Commissioners discuss difficulties faced by local HOAs


Article Courtesy of The Bradenton Herald


Published September 5, 2011


MANATEE -- A Manatee resident who says his homeowners’ association is having trouble collecting fees sparked a county commission discussion Thursday.

Commissioner John Chappie said at a land-use meeting he would like to discuss the subject after hearing from William R. Wheeler, a resident of Briarwood.

Wheeler complained that, because of the recession, people are unable to pay their homeowners’ association fees, and wondered if the county might help in some way. 

About one-third of the homeowners there are behind in paying their association fees, although the association has been maintaining the common areas despite the shortfall, said Wheeler in an interview Thursday.

The homeowners’ association is approaching its 25th year, and a majority of property owners could dissolve the association when it reaches that milestone if they choose, he noted.

Wheeler, of the 5800 block of 33rd Street East, south of State Road 70, wondered what services the county might be able to offer.

“My proposal is: I want some kind of omnibus set up within the county, three or four people on a board, where somebody like me can go and ask, ‘Can they do this?’” said Wheeler, who although he is a member of the association’s board, emphasized that he was not speaking on its behalf.

Homeowners’ association president John Marcinkiewicz could not be reached for comment.

Chappie fretted about potential deterioration of nice neighborhoods, adding, “People are out of money, they can’t maintain the amenities they have.”

Commissioner Joe McClash advocated reaching out to such associations to gather information.

Commissioner Robin DiSabatino volunteered to attend the next Briarwood association meeting, suggesting that pooling resources among communities could be one solution.

The board asked for more information from its staff, and planned to discuss it further.