All posts by terrybar

Eminent Domain Abuse

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Three years ago the nation was shocked by the US Supreme Court decision in the Kelo v New London case.  In this decision the Supremes said it was OK for the government to take private property from one person and turn it over to another for their private gain.  Property owners, small business owners, citizens and the media were outraged.  A few politicians made the appropriate tsk tsks and some even proposed legislation that would strengthen individual property rights and protect them from the greedy grasp of government gone amok.  However, as time went by, our anger subsided and eventually the words “eminent domain” and “Kelo” faded into the recesses of the past. 
 
Well, it is time to put Kelo center stage again and to remind ourselves that we are ultimately responsible for protecting what is rightfully ours. 
 
On The Commons this week we will be going back to the past and remembering what it is like to be on the verge of losing our homes.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, June 21, 2008.  We’ll talk a little bit about the what is being done to commemorate the anniversary of that horrible decision and hear from both Susette Kelo and Michael Cristofaro.  The Institute for Justice, the organization that defended Susette, Mike and a whole host of other homeowners, says 10,000 American property owners were either threatened by, or actually lost their homes to eminent domain.  To mark the occasion, they would like to have 10,000 contributions.  They don’t have to be large, but every penny raised here will go towards fighting the abuses of eminent domain.  To make your pledge go to IJ.org and just sign up.

On the Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Florida Conference – Part 3

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Regardless of where we stand on the issue of condo and homeowners’ associations we can all agree that there is a lot of confusion about the very nature of associations.  There are lots of questions about the authority and the powers of boards, management companies and other folks holding minor, and sometimes not so minor positions in the association.  Another point that most of us will also be able to agree on is that the complaints and problems tend to repeat themselves over and over. 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week we have part three of the Florida conference that was held in February 2008.   Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, May 31, 2008.  We’ll hear Representative Robaina talk followed by comments and questions from the homeowners who had attended the session.  Many of their concerns and observations are identical to problems in other HOAs around the country.  Their experiences mirror some of the experiences we have heard about from other states. Maybe it is time to acknowledge that these aren’t all “isolated incidents” that only happen to “disgruntled homeowners”. 

On the Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Florida Conference – Part 2

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

It is important for people with common goals and needs to come together, network and share ideas.  Having conferences for homeowners is a relatively new occurrence.  Earlier this year, Florida homeowners hosted a two day conference, bringing together advocates and activists as well as attorneys who represent the homeowners, legislators who understand the issues and folks from other states who all came together to share their experiences and stories.  Can the rest of the country learn from these folks as well?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week we have part two  of the Florida conference that was held in February 2008.   Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll listen in to some of the speeches and hear the stories and all the ideas that were discussed.

On the Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Karen Cleveland, Virginia Patton and Walt Okon

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Despite the current housing slump, the cost of housing in many parts of the country is beyond the reach of some people.  But, when the will to join the ranks of homeownership is strong, there are ways to overcome the obstacles.  One of the organizations that is well known for getting people into their own homes is Habitat for Humanity.  While we have seen and read stories about the incredible work they do, just how do they overcome the high cost of land?  And what happens when rezoning a lot threatens the peace and harmony for the exiting neighborhood? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are   Karen Cleveland and Virginia Patton.  Karen is the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity and Virginia is Marketing Director.  also joining us during the second half of the show is Walt Okon.  Walt and his family are long time owners of a non HOA single family home in Fairfax County.  Walt was instrumental in bringing together about 8 neighboring subdivisions who would be affected by any changes to the current zoning in their area.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about Habitat for Humanity, what they do.  We’ll also confirm something we already know which is it is the individual who makes a difference and just how strong the sense of preserving one’s home really is.  You’ll want to listen to this one. 

On the Commons is Produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Jan Bergmann

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Only in America do we take a simple concept like homeownership and turn it into a complicated, hazardous living condition.  Having gone down the path of giving mandatory membership homeowners associations almost unlimited powers, owners, housing consumers and advocate/activists are trying to provide for some of the much needed protections.  What will it take to restore peace and harmony to the hundreds of thousands of neighborhoods across the country that find themselves living in HOAs?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Jan Bergemann.  Jan is president of the Florida based Cyber Citizens for Justice CCFJ and a tireless advocate for protecting the owners in Florida’s many mandatory membership condo and homeowner associations.  Jan, and his fellow CCFJ members have been working with legislators to get laws passed that would accomplish just that.   Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about the bills that are working their way through the legislative process and find out what else CCFJ has up its sleeve to ensure that the laws are followed. 

On The Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Production

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Senator Mike Schnieder

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

The Founders of this country knew that without some restraints, a governing body could easily overstep their power and become abusive.   So with foresight and understanding they adopted The Bill of Rights.  These rights were designed to limit the powers of the government and protect the citizens from their governments.  Unfortunately these limits do not extend to what some now call, “private governments” or mandatory membership homeowner associations.  Over the years, homeowners in HOAs have asked for oversight.  Are they getting what they asked for? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Senator Mike Schneider. Senator Schneider from Nevada was one of the first legislators to propose an ombudsman.  Over the years, the ombudsman’s office has seen many changes and has taken on several different forms.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll find out how well the program has worked and we’ll learn some surprising information about the hearing panel that has become a part of the overall oversight program in Nevada.  You won’t want to miss this one.

On The Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Marjorie Murray

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
According to the main stream media, foreclosures in the US are at an all time high.  The stories and staggering statistics that are grabbing the headlines nowadays have to do with homeowners who are unable to afford their mortgage payments.  While the focus is on the banks foreclosing to collect unsatisfied debts, there are many unanswered questions and the fallout from these foreclosures are beginning to be felt in other areas as well. 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Marjorie Murray.  Marjorie is the founder of the California based Center for California Homeowner Association Law.    A policy analyst specializing in housing, finance and the law, Marjorie has been active working with homeowners and board members who find themselves in need help and guidance.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, April 12, 2008.  We’ll talk about the Center for California Homeowner Association Law, find out how all the foreclosures in California affect the rest of the state and we’ll find out what is happening in the legislature.
 
On The Commons is produced by OTC Multimedia Productions

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Melvyn Hobbs

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

The vision of condo and homeowner association living is that all the members are equal, contribute equally and take an active interest in the overall management of the association.  Keeping an eye on our collective assets is also a responsibility.  It sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But what happened along the way to muddy that vision of pure residential bliss?  Why can’t association living be as harmonious, carefree and wonderful as we are led to believe?   
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Melvyn Hobbs, Melvyn and his wife escape the drab British winters by spending half the year in Florida where they own a condo in the sun.  Unfortuanly the state of affairs inside this private enclave have been anything but sunny.  The Hobbs’ have not only discovered for themselves that condo living is far from carefree but they have also spent an additional half a million dollars trying to protect their property values from the mismanagement of the association.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll spend a few minutes with Melvin before he catches his plane back to the UK to enjoy life in his non controlled neighborhood. 

 

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Frank Short

Once a year, right around St. Patrick’s Day, one very special leprechaun comes into the WEBR studio to get caught up on what is happening in residential America.  This year is no exception.
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Sir Francis of Short, chief leprechaun of Dublin and distant cousin of St Patrick.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, March 15, 2008.  We’ll get caught up on what new bills are waiting to be signed into law and what that really means for the homeowners. 

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Donna Carver, Sherry Terry and Ray Leach

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

The castle has been demolished, long live… what?  The unit?  Air space?  Temporary shelter?  Many housing consumers want to buy a “home”, a nest, a place that is completely and totally under their own dominion, just like home ownership used to be  However finding that dream home in many markets these days is a lot like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.  Savvy prospective buyers are demanding non HOA controlled housing.  But will limiting their search to non HOA communities and relying on title searches guarantee them that they will get what they want? 
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Donna Carver, Sherry Terry and Ray Leach.  Donna and her family bought their Texas home in a community without an association only to have one imposed on them later.  Sherry and Ray both live in a development with no common areas and no sensible reason to live under the auspices of a corporation.  They would, quite understandably, like to dissolve their association.   Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll find out how a community with no association, can wake up one morning and find themselves facing fines, liens and a homeowner association.  We’ll also learn how, in a development with a homeowners association, the owners are forced to pay for a management company just to manage the residents.  

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