Deborah Balka: …mow...three times this month, yesterday and today, the 15th and the 16th, and the 27th and 28th… Jeff: motion to approve the property manager’s report? Bob. Second? Richard Greene. All in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: These items are still being ignored. Details 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. –THIS RULE HAS BEING EXPANDED TO INCLUDE SECOND VIOLATIONS; THERE IS AN APPARENT OBSESSION WITH TRANSPONDERS.
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 -- MOOT AS OF MARCH 25, 2021
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?
N. Message Board Suspensions: any suspensions from the HOA message board that were never voted on by the Board at an open meeting need to be removed from those residents’ records. Suspensions are strictly governed by statute and the HOA governing documents. Webmasters have no authority to issue suspensions.
NEW ENTRIES ON THE LIST:
[none at this time.]
[Editor’s note: no Old Business was listed on the Agenda.]
Jeff: nothing left over [from the prior Board].
[Editor’s note: really? Take a look at the above list.]
1. Code of Conduct- Alan Silver: Rules and guidelines for board members
[Editor’s note: wow. You know something’s been radically wrong when this type of item finds its way onto the Agenda.]
Alan: decisions for upgrades … code of conduct, 3 tenets, one, make decisions from facts, two, collect the facts from experts, and three, don’t approve expenditures not budgeted except in case of emergency… in addition, enumerate the roles and responsibilities of officers and board members which previously was an unwritten policy.
[Editor’s note: actually, roles and responsibilities of officers are not an unwritten policy; they are already specifically stated in our governing documents, see Section VIII, Subsection G, page 3-10. Anything more than what is listed is an improper usurpation of power which should be roundly rejected by every Board member.]
Alan: I make a motion to form an ad hoc committee to set rules and guidelines to make decisions. Second: Sue. Jeff: Discussion? All in favor? Unanimous.
Alan: last Monday, limited to three Board members met for this ad hoc committee: Sue Schmer and Richard Green will join me in that committee.
2. Expert directory-Alan Silver: Identify residents’ expertise
Alan: motion to restart the expert directory project. Bob: Second. Jeff: we will be sending out a copy of that form. All in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: this is a great idea, and it is one that Alan has raised before. It is great to see it finally being implemented.]
3. Board Action At A Glance-Alan Silver: Report to residents on board meetings
Alan: Linda, the past secretary, informed me many residents requested a prompt synopsis. The attorney disapproved. I propose to publish a chart…agenda item, passed or failed, and the time stamp in the video where people can view those. No information [to be given] which is open to interpretation. Motion for permission to send out such a form. Second: Harvey.
Sue: I’m in favor of forms, I’m not in favor of listing the pass/fail because that to me … is Minutes. The only thing required is the motion and votes… I have issues with the pass/fail, can be interpreted as Minutes…
Harvey: [starting at 19:00 on the tape] “I think the intention is honorable because I think what we’re trying to do, and correct me if I’m wrong, is, um, to counteract the unofficial synopsis that goes to, that goes out on a different website. I think this is a good idea, and will give the residents some information that’s not hearsay and not editorialized, so I’m in favor of this motion.”
Jeff: “ok, Alan, will you please make your motion again.”
Sue: [starting at 19:24 on the tape] “I’d like to respond to Harvey.” Jeff: “Go ahead, Sue.” Sue: “Just on matters of principle, and I will make this short. I strongly disagree with what you have just said.” [Editor’s note: a Board member then chuckled.] Harvey: “ok, we’ll agree to disagree.”
[Editor’s note: Jeff then went back to Alan for this motion.]
Alan: Motion to send Board At A Glance a day after the meeting or two days…contain only the Agenda item and a pointer to where in the video the information may be seen in more detail. [Editor’s note: seconded by Harvey.] Jeff: All in favor? 6. Opposed? Sue? Sue: you know I’m opposed. [Editor’s note: the motion passed 6-1.]
[Editor’s note: it seemed as if this Agenda item was specifically designed to counteract our synopses and commentaries, and Harvey essentially admitted to it per the exchange above.
As many of you will recall, the Board used to put out truncated synopses until we came on the scene and used some of that language to make a point, at which point the lawyer advised the Board to stop doing synopses, and so we undertook that task so that you, the residents, would no longer be in the dark about what the Board was doing with your money and other matters important to you.
It initially appeared, based on this Agenda item, that a smaller version of the Board’s synopses might be coming back. Our first thought was, don’t worry, it won’t affect our synopses and commentary where you can get context, nuances, and explanations as you have come to expect, and of course, the obligatory satire and humor.
As it turned out, it was something a bit different, with the obsessive dig from Harvey interjected into the discussion as you read above (apparently, he couldn’t help himself; he clearly can’t get our October 7, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Three Dog Night out of his mind). Happily, we bring it all to you here, and will continue to do so as long as we are physically and mentally able, which we hope will be for a very, very, long time.]
4. Preparing to reopen amenities-Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: there was a somewhat lengthy discussion about reopening the amenities with some new rules. Harvey moved to accept new rules and it was seconded by Linda.]
Richard: I have a problem with the parking lot situation wearing a mask. People don’t conjugate. It’s very confusing. No one has a meeting in the parking lot…
[Editor’s note: Not sure how anyone would “conjugate” as Richard suggested, using the word twice. Your Editor had flashes of the late comedian Norm Crosby for a moment there with his hilarious malapropisms. Your Editor is pretty sure that Richard meant to say “congregate” on both occasions. “Conjugate” used as a verb per the online Dictionary means:
“1. Grammar: give the different forms of (a verb in an inflected language) as they vary according to voice, mood, tense, number, and person.
2. biology: (of bacteria or unicellular organisms) become temporarily united in order to exchange genetic material. "E. coli only conjugate when one of the cells possesses fertility genes."”
Your Editor is relatively certain that Richard was not suggesting that residents parse the forms of a verb or exchange genetic material, especially during the pandemic and unless they’re united in holy matrimony or otherwise in an exclusive relationship, but who am I to judge?
Anyway, Harvey amended his motion to say that the phrase ‘masks and social distancing are optional for vaccinated residents’ be removed and replaced with masks should be worn on the pool deck when social distancing is not possible. Alan seconded that. That amendment passed unanimously. Jeff stated you will still have to call in for reservations for the weekend, as the new rules were taking effect on Monday, April 12, 2021. Then they went back to the main motion.
Harvey restated the main motion and Alan seconded. Basically, effective April 12, the pool is open without reservations required from 8am to 4pm daily. No guests. The spa stays closed. There will be a few chairs with priority to handicapped residents. You can bring your own chair and put your name on it and store it there, but the HOA is not responsible if it goes missing (per Deborah).
Masks are to be worn to and from the parking lot and pool if social distancing cannot be maintained. The Sports Center returns to normal, unmonitored play which is scheduled through Lee. No more than four people on a court at one time. Bocce court returns to normal use with CDC guidelines still in effect. Penalties for failure to comply if you start bringing in guests. Harvey moved to accept the proposed rules and Linda seconded the motion.
Sue asked Harvey if he were willing to separate the penalties; she stated that the penalties should be with the Sports Center rules already in place and the other penalties should be for the pool violation. Harvey agreed that the penalty would be for a violation of the guest policy at the pool only. Jeff stated that there were also no guests allowed at pickleball or tennis either.
Jeff: the first violation would be loss of privileges for one week, the second violation would be a loss of privileges for two weeks, and the third violation would be a loss of privileges for four weeks. We have to be very strict about bringing guests, gonna supersede all other violations. All in favor? 5 – 2. Alan and Sue were opposed to the violations.
Harvey: I will revise this…just for violation of the guest policy… Deborah: 25 chairs, four for handicap closer to the pool… Harvey: label as handicap access only. Deborah: I will.
5. Updated website terms of service- Harvey Ginsberg:
Harvey: the website is a service offered as a convenience to the residents; it is not considered an amenity and not considered a club….do not post commercial adds…no campaigning…
[Editor’s note: Harvey is 100% wrong: this is a common amenity of the HOA and as such, falls under the rubric of the statutory rules governing suspensions. And it is certainly news to us that no campaigning is allowed, since we saw an awful lot of campaigning about the Amendment Vote to change it from 75% to 66 and 2/3 for weeks leading up to the Annual Meeting and vote on that politically charged campaign issue.]
Harvey mentioned that a resident complained that violations could last for decades and something that you were punished for decades past could be used to suspend you 20 years later if you allegedly violated the message board terms of service another time. He stated that the resident had a point. The resident was none other than your Roving Reporter, Arthur. Here is the pertinent part of what Arthur wrote to the webmasters and the entire Board on March 2, 2021:
“How exactly are you calculating alleged multiple violations? If I lived here for 30 years are you counting these two alleged violations so that 30 years from now if you don’t like something I post you can suspend me for six months and then permanently thereafter 40 years from now? And by the way, after a year and a half, I’m still waiting for the grievance committee that I demanded for the last one.”
Harvey moved to place a two-year statute of limitations on message board violations after which it would be reset to zero. The motion passed 6 to 1, with Sue objecting because she recognized that the entire process was improper and contrary to Statute 720.305 and the HOA’s own governing documents, and she reminded everyone that the residents own the HOA and its amenities. The message board is a common amenity and suspensions are specifically controlled by said statute and the HOA governing documents.
Harvey countered that on January 8, 2020 (during the sham proceeding against your Editor for her suspension for posting truthful messages about former Board president Marion Weil holding secret Board meetings contrary to statute), the lawyer said what they were doing was legal. The lawyer was 100% wrong, however, because the statute and our governing documents are clear and at least one Board member, Sue Schmer, recognizes this fact.
Harvey stated that any resident who is suspended from the message board still can appeal to the Board. Your Roving Reporter has demanded redress and is still being ignored, so that promise appears hollow.
Sue: This to me is a matter of principle…not personalities…the changes are inconsistent with Statute 720.305 and our own Rules & Regulations and violate due process. Number one, there is very little in the state statute that has any reference to websites; SB398 (for Associations) and 718.111 which primarily refers to condominiums; two, because the webmasters are listed as a Committee, they serve at the pleasure of the Board. Only the Board should make decisions.
Three, the website is owned, operated, and maintained by the HOA. The penalties are inconsistent with the statute, ours, and does not allow for an appeals process… Four, the Terms of Service, there are many inconsistencies, and I am very surprised that the Rules & Regs Committee was not consulted on something as important as this. Use your Committees to advise the Board.
Harvey: at the January 8, 2020 meeting, Lou Caplan [the lawyer] made the determination it is not violating 720.305, not governed by 720.305, his legal opinion.
[Editor’s note: Harvey then called on Mike Blackman, the webmaster, to put his two cents in. Mike proceeded to make legal pronouncements about the matter, which was wholly inappropriate because, upon information and belief, he has no legal training. For that reason, we will not report legal fallacies stated by a non-lawyer.]
Harvey: propose an amendment to the motion, on the fourth occurrence, change from permanent to two-year removal from the message board. Richard: Second.
Sue: 718.111 specifically refers to condos. SB398 implies that the association should have a website. Many lawyers say that means that HOAs need websites. Additionally, I still question: if an Association owns, maintains, and operates a website, how it cannot be considered a common facility.
…Harvey: Point of Information. There is a provision in this Terms of Service for appeal to the Board of Directors, so you can’t say no appeal. Amendment, the fourth violation is a two-year statute of limitation. Jeff: all in favor? 6 – 1, Sue opposes.
Harvey: call the question on the original motion, accept the motion to revise the Terms of Service. Bob: Second. Jeff: all in favor? 6 – 1, Sue opposes.
[Editor’s note: the motion was that every two years the slate is wiped clean and the “violation meter” is reset to zero. The motion was amended to include a two-year suspension in lieu of a lifetime suspension for a fourth violation. This is better than the frightening and disturbing way this was being handled up until this moment in time.
We take this to mean that if you violate the Message Board Terms of Service according to the ruling class, they must look back and determine if you had no violations in the previous two years and set the meter back to zero so that if you then violate the Terms of Service according to them, it is considered a first violation. At least that’s what we think they said. If we are correct, this means you get to violate the Terms of Service at least once every two years for free. Mark your calendars accordingly.
The problem that also clearly exists is that Harvey, who is in control of the message board, has a demonstrable bias against your Editor and your Roving Reporter, as clearly demonstrated by his repeated reference to us and our website at Board meetings, including this one, and not in a positive light. This is a conflict of interest. He has no business adjudicating anything when it comes to us, and he should recuse himself as he did with the infamous “fence/gate” re-vote (which grew out of the Three Dog Night synopsis referenced above).
Harvey repeatedly singles us out and he gets to silence and punish us on the HOA message board, which we own equally with him. He has clearly made public his bias. This is why the Board, and only the Board, should determine punishment after which a grievance procedure is in order. This is the exact type of conflict that the statute and the HOA governing documents are designed to avoid. Now you’re seeing it in all its decadent glory.
The most recent case of Arthur’s suspension proves Harvey’s bias. Harvey liked what another resident wrote about us because it was a hit job on us, bashing us and defaming us and this News Site. When Arthur replied that those statements were false, and provided the true facts, Harvey suspended Arthur. This is precisely the type of conduct that the statute and the HOA’s governing documents were designed to prohibit: one Board member doling out discipline because he has a personal animus against the particular resident.
Thankfully, our readership far exceeds even the highest read messages on the HOA’s Message Board. The number of hits a message receives on the HOA Message Board is posted on the HOA Message Board, but those are raw hits, not individual device hits, so if I hit it ten times, it’s still only one person reading it, me, but it’s registering 10 hits. Our analytics register both raw hits and individual device hits, which gives much more information as to how many people are actually reading a particular page.
We believe that our HOA Message Board posts are scrutinized more severely than others. This is proven by the fact that Harvey and the webmasters removed your Roving Reporter’s factual post correcting another resident’s false, defamatory, and provocative post against this News Site and us and suspended Arthur for thirty days based on Arthur’s attempt to mitigate the damages caused by the other resident’s post, which by the way is a condition precedent to filing a defamation suit against that other resident. So Harvey suspended Arthur for exercising a legal right and requirement.
The reason given was that Arthur’s post was defamatory. Arthur’s post was demonstrably not defamatory on its face. A simple reading of it shows that. The discipline was, therefore, not justified even under the illegal rules in which the process is conducted.
The other resident’s post was, in fact, defamatory. It is not the first time this resident has posted defamatory and attacking messages against this News Site and us on the HOA message board. We called her out on our Calling Out Bullies page on the prior defamation of this News Site and us and issued her a cease and desist letter.
Harvey and his cohorts gleefully suspended Arthur for correcting the record and trying to mitigate the damages caused by the false statements against us made by said resident. So in this case, Arthur was punished and suspended from the HOA message board for stating that the defamatory message board post attacking us was false, which it was.
This is eerily similar to when former president and webmistress Marion Weil suspended your Editor for posting a truthful post which stated that she had conducted secret Board meetings, which she did, and which Board member Alan Silver confirmed in writing. So the selective and discriminatory discipline by one Board member illegally continues.
Could we go to court on this matter and likely be successful? Yes. But we would rather continue to call it out here and to the Board in the hopes that eventually the Board will follow the statute. Arthur’s demand that the entire Board rule on the matter and his attendant grievance demand remains ignored by the Board, just like his previous one from 2019.
Because of this discriminatory application of punishment and discipline targeting us, most of our messages are sent out by us independently, such as what you are now reading, on our News Site, or via our own email blasts to the community. It’s a lot freer out here on the internet, and we like that.
This, however, is a most serious matter. All disciplinary actions are required to be determined by the Board, not by a Committee; any final decision must be by the Board (except for the limited exception of the ARB committee which the statute itself recognizes). This flagrant violation of the statute and the HOA governing documents would be cut down to size in a court of law in an instant because it’s that obvious.
It’s time for a new lawyer for the HOA, one who understands what the statute says and means and one who understands what our HOA documents say and mean. The HOA deserves nothing less. Maybe keep the current law firm for foreclosures; those are pretty easy, and really hard to screw up, even for the simpletons in the business.]
6. 2021 Committee Liaisons-Jeff Green:
[Editor’s note: Jeff listed all Committees and their respective Board liaisons which will be posted on the HOA website shortly. Jeff moved to accept the liaisons as presented; Sue seconded. It passed unanimously.]
7. Process for committee sign ups-Sue Schmer:
[Editor’s note: sign up to start April 12 and end April 26. Residents may sign up for a maximum of five committees. They would like to limit it to three, however, when they decide. Approval will be at the May 5 meeting. Limit each committee to nine members, may be higher if needed. Residents to accept by Monday, May 12. Sue made the motion, Harvey seconded it. Alan said a form will be emailed to all residents. They prefer you use the website over the kiosk.]
8. Renaming of Caring Committee- Linda Arbeit:
[Editor’s note: the Committee is now called the Welcoming/Caring Committee. This motion was made by Linda, Seconded by Bob, and passed unanimously.]
9. PBB Proposal 32-21- Removal of trees on common area - $2,195 (O) Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: this passed unanimously and concerned community property area behind Clover Creek. It includes removal and disposal of palms and root balls, another tree, cocoa plum, deliver and install Arboricola, a pallet of sod. Jeff made the motion, Linda seconded it. It passed unanimously.]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Roberta Alter: there are cases where people got two shots and still have Covid yet you’re opening up the pool with an unlimited number of people who stand within one foot from each other without masks. Jeff: the Board has made a recommendation and that’s the way we’re gonna go right now. Covid is not gonna end next week or next month. We’re not opening our spa. Roberta: 50 people is not enough? We have to have 100? I’m going on record, that’s all.
2. Shelly Andreas: clarification, Chairs of Committees continuing? Board will pick the Chairs or required to fill out a form? Alan: we’re requiring, yes, to both. The Board will pick the Chairs based on the information you submit in the form. Shelly: never done before, that’s why I’m asking.
3. Jeff F. Green: It's Jeff, Diane's husband. I want to thank the Board for finally moving forward with opening things up. If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t go. [Editor’s note: Charming. Actually, that was stated rather callously, don’t you think?] Jeff F. Green: If you’re gonna open the pool, then open the pool. Four pm doesn’t make sense. Treat people like adults. It’s discriminatory; people have jobs and do work. You are telling them you can’t use the pool.
[Editor’s note: on the latter point we agree with Jeff F. Green. The 4pm time period appears to be arbitrary, and it does prevent residents who are not retired or frankly for whatever reason from using the pool after that designated time. What is the basis for it? None was mentioned and we can’t think of any.]
Harvey: it’s not carved in stone; let’s give this a try… and then open sun up to sun down. Jeff F. Green: thank you, that’s what I like to hear. You’re not gonna have 100 people at the pool... [allowing residents to come] any time, it would be spread out… Jeff [Board President]: we had to start someplace, walk before we run.
4. Jerry Dinerman: the Florida statute, there are two types of meetings, a Board meeting and the Residents’ Meeting, usually annually. I agree with Sue Schmer, the Board acted improperly, it’s not appropriate for the Board to approve the Minutes of the Resident’s meeting… improper action on the part of this Board and should not be in the Minutes… under Florida statute this was not a Board meeting.
[Editor’s note: your Editor objected to this at the time and also a year ago when former president Marion Weil improperly led that Residents’ Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting should have been run exclusively by the property management company and no Board member should have been permitted to intervene or interfere.
Marion Weil, the former president, tried to stop your Editor from speaking (again) at the March 25, 2021 Annual Meeting before the expiration of the required three minutes the statute mandates and the property manager stood by and allowed it to happen. I didn’t; I took my allotted time just like I insisted when Marion illegally tried to seize the microphone from me at another Board meeting in the fall of 2019 prior to the two minute mark.
Marion stated that this past March 25, 2021 Annual Meeting was the last Board meeting of that Board. It was not; that occurred on March 17th, a week earlier. And now we have the new Board (except for one Board member, Sue) still not getting the message, obviously, since they improperly approved Minutes of an Annual Residents’ Meeting, not a Board meeting. They had no authority to do so. Wake up, people. Read the rules. Follow them.]
5. Donna: [Schwartz] I want to thank the Board for finally deciding to open some things up here. I would ask you to reconsider not allowing guests on the courts… we’ve never allowed during prime time, only when no one else is on there… no additional risk…
6. Judie Delman: [Editor’s note: Judie asked about the artificial plants at the front entrance that a lot of residents noticed because they look really awful and make the entranceway look cheap. Landscaping Co-Chairperson Shelly Andreas said they are there because it is very difficult to grow plants there and it gets very expensive constantly having to replace them; Judie mentioned that the color doesn’t match and is too light; Shelly said that was a good point and that they would look into getting darker ones when they fade.]
7. Barbara A: [Appleby] I commend the Board for a well-run meeting. The artificial plants, I agree with the person who just spoke. Should be replaced, better color and not obviously look fake. [Editor’s note: we agree on all points.]
8. Mark Goodman: I congratulate Jeff as President and wish him luck on this. I appreciate it’s gonna be a lot more cohesive meeting going forward… Congratulations all participants. Did you mention the exercise center, the inside venue? Alan: meeting with the Y tomorrow to get a feel for their recommendations…no decision yet…
9. Art Tapper: Two questions. Opening the tennis court – are you bringing back the chairs and tables? Jeff: not right away. We’re gonna wait a couple of weeks and see what happens… people can still bring their own chairs right now… Art: The Fitness Center? Jeff: meeting with them tomorrow – Alan, Linda, and myself.
10. Rosalie Gold: There is a ridiculous number of signs, about 15 at the back gate, it looks like a flea market. Too many signs leading to the clubhouse. Too many leaving the community – if you got in, you know how to get out. The scrap metal from all the signs – worth something, where is the money trail on that. Signs have been repeated, especially by the back gate…money totally wasted, and no beauty in the plants, look cheap, fake. Jeff: ok, thank you.
Round Table Discussion: