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All Aboard Florida’s public forum for its express passenger rail service made a stop in Stuart Thursday night and FCAP’s Director of Business Relations, Richard Johns, was in attendance for a portion of the meeting.

According to an article published last night by the Palm Beach Post, the meeting in Stuart was one of the largest meetings to date in their public relations tour. “It was the fourth, and busiest so far, of eight draft environmental impact statement meetings for residents to learn more about the unprecedented train service from Miami to Orlando that will operate on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks,” writes Kimberly Miller.

Johns attended the meeting in an effort to gather information on the impact of All Aboard Florida on community associations along the route of the rail service which will serve Floridians from Miami to Orlando with stops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

The reaction in the room of over 700 residents was mixed with a majority opposing the rail service and its impact on boat traffic along waterways of Treasure Coast communities.

Those in favor of the express rail service see it as an economic boost of over $6 billion for the state’s economy.

Four public meetings remain on the All Aboard Florida environmental report tour.

  • Nov. 5, 3:30 – 7 p.m., Indian River State College, Richardson Hall, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach
  • Nov. 6, 3:30 – 7 p.m., Port St. Lucie Civic Center, 9221 S.E. Civic Center Place, Port St Lucie
  • Nov. 12, 3:30 – 7 p.m., Cocoa Civic Center, 430 Delannoy Ave., Cocoa
  • Nov. 13, 3:30 – 7 p.m. Wyndham Orlando Resort I-Drive, 800 International Drive, Orlando

Your participation can make a difference! Managers and board members, help us make the 2015 Salary Survey as accurate as possible by completing our online survey at  www.flcaj.com/survey. The survey is used throughout the year by board members and managers alike, so it is important to have a good sample.

The staff at FCAP – Florida Community Association Professionals truly believe in the positive affects of humor in business and life. The creation of Hurricane Winds Condominium Association comic strip, which debuted recently in Florida Community Association Journal, began as an idea by CEO Jim McMurry to add humor to the pages of the longtime trade publication. When McMurry began the search for an artist to bring his idea to life, he knew exactly who to turn to. FCAP’s graphic designer, Joey Phelps, took the idea of humor in community business to heart and the characters of Hurricane Winds Condominium Association were born.

 

 

Hurricane Winds is a new venture for Florida Community Association Journalbut a comic strip is nothing new for Phelps. Phelps and his brother, Michael, are lifelong artists who have worked together to make art and humor a successful business. The Phelps brothers created a comic strip several years ago for an international non-profit online magazine, Hat Trick Magazine, which still runs today. The strip can also be found at www.LilNipperSnappers.com.

Phelps knew that humor built around the seriousness of community association management would be the perfect medicine for managers and board members who face stressful and sometimes volatile situations on a regular basis. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” The same article goes on to say, “Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations.” What better prescription for what ails us then, than the characters brought to life in Hurricane Winds

 

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So exactly how does Phelps bring his characters to life? This is where pencil & paper and digital technology come together. Working closely with McMurry to develop the ideas for who each character will be and will look like, Phelps uses pencil and paper to sketch out characters and develop the unique characteristics for each. He then goes back over each sketch with pen and ink to make the characters more vivid and bold on paper. The pen and ink drawings are then scanned into Photoshop where Phelps adds color digitally via a Cintiq monitor and can take advantage of technology to move, reposition, and tweak each character.

 

 

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Each installment of the Hurricane Winds Condominium Association comic strip is brought to life each month through a series of brainstorming sessions between McMurry and Phelps and are developed through the same system as the initial character development. From pencil and paper to PhotoShop and a digital tablet, the words and story lines come to life. Phelps has spent years working with this industry through the production of Florida Community Association Journal and has watched it grow and change over the years. He gains insight for each character and story line from the relationships built between this organization and those he serves.

Watch for the next issue of Hurricane Winds in the November issue of Florida Community Association Journal, arriving in mailboxes very soon.

 

FCAP members Dan Gleason, CAM, CFCAM  and Ronald Scott Kaniuk, Esq with Bakalar & Associates, PA recently discussed Master HOA authority and unit leases. Here is a look at their informative Q&A.
 
Dear FCAP,
 One of my associations is the lone condo district in a larger HOA association made up of 13 districts.  The master HOA association wishes to limit the ability of the condo association owners to leases of only 2 years in length and the lessees can never lease again in the condo association even from a different condo owner.  FS 718.110 (13) seems contrary to that notion, but the master claims in its documents that it is not a condo association and therefore unaffected by FS 718.  The condo owners have not consented to this change in the master association’s documents and no vote has been taken by members of the condo association to accept or reject this change.  Some of the condo owners have long term lessees whom they want to keep as lessees.  Will they lose their long term lessees and if so when?

Dan Gleason, CAM, CFCAM
 


 
 Dear Dan,
It seems that there are 2 questions presented here.
 
The first question is whether or not the Master HOA can enact rules to limit the ability of the Condominium Association owner to lease their property (both in duration of lease and identity of lessee).  The answer to this question is Yes, the Master HOA can enact rules to limit the ability of the Condominium Association owner to lease their property (both in duration of lease and identity of lessee), but need to follow the applicable rules to modify the governing documents for the Master HOA.  
 
The second question is, assuming such rules could be enacted, what the effect will be on existing leases.  The answer to this question is that existing leases would be unaffected.  The Master HOA would not have the power to void or seek to void a valid lease between an owner as landlord and a tenant.  However, any such amendment would have an effect to limit new leases entered into by any property owners, whether or not they are currently leasing their property.
 
FS 718.110(13) governs the rights of the Condominium Association to restrict rentals.  It is ineffective against Homeowners Associations, who are governed by Section 720.
 
Ronald Scott Kaniuk, Esq.
Bakalar & Associates P.A.
www.assoc-law.com

Vizcayne Condo Association North and Vizcayne Condo Association South filed suit Friday, October 10, 2014 in Miami-Dade against owners RW 244 Biscayne Res LLC and RW 244 Biscayne RET LLC, real estate finance executives Shane Hillsley and Thomas W. Duncan of Duncan Hillsley Capital LLC, the master association and the Vizcayne Commercial Condominium Association, which controls a commercial lot on the property.
 
During an interview with Vizcayne Condo Association North and South attorney David Haber who filed the suit on behalf of the associations explained to FCAP that instead of absorbing construction costs as the project went along, RW (referring to owners Hillsley, Duncan and their private equity firm) charged the associations for millions of dollars in construction expenses, waived reserves illegally, and retains control of the master although turnover has occurred.

According to Haber real estate finance executives Hillsley and Duncan kept a log of expenses throughout construction and presented them to the associations for payment after turnover of Vizcayne North and South had occurred. During construction when the expenses occurred and should have been presented for payment, Hillsley and Duncan had control of the associations.

In an article with Daily Business Review Haber is quoted as saying “It’s about unit owners getting stuck with what the hedge fund should have paid.” He goes on to say, “They made a lot of money on the sale of the units, but they didn’t have the right to stick it to the unit owners. It’s about greed.”

In the FCAP interview Haber outlined the other issues prompting the suit. “RW waived reserves illegally and controls the master even though turnover has occurred.”

During the FCAP interview the question was raised about more associations suing developers and contractors due to the uptick in construction in South Florida. Haber answered that we probably won’t see many cases exactly like this one. It is unique because it deals with bulk assignees who took over the project through a buyout of foreclosure. This is not a case of construction defect or the quality of work due to the construction boom post-recession.
 
The fact that this complaint arose and the missteps happened at all is further evidence of the need for awareness of community associations and the laws that regulate this industry. It is indeed important to note that yes, community associations are where we call home but our homes are also part of an industry.  FCAP will continue to promote awareness of this industry through its Family of Services.

The recent shooting at a Palm Beach condominium reminds us all that the place we call home is also a place of business for thousands of professionals across the state. Jeremy Holland, CAM was shot in the head at close range by a former employee.
 
In a story that ran recently by WPBF reporter, Chris MGrath it says “Charles Croghan, 72, is charged with attempted murder, accused of shooting his former boss last Friday (October 3, 2014).

Croghan, a former doorman at a Palm Beach condo, fired just one shot at close range, striking the property manager, Jeremy Holland, in the head, according to the probable cause affidavit.”
McGrath’s story goes on to say ‘Court documents show Croghan shot his former boss in a management office then walked back into the front lobby where a secretary confronted him.

Investigators with the Palm Beach Police Department wrote Croghan pointed his gun at the woman and said, “You’re next. You want one of these?”’

FCAP – Florida Community Association Professionals continues to promote awareness of community associations as a professional industry in this state. In a June, 2014 article relationship columnist Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM defines workplace violence; “According to the Department of Labor, workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.” http://www.fcapgroup.com/flcaj/flcaj-articles/relations-factions-ethics-bullies-and-workplace-violence/

As a unit or homeowner in a community association what can an association do to protect employees and residents from harm? Adia Walker with Florida Community Association Journal writes, “Life safety should be a priority for all community associations who want to protect their residents and staff while providing a quality environment for people to work and live. Proper preventative actions, careful planning, thorough implementation, and continual maintenance can reduce threats to your community while building peace of mind for your association.” http://www.fcapgroup.com/flcaj/flcaj-articles/life-safety/

McGrath’s October 7 report states that Mr. Holland remained in critical condition at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. A phone call by FCAP to St. Mary’s Medical Center to check on the condition of Mr. Holland was not returned. FCAP wishes Jeremy Holland and his family the best during this difficult time. It is indeed important to note that yes, community associations are where we call home but our homes are also part of an industry and a workplace for thousands.  FCAP will continue to promote awareness of the community association industry through its Family of Services.

Make sure to attend the FLCAJ Readers Choice Award to be held January 15, 2015 at The Show: West Palm Beach.

Congratulations to all the FCAP service provider members who are nominated for the FLCAJ Readers’ Choice Awards. As of today, there are over 300 companies nominated and over 3000 votes cast. To see if your company is nominated, go here.

Nominations and voting closes December 1, so there is still time to participate.  Let me encourage you to nominate your company and get the word out to your clients and associates that you have been nominated. You can direct them to our online voting site.

The award winners will be announced on January 15, 2015, at a special reception at The Show: West Palm Beach. I’ll send you more as we get closer, but in order to take advantage of all that the event offers, you must be an exhibitor. View The Show’s floor plan and for booth information.

Jim

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trevaI would like to personally thank all of our sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees for helping make The Show: Orlando a wonderful event. Since we are still receiving feedback from participants, I wanted to share some of their comments with you.

As an outdoor furniture manufacturer, I have attended a lot of shows, even considered another way to market ourselves instead of the shows. We always ran into the same faces who would display so much excitement at the time, but after the fact, got very little response. After having been a part of THE SHOW in Orlando recently, I regained my confidence. Our company was very well received by property mangers and board members we had never made contact with before. Their fascination in what we did and who we were made this the best show our company has ever attended. To this day, we continue to get phone calls and emails from those who visited our booth. The Show: Orlando was truly a wonderful experience.

Gregory Rehorn, Florida Patio Furniture, Corporate Sponsor of The Show: Orlando

 

Thoroughly enjoyed the vendor portion. Made a lot of contacts and collected lots of useful information. Would definitely attend again. The event was well organized. Enjoyed it. Thanks. 

The Show: Orlando attendee

 

I got a lot of information from the exhibitors. Thanks for having a free exhibit and show. This was one of the best shows I ever attended. Thanks for validating parking – that was very nice. 

The Show: Orlando attendee

 

It was a wonderful show – I’m a newly licensed CAM, and I found several vendors to fit the needs of my HOAs. Plus the food and CLE were a very nice bonus! Thanks for putting together the show. 

The Show: Orlando attendee

Our next FCAP event is schedule for January 15, 2015 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. We hope you will make plans to join us for The Show: West Palm Beach! For more information, please visit www.theshowfl.com.

 

Treva Phelps
Special Events Manager
Florida Community Association Professionals

Thank you to Diana Zayas-Bazan, EMA President for inviting FCAP to participate in EMA’s  Annual Business Expo and 2015 Legislative Update on October 7, 2014 at the Doubletree Hilton in Deerfield Beach.  Since its inception in June, 1983, The Executive Manager’s Association (EMA) has become one of the most innovative and impactful, Property Manager and Vendor organizations in South Florida.