I have always felt the HOA and condo models were flawed. Not that I thought there is something sinister built into them. I don’t. I met with Byron Hanke at his home about a year before he died and know, without a doubt, that his intentions were good when he introduced his model for what we know as condo and homeowner associations. But not all good ideas and plans work out as imagined. What is often overlooked and ignored in the planning stages is the human factor. Sadly, we got a wake-up call recently when the Surfside tower collapsed in the middle of the night in Florida, killing many people. We still don’t have a final count. As I write this, the recovery efforts continue. We still don’t know what caused the collapse; there is much speculation but nothing conclusive yet. We need to know the exact cause if we hope to prevent a repeat of this horror. Grasping at straws will not help.
Julio Robaina joins us On The Commons. Julio was a much-loved, tireless legislator in Florida before he was timed out. He spent tireless hours holding open meetings across the state, meeting with homeowners and talking to hundreds of them. Julio heard the stories straight from the Homeowners about the problems, the abuses, and concerns. He brought their thoughts and ideas to the legislature, where he crafted bills based on what was needed. Julio took what the homeowners told him very seriously and listened to how they wanted to be protected. After all, he reasoned, who would know better? Not all his bills passed. His colleagues argued with him, are they second-guessing their votes now?
The question is, could the tragedy at Surfside been averted had some of his warnings been heeded? So what happens now? Julio, who I nicknamed “The Energizer Bunny” many years ago, is still working tirelessly to get legislation enacted to protect condo owners and homeowners. Julio and I worked late in the night to record this show for you. Please tune in and listen to it. Let’s make sure this never happens again, anywhere in the world.