Some Comments About The "Coalition of Community Associations"


An Opinion By Jan Bergemann

Published December 26, 2005

A coalition formed “to counteract the influential consumer group Cyber Citizens for Justice” – according to their own words! – already shows where they are coming from:  Special interests!

Richard Spears, one of the coalition’s self-proclaimed leaders, obviously can’t get over the fact that he is no longer a leading executive of the Community Associations Institute nor is he a president of OCHA (Orange County Homeowners Association) any more – another service-provider trade-organization that proclaims itself to be a “homeowners’ group.”  Whenever Spears has tried to be a leader, he already had problems separating facts and fantasies.


So-called community leaders, who are under the impression that:

  1. Education of association members

  2. Accountability of the people in charge of other peoples’ homes and welfare

  3. Easy enforcement of existing law

  4. Fair elections

are threatening their “life-styles” are definitely not the kind of people consumers want to see as their leaders.


Don’t forget, Richard Spears was the person behind the push to reinstate liens and foreclosures for fines during the 2005 legislative session.  The bill died in committee!

In 2004 Governor Jeb Bush’s HOA Task Force had successfully eliminated liens and foreclosures for fines, because that provision violated the basic right of due process -- a fundamental right upon which our society is built.

I don’t think owners in their right minds would like to see their interests represented by these self-centered kinds of people.  Maybe Fidel Castro would be proud to welcome “community leaders” like that fighting side-by-side with him?

No due process and no protection of citizens’ rights – aren’t these the typical signs of a dictatorship?

What Spears’ group tries to achieve is called OLIGARCHY – explained as:  “A small group of people who control an organization, often for their own purposes.”

Nothing wrong with creating special interest groups.  But they should use their own private money to finance their fight for their own private agendas.  And they should not claim to represent residents who have not asked them to represent them.

But we know where they are coming from!  We see this coalition using the same deceptive tactics as the specialized attorneys.  They mistakenly assume that being hired to legally represent associations gives them the right to speak out on behalf of the associations’ members in front of the legislature.  That assumption is SO wrong!

I just hope that everybody recognizes the members of Spears’ coalition for what they really are:  A disgruntled group of wanna-be dictators.  Under the pretense of working for the welfare of associations, they just can’t get over it that the times where they had been legally allowed to meddle in other peoples’ lives are coming to a swift end!

Like the saying goes:  Power corrupts – and more power corrupts even more!
Here is a typical example!

Combatants raise stakes in suburb wars

Statewide condo alliance taking agenda to Tallahassee


Homeowner leaders fight consumer group on home, condo owner laws

Civic Leaders -- or More Community Associations Institute?