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Eager condo candidate can't fill out others' ballots

Q: Our condominium president, who is seeking re-election, is asking other unit owners for their individual ballots slips, saying he will fill them in for them as a favor. Is it legal for him to do this? If not, what recourse do we have?

A: Please refer to FS 718.112(d)(3), Annual Meeting, where it says: "No unit owner shall permit any other person to vote his or her ballot, and any such ballots improperly cast shall be deemed invalid . . ."

Notify the board of this statute requirement and ask them to investigate the action of the president. If you can, find one or more owners who have had the president vote their ballot. With this information, ask the board to declare the upcoming election invalid and to reschedule the election. I would also ask the board to notify the association attorney of the statute breach.

Vote by e-mail is inappropriate

Q: Is it legal to vote on condo issues via the Internet? Are there any restrictions on this? Some of our owners are not online.

A: I'm puzzled about the circumstances where this might come up. At board meetings, directors vote if they are present, or they can attend the meeting via speakerphone and cast a vote.

I encourage associations to create Web sites where information can be posted, and to respond to questions via e-mail. I don't think it's appropriate to conduct your annual elections by e-mail. Those should take place at the annual meeting.

Resident may require Baker Act

Q: A resident of our condominium is creating serious problems with erratic behavior. He has threatened many of our children and adults, saying he has a gun and will kill them. We've called the police two dozen times, but both the police and our association lawyer say they can't do anything. We've had people decide not to buy in our condo because they've heard about this man.

A: Start keeping a log of the events: date, time, place, who was involved. Take photos or a video to build your case. The behavior you describe isn't normal and you shouldn't have to tolerate or enable it.

Can you locate this man's relatives and inform them of his behavior? Ask your lawyer about the possibility of a Baker Act intervention if he is a threat to himself or others. Call the county department of health and human services and see if they can recommend a course of action.

The association has little power to evict an owner, but sometimes you can take the matter to court.

Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him c/o Community Living, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Sorry, he can't take phone calls or reply by mail, but you can e-mail him at CAMquestions@cfl.rr.com. Please include your name and city. Visit him online at talkwithcam.com.

Eager condo candidate can't fill out others' ballots 04/11/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:21pm]
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