02/03/21 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted February 6, 2021. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the February 3, 2021 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated in bold blue.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled: “Racketeering”
Racketeering: definition by Oxford English dictionary: dishonest and fraudulent business dealings.
Racketeering: definition by your Editor: engaging in racket sports (including paddles).
Cross-over? You decide.
On January 28, 2021, we sent the Board the following email:
“New Rules Banning Individual Club Rules, Banning Non-Residents from Club Membership, and Banning Requirement of Club Membership for League Play
January 28, 2021
Dear Board Members,
On January 20, 2021 you voted to neuter club rules and ordered that they are not legally enforceable.
One of the limited functions of the president of the HOA is to make sure Board resolutions are carried out. However, as of this writing, it appears that the president has not taken the required actions to effectuate this new Board rule. Two things are outstanding:
First, the pickleball club still has on its page on the official HOA website a link to these very rules that you declared unenforceable. This is the HOA official website, and it is incumbent upon you to remove this link forthwith. The president is also the liaison to the website. If the president does not fulfill her duties and obligations in this regard, which appears to be the case, then it is incumbent upon each and every other Board member to take care of this immediately.
Please remove the document link from the HOA official website because its continued presence on the official HOA website creates confusion. You ruled it is of no force and effect but on the official site it is still posted. End the confusion now by deleting it from the official HOA website. Failure to immediately do so makes a mockery of your orders and suggests that your orders are not enforceable because you are allowing contrary rules to exist in the face of your edict.
Second, the rules you recently instituted also changed the By-Laws because you added rules to a new Section P, thus officially codifying what you mandated. The community should be made aware of this by a mass e-mail blast which contains the new rules and an instruction for the members to insert these new rules into their packet of rules just like you did when you revised the rules in the past.
Please also make sure to include your other orders which were that only residents can be club members, and that one does not have to be a pickleball or tennis club member to participate in league play.
Absent these immediate actions, the community is left without guidance and with confusion.
Vicki Roberts and Arthur Andelson”
One other important matter to mention at this juncture: at the last Board meeting, Sue made a motion and when Marion called the question, she called it incorrectly:
“Marion: All in favor, club membership not a requirement for intercommunity competition?”
That was not Sue’s motion. That was Harvey trying to change Sue’s motion which Sue declined to do. The word was league, not intercommunity competition, as in “club membership is not a requirement for league competition or league play.”
Marion called the question and changed the word from “league” which was Sue’s amendment to her motion and instead used Harvey’s suggestion which was “intercommunity competition” which was specifically not adopted by Sue.
To be clear, intercommunity competition with pickleball is more of a social-type structure among communities whereas if a community does not have enough players, a Cascade Lakes resident may play on the opposite team against Cascade Lakes and vice versa, for fun. This is different from league play. In league play, if there are not enough players, they forfeit that one game. So as Sue often says, words matter. The motion was for “league” play, not for intercommunity competition which Marion erroneously stated.
The Minutes for the January 20, 2021 Board meeting posted just before press time. As to Marion’s error on the club vote, the Minutes say: “Club membership will not be a requirement for inter-community competition (including leagues)”. Was that the motion? Technically, no. Is league play covered? Yes.
Now back to our email to the Board. Other than a generic acknowledgement of our email from Marion, we have heard nothing. Where are the new rules? Where is the notice to the community? Why are the neutered pickleball club rules, which are entitled “Governing Documents” on the pickleball page, still on the Cascade Lakes website? Why are the new rules not posted on the HOA website’s document page? Where are the Board’s (pickle)balls?
The monologue is over. It is always my pleasure to get off the stage and start the show.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
[Editor’s note: a paltry 41 devices were logged into the Zoom meeting at the start of the meeting, including the seven Board members and the property manager, leaving a whopping 33 devices, out of about 1,140 people, logged into the live presentation.]
Board Members Present:
Marion Weil (Board member and office of President)
Richard Greene (Board member and office of Treasurer)
Linda Arbeit (Board member and office of Secretary)
Bob Dingee (Board member)
Eileen Olitsky (Board member)
Sue Schmer (Board member)
Harvey Ginsberg (Board member)
[Editor’s note: the office of Vice-President is vacant; no Board member received the required majority vote per Robert’s Rules of Order, which the President declared is followed in Board meetings. No re-vote was taken. Hence, the office remains vacant.
Any Board member representing to this community that there is a current vice-president is doing so illegitimately. Any Board member taking any actions in the claimed capacity of Vice-President is doing so illegitimately.]
Call to Order: Marion Weil.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Linda Arbeit. [Editor’s note: Linda held up a flag; all Board members stood.]
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: blah, blah, blah.]
[Editor’s note: my goodness, you know your re-election campaign is in trouble when even the devil’s disgusted.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Judie Delman: [Judie wanted to know what the Board’s intention was with respect to the mailboxes and the 75 percent-2/3 percent questions, will it be one question dealing with both or separate.] Marion: “they should be separate.” [Editor’s note: should be?]
Approval of Minutes: January 20, 2021 Board meeting: Linda Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of the January 20, 2021 Board meeting. [a number of Board members appeared to second the motion.] Marion: everybody did; give it to Bob…all in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: Eileen questioned if there were ever a vote on the iguana contract; apparently there was a vote at the December 16, 2020 Board meeting, and it was approved. So much for seeking alternative, more humane methods. A concerned resident found an alternative method to deter iguanas and we sent this email to the Board on January 26, 2021 on that resident’s behalf, for which we received a generic acknowledgement from Marion:
“There is a product (https://iguanagone.com/) (firstname.lastname@example.org)--- concentrated and not terribly expensive-- for the BOD to consider—as an alternative to our current trapper contract.
According to this website, our herbal ideas will harass them in the short term, but iguanas will become immune to them eventually..."iguana gone" reportedly compels iguanas to leave... here's how:
"Iguana Gone works at the molecular level by putting molecules in the air that the iguana senses with their tongue and affects them at the physiology level thus stressing them into a fight or flight mode."
"IGUANA GONE® contains all organic, all natural ingredients. No chemicals. No pesticides. It's totally safe for humans, pets and the environment, it's humane, it's easy-to-apply, and best of all, IT REALLY WORKS--by reducing the presence of iguanas on property.””
It is unfortunate that the Board has chosen not to review this matter and to continue with an inhumane extermination of these gentle creatures.]
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: … mow…February 11-12, 25-26. Guard house has a leak, Miranda Plumbing…leak detection, here now. Bronze and white mailboxes are at the clubhouse, samples only….
[Editor’s note: Marion thanked Eileen for all her hard work on the food trucks and Eileen in turn thanked Deborah who was at every single food truck event from 4:30pm to 7pm per Sue’s comments.]
[Editor’s note: Only new entries will be posted here. Previous entries (those having appeared in a previous synopsis and which still have not been addressed by the Board) are listed by their headings only. Once we raise an issue and discuss it in a synopsis, it will appear only as a heading. Details of each are found on our page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
A. Road Resealing
B. Rescinding illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote.
C. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community
D. Improper use of HOA funds
E. Improper expansion of Presidential powers
F. Disabling of the Zoom meeting Chat function
G. Clubs and Their Asinine Rules -- HANDLED; CLUB RULES NEUTERED; AWAITING NOTICE TO COMMUNITY, NEW RULES TO BE EMAILED TO ALL RESIDENTS, REMOVAL OF BOGUS PICKLEBALL CLUB RULES FROM HOA WEBSITE, AND ADDITION TO BY-LAWS TO BE POSTED TO THE HOA WEBSITE
H. Two incident reports
I. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members
J. Weekly email blasts; News & Views dedicated page for president; president assuming too many liaison positions that target communication and final decisions
K. Re-Vote for the office of Vice-President -- PRESENTLY VACANT
L. Eliminate Liaisons To Vendors; Property Manager and HOA Attorney To Report To All Board Members
M. Expenditures That Are Not Revealed To The Community Need to Be Openly Disclosed; Where Does Your Money Go?
NEW ENTRIES ON THE LIST:
[Editor’s note: none at this time.]
[Editor’s note: the Agenda does not contain any items under Old Business. We therefore conclude that the Board members, every single one of them, believe that all of the items listed above (A through M) which have not been addressed are of no import or of minimal significance. We say this because every single Board member has the right to add an Item onto the Agenda and not one of them is listing any of these items.
Even if that item is inclined to fail vote-wise, we believe each Board member owes it to the community to put these items on the Agenda and deal with them. At least then we would know that they are truly representing the members at large and trying their best to address the members’ concerns.]
Marion: “there is no Old Business today. Hooray!”
[Editor’s note: really? You’re celebrating when there is literally a list of many items that should be addressed (see above) and are summarily ignored by every single Board member? It is clear that this current Board is not going to address any of them. Perhaps the new Board coming in March will.]
1. Renewal of YMCA contract- Linda Arbeit
Linda: contract terms will remain except during the pandemic, reduced monthly rate of $2,330 instead of $2,916…motion to accept this contract on condition that we have a pandemic reduction in the contract. Second: Harvey.
[Editor’s note: a discussion ensued about the contract and residents’ use of the offerings, and who determines or how is it determined when the pandemic is over which in turn determines the end of the discounted amount, and whether or not to have a one or two year contract if the latter is even possible, with or without an escalation clause.]
Marion: we need to go back to the Y with our questions. All in favor to table this? 5-0. So it’s tabled.
[Editor’s note: Linda was against tabling it.]
[Editor’s further note: Harvey’s computer apparently kicked him out of the Zoom room, so he was not present for the vote. Wow, you know you’re an unpopular Board member when even your own computer won’t let you stay in the Zoom Board meeting.]
(2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968, directed by Stanley Kubrick.)
2. Vote to change 75% to 66 2/3%- Marion Weil
[Editor’s note: this will make it easier to get projects passed which require a community vote. You might like that; you might not. That’s a judgment call. This change in percentage required to pass these items would also require a community vote, and that vote would have to pass by 75%. So, 75% of the households (450 of 600) would have to approve reducing the required passage rate to 66 2/3% before this could be implemented.]
Marion: I’m going to withdraw this item until next meeting; we’ll be hearing from the Long Term Planning Committee and it may affect that. Postpone to February 17. Any objection? [none heard.]
3. PBB - Phantasma Scale $14,930 – Marion Weil
[Editor’s note: that’s one expensive pest.]
Marion: palm trees…it is very contagious…critical thing…not to exceed… $14,930 which will be the cap in the event we have more than we think we do…I move to accept the proposal and in the month of February. Eileen: second. Linda: additional treatments, we will request approval, so it can exceed it. Richard: $45,000 in the budget for treatment of diseases…serious situation.
Sue: based upon what Linda said, is it possible to delete that from the contract? Marion: if they find more…we still have to take care of it…Sue: it’s worse than Covid in humans.
Shelly Andreas: co-Chair, Landscaping Committee. Not to exceed is for this spraying. If they have more trees, the price will not be any more. It’s referring to an additional spraying if it’s for the same reason; nine months down the line we find out that there are more trees, then you will have to renegotiate. For this spraying only, will not exceed, and could be lower.
Marion: all in favor, for the month of February, not to exceed $14,930? 6-0. Harvey is unavailable right now.
4. PBB – Hardwood Trim $52,800 – Marion Weil
[Editor’s note: we have repeatedly stated that the contract with this vendor should include a Schedule A that sets forth pricing for various services not included in the main contract. We have also stated that these contracts need to be better negotiated and/or sent out to bid. During the Board meeting it was stated that last summer this item did go out to bid.]
Marion: for 2021, will include all the shade trees…and all of our homes…including … palms…clearing all streetlights. I propose we accept… Second: Richard.
Sue: the last Board meeting, By-Laws, required three bids of any project over $25,000. I only see one proposal. Are we in violation of our own By-Laws? Deborah: August, June last year, we went to about five tree companies…we chose Palm Beach Broward… because…spreadsheet showed all the costs…Duffy’s, Zimmerman, Branch Managers, other two… Palm Beach Broward was recommended by the Committee; the cost was a lot less…we definitely went out…
Eileen: I have no doubt that they were the cheapest…but all these extra things are not in the contract… [that’s what we’ve been saying since last year; there should be a Schedule A in the contract] … Eileen: $52,800… how do we compare… were these possibilities included when we got out the other bids? Deborah: tree trimming only…hardwoods, palms… it wasn’t including disease treatment… costs were so much higher… and the work done, no different… some worse… Eileen: this was part of the bids? Deborah: correct, all the hardwoods and palms.
Shelly Andreas: Deborah, Marion, Mark, myself, and Barry [Gordon, co-Chair of the Landscaping Committee], we went to Palm Beach Broward, Duffy’s, Branch Managers; three bids. PBB $52,700, Duffy’s wanted $74,228 and would only do the palms once a year; PBB does it twice. Hardwoods, PBB; Duffy’s wanted $90,435. Crown reduction, PBB $16,220 and Duffy’s $9,625; Branch Managers refused to break it up and gave us a price of $219,000.
Sue: dates of those proposals? Shelly: in the summer… August or September… Marion: I think it was August… Richard: was a big discussion with the budget committee… and PBB did a better job… [Harvey’s computer has let him back in the Zoom room.] …
Sue: contract says…will be done in August and September so where does it say twice a year? Deborah: palm trees are done twice a year, hardwoods are done once. Marion: all in favor, $52,800 for 2021? Unanimous.
5. Hardwood Crown Reductions $16,220 – Marion Weil
Marion: 80 assorted hardwoods Angel Wing Pod; 50 assorted hardwoods in Glenville Pod. Motion. Second: Linda. Harvey: other pods at a different time? Marion: correct. Deborah: during the next couple of years. These are the worst pods, the only ones this year. Harvey: common property or homeowners’ property, too? Deborah: on both. Harvey: I don’t see that on the proposal. Deborah: Palm Beach Broward treats residents’ trees and community trees.
Shelly Andreas: part of the Landscaping Committee which we will be presenting…three year plan…take the worst areas to do in 2021 then 2022, and hopefully by 2023 we will be finished and not be a 15 year plan like the ficus. Marion: all in favor, Angel Wing and Glenville Pods? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Judie Delman: [Judie asked if the roofer who was hired to watch daily was showing up daily.] Marion: we didn’t hire anyone. [wrong.] Deborah: we hired Campbell [correct.]. Deborah: he’ll be here today; he only comes periodically.
[Editor’s note: Judie pointed out what we wrote about extensively when this contract was discussed and approved several months ago, that it is pointless to come periodically, that he needs to be there before the tarp is laid or you will never know what issues lie below the covered area. (She also referenced the same failing with the failure to monitor the roads.)
Our November 18, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Money Makes The World Go Round had a complete discussion about this, including photos of your Roving Reporter laying the lower roof to our Los Angeles home. Our points were ignored, and the Board proceeded to hire the man for six inspections at $400 each with any additional inspections at the same $400 rate. This random inspection method is nonsensical as we explained in detail in that synopsis.
Judie then asked to whom the Board is going to be listening in determining when to open up the fitness center: the CDC, the governor, or the president, and that there is a variant strain from South Africa which can be a bigger problem, possibly not covered by the vaccine. She stated that the CDC is the most important.]
Harvey: “Dr. Fauci is who you should be listening to.”
[Editor’s note: ok, first of all, it’s whom, not who, and secondly, there is a lot of controversy over Dr. Fauci, his purported flipflopping, and his potential biases. Harvey has no business telling a resident that she should obey Dr. Fauci.]
Judie: I’m not listening to him…
Harvey: vaccines will provide some protection, or a booster…Judie: I’m not talking about a booster…possible that it will become a major problem in the U.S… Fauci is very indefinite… Marion: we can’t predict right now. Eileen: the issue for the Board is the YMCA. The pandemic is an individual decision. The Board does not get involved in that; we are not experts.
Round Table Discussion:
Linda: [Editor’s note: Linda questioned the practice of having two regular monthly Board meetings or should the Board go back to what was done previously, which was one planning meeting or workshop meeting with no voting and then a Board meeting with voting. Marion stated that under Florida Statute 720, every time the Board meets, it’s a Board meeting; meetings would be 4 to 4 1/2 hours, there is so much business, so she disagreed.
We have a better suggestion: how about being more prepared for each Board meeting to begin with?
Eileen agreed with Linda and stated that there should be a planning meeting rather than a workshop meeting; it would be more transparent. She suggested that since this Board only has three more Board meetings, to wait for the new Board to discuss this because they may not agree, and that it is not fair to pass such a new rule so late in the game, and that it should be the new Board’s decision.
At that point, Sue started to talk, and Harvey once again interrupted; finally, this time, Marion admonished him that Sue was talking. Harvey apologized. Sue questioned what organizational structure was best and was transparent. She suggested that Board members contact the person whose item it is on the Agenda to provide information. Sue stated that how the Board makes decisions should be in full transparency to the residents.
Here is an even better idea: the packets that the Board members receive from the property manager should be scanned and available to any and all residents who would like to review those documents before a Board meeting so that during the First Residents’ Input Session, they can give meaningful comments before the Board votes. There are a lot of very smart people here who cannot help this community after the fact. Give them the information before the Board meeting and make this place an even greater community by using the talents of those residents.]
Eileen: no, I’m good, thank you.
Bob: every two weeks is tough. After the new Board, I’ll go along with what’s going on.
[Editor’s note: we guess he’s running.]
Sue: our own FSR recommends monthly meetings.
[Editor’s note: assuming Sue means FirstResidential Services, who cares what they recommend? They can make a suggestion, but why does their recommendation have any weight? Where does it get its value?]
Sue: We should not have any Old Business; Old Business means new business not attended to. Secondly, I would really like to see a green mailbox…Deborah’s report…only bronze and white…
[Editor’s note: again, who cares? This is an individual owner’s decision, not a community decision. And that includes color, because the governing documents do not mandate that the individual owner’s mailbox must be a certain color; to the contrary, the way the governing documents are worded, the only reasonable conclusion is that there is no color mandate. See our dedicated Mailboxes page for a detailed explanation.]
Sue: third, elections, anyone interested, terrific pay scale, nothing. Adhere to deadlines.
Richard: I pass.
[Editor’s note: there was a discussion about a transition meeting between the current Board and the incoming Board; Harvey then responded to that.]
Harvey: There is no transition. There’s the old board and the new board.
[Editor’s note: we agree, and also, there is continuity with at least three existing Board members who are not up for re-election.]
Marion: not true; I did with Rich when I became president.
[Editor’s note: having a discussion with the former president is not a board transition meeting.]
Eileen: new Board members, it’s an excellent idea. Marion: you can’t just drop it in somebody’s lap. Harvey: we still have three meetings; the Board still has to conduct… lame duck [suggesting this was a lame duck Board]; we don’t know who is running…
Eileen: I don’t believe anybody on the Board considers themselves as lame duck. But a major decision, I don’t think at the eleventh hour a major change should be made. We can have plans, but I don’t think major changes, alterations, modifications should be done at this time. Thank you, Mike and Arnie.
Marion: Motion to adjourn? Bob. Second: Harvey. It’s 10:40am. Thank you everybody. Somebody: do we need to vote… Several Board members: Happy Birthday, Arnie.
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green, 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 February 3, 2021; next Board meeting: February 17, 2021 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.