Highlights from the March 15, 2023 Board Meeting:
“Beware the Ides of March,”
“Whispered Words in a Gangsters’ Ghetto,”
“Ballot Amendment and Mailbox Vote Results,”
“Improper Electioneering by the Pickleball Club,” and
Reminder: all seven directors are equal (Jeff, Harvey, Richard, Pat, Arthur, Bob, and Sue).
Part I: Beware the Ides of March
Welcome to highlights of the final Board meeting of the current Board, which perhaps tellingly occurred on March 15, 2023, the infamous Ides of March.
And believe me, the daggers are out, just like they were 2,067 years ago in 44 B.C.E., except this time they’re stabbing the messenger, moi, so it’s business as usual here, as I’m their favorite piñata, and apparently, they see nothing wrong with that, so that pretty much tells you who these people are at their core.
Now, to be clear, I don’t care what vicious, dishonest, and nasty people think of me; in fact, frankly, if those types of people liked me, I would be insulted.
However, when certain individuals continually take turns viciously bashing a human piñata, in this case me (and anyone who aligns themselves with me or considers me as an acquaintance or friend), and these thugs support each other when they take turns bashing the human piñata, a reputation as a community of thuggery eventually emerges.
And that brings me to my next point.
Part II. Whispered Words in a Gangsters’ Ghetto
There’s a lot of whispering going around Thugsville, USA aka Cascade Lakes which is presently run by the Community Cartel. The populace is reticent to vocalize their true feelings out loud or when approached at the pool or other common areas, but they are quietly mentioning it to trusted friends.
They are tired of the bullying and harassment and the hate being spewed on an almost daily basis toward other individuals who don’t tow the party line and those who dare to challenge the arrogant elitists forcing you to pay more for their favorite vendors’ raises.
The denigration and demonization of the three candidates running on the slate of ethics, integrity, honesty, openness, and transparency (Tony, Alice, and George), by a few miscreants who fear the loss of their oligarchy, is getting old and tiresome.
These three candidates, Tony, Alice, and George, are successful businesspeople with business sense and kindness and compassion in their hearts. They are incredible human beings, and this place is extremely fortunate that they stepped up to the plate to serve you.
The incumbents’ lack of competitive bidding, lack of negotiation of contracts, and awarding vendor and vendor employee raises outside the terms of their contracts is abhorrent and unacceptable, regardless of claims of financial fitness and I will explain why.
If you’re financially fit at paying $1.00 for something, their philosophy is that’s fine even though you could get the same exact thing or something maybe even better for 85 cents if you would simply negotiate or engage in competitive bidding for renewals of contracts, because renewals are actually new contracts, just with the same vendor.
It seems that their philosophy is that since you’re financially fit at a dollar in this example, why make any effort to negotiate or bid out, and as long as the additional raises come in at the $1.00 budgeted for, you’re all cool with that, right?
And everyone else in other communities does the same thing, so it must be ok, right?
You all do realize the insanity of that argument, right?
You want to pay more than you have to? Do you do that on Amazon? Do you do that when you buy an appliance? If you see the same thing advertised for less, do you still buy it for more? How about when you buy a house: do you pay the seller more than the asking price if you know you’re the only one offering to buy it?
This is no way to run a business.
And the pool predators have transformed this place into a Gangsters’ Ghetto.
A couple of residents have endorsed the old guard for the selfish reason of protecting their own positions of power. They predicably sent out two email hit pieces (as of this writing) on the other candidates (Tony, Alice, and George) who are trying to bring ethics, integrity, honesty, openness, and transparency to the Board.
Predictably, they eliminated Harvey from their list of endorsed candidates, whom these elitists don’t want; they want people who will secure their power positions and they don’t see Harvey as their personal powerbroker here. He’s actually a much better choice for those who don’t want change; at least he’s not tied to the hips of these people.
However, in any case, many residents are quietly mentioning their intention to vote for change, for new leadership with a true business sense, with a zero-tolerance policy toward hateful conduct in and around the common areas, and who bring ethics, integrity, honesty, openness, and transparency to the Board: Tony, Alice, and George, aka the T.A.G. Team.
It’s a clear choice for those with high values and morals, for those who have a keen interest in fairness for all, and for those craving a leadership team with a savvy focus on fiscal responsibility to better protect your pocketbooks as opposed to telling you the HOA is fiscally sound because they front load budgets with your money.
Front loading budgets (making them heavier up front with extra money to justify later spending, such as for non-employee raises or vendor fees outside the terms of the contract), and to then later claim “it’s in the budget” is no way to run a business.
If I ran a business that way, I’d go broke unless I started forcing my investors (you) to inject more money every year to cover my largess to vendors and their employees, my lack of negotiation skills, and my lack of seeking competitive bidding for huge landscaping add-ons.
Part III: Ballot Amendment and Mailbox Vote Results
The Members meeting for these matters occurred the evening of March 15, 2023. There were 438 valid ballots and 16 invalid ballots for a total of 454 submitted ballots. The 16 were invalid either because there was no identification on the outer envelope or the secret ballot was just put in the ballot kiosk without the outer signed envelope.
For a 2/3 passage, therefore, 292 votes were needed. Had the 16 invalid votes been properly executed and deposited, it would have likely changed the results based on the numbers below.
Of the counted ballots, The Amendment received 294 approvals and 144 disapprovals, which is 67% approval so it passed by two votes. The Mailbox issue received 290 approvals and 146 disapprovals, which was just shy of 2/3 and thus lost by two votes. So it was a mixed bag, but in both cases extremely close.
FSR personnel and the counters all did a great job.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Let’s move on to the board meeting. As usual, there were a minimal number who attended with about 26 in the ballroom (including 4 committee chairs) and about 26 on Zoom (I popped in and out to get the tally).
At the start of the meeting, non-owner Chick Coletta came in, and deliberately sat directly behind me, because there is rarely a time when he sees me that he doesn’t harass me.
When he first sat behind me, leaning forward and breathing down my neck, I moved from the seat to the left of candidate Tony D’Agrosa’s wife to the seat to the right of candidate Tony to get away from this predator. The ballroom was empty, but as usual he made a beeline for me.
Once I moved, Chick got up and sat behind me again. I got up a second time and moved back to the left of Tony’s wife. Chick got up and sat behind me again. I got up a third time and sat to the right of Tony, at which point I stated loudly for him to stop following me and to leave me alone.
Jeff, the current president, once again failed to appropriately control this stalker or throw him out of the meeting (this is not the first time Chick harassed a member at a board meeting – see CL-Update of July 21, 2022).
This type of harassment is not limited to board meetings. Many people heard about another incident that occurred at a Meet & Greet on March 12, 2023, where a woman physically came at me (I was seated), and screamed at me and pointed her finger in my face.
At that Meet and Greet, this out-of-control raging bull (or is it cow?) screamed that I was a “F***ing C***!” And this woman is on the Grievance Committee. She was grabbed from behind by a man and escorted back and away from me. I remained seated.
These are the true bullies, harassers, and predators, and these are the individuals running around claiming that a little scribe with a little pen is making them feel so bigly unhappy.
Jeff’s Opening Remarks: Allow me to paraphrase: the only official website is not the one you’re currently reading.
Arthur’s Opening Remarks: Arthur wanted to know who removed Harvey’s motion which was on the agenda last week to immediately send out the exquisite realtor survey created by the former Long Range Planning Committee to gauge the interests of prospective buyers.
Jeff said “we” did because it should be a subject for the new board. He said it was himself, Bob, Richard, Pat, and Harvey. Harvey then said that he did not agree to remove it, he just didn’t oppose its removal (how could he at that point? Four board members already voted behind the scenes to remove it; he was already screwed by them).
In my opinion, this showed complete lack of respect toward the hard work of the former Long-Range Planning Committee, the realtors and potential buyers, the members (depriving them of critical information needed to prioritize capital improvements based on real feedback), and Harvey, an equal Board member.
First Residents’ Input Session:
Marion Weil, the Senior Webmaster, stated that she is blocking all emails and the phone number of Director Arthur Andelson. For the record, Arthur has never called her or sent her a text, ever.
As for emails, as Senior Webmaster, blocking a Board member appears to be rather juvenile and suggests her inability to handle conflicting opinions. She then told the world that she has a doctorate in community leadership.
So she has an inability to handle conflicting opinions and yet has a PhD in community leadership. That almost sounds like an oxymoron, no?
Approval of Minutes: February 15, 2023 Board meeting Minutes were approved 7-0.
Deborah: (Property Manager): the kitchen fob is operational.
1. Pool Pump Emergency Repair / Cucinotta Pool Service / $3,200 – Bob Dingee
Another day, another pump. The vendor already replaced it as an emergency replacement as it could be a health concern for lack of circulating water, and it was affirmed 7-0.
1. Indoor Pool Door Replacements / South Florida Windows / $6,975 – Bob Dingee
The doors leading to the indoor pool needed replacement. They’re fiberglass so they won’t corrode and the frame is PVC instead of metal, so it won’t rust. It passed 7-0.
2. Billiard Room AC / Island Air / $7,980 - Bob Dingee
This is a supplemental unit called a mini-split which is a small unit mounted on the wall with a compressor outside near the pool equipment. The total was $8,730 because they added the required electrical.
It passed 6-0-1 with Arthur abstaining because he didn’t have enough information, wasn’t given any other options, and it seemed like a lot of money for a small room.
3. Formation of Photography Club – Arthur Andelson
This was brought by Arthur and passed unanimously; CJ Kern, who requested the formation of this new club, is the initial president.
Part IV. Improper Electioneering by the Pickleball Club
4. Inappropriate use of the Email Publisher by a club – Harvey Ginsberg
This arose because the pickleball club officers (but likely the president) inappropriately used the HOA official website to e-blast a political hit piece on some board candidates while praising or endorsing others, among other things. It was sent, without authority, to all 812 residents who are listed in the website database.
Here is why this is a big no-no, per an email Arthur immediately sent to FSR, the Board, and Marion Weil, the Senior Webmaster:
“…1. This HOA's tax exempt status is in jeopardy with these types of political hit jobs emanating from the official HOA website.
2. This particular email blast from the HOA website violates the website's Terms of Service on its face as well as the club's own mission statement.
3. The event itself was not approved at an open board meeting nor should it have been because it is completely outside this club's mission statement and is not an HOA sponsored event.
So now you are setting an awful precedent for future elections because this means that any club can do this, and now you are going to see club "leaders" hijack clubs for their personal political agendas, whatever they may be, and however ludicrous those positions are.
Bottom line: This HOA's federal IRS status is in jeopardy with these types of political events, emails, endorsements, and criticisms of candidates for the Board of Election. This HOA is also subjecting itself to legal action separate and apart from the IRS issue just created.
Bully tactics for not showing up…is a whole different issue.
In another email Arthur wrote:
“The solution here is for FSR to immediately send out an email blast to the community to disregard the pickleball club's email, for those who received it, as it was an… improper endorsement of some candidates and denigration of others…
This is completely outside the pickleball club's mission statement, which does not provide for politicking for Board elections nor would it ever so state. Perhaps it is also time to revisit their charter.
Now, is FSR going to be directed to disavow this hit piece on behalf of the HOA and are you all going to instruct these campaigners to forthwith cease and desist, or is this just more ammunition for a court battle down the road? This has tainted and jeopardized the entire election process.”
So it puts the HOA at risk of losing its IRS tax-exempt status (for illegal electioneering and politicking), it violates the website Terms of Service, and it exposes the HOA to legal action by an aggrieved candidate.
This eblast from the Pickleball Club officers (president) also falsely claimed that the candidate event they put on was put on with the “approval of the Board.” That is 100% false. There was never any motion or vote by the Board at an open meeting concerning this event. That claim was just made up. Director Pat corrected that false statement:
Pat: “in the email, the statement that the board approved it, to set the record straight, this was not a board activity and we did not approve it.” Sue: “correct…”
Kudos to Pat for setting the record straight. The motion to send violation notices to the club officers was approved 7-0 with an admonishment that if it happens again, email Publisher privileges will be suspended.
Significantly, there was no corrective email blast ordered to be sent from FSR in any attempt to mitigate the damages caused by this outrageous electioneering. In my opinion, that’s because the incumbents running for re-election really liked the pickleball club hit piece on their opponents. Failure to mitigate when one has the opportunity and obligation to do so is something courts look at very carefully when determining unfair election claims.
Part V. Selective Enforcement
5. Message Board Violations – Pat Nast
There were five residents cited for Message Board violations, and in the opinion of a number of residents I personally spoke with, one was selective enforcement for sure, and I agree. Harvey properly recused himself (because he’s a webmaster). He reminded all violators that they had 14 days to appeal to the Grievance Committee.
One resident’s multiple posts were factual, innocuous posts that did not violate the Terms of Service in my opinion and the opinion of others. Sue and Arthur opposed this farce.
Richard properly recused himself because he was the subject of some of the posts which concerned the matter pending before the state authorities against him. Jeff, Bob, and Pat voted to suspend the resident for two years because he had a prior suspension and this was the next penalty step. It was 3-2-2.
By the way, concerning this matter, there is libelous written material circulating that I filed a complaint against Richard with the Board of Accountancy for misrepresenting his CPA license status. This is false. There is only one complaint that was filed and it was not filed by me.
The second falsity in that libelous written material circulating about this specific matter is that that action against Richard was dismissed. In fact, the opposite is true: it was elevated to the Florida Office of the General Counsel for possible prosecution or other legal proceedings.
It is currently under review with the Florida Office of the General Counsel. And that necessarily means that the Board of Accountancy found enough evidence to refer it to that Office for further legal review and potential action. So it’s been escalated, not dismissed.
(That libelous email blast to residents also contained other falsities not germane to this issue.)
But back to the truthful Message Board posts in question. Squelching the truth or innocuous opinion is becoming a specialty of some Board members and their webmaster minions, especially and particularly when it doesn’t tow the party line.
The Board also unanimously (minus the properly recused Harvey) gave violation warning notices to three other residents who posted messages which violated the Terms of Service for various reasons.
One was a racial-type post, and one called some Board members corrupt, naming Jeff, the HOA president.
The fourth one was the above-mentioned stalker/harasser/predator Chick Coletta who posted a foul rant attacking me personally.
Prior to that, he posted another post clearly aimed at me for which he was not cited, where he stated that some residents should use glue stick instead of chap stick on their lips. That post was perfectly fine to these selective enforcers who claim not to allow argumentative, disruptive, or attack-style posts on the HOA Message Board.
Now remember, this is the same offender who was allowed to chase me around the ballroom as described above, and this meeting was not the first time he did so, and I have reported that previously, and the same predator who cornered another older female widow after another board meeting in a menacing and aggressive manner.
Mr. Glue Stick was also cited for improper electioneering on the Message Board for a separate post.
Senior Webmaster Marion Weil practically begged the board to only issue Mr. Glue Stick a 60-day suspension, notwithstanding the fact that the rules say two years for the fourth violation, and this fellow had two prior violations plus these two (plus others he posted the night before the meeting that were posted too late to send out a notice and referral).
He also posted two hit pieces against Director Harvey during the Board meeting before they could suspend him.
Marion, the Senior Webmaster/Webmistress, is also Chairperson of the Rules & Regulations Committee, so why is she begging the board to break the rules and only impose a 60-day suspension for her friend?
Harvey corrected her as to the penalties set forth in the Terms of Service, so kudos to Harvey, the Liaison, for putting the kibosh on Marion’s attempted outrageous abuse of power. The penalty was a 2 year suspension per the Rules & Regs and Terms of Service.
That’s why Mr. Glue Stick posted two hit pieces against Harvey during the meeting, because he thought Marion’s friends on the Board would agree to 60 days and no one would remind everyone that the rules say 2 years.
In fact, one of Mr. Glue Stick’s posts of 10:47am, while the meeting was in progress and after this went down, stated:
“here’s why I’m upset the web masters suggested I get 60 days for violating my messages on the board Harvey insisted on bringing up that that I should get 2 yrs and just keep on insisting and I though he was one of my good friends Silly me”
So he clearly thought the fix was in, favorable toward him, that he could be the website bully, and that he would only be suspended for 60 days, and he admits that the webmasters essentially colluded to try and make that happen.
Major kudos to Harvey for not colluding with this corrupt group and for reminding everyone of what the rules are and for doing the ethical thing, a concept clearly foreign to these individuals. And kudos to Pat, Bob, Sue, and Arthur for not going along with this corruption. Jeff and Richard are another story, however, as I will detail below shortly.
But this was just another example of selective enforcement, which in this case was a failed attempt. And according to Marion, if you post an attack piece suggesting that some people should use a glue stick instead of chap stick, you are free as a bird to continue posting your filth.
In fact, on Candidates Night, March 13, 2023, Mr. Glue Stick was seen kissing Marion, the Senior Webmistress, on the lips as they greeted each other at the end of the evening. It was such a smacker that the actual lip-smacking was heard as well.
There appeared to be some suction between the two of them because there was a popping sound upon separation. It reminded me of one time seeing two mating dogs stuck together and someone had to shoot a garden hose on them to separate them.
Notwithstanding Marion’s entreaty to only give her kissing comrade a 60-day suspension, which is nowhere in the rules, the vote to suspend this non-owner from the Message Board for two years passed 5-1-1 with Richard opposing with his lame excuse and ridiculous attempted justification being, “we’re not sure.”
Richard’s “not sure” whether naming a specific member and calling her a “bitch” violates the Terms of Service prohibiting posts which attack other residents or are argumentative and disruptive? Does anyone truly believe this nonsense?
I guess when Mr. Glue Stick calls another resident, whom he specifically names, a “bitch” on the Message Board, among other things, Richard, using the Royal We, is still not sure. Perhaps it is because there was a pre-board agreement that Mr. Glue Stick would only get 60 days because he’s their chief henchman. Got it, folks?
And this is why Director Arthur called out this selective enforcement in writing and this is why Marion is blocking Arthur’s emails per her statement referenced above, because she doesn’t want to read about her own corruption and that of her cohorts.
Also, as to the fifth resident, the Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee’s political post was edited to remove the identified offensive comments but the rest of it was left on the message board. He received a violation (warning notice) for the portions they did remove. His political post was left up because it was a hit piece on non-incumbent candidates, ergo, no problem.
See how things work around here? Other politicking on the message board favoring the incumbents (and there were a number of posts by others) was allowed to remain despite the clear prohibition of “any” politicking on the Message Board. And this last one was merely edited whereas the first one’s posts were all removed in toto.
Jeff: “I have one question for the Board. Should we consider, if we take down, should we suspend all the violations we gave?” That bizarre suggestion was answered with a “no” by multiple Board members. Now why would Jeff suggest that?
Answer: Because his favorite bully and Marion’s kissing crony, Mr. Glue Stick, just got suspended from the Message Board for 2 years instead of the 60 days that was discussed privately prior to the meeting. Jeff made a last-ditch effort to save his buddy. And this scenario was essentially admitted to in Chick’s Message Board post as reprinted above.
6. Implementing Moderators for the Message Board – Harvey Ginsberg
To cut down on Message Board violations, this proposal suggests that (1) webmasters decide in advance if they will post your message (a horrible idea to give overtly biased people that kind of unfettered power) and/or (2) to disable the email subscription function (to eliminate allegedly offending posts from being disseminated as a permanent record in one’s inbox).
They went with the first one. The Gang of Five voted for it, Arthur opposed, and Sue abstained. All messages will now be pre-screened before posting by the webmasters.
Muzzling residents is not my idea of a free and open society. The answer is not less speech, it’s equal enforcement of the rules.
So in sum, now you see the critical importance of having an independent distribution channel here on the internet. Your speech, if it disfavors the ruling class, is now going to be stifled before it ever hits print.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
Highlights: a resident thought he’d be a smart aleck by stating with a smirk that none of the other candidates were at the board meeting. This outrageous, nasty, and false comment did not consider the Zoom and I personally sat next to candidate Tony D’Agrosa for the entire meeting. One candidate was at a funeral.
Another resident suggested a temperature sensor in the Yoga room, which is a great idea; Bob said they’re working on it.
Round Table Discussion and Adjournment:
Harvey wants a new residents’ survey and to at least survey the realtors “because we need to know what people are looking for… If I’m on the next Board, I’ll make the proposal.” Sue noted that the questions for the residents need to be fair and neutral.
Arthur noted that when this new Board began its term, Sue made a motion to have the realtor survey sent out to the realtors. Sue nodded her head in agreement. This same Board denied it back then over Sue’s and Arthur’s objections.
Arthur said that this is another example of the Board “kicking the can down the road and missing out very important information so we can make good financial decisions.”
Bob said, referring to the residents’ survey, “I’m in favor of the survey, too.” Richard said, “I agree with a new [residents] survey…” Jeff: “I’m for the [residents] survey also but today wasn’t the right time. I don’t believe we should have a realtor survey. All the realtors want to do is sell houses; they’re gonna tell you [you need to upgrade] everything…”
Deborah (property manager): “Happy Easter, Happy Passover... We have over 160 ballots for the election already.”
Harvey moved to adjourn the meeting and it appears that most Board members seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 11:59am.
Next scheduled Board meeting is the new Board’s Organizational Meeting directly after the annual Members’ Meeting and Election night, March 23, 2023 at 7:00pm.
Thanks for reading, and to all of our wonderful neighbors and readers, thank you again for your unwavering support!
Your faithful scribe, Vicki Roberts
Hyperlinks To Happiness:
1. ELECTION REPORT 2023
2. “Explosive: Lies Exposed, A Smoking Gun, and Vindication:” June 15, 2022 Board meeting