Billy Martin

“Isolated incidents” in America’s mandatory membership residential associations seem to be multiplying like the plague.  Hardly a day goes by without hearing of at least a new horror story. But if one was to talk to the HOA professionals, the managers, the attorneys and anyone else who feeds at the trough of an HOA, one would be assured that the homeowners “agreed” to being abused, they “want” the restrictions because they protect “property values”.  
Just in time to celebrate the 4th of July, we have yet another flag story.
Joining us On The Commons this week is Billy Martin.  Billy has spent his life defending his country and everything it stands for, including the Stars and Stripes.  He is passionate about the flag.  But Billy is now being fined $200 a DAY for flying a flag on HIS property.  I asked Billy if he didn’t “agree” to all this when he bought his townhouse.  After all, isn’t that what the legislators will be told when they try to protect their constituents from such abuses?  You will have to tune in to find out what he said.
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Rodney Gray

Proponents of HOAs will have us believe that every horror story, every abusive board, every corrupt manager is just “an isolated incident”.  
If something happens once one could argue that it is an isolated incident, if it happens twice, you might believe that it is a coincidence but when there is a pattern of abuses and the same stories keep popping up all over the country, year after year after year,  it is clearly a problem.  In the case of HOA abuses, it is a serious problem.  
Joining us On The Commons this week is Rodney Gray.  Rodney started out as a stage and screen actor and with college degrees in film and business,  making documentaries was a natural transition for him.  With several awards for acting and producing short documentaries, Rodney produced a documentary on the “patterns of abuse” in HOAs called The Hoax and he maintains a web page at http://thehoaxfilm.com/  
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Frank Short

One of the most despicable and abusive practices that has become an acceptable part of the American culture recently is that of fining by residential associations.  Why is the HOA industry so enamored with the power to fine?  Is it really designed to FORCE people to act, live and behave according to some aesthetic plan concocted by the architects of controlled living? Whatever the real reason, it is a punitive measure that strips a person of his or her assets.  A few dollars can soon mushroom to tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, resulting in the loss of someone’s home.   Proponents of this offensive practice wonder how else one can force compliance by a neighbor.  But is that really what they are concerned about or do they have ulterior motives?  Who benefits?
 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Frank Short.  Frank is an old friend of the show, a personal friend and a lawyer.  And, as only Frank can, he takes us on a historical trip through court cases that have examined fines.  We hear about the issues, the arguments and what the courts at various levels and in different states have ruled.  He packs an hour with a comprehensive and chronological look at fines, the courts and the legislatures.  You will not want to miss it.
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Julio Robaina

Problems in HOAs?  Really?  Ask anyone, your problems are easy to fix if your problems are with your HOA.  1) you can move and 2) you can “throw the bums out”.  We’ve all heard those simple solutions, right?  Recall a board?  There ought to be a law about it.  There was. 
 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Julio Robaina.  Julio has long been a friend of homeowners, first as a legislator in Florida and now as a partner in a management company, Pazos, Robaina & Zapata Management Group  working in the private sector.  We catch up with Julio, talk about the laws he put in place as a legislator and the laws that are being overturned now.  We talk about the problems homeowners face and we discuss what the homeowners need to do to ensure that they are protected. As I drove home from the studio the tune From Both Sides Now kept playing in my head.  Tune in and you’ll understand why.
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