Marco and his AMEX

The AMEX scandal rocked the Florida legislature a few years ago. This article examines Rubio and his involvement. A good read…

Eric D. Miller

As State Representative and House Speaker, Marco Rubio found himself in a world of big money, big favors and big choices. He also had a new found responsibility, not only must he lead the Florida House of Representatives in a means beholden to the people, but he must also control a very large flow of cash in the land of “keep what you kill”!

Then Representative Rubio has been accused of floating personal loans on the fat of what he collected in “leadership funds”. He quietly spent them through the RPOF (Republican Party of Florida) on the now famous RPOF AMEX.

Similar financial gamesmanship put then RPOF Chairman Jim Greer in jail and also created a financial dilemma for a young Mr. Rubio  y bringing the AMEX cards and leadership funds into the light of day.

As Senator Rubio has stated, the charges that where personal…

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2015 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards biggest ever

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The 2015 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is on track to have  more communities participate than ever, with more financial support from the industry and more opportunities for your community to be recognized.
With the deadline just weeks away, if you haven’t submitted your entry, now’s the time.  Just follow these steps:
  1. Download and review the PDF with the questions for all of the categories.
  2. Enter your information online.  Note that you can start your entry and, if needed, save your work and complete it later.  The deadline is midnight on January 31, 2015.
  3. Have questions?  Check this FAQ.
  4. Still have questions?  Let them know.
In addition to underwriting the event and participating on the Advisory Council, professionals throughout Florida also support the awards by volunteering as judges.
 As we begin the year, they’re welcoming these new judges:
  • Robin Grantham, Senior Communications Coordinator, Southwest Florida Water Management District
  • Rose G. Johnson, Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Family! magazine
  • Jordan Trachtenberg, Adjunct Professor, Department of Architecture, Florida International University
  • Aaron Gallaher, Communication Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management


Becker & Poliakoff recently announced a timely resource that provides hurricane preparedness guidance for Florida’s significant community association population.

The new, comprehensive resource was prepared by the Hurricane Recovery Team of Becker & Poliakoff, a multi-disciplinary task force that assists communities in hurricane preparation and claims recovery. The “Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Guide for Community Associations” is available free for download at

“Community association boards and managers are responsible for preparing their communities for hurricane season,” said Ken Direktor, chair of the Community Association Law Practice group at Becker & Poliakoff. “Our new Guide teaches boards and managers to prepare themselves, their members and their property for the approach as well as the aftermath of a serious storm or other disaster, not by doing it alone but by enlisting the assistance of qualified professionals.”

Board Certified construction attorney Bill Strop, who serves as Chair of the Hurricane Recovery Team, added, “The members of our Hurricane Recovery team have decades of experience in dealing with disaster scenarios on behalf of condominiums, cooperatives, HOAs and mobile home parks not only in Florida but throughout the U.S. The Hurricane Preparedness Guide is just one of many resources we provide to hard-working volunteer boards and managers in the hopes that they will follow our advice and avoid the common pitfalls associated with the complicated preparation and recovery process.”

Leading community association industry companies with in-depth experience in assisting volunteer boards have also contributed to the Guide, including Associa, Castle Group, Danon Management Group, FirstService Residential, KW Property Management & Consulting, Plastridge Insurance and Sentry Management.

The topics in the new Guide address all phases of hurricane and disaster planning, preparation, recovery, and property restoration including:


·         Hurricane evacuation & relocation

·         Best Practices for Records  Safekeeping and Benchmarking

·         Employee policies

·         Disaster committees

·         Community Emergency Response Teams

·         Emergency communications

·         Board emergency powers

·         Property inventories

·         Insurance & reserves

·         Hurricane insurance claims

·         Pre-negotiated service contracts


To download the 24-page Guide, please visit For more information about the other resources provided by the Hurricane Recovery Team please contact Donna DiMaggio Berger, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, at 954.364.6031 or

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Realtor Brett Furman offers suggestions to keep your house in top shape throughout the summer

Russian dramaturge Anton Chekhov once said, “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”  Brett Furman, Broker/Owner of REMAX Classic in St. Davids, Pennsylvania (, fully agrees with Mr. Chekhov. Furman offers the following 10 maintenance tips to help keep your home in tip-top shape…and make you happy!

1.    Clean and seal decks.
2.    Hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean chimneys.
3.    Wash the exterior of your home using a garden hose and a mild detergent.
4.    Check all exterior walls for peeling or cracked paint.
5.    Inspect brick or masonry siding for cracks or missing mortar.
6.    Inspect roofing for loose shingles and cracks.
7.    Check out the operation of your automatic light timers and motion detector systems.
8.    Prune trees and shrubs to keep branches from exterior siding.
9.    Clean and repair cracks in concrete driveways using epoxy patching material.
10.    Inspects foundation walls for signs of termites.

“These 10 home maintenance tips are certainly a start to getting your house spic and span for late summer…and beyond,” says Furman.

For more information on keeping your home well-maintained and other useful tips for selling your home, visit or

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