Republicans always knock the Democrats for never actually solving a problem, but choosing instead to form a committee to investigate solutions that may one day hypothetically come up with the answer to the problem and which may ultimately and possibly be utilized in the future to solve the problem, after running it through a few more investigative committees first.
If that’s how Democrats solve problems, this year we found out that Governor Scott is a Democrat. Last year, while C.C.F.J. and I worked so hard to finally get the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to provide consumer assistance to homeowner associations in our state, just like they already do for condominium associations, The Governor chose instead to wait it out another year. Instead, he signed an apparently useless bill which made homeowner associations register with the DBPR by basically providing their name, address and number of parcels. He created needless bureaucratic red tape under the guise that before allowing the DBPR to assist HOAs, let’s learn how many there are first.
The results are in. Over 13,000 HOAs registered. We learned that well over 2.5 million of us live in HOAs throughout the state. We learned quickly that there is an even greater need to provide consumer assistance to HOAs than condominiums. In light of these findings which were not surprising at all, Senator Alan Hays, a conservative Republican from Umatilla filed Senate Bill 1348 which would simply get HOAs the same equal treatment with the DBPR as does condominiums. In fact, the plan was actually to decrease the fee that condo owners pay from $4.00 per year to $2.00 per year and HOA owners would also pay only $2.00 per year. It was a win win.
Despite the fact that a Conservative Republican from his own party filed the bill, Governor Scott would not allow a House companion bill to even be filed. Instead, remarkably the Governor lined up with a few Democratic organizations in Palm Beach and Broward (who will never vote for him in a million years) and whose members consist of Board members of community associations. In other words the Governor backed Board members who want to stay in power and don’t want any governmental agency investigating whether or not they are following the law. Instead of Governor Scott standing with Senator Hays and protecting the 2.5 million of you who live in HOAs and complain about the failure of your Boards to abide by Florida law, Governor Scott partnered up with the guys who want no oversight, and no relief for owners who dare complain about an illegal action of the Board, other than being forced to hire a lawyer at their own cost to file a lawsuit.
So…..when the Governor is told about the HOA problem last year, he punts and says “let’s do a study.” When the study confirms the problem, he pretends not to see it and kills legislation that his own party filed in order to fix the problem. Instead of his slogan being “Let’s Get to Work” maybe it should be “Let’s Pass the Buck.” How about “Let’s turn a blind eye.” Maybe “Let’s Look the Other Way.”
When the survey results came out, I previously blogged that now that we actually have a list of all of these HOAs, the members of Florida HOAs instantly became one of the most powerful voting blocs in the state. A swing of 1% of eligible voters of HOAs is enough to determine an election in this state. If those of you who live in HOAs are simply tired of being ignored by Governor Scott, here’s some advice come November…….”Let’s get to work”