Friday, November 13, 2009

How does Tallahassee impact you and your community?

How many of us stop to think about how much of what goes on during the 60-day session up in Tallahassee each year impacts the way we run our communities and the costs to do so? By the time most of you read in the papers about the various community association bills that were debated and passed, it is too late for you to weigh in.

More so than other real property owners, people living in mandatory community associations are greatly impacted by the bills our legislators sponsor and pass each year. If the law is changed to require mandatory yearly audits, count on increasing your budget next year to pay for that. If the law is changed to impose one-year term limits on directors, plan on having to undertake a strong push to solicit new people willing to take on the drudgery of board work or plan for a paid receiver to come in as a worst possible scenario if no eligible people are willing to serve. These are just examples of the types of laws that could pass and the impact they will have on both board members and owners alike!

We are still months away from the start of the 2010 Legislative Session in Florida and already there are four filed bills that impact community associations. Do you know their numbers and their sponsors? Here they are: HB 115 sponsored by Representatives Ambler and Robaina; HB 327 (Robaina), HB 329 (Robaina) and HB 337 sponsored by Rep. Yolly Roberson. We will be discussing the contents of these and other bills in the upcoming months. Last year there were almost 2 dozen bills filed that could have impacted your communities and none ultimately passed. This year there will be as many or more as your legislators attempt to tackle some very real issues including lender reform for struggling communities.

I head up an organization called the Community Advocacy Network or CAN. One of our main goals is to give people like you the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the process that takes place in Tallahassee each year so you can let your legislators know your wishes before they cast their votes on these bills which can so greatly impact your lives and your bottom lines. For more information about my statewide not-for-profit group, please go to www.canfl.com.

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