This Is our Village

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Monday’s first-of-its-kind Century Village political forum was well run and instructive, I thought. Kudos to Roberta Fromkin, her team, and guest moderator Susan Bucher. Some of the questions were answered forthrightly, and some only partially responded to. That's as good as it gets in US presidential candidate debates.

Personally, I thought Dave Israel’s replies, sometimes of necessity longer than those of his opponents, showed his experience with how things actually work and an intelligent weighing of considerations. For example, when it was suggested UCO “take care” of more things for beleaguered associations, Dave advised unit owners to beware the slippery slope of associations ceding too much power to UCO. And again, his pointing out how the contract with a vendor such as the previous bus company, cannot be ended on the vice presidential level.

A thing I am most concerned about is who would carry on with the computer-related advances Dave has begun if he is not reelected. It is easy to say one would form a committee. Even if Dave continues in office, I am concerned about his training staff who can and will do the things he has done, particularly the Information Forward Initiative, the CV Blog, and the computerization of records.

There were some sharp (in the good sense) exchanges. There were also exchanges where a candidate said he agreed with what another candidate had said, which was refreshing. And there was humor at times, as when Joy Vestal said at the closing that she only wished the chairs had been softer. The audience was remarkably well behaved, as Susan Bucher attested to.

All in all, I think it was a very good forum and well done on the part of all.


  1. I share some of your concerns, but not the one regarding the continuation of the computerization of processes and documents that Dave has begun.

    Why? Because it's about using the technologies of today and thinking outside the box in order to deal with the unique problems we face in today's economy. Whoever takes over will have the resources to continue the ongoing automation and computerization that is presently occurring - but only if the future president is knowlegeable and comfortable with the technologies available today, and many older people and leaders are not. However, La Fountain is very well versed, just as Dave is, in the technolgies and will have no problem finishing up the job. I personally will volunteer to assist in completing the effort if necessary.

  2. Hi DgtlXray,
    February 28, 2012 11:57 AM,

    Simply marvelous how suddenly everyone is an expert as regards initiatives conceived and implimented by others for the first time.

    Mr. LaFountain never came to UCO to offer these skills for the benefit of our unit owners. Nor by the way have you. Conversly, Mr. LaFountain chose to co-found the the PUG/PUC organization, whose principal function is to "bad mouth" me, "bad mouth" UCO, and criticise virtually every UCO initiative.

    You have made it clear on numerous occasions that you work, but suddenly you would be available to show everyone in UCO how things are to be done, what consumate gall!!

    Now, suddenly Mr. LaFountain is, according to you, eminently qualified to walk in and take over, based on zero knowledge of UCO Operations, and zero service on Committees much less knowledge of our IT structure, function or plan!

    God knows I have been calling for computer literate volunteers for two years, in the UCO Reporter and at meetings, which for the most part he, nor you have attended.

    Where were the two of you while I, and a small group of volunteers were putting in thousands of hours to revolutionize UCO capabilities and Operations?

    Your arrogance is palpable, and your assumptions ludicrous!!

    Dave Israel

  3. I strongly agree with Dave. All of a sudden people who have never participated or volunteered for any UCO committee are coming out of the woodwork! I recently started attending some UCO meetings and have learned a lot. I still am in no way qualified to run for any UCO committee as I have never volunteered. I have been on the board of my building for around 6 years and try to learn as much as I can not only about UCO but all the condo laws of 718. I wonder if most of these malcontents even know what 718 is!

  4. Hey Dave, I know it's election time and it appears that you've learned from the politicians that negative ads and campaigns do work, but may I remind you - I'm not the one running for office! :-) and after all those nice things I said about you in my piece too.... If you want to attack me just because I have an opinion, I'm cool with that. I must have thicker skin than you because it's not necessary for me to attack back. Save your thin-skin for the other candidates between now and the election. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I don't have a dog in this fight, so I won't waste my time trying to respond to your distorted attack on me just because I'm not voting for you - this time.... I'm sorry I hurt your feelings because I think the other guy can handle the job too. I never said you couldn't. Relax... Life's too short, my friend. You'll probably win by a landslide for all the reasons I cited in my post. Then you'll look back on your unfair, unflattering attacks and probably feel like a dummy because people respected you less for doing it. Like I said in my post, best of luck to you, Frank, and Frank. May the best man win, although I doubt it'll happen.....

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  6. Just to set the record straight for Mr./Ms. Concerned Unit Owner - regarding my lack of volunteer spirit..
    I began my volunteering effort two years ago by trying to start a club to help educate presidents, boards, and residents on ways to improve their associations, explain changes in the 2010 condo laws (yes-FS718), ways to save money as an association and personally, ie. reducing property management costs by self-management of the association, cutting assn. maintenance costs, automating the investigations process online and cutting the costs by half, ending monthly payments for landline phone service (yes - you can have a home phone for free-and I don't mean Magic Jack!), how to avoid being ripped off by contractors and many other measures but was thwarted at every turn by WPRF and got no support from UCO when I requested their help. Maybe if I had received a little more support then, there might be -dare I say - a few less uneducated board members today.

    I would have volunteered to help at the UCO Reporter but I chose not to for three reasons:

    1.After publishing my first of 3 (and shall I dare say highly complimented) Condo News articles to help inform residents of how to avoid being scammed by unscrupulous contractors following the 1st Priority fiasco, a person closely related to a very high ranking officer at UCO (previous regime)threatened to sue the publisher if she allowed the other 2 articles to be published. Now that begs the question - why would the wife of a high ranking officer of UCO place her top priority to the defense of those 1st Priority bums over helping the victims and residents? I spent many hrs writing those articles and my time was wasted because of unnecessary UCO political nonsense - the residents became the big losers.

    2. More importantly - I posted an article on the blog and the blog entry was censored - YES - deleted from the blog by Dave Israel totally without the courtesy of a call or inquiry beforehand.

    3. Because of conflicts with one of the prior Reporter editors (who was a very good friend of Dave's at the time - maybe not so much now) who tried to thwart my efforts to help victims during the 1st Priority scams, all in the name of self- promotion, because she wanted to look like she had done all the work. By the way, this fact was also mentioned in the same blog entry that was censored (are you beginning to get the picture?). I asked Dave to assist me in this effort but he refused.

    This ridiculousness soured me on trying to do anything further in this village until recently. Plus, I still work full time and must travel all over the country for my job (even if Dave doesn't believe it-I've got the expense reports to show for it). Plus, I spend thousands of hours every year dealing with forclosures, owners who refuse to pay their assessments or are late, legal meetings, submitting formal RFP's online for scores of proposals to replace our roof, paint our building and install gutters in the name of association business..(yes, I do refer to FS718 all the time and know how to run a business too). I only joined the Genealogy club recently to support my wife and help those in the club with computer support and software issues and volunteered to write a blog for them. At least they appreciate my efforts. Computer club folks are also in the club and told me they could use some help as well so I volunteered to help out over there too.

    I Hope that clarifies my position with respect to my lack of volunteer spirit....

  7. I didn't say that you hadn't showed spirit. But, I have never seen you at any meeting run by the Ombudsmen or the lawyers who run classes to educate board members. They are the ones to explain 718 with their vast knowledge. There is much to running UCO than mastering computers!

  8. Actually, once the law was changed and the first annual meeting came around, I was one of the first to attend a class. I went to my class February 5, 2011, 5 days after out annual meeting. I chose not to sit through a 1 or 2 hour information update that you may have experienced here in the village. I actually went to a formal all day class in Delray and completed an 8 hour interactive course and received a 3 ring notebook full of info to fulfill the requirements of Section 718.112 (2)(D)3b of the Florida Condominium Act and received a Certificate titled, "Completion of Basic Training", conducted not by 1 or 2 lawyers reading the updates like they did in CV WPB, but a team of 8 lawyers and sponsored by the CAN - Community Action Network. If you care to identify yourself and want to leave your email with me, I'll send it to you. It's very pretty!

    They have an excellent website and keep HOA's and COA's informed of all of the latest changes as well as bills that are in committees and/or are pending action by the state legislature. If you want to stay informed, that's a good place to do it.

    I've also attended several other FS 718 update sessions conducted by Poliakoff's group in both 2010 and 2011.

    BTW, I have attended several UCO meetings in the past - for insurance, security. I just keep a low profile, like I said in my first post. You might even be more surprised about the other things you may have about me when you hear it straight from the horse's mouth! Stop by some time and we'll have a cup of coffee and chat. I'll show you around. My door is always open. You can find me at the Genealogy Club Blog. I'm the webmaster there.


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