A. Road Resealing:
Notwithstanding a confirmation of the soundness of the roads, the Board voted on May 5, 2021 for a total repaving instead, not to exceed $618,282.
B. Rescinding the illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote.
It is simply unacceptable that the Board would violate the Florida statute that specifically requires the allowance of ingress and egress by residents and owners. This is not a legal discipline that can be imposed.
The maximum discipline after all other discipline has been imposed is a $1,000 fine and limiting access to common areas. Preventing ingress and egress by seizing transponders is not an allowable discipline, period.
The Board's justification is that the resident can get in via the guard shack. However, the resident is prevented from entering via the back gate, so ingress is prevented. Also, this unncessarily punishes others trying to enter by increasing the traffic to the guard gate. This needs to be addressed and rescinded.
The Board then expanded this rule by including transponder seizure as punishment for a second violation.
C. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community:
Still not on the Agenda is a vote to rescind the banning of former handyman Alex from the community. Notwithstanding the fact that said ban is still the rule of the community, apparently, he is being allowed back in without restrictions (see the November 4, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled False Pretenses and Go Ask Alex, The Sequel).
This, in our opinion, is no way to run an organization, where some elite few are aware of the Board allowing Alex inside the gates and some are not; does that sound fair and transparent to you?
D. Improper use of HOA funds:
Who authorized the $6,052.35 (in 2019 and 2020) to go after your Editor and your Roving Reporter with no notice to most Board members and the community? And why exactly did then-president Marion and one or two other Board members do that? We have never had a definitive answer to these questions, and the community deserves to know.
And who else was targeted without Board knowledge, without a Board vote, and without community knowledge? Let’s put this on the Agenda and find out. Then-president Marion stated that all Board members approve attorney invoices. This is irrelevant, after the fact, and not the issue. There was never a proper Board vote to spend this money at any open Board meeting.
E. Improper expansion of Presidential powers:
In our opinion, the motion to discontinue this illegal “policy” of permitting the president to have $1,000 per month in discretionary funds failed on December 2, 2020 because there are Directors on the Board who either don’t understand the rules and/or who don’t want to bust up the coalition which they have formed so as to solidify their power and ensure the implementation of their agendas.
Sue and Eileen were the only Board members at the time who apparently understood that this is an unauthorized and improper grant to the president.
Keep in mind, then--president Marion stated that this was voted on by multiple Boards to a period not earlier than 2012, but a review of the Board Minutes from January 1, 2012 produced no such vote. It is unclear to us how a policy can continue that was purportedly never voted upon in the first instance.
Therefore, to permit a policy to continue that is not based on any rule or regulation or order is, in our opinion, an abuse of discretion on the part of the Board and wholly improper.
It also sets a dangerous precedent that policies may be implemented without Board vote at the whim of a few and to the detriment of the owners/members of this community. The remedy is to keep placing this matter on the Agenda and identify it as an improper allocation to a Board member until this unauthorized power is stopped.
F. Disabling of the Zoom meeting Chat function:
Shutting down residents’ ability to comment did not go over particularly well with the populace. This should be reconsidered.
G. Clubs and Their Asinine Rules:
We have been calling for the outlawing of the illegal practice of certain clubs (i.e., pickleball) instituting their own asinine rules and regulations which harm the community and your financial interests. All clubs should be banned from having their own rules, policies, and by-laws. The Board finally outlawed non-residents from being club members. That’s a start.
The rules also permit officers of that club to deny requests for financial records, and force club members to agree to legally immunize those officers for all their acts (i.e. waive any and all of your legal rights against them), regardless of whether or not those acts constitute malfeasance or said officers engage in criminal behavior to your detriment. See our dedicated Pickleball page for further details on these despicable and elitist rules.
No clubs should have anything more than an approved mission statement.
For reasons unfathomable, the neutered pickleball club rules still appear on the HOA's pickleball club page via a link to what they refer to as "Governing Documents." These are not governing documents by Board fiat. They should be removed to eliminate confusion and also because it is misleading and dishonest to have them on the HOA website when they are not legally enforceable.
H. Two incident reports:
Discipline issues as to each: the Board should immediately place on the Agenda both alleged November 3, 2020 Election Day incidents and then conduct a proper review and decision by Board vote on each matter. This includes (1) the alleged throwing of a campaign sign at a resident which allegedly hit and injured said resident and (2) the removal of other campaign signs with the alleged assault “in your face” screaming by two residents against other residents (during the Covid pandemic of all times).
The HOA President at the time, Marion Weil, purportedly violated Florida Statute 720.305 and the HOA governing documents specifically covering the issue of discipline, to wit, Rules & Regulations, Section E, Violation Guidelines, pages 4-16 and 4-17 when she allegedly illegally took the matter(s) into her own hands and allegedly improperly and irresponsibly meted out discipline without the knowledge of most Board members, without a required Board vote, without alleged victim input, and without the knowledge of the community at large.
I. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members:
The Board should immediately place on the Agenda a directive to the property manager that any time an incident report is filed, it is to be immediately distributed to all Board members, not just the property manager’s Board liaison(s). Every single Board member must be apprised of the report; all Board members are equal.
This will allow any Board member to place on the Agenda a discipline issue with regard to any alleged incident.
In connection with any and all incident reports, residents should make sure that each and every Board member receives the report, and residents should report all issues to each and every Board member. Reporting something solely to the president does a disservice to yourselves and at the same time disrespects every other Board member who is equal to the president.
The office of the president is merely an office; it is separate and apart from a directorship. You owe it yourselves and to the community at large to report these incidents to each and every representative/director of this HOA.]
J. Weekly email blasts; News & Views dedicated page for president; president assuming too many liaison positions that target communication and final decisions:
The weekly email blasts should not be coming from the president, who is but one equal Board member. These weekly blasts should be coming from the Property Manager. Likewise, there should not be any dedicated presidential page in News & Views because this is not authorized by the HOA By-Laws as part of the president’s specifically delineated functions.
By allowing the president to continually put out these weekly e-blasts, it gives this equal Board member more exposure and the appearance of a higher status and privilege, which is undeserved and not part of the president’s specifically designated responsibilities. It also gives this individual an unfair advantage during election time because she has a forum that the rest of the Board members either don’t have or don’t use.
This individual should also not have a designated page in News & Views. This again gives the erroneous impression that this equal Board member is a higher status than other equal Board members, which is simply not the case. This faux hierarchy among Board members needs to stop because it does a disservice to the community by diluting the authority of the six other elected representatives.
For example, former Board member Eileen Olitsky has spent an inordinate amount of time on the food truck project, but no email blasts come from her about the recurring food trucks. They come from the Property Manager’s office.
Remember: whoever controls the communication often wins. Former president Marion is the webmistress to the Message Board and the HOA website, she was the liaison to the Property Manager, she was the liaison to News & Views, she was the liaison to the almighty ARB, she was the liaison to the Caring Committee, and she was the liaison to the Grievance Committee.
This is way too much power for one Board member because these specific Committees control communication and conduct and in the case of the ARB, final decision-making authority.
In fact, all Board members should be involved with both the ARB as well as the Grievance Committee because those Committees issue final decisions. In addition, all Board members should be involved with the website and the Message Board because discipline was meted out unilaterally by Marion based on content she didn't like.
A resident can be suspended from the Message Board for a period of time by unelected residents (the webmasters). While theoretically you may appeal that to the Grievance Committee, you are suspended during the process which is actually illegal, and in the case of your Editor, I demanded a review by the Grievance Committee and my demand was ignored.
This is wrong and, in our opinion, completely illegal under Florida Statute 720.305, but this is the present protocol. As we reported in our December 16, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Can’t Touch This, then-president Marion even usurped the Board’s responsibility when she took disciplinary matters into her own hands to the detriment of the victims’ rights, which was thoroughly improper.
The responsibilities of the president are strictly limited and specifically spelled out: preside over BOD meetings, sign documents and promissory notes, see that Board orders and resolutions are carried out [HOA By-Laws, Section VIII, Subsection G, Number 1, page 3-10]. Any other additional things that the president is doing are actually unauthorized. This concentration of power needs to end.
An item should be added to the Agenda to address all of these matters in their entirety.
K. Re-Vote for the office of Vice-President:
Harvey did not win the vote for vice-president in late 2020 because he only received 3 Board votes, not a majority as required. This issue became moot after the March 25, 2021 elections; Harvey was voted by enough Board members to assume the position legitimately from that point forward.
Robert’s Rules of Order:
Voting: Rule 46:
"… A plurality never adopts a motion nor elects any one to office, unless by virtue of a special rule previously adopted…"
Note: per dictionary:
Plurality: the number of votes cast for a candidate who receives more than any other but does not receive an absolute majority.
L. Should We Really Be Barbarically and Cruelly Killing Iguanas?
Is this barbaric practice appropriate? We think this contract should not be renewed at all. These gentle giants are not disturbing this community and the manner they are killed is barbaric and cruel. Shooting them in the head with BB gun pellets until they die is wrong. Stop this barbarism and cruelty. We also understand that the traps are to be checked at least once every 24 hours and we are not clear if the company is doing that.
M. Eliminate Liaisons To Vendors; Property Manager and HOA Attorney To Report To All Board Members:
There should not be liaisons to vendors. Liaisons are appropriate for Board Committees. It is inappropriate to have liaisons to vendors. This matter should be on the Board’s Agenda.
For example, there should not be a Board liaison to the Property Manager. The Property Manager should always report to all Board members because she gets her function and duties from the entire Board, not just one or two members of the Board.
She is an employee of a vendor. This is unlike a Committee where there should be a liaison. The Property Manager has responsibilities that have been granted by the full Board. The idea of a Board liaison to the Property Manager should be rejected immediately.
The same is true for dealing with the HOA attorney. He is also an employee of a vendor. All Board members should be involved in any discussions with the lawyer.
The lawyer should not just be dealing with the president or one other Board member. The HOA should not be incurring legal fees because then-president Marion at whim decides to run to the lawyer to complain about a resident or any topic for that matter.
N. Expenditures That Are Not Revealed To The Community Need to Be; Where Does Your Money Go?:
There are too many of these popping up. At the January 6, 2021 Board meeting, $2,200 was revealed as having been paid for a fountain leak. Another $6,052.35 was revealed through our investigation for the HOA attorneys to harass us.
This strongly suggests that there are many more of these types of expenditures that total thousands and thousands of dollars but are never brought forth to the members. These expenditures get paid and then disappear and never even make it into any Minutes because they are not part of any Agenda.
The owners of this corporation are entitled to a list of every item that was approved in this manner that just disappeared and for which there are no Board Minutes referencing said expenditures. This should also be added as an Agenda item. Where does your money go?
O. Message Board Suspensions:
Any suspensions from the HOA message board that were never voted on by the Board at an open meeting need to be removed from those residents’ records. Suspensions are strictly governed by statute and the HOA governing documents. Webmasters have no authority to issue suspensions. Update: On May 18, 2022, the Board voted to have all violation notices sent to the Board; webmasters have no authority to issue any violation notices.