Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, or so the saying goes.   When over half of all marriages end in divorce, and the two people in that relationship choose each other and opted to live together what makes anyone think any plan that puts a group of strangers together and expects them to live harmoniously will work flawlessly?  Not surprisingly, it really doesn’t.  The whole concept of mandatory membership homeowners associations is flawed yet we still try to fit all the pieces together and make it all work.  It just doesn’t work.  I have news for you, I don’t think it ever will.

The real reason HOAs were conceived, was to provide local municipal governments with free tax dollars.    And as free tax dollars to the local government, it works brilliantly.  All homeowners pay property taxes to the local municipality.  Those tax dollars were initially intended to cover the cost of street lights, trash removal, street maintenance, and snow removal where needed, however, where there are associations of any kind, the owners pay an additional fee to the association to cover the cost of these services so the owners are double taxed.  The municipality just gets richer, the homeowners foot the bill.   and apparently peace and quiet and pure joy are still a fantasy.

Jan Bergeman, President, and founder of the Florida-based CyberCitizens for Justice, a frequent guest, a staunch and active advocate for owners, joins us On The Commons.  Jan brings us up to date on the latest news of the tragic condo collapse.  We will learn about new regulations that would ensure there will be no repeat performances.  And for those of you asking about an ombudsman, the idea is not off the table and we will hopefully learn more in a follow-up show as well.  But don’t miss this show, there is a lot of good information here.  Thanks for tuning in.

Lisen to Jan Bergmann


Rana Kahl

On The Commons

 With my apologies as I am still having issues and problems with Constant Contact.  Maybe 2022 will be the year we can get it fixed.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  And on that note, I am Wishing you all a very happy New Year.

I would also like to thank Rana for helping me tell this particular story.  It is one I feel that needs to be told.  You will get the details when you listen to us talk.  

Regardless of where your home is it is not safe from abuse.  While we have concentrates primarily on the abuses in Homeowner associations and condominiums, it has been brought to our attention that seniors, in retirements communities are also being subjected to some of the same issues as homeowners in the aforementioned housing situations.  In fact it is even worse in some retirement communities.  

Let me start off by assuring you that I hear from friends and acquaintances in retirement communities who are extremely satisfied and thankful to be where they are.  Sadly not all of them are gems.  I heard from an 83 year old lady recently and her story made me so mad that I had to cover it.  

First of all I can’t think of a single reason to be rude to an elderly person. Manners are sadly lacking and they were non existent in this case.  The lady is question has been a resident of this particular retirement community for a couple of years, all without apparent incident, until recently.  Because of Covid, like many others established mask rules.  And as expected everyone has become an expert of how to properly wear a mask, including the concierge.  

The way I understand the sequence of events, one morning the concierge decided the 83 year old client was not wearing her mask according to the “rules.”  Oh. Don’t you just love those words?  So she followed her and took photos or videos of her.  Of course this entailed invading her private space (you know, inches from her face).  

The 83 year old did what we ALL should have done and would have done, she defended her space.  She had a glass of water in her hand and threw it at the concierge.  World war 3 broke out, the police were called and the Executive Director decided to kick the customer out, she gave her 3 weeks to get out and find somewhere else to live.  But that’s not all, she then told the lady in question to go up to her room and not come out until she leaves.  

This translates to being incarcerated in her room for 3 weeks, she may not go out for meals, be in the common areas, see or talk to anyone. I was absolutely livid when I heard that.  First of all I don’t believe this draconian dingbat has the authority to treat seniors like that and IF she does there needs to be a serious overhaul of the laws. 

Rana Kahl, who also stumbled into this story with me and shares my feelings and ideas, joins us On The Commons this week. Shu has a slightly different thought on it, a very valid one.  I, on the other hand think anyone getting a job involving the elderly need to take etiquette classes, if they were ever taught any manners they forgot it.  I was shocked at just how expensive these retirement communities are.  They are the clients, no client should be treated that way.  As I already said, I don’t believe they all operate that way but we need to be aware of what could happen.  We may have friends and family in one of these places who is treated like a child and punished by being incarcerated in isolation in their room.  Know your rights, DEFEND your rights and don’t let anyone abuse you or anyone else.