Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Failure to Act and Acting to Fail!

This $2,000 FINE against the Association (you and I) is a direct result of  the actions and subsequent inactions of this MANAGEMENT and select BOARD of DIRECTORS. 

First off, this information is public records and that is how I learned of it. This FINE was discovered during a records search for a sale of a unit here.  Many people are selling and fleeing from the JADE WINDS.  

(Speaking of UNIT sales and fleeing, I hear that the President, named in this violation, has his 3-4 units on the market for sale-- maybe he knows something we DON'T, please do share.)  

Furthermore, this violation is an actual and legally sufficient OPEN CONTINUING VIOLATION that has not been corrected since the Association was first PROPERLY NOTICED in December 3, 2013.  

Unlike JADE WINDS who does NOT afford unit owners a FAIR OPPORTUNITY to CORRECT and/or STOP any acts that may constitute a violation of reasonable rules, Miami Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) formerly known as DERM, gave the Association plenty of time to correct this environmental violation. But what makes matters even worse and troubles me even more is the fact that this violation is such an easy fix. Simply, remove the debris from the pond, dispose of it properly, and notify the Agency.     

Sounds easy, right?  WRONG! Not in this BIZARRO WORLD of the JADE WINDS where SAVING MONEY and AVOIDING DISPUTES and LAWSUITS is BAD and blatant VIOLATIONS of LAW and HARASSMENT are condoned, encouraged, and even rewarded.   Yes REWARDED! For example, (ironically and coincidentally) this past December rude security guards and absent managers were given BONUSES ranging from $400 -$2,000 while UNIT OWNERS exercising their RIGHTS were FINED in violation of the LAW and all reasonable and rational common sense and decency.  

The matter of the fines still continues today for some absurd BIZARRO reason. All the while, as if this Association doesn't have more important things to do such as: 

  • correct their own violations (DERM, FIRE, Building Department, DBPR, unit owners) 
  • pay our water bills (Jade Winds is behind on payments, paying repeated late fees)
  • secure job sites, safety hazards and reduce liabilities (Daisy 126, scattered debris, broken walkways)
  • finish construction and special assessment projects (magic word is ONGOING but actually it's never-ENDING)
  • obtain required permits (for example, Bamboo Pool and the Tower before somebody gets shocked, burned, and/or drowns in a great FLOOD)
  • comply with the DBPR orders and requests for information from DBPR and UNIT OWNERS
  • re-do an election (Yes the Association was ordered by the DBPR to redo the 2014 elections)
  • hire an attorney 
  • fund our RESERVES and coincidentally today (May 1st) is the deadline for ALL Associations to report their year-end ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTS to its members; so on and so forth.  

(Have you received your notice of the 2013 Annual Financial Report from the Association?Please post yes or no below, I will be certain the results will be NIL.) 

And by the way before I the Board member who promised me a "sign-in sheet log" at the office, something I have repeatedly suggested, there still isn't a sign-in log available. Why Not? What's up with that, DUDE?  

So while this violation above remains open DERM will be initiating further legal action against the Association. Guess who pays for that fine and any subsequent legal action like liens and court actions?  Do I need to go pick up that debris myself to avoid these additional costs and liabilities to the Association? I WILL if I have to.  

When will UNIT OWNERS realize and react to what's going on around here?  (EXERCISE your RIGHTS)
When will the AUTHORITIES realize and react? (ENFORCE the LAW) 
How long will we ALL wait and stand by idle? When it's too late and too much irreparable harm has been caused. It is one thing to squander and lose a few dollars; its another thing to lose your peace and tranquility, your home, and your rights as a condo owner, American, and human being.   


**One last note, All this blogging is burdensome. I would rather not be doing this, there are much more fun things to do than this but I have to and I shall. I can not sit here and do and say nothing.  I do what I can, no matter what that is.  Also, I have to document and be able to show and prove to my children what happens when ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY! (Take notes, kiddos, this is happening real-time, live in HD.) 

The JADED WINDS (our new marketing brand) is unfortunately a glaring example of that expression. 

However, all hope is NOT lost YET.  All these problems we face right now as an Association can be corrected and rectified internally as an Association. I hope that we can work something out, fast and soon.  But if that is not possible, because of some, then may justice be served- cold and swift, so help us GOD!

Be vigilant and stay active neighbors. This property is probably your biggest investment and it should treated and cared for as such.  

We all have a job to do, let's do it. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Local10 News: Pool Pump Incorrectly Wired in Hialeah Pool 3 Children Shocked

Pool Pump Incorrectly Wired in Hialeah Pool Where 3 Children Shocked

Electrical inspector: Poor maintenance done without permits, inspections

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter,

An official inspection of a pool where three children were shocked on Sunday shows electrical work was conducted on the pool equipment without a permit or inspection.

"Did you do work without permits?" Local 10's Roger Lohse asked the property manager at the Palms West Gardens condominium.
"They told me no comments, I'm sorry," replied the man, who didn't give his name. 

The victims, 10-year-old Diego Cabrera, 6-year-old Daniella Gamez and a third child, a 5-year-old girl, were shocked,

Board Certification Course at the Hollywood Hard Rock Casino May 18, 2014

By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published April 21, 2014
Courtesy of: 
Florida HOA & Condo Blog

While an education requirement is not mandatory for condo and HOA board members, I wish it were. The more educated Board members are about the legal requirements of running their community, the less likely it is that the association will have costly disputes with the owners whether it be in mediation, arbitration, a court of law or responding to complaints by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

I have been teaching a Board Certification Course now for a few years, and I consider it an honor and a privilege that approximately 7,500 of you have participated in the course. In all candor, some people that attend the course believe that I shouldn’t take questions from the audience and should solely teach the topics. Respectfully, I have to disagree. For many of the participants, this may be their first and only time to ask questions of an attorney that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. Sure, if you are on the Board, you may have access to the association’s attorney, but suppose you aren’t? Many other participants believe that they learn a lot from the questions asked by the audience as well. In any event, on the days I teach…..the bottom line is that if you cared enough to take a few hours out of your valuable time to spend it with me and my staff, the least I can do is answer your questions.

Last year, our staff came up with a great idea. Let’s teach our Board Certification Seminar in the morning, followed by a live on the air production of our popular Condo Craze and HOAs radio show and top if off with courses all afternoon taught by all of the show’s fantastic sponsors. And while we’re at it….. let’s serve a buffet breakfast and lunch as well. And…..let’s do it at a fun and exciting venue, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood . And let’s make sure all of the courses provide continuing education credits for managers. And……LET’S MAKE IT ALL FREE!

For those that attended last year, I’m sure you remember the event fondly. We absolutely packed the place. This year we’re doing it again! On May 18th, 2014 starting at 8:00 a.m. at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, please attend our second annual Condo Craze Day of Education and Live Radio Show. Remember, within 90 days of getting elected or appointed to your Board, you must get certified, or you are off the Board. One way to get certified, is by taking our Board Certification Course and spending a wonderful fun-filled

Community Branding: Does Your Community Association Have its Own Brand?

Does Your Community Association Have its Own Brand?

Courtesy of and borrowed from:
By Donna DiMaggio Berger on April 28th, 2014

When you are asked to think of iconic brands, names like Nike, Apple, Starbucks and Coca Cola probably come to mind very easily. These companies all engaged in costly, strategic and sustained brand building over many decades to ensure that their company names would convey a recognizable, memorable and successful image to their customers and potential customers.

Companies certainly use branding to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Apple did a masterful job in portraying its users as young, hip and creative while painting Microsoft fans as stodgy fossils. Undoubtedly, Microsoft would have liked a different image in the marketplace but it was forced to play defense as a result of Apple’s more nimble use of branding.

When you think of community associations, do some communities do a better job of branding themselves than others? Should more communities be concerned about building their brand before the market or their detractors pick one for them?

If you think branding is irrelevant to your community, think again. Chances are you already have a brand in the market and it might not be one your board or previous boards have carefully cultivated. Do you want to know how your community’s brand manifests itself? Start by asking what kind of reputation your community has in the market. Is your community seen as a trendy upscale high-rise catering to young professionals in an urban area or is your community more the laid-back, family-friendly suburban enclave? Often a community’s brand is related to the unique community components supporting a specific lifestyle with equestrian, marine and country club communities being a few examples.

When was the last time you asked neighbors outside your community, local realtors and others in your city how they would describe your association? Is your community seen as stodgy or hip? Flexible or rigid? Upscale or budget-friendly? The list of possible brand permutations is vast.

What goes into branding? Successful branding really tells a story about who you are and why folks should want to associate with you. Among other avenues, your story is told by the way your community looks and functions, your signage, the communication portals you use such as newsletters and websites, your approval process, the manner in which you handle a number of member issues including welcoming new residents, helping neighbors in need and dealing with collection issues. the way your employees perform and the types of events you host. Your association members are certainly essential to your community’s brand and their contributions can change your brand for the better or the worse over time depending on how happy or unhappy they are.

It is no coincidence that communities with the most positive brands are also those with the greatest level of volunteer involvement, the highest property values and the most membership satisfaction. Your community’s branding (or lack thereof) will go a long way towards attracting or repelling the purchasers, renters, employees and vendors you want. Isn't it time your community started thinking about your brand and took the steps needed to strengthen that brand?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Arrests Continue Against Condo/HOA Leaders for Fraud or Theft

Arrests Continue Against Condo/HOA Leaders for Fraud or Theft 

Courtesy of SunSentinal; Condos and HOA, Living with Rules Blog

Arrests continue against condo/HOA leaders for fraud or theft

The story about the arrest of the former acting president of a homeowners’ association in Sunrise, Florida prompted me to remind community leaders of the most common fraud techniques.
Fraud and theft in community associations seem to have risen exponentially in recent years. In many cases the fraud occurred over a period of several years and it is just being discovered now. In the recent case reported in the Sun-Sentinel, funds were allegedly transferred directly from the association’s account to former acting president’s personal accounts. Typically the methods utilized are not that obvious, so do you know what to look for?
Some common fraudulent activities include:
  • Theft of cash receipts
  • Under-the-table payments, bribes or kickbacks.
    • Pay & Return – The employee purposely overpays a vendor. When the vendor returns the overpayment, the employee embezzles the refund.
    • Kickbacks – The vendor gives the manager money in return for awarding a contract to the vendor or an inflated check is delivered to the vendor and they split the overpayment.
  • Tampering with checks issued (forged signatures, altered dates, adjusted amounts)
  • Stealing blank checks or counterfeiting duplicate checks with altered payees
  • Creating and paying fictitious vendors
    • Shell Company – An employee sets up a shell company (often with a fictitious name) and bills the employer for goods or services it does not receive. The employee converts the payment to his/her benefit.
    • Pass-Through Scheme – A shell company (owned by the employee) purchases goods and resells them to the employer at a marked-up price.
  • Creating inflated or phony expense vouchers
  • Theft of inventory
  • Altering purchasing, receiving or shipment records
  • Paying non-existent employees
  • Lapping – This involves the manipulation of accounts receivable to steal cash. One payment is taken and then other receivables are applied to the account – the process continues so all accounts would appear current.
  • Voiding checks – the employee writes a check to a vendor for a certain amount, but records the payment as higher in the books. Then the next check is written for the difference and entered as a void. When the bank statement arrives the checks are destroyed and the account is reconciled as if one payment was made for the higher amount.
  • Credit card usage and credit card refunds – using the credit cards for personal expenditures or purchasing and returning items, then using the credit for personal expenditures.
These are just some of the examples of the types of fraud encountered by community associations. Of course, establishing (and complying with) internal controls is paramount in order to prevent fraud and to detect it before losses escalate.

Has the Association gained or lost?  Look around and the answer becomes obvious.  If this Association allowed us to look closer (like allowing full access to the official records, bank statements, and invoices) then it will become even more obvious.  

Happy Holidays.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Problem of the Week: Unsafe Elevators

Camelia Building
Please start with the posted video number 1 of 3 then click links for other 2 videos. 

Unsafe Elevator 3 of 3
Unsafe Elevator 2 of 3

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jade Winds Annual Meeting 2014 Video Playlist

Click on link below to watch video footage of the Annual Meeting 2014. 

Watch your Board of Directors and managers at work (or not) 

YouTube Playlist of Jade Winds Annual Meeting 2014