rather added this money to a fund we are collecting for a legally blind accountant, who lost his job and is now threatened with foreclosure for failing to pay $220 in association dues. In the meanwhile he owes $1700, with added attorney's fees. His home is supposed to be foreclosed on the courthouse steps in Volusia County in about three weeks!
To rein in these abusive powers we need regulation, easy enforcement of the laws, accountability of the people in charge and regulation of the foreclosure powers of these associations, often used to intimidate helpless homeowners.
Governor, please speak finally for yourself! Florida home- and condo-owners should be able to hear from you directly. Where do you really stand on this issue! 
Is that too much to ask?
We really need to know so we can decide who we can turn to in the future!
Looking forward to your official response!
With Best Regards
Jan Bergemann 
Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. 
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Concerned Homeowners in Partnership (CHIP) 
Property Owners Association in the Villages (POA) 
Fair Housing Center of Palm Beach (FHCPB) 
Consumer Advocacy Network (CAN)  

Copy to : Florida State Senators, Florida House Representatives, Media, Members, Friends and Interested Parties.