02/05/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS
Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the February 5, 2020 Board meeting with commentary indicated in bold blue within brackets.
Board Members Present: All.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Linda Arbeit.
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
There is coffee in the back; please help yourselves. Upcoming events:
Cascade Lakes Blood Drive, February 7th from 8:30am to 12:00pm, see Mimi Spinner to register.
The Entertainment Committee is having the Happy Days Sock Hop on February 8th, wear your bobby socks, red, pink, the Fabulons are entertaining.
Long Term Planning Committee Vision Survey: 450 people completed the survey, which was over 46%, which was a phenomenal response. The Committee will report the findings and their recommendations at the next board meeting.
Applications for service as a board member: send in your resume, answer the questions on the form by February 25th at 4pm. [Editor’s note: the form says on its face that you are not required to submit the form, but can instead create your own 8 ½ by 11 paper with whatever you want to put on there for distribution among the entire community. No resume is required either.]
Fun Day is March 29th, put on by the recreation and entertainment committees. It is $10 to register. [Editor’s note: in the tradition of this website’s Where’s Manny contest, which was sabotaged by a resident (see Where’s Manny page for details), the Fun Day flyer denotes a scavenger hunt. It stands to reason, therefore, that our Where’s Manny contest was a great idea, else it clearly would not be emulated. In the words of Charles Caleb Colton, in Lacon: or, Many things in few words, 1820: “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” So, thank you to the recreation and entertainment committees for this fine emulation.]
March 31st at 7pm, brought to you by your BOD and our COP unit is “Run, Hide, Fight” with the sheriff’s office.
Mailboxes: should we or shouldn’t we.
Please refrain from wearing perfume or cologne; residents have allergies, sensitivities, and respiratory issues.
Thank you for proper behavior and conduct, respect each other and board members. These are not resident meetings. It is not the time at the podium to speak to other residents.
We will be live streaming; therefore, your face and voice will be visible. There were chat problems in the streaming. [Editor’s note: more on this later.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
Rochelle Becker, Grey Birch Lane: the mailboxes are really bad, they’re falling over now, so what do you people have planned? I can’t stay the whole time, I have a plumber coming. This is not really fair. Board member [probably Marion]: we’ll let you know.
Approval of Minutes: January 22nd Minutes: Linda moves to approve; Jerry seconds; motion passes 6-0 [Editor's note: Jerry was absent on that date, so he abstained.]
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka:
Spraying of palm trees is in progress. Palm trimming is in progress. Weed spray of the turf is in process. The trim crew is now on Glenville, will move on to the common area. Mow schedule is February 11 and 12, and February 26 and 27.
Three crank umbrellas and one chess press for the fitness center need to be added to new business.
Staffing: we are searching for someone for nights and weekends [Editor's note: for non-event nights], there may be no coverage after 4:30pm, where no one is there.
The fence ad hoc committee is meeting with vendors. FPL: we are working with on additional lighting to get more lights.
Blood drive is Friday at 8:30am in the Arts & Crafts room.
Hotwire: refresh classes tomorrow, Thursday, sign up in the lobby in the sign-up book.
See the attached column from legal counsel. [Editor’s note: what is this about? Why is the property manager receiving anything from legal counsel? It cannot be a privileged communication if it is conveyed to a third party. The only thing that makes sense is that Deborah is advising the BOD that the attorney sent her an article for them to read. Its contents were not communicated to the residents. That’s unfortunate, since he is supposed to be the HOA attorney, but as I have said before, if it is an issue with regard to a resident challenging BOD action, the lawyer will in effect represent the BOD against the resident. In any event, it seems to this writer that transparency should be the norm, not the exception, and the article’s contents should be revealed to all residents. I’m not a betting person, but I highly recommend no bets on this happening. And certainly, if the property manager, who is not an owner, is privy to it, then certainly the owners are entitled to see it.]
The club house pump, $850 to reinstall.
Payments [Editor’s note: assessment, for example] are accepted in the office, has to be done manually, don’t wait for the due date. Online payment is the best way to pay.
Marion: add to agenda, number 6: umbrellas, number 7: chest press machine.
Item 1: Mailboxes: Marion: Previous board approved buying mailboxes and posts but didn’t process it. My question is are we gonna do it or not. It’s approximately $210,000 and takes 20 months for any of the installation to go on. Alan: we discussed this in the past, that we would wait for the survey, does it ask about mailboxes? Marion: we have two posts sitting in the office, they are huge, South Florida Mailbox wants to know. Eileen: is it possible to wait for the survey results and do it at the next meeting? Linda: has to be voted on by the community; I’m not against tabling it for the survey, but at that point we have to push through one way or the other. A lot of mailboxes are falling apart, and the community doesn’t look as good as it could, but it’s a waste of time before the survey. Harvey: replacing one to one, white post, with white mailboxes, even though it’s a community vote, could take up to 20 months; could do $100,000 one year and $100,000 the next year, is there a way if we had to assess, could we do the assessment over two years, and if it’s the same mailbox, just replace those. Marion: the mailboxes are the homeowners’ responsibility; the posts and the addresses are the HOA’s responsibility.
[Editor’s note: Marion is incorrect: I credit Arthur Andelson for this information: the addresses are also owned by the homeowner, not the HOA: under our Rules and Regulations, page 4-8, under B. General Rules, Number 8, it states: “Mailboxes and numbers are the property of the individual homeowners. The homeowner is responsible for maintenance and/or replacement in accordance with the standards established by the property manager. New mailboxes must be in accordance with standards established by the Board of Directors.” Therefore, it is actually improper for our BOD to vote or for there to be a community vote on changing mailboxes en masse because the HOA does not own the mailboxes and no resident has the right to vote on issues concerning another resident’s mailbox. So, if a mailbox looks like crap, the HOA has a right to proceed under our Rules and Regs, Section E., Violation Guidelines, at pages 4-16 to 4-17, but that’s it. Furthermore, mailboxes are specifically referenced in our Declaration of Conditions, Covenants, Easements and Restrictions on file with the State of Florida; at page 1-18, it states: “Section O. Mailboxes. No mailboxes or similar improvement shall be installed on any Unit or Lot unless the location thereof has been approved by the ARB and the materials therefore [sic] and color thereof have been approved by the ARB and are in accordance with such standards for materials and colors as may be adopted by the ARB.” This necessarily means that an individual homeowner may apply to the ARB, the architectural review board of our HOA, for a specific and unique mailbox, and there is, in fact, no requirement that all mailboxes be uniform.]
Harvey: needs 75% to pass; 50-60 need to be done. Eileen: if we do like to like, in the reserve, does it need a community vote? Mark: there is no such thing as like to like, so it must be a community vote. Eileen: Most communities have black. Have to see what the survey said and then have a town meeting. Harvey: if it doesn’t pass, go back and go with white. Replace the post falling apart. Eileen: you’re putting a BandAid on something that has to be done. We should walk around as a group, what percentage are in bad shape. Mark: this is the 5th, 6th, 10th time we’re discussing this. Gotta get this done. Maybe an Alex-type to install the new poles. Alan: you’re putting the cart before the horse. Wait for the survey. Jerry: we’re spinning our wheels. Wait for the survey. Motion to postpone. Linda seconds. Vote: 6-0-1, Mark abstained.
Item 2: Shed Update: Marion: engineering committee asked us to talk about the shed. They will redesign the type of material and try to place it elsewhere. I spoke with the contractor; we will not replace anything other than what the county approved. We’re approved structural, the next step is zoning, should not be too hard, then landscaping, electrical, something else; so I asked the vendor for an estimate, two months through zoning, so I say another 4-5 months. Hopefully it will be done sooner than later. HardSell [phonetic] put out $12,000 and has not billed us anything. They are still with us. I will call the zoning department. Mark: one block down by Tuscany Bay they approved it almost overnight. [Editor’s note: he is referencing Barclay Place; it was not overnight, and Arthur has a post in the Residents’ Input Page under Message Board: Neighborhood elsewhere on this site with the latest update from the latest hearing before the Palm Beach County Commissioners.] Mark, continuing: there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. [Editor’s note: that’s probably the understatement of the year.] Harvey: the reality is that someone’s palm is greased. [Editor’s note: not necessarily, as that implies corruption; but there may have been strong lobbying that occurred behind the scenes.]
Item 3: Streaming Update: Alan: This is the third board meeting we’re streaming and recording. [Editor’s note: at no time did anyone on the BOD or anyone else advise that the BOD meetings were being recorded; we were only told that streaming was occurring.] Alan: The first one was for the office only. The second was announced, eleven people signed on, there was full video and no audio. We contacted ZOOM, the teleconference provider; our computer became overloaded and froze. We ran a streaming experiment last week. We had problems with the community laptop, switched to a more capable computer from the computer club, and it seems to be resolved. We are still working on the kinks; please be patient. Jeff, does it seem to be working? Jeff: I haven’t heard anyone saying they can’t hear. Alan: nothing particular in the board meeting through screening at this point. We asked Hotwire to put it on the community channel, and they want $8,000/year. We will provide a link to our cloud storage as the cost is nothing. Recording: I move that we only keep the last meeting, one meeting after the fact. Harvey: second. [Editor’s note: why? If there is no cost for the cloud storage, why are you deliberately erasing past recordings of prior board meetings? Once again, you invite charges of lack of transparency and cover-ups and spoliation of evidence when you impose these types of arbitrary edicts. What are your afraid of? Why wouldn’t you stand by your comments and votes? I say, own them, for better or for worse.] Harvey: the link for today’s meeting, and then in two weeks, that comes down, and the next one goes up. “Chat” is not for resident input. Unless they are physically unable to come, they can email their concerns or bring them by proxy. [Editor’s note: whenever I’ve emailed the board, I’ve been ghosted, so this claim is bogus. As to bringing one’s concerns by proxy, not everyone has a proxy available to them.] Harvey: we need to work on the wording of the disclosure, the recording is the property of the CLRA, for the sole use and viewing of members only, and any other use is strictly prohibited. [Editor’s note: this synopsis and commentary is provided to you, courtesy of the First Amendment.] Alan: a warning is put up, it’s part of the recording. Harvey: the wording – you can’t take parts and rebroadcast; you can’t put it on your website without the express written consent of the association. Mark: that’s what it says. Motion to keep only one past streaming recording: passes 7-0.
Mark: Question: I received an email – the meet the candidates is on March 9th and the night before is part of a religious holiday. Can we stream the meet the candidates? Alan: yes, but the candidates are up on stage, we could keep them at the table. Harvey: what holiday? Marion: Purim. Harvey: that’s not a major holiday. Marion: it’s a holiday for these residents and celebrated with the reading of the Megillah.
[Editor’s note: per the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Megillah, also spelled Megilla, Hebrew Megillah (“Scroll”), plural Megillot, in the Hebrew Bible, any of the five sacred books of the Ketuvim (the third division of the Old Testament), in scroll form, that are read in the synagogue in the course of certain festivals.”]
Marion: Have the candidates sit here and then you can stream. No motion is necessary, it’s part of operation.
Item 4: Audio Equipment Update: Alan: new speakers were approved at the last board meeting; improved audio quality. On January 28th, with Mike Deckinger, we met with Rich Velaw [Editor’s note: phonetic] and his assistant Kyle of Hospitality Media at Kings Pointe. Their theatre is larger, they have a dedicated theatre. Our room is a rectangle. They had sound panels on all walls; the sound was excellent. We learned several things: the speaker design, Easy Focus, shows that four speakers are adequate for our ballroom. Installation will include installation of all wiring; per Mike Deckinger, there was some rat infestation, they could have nibbled on the wires. The new system has preset buttons and a remote operation feature; it can be over the internet. Training will be offered; Mike will decide who. The problem is that this room is not well designed acoustically. There are problems with the side walls and back walls. To help with the side walls, will move closer to the center. The rear wall problems, there are two possibilities, one, speakers should be installed and see how it sounds, and one, investigate sound editing materials as part of refresh [Editor’s note: refresh of the entire ballroom]; second, implementation of a wi-fi based system, for people with hearing problems, they can listen with headsets over their cellphones. The system is available – Williams Audio Video – it’s about $1,000, and anyone with a laptop, cell phone, could receive the audio and stream to their hearing aids or use a headset. It’s brand new; there are no systems in Florida. There are always warts; I called the manufacturer. They had 40 systems in the Midwest and would be willing to give us a loaner to try. It requires multi-talk wi-fi. This afternoon I will discuss it with Hotwire. I move we authorize installation of the loaner system to see. Motion second? Mark: I am totally against it. A thousand here, another there; we need money. We can’t please everybody. We should wait. Harvey: I have a problem with new technology. It’s unproven, untested. We should wait six months or one year, when there are more than 40 units out there. Because it’s $1,000, what if it’s a piece of junk. Alan: That’s the point of a loaner. At this point, there is no cost. Harvey: Let’s get the new sound system in here and see how it works. And you should – you have to download an app – a lot of people have flip phones. I, too, would be against it. Jerry: I suggest we wait. Linda: wait to see what. Eileen: I agree. Alan: Motion for loaner pending low cost wi-fi: 1 to 6 in favor; motion fails. Alan: should we continue discussions with Hotwire? Marion: sure.
Item 1. Clubhouse Coffee Options: – Linda: the coffee set up really is not successful. It is a waste of time and money to prepare four pots of coffee. You all have a sheet, what a coffee maker would do. The company is Vienna Coffee. It’s an Expresso Machine, $220/month to keep it here. I am against it. It could break very easily. It’s not the HOA’s responsibility to provide coffee to the residents. Harvey: how many people come in for it? Deborah: first coffee was $1 a cup, then it went to free. We do two pots in the morning, two pots in the afternoon, equals four a day, sometimes more or less. Harvey: is it worth it? Deborah: we throw out a lot. They want it fresh and hot. [Editor’s note: at some point, Linda mentioned that the coffee as time goes by gets cold and no one wants the dregs at the bottom.] Eileen: if you’re a coffee drinker, bring a thermos. Harvey: a Keurig machine people will steal. Jerry: bring your own cups, no expense to the corporation, just Keurig. Harvey: Move that the association will buy a Keurig machine to be chosen by the staff and residents bring their own cups. Mark: second. Deborah: the office will still need to purchase cups, stirrers, lids. Eileen: I think it’s wrong. You’re outlaying money. It’s not right. If a resident wants coffee, bring it from home or go to Dunkin’ Donuts. [Editor’s note: because the Where’s Manny scavenger hunt was sabotaged by a resident, no one was able to claim our Dunkin’ Donuts gift certificate. That’s too bad, since they make a great almond milk latte.] Deborah: no longer for the board meetings? Eileen: it disturbs me; we voted to have it, now we’re voting not to. Most places, as a courtesy to the residents, it’s a courtesy to have coffee. Linda: it’s multiplying the expense by the month, then the year. Harvey: how much is it as a bulk buy, you can get cups at Gordon’s or Costco. Deborah: I purchase. It was $332 for the last two months. Costco is $440 with no labor for months by the staff. The machine- there are about 16 different varieties. Harvey: the cost of a case of coffee cups and stirrers is minimal. Deborah: if we are still providing it for board meetings, I need to stock cups and stirrers and creamer. Harvey: I move that the association by Keurig for the residents to provide their own K cups; the association will provide the cups, stirrers, sugar, lids. Second: Jerry. Marion: all in favor: 4 [Editor’s note: the boys.] All opposed: 3 [Editor’s note: the girls.] Motion passes 4-3. [Editor’s note: in favor was Harvey, Jerry, Mark, and Alan; opposed was Linda, Marion, and Eileen.] Harvey: you can also make tea with K cups.
[Editor’s note: don’t you wish they spent this amount of time on the assessment?]
Item 2. Hydrodynamics Proposal- flow meter calibrations $3,300: – Harvey: We have eleven irrigation flowmeters that need to be calibrated. They should be every three years; we are overdue. Motion to accept the contract. Second: Mark. Jerry: what is the purpose and necessity of recalibration? Deborah: it measures the water taken out of the lakes; we have to report to Palm Beach County monthly. It has to be done every 4 to 5 years. Marion: all those in favor: 7-0 passes.
Item 3. Tennis Court Pavers, Courts 4-5, $5,500: – Linda: Pavers between courts 4 and 5. Mark: this is a reserve item, not a budget item. Linda: We want it to look exactly like what it looks like between courts 2 and 3. The contract is $5,500. It will give better access to the courts, so you don’t have to walk through the dirt, and will increase the beauty. Eileen: the grandstand is so hot. Another board member: that’s the next item. Harvey: would it make everything the same? Linda: yes. Linda: motion to accept the proposal for APC to install. Eileen: second. Jerry: each place with a canopy and chairs is on a cement pad. Why now pavers? Which is more expensive? Eileen: it’s walking to the seating area, not under the seat area. Alan: there is a fence there, does it include modifying? Another board member: Has to be another contract, not included, has to be done by others. Alan: there’s a drain there, a significant sink hole, is that included? Linda: I asked Lee, it’s the same drain as in the other area. Larry [Editor's note: Engineering, from the audience]: the water will drain and will not flood. It’s called a French drain. [Editor’s note: per Merriam-Webster: “Definition of French drain: a drain consisting of an underground passage made by filling a trench with loose stones and covering with earth, called also rubble drain.”] Marion: they don’t have that on here. Jerry: it has to be written or it’s not done. Marion: send it back, add the French drain. Alan: I need to see the fence in there. Harvey: let’s table for the fence removal and the French drain. Second: Jerry. Eileen: It’s been four years. The grandstand, no one uses it. I’m a little confused. We pushed through pickleball, increased Lee’s salary. This should be given to tennis players as an accommodation. I encourage you to pass this and let them have the seating area they so deserve. [Editor’s note: decisions ought not be made as accommodations based on an improper comparison, in this case, to pickleball. First of all, pickleball enhances the value of the community and only takes up one court. It has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Second, the pavers are a benefit to the community and will allow access to the grandstand, and that should match the other grandstand access referenced as being between courts 2 and 3. Third, this is not something that the tennis contingency “deserves” per se. The community owns the sports center, all of it. Decisions ought to be made on the proper criteria: fiscal responsibility and enhancement to the community. So, the proposal makes sense, subject to the fence and drain issue, and it stands on its own. Conclusion: base the decision on good common sense and value to the community, not some tit for tat based on a false analogy to pickleball.] Harvey: we need to complete the contract; the motion was to table. Discussion: proper aluminum fence removal and the French drain. You’re right, they deserve it, they asked for it, they should get it, but we can’t vote on an incomplete proposal. [Editor’s note: same observation: whether something is deserved is not the issue, and just because they asked for it does not mean they should get it. The determination should be made based on good fiscal responsibility, and community enhancement. Your Editor believes the proposal meets these criteria subject to the fence and drain issues.] Mark: the bleachers will stay? Larry [Editor's note: audience]: yes. Marion: Motion to table and second Items 3 and 4 (Linda). Motion passes 7-0.
Item 4. Awning for Court, Court 4-5, $4,695: – tabled per Item 3 above. [Editor’s note: the awning is critical to have for the safety of the residents, who otherwise have to bake in the sun if they wish to use the grandstand. Therefore, both the pavers and the awning should be approved.]
Item 5. Revision to Board Meeting Schedule: – Mark: We’ve been coming twice a month for years and years now, last time was a Wednesday night we had a meeting, there were 1 to 2 agenda items. We should think about having one board meeting a month, the second part of the month, when we will have the financials. We are coming twice a month for many items that could wait for one time a month to vote. If it’s an emergency, we can do it. Marion: my concern is that the meetings will go on for hours and hours and that is one of the reasons we went two times a month. Harvey: If we have a motion to table, we would have to wait a whole month. Mark: if it’s one item, it’s up to the President to postpone the meeting. Harvey: you could have a large agenda. Jerry: it’s easier to postpone one meeting that to add [Editor’s note: meetings]. Linda: I’m very uncomfortable; I would rather postpone. Eileen: perhaps if we have a limit, if there are more than 2 items, then have the meeting, if less, than don’t. Jerry: that’s an operational matter. Marion: we’re doing it now. [Editor’s note: discussion only, no vote.]
Item 6. Umbrellas: [Editor’s note: add on per above.]: Deborah: Medallion umbrellas have broken and have been discarded. Can’t get parts. Fiberbelt and Elite we still have. We recently put up two crank umbrellas, they are more than 6 months there. We need three to be replaced; instead of Elite, I was opting to try more cranks. The cost is greater than my threshold. It is $1,53.01 for three including delivery. Harvey: Motion to accept the proposal. Linda: Second. Harvey: We need to replace the Medallions with the crank umbrellas. Deborah: the crank umbrellas are a two-pole system, not as strong. The others are one pole, and we’ve been cutting them. Harvey: Cost difference? Deborah: close in the price. Harvey: this is a no-brainer. People won’t go on the tables. Deborah: Fiberbelt and Elite are stronger for poles without a table. We cut them so they are more reachable. These would go under the tables. Poles: a single pole is stronger than two pieces. Marion: out there it’s a wind tunnel, but these will be in the table which will help stabilize it. Three fiber umbrellas from Horizon Casual. It’s a budge item. Motion passes 7-0.
Item 7. Chest press: [Editor’s note: add on per above.]: Deborah: we bought leg presses last year. We put this $2,946.80 for Matrix Converging Chess Press. Jerry: Motion to approve. Marion: Already pre-approved, we said we’d hold it for the budget. Alan: there’s a piece of equipment now which is multifunctional and includes a chest press. Harvey: the concern of the trainers is that it is currently not appropriate for our demographic. Alan: is this without multifunction? Have we decided that multifunction is not age appropriate? A board member: yes. Harvey: it’s already approved. Deborah: we did see a company at the Expo, I will contact them and see if they want the used piece of equipment. Mark: we can donate. Harvey: it was approved. We are just moving forward. Marion: no motion needed. Linda: in the Minutes, Jerry moves for approval? Pre-approved in 2019. Jerry: I move to reaffirm the prior vote to purchase this piece of equipment at this time. Mark: re-vote. Eileen: Second. Passes 6-0-1: Alan abstains because it doesn’t have multipurpose.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
Mimi Spinner: I want to thank everybody for working hard to push for the blood drive. So far, there are about 35 people, more than last year, and hopefully we will have walk-ins. I’m not hoping for rain for pickleball or tennis, but if it rains, we might have more people. Plus, the number you gave us for white mailboxes, I didn’t realize the Board had decided. Marion: we hadn’t. The quote we got was for white. Spinner: what’s the difference, white vs. bronze? Marion: no difference in price, waiting for the results. [Editor’s note: likely the survey results.] Spinner: The initial presentation, how much? I thought it was for a darker color. I don’t think it should be our only option. I’d just as soon have them fall apart – which mailboxes? They don’t add value, they have no curb appeal.
Barbara Gordon: I commend the board for voting for the Keurig buy, industrial one. You can fill a thermos. I was appalled that you think it’s too much money for stirrers and mugs. The mailboxes: I’ve sat on the facilities committee, they’ve been on the checklist for 5 years, and you’re worrying about waiting four weeks? They should not be white. You want $11,000 on the tennis courts, it’s fine, the only people that see it are our tennis player people. The mailboxes, everyone sees it on every block. I think the regular community is entitled to.
Alan Chates: several meetings ago the mailboxes were discussed, I give credit to Eileen who suggested that one pole could be moved between two houses. Marion: we can’t do it. The manufacturers and the post office will not allow us to change.
Arnie Green: hard of hearing sound system: we have it now, it’s working fine. It’s a waste of money.
Mike Deckinger: architecture in the room affecting the sound: it’s minimal. There is no need to discuss anything. In the future refresh [Editors’ note: of the ballroom], possible drapes to mitigate problems. The last show had no problem with the sound.
Roberta Alter: The patio furniture – replacement from reserves? Board member: yes. Roberta: Mailboxes: maybe we should seek different counsel. Why are the green mailboxes not a replacement item for the white? It can’t come out of reserves? Marion: It has to be voted on by the community. The mailboxes are a tangible item, in the reserves. It’s not like for like. It’s reserve.
[Editor’s note: With credit to Arthur Andelson: Mailboxes are specifically referenced in our Declaration of Conditions, Covenants, Easements and Restrictions on file with the State of Florida; at page 1-18, it states: “Section O. Mailboxes. No mailboxes or similar improvement shall be installed on any Unit or Lot unless the location thereof has been approved by the ARB and the materials therefore [sic] and color thereof have been approved by the ARB and are in accordance with such standards for materials and colors as may be adopted by the ARB.” This necessarily means that an individual homeowner may apply to the ARB, the architectural review board of our HOA, for a specific and unique mailbox, and there is, in fact, no requirement that all mailboxes be uniform. Furthermore, under our Rules and Regulations, page 4-8, under B. General Rules, Number 8, it states: “Mailboxes and numbers are the property of the individual homeowners. The homeowner is responsible for maintenance and/or replacement in accordance with the standards established by the property manager. New mailboxes must be in accordance with standards established by the Board of Directors.” Thus, again, there is no requirement that all mailboxes be uniform. And to the extent the Rules and Regulations are in conflict with the Declaration on file with the State of Florida, the Declaration controls and the Rules and Regs must bow to the Declaration. Therefore, it is actually improper for our BOD to vote or for there to be a community vote on changing mailboxes en masse because the HOA does not own the mailboxes and no resident has the right to vote on issues concerning another resident’s mailbox. So, if a mailbox looks like crap, the HOA has a right to proceed under our Rules and Regs, Section E., Violation Guidelines, at pages 4-16 to 4-17, but that’s it.]
Vicki Roberts: [your Editor]: Vicki Roberts, CascadeLakesResidents.com. On the mailboxes, the last time mailboxes were discussed according to my memory somebody brought a sample mailbox and put it up front here and showed it to us. It was like a copper or a green or of that nature on a pole and it had a thing coming out; there were two versions of it, and my memory tells me that that price per home, of the 600, was $322. Is my memory correct? Board response: yes. Vicki: But that was not for these white ones that you’re talking about; that was for those other ones that we were talking about, because you literally had those other ones here as a sample, so what happened to that? Deborah: the color is not what is depending on the cost, it’s the type of the mailbox, whether it’s white, bronze, green, or black, the cost did not change per box or per pole. Vicki: so, are you saying that what we were shown a few board meetings ago is the same mailbox that you’re proposing now, it only went from the copper to the white? Is that what you’re saying? Deborah: the proposal that the board was given was white. Now, ok? Vicki: but is that the same mailbox that was shown -- Deborah: it’s the same, yes. Just a different color. Vicki: so, it’s still $322 per house? Deborah: it’s roughly $204,000 I believe. Harvey: yeah, I just did the math, it’s $339.88 per household. Vicki: ok, so approximately the same. Deborah: right. Vicki: that is was when we first talked about it, it’s the same designed mailbox, you just changed the color. Is there a reason –
[Editor’s note: sudden out of order interruption follows:] Chick Coletta, who interrupted from the audience: What’s your point? Vicki: What? Chick: What’s your point? Vicki [with a dismissive flick of the wrist]: ok, ignoring the irrelevant person in the room – [crowd chuckles and chortles] -- Harvey: ok, people, let’s be civil please. Marion: take it easy.
Vicki: I want to know how we went from the color that was proposed to us to white. Board member: we haven’t made the final decision yet. Vicki: oh, so we’re not talking about white? Because I thought you said white, which was confusing. Mark: they just brought up white, but we have not decided, or the community has not decided on the color. Vicki: So, part of the questionnaires are going to include color? Because there as no survey about color. Marion: correct. Vicki: So, I think that before a decision is made, some kind of questionnaire, or something or other, ought to be circulated to see what people preferred in terms of color. Harvey: When the proposal is made and it goes out to a community vote, that would be part of the, of the vote; do you want a bronze colored mailbox, you know, the Board will decide based on our input what color would best be suitable for the community and the vote would be to put in a bronze mailbox with a bronze post for example. Right now, I think the only – they just did white because white’s your basic color and there’s no difference in price for white versus bronze, they just did white for the sake of argument. Vicki: Are you sure? Eileen: I’m not sure that that’s correct. Vicki: I agree. Eileen: Because I believe that Mike Gentry and working with Facilities, had other estimates. Is that correct, Barbara? [Editor’s note: Barbara Gordon.] Ok, so those estimates are not part of the discussion today; it’s not a complete – the costs are not complete at this point; I think what we’re getting at is we’re going to have – Marion: The costs are complete. Harvey: If my memory serves me correctly – Eileen: I don’t know that; I don’t know that. I think – Deborah: The Facilities brought two proposals: Beautiful Mailbox and South Florida Mailbox. They recommended South Florida Mailbox which is why I was asked to go back and get South Florida Mailbox proposal. Eileen: But they did not recommend white. Vicki: That is correct. Harvey: If my memory serves me correct – Marion: don’t focus on the color. Harvey: the price – Marion: the color is no different in price. Harvey: right. The price of $93,155 just for the mailboxes is the same as it was for bronze, so the color doesn’t matter. Eileen: If I may, if I may – Marion: right, we’re discussing something that we’re – Eileen: Marion, if I may. Marion: go ahead, finish. Eileen: Other communities have had, it’s up to the decision of the residents, the price and the color, we can take that information and then decide what to do. At other communities they have had samples up in the front of the club house, I’ve seen three or four in different colors in different designs, and we can take that step, but I think this, the, um, mailboxes on the agenda today is premature, I think we really need to do a much further study, and I believe that we have to set up a meeting with the community to decide what they want. Marion: we have had extensive studies; I can give you all the paperwork if you want.
Barbara Gordon [Editor's note: joins Vicki at podium]: Marion – Marion: the Facilities, yeah, go ahead, use the mike. Barbara: [to Vicki:] First of all, you’re right about some things. Vicki: thank you. Barbara: you’re welcome. [to Board:] First of all, you don’t need any additional studies. We have studied this – Male Board member: Barbara, please talk into the mike. Barbara: we have studied this forever, for five years. What you need to do is you need to have a vote, don’t mention color, as to whether or not the community thinks they need new mailboxes and posts and the cost. Then, you put four samples – for different colors, green, black, copper, white, on the stage, you put boxes in front of them, and you say, please put your name and address on the one you think you’d like, and then the board tallies it. And whatever the community chooses, as a, which has a majority of the vote, I don’t recommend putting four, but whatever the community chooses as the majority, that’s the one you go with. The first things first, don’t put the cart before the horse, make sure the community wants to spend the money. I think it’s imperative that we do it. And what confuses me a little bit is when you say it’s in the reserve, so is it coming out of a household, or is it coming out of the reserve? Marion: it’s coming out of the household, but the households fund the reserve. Barbara: I understand that, but is it a separate assessment, or is it coming out of the reserve? Marion: we do not know that at this point. Barbara: well, perhaps you should know that before you put that out for a community vote. Because if the reserve, let’s say the reserve covers 50%, and the household only has to come up with 50%, then you’re not asking for $340, you’re asking for $170. And which makes it considerably more palatable. Marion: yes. Barbara: So you need to get your ducks in a row as far as what’s coming out of reserve and what’s coming out of the individual household, you need to get your vote, and then you need to let the community choose the color. You do not need any more research; this has been done for five years. [one audience member clapped.] Eileen: Barbara, is this price, that we were quoted today, is that price, is that the price that Facilities has come up with for the mailboxes, for the color, whether white, black, bronze – Barbara: yes. Eileen: is this the amount? Barbara: yes. Audience Member: besides color, will there be various designs you can choose from? Barbara: well, the mailboxes – Marion: listen, folks, this is not going to be a discussion, this is just a second residents’ input session, we will have discussions about it later. Audience Member: well this will be a question, will there be different designs –
Barbara: the problem with having this on the Second Residents’ – it’s new business, so if you want to have a conversation about it – Marion: it’s old business. Barbara: well, you didn’t have it there on the agenda until after the Residents’ Session, so there was no time for input prior to the discussion, that’s all I’m saying. Marion: no, you can get up and discuss an item on the agenda. Barbara: well, it’s always better to hear what the board thinks before you discuss it, I always thought that was an issue, but, yeah, it’s a whole new pole, it’s a sturdier box, it’s a much, and if this community is going to look like all of our neighbors with current looking mailboxes – Marion: ok, thank you. Barbara: thank you. [Audience applauds; Barbara curtseys.] Harvey: the bottom line is we need to wait for the results of the survey. Vicki: thank you very much. Marion: thank you.
[Editor’s note: Barbara’s concern about having the resident input session prior to the Board’s discussion is similar to something we have raised before: the fact that the Agenda which is noticed to the members 48 hours before a BOD meeting is too vague for any meaningful resident input. We are left to guess as to what is going to be discussed or voted on. The agenda should list the item to be discussed or voted on and a line or two as to what specifically is going to be discussed or potentially voted on. Without this basic information, the First Residents’ Input Session, the only input the Board gets before voting, is rendered almost useless. In addition, residents may actually have something meaningful, important, and/or critical to say about an Agenda item, and some residents are experts in certain fields, and everyone is deprived of the wisdom of others by the Board not advising the community in advance as to what exactly is being discussed or voted on. Both I and my husband have raised this issue in the past, to no avail. Perhaps with the approaching BOD elections, potential candidates will address this failing and pledge to correct it. Hope springs eternal. – Etymology: Shortened from “hope springs eternal in the human breast,” a quote from An Essay on Man (1734) by Alexander Pope.]
Round Table Discussion: Harvey: when is the new sports sign going to be ready? Deborah: it’s ordered. Jerry: the back gate is fixed. Deborah: it was replaced, then hit, and two screws were fixed. Mark: we have the pictures, guests have been hitting the gate, we have the pictures and we are contacting them. Residents are totally responsible for their guests. Harvey: should we have a sports center sign ribbon cutting? Marion: no, that’s a little too much. Motion by Harvey to adjourn. Second: Eileen. Marion: Adjourned, 11am.
Editor’s concluding comments: And so concludes the board meeting of February 5, 2020. Next board meeting is scheduled for February 19, 2020 at 9:30am in the ballroom.