04/08/22 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS
Posted April 13, 2022. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the April 8, 2022 Board meeting with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue and pictures.
This synopsis and commentary is the property of Vicki Roberts, is my independent work product, and is not affiliated with the HOA. Redistribution or republication of licensed cartoons and images is strictly prohibited and may subject you to legal liability for copyright infringement. Bizarro cartoons are courtesy of Dan Piraro, www.Bizarro.com. Thank you, and you may now enjoy the show.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled:
“New Beginnings…Or Not,”“And We Can’t Get Rid of a Board Member for That,” “Why Won’t You Sign This Recall Petition!” and“Update to March 24, 2022 Board’s Organizational Meeting”
(including: Iguanas, Toilets, Trying to Stifle Debate, Attempted Power Grabs, Committee Liaisonships, and, as if that weren’t enough, other juicy stuff!)
Part I: New Beginnings…Or Not
It’s another year and another Board. In some ways it will change. And in some ways, it will stay the same. Change is slow and difficult. Some people don’t want change. Others are afraid of it even if the status quo is not that great.
A few hearts are closed, others are cautiously optimistic, and still others are bursting with joy. But everyone should take a deep breath and just enjoy the springtime. Well, maybe not everyone.
And this is not the time for some of you rascals to engage in mischievous behavior.
Although if it’s funny, who am I to complain?
But I think I’ve figured out how to navigate this place.
In fact, I know someone who does that very effectively.
And another person who navigates well here is the property manager. The property manager has mastered the art of diplomacy in her dealings with the various personalities on the Board. For example, you would never see this sign hanging in her office:
Anyway, I want to send all my good wishes to the new Board members, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Part II:And We Can’t Get Rid of a Board Member for That
But before we go on to new beginnings…or not, I would be remiss in my duties as your Editor if I did not report a little vignette that actually occurred in the property manager’s office on the afternoon of Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Harvey Ginsberg, equal Board member and newly minted vice-president (an officer position with literally no official duties per our governing documents; he’s just the president’s understudy) to Susan Hersh, the property manager’s assistant:
Harvey: “And we can’t get rid of a Board member for that.”
Arthur (who Harvey did not realize was standing right behind him, with a big and cheerful smile on his face): “Hello!”
Harvey: (hurriedly to Arthur) Hello. (And then to Susan): I’ll talk to you later.”
And then he zippidy-doo-daahed out of there. Harvey disappeared as quickly as he could, and given the adrenal rush at having been overheard, you can imagine how fast that was.
Now I realize that Arthur’s presence on the Board, which is a representation of honesty, openness, and transparency (h.o.t.) is antithetical to some Board members’ desire to control at all costs what they consider to be their own personal sandbox run by their own personal rules which may or may not comply with Florida statutes and our governing documents at any given time.
Those pesky statutes and our documents really do get in the way sometimes. If only they could depose a fellow Board member aka Arthur and then they would have their sandbox back.
By the way, what happened to all those people who chanted “don’t criticize the Board!” when we were new here back in mid-2019 and started calling out serious irregularities that we observed? These critics were furious that we dared to do so.
Now that Arthur is on the Board, they are the loudest voices about him, carrying on like a bunch of hungry hyenas, although we never hear much substance to their wailing. I guess the mantra only applies when they want it to and depending on who is on the Board; I guess that’s acceptable hypocrisy.
Part III:Why Won’t You Sign This Recall Petition!
Alas, the only way to remove a Director is by a majority of the members doing so (301 households in our case) or if the Director committed a felony or was delinquent in his or her HOA dues. Note to elitists and haters: Arthur has no felonies and no delinquencies.
Good luck. The members would sooner remove Harvey, Jeff, and a couple of the others before they would recall Arthur. Don’t believe me? Wait till the next election cycle.
Residents: As you well know, Sue and Arthur are your voices, your champions.
The elitists are very, very threatened by Sue and Arthur, and are feeling the intense heat of your champions’ calling them out for breaching their fiduciary duties to you, the residents. This is the expected pushback. Other elitists are trying to oust Arthur by way of a recall petition but are being rebuffed in their attempts.
For example, on or about April 1st, five days before the first regularly scheduled Board meeting with Arthur as a Director (before it was postponed for two days), a resident (whom we know but will not name) walked into a meeting of women at the clubhouse with recall papers imploring the group members to sign, only to walk out empty handed with nary a signature affixed thereto. None. Zippo.
Thank you, ladies! Another (different) resident with the petition in hand looking for signatures was rebuffed at the pool (April 2nd) which was four days before the originally scheduled first regular Board meeting with Arthur as a Director. The resident who reported that attempt was offended and thought the request was very inappropriate.
We are getting similar feedback from others similarly offended. Residents are receiving unwarranted phone calls asking them to sign the petition and the petition instigators are being rebuffed left and right and it is actually angering the residents.
This drive to oust Arthur is occurring before he even attended one regular Board meeting. They’re scared, folks. They’re scared that they might have to share their power with you through Arthur as your voice. So they’re flat out lying to residents about Arthur.
And now we’re getting reports that some people who signed the petition regret doing so. They realize they’ve been lied to and signed it under false pretenses as they start talking to others who are enlightening them.
Those people who regret signing the petition based on the lies they were told should immediately sign and date a revocation of their signature on that petition, deliver it to the Association office, and keep a copy for yourself. Please continue to keep us informed.
The elitists don’t want the power structure here to change; they don’t want to share it with the rest of the residents, plain and simple. Equality for all means less power for them. Remember that next year when you see their names on the ballot sheet.
The residents also have a right to know that five Board members have essentially agreed to “ghost” Arthur (and to a great extent, Sue, as well). This means ignore him, pretend he doesn’t exist, and don’t respond to any of his emails, assuming they read them at all.
This is done to try and neutralize him. What it really does is disenfranchise you, the residents. This is your Board.
This is disgraceful, juvenile, petty, irresponsible, lacking in fiduciary responsibility, and a complete disregard for their primary job of representing you. Who among you thinks that this is ok?
Arthur was the candidate of choice for the vast majority of you, and these other Board members just gave you, the residents, the middle finger.
Arthur brings an enormous amount of expertise in many different areas highly beneficial to the community, but clearly most directors on this Board care more about their egos, their power, their elitism, and their friends.
That is why, as you shall see, they ignored the qualifications for Sue and Arthur for specific committee liaisonships in favor of other directors with no discernible qualifications for those specific areas. This is a big loss for the community once again, but that is of zero concern to these directors.
Sue and Arthur will continue to be your champions, regardless of this disgrace and embarrassment you are witnessing from the other directors. These other directors have a message for you: go pound sand. Our message to you is that we will not forsake you.
Part IV: Update to March 24, 2022 Board’s Organizational Meeting:
Remember at the meeting when FirstService Residential’s Ron Capitena, our property manager’s boss, claimed that he spoke to “two counsel” for his (incorrect) official legal authority that Board members have first dibs on the officer positions of treasurer and secretary? (They don’t; that was bogus. It’s in black and white in our documents.)
Well, we thought his claim was specious, because no lawyer could be that dumb, so we undertook a small investigation. And guess what we uncovered?
It turns out that he only talked to two buddies of his who supposedly talked to him as a “favor” and who, upon information and belief, never looked at our governing documents.
So, that was extremely misleading when he made that statement to try and undercut what Arthur and Sue were correctly stating, because he never consulted with any lawyer officially to address that issue. So much for a “nonpartisan” moderator.
No, he took sides: he decided to favor the nefarious wishes of a few Board members, which was based on a completely faulty premise, and he made a completely misleading statement to effectuate that goal, and he did so deliberately.
He also did so to denigrate Sue and Arthur and their correct recitation of the rule, which was the opposite of what he espoused based on his fake claim masquerading as officialdom. And he did that deliberately, too. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Well, at least now you know.
Now on to the first regular Board meeting of the new Board.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present: (in alphabetical order)
Arthur Andelson (Equal Board member) [Your Editor’s husband]
Bob Dingee (Equal Board member)
Jeff D. Green (Equal Board member)
Richard Greene (Equal Board member)
Harvey Ginsberg (EqualBoard member)
Pat Nast (Equal Board member)
Sue Schmer (Equal Board member)
[Editor’s note: I am no longer indicating the officer positions because some Board members don’t understand that that does not confer upon them greater status and they don’t understand that all Board members are equal.
Their officer duties are strictlyministerial and administrative in nature: see Articles of Incorporation, Article IX, page 2-3, “The affairs of the Association shall be administered by the officers…”
This is in contrast to the duties of the Board of Directors in the Articles of Incorporation, Article X, page 2-3: “The affairs of the Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven (7) Directors…”
Take away: Board members are equal managers. Officers engage in administrative or ministerial duties; they have nothing to do with the management of the HOA. Being the president, vice-president, treasurer, and/or secretary has nothing to do with managing the Association and confers no additional managerial powers to do anything.]
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Arthur Andelson. [Arthur asked all who could to rise, face the flag, and to place their right hand over their heart; he then led the Pledge of Allegiance.]
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff invoked a moment of silence for Miles Alter, a former president who just passed away the other day; he then thanked the Zoom and tech operators and welcomed new residents. He ended with the following statement which came out of nowhere and was never voted on or even discussed with all Board members:]
Jeff: Robert’s Rules are not required by Florida statute, and we do not follow Robert’s Rules.
[Editor’s note: translation: we don’t follow the ones we don’t like, and we do whatever the heck we want to. The only reason this statement was made was because Jeff, Harvey, and the others knew that what they were intending to do by limiting debate (see below, procedural motion #1) was 100% contrary to Robert’s Rules, and they were given those authorities.
Harvey, who also provided a Robert’s Rules cheat sheet to Board members a couple of weeks before the meeting, somehow forgot he did that and now did a 180 degree turn and claimed they didn’t apply. What is clear is that they apply when it suits them, and they don’t apply when the rules go against what they’re trying to do. I call that dishonest.
Later there was a suggestion of a hybrid, which I think means “we’ll follow them when they favor us and it suits our purpose, and ignore them when they don’t,” and then if the issue is flipped, “we’ll ignore them when it disfavors us and apply them when it doesn’t.” Got it?]
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you have a question or comment, raise your hand please.
1. Wayne Keyes: [Editor’s note: Wayne wanted to know if the pool waterfall operation times could begin earlier in the morning; he likes to use the pool between 6 and 8 am; he stated it is an HOA amenity and as a dues-paying member, it should be available during the operation of the pool itself.
He said he understands during pool classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday it would need to be turned off. Jeff said they’d look into it.]
2. Marion Weil: [Editor’s note: Marion stated that “we do not follow Robert’s Rules.” She stated, with respect to the organizational meeting, that “one of the Board members was totally disrespectful to the Board and the residents… all of the residents who were listening heard disrespect, yelling, unethical statements, and a reprehensible discourse.”
[Editor’s note: All? She polled everyone? No. In fact, the majority disagrees. A small vocal minority goes in lockstep with this statement. And actually, they follow Robert’s Rules when it’s convenient for their position and ignore Robert’s Rules when it doesn’t suit their purposes.
Further, what was disrespectful was the way Arthur was treated by the moderator and some Board members at that meeting, and it was indeed unethical for the moderator to have rejected his obligation to be neutral in favor of several Board members.
Also noted was that there was a deliberate stacking of the small audience at this Board meeting with elitists and haters who dutifully clapped when Marion was bashing Arthur. Some of these same clappers were the same people who were calling her a liar two years ago.
As to the clapping, the presiding officer failed to control the audience during this and other times during this meeting. At that point, Sue stated,“that should not be allowed.”
Marion: excuse me, as a former Board member, this has never happened. I hope it never happens again. [more clapping.]
Fact Check: in fact, when Marion was president, sanctimonious Marion herself broke many rules and engaged in inappropriate behavior, so this one is the last one who should be pontificating about this.
For the 2021 election cycle, of the seven candidates who ran for the Board, Marion came in a dismal and distant last place, and it was well earned. So, while a small group of loud supporters may have been in the audience, the silent majority knows exactly the kind of shenanigans she pulled when she was president.
For a brief recap, here’s a short record of Marion’s reprehensible conduct as former Board member and former president:
1. conducted several illegal closed board meetings;
2. Exercised an illegal veto power over agenda items that other Board members wanted to list;
3. removed truthful message board posts that called out her behavior;
4. repeatedly allowed message board posts of one resident attacking other residents with impunity;
5. improperly tried to seize a resident’s microphone at a board meeting when she unilaterally decided that the resident would only have two minutes to speak instead of the required minimum three minutes per statute and the HOA’s governing documents and then had the resident’s mic cut off;
6. repeatedly permitted repetitive heckling of residents by other residents at board meetings (where one of her few functions was to preside over and control the conduct of board meetings);
7. allowed a resident to bash other residents at the First Residents’ Input Session on matters that were not part of the Agenda;
8. repeatedly focused her efforts on trying to silence residents who air the truth about her alleged malfeasance;
9. sicced the HOA attorney on your Editor and Roving Reporter without ever convening a Board meeting for such purpose, which cost the community thousands of dollars in legal fees which were entirely the result of Marion’s inappropriate conduct toward your Editor.
Marion also gave the HOA attorney misinformation which he failed to vet for its veracity or lack thereof, and based on her unvetted statements, the attorney wrote your Editor a letter wherein he made demonstrably false and defamatory claims against your Editor. His claims were thoroughly debunked.
Marion did this twice, once in 2019 and again in 2020, all with your money;
And to be clear, because there’s yet another false rumor going around, all HOA money spent on legal fees was at the behest of either Marion and Harvey or Jeff and Harvey. It was never at our behest, and no: no HOA money was ever used in any proceeding involving us and another resident.
10. engaged in multiple behind the scenes “Weiling and dealing” to select groups of people;
11. demonstrated lack of ability to control Board meetings;
12. As we reported in our December 16, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Can’t Touch This,Marion usurped the Board’s responsibility when she took disciplinary matters into her own hands.
This concerned the alleged November 3, 2020 election day aggressors, one of which was another failed candidate from 2021, who duked it out with Marion for last place, and who allegedly verbally assaulted two other residents who preferred a different presidential candidate.
To the detriment of the alleged victims and their rights, Marion decided the so-called discipline on her own, and this was thoroughly improper. That was a matter for the entire Board, not for Marion to act alone which she did.
So, really, this is the last person who ought to be lecturing anyone about proper decorum.]
3. Howard Olarsch: Howard stated that last week was “quite embarrassing.” [what a lot of people felt was embarrassing was actually the disrespectful way Arthur was treated by the so-called moderator and several Board members.]
Howard said he missed Miles[Alter, who just passed away], said “I wish Jeff the best.” [what about everyone else?]He said he saw a “diatribe” which “sullied the reputation of an outstanding member of the community.” [Cue the predictable clapping again.]
[Editor’s note: predictably, no one has disputed the facts Arthur recited at the organizational meeting, likely because they’re all true, and if a reputation were sullied, perhaps the individual’s behavior caused that himself.
What a lot of people felt was embarrassing was the disrespectful way Arthur was treated by the so-called moderator and several Board members.
It is also noteworthy that it is the same group of people who continually grouse at Arthur and about him at every opportunity. The majority of the community is on to this group and is disgusted by them.
That’s why this little group is having trouble gathering any significant steam for their recall petition against Arthur. I believe that when you come from a place of ill-will, generally good will ultimately prevails over these other nefarious winds.]
Approval of Minutes: March 2, 2022 Board meeting and March 24, 2022 Organizational Meeting: Pat Nast
Pat: Motion to approve the Minutes of the March 2, 2022 Board meeting. Jeff: seconded by Bob. All in favor? 7-0-1. [Jeff was shocked that Arthur did not raise his hand to approve the Minutes.]
Arthur: I abstained because I wasn’t on the Board. Jeff: oh, you got on March 24th. [neither was Pat on the Board on March 2, but she voted to approve another Board’s minutes anyway.]
Pat: Motion to approve the Minutes of the March 24, 2022 Organizational meeting. Jeff: seconded by Harvey. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: the report is self-explanatory and was provided with the notice of the meeting and the agenda. Bob moved to accept the report; Harvey seconded it, and it passed unanimously.]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: … deliveries [now] begin 7 am… …mow…the 1st, 12-13, 25-26. People, please know your rear will not be mowed. [yep, that’s what she said.]
1. Landscaping [as always, Shelly graciously emailed the report for inclusion herein.]
Shelly Andreas and Barry Gordon. [introduced by Shelly, read by Barry.]
“In the past years we have spent approximately two (2) to three (3) hundred thousands of dollars for tree removal, root pruning and sidewalk repairs/replacements that are now lifting again.
Palm Beach County has been contacted several times in the past years by both our Landscape Company and HOA office in which they have tried to get permits to remove the trees that were and are encroaching on our sidewalks which have resulted in liability issues and our requests for removal have been denied.
We now have the opportunity to remove the trees in our community as per the letter each of you have in your packet with no replacement at this time.
The plan is to remove as many trees as possible that would comply with the requirements stated in the letter. In speaking with the arborist who surveyed the areas in question he was amazed that the builder had planted so many trees on both Cascade Lakes Boulevard and Landon Circle. In fact he found additional trees that needed to be removed that apparently we missed which brought the total to approximately 85 trees.
Please take into consideration when you are making your decision to approve or disapprove the proposal before you today is that once the HOA is aware that these trees are a liability and nothing was done to rectify the situation we as a community are subject to law suits.
It is your fiduciary responsibility to this community to act on this as the deadline is July 1, 2022.
Shelly Andreas and Barry Gordon co-chairs”
2. Entertainment: [Editor’s note: flyers for events will be sent out.
But here’s an interesting tidbit: Anecdotal reporting is that the chair of this committee is telling new residents that “we run this place” meaning herself and a few of her cronies. She said the same thing to me when I was new here (also telling me to be quiet and follow her lead). It’s not true. They don’t run this place.
This also denigrates all residents who work so hard to make this community great. And in fact, this individual and her disciples are tearing this community apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor with character assassination and bullying tactics, including pressure on residents to sign the recall petition.]
3. Facilities: Barbara Gordon: we met; I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Art Ritt and Phyllis Hersh for working so hard with me on the ADA toilets. I hope you will consider doing it.
3. Recreation: Splish Splash Bingo continues to be very popular… the proceeds help finance many programs… flyers… details coming soon.
4. Fitness: Linda Bennis: … special collaboration with the YMCA… classes…
1. Limiting debate/discussion – Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: So here we have the Gang of Five (Jeff, Harvey, Pat, Richard, and Bob) aka The Lemmings (not my phrase, not a rock group) trying to silence the two voices of the community (Sue and Arthur) who are apparently the only checks and balances against this unbridled attempt to silence you, the residents.
(Apparently “The Lemmings” is the name given by other residents to the Gang of Five; I just “heard it through the grapevine,” a phrase made famous by other unrelated ensembles (Marvin Gaye, Creedence Clearwater Revival. But alas, I digress.)
Harvey moved to stifle debate among Board members by limiting each director to a maximum of three minutes. In reality, this was specifically targeted to stifle Arthur and to a lesser extent, Sue. He started by saying that they don’t follow Robert’s Rules, although Sue pointed out that he included in the Board packet a Robert’s Rules cheat sheet to follow.
So again, I feel compelled to repost this image:
This is a completely illegal motion, as it cannot be a blanket motion for all matters, and all Board members were given pages 180-181 of the latest edition of Robert’s Rules with highlighted pertinent parts. This is also in the Board packet accessible to all residents on FirstService Residential’s resident portal. Here it is:
This cannot be a stand-alone motion, it can only apply to an immediately pending motion, and it cannot be made when another has the floor. If properly made, it requires a 2/3 vote to pass.
Nevertheless, The Lemmings proceeded with this farce, and it passed, although since it is illegal under Robert’s Rules, it is void and of no force and effect under those rules. An illegal motion is not enforceable. However, because they were given this indisputable rule, that is why they decided not to follow Robert’s Rules.
Harvey was perfectly happy to invoke Robert’s Rules when he though it helped him, which was before Arthur uploaded the actual rule into the Board packet and he read it. Faced with an insurmountable obstacle, he and the others decided to kick Robert’s Rules to the curb, at least for purposes of this motion.
Harvey: Point of Personal Privilege. [now we’re using Robert’s Rules again because it’s beneficial to Harvey and the Gang of Five aka The Lemmings. A Point of Personal Privilege is part of Robert’s Rules.]I’ve been told that Ms. Roberts has stated on her website that I supported Arthur and Sue’s attempt to allow nominations from the floor for treasurer and secretary positions. Let me set the record straight.
I do not support allowing nominations from the floor. My only intent in asking Jeff if there was anyone on Zoom who had their hands up, was to put an end to their incessant arguing which was delaying the nominations and proceed with the business at hand of election of the officers.
[Editor’s note: nice attempted spin after the fact, but if you didn’t support it, then you would not have asked the Zoom operator anything. And no one was incessantly arguing; they were following our By-Laws which specifically permits non-Board members for those offices.]
Harvey: now, in order to expedite deliberations on an issue, and to avoid prolonged and potentially contentious arguments, I move to adopt a standing rule to limit debate/discussion on any agenda item to three minutes per director.
Sue: I would like to raise a Point of Order on your limiting debate.
Harvey: ok, can I please get a second on the motion and then we can have discussion?
Sue: Point of Order precedes that. I do want to address, even though I have other arguments other than Robert’s Rules. The reason I believe that Robert’s Rules was brought up is because I informed the Board that you were in conflict with Robert’s Rules.
At no point that I can remember, I’ve been here 20 years, and this is my third year on the Board, that was any Board votes saying that we are not using Robert’s Rules.
I sent an email to all of you, saying, which Robert’s Rules, if any, are we following. The fact that the very procedures we are using today indicate that we are following Robert’s Rules. So, I will read my entire Point of Order to limit debate, as I have written it, not to extend debate any further.
I object to your motion because it is illegal for the following reasons: 1. Robert’s Rules.
Harvey: Point of Order, Sue. [Harvey interrupted Sue, and in any case, it is inappropriate to interrupt a Point of Order, to say the least, especially by the guy demanding no adherence to Robert’s Rules.] There has not been a second on the motion and therefore discussion is not allowed.
Sue: You do not need a second on a Point –
Jeff: Sue, you’re not allowed discussion.[now they’re demanding adherence to a made-up Robert’s Rule or a made up rule whose origins are unknown.]
Pat: [to Sue, interrupting her, and extending her hand out in a “stop” motion.] Stop, Sue. Stop. You need to stop.
[Editor’s note: Pat interrupted Sue and demanded that Sue stop talking. Why? Where does this Board member get the nerve, the unmitigated gall, to put her hand out like a traffic cop and demand that another equal Board member essentially shut up?]
Sue: It’s a Point of Order. Jeff and others: no, it’s not. Jeff: it’s not Point of Order. [where is the authority for this?] Harvey: this is a discussion of your objection.
[Notice the gang pile-on to shut down a fellow Board member? This is abusive, and it is coming from the very people who are demanding that no Board member should be allowed to interrupt another Board member for any reason at any time, and yet they’re doing it constantly to Sue.]
Harvey: and you have every right to make it, but let’s get a second to the motion, and then, as the motion presenter, I have the right to finish, to start the discussion. [wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s not how a Point of Order works. A Point of Order interrupts discussion for a procedural challenge to the discussion, and properly occurs before discussion.]
Harvey: I ask the Chair for a ruling.
[There is no Chair; see page 374 of Robert’s Rules, section 43:29. When the presiding officer participates in debate and votes, he is specifically not a Chair because he is presumed to be partisan.
And if there’s no Robert’s Rules, then there’s no “Chair ruling” because that’s part of Robert’s Rules, assuming there were a Chair in this situation, which there isn’t.]
Sue: it is also a question as to whether or not the Chair can participate because he is involved in the discussions as well, and it may be a conflict of interest, but Points of Order, I do believe were done as the motion is made and when you think there is something that is procedurally incorrect.
Barbara Green[wife of president Jeff D. Green, in the audience, directed to Sue]: "SHUT UP."[yes, I personally heard it, and so did other people within hearing distance. In my opinion, that wasn’t very ladylike of our non-First Lady.]
Sue: but I’m not going to debate it, make it, I will make my points when you finish your rationale for doing this.
[Pat seconded the motion, and Harvey stated that based on an article from a professor emeritus from the University of Wisconsin that they can limit debate and that “the short answer is yes, it’s not a violation of free speech, nor is it a violation of Robert’s Rules.”
Then he remembered that now they’re supposedly not following Robert’s Rules, so, oops, he just contradicted the article he relied on and which he himself put in the Board packet which references Robert’s Rules.
Our short answer: what he means is, “Robert’s Rules for me, but not for thee.”]
Harvey: We don’t follow Robert’s Rules. [then why did you just quote an article relying on Robert’s Rules that you yourself put in the Board packet?]
Sue: Point of Order. You’re incorrect about Robert’s Rules not being followed. Harvey: we don’t follow Robert’s Rules [except when he uploads an article that mentions it in its (faulty) rationale and then he relies on it] so your point is moot…and we can always vote to extend debate… cut down on incessant Points of Order…
[Editor’s note: audience clapped. The presiding officer failed to control the small crowd, failing one of his few functions as presiding officer.]
Sue: Harvey…your reason for this motion is that decorum can be maintained and that limiting debate among directors can potentially avoid lengthy and perhaps antagonistic discourse. My response to you was in part the following: “decorum is maintained when all of us adhere to the same set of standards.”
Your rationale is not based upon any rule… I did say that democracy is messy and I did refer to Winston Churchill who did indicate that democracy is the best of the worst forms of government.
I also added that while democracy is messy, we could make it a little neater.
You highlighted the wrong paragraphs your Limiting Debate article as it referred to MEMBERS and not to DIRECTORS. In fact, paragraph 4 refers to Roberts Rules…
This is especially important since we are making decisions that affect the lives of the entire community. This is the first time we’ve ever questioned whether or not directors can spend more than three minutes… I do believe that we do follow Robert’s Rules… there was never a time when the Board voted that we didn’t… this Board has to decide first what Robert’s Rules we are referring to, if indeed we are referring to them all.
We never officially voted. The procedures here clearly indicate that we are following established parliamentary procedure. Established parliamentary procedure, folks, is Robert’s Rules.
[Pat then falsely claimed that this came up because one person “talked for 25 minutes straight and won’t allow anyone else to speak.”
This was a patent lie. She was referring to Arthur, who’s constantly interrupted speech at the organizational meeting actually was, in full, about 3 minutes and 20 seconds without interruptions, depending on the speed in which it was recited. And the interruptions came from the partisan moderator and other Board members, but that was apparently fine.
Pat’s claim never happened: he did not speak for 25 minutes straight; the entire meeting was only 25 minutes. Every Board member who wanted to speak was given the opportunity. The partisan moderator was rude and so were one or two other Board members, and they were constantly interrupting Arthur. Rewriting history in this fashion doesn’t work. Using this false claim as the basis for this motion is corrupt.
Pat then stated: “I think Robert’s Rules has been misused, not used properly.” This makes no sense whatsoever. Relying on Robert’s Rules cannot by definition be a misuse of the rules. And there was no explanation as to how it was “not used properly.” The comment is utterly nonsensical.
She falsely claimed that “denigrating another Board member is completely against the principles of Robert’s Rules.”
Wrong again: she is mixing apples and oranges. Setting forth facts, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is the responsibility of each director; Robert’s Rules allows for that so that the public can have an informed debate, not a one-sided lovefest. This argument is not only absurd, but also completely undemocratic. She spoke for just shy of two minutes.
And here’s one last thing: by lying about one Board member, didn’t she just denigrate that Board member? We are truly seeing – not democracy in action, but hypocrisy in action.]
Arthur: I believe debate is a form of checks and balances. By disenfranchising another Board member, it disenfranchises the community at large. And I don’t remember any debate going more than four minutes, five minutes, without interruptions.
[Arthur spoke for 14 seconds, which was actually the least amount of any Board member, and Harvey spoke more than once.]
Sue: in the cheat sheet, Harvey, that you gave us, and you were the one that said in an email, quote, ‘attempt to follow Robert’s Rules of Order.’ And you gave all of us copious notes on Robert’s Rules. So obviously at some point you believed that either we did follow it or we should.
But if you read Robert’s Rules, even on the cheat sheet… Robert’s Rules does allow a means by which debate can be closed, when additional comments become meaningless. It would require a 2/3 vote of the Board.
And one of the things that I seriously question is that I have listened to Board meetings, I’ve been on the Board going on my third year, and this is the first time it’s been brought up?... I have reasons in my own mind to question the timing.
[Harvey then once again invoked Robert’s Rules by moving to call the question. It passed 5-2 with the Gang of Five aka The Lemmings voting for it and your community champions, Sue and Arthur, opposed. The small audience of stacked supporters clapped.]
2. Procedure for contacting the attorney- Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: This is another motion aimed directly at Director Arthur and to a lesser extent, Sue. It seeks to limit other Board members besides the president from interfacing with the HOA’s attorney. It also states that the president will decide if the legal matter is minor or major before sharing it with the other Board members. For the record, here is what Jeff said:]
Jeff: Next item. Procedure for Contacting the Attorney. I would like to table this agenda item until the next meeting and take a vote of the Board to invite the attorney to attend the meeting, [Florida statute 720.303 (2)(a) specifically prohibits voting by email]since he is the one who provides us with legal advice here.
And I don’t want to get into a long discussion of who can contact the attorney and who can’t; I’d like to get a legal interpretation from a Florida attorney on how we can do it. So, my motion is to table the motion. Harvey: I’ll second it.
[Editor’s note: Pat falsely stated that one or more Board members “refused to meet with the lawyer.” Sue stated, “that is not true.” Sue said a few words championing free speech, during which there was rude and obnoxious heckling from the small audience. The presiding officer once again failed to control the small crowd.
The motion passed unanimously, and the agenda item was tabled. So, there was no vote to invite the attorney to the next meeting; the vote was that the motion was simply tabled.]
[Editor’s note: Many important items are still being ignored. Details are found on our page entitled“Agenda Items.”]
[Editor’s note: Jeff moved to have one Board meeting per month unless another one is required or there are too many agenda items (did you see the agenda for this meeting?). Sue suggested a trial period.
Arthur: it’s easier to have it scheduled and if we don’t need a meeting, just cancel it. Jeff: 80% of the communities have one meeting a month… Harvey: Florida statute says we only have to have one meeting a year.
The motion was seconded by Bob, and it passed 5-2 with Sue and Arthur opposing it. Meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, starting with this month, which is in two weeks (April 20th).]
3. Iguana Proposal: $1,203.75, Iguana Blocker - Arthur Andelson
[Editor’s note: first and foremost, many thanks to the resident who brought this product to our attention. This shows that every single one of you can potentially make a difference for the betterment of our community! Thank you to this concerned, ecofriendly, humane resident. Arthur brought and held up a sample gallon of these natural repellent pellets.]
Arthur: … Per Deborah‘s report at a prior board meeting, in one year's time, Blue Iguana captured and killed 95 iguanas. That averages about eight random iguanas per month.
There is a potentially better alternative that will keep out 100% of iguanas at all times for about the same price or even less, with the added bonus that it is not inhumane to those many residents who are horrified by this killing spree.
Iguana Blocker is a natural product, made from garlic, cinnamon, cedar oil, sulfur, and other ingredients, and it creates a pellet barrier around Cascade Lakes. The goal is to keep the iguanas out 100 percent of the time.
The trial period would be purchasing one 500 pound bag that would provide approximately 6 treatments. Each treatment would be reapplied every two weeks to a month depending on weather conditions.
One bag will cost $1,203.75 without shipping, and there may or may not be a small charge for shipping. This would last for 3-5 months.
When you do the math, you find that the price is therefore about the same as Blue Iguana worst case scenario, or half the price best case scenario depending on the weather, but instead of keeping out a random eight iguanas a month, you’re keeping out all iguanas each and every month. They are literally repelled by the smell and will avoid it.
As an example of why this is better, within 24 hours of Blue Iguana being in Cascade Lakes one day, an iguana dug a hole in our backyard and laid her eggs. I saw it. I then chased her away and dug up the eggs. We live on the canal.
Had this product been applied to the perimeter of the community which includes along the canals behind the houses, there would’ve been no iguana digging and laying eggs in our backyard. And more importantly, this will keep them out of our lakes.
Therefore, I have placed this item on the agenda so that we can try this out. We can always go back to Blue Iguana in the future if for whatever reason this is not as effective as it claims to be, but they offer a money back guarantee.
I have included the proposal in the Board packet as well as the brochure of the product. I move to accept this proposal as a temporary basis just to try it for three months and see how well it does.
[Editor’s note: Sue seconded it for purposes of discussion. Richard mentioned that he, Jeff, and Deborah spoke with the vendor. The vendor was not very helpful; we can confirm that that is true of the sales rep. Richard stated it was labor intensive and would make the place smell like garlic.]
Pat stated that while it was a great idea to try some alternative solutions, in her experience and based on reviews she read that it was not very effective. Sue asked if they should table it to get more information.
Harvey stated the Blue Iguana proposal was time-sensitive; Sue asked for what the outside date was and did not get an answer. The motion was rejected: 1-5-1 (Arthur voted for it, Sue abstained, and the rest opposed it.)]
4. Renewal Iguana Control – $4500-6800 - Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: we’re back to the original contract, supposedly; this is for random iguana killing if the company happens to come across one or more while they are on the property.
Deborah reported previously that in a prior 12-month period they killed 95, which averages to about 8 per month. They chose the $4,500 amount and it passed 5-1-1 with Sue voting no and Arthur abstaining; the other five Board members approved it. It says:
“Service constitutes approximately 1 hour twice a week to alternatively service the canals, lakes, Clubhouse, tennis/fitness center and calls from homeowners or office personnel.”]
Items 1 through 4: Entertainment Contracts – Richard Green
[Editor’s note:these contracts were all approved unanimously. They concern performing acts for July 9, December 31, January 2023, and March 2023.]
5. Recreation Steel Band Contract – May 29 – Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note:this contract was approved unanimously.]
6. Toilets / ADA – $10,510-18,200 - Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: there were three proposals. They went with Sharp Plumbing, LLC for $10,510 and it passed unanimously. These are ADA approved toilets. These 20 toilets will be raised an inch and a half except for the handicapped stalls which are already higher and will remain the same. The seven urinals are getting an automatic flush.]
7. Flow Meter / Glenville – $1,222.86 - Bob Dingee
[Editor’s note: it wasn’t working. It needed to be fixed. This passed unanimously.]
8. PBB / Tree Removals – $775 - Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: it’s $775 per tree; the arborist said 85 trees, so that totals $65,875. The motion was made by Richard and seconded by Pat.]
Arthur: on the Board meeting of 3-2-22, there was an approval of $55,440 to thin and raise all shade trees. Can we see which ones are going to be removed so we get a refund --
Deborah [interrupting Arthur; not nice, not appropriate, and exactly what the other Board members were complaining about previously: interruptions. It seems that others are continually interrupting the one guy who’s not interrupting anyone.]:
Deborah: we will be getting a refund on Cascade Lakes Blvd. Those are the only trees that they did not do at this time and those will be credited. I spoke to him yesterday if this should pass that we would not be trimming those trees and we would be getting a credit.
Shelly Andreas [Co-Chair, Landscaping Committee]: Arthur, good question. [Thank you, Shelly.] We also had a proposal for crown reduction; will get a credit for that since we are taking those trees down… you will get a proposal stating “x” amount of credit for the trimming and “x” amount of credit for the crown reduction on those that they did not do.
[Editor’s note: It passed unanimously.]
9. Committee Liaisons – Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: The 5-person coalition aka the Gang of Five aka The Lemmings went with unqualified directors for certain liaisonships instead of eminently qualified ones.
Sue listed via email to the entire Board her qualifications for Rules & Regs (of which she wrote many of the Rules & Regs), Long-Term Planning, and Painting. Pat and Bob respectively listed none, i.e, no discernible qualifications relevant to the positions. They voted 5-2 for Pat, Pat, and Bob respectively. (Arthur and Sueopposed, and Bob abstained from the Long-Term Planning vote.
Arthur listed via email to the entire Board his qualifications for ARB, Facilities, and Landscaping, which included Air Force Technical School, Home Insurance Field Underwriter, Certified Paralegal, graphic designer, and illustrator.
He also included that he designed and built our entire home front’s landscaping including plants and masonry, designed our entire backyard, including in-ground pool, spa, decking, kitchenette, landscaping, and is creating an exterior door out of a bathroom window, all permitted, and he also included his track record of issues he already found with PBB’s work. They voted 5-2 for Harvey (ARB), Jeff (Facilities), and Harvey (Landscaping).
It is noteworthy that no other liaisonships had dual Board members vying for that position and this was well planned and premeditated. The Gang of Five aka The Lemmings specifically targeted the ones that Arthur and Sue told them weeks ago they were best suited for and for which both Sue and Arthur had sent them all emails listing their specific qualifications.
Those were the only ones where the other Board members inserted their names next to those committee titles to create a conflict and force a Board vote with the specific intent of preventing Sue and Arthur from having those liaisonships.
They just looked at the ones Sue and Arthur chose (with their respective outstanding qualifications) and premeditatedly decided among themselves who would raid those positions and take on those liaisonships for the sole purpose of depriving you, residents, of your qualified champions in those fields.
(There was one that they didn’t target because Arthur added it much, much later without any fanfare and frankly, I think they missed it and didn’t realize it because the slot was open, and no director had claimed it.)]
Harvey: the liaison role is an advisory role; they do not participate in the meetings, they do not vote in the meetings, they only are there to answer questions that the committee may have regarding what the Board would think.
Therefore, there is no special expertise or qualifications required, so I want everybody to understand that when we start talking about why one person should be the liaison versus the other.
Former Board Member in Audience: that’s crazy.
[Editor’s note: yes, it is, and how can they answer questions if they are unqualified? And how do they know what the other six equal Board members would think? This is pure nonsense, but he said this to try and justify what they were doing.
Harvey said this because Sue and Arthur emailed their qualifications to the rest of the Board, and once they did that, the Gang of Five decided to put another Board member just for those liaisonships which Sue and Arthur listed.
This was a targeted, premeditated takeover of those committee liaisonships. This is an attempt to justify and defend the indefensible: the Gang of Five’s breach of their fiduciary duty to you, the members.
So, to heck with what’s in the best interest of the community, i.e., having the most qualified Board member as liaison to the committee with their strengths and breadths of experience.
These five other Board members deliberately sabotaged you, the residents, to backstab their fellow Board members, Sue and Arthur. In doing so, they actually backstabbed all of you. It was deliberate, and it was contrary to their fiduciary responsibilities to the community.
If they really believed that the “no special expertise or qualifications” is required, then why is Richard, a CPA, the liaison to the Budget and Auditing Committees? Why is Bob, an engineer, the liaison to the Engineering Committee? The absurdity of this argument is glaring.
Does this sound like the five other Board members fulfilled their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities to you or does it sound like a case of pure vindictiveness against Sue and Arthur at your expense?
Knowing of this disgraceful maneuver against the community, Arthur suggested that there be co-liaisons for those committees, to try and make sure the community had the most qualified Board member in those positions, but that was shot down, too.]
Arthur: The liaison spreadsheet as is should be approved and we need to work together on filling in the other positions that are blank. I am willing to do Safety & Security and I am happy to work with my co-Liaisons on Facilities, ARB, and Landscaping. There’s no reason why we can’t have two liaisons. One could be there and one not, or both. It would be a nice team.
[Editor’s note: of course, that was rejected because that wasn’t the intent to begin with; the intent was to sabotage Arthur and Sue and by extension, the residents who are now deprived of the most qualified Board members for these important committees.
Sue noted that the only ones which had two Board members listed were Arthur’s and hers. She stated she would be more than happy to share her assignments. Again, this was a futile attempt to help the community. She corrected Harvey and Jeff and stated that the committees don’t report to the liaisons, they report to the entire Board.
Jeff then asked if anyone where there is a conflict was willing to drop off, or they would just have the vote.]
Pat: If you want to do painting, Sue, I’ll let you have Painting and roof cleaning, I can drop off of that one and let you have it.
[Editor’s note: You’ll “let” her have painting? Oh, so the five of you did all conspire against Sue and Arthur to deprive them of the liaisonships they were most qualified to have. Good to know and thanks for the admission. Hey, everybody: here’s the Gang of Five aka The Lemmings in action working against the community.
P.S. Don’t be surprised if next time around they pick one odd person out on some issues that they vote on so they can say it’s not the Gang of Five, it’s 4 on a particular vote. And let’s see if they rotate the odd person out alphabetically or randomly on issues so no one notices.
You all know how this went. Five to two in favor of the Board members with no discernible expertise. Shelly Andreas (acting Chair of ARB) stated that there is no need for an ARB liaison because if someone has a conflict with what the committee decides, they appeal to the Board, which is correct. She therefore felt having a liaison was a waste of time.
Jeff stated they’ve never had a conflict. That’s not true: the invisible dog fence denial by the ARB was appealed to the Board in 2019 and the appeal failed.]
Sue: I know that some of the people in this audience might find my adherence to rules kind of annoying, but without them you really have -- [audience member said “yes” and then some clapped; again, the presiding officer failed to take control of the crowd.] -- I accept all criticism as positive because it’s another way of looking at things.
So, I accept your comments and I would respect [sic]that you would show respect for my comments as well… the ARB’s recommendations are subject to approval by the Board of Directors, and I believe it is so stated in 720…
There are so many changes here that I just question the rationale for the changes. That’s it.
Jeff: we voted to have a liaison, let’s keep the liaison again and we’ll see what happens. Ok, so Harvey, you’re the liaison.
[Editor’s note: In my opinion they rejected Shelly’s suggestion because it went against their premeditated plot as described above.
Sue respectfully admonished the audience not to comment or applaud on the liaison choices because “I think it is very disrespectful to the directors.” That never bothered this small crowd before, Sue, so I doubt they give a hoot now.]
Jeff: well, if you think you know who’s gonna win, then drop off.” [nice sentiment, also suggesting that the fix is in.]
[For Long-Term Planning, Bob abstained because he didn’t want to vote for himself. Other than that, it was 5-2 on every single committee that this Gang of Five deliberately and in my opinion, with malice aforethought, homed in on, and overtook. And how exactly does this help the community?]
Jeff: we are not having a liaison to Grievance because the Board is not involved with Grievance… Legal was a group last year and we decided we’re not gonna have a group this year.
[They did not vote; this was done behind the scenes without the knowledge of some Board members, so when Jeff says “we decided,” exactly who is this “we?” and when was this decided and by whom? And again, how does this help the community?]
Jeff: we will ask different attorneys here based upon what comes up. If it’s a contract, we’ll ask a contract attorney, you’ll look at it, if it’s, uh, since there are no Florida attorneys in the community at this point, so it’s a moot question that.
[This was done to keep your Editor’s name off the HOA website and News & Views as much as possible. That’s the real reason for this.
In fact, your Editor was removed from her position on the website as part of COBWRA even though every other 2021 Chair remains on the HOA website pending the appointment of the 2022 roster.
Trying to obliterate your Editor’s existence has been a favorite pastime of certain threatened individuals here, especially the aforementioned Marion, a webmistress, who, upon information and belief, blames her election loss on yours truly.]
Jeff: webmasters, we don’t have a liaison; there are five webmasters and Mike Blackman is the head of that group and he gets to pick his five, and the reason we keep it to five is because if there’s a discrepancy in how they think about something that goes on, if they have to take something off the message board and vote, they want to have five people.
If there was more than five, if it was an even number, they wouldn’t be able to come up with a solution if three and three happened.
[Editor’s note: your Editor put her name on the committee list for webmasters, being very adept at running a website, at creating content, and also at reading and understanding the Terms of Service, what they say, and what they don’t say.
And that’s why Harvey added himself at the last minute to that committee list, because with your Editor’s name, that made five, which was Jeff’s magic number, so Harvey added himself to make six so they could bump off your Editor.
In 2021, in fact, there are only four people listed, so this rationale of needing an odd number of people to break a tie is new, and that certainly might indicate to some people that this excuse is bogus. Detecting a pattern here?
And frankly, Harvey shouldn’t even be a webmaster, as that’s a complete conflict of interest, because that group reports directly to the Board. If the webmasters remove a post, only the Board has the right to impose discipline under the Florida statute (720.305), not the webmasters who are unelected residents. The webmasters would be required to refer the matter to the Board for the Board’s vote on discipline.
Being a webmaster is therefore in direct conflict with being a Board member. In this scenario, Harvey as a Board member would be reviewing their decision and determining if the purportedly offending message board post warranted discipline or not. So, he can’t wear both those hats. He can’t vote to remove a post and refer it to the Board for discipline and then vote on that discipline at the Board level.
Anyway, the liaisons are now listed on the HOA website and will also be listed in News & Views.]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Howard Orlasch: I want to say it was a very civilized meeting to look at, it was in contrast to the last one with scripted hostilities and this one went well. [He then talked about how nice it was to see a large iguana killed, and he suggested that if it were dealt with the other way], “it could have been done Marsala style for some of our residents, but I don’t think that’s gonna be very popular.” But again, thanks for a nice meeting today.
2. Marion Weil: [Marion stated that 8 years ago the Board voted to do a hybrid of Robert’s Rules.]
3. Shelly Andreas: …this Board meeting along with what Howard said was great. The one thing I want to say, you all want to ask for respect, but when one Board member is talking, and someone is up here at the podium, it is really not respectful for Board members [to be] talking to each other while someone else is talking. If you want respect, please do so also.
[Editor’s note: Bravo and thank you, Shelly. Two known culprits are the main disrupter, Harvey, who continually interrupts and talks over others, and to a lesser extent, Jeff, as they tend to talk to each other while another is speaking.]
4. Linda Bennis: [Linda talked about the tree removal which was covered during the meeting and reported above.]
5. Giora (Gary) Baram: [Gary would like some fountains and aerators in the lakes to enhance the beauty of the community, especially at night when they could be lit up. It sounds lovely! He’s raised this before; I guess hope springs eternal.]
6. Judy Delman: [Judy wanted to know if PBB is removing trees at $775 each why they charged her $1,100 to remove hers. Deborah said they received a bulk rate for the community trees, and that involves front trees, not rear trees such as Judie’s.]
7. Dorothy Waxman: [Dorothy wanted to know why all residents pay the same maintenance fees when some houses are smaller than others; she noted that at the other Cascades (on Jog Road) they don’t all pay the same amount. Deborah said it is in the governing documents.]
8. Mark Goodman: [Mark discussed why the pool waterfall is turned off and on at certain times; he didn’t articulate it clearly but what I think he meant was that turning it on earlier will cost the community more money. Any other interpretation of his comments would render them unintelligible. I apologize for that, but please feel free to listen to the tape and explain it to me.]
Round Table Discussion:
[Editor’s note: all directors passed except for Sue.]
Sue: In response to Marion: your statement that we follow a "hybrid of Roberts Rules" means that we follow some of them. The Board needs to decide which ones.
Although the pattern of Board voting is obvious, I want you to know that I will always vote according to the facts and information gathered, and not based upon personality or friendship. I will always be honest, transparent, courteous, and respectful to all Board members, and will always act according to what I believe to be in the best interests of the community.
Jeff: Motion to adjourn? Bob. Second: Harvey. All in favor? 7-0. [adjourned at 11:15am.]
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to the tech people that make it possible to hear the Board meeting and to watch online for those unwilling or unable to attend in person. According to Jeff’s initial announcement, they are: Mike Blackman, Mike Deckinger, Jeff F. Green (not the Board member, a different JG), Ralph Bernard, and Anita Goodman. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the Board meeting of April 8, 2022; next meeting: April 20, 2022 at 9:30am.
It seems Harvey may have to go come election time next year. Many of you will remember that I threw him a life jacket a few months ago; I did so because I thought there was a chance he could be reasonable.
But maybe I was wrong. He seems mostly self-serving. Residents: start planning your campaigns!
Thought for the Day:
I never worry about who likes me and who doesn’t. It all works itself out.
1. Don’t forget to join the community on the Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach Facebook Page, a place where you can interact and communicate! Click here: