More Books Heading To Buddies

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C&S team members continue their support of the Literacy Buddy Project of the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County. Above is a picture of some of the C&S team getting the books ready to be sent off to their Literacy Buddies. The purpose of the Literacy Buddy Project is to teach children about correspondence, communication, and promote early literacy while providing children with quality books that they take home. The project also supports parents as partners in their children’s learning. For many of the children, a Literacy Buddy provides the only opportunity for them to have books of their own at home.

Anyone, any age, anywhere can become a Literacy Buddy and it doesn’t take much time, but makes a large impact in the life of a child. Exchanges occur three times per year. For more information about the Literacy Buddy Project and the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, please check out their website: http://www.earlylearningcoalitionsarasota.org

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C&S Is Set Up For CA Day 2012

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The C&S booth is all set up and ready for CA Day 2012, tomorrow March 9th from 8:00am to 3:00pm at the Manatee Convention Center. Stop by and visit with your home town management company! Also fill out an entry form for a $100 Publix Gift Card that C&S is giving away. See you tomorrow!

CA Day 2012

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C&S Management is very proud to be a major sponsor of CA Day 2012

Community Association Day 2012 Spring Training
Free Trade Show & Educational Expo presented by CAI West Florida Chapter


Board Member?  Home or Condo Owner?  Don your baseball caps and jerseys, Training Season is here!  Plan now to attend the 2012 Community Associations Day Spring Training sponsored by the West Florida Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI).  This FREE annual educational expo and tradeshow event is having a spring training baseball theme this year and will be held on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at the Manatee Convention Center located at One Haben Boulevard, Palmetto, FL.
 
Who should attend? Anyone living in, serving, or managing community associations such as condominiums, cooperatives, and home owner associations. That means Board Members, Community Association Volunteers and Association Managers. FREE Educational seminars will run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Vendors supporting community associations will have over 150 booths set up during the show with experts on hand to address your questions. Food will be available and prizes will be awarded!
 
Board members and CAMs who are looking to satisfy credits toward educational requirements can register for the FREE Board of Directors Certification Course and Community Association Managers continuing education courses offered throughout the day. Come prepared to ask questions and visit with industry experts!
 
Save the date and plan to attend. Admission is FREE but Seminar seating is limited. Pre-registration is recommended. A limited number of tradeshow booths are still available for vendors serving the community association industry. For more information or to pre-register, please visit www.caiwestflorida.org, or call (941)927-1910.


CAI West Floridais the local Sarasota-area chapter of CAI, a national organization that provides education and resources for community associations.
 
CAI (Community Associations Institute)is a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious common-interest communities. Founded in 1973, CAI and its 59 chapters provide education, tools and resources to the volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them.

Care When Using Space Heaters

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Our insurance agent forwarded us information for using space

heaters and we thought it was good information to pass on.
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With the cold weather we've been having, we thought it would be a good idea to share some safety tips for those of you with space heaters.

Please read!

  • Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from household combustibles.
  • Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the home's heating system.
  • Do not use extension cords with space heaters unless absolutely necessary.
  • Inspect the heater's cord periodically to look for frayed wire or damaged insulation. Do not use a space heater with a damaged cord.
  • Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced by a qualified technician. This could be the sign of a potential home wiring issue.
  • Heaters should be placed on a flat, level surface. Do not place heaters on furniture since they may fall and become damaged or break parts in the heater.
  • Unless the heater is designed for use outdoors or in bathrooms, do not use in damp, wet areas.
  • Look for the UL Mark on your electric heater. This means representative samples of the appliance have met UL's stringent safety standards.
  • If you have a liquid-fueled space heater, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. The wrong fuel could burn hotter than the equipment was designed for and cause a serious fire.
  • When refueling, turn off the heater and let it cool down completely before adding fuel. Wipe away any spills promptly.
  • Before you buy a kerosene heater, check with your local fire department to ensure that it is legal

Check A License Phone Apps

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Have you ever been out with only your cell phone and want to verify that a contractor or professional has a current license?  Well the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) offers iPhone and Android apps.  You can search for state licenses by name or license number, enabling people to check instantaneously whether an individual has a business or professional license in the State of Florida.

The iPhone app is available in the Apple iTunes marketplace, online at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dbpr-mobile/id421389533?mt=8

The Android app is available in the Android marketplace, online at: https://market.android.com/details?id=us.fl.state.dbpr&feature=search_result

The DBPR licenses more than one million businesses and professionals including Community Association Managers, Accountants and Contractors. More information about the department and its divisions is available online at hhtp://www.MyFloridaLicense

CAI Educational Program in Bradenton

Chris Brown, President of C&S, will be one the panelists for the January 12, 2012 CAI Educational Program "What Every Association Board Member Needs to Know". The program is for both condominium and homeowner associations. Below is information from CAI along with a link to CAI to register.

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January 12, 2012 - FREE to Members and Non-Members

What Every Association Board Member Needs to Know
 
Board Meeting Structure
Understanding Association Documents
Communicating With Homeowners
Financial Reports and Obligations
 
Location:
Renaissance on 9th
1816 9th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34205
 
Check-in begins at 8:00am
 
8:00am - Registration/Refreshments and Mini-Trade Show
8:30am - 11:00 Education Session with one 30 minute break
 
CAI website to register:   CAI Calendar and Registration
 
(Any questions regarding registration,
please call CAI office 941.927.1910)  

Presented by:

Kevin Edwards, Esq. - Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Jack Gages, CPA - CondoCPA, Inc.

M.H. Chris Brown, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
C&S Condominium Management Services, Inc. AAMC

Chris Harrington - Beachside Resorts Vacation Rentals (Moderator)
 
Participants must pre-register. Class size is limited! 

Preparing for Emergencies in 2012

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FEMA has launched a campaign which urges Americans to make preparedness a new year’s resolution.  The prioirty campaign is named: Resolve to be Ready in 2012.  More than 20 disaster declarations covered much of the southeast U.S. in 2011. All of these events have served as important reminders that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones.

“One of the most important lessons we can take away from this year is that disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the country we live in,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. “Resolving to be Ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year.”

By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, Americans can minimize the impact of an emergency on their families, homes or businesses. To take the pledge, visit www.ready.gov/resolve.

C&S 2012 Holiday Schedule

C&S follows the County Holiday Schedule. For this reason, C&S holiday closings will sometimes be different than the State and Federal Holiday Schedules.

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Email Server Maintenance

The C&S email server will be down for scheduled maintenance from 9:00 AM, Saturday, December 31st to 10:00 AM, Sunday, January 1, 2012.  Any email sent to C&S while the system is down is not lost and will be delivered when the system is back online.

Update:  Email is back up and running several hours ahead of schedule.

DBPR Enforcing Unlicensed Activity

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Ken Lawson, the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is asking all Floridians to help in the enforcement of unlicensed activity in all professions. "Unlicensed activity is illegal and can result in misdemeanor or felony charges if an individual is convicted. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440."

For the complete letter from Secretary Lawson, click Secretary's Letter.

C&S New Year's Greeting

The C&S staff wishes everyone a happy and safe New Years!

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Florida Dismal Foreclosure Update

Community Associations struggling to make ends meet, due to a large number of homes or condominium units in foreclosure, will see more negative news today.

CNN reports that the average time to complete a foreclosure in Florida is now up to 1,027 days.  This clearly shows how inadequate the current law is since banks pay only 365 days of past due assessments or less, when they take title from the foreclosure.   The law also protects the nonpaying owner whereby they often live for years in the home or condominium unit for free, while their neighbors pay their expenses.  Here is the full CNN article: CNN Foreclosure Article
 
Florida Commercial News headline reports that "Florida Supreme Court Admits Failure of Its Residential Mortgage Mediation Program: Sad News for Florida as Foreclosure Crisis Continues."  There are already over 350,000 foreclosures sitting on court dockets in Florida right now with many more waiting to be filed.  Here is the full Florida Commercial News Article:  Mortgage Mediation Article

C&S Christmas and New Years Holiday Closings

The C&S Offices will be closed Monday, December 26, 2011 for the Christmas Holiday.  The offices will reopen on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

The offices will be closed Monday January 2, 2012 for the New Years Holiday.  The offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Thank you and we hope you enjoy the holidays.

C&S Christmas and New Years Holiday Closings

The C&S Offices will be closed Monday, December 26, 2011 for the Christmas Holiday.  The offices will reopen on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

The offices will be closed Monday January 2, 2012 for the New Years Holiday.  The offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Thank you and we hope you enjoy the holidays.

C&S Thank You and Christmas Greeting

Thank you to all our clients and we wish you a very happy and safe holiday!

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Looking Ahead to 2012

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Along with the excitement of the holiday season, we at C&S are very excited about the roll out of our new website and association websites.   There are many new features available which will facilitate greater communication.   In these challenging economic times, it is very important to use digital forms of communications whenever possible to help save on postage and printing costs.

Looking forward to 2012, C&S is planning many activities.  Look for us March 9, 2012 at the Community Associations Day which is presented by the Community Association Institute (CAI).   CA Day will be held at the Manatee Convention Center on Haben Blvd., Palmetto, FL.   C&S is again a major sponsor.   This is the largest educational and trade show event of the year so please plan to come out and be sure to stop by to visit with us at our booth. 

August 10, 2011

It's amazing how fast this year is going by. Seems like only yesterday associations passed their annual budgets. If you have not already started, it is time again to begin the budget process. August is the time to get all information together to prepare the first draft. C&S managers will be working with association boards for a first draft to be completed in September.

The Florida Legislature and Governor have embarked on a bold plan to stabilize insurance prices over the long term. By allowing prices to significantly increase short term, it is believed that insurance carriers will return to Florida and with the increased competition, prices will stabilize and begin to decrease. Citizen Insurance cannot cover the amount of policies it presently has in the event of a major event. Since the budget is prepared well in advance of when the association's 2012 increase will be known, C&S and the association's insurance agent try to determine the best amount to place in the budget for insurance. This is sometimes a very challenging task.

June 20, 2011

House Bill 1195 has finally been signed by Governor Rick Scott and will go into effect July 1, 2011. The bill has been referred to as the “glitch bill” due to cleaning up many loose ends from last year’s changes. Two such items are that now the entire rent paid from a tenant may be required to be paid to the association for current and back unpaid assessments, and those units or lots that are over 90 days delinquent may be removed from the quorum and vote counts to pass actions of the association.

The first law firm guide has been published and you may see it by clicking here: Guidebook to House Bill 1195

May, 2011

While our Legislature and Governor are finishing this year's legislative session, we thought we would provide you some news from the Federal level. The Community Associations Institute reports that as the Federal Government continues its push to reform the mortgage finance system, CAI members should take comfort knowing that their efforts to shape the debate have started to bear fruit. In fact, members' efforts on two critical issues, the Federal Housing Administration condominium guidelines and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's private transfer fee regulation, have not only impacted the policy debate, they have made national headlines. Based on these early returns, CAI will continue to chalk up victories for all associations.

On the two biggest federal issues facing associations, CAI secured important victories. First, in March, FHA issued a waiver on rental restrictions. Originally, to qualify for FHA-backed mortgages, rules required that at least 50 percent of units in a condominium be owner occupied. FHA would have disqualified any association that adopted a rental restriction. Ironically, many condominiums put rental restrictions in place at FHA's urging years ago. CAI highlighted the inconsistency, and FHA issued a waiver, allowing condominiums with rental restrictions to qualify for financing.

Another important development critical to associations has been the issue of deed-based, private transfer fees. Last fall, the FHFA issued a craft regulation that would have effectively cut off any federally backed mortgages to properties with a deed-based transfer fee. FHFA was unaware that such fees have long been used by about half of all community associations to fund reserves, capitol projects and operations. If the FHFA proceeded, up to 11 million homes in community associations would have been unable to qualify for most mortgage products. Thanks to CAI member grassroots efforts, FHFA issued a revised draft of its proposal and addressed almost all of the issues raised by CAI members. Not only did FHFA publicly note the tremendous response from CAI members, but our grassroots efforts made the headlines in The Washington Post, which singled out CAI members' efforts as "swift and intense". CAI is currently submitting comments on the revised proposal.

In addition to these projects, CAI has made it easier to follow all the mortgage issues and changing rules. To keep our members engaged on the latest news, calls to action and impact of new regulations, CAI established the Mortgage Matters program. The program will provide members with updates on various federal mortgage issues. It is designed to provide a comprehensive view of federal regulatory and legal changes, and to offer members opportunities for education and input into our ongoing efforts.

As soon as the Florida Legislative session ends, the Governor signs or vetoes the bills, and we have the initial legal reviews, we will update everyone on this year's changes.

February, 2011

C&S wishes to invite everyone to two upcoming events. March 4, 2011 is Community Association Day which is a free education expo and trade show, presented by the West Florida Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. CA Day will be at the Manatee Convention Center and C&S is a major sponsor. We hope everyone will come by and take advantage of the education opportunities and be sure and visit us at our booth.

Our second event to inform you of is on April 14th, 2011 and it is a free seminar "The Conflict Resolution Process", also presented by the West Florida Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. The panelists include Attorney Mary Hawk, of Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Prouty P.A., President Anthony Sawyer, The Meadows Master Association, and our own, Chris Brown, PCAM, of C&S Management. The program is divided into seven sections: 1. Typical Conflicts, 2. Selective Enforcement, 3. Pre-emptive Tools, 4. "The Knock on the Door" - The Process Begins, 5. Hearing and Fining Committees/HOAs, Condominiums, 6. Injunctions & Other Scary Sounding Legal Stuff, 7. Question and Answers.

The Conflict Resolution Process seminar will take place at the Venice Community Center, 326 South Nokomis Ave., Venice, Florida, 34285. We hope to see you there.

Bradenton

4301 32nd Street West
Suite A-20
Bradenton, Florida 34205
Phone: (941) 758-9454
Fax: (941) 753-3062

Sarasota

31 Sarasota Center Blvd
Suite B
Sarasota, Florida 34240
Phone: (941) 377-3419
Fax: (941) 377-6218

Saint Petersburg

111 2nd Avenue North-East
Suite 900
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701
Phone: (727) 456-0027
Fax: (866) 890-0548

Venice

871 Venetia Bay Boulevard
Suite 230
Venice, Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 786-3552
Fax: (866) 890-0548
©2017 C & S Community Management Services, Inc., AAMC All rights reserved.