AZ DFBLS: failing to serve the HOA public

How many remember the phrases and guidelines for those seeking public office?  Like:  civil servants, civic duty, civic responsibilities, serving the public.  I don’t see them anymore.  What I see and hear are more along the lines of” “what is my legacy”?, and “how will I be remembered?”
 
A very good example of this failure to understand that government agencies exist to serve the public, and not to get a cushy job, is Arizona’s DFBLS webpage.  Viewing the Arizona’s Dept of Fire, Building an Life Safety’s webpage, http://www.dfbls.az.gov/, reveals a minimalistic approach to serving the public, the people, who seek the protection of the state to avoid financial and physical harm.  For one, there are no email contact addresses to help with obtaining info or to contact the agency.  Is that because they do not want anything in writing? 
 
People have been reporting that only a verbal response is available in regard to the acceptance of HOA complaints.  There is nothing in writing at all about this position adopted by the agency, and ordered by the Director himself.  In fact, it’s hard to find anything on the “home” page with respect to filing HOA complaints that was granted the agency over 2 years ago in Sept. 2006.  Clicking on “Consumer complaints” gets you only a manufactured home complaint page.  No  links to HOA complaints.  This is not surprising given the fact that it’s short statement of purpose of its mission says nothing about HOAs, but includes, “It is also the purpose of the department to establish a procedure to protect the consumer of such products and services”. How about mentioning that it was also granted an additional mission of handling HOA complaints? 
 
Only if the viewer clicks on “Administration” and reads the short last paragraph on that page will he find any info on the HOA complaint process.  The FAQ link takes you directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) information site, loaded with very helpful consumer information.  Oh, yes, you can also get the complaint petition downloaded.
 
I understand that the agency will accept HOA complaints and that the OAH will continue to hear them.  But, there is nothing on the DFBLS webpage —  no record at all.  I think this reversal came about as a result of a handful of advocates seeking answers and publicizing the wrongful refusal to hear complaints based on a superior court decision.  Especially publicizing that the agency’s own attorney, the Attorney General, wrote the court opposing the CAI member attorney’s request for a blanket order to prohibit the DFBLS from accepting complaints. 
 
 
This result, once again, reaffirms that forceful and focused opposition will bring favorable results, especially when backed by constitutional rights and freedoms.
 
 
The new Arizona legislative session begins in January.  We must obtain reforms to the OAH statute to balance the playing field. 
 
1.  This year’s bills, HB2724 and SB1162, must be re-introduced. 
2.  The right to include the HOA common law decisions contained in the restatement of laws, servitudes must be permitted.
3.  A clarification of the relationship between Title 10’s nonprofit statutes and Title 33’s condo/planned community statutes must clearly point to Title 33 as prevailing in the absence of wording to the contrary in any bill.
 

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Published in: on October 22, 2008 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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