There are bascially two ROC Forums now. One is the ROC Forum that is composed of Pinellas County resident owned parks. The ROC (Resident-Owned Communities) Forum will provide educational opportunities for Boards of Directors and residents to enhance the function to ensure the continuation of service to Resident-Owned Communities. Their web site is at this link.
The other forum is the FLAROC that is several regional ROC Forums throughout Florida. FLAROC is a state-wide organization which is building a voice for manufactured home communities in Florida. FLAROC has been sucessful in protecting the interests of residential-owned senior communities and their resisdents, by employing a lobbyist who has assisted in the enactment of appropriate legislation. Certified cooperative board member trainings are now offered around the state, thanks to FLAROC. Their web site is at this
The following ROC Forum minutes are from a meeting in Nov. 2012 about elections
"Leadership and learning are indispensible to each other." - John F. Kennedy
Neil Thomas, Serendipity resident, is on the ROC-Forum board of directors.
The meeting was opened at 10:00am by President Gladys Favata with 51 members in attendance. Ms. Favata advised that this is the 26 th year of our existence, which began as a committee of the FMO, and is now in our tenth year as an incorporated organization. She then introduced our guest speaker, Mary-Frances Katona, Investigator Supervisor,Division of Condominiums Timeshare & Mobile Homes, Bureau of Compliance, DBPR. Her presentation covered "Election Procedures, Proxies, & Annual Meetings" The following is a summary of her presentation, including answers to questions from the floor:
A limited proxy vote is not a secret vote whereby an election ballot is secret.
Changes to FS719 have allowed associations to suspend the voting rights of owners who are moiré than 90 days in arrears with their assessments. This changes the quorum requirements.
If you have 100 units and 10 are in arrears, a quorum is now 46, not 51. Those in arrears should be notified if their suspended voting rights in writing prior to sending out the first election notice. You should establish a rule that payment of arrears be made three weeks prior to the annual meeting to avoid disruption of the meeting by someone arriving with a check (how do you know if it is good?) and ballot in hand .
First notice of election – Must be mailed or delivered not less than 60 days prior to the election.
Candidates must provide written notice of their intent to run not less than 40 days prior to the election. Unfortunately, unlike condos, coop owners under suspension of voting rights cannot be kept off the ballot.
Candidates who wish to submit a resume, must submit it not less than 35 days prior to the election and it should not exceed an 8 ½ by 11 in. page. You cannot refuse to accept it regardless of what it contains.
If there are less candidates than vacancies, owners must be notified of the names of the new board members and how many board seats remain unfilled. No election is required.
Second notice of election must be mailed or delivered not less than 14 days prior to the election and must include the annual meeting notice, agenda, ballots, envelopes, and resumes.
Ballots must list candidates In alphabetical order and you cannot include a space for write in candidates.
Ballots are not to be signed and are placed in the inner envelope and sealed. The outer envelope must contain the name of the designated voter, their unit number and their signature.
An impartial committee ( No Directors, CAM’s, candidates or their spouses) will verify the outer envelopes contain the proper information. If not they are marked "Disregarded" and put aside.
As soon as polls are closed, no more ballots will be accepted. authentic outer envelopes will be opened and inner envelopes removed, opened and counted in the presence of the owners.
Should there be other activities going on at the meeting which may disrupt the counting process, It is appropriate for the committee to work in an adjacent room with the door open where they can be seen. The chairman of the election meeting must advise the owners that they
may enter the counting room to observe the activity. Should there be too many owners wanting to observe, the counting activity must be moved into the general meeting area for all to observe.
All inner and outer envelopes and ballots, disregarded or not, must be retained with the official association records.
-It is a criminal offense for someone acting as a manager without a CAM license.
-It is a criminal offense for a board member to act as a manager without a CAM license.
-It is a violation of the statutes to reimburse a board member for work done by waving their maintenance fees. If you wave their fees, you must wave the fees of every shareholder.
- Should your documents allow Directors to be paid for work performed not associated with their Director’s duties, (ie: mowing the grass), it first must be placed on the agenda of a board meeting, discussed and passed by a majority of the board. Such activity is very controversial and although legal, it is not recommended .
- Cooperatives are treated by the legislature like the "red headed stepchild" of Condominiums and lagged or ignored in getting necessary legislation passed. This is where FLAROC membership can assist in lobbying efforts in getting our bills passed. The larger membership FLAROC has, the more the legislature will listen. Board member certification died in committee
last year. FLAROC will continue to lobby for Board member certification with the new legislature. There are more coops than condos in the Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee & Hillsborough area which should provide some clout with local legislators.
-It is the sole discretion of the Board of Directors to decide whether or not there is enough interest to vote on a proposed amendment to the Documents. The vote must be held by limited proxy by the owners.
- You must vote by limited proxy to wave the reserves. The board may include a note with the limited proxy with their recommendation whether or not to wave or partially wave the reserves.
- Limited proxies form two functions, to establish a quorum and to vote.
- Changes to the Documents, including rules, must be recorded with the county to be enforceable.
Following Ms. Katona"s presentation, Pat Carlisle of Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols Insurance, advised that due to the increase in insurance premiums, combined with lower
coverage by Citizen’s Insurance, many owners have dropped their coverage altogether. Including their liability insurance, leaving them at risk to expensive lawsuits should an accident occur on or near their property. He recommends that those owners who still have an insured property up north, contact their northern agent to have their liability coverage on their northern home applied to their Florida property. This can be done at a minimal cost, probably about $10 to $12 a year.
Those who live in Florida year-round who have cancelled their Citizen’s Insurance, may purchase comprehensive Liability Insurance for around $300 a year. He also advised that FLAROC is negotiating with another insurance provider that will offer insurance coverage in Florida (without wind coverage)for about half the Citizen’s rates. CCFN offers insurance to RO communities , not to individuals.