Political turmoil in Poinciana a perfect example of undemocratic voting process

Posted by Deborah Goonan

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. When you move to an HOA, governance of your community is by no means Democratic.

There is no such thing as One Person, One Vote in homeowners or condominium associations. (a few cooperatives still adhere to the principle) So that means a few people who happen to own most of the homes or condo units end up running the show. Read the article below for a real life example of the effects of this fundamental flaw of HOAs.

One detail that is left out – not only does the Developer get to waive his responsibility for paying assessments on lots it owns, but also that Developer gets weighted voting. That means at least three votes per unsold parcel and perhaps as many as 7 or 9 votes per unsold parcel, depending on what is written into the Declarations. And guess who wrote the Declarations before even one lot was sold? Yep – the Developer.

And, of course that Developer gets to appoint the Board(s) of Directors for any unfinished phases in a large scale community such as Poinciana.

Yet the state of Florida keeps putting up obstacles to allow Poinciana municipality status, even with its population of over 50,000. An HOA is “forever,” unless, of course, the developer or co-investors want to dissolve the corporation. Then it’s relatively easy, and Florida even makes it easy to cheat non-investor owners out of their home equity. Way to go, Florida!

Read on:

Polk Commission Watch
Political Intrigue In Poinciana
Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 8:14 by Tom Palmer

I attended Tuesday’s night’s board meeting in Poinciana.

Most of the Association of Poinciana Villages board members did not.

APV’s management sent a notice Tuesday morning that the board meeting was canceled, but did not include an explanation.

The explanation I received Wednesday was that the five board members who represent the developer decided to boycott the meeting–”were unable to attend” was the official explanation– which was to have been preceded by a protest rally by residents critical of the current management.

During the unofficial meeting that was held anyway, there was talk of attempting to recall members if they continued to miss the meetings.

That presents a practical problem because that would require a vote. During Tuesday’s gathering one of the leaders acknowledged that AV Homes still controls the majority of the votes in some of the villages.

For those of you not familiar with HOA elections, they’re different from normal municipal elections in one important aspect. It’s not one-man-one-vote, it’s one-lot-one-vote.

Meanwhile, the other hanging issue is who is the board’s legal counsel.

At a special meeting earlier this month, AV Homes executive Tony Iorio cast the deciding vote to hire another firm, but some residents and the existing law firm contend that was an improper vote because under a 1985 agreement, Iorio must vote with the majority.

The vote to hire the new attorney was a 3-3 tie before Iorio cast his vote.

That 1985 agreement by the way came with a provision that exempts AV Homes from paying annual assessments on its property, which reportedly saves the developer more than $100,000 a year.

Meanwhile, work is proceeding on a consultant study examining the feasibility of forming a city. The results of that study will be presented to the Polk and Osceola legislative delegations, which plan to meet in November and December respectively.

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