01/12/22 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted January 15, 2022. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the January 12, 2022 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue and pictures.
All synopses and commentary are the property of your Editor and your Roving Reporter, Vicki Roberts and Arthur Andelson, are our independent work product, and are not affiliated with the HOA. Redistribution or republication of cartoons is strictly prohibited and may subject you to legal liability for copyright infringement. Bizarro cartoons are courtesy of Dan Piraro, www.Bizarro.com. Thank you, and you may now enjoy the show.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled “This One’s For The Birds”
(including club membership for non-residents, forced club membership for league play, Board election procedures, appointment of officers, survey lack of confidentiality issues, missing Treasurer’s written report, and other juicy stuff!)
Sometimes things around here seem totally topsy-turvy. It’s as if things are done the opposite of what’s in the best interests of the community. Why is that? And then when you bring it up and try to correct it, they double down, as if to suggest that there’s nothing wrong with how things are going down around here.
And I understand that everything can’t be fixed in one fell swoop; you have to strategically pick your battles, and sometimes you have to know when to hold it and know when to fold it.
In any event, I understand that sometimes I raise things and people wonder what else I do all day long.
I mean, really, don’t I have better things to do with my time? Seriously, though, it’s not like I’m trying to get away with anything; I just read the rules and act within them. I don’t consider that pushing the envelope by any stretch of the imagination.
Still, I understand the frustration involved because some Board members would prefer that I didn’t say a “peep.”
Well, that ain’t gonna happen. And I understand that some Board members hate it when I regurgitate their comments and parse them here for the residents at large to read because, frankly, some of the things they say makes one want to just, well, regurgitate.
Ok, maybe that was a tad cold.
In any event, as we come to the beginning of yet another year here at Cascade Lakes, I just want to say thank you to all the residents who read these columns, and I look forward to continuing to bring you our reports for your reading pleasure.
This necessarily means that I might want to be concerned about some Board members who read what I write about them, especially because some of them think I’m mocking them.
In conclusion, back on September 15, 2019 I saw a gorgeous roseate spoonbill out on the berm behind our house on Landon Circle.
It inspired me to write this short contemplative poem later that night which can be found in my book, Bourgeois Poetry by Vicki Roberts:
The Roseate Spoonbill
The roseate spoonbill skims the lagoonThen wades in the shallows by light of high noon;She knows not of troubles both past and to come,She lives in the moment, be it wild or humdrum;What beauty has nature created so grand,One who takes flight over majestic land;Then alights gracefully at water’s edge,Yawing her bill as she sifts through the sedge;And when the night falls she finds a thick shrub,Avoiding the gators who seek her for grub;Her body kept warm by her feathery quills,She sleeps undisturbed in her nest with no frills;Then up at dawn the cycle renews,Another wet habitat for fishing to choose,With focused purpose to fill up her craw,Oblivious to her own magnificent awe;Wouldn’t it be nice to emulate her ways,Never to worry about tomorrow’s frays;No bills to pay, no papers to file,Just fish for food and rest for a while;No need for comforts of home or acclaim,Riches mean nothing, survival’s the game;A peaceful world filled with nothing indeed,Nothing but life and just what we need.
And with that, let’s listen in as the Board once again ruffles our feathers and we, in turn, ruffle theirs.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 7:00pm.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green, President (Equal Board member)
Harvey Ginsberg, VP (Equal Board member)
Richard Greene, Treasurer (Equal Board member)
Linda Arbeit (Equal Board member)
Bob Dingee, Secretary (Equal Board member)
Sue Schmer (Equal Board member)
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Sue Schmer.
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff thanked the Zoom operators, welcomed new residents, and said they received over 300 survey responses to date.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you have a question or comment, raise your wing please.
1. Vicki Roberts: You should disregard the survey results, delete the ones that have already been submitted, and start over. The confidentiality of the results cannot be guaranteed, so many residents, including us, have chosen not to respond to the survey for that reason.
We have no confidence that the results will be or will remain confidential in the future. It is relatively simple for someone to use the information to their advantage at election time because it’s easy to line up the address with the resident. Even changing the password to access the data gives us no comfort. The data is always there to retrieve and identify the resident at a future time by someone with the new password.
Can you imagine a Board candidate gets access to the data, he looks up his opposition’s opinions by matching the address listed on the survey form to the other candidate, which by the way can be done quite easily with the help of the HOA’s online address book, and then he tells residents privately what he learned and he also can then tailor his campaign by leveraging that private information which he learned by reading his opponent’s survey answers. Now you’ve created a tainted election process.
He can also review the results and politely contact residents and try to persuade them to vote a certain way based on his inside information which he gleaned from reading their survey responses, and that’s in terms of how they should vote on percentages, pickleball, amenities, and other issues raised by the survey. He can also determine how many people he needs to contact and sway to get something he wants passed or defeated. Harvesting this critical information and connecting it to specific residents is a manipulation of the process and blatantly unfair.
A better way would have been to use the U.S. mail and have an outside envelope and an inside envelope. Only the outside envelope has the address. Only the property manager, who has no stake in the outcome, opens the outside envelope after she has recorded the addresses from every envelope that she receives to make sure she only has one from each household. She then checks off the address, opens and shreds the outside envelopes, and then places the survey responses in a separate bin. That’s a secure method.
Your method is ripe for abuse and misuse, and for that reason, we, along with many others, will not participate. And this necessarily means that you will not get an accurate view of what the community wants and what it doesn’t want. Any Board actions taken based on the results would be ill-founded and unwarranted. Start over and do it right.
And please don’t give me the excuse that you changed the password on the eve the survey was released to resolve the obvious problem you created by allowing the CIT Committee and one or more of its members to have the original password. The way you set this up on the Jot form you will always have the residents’ addresses linked to their survey responses. You cannot separate the two.
In conclusion, anyone who thinks the confidentiality of the survey results is secure is naïve. One Board member with the password is one resident too many. That Board member comes up for re-election every two years and can access the data to his advantage. In fact, he could download it all right now into his computer and none of you would be the wiser. You have tainted the Board election process. We urge residents not to participate in this breach of privacy.
Stop the farce, delete the entire program and all data collected, and start over, using a secure method: the U.S. Post Office, double envelopes, and the Property Manager. Someone on the Board should make that motion and stop this trainwreck in the making. Thank you.
Jeff: Thank you for your comments, Vicki; that’s all I’m going to say now.
2. Skip (Seymour) Jacobs: [Editor’s note: Skip wanted to know when we will be able to see the complete Treasurer’s Report. Richard stated it will be sent out via email next week and he is waiting for bank statements and credit card statements and similar documents.]
3. Steve Kleinman: league play and tennis club membership: in January 2021 the Board voted 6-0 with one abstention that membership is not required for intercommunity league play. The Palm Beach County Senior League rules and regulations…say that a player only has to be a current resident…to play. So, I urge you to keep that rule.
Each tennis player has a right to play on a team if they’re a member in good standing of the community. Give the residents more flexibility and as few constraints as possible.
[Editor’s note: of course, this makes sense, so is the Board going to listen? No. As you will see under New Business Item #3 below, the Board discussed rescinding the more inclusive rule and creating a more restrictive rule which would force you to join a club and pay dues if you want to participate in league play.]
4. Joyce Winston: [Editor’s note: Joyce stated she could not find the “raise hand” command; she stated she was told it was on the right, which it’s not. Your Editor stated, “click on ‘Reactions’” to which Mike Blackman, the Zoom operator but not a Board member, publicly admonished your Editor for her assistance and threatened to mute your Editor.
Mike, again, you’re not on the Board and have no right to interject or make threats to any resident who is on the Zoom. You’re out of order. Joyce then thanked your Editor specifically. Joyce, you’re very welcome, it’s my pleasure, any time!
Board members: is Mike Blackman now a de facto Board member? And more than just your Editor notices that he seems to only target your Editor; others have made comments here and there and Mr. Blackman remains silent. Mike: friendly reminder: you’re not on the Board, and targeting certain residents is inappropriate. Let a Board member handle it if one of them believes it is appropriate to do so, as it is not your place.]
Approval of Minutes: December 15, 2021 Board meeting: Bob Dingee
Bob: Motion to approve the Minutes of the December 15, 2021 Board meeting. [Editor’s note: Jeff seconded it and it passed unanimously.]
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: Richard gave a verbal report. He stated that he is waiting for bank statements and credit card statements and once those are received, the report will be emailed to the residents. He then moved to accept it and Linda seconded it.]
Harvey: shouldn’t we wait to get the official report before we vote to accept it? Jeff: I think we should approve it without it being sent out.
[Editor’s note: Harvey is, of course, correct. Jeff wants to approve a vague discussion by Richard without it being sent out to residents. Who sees a problem with Jeff’s thought process here?]
Sue: as stated by Richard.
[Editor’s note: that doesn’t cure the problem, but it was a good try.]
Jeff: All in favor? 6-0.
[Editor’s note: they just voted on something they’ve never seen, and which is not complete by Richard’s own admission of waiting for bank statements and credit card statements. Does that make sense to any of you?
Richard stated that once those statements are received, the report will be emailed to the residents. Jeff was more than happy to approve Richard’s verbal statements. The motion should have been tabled until the written report was provided and then voted on. Approving a verbal summation is absurd, and yet that was approved unanimously, 6-0.]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: …mow…January 17th and 18th… [Editor’s note: Deborah reported that $716.04 was paid for new billiard balls; extra phone books are available for $5.00, first come, first served, one only one to each household until the supply runs out.]
1. Entertainment: [Editor’s note: Richard read an email reporting on a couple of events; all events are noticed via multiple email blasts.]
2. Group Purchasing Committee: [Editor’s note: Joyce Winston stated that the paper shredding event vendor, Luther, will get in touch with everyone who signs up and Deborah stated that the sign-up book is in the library. The actual day they come to your house may not be on a specific Saturday.]
[Editor’s note: Many important items are still being ignored. Details are found on our page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
NEW ENTRIES ON OUR LIST:
[none at this time.]
1. 2022 Residents Survey – Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: See your Editor’s remarks in the First Residents’ Input Session above for an analysis of this issue, its serious breach of privacy and confidentiality, and its deleterious impact on Board elections and community-wide votes.
Deborah, the property manager, stated that 319 responses have been received to date, and that only she and her assistant have the password.
Your Editor sent Deborah an email asking if the data is DELETED after she gathers it. She stated in writing, properly, that she is awaiting instruction from the Board on that issue. That being said, your Editor’s comments stand.
However, the property manager’s weekly report that went out Friday afternoon, January 14, 2022 from her assistant, Susan Hersh, stated, “Please know that once closed, all addresses will be deleted.” This is directly contrary to what the property manager’s emails state to your Editor, and is also unauthorized because there was never any Board vote ordering such deletion to date.
So, this statement in the property manager’s weekly report is misleading, because the property manager’s office cannot delete any data without a Board vote authorizing said deletion at a duly noticed Board meeting which has not yet occurred.
As of this writing, the data is in fact not being deleted, the addresses are linked, and any change to that protocol would require a Board vote at a duly noticed Board meeting. No such Board meeting is scheduled before the deadline to complete the survey which is January 20, 2022; ergo, we and others will pass. Hoping that such a vote occurs at a future Board meeting after the fact is not the way we do business.
In the meantime, Sue had some important comments and was kind enough to email them to your Editor for inclusion herein.]
Sue: “I just want to remind the Board that the Long-Range Planning Committee also had a realtor survey that was to be sent out as well. Its purpose was to ask realtors who sell homes in Cascade Lakes why people chose or didn’t choose to buy in Cascade Lakes. The format of a list of reasons why people bought or didn’t buy here, using a sliding scale.
I don’t know who saw this survey, but I asked for a copy from members of the former LRP Committee. I thought it was excellent. I believe that we need to follow up with this as even though there is no formal LRP Committee, its work product should be considered.
The committee’s emphasis is on process and our resident survey along with the realtor survey are parts of a long-term planning process as to how to effect positive change. It would be helpful to our decisions making to look and discuss this survey at our next meeting.”
Harvey: the office will process the raw data… I was able to… I will no longer have access to that… Deborah and Susan [Hersh]will do a data dump…once they do the reports, my understanding is the addresses will not show… the final report… won’t be any identifiable data…
Deborah: I want to assure everybody that Susan and I only have the password; not one Board member has it… we are the only two that have the password…
[Editor’s note: your Editor’s previous comments stand. That data is there, and the rules of the game can apparently change in a heartbeat without notice to the residents.
There was no Board vote to delete that data with the linked addresses once it’s compiled prior to the deadline for completing the survey. Your Editor confirmed with the property manager that she is waiting for instructions from the Board. This is why there are a number of households that are not completing the Jot form, including ours.
And now a word about the Realtor Survey mentioned by Sue:
So, did anyone get to see the Realtor Survey put together by the former Long Range Planning Committee? We did, and we were blown away. It was incredible; it was a phenomenal document. It was outstanding. Why wasn’t it presented to the residents?
The survey should be given to realtors who regularly show homes here, let them answer the specific questions, and then have those results released to the residents. That way everyone will know what people really think of this place, what’s important to them, and what’s not.
That is extremely relevant to any thoughtful discussion about what to focus on in terms of amenities, upgrades, and changes, and to overall community decisions on the various items up for discussion.
Why has this survey been idling in suspended animation?]
2. Updated COVID restrictions – Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: masks required indoors; no guests allowed indoors. Masks outdoors if social distancing can’t be maintained. Harvey moved to confirm this, Linda seconded it, and Jeff stated, “we don’t have to vote.” No vote occurred.]
[Editor’s note: these are electric fans, and as an added but not mentioned bonus, these fans work well for hot flashes, too!
Anyway, these are for fans on the courts at the canopies and are very important to have. They will be at tennis courts 4 and 5 and the pickleball courts. Harvey stated that the pickleball club will pay for an additional outlet and reimburse the HOA $675. Harvey made the motion, Linda seconded it, and it passed unanimously. Richard stated it was a budgeted item.
Query: if it’s a budgeted item, then why is the pickleball club reimbursing the HOA? And for good measure, that club, which is run more akin to a fiefdom, never had a membership vote to approve that expenditure with club money. The overlords of that club, also known as officers, decided on their own to spend club money on that expenditure which the HOA’s Treasurer stated is a covered HOA budget item. And life goes on.]
1. Maintenance Plan for Fitness Center Equipment $1530 -Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: this is a six-times-a-year maintenance contract for the fitness center equipment. Jeff made the motion, Linda seconded it, and it passed unanimously. Richard said it was included in the 2022 budget.]
2. PBB – Root pruning $2,187.50 - Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: a hardwood tree on common property at Bristol Wood needed root pruning; Linda made the motion and Sue seconded it; it passed unanimously.]
3. Change to Sports Center Rule – Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: because this item was so vague on the agenda, it deprived the residents of meaningful input at the First Residents’ Input Session, although frankly with the majority of the makeup of this Board, we highly doubt that any input would have mattered. In any event, the Board first discussed making club membership mandatory for league play.
After a lengthy discussion, Jeff moved to change rule P, section 1, to allow non-residents to be club members. Harvey seconded it. It passed 4-2 and you can guess who voted for it and who voted against it: the guys voted for it; the gals opposed it. (Jeff, Harvey, Bob, and Richard vs. Sue and Linda.) Jeff also stated that non-residents may join the club at the discretion of the Sports Director and the club officers.
Why does a vendor and a few club members who happen to be officers get to decide whether or not a non-resident will be allowed to join a club? There was no answer to that question.
We have noticed that some of the clubs erroneously view officers as mini-Board members within the context of the club. They erroneously believe that the officers “govern” the members. They don’t. The clubs are membership driven, meaning that if there is an issue, the members, all of them, vote on it. That’s the fair way to do it and the democratic way to do it, so naturally that’s not the way it’s done.
And with non-residents as members of clubs, do they have voting rights? Do they sign a waiver of liability to immunize the HOA? There is a league waiver, but where is the HOA waiver? We have never seen one.
Sue was kind enough to email your Editor her comments at the Board meeting forinclusion herein which she stated during the “discussion” portion of the matter.]
Sue: “I’m confused. League play has already started. Why is this on the agenda again when we overwhelmingly voted on what currently exists last January? Many of those who voted to approve the changes last year are currently on the Board this year – Richard, me, Harvey, Bob, Linda (Eileen Olitsky as well but she is not currently on the Board).
Why are we interested in this now, especially when it is so close to Board elections, and when there are so many other important issues to discuss?
You cannot change the sports center rules without changing the By-Laws first, as our By-Laws state only residents may be members of clubs (Amended Jan. 6, 2021). The By-Laws also state that clubs cannot legally enforce their own rules and regulations. This ruling is from our Association attorneys and not my own. Changing the By-Laws is not on the agenda.
Mandating club membership in order to play in league competition is contrary to stated PBC Senior tennis League rules and to the U.S. Pickleball Association rules.
Last year, before you were on the Board, [referencing Jeff] you specifically questioned me as to why one would join the tennis club if not to play in league. I responded that clubs are social and recreational entities as stated on our own website. Since facts and data are important, only about half of the current tennis club members are in league play. League play should be open to all residents.”
[Editor’s note: Bob challenged that, said last January’s “interpretation was wrong,” whatever that means, and stated that the new PBC rules say that it’s up to each “facility” to determine who is eligible to play in the league; Sue countered by stating that “facilities” does not refer to “communities” and that this was illegal as advised by the attorneys.
Sue also correctly stated that “you cannot leave Board policy to a vendor and club officers. This comes from the Board’s attorney, not from us.” Jeff then bizarrely stated, “we’ve been breaking this rule for five years.” [And so we should continue to do so?] Sue then stated, “that’s not the issue; we’re not debating guests. We’re talking about club membership.”
Regardless, league play should be open to all residents, without forcing them to pay additional money to join a club they don’t want to join in order to compete. Why does the Board want to force members of the HOA to pay money to a club they don’t want to join in order to have access to common areas for league play?
Also, for HOA members, you’re paying to be part of the HOA, then you’re paying again to be part of the club, and then you’re paying a third time to join the league. Non-resident members of the clubs are only paying twice. So, non-resident members are paying less than residents to play on HOA courts. Does that make sense to anyone?
But this is what this Board apparently wanted to do.]
Sue:“If it were more specific in the agenda items, more residents might have responded…you can’t vote on this unless you amend the By-Laws first…usually have to add agenda items at the beginning of the meetings…the lawyer’s definition of what clubs can and cannot do is a legal issue…”
Jeff: “I change my motion. Motion to amend the By-Laws…[to eliminate section P-1]” Harvey: Second.
[Editor’s note: The new motion was to delete section P, subsection 1 of the By-Laws. It passed 4-2. (again, boys all for it, girls against it – detecting a pattern here?), without ever informing the residents that it was intending to do so, thus once again depriving the members of meaningful input before the vote, however futile that would have been anyway.
The eliminated section P-1 stated: “Only residents may be members of Clubs. Amended January 6, 2021.” That’s now gone.
This type of dysfunctional behavior by the Board is not healthy. But it’s what you’re stuck with right now, and possibly into the next year until three of the four fellows on this Board come up for re-election.
At this point, however, this four-man wrecking crew appears to be a voting block, so those of you interested in running for the Board, beware of what you’re up against, and if Richard Greene is re-elected, then be prepared to be disappointed until at least March of 2023. Well, at least now you won’t be surprised. Disappointed, probably; surprised, no.]
4. Fiddler – Perimeter wall cleaning $1475 – Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: the areas involved include the outside perimeter of the community, the inside perimeter wall, and the top of the wall. Linda made the motion to accept the contract, Harvey seconded it, Richard said it was in the budget, and it passed 6-0.]
5. Parking Light Fixtures $5,190 - Bob Dingee
[Editor’s note: Bob reported that six lights need to be replaced and new ones installed; they were installed in 2015 with a five-year “guarantee” to use his word, which is now passed. He said it’s a reserve item, under maintenance. Bob made the motion, Linda seconded it, and it passed unanimously.]
6. Annual Election Procedures – Sue Schmer
[Editor’s note: Sue made the motion, and was kind enough to email your Editor her statement and her motion for inclusion herein.]
Sue:“Each Annual Board election meeting shall be run by members of our property management company. The minutes of the last Annual Meeting of the Members shall be approved at this meeting. The property management company member(s)and the vote counters shall be thoroughly familiar with all pertinent rules and procedures relevant to the election process.
Members of the Association shall not be in close proximity to the vote counters. The meeting held immediately after the votes have been tallied to determine Board Officers shall include nominations from the floor for the officer positions of secretary and treasurer, as those officer positions do not have to be filled by a director. Directors may nominate themselves for officer positions.
Nominations for Board Officers shall not require a second.
The voting for all Board Officers shall be done by secret written ballot. The vote tallies shall be announced by the property management company member. I make the motion that the proposed Annual Board Election Procedures be adopted and placed in the Association’s By-laws as Section J on page 3-6.”
[Editor’s note: Sue made the motion, but no one seconded it, so it died on the floor. Isn’t that sad? No one would even second it for purposes of discussion. Sue mentioned that the attorneys recommend that a Director should not be the Secretary at which point Bob looked up at the ceiling. We don’t notice him looking for divine guidance whenever one of his male colleagues speaks.]
Sue:ok, I’m going to say this for the last time… the only word that comes to mind is “really?” No second, not even for a discussion on this? And we all know the reason why, and I’m going to say it, because I do believe in transparency.
The reason why I think there is not a second has to do with the fact that the Secretary and Treasurer positions do not have to be Board positions. How else would you implement our By-Laws unless you had a means by which the Secretary and Treasurer did not have to be Board members?
The way to do this is to have nominations from the floor. Now I don’t think you’re being unfair to me… I’ve been here long enough to know about politics… you’re not being unfair to me, but you’re being unfair to the residents.
Linda: [Editor’s note: Linda stated that she was the Secretary while on the Board for six years and then made the following statements.] I feel, as in the past, after the election takes place…if there are no acceptances by the newly elected Board members, then it should be opened up to the residents for nominations from the floor. I feel that the Board members should have first dibs for Secretary or Treasurer.
[Editor’s note: First dibs? Board members should make decisions in the best interests of the community, not give themselves priority just because they are on the Board. And let us remind you that “first dibs” is actually directly contrary to what the By-Laws state, i.e., that any HOA member is eligible, and that means equally eligible.
And as for stating that you “feel” Board members should have first dibs, respectfully, the By-Laws don’t care about feelings, Linda, and they don’t say that in any event. If you are going to go with how you feel regardless of what the By-Laws actually state, then why have By-Laws?
The By-Laws are not there for selective enforcement based on how you or anyone feels at any given moment. So, this argument falls flat and is, respectfully, an affront to the By-Laws that govern this community.
Statutes, rules, regulations, By-Laws, and orders of that nature don’t care about feelings. Feelings are irrelevant. The documents say what they say; if you are not going to follow them because of your feelings or how you feel at any given moment, then why have them?
If that’s what you want, then let’s just go with chaos, and sign up for the shredding event in February and toss the By-Laws and all the HOA’s governing documents in the shredder.
As a Board member, it is your obligation, your fiduciary duty, to pick the best person for the position, the one most qualified and capable who is willing to serve. This comment, that Linda feels that Board members should get first dibs, is not in conformity with this fiduciary duty. And all five Board members who didn’t second this motion displayed a shameful alignment with Linda’s shocking and disappointing statement.
Nota bene: A Board member is elected to represent this community and is obliged to give his/her 100% attention to that fiduciary obligation; the offices of Secretary and Treasurer are a distraction to this primary obligation.]
Sue: [in response to Linda’s comment] that’s not what our By-Laws say. You want to change that, too? Jeff: the motion fails. Harvey: motion dies.
7. Har Tru - $2947.40 - Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: Jeff didn’t realize this was on the agenda. He wanted to go straight to the Second Residents’ Input Session. Deborah, the property manager, said it was clay for the tennis courts. Harvey made the motion to accept it, and Linda seconded it. It passed unanimously.]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Paula Simon: I have no skin in the game on what you do about clubs and membership, but I do want to remind you that meetings are run according to Roberts Rules of Order last I looked, and I don’t believe you can make motions about changing By-Laws or actually amend them without proper notice to the community.
So, although you’ve expressed an opinion of what you want to do with respect to club membership and teams and clubs, you still need to give proper notice and details on the amendments to the By-Laws… before you can make the change. That’s my input; thank you.
[Editor’s note: Bingo, and not the Splish-Splash type. Perfectly stated and accurate.]
2. Joyce Winston: I’d like to address the subject that Sue brought up about electing the Secretary and Treasurer separately from a Board member. From a practical standpoint, poor Bob can’t concentrate, or anybody that holds that position, while taking minutes and notes, instead of concentrating on his position as a Board member, and listening to, contributing to, and voting on various motions, and the same goes for the Treasurer.
If you don’t agree with me, that’s perfectly alright. But I think it’s something you should think about it and not just dismiss out of hand. There’s a lot of Board work to do. Having a Secretary and/or Treasurer from the community is not a bad thing. It only adds. They don’t vote, they don’t do any of that stuff, they don’t pass laws. But they do a different job for the Board. Thank you.
Jeff: we’ve been doing this for 21 years [so what; that’s a reason to continue to ignore the rules?]. No one’s ever complained. [Editor’s note: are you sure about that? You just heard several people weigh in on it, and believe me, there’s more out there.] The Presidents’ Club – not one president came back and said they had outsiders.
[Editor’s note: first, residents are not “outsiders,” which is very dismissive, and second, who cares what other communities do? They also apparently don’t require vendors to break down costs of labor and materials and that’s not good practice either.]
3. Paul Friedlander: I heard your discussion about having nominations from the floor at the annual meeting to elect the Secretary and a Treasurer: the number of participants sitting at the annual meeting are clearly not representative of the community. There’s a handful of people who are there observing.
If you were to allow that small group to nominate and elect a Secretary and Treasurer, it clearly would not be representative of the community. If you want to suggest that the Secretary and Treasurer not be Board members, it should be appointed by the Board itself. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: Paul is clearly incorrect and apparently confused. The annual members’ meeting does not function to elect the offices of Secretary and Treasurer. It never did. The new Board appoints the Secretary and Treasurer by either open or secret ballot (their choice). That’s what the rules say. That is what the By-Laws currently state and that is what the Florida statute also clearly states.
The issue is not who appoints the Secretary and Treasurer: that is strictly a Board function to make those appointments. The point is that the By-Laws already provide for those offices to be filled by any member, i.e., anyone is eligible to be nominated regardless of whether or not they are a Board member.
Also, whether those present at the annual members meeting represent the community or not is irrelevant; it has nothing to do with the procedure for nominating and appointing these officers.]
4. Skip Jacobs: why was the Chat Room disabled? Mike Blackman: during the meeting, but then it’s turned back on… Skip: during the meeting, if we can’t express ourselves, what’s the purpose? Mike Blackman: residents’ sections. We’ve had it in the past. It was disruptive.
[Editor’s note: your Editor asks again: is Mike Blackman an unelected Board member? Some people don’t believe it was disruptive and in fact believe it was instructive and should never have been disabled during any part of the meeting.
This is a political discussion, and the Zoom operator does not set Board policy. Again, it is respectfully requested that the Zoom operator refrain from injecting himself into these proceedings. Perhaps he should mute himself if he cannot control himself.]
Jeff: it’s no different than when we had the Board meetings in the Board rooms… [sic]
[Editor’s note: ok, Jeff, if it’s no different from when you had Board meetings in the ballroom, as you state, then in the ballroom we recall that anyone could stand up at any time and interject and they often did. So, your statement is completely hypocritical.]
5. Jan Janow: [Editor’s note: Jan suggested a tape recorder for the meetings; Harvey stated that the meetings are recorded and then posted on the HOA website.]
6. Trudy Lieberman: I could not get into the chat room during the whole meeting; even when it was enabled, I was disabled. Mike Blackman: It’s a problem with your computer; give me a call.
Round Table Discussion:
Bob: nothing right now.
Harvey: [Editor’s note: Harvey noted that the By-laws state that to be the Secretary or Treasurer, you don’t have to be a Director. Bravo. Now we know that both Sue and Harvey know how to read and understand what the written words say. That’s two Directors for certain, so that’s comforting, as it’s better than zero.
Harvey then made one final comment to Sue.]
Harvey: Sue, you’re not the first person not to get a motion seconded[and that it happened to him]. That’s the way it is.
Richard: The Treasurer’s Report will be released next week…if you have questions, you can email me…or wait until the next Board meeting.
Linda: I’m good, thank you.
Sue: Ok, I just want to respond to Harvey; I did not take exception to that, I just said “really.” I thought it was unfair to residents, not to me, as I said. I’m a big girl, I’ll leave it at that. Paul Friedlander said something about nominations.
I would like to remind you that it is the Board of Directors that determines who fills the positions of Treasurer and Secretary. It doesn’t matter who nominates, it is the Board of Directors that chooses. They can choose one of their own or they can choose a resident.
And this is what I really am concerned about: we spent a good deal of time talking about not micromanaging clubs. But when it comes to committees, not so much. And the most recent example was the Long-Range Planning Committee, we micromanaged them and I do believe that’s the reason they resigned. If standards are going to be standards, if rules are applied fairly, then they apply to clubs, committees, or anything, to which that rule applies.
And maybe we should be more specific in how we phrase items on the agenda because I do believe that if we specified what the change to the Sports Center rule was, there would be a few more comments, and I think that going forward, we need to be more specific so that the First Residents’ Input Session means something to residents, and they can be more involved and informed as to what are decisions will be… [Sue then thanked the Zoom operators.]
Jeff: thank you Mike, Arnie, and Anita…happy new year… the virus, we appreciate more people letting the community know and keeping their distance… the clubhouse is being used very sparsely right now, think about closing it evenings; will have to look at the fobs… next meeting, first week of February at 9:30am. Harvey: February 2nd.
Jeff: Motion to adjourn? Harvey and Sue and the other one seconded it. Ok, we are adjourned [without a vote]. [The meeting was adjourned at 8:19pm.]
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman, and his assistant Arnie Green and, as backup if needed, Anita Goodman, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the Board meeting of January 12, 2022; next meeting: February 2, 2022 at 9:30am.
Thought for the Day:
It’s probably not a good idea to keep secrets from your significant other.
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