Association of Emerald Coast Condo Associations
Alone, they are just condo owners.
Together, they are a potentially powerful voice.
About 30 condo association presidents met for the first time a week and a half ago at the Tops’l Beach and Racquet Resort to form the Community Association Presidents of the Emerald Coast, an organization that aims to give a voice to condo owners along Florida’s Emerald Coast.
The organization is the brainchild of Don Bennett, an Atlanta native who owns condo units in Walton and Okaloosa counties.
After viewing how severe beach erosion had damaged Jetty East’s foundation on Holiday Isle, Bennett decided one condo association was not strong enough to change city, county and state policies.
“(Condo owners) haven’t had a voice. We’re trying to become that voice,” Bennett said in an interview.
The group’s members are condo association presidents who represent the interests of individual condo owners. The group will attempt to protect, preserve and develop condo owners’ interests and property along the Emerald Coast, stretching from Perdido Key to Panama City, Bennett said.
“We originally wanted the association for condos in Walton and Okaloosa counties,” he said. “But we feel like we need to eventually expand out to other areas.”
Members are still ironing out details, but Bennett said he hopes they will partner with other organizations and businesses to address topics such as taxes, traffic and beach issues.
“We want to become partners with other groups for the betterment of our area,” he said. “We want to help everybody here, not just condo owners.”
He said more than 50 condo associations in Walton County and Destin have shown enthusiastic support for the organization, along with various business community members. Community Bank’s Honey Harris, Lorri Smith of Newman-Dailey Properties, and Joanne Saucier with ResortQuest also attended the organizational meeting to lend support.
Harris said she sees the association as another way to network and build community relationships.
“It’s a great way to find out what (condo owners) are interested in, what their concerns are, and to let them know what’s going on in the community,” she said.
Bennett said the condo association will not be a competitor of the Community Association Institution, a condo association that concentrates on national issues.
“There is nothing like our organization,” he said. “But we felt it was time to band together to get things done.
“We all love Destin, and we want to be part of the positive improvements here,” he said.
Bennett called upon John Mason, an absentee condo owner who shares his time between Destin and Tuscaloosa, Ala., to act as the organization’s interim chairman.
Mason’s job is to collect the information needed to develop relationships with various association presidents.
“Many absentee owners feel that they have not been heard and that their needs are the last to be met,” Mason said.
“We feel our voices are more likely to be heard by having one association that speaks for many individual condo associations,” he added. “There is strength in numbers.”
The Community Association Presidents of the Emerald Coast will meet again in 60 days, Mason said. The time, date and place will be announced.
04-17-2006, 11:40 AM #2
Re: Association of Emerald Coast Condo Associations
We are one of the owners of 5 townhouses on beach front in Seagrove. We would be interested in more infor.
04-13-2011, 01:28 PM #3
Condo Assy Mit form movment
Change the mitigation forms and premium credits available to condo's and buildings which exceed three stories. To fulfill our mission we must let the Florida Legislature know how many associations are being denied these credits.
Help Us Help You
We want the Florida Legislature to know just how many of us are being shortchanged. The more associations and unit-owners affected the better our opportunity is to effect change. We need your help to make this happen. Please add your name to the list by emailing the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please provide the following:
Name of Association
Total # of buildings and # of buildings exceeding three stories
Are you a board member and/or on the insurance committee of your association? If so, what is your position?
We will present the list to Senator Joe Negron on Nov 15th, 2011.
Thank you for your time.