08/05/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted August 9, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the August 5, 2020 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary indicated in bold blue brackets.
[Editor’s note: Shortly before the meeting, your Editor had some difficulty joining the meeting. As the meeting was about to begin, Board Member Linda Arbeit appeared to have a similar or the same problem. Your Editor sent a chat message as follows: “Linda’s issue happened to me; go out and come in again.” Harvey read aloud what your Editor wrote. Zoom operator Mike Blackman then stated, “that’s a very good idea.” Linda dutifully tried that approach, but ended up going to the Cascade Lakes office where property manager Deborah Balka was, and shared her computer with her for the duration of the meeting. Neither was observed wearing a mask despite sitting next to each other for about an hour and, presumably, inhaling and exhaling.]
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 7:04pm.
[Editor’s note: a total of 43 devices (computers, cell phones, iPads, and similar hardware) were online and tuned into the meeting at the commencement of the meeting. That included seven board members, one of whom shared the property manager’s computer as detailed above, as well as two Zoom operators (Mike Blackman and Arnie Green), and your Editor and Roving Reporter, the latter two who also shared a computer. This means that of the 43 devices online, 10 of those devices were utilized by 12 of the above-named individuals (eleven residents plus Deborah Balka, who is not a resident).
Thus, only 33 other devices were tuned into the meeting when it began. There are about 1,150 residents of the community. Thus, 33 others, of 1,139 others (1,150 less the 11 of the previously mentioned individuals who are residents) constitutes a paltry 2.89727 percent of the other residents of the community who were present at the live event. In other words, virtually no one was listening to the live version of the board meeting.
During the course of the meeting, the total number of computers or devices in the meeting fluctuated between 43 and 57. The high number occurred during the First Residents’ Input Session when Larry Jacobowitz was speaking, and then tapered off after that. Again, that number includes the 10 devices specifically identified above, so subtract 10 from those numbers to know the number of other resident devices tuned in. These numbers are abysmal when viewed in a vacuum.
However, if one takes into consideration the majority of people who read these synopses and commentaries every single time we publish them, it becomes obvious that the low turn out for the actual meeting has nothing to do with apathy. It has to do with the preference of the majority to read the synopses and commentaries over the live event. We thank you all for your continued and growing confidence in our News Site. Without further ado, we start the show.]
Board Members Present: Marion Weil (President), Mark Goodman (VP), Richard Greene (Treasurer), Linda Arbeit (Secretary), Harvey Ginsberg, Eileen Olitsky, and Sue Schmer.
Call to Order: Marion Weil. Marion: Arnie will do the Pledge [Linda, who was initially scheduled to do the Pledge, was on her way to the clubhouse to join the meeting in the property manager’s office]. Marion: Can everyone please stand and join Arnie in the Pledge of Allegiance.
[Editor’s note: There is continued adherence to 4 U.S. Code Section 4 after we raised the issue of standing for the flag out of respect for our flag, our country, and also because the rule says so. Bravo, as it appears that this is now the new protocol. Ah, the sweet smell of progress after a year of feeling like Sisyphus…]
[“Sisyphus:a legendary king of Corinth condemned eternally to repeatedly roll a heavy rock up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again as it nears the top.” -- Merriam-Webster Dictionary]
Pledge of Allegiance led by Arnie Green.
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks:
[Editor’s note: Marion does not provide her prepared written remarks to this News Site despite repeated requests so that the HOA members can read what she has to say. This is repeatedly disrespectful to the majority of the HOA membership. Dissatisfaction with this reality is best dealt with at the ballot box.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Roberta Alter [aka Angry Bird]:
Roberta: The possible change regarding the reservations for the pool, I go to the pool five days a week. Everybody I’ve spoken to have no problems and don’t want to see the system changed…
2. Jeff D. Green: Regarding the pool, I’m not in complete agreement with Roberta. It takes me almost a half hour. The Sign In Genius you have to go in before 8:30…unless you can go in by 8:00am. I agree with Roberta; stay with the phone system…I’m very vehement about it. The time to log in should not be any later than eight o’clock.
3. Larry Jacobowitz: At the last meeting, didn’t you vote to use the computer and I think it was voted down. You’re having a second vote because it didn’t pass. You shouldn’t come back; I don’t understand. Marion: The Board met and decided to investigate further.
[Editor’s note: “The Board met?” That was an illegal meeting. The COVID-19 emergency rules do not give the Board carte blanche to meet in secret whenever they damn-well please. Knock it off, Board members, or people will be reminded of this at election time. And if Marion calls a private meeting, which history has already proven she has a penchant for doing, it is incumbent upon each and every one of you to object. If you don’t, you are complicit in this illegal act.
Larry: So, if something doesn’t pass the first time, we could just keep bringing it back? Marion: we had a unanimous consent.
[Editor’s note: you had an illegal unanimous consent to put the matter on the Agenda as Old Business? That makes no sense. Also, under Unanimous Consent on the Agenda, only one item is listed, “maintenance staff,” so this response is bogus.]
Eileen: Excuse me, it never had unanimous consent.
[Editor’s note: Ah, a voice of reason. This is the second time Eileen has corrected Marion in recent history. Last time it was during the July 15, 2020 Board meeting, under Item #7, when Marion erroneously claimed that there was a unanimous vote on the matter and Eileen corrected her to state that the Board did not, in fact, vote. Eileen was correct at that time, too.]
Marion: we had unanimous consent to investigate it.
[Editor’s note: well, which was it? You had (illegal) unanimous consent, or you didn’t? And since when do you need any consent to investigate anything? In truth, you don’t need to vote or consent to investigate or re-investigate a matter. Anyone can do that at any time on any topic. This little repartee between Marion and Eileen proves two things: One, that Marion cannot be trusted with respect to what comes out of her mouth, and two, that Eileen is properly acting like an independent Board member with her own independent voice, which the community should greatly appreciate.]
[Editor’s further note: technically, to respond to Larry’s comments, a matter may be revisited at the discretion and pleasure of any Board member. In a sense, in this case, they do get two bites at the apple. Usually, in law, there is a requirement that there be either new facts unknown at the time of the initial decision, and/or new law with a retroactive character, for a matter to be reconsidered. Those technical requirements are not mandatory in the context of an HOA Board member placing an item on the Agenda for the purpose of revisiting an issue.]
4. Anne Friedlander: I agree with Jeff as far as the 8 o’clock time. The [Sign In] Genius should not be a problem. You don’t need staff to monitor it. Eight thirty is a problem not just for water aerobics but for anybody using the pool at 8:30.
5. Barbara Green: Everybody knows I’m always at the pool. [Editor’s note: we didn’t, but happily now we do, and so does the majority of the community by way of this synopsis and commentary.] This system works; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is from somebody who goes to the pool every single day for 17 years.
Approval of Minutes: Marion: Linda, approval of Minutes. Linda: I make a motion to approve the[July 15, 2020] Minutes. Second: Eileen. Harvey: The First Residents’ Input Session should not be there.
[Editor’s note: we believe the basis of Harvey’s comment is that no one initially spoke, although after the Treasurer’s Report it was revisited, and a resident did speak.]
Linda: Five years ago, I became Secretary; it’s been included. Harvey: this has come up once before. Mark: thank you, Linda, for doing the Minutes. I’d like to suggest to the Board when she writes her Minutes and changes whatever corrections she needs to change, I would like to have a bunch of Minutes on the website, or in the lobby, and it will state “preliminary” until we vote so people can see it and not wait two weeks to see it. Harvey: we have the recording. Mark: a lot of people don’t use the computer. Harvey: then we’re getting into a Synopsis which the attorney says we shouldn’t be using.
[Editor’s note: the attorney is correct in terms of insulating the Board from what is contained in such a synopsis. And besides, aren’t our synopses and commentaries so much more interesting and fun?]
Sue: I don’t think it’s proper to put something out before we approve it…It may be incomplete or inaccurate. Marion: I agree. Eileen: I agree. Linda: I agree as well. [Editor’s note: we agree, too!]Harvey: if you put out preliminary Minutes that are unapproved, they’re unofficial; it’s a de facto vote that we approved it.
[Editor’s note: Harvey, you’re doing great lately, but please don’t play lawyer; you are not correct.]
Marion: Sorry, Mark. Mark: boohoo. Marion: all in favor of the Minutes of July 15? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: Palm Beach Broward [landscaping company] – mow will be August 5-6, 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28…tennis windscreen is down until hurricane season. APC paver repair and draining repair on the side of the ballroom has not been completed...bees: we had three beehives located on the roofline of the clubhouse…the fountain, Cucinatta is handling…[Editor’s note: Deborah spoke too fast even for this scribe.]
1.Sign Up Genius – Harvey Ginsberg. Marion: the Board has met and has signed a unanimous consent form which is allowable during the pandemic.
[Editor’s note: False. This is a complete and total abuse of the emergency statute which itself requires 48 hours’ notice to the community except in extraordinary circumstances, of which this most certainly is not. And according to Board Member Eileen Olitsky, as transcribed above, there was no unanimous consent on this issue. Furthermore, as stated above, no consent is needed to investigate anything or to revisit something that was previously decided.]
Marion: On July 17, to investigate Sign Up Genius as a possible registration vehicle for pool registration. And the second one under new business.
Harvey: The biggest complaint, it didn’t pass last time, because it was all or nothing and the feeling was that we should have some hybrid. Motion for Sign Up Genius with a hybrid with 4 call in reservations. Motion for Sign Up Genius as a hybrid with limited call in reservations effective Monday, August 10. Marion: Second? [Editor’s note: silence.] Marion: Second for discussion. [Editor’s note: it already sounds like it’s going down again; let’s see what happens this time around, but at this point it appears doomed.]Harvey: I did a lot of research on it… [Editor’s note: discussion of details.] … would cut down on a lot of work the staff does – spending a lot of time on the phone…I think what we need to do is to see what works best for everybody…[Editor’s note: more details followed.] …
Linda: At first, people were complaining…at this point, everybody seems to be very happy…right now, the telephone system is good for everybody…I don’t see why if everyone is happy and satisfied and calm we have to aggravate the office staff, residents…you’re going to throw the people into chaos; it will be double work for the staff…I don’t see the point and I’m totally against it.
[Editor’s note: per the complaints on the Cascade Lakes Facebook page, the use of the word “everybody” is clearly an overstatement, as there are, in fact, complaints posted thereon.]
Sue: If you are changing something that already exists, is it better than the system you’re replacing…whether or not the system is fair…what is doable…is the staff sufficiently trained…
[Editor’s note: Sue’s comments were very well thought out and spoken, but she spoke so rapidly, or, your Editor’s hands were so cramped, that some of it was missed.]
Harvey: [a lot of discussion] …
Marion: Harvey, move closer; you’re echoing.
[Editor’s note: I have been complaining about Harvey’s sound since the Zoom meetings began. Harvey, sit closer to your microphone and/or get a better one. You have important things to say; why have them lost due to a faulty or inadequate sound system? You worked so hard on this project, why not allow your thoughts to be heard?]
[Editor’s further note: discussion ad nauseum.]
Sue: Is the staff sufficiently trained…I’m also not comfortable with first come, first served – same with the phone – is one system better that the other…Assume nothing…you’re assuming [people’s computer competence] …one of the reasons to revisit the issue, especially with a close vote, you investigate further…I’m not comfortable with this…
Mark: [Editor’s note: Mark thanks Harvey.] You did a wonderful job…however, I’m totally [somewhat mumbling] …the staff…maybe postponing this still further… [Editor’s note: until the pandemic is over and it’s moot?]
Harvey: we’re never gonna know if we don’t try. Perhaps amend the motion for a three month trial period…Marion: I don’t think we need to do that. Eileen: Mark and Sue made the same statements I was going to make. Richard: my thing is, most of the people are a little older and don’t know how to use computers…you’re gonna be bombarded with calls…Deborah: Cicily is very comfortable with what she is doing now…The busiest time is that 8:30 to a quarter to nine…Cicily’s comments were, you do all or none…Eileen: people in the pool at 8:30, people were unable to make reservations for 48 hours later…should be 8:00… [more discussion]…
Marion: I really banged away at that system; it’s pretty foolproof. I used to teach computer to adults. We do a disservice when you say that they don’t know computers. Ninety-nine percent are on Facebook; I’m on Facebook with them. Any new system, you’re gonna have chaos. I believe it will make it easier…
Harvey: I agree 100% with you, Marion. Any change will be hard to accept, but we’re not gonna know if we don’t try. Marion: all in favor of trying Sign Up Genius starting at 8am: Marion, Harvey, Mark. [Editor’s note: Linda, Eileen, Sue, and Richard voted against it.] Marion: four to three, it’s not a go at this time. Harvey: Deborah, when the bill comes next month, cancel it.
Marion: for 8:00. Eileen: motion to change the call-ins starting at 8am. Marion: I’ll second that. Cicily and staff come in at 8am. Deborah: they start at 8. Harvey: realistically would be 8:15 before they could take a call. Eileen: motion for 8:00, seconded by Marion. Marion: all in favor of call-in registration for the pool at 8am: unanimous. Marion: start it on Monday, August 10; staff can work out their schedule.
[Editor’s note: the start date was never determined or voted on. Marion just made it up. Board members, wake up, pay attention, and focus.]
1.Unanimous Consent – July 17; maintenance staff.
[Editor’s note: we entitle this section: “GO ASK ALEX” - an homage to Jefferson Airplane’s classic single, White Rabbit by Grace Slick, aka Go Ask Alice, based on the novel of the same name.]
[Editor’s further note: this matter concerns the termination of Alex Sanchez, the maintenance man, or at present, the former maintenance man. The transcript of the extent of the Board meeting on this matter follows. After the transcript, we publish our exclusive interview with Alex Sanchez and our concerns about what purportedly happened as well as our concerns about the edict from the Board prohibiting Mr. Sanchez access to conduct his business with individual residents, and the financial risk to which that so-called policy exposes the HOA.]
Marion: The Board met before, on July 17, 2020; the following was approved unanimously, to require FirstService Residential Management Company to remove current maintenance staff from the property as of July 27, 2020.
[Editor’s note: that was the entirety of what was stated on this matter under New Business. The transcript is complete. There was no ratification of this unanimous consent action at this point, after which Marion immediately went on to the next item on the Agenda. Where was the vote? There was none and Marion moved on with the Agenda. Later, at the Round Table Discussion, Harvey mentioned that there needed to be a ratification of this action and indeed the ratification occurred at that time. Once again, Harvey’s progression on the learning curve has surpassed most of the rest of the Board.]
[Editor’s further note: there is apparently a standing order at the entrance gate to bar Mr. Sanchez from entering the community, even to engage in separate, independent work with individual homeowners, a practice that he and many homeowners have engaged in for approximately six years. Under the Second Residents’ Input Session, there were objections made to this community ban and Marion Weil stated, as reported in that section, that it is “the policy of the Board as directed by our attorney not to discuss personnel.” Marion further stated, “you can work with anyone else.”
This demand and standing order is dangerous and stupid and may cost this community in the long run, because as of press time, Mr. Sanchez is seeking legal counsel to address issues and causes of action which include wrongful termination based on a hostile and unsafe work environment, and tortious interference with prospective business advantage for preventing him from plying his trade to his customers and clients who live within the gates of the community. We will explain this asinine demand/order and its ramifications along with our report of our exclusive interview of Mr. Sanchez, which took place on Friday, August 7, 2020, from 6:35pm to 6:58pm.
At the inception, we must point out that there are three separate occurrences concerning this matter:
(1) The first was Mr. Sanchez’ termination by FirstResidential, which was his employer. The HOA was never his employer. He was never an employee of the HOA. That matter was between those other two parties. The HOA was never a party to that contract or to that relationship, however, if the HOA intentionally and wrongfully induced that termination, it may be brought in as a party defendant to the action;
(2) The second occurrence was the broadcasting of the private firing of Mr. Sanchez to the community at large via an email blast sent by Marion Weil purportedly on behalf of the Board dated July 29, 2020; and
(3) The third occurrence was the banning of Mr. Sanchez from conducting his on-going business with his clients and customers inside the community, also transmitted to the community by the aforementioned email blast, based on a purported “policy” which, even if it did exist, is not based on any rational analysis.
For example, let’s say Lee Sinett was fired as the Sports Director. Does this mean he can never again spend Shabbat at his mother’s house on Landon Circle and he can never again walk his mother’s dog, Poochie, because his access to the community is banned? The absurdity of this so-called policy is obvious.
This alleged policy is just made up junk, but its legal ramifications are real, as will become obvious when you read through the interview. And who exactly is in charge of this community: Marion and Deborah? No, ladies, it doesn’t work that way. Perhaps we need a new property manager along with a new “policy” that protects the community’s assets, not one which clearly exposes those assets which is now the case.
Without further ado, we now report on our exclusive interview of Mr. Sanchez along with our additional comments.
Interviewee: Alex Sanchez. August 7, 2020. Interview conducted by your Editor, Vicki Roberts, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, Arthur Andelson.
Alex was asked several questions interspersed throughout the interview. The first question was whether or not he had a written employment contract. He said he was hired at the corporate office of FirstResidential and that there was no written contract.
At this juncture we would like to again emphasize that he was never an employee of the HOA. The HOA has a contract with the management company and the management company supplies their employees pursuant to the contract it has with the HOA. This is a critical distinction, because when President Marion Weil for the Board decrees that this individual cannot enter the premises to conduct lawful business with specific residents/clients/customers, she and the Board are not banning a former employee of the HOA; they are banning a former employee of the management company who, upon termination, is a free agent.
In fact, even when he was an employee of the management company, it was determined that he worked after hours for many, many residents, including present and former HOA Board members, doing odd jobs, and there was never any issue with that. Thus, the banning of a non-employee from conducting business with his customers is extremely problematic from a legal perspective.
Alex stated that he started working at the Cascade Lakes location approximately 2014 or 2015. He was asked about an incident about a year and half ago which your Editor was apprised of by a confidential informant, as it purportedly occurred prior to your Editor’s purchase of a home in Cascade Lakes. (As many of you know, this News Site has a number of very well-connected confidential informants.)
Alex stated that about a year and a half ago “they tried to fire me.” It was not in writing. He stated, “her boss said I wasn’t doing my job.” He was referring to Deborah Balka’s boss, Ron Capitena. Alex denied that and stated to your Editor, “I’m the only one, so who is doing the work?” He then stated, “Deborah doesn’t know how to speak; she’s always yelling at you. Do something, then do something else. I can only do one thing at a time. She believes in multi-tasking excessively.” This News Site has heard anecdotally similar complaints about Deborah being abrasive and abrupt.
He complained of an “unsafe working area. One time I got hurt.” We asked if he filed a Worker’s Compensation claim. He responded, “yes, I was out for a while. I broke my toe with the golf cart. I’m by myself.” Alex indeed has been seen around the community in the golf cart, his main means of transportation to do his job within the community.
He was asked if he ever did odd jobs during employment hours. He responded, “never.” He was asked if he were ever given a written warning or notice. He responded, “no. The first time, yes, probation for three months, they said I wasn’t doing my job.” He was asked what he believed was the real reason, if that were not true. He responded, “I don’t know. She has something against me.” He was referring to Deborah Balka.
He confirms he was fired. He stated about Deborah Balka, “it’s not only me; everybody there gets yelled at like a child; they all know, and even the residents know. We all cope with it. That day, she called Ron to let me go. She asked me to do something. She saw me in the clubhouse speaking to the cleaning guy. She said, ‘why are you there? You should be working.’ I needed somebody to spot me for the ladder, to change a bulb on Military in front that was out.”
He was then asked by us how high the light bulb was. He responded, “It was a light pole, about ten feet high. And the grass where the ladder would go is on a little hill, so you need someone holding the ladder.” This appears to be a valid and legitimate safety concern.
He continued, “then she said, she has another thing for me to do. So, I said, ‘what priority do you want?’ She said, ‘it doesn’t matter, in a day’s work you should be able to do all.’ It was done. And then Monday I was let go.”
We asked if there are any annual or quarterly reviews. He responded that there is a review every year in the beginning. He stated, “last year, she started writing better reviews.”
He was asked if he worked for residents of the HOA after hours. He responded, “yes, the Board encouraged it – the Board before this Board, to help people out.”
He also stated, “They got me a helper at one point; they hired on the off-season, and then complained that there was no work. I didn’t understand.”
He was brought back to the issue of working for residents on the side and asked if that were frequent. He responded, “a lot. At least half the people I know.” He was asked if he ever worked for present or former members of the Board. “I worked for Mark [Goodman], Deckinger, Madeline who moved, Olitsky, Marion, Linda.” He was asked if he ever worked for former Board member Alan Silver. “Yes.” Barry Gordon? “Yes.” Rich Ruskin? “Yes.” Elliot Graff? “Yes.” Miles Alter? “Yes, but not when he was on the Board.”
He cannot conduct his business with residents if he is barred from entering the premises because he needs access to their homes. He cannot have them drive him in with their vehicles because, in his words, “I need to bring supplies, I go to Home Depot, and then give them the receipt for the merchandise and then the labor charge. Every day after 4pm I made appointments. I would have to put it in the residents’ car” and he stated that he did not want to do that because he did not want to take the chance of damaging their cars with the tools and supplies; if he damaged his own car, then so be it. So he has no ingress to ply his trade.
He stated he would be going to a lawyer. He stated, “about 50 residents called me.” He stated that he has lost income from not being able to service his customers inside the community. The interview of Alex to ascertain the alleged facts was then concluded.
It seems very clear that a knowledgeable lawyer would focus on a few salient points which are divided into two separate categories:
Category One: An action against his former employer, FirstResidential, and potentially including the HOA as a defendant for allegedly inducing the alleged wrongful termination and allegedly permitting the alleged hostile and dangerous work environment:
1. The alleged hostile work environment: the alleged abrasive and abusive manner in which his immediate supervisor, Deborah Balka, repeatedly treated and addressed him;
2. The alleged unsafe work environment: the alleged firing of someone for seeking assistance for safety reasons;
3. The alleged wrongful termination based on the above, that in fact, the former employer created and maintained a hostile and unsafe work environment.
Category Two: An action against the HOA for tortious interference with prospective business advantage:
“Tortious interference happens when a third party to a business relationship or contract intentionally disrupts that relationship or contract…Florida recognizes two forms of relationships that can be subject to tortious interference: contractual business relationships and advantageous business relationships. Contractual business relationships are those established by a contract between the parties [oral or written] …Advantageous business relationships…can include scenarios like a sales relationship with a customer or a vendor.
The alleged tortfeasor…must have known about the relationship’s existence...The interference must be unjust and intentional…Additionally, the interference must take the form of causing the other party to the relationship to either break their promise under the contract or withdraw from the relationship altogether…” (Courtesy, the Campbell Law Group, Coral Gables, Florida).
In this case concerning Alex Sanchez, the alleged tortfeasor/interferer is the actual entity (the HOA Board) which is preventing access to the customers because it controls the ingress and egress to and from the customer’s home.
It is clear that any attorney hired by Alex would likely send a demand letter to the HOA Board to immediately provide access to Alex’s customers forthwith. We have a resident speaking at the Board meeting (Second Residents’ Input Session below) stating that she wants Alex as her maintenance man. The Board is interfering and instructing her to use someone else. We have Alex who confirmed that he wants to continue with his business relationships with individual homeowners and residents within the community. The HOA Board must mitigate this fiasco immediately so that the HOA members are protected and insulated from this financial exposure. Insurance will not cover intentional torts. Insurance will not cover legal fees to defend complaints alleging intentional torts.
The Sign-Up Genius was not an emergency subject to unanimous consent; this is. Alex’s ban from the community must be immediately rescinded.
Also, if and when an insurance company receives this type of complaint, and its underwriters see the alleged malfeasance and how the Board is acting, these are red flags for the underwriters. This may come up during renewal time or when insurance shopping.
And now a word about the secrecy of the situation. Marion essentially states that the matter is privileged because it involves “personnel.” It is true that the Florida statute permits a privileged communication between the Board and the HOA attorney for matters concerning “personnel.” The problem here is that this individual is not technically “personnel” because he was never an “employee” of the HOA. He was an employee of the management company which has a contract with the HOA. And frankly, based on past experience, we are not fully confident that the entire Board met with or spoke with the HOA attorney.]
2. PBB: Removal of two trees - $1590: Mark: another piggyback of all the others…one on Landon Circle and one on Grey Birch that are near pools. 5434 and 5305. Remove the oak trees, creating a hazard. Each one is $795. Proposal 35-20 for $1,590. Second? Harvey. Marion: are the pools [sic – trees] on the property or adjacent? Deborah: they’re on community property right behind the pools. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
3. Copier: Renewal: Mark Goodman: proposal came in, paper, rental of machine. A new copier machine; will cost us a lot less money. Rental from $527 and change per month for a 60 month lease, normal, it would go down 25% to $396.56. Savin machine, it does copying, faxing, etc., and the paper, the original lease, black and white we are paying one cent; 1.1% per copy going down to .009…that adds up.
[Editor’s note: We’ll tell you what doesn't add up: the way you are doing this. This is insanity on steroids. More as we read through the transcript.]
Mark: The same thing with color…We have been paying 9.7 cents a copy. It’s reduced to 6 cents a copy. I am proposing that this new lease with Savin will help us save money on the monthly lease and the copies…Marion: second? Harvey. Eileen: how long is the new lease? Mark: all the copy companies want five years. I was not happy over the years, but they’ve really improved. Marion: the company is Max Davis.
Sue: looking at the contract, service and maintenance. Marion: yes, as well as ink. Sue: where in the contract? Mark: Service and Supplies. Sue: are we limited in terms of the number and times they would come to service? Deborah: we really haven’t had problems.
[Editor’s note: that does not answer the question, and in fact, the question was never answered, so Sue, next time, insist on an answer to your important question, otherwise why bother asking it?]
Deborah: …one problem… Harvey: is it a brand-new machine? Mark: yes. It’s over $7,000 over...it’s a no-brainer. I used my brain but yes, it’s a no-brainer. Marion: all in favor of Savin 1M C3500 copier from Max Davis? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: At $356.96 per month for 60 months – five years – that totals $23,793.36 for the five-year lease of the machine. Anyone can get a very good high-output office grade copier for a few thousand dollars. Even if one factors in maintenance, copies, ink, and toner, it would never come anywhere near $23,793.36 for the five year period, or $4,758.72 per year. Copy paper can be purchased cheap as borscht from outlets, Costco, and other places. A ream of 500 can be purchased for way less than $5.00, which is less than one cent per copy. This is not a “no-brainer” as Mark claims. This is not fiscally responsible either.]
4. Sidewalk Repairs – Polylift $3,800. Eileen: …have shaved in the past…Because of the age of the trees, we’re having a lot of lifting. This sidewalk is Cascade Lakes Blvd. on both sides and a sidewalk slab repair outside the ballroom door on the top step. Total fee of $3,800, and these were never done. They cannot be shaved. Motion to accept. Second: Linda. Harvey: it’s not replacement, it’s Polylift, you put under it. We’ve used it in the past and it works well. Eileen: I meant repair. Richard: When Deborah and I did the budget…as far as sidewalk repair we’re under budget. $29,000 budget, with this we will have spent $7,000 in 8 months. Deborah: we still have the trees. Landon Circle, the next pod to look at the sidewalks. Richard: the trees and the sidewalks were over budget by $32,000 and it’s only gonna get worse. It’s not a want, it’s a need. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Joyce Winston: I would appreciate if you make a motion, you would list the dollar amount. No one mentioned how much the reservation system is costing. Marion: $8.99 a month. Mark: it didn’t pass so that’s fine.
2. Art Ritt: This is Joyce Katzman: you made a decision to change the maintenance man, Alex, if he wants to work in my home, I should be able to hire whoever [sic] I want. I have found him to be bright, honest, and do work. There is an order at the gate. It’s an infringement of my rights and his rights. Marion: policy of the Board as directed by our attorney not to discuss personnel.
[Editor’s note: it is most certainly an infringement of your right to hire whom you wish and the businessman’s right to do business with his customer base. The only exception we over here in the news room could think of is if he posed a clear and present danger to the community, but there has been no evidence of that, and to the contrary, the evidence we have collected to date suggests that the motive for his termination had nothing to do with any safety issue vis-à-vis the community at large.
This so-called policy is absurd as discussed above in the GO ASK ALEX area of this synopsis and commentary. If the Sports Director, Lee Sinett, were fired, would he be banned from entering the community to visit his mother, who is a resident/owner here? We think not. Rather, we think you, the resident, and Alex, the businessman, have causes of action against the HOA. As a practical matter, you will not be running to the courthouse, but Alex’s lawyer will.]
Joyce: I have a right to have anyone to work in my house. [Editor’s note: yes, you do.]
Marion: not at this point! Personnel. [Editor’s note: lose the smugness, Marion, and also, no one is buying the poopoo you’re selling.]Joyce: these are my own personal liberties.[Editor’s note: yes, unless it has been established that the situation would present a danger or safety hazard to the community, which has not been shown in this case.] Joyce: so, from now on, the community is going to tell me who [sic - whom] I can work with in my own home. Marion: you can work with anyone else.
You don’t get to tell people with whom they can work and with whom they cannot work. This is a direct infringement of the right to employ and the right to the worker’s gainful employment, when you restrict access to the customer. If you truly received this advice from your lawyer, it’s time to rethink that contract. Alternatively, you might have claimed that the lawyer gave you this advice without ever having actually consulted said lawyer. Very few people trust you, Marion, so either possibility is reasonable to conclude. It is known in the community that Marion and the truth seem to frequently be adversarial to each other. And your stance, Marion and the Board, may cost this community in the long run when Alex’s lawyer comes after the HOA for this asinine so-called policy.]
Joyce: the pool, I find no problem calling in and neither do most of the people in the pool.
3. Joyce Winston: End the meeting fast, there’s gonna be a storm. Get out of the clubhouse…. oh, you’re all in your homes! Mark: I have my wife outside flying a kite.
Round Table Discussion:
Marion: we’ll go in order of how you appear on the screen.
Eileen: I’m good.
[Editor’s note: lately, that’s true, and it is appreciated.]
Harvey: Unanimous consent, don’t we need to vote on ratification? [Editor’s note: yes, and kudos for being awake at the wheel.] Marion: yes, we do. All in favor of ratifying unanimous consent for investigating the Sign Up Genius: unanimous.
[Editor’s note: totally unnecessary; anyone can investigate anything at any time and any Board member can add something to the Agenda, even if it has appeared previously, as discussed above.]
Marion: all in favor of… the July 17[action] maintenance staff, unanimous.
Sue: Eileen and I are planning to meet with the real estate agents who live here for feedback as to why people are buying here or not…Are we competitive. We also have to reach out to other real estate agents who do not live here. This would be a tremendous help…plan for long-range planning…buyers’ preferences. Eileen and I – is it “I” or “me?” Someone: it’s “me.”
[Editor’s note: in this context, it’s “I.”]
Richard: Committee budget reports are due September 9. Clubs are due September 3.
Mark: Three items. One, please, assessment, there’s quite a number of people who have not paid up. Two, water statement each month, they put in information, this past one quite important; problems with the Boynton Beach water company. Another problem came up, one of the wells had a problem… [Editor’s note: e coli.] Mark: suggest you boil your water.
[Editor’s note: that suggestion was specifically stated as not being necessary in the notice because by the time they sent the notice, they had already supposedly resolved the problem; use your own judgment.]
Mark: please look at the bills. As of yesterday, the water is fine…I would suggest put a filter in or use bottled water or some sort of filter system.
[Editor’s note: definitely, use a filter system.]
Mark: Three, state consumer affairs, it’s actually called Florida Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Division, concerning our utility boxes on angles and rusting. The state will not handle it, it’s gonna be the county and I spoke with them and they said we’re probably gonna have to get an attorney. They sent a letter to A&T and Comcast…don’t expect…nothing else they can do.
Marion: the census…I’ve been hearing a lot of people have not been doing their census form…people do that….
Deborah: [Editor’s note: again, Deborah is not a Board member and should not be participating in the Board’s Round Table Discussion.] Three FPL light poles have gone in this past week; one on Cascade Lakes Blvd. installing somewhere near the pump station. I haven’t been able to check due to the rain…
Linda: nothing, thank you.
Mark: motion to adjourn the meeting. Second: Eileen. Marion: 8:09pm.
[Editor’s concluding comments: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green. These gentlemen do a stupendous job in handling the technology to make these Zoom meetings possible and we thank them for their service and volunteerism.
And so concludes the board meeting of August 5, 2020; next Board meeting: August 19, 2020 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]