08/18/21 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted August 21, 2021. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the August 18, 2021 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated in bold blue and pictures.
This edition is entitled, “Who Rigged the Pickleball Ladder Competition and Why?” “Toxic Official Board Reports” and “Invisible Electric Shocking Dog Fences”
The Editor’s Opening Monologue concerns the first part of the title; the second and third parts appear under New Business, Items #s 6 and 7. Now on to Part I:
“Who Rigged the Pickleball Ladder Competition and Why?”
Let’s cut to the chase. Who rigged the Pickleball ladder match and why? Here’s the answer: on August 16, 2021, your Roving Reporter sent the following email to the Board and Sports Director; it is self-explanatory and explains exactly what happened and why. So, without further ado, here’s what happened:
“August 16, 2021
Dear Board Members and Sports Director,
I am making a formal complaint about severe unsportsmanlike behavior that occurred on the pickleball courts on Saturday, August 14, 2021, during competition match play where several members rigged the ladder match.
This unsportsmanlike behavior was so bad that it changed the outcome of the results. When any type of premeditated behavior changes the competition outcome, that constitutes rigging a match. Plain and simple, this is premeditated cheating.
Anyone who knew about this cheating and did nothing about it and remained silent and/or who supported it and/or who helped concoct this illegal scheme is equally culpable and complicit in the act.
There were five people scheduled by the Sports Director to play on court A1 for the August 14, 2021 ladder match: Doug Sweet, Stan Miller, Michael Feinberg, Carmen Coletta, and me.
Two of those individuals, Doug Sweet, a new member to the community who worked very hard for months to be on court A1 for the first time, and Stan Miller, who worked hard to move back up the ladder to be on court A1, were completely sabotaged. These gentlemen play by the rules.
They were lied to, used, and manipulated, and they were deprived of their rights to the common area which they pay for when they received a phone call the night before the ladder match from Mike Feinberg, who was also scheduled to play on court 1A, who falsely told them that the match was cancelled and who also told them to therefore not show up. They had no idea that this was a set-up, and so they innocently did not show up, per Michael’s phone call.
Carmen Coletta did not show up either, and she was also scheduled to play on court A1, and neither she nor Mike Feinberg made any phone call to the Sports Director that they were ill or could not make it for any reason. Carmen knew the ladder match was on because her husband Chick Coletta was playing in the match. Carmen did not call the Sports Director. Carmen became a co-conspirator.
Mike Feinberg, who was the one who made the calls to Doug and Stan the night before and who then on the morning of the match sat inconspicuously, or so he thought, in his wife’s car, a white Volkswagen, in the corner of the parking lot nearest to the courts where he watched as I arrived on my bicycle, also didn’t show up. After he saw me, he drove away. Clearly, the intent was to have me stand on court A1 alone, to try and humiliate me into falsely believing that no one wants to play with me, and also so that all the other members in the ladder would see me standing there alone.
The same goes for Chick: he was fully present at the ladder match on a different court, but he was aware of this conspiratorial plan which was hatched the day before, so his silence makes him a co-conspirator as well, since clearly his wife intentionally did not show, intentionally did not inform the Sports Director, and they always arrive together for match play.
At least two other individuals in this community likely also knew about this cheating because on Friday afternoon, the day before the match, and just hours before Mike Feinberg’s phone calls to Doug and Stan, all of these individuals were standing together outside of the Delray Courthouse discussing the outcome of the restraining order application Vicki and I sought against Chick Coletta for his vile and harassing emails sent to us, some of which suggested different ways that Vicki should die. Yes, these were death wish emails which were laced with profanity. There were several residents who showed up to defend Mr. Coletta’s indefensible writings.
The judge was furious, told Chick that his emails were juvenile and sophomoric, asked him how he would feel if he or a family member of his received such vile emails, and strongly admonished Mr. Coletta and was very close to granting our request. He gave Chick a very stern warning and when he issued his order denying the restraining order at this time, he specifically made as part of the order permission for us to come back to Court to reopen our request and bring additional evidence going forward. It seemed to us that if there is a next time, Mr. Coletta will likely not be so fortunate.
The other individuals that most likely knew about this cheating and did nothing and who testified in support of Chick Coletta and by extension supported his death wish emails are Chairpersons to the Board, Diane Fiorillo-Green and Jeff F. Green. It is inconceivable that they had no knowledge of this rigging of the ladder match, and they, as Committee Chairs, which are adjuncts of the Board, had a duty to inform the Sports Director; instead, they remained silent, and that makes them complicit.
Having Chairpersons acting in such a juvenile and unprofessional manner hurts the entire community. This is not the first time they have acted in such a manner that has hurt this community. You will recall that the Board had received a complaint (not from us) that Jeff F. Green purportedly kicked an election sign out of the ground on election day (November 3, 2020) and that Diane Fiorillo-Green got in the face of two residents, purportedly screaming at them for having election signs favoring a different Presidential candidate from her preferred candidate.
They also both previously resigned their Chairmanships, and Diane in particular resigned from her fake pickleball club presidency after that election was shown to have been rigged. So, some of these people are no strangers to the ploy of rigging results. It’s apparently part of their play book.
This is the same group who purportedly sent an email to former Board Director Marion Weil trying to extort her by threatening to release damaging information about her unless she withdrew from the last Board election race.
This is also the same group that tried to extort the previous Board to open the pool during the raging pandemic back in May/June 2020 in exchange for paying for a pickleball courtside canopy and who went apoplectic when their demand was not met, using the HOA official website email to disseminate their rage against the Board to everyone in the community who had pickleball checked off on their profile page and then continuing that rage on Facebook.
This bullying type of behavior has now evolved into more cheating and this needs to be firmly addressed because as you can see it is escalating. This type of unsportsmanlike behavior is so severe that one month loss of the use of the common areas, including all the amenities, is the minimum any individual should receive in my opinion.
Please do the right thing. It is not just about me. It has now affected others in the community, Doug Sweet and Stan Miller, and the entire pickleball ladder results. Rigging a match is one of the worst kinds of unsportsmanlike behavior to engage in. A slap on the wrist will do nothing, and if that is the extent of it, then you can expect more of the same, because it will just embolden these people. We do not want Cascade Lakes to be known as a community where rigging matches is deemed acceptable depending on who is doing the rigging.
So we have established that cheating occurred, and we have identified the individuals purportedly involved.
Board director and liaison to the Recreation Committee, Harvey Ginsberg, replied to Arthur’s mail on behalf of the entire Board and stated that the matter was being investigated. By the way, as reported above, Jeff F. Green, the Chairperson of the Recreation Committee, was present in Court defending Chick Coletta’s vile, profanity-laced death wish emails to your Editor.
Harvey has made it clear during official Board meetings that he cannot stand your Editor or your Roving Report. He singled us out more than once by name and falsely claimed that this News Site is bogus and reports fake news. Those claims were themselves proven false.
Months later he was forced to apologize to the community because what we reported, about which he was so incensed, was proven true: that he tried to do an end run around the required community vote on a fence and gate at the front entrance by having the then-Board vote on the project piecemeal so that the total amount would not exceed the mandatory threshold for community expenditures which require a community vote.
He also failed to disclose that his backyard abutted that area of the intended fence and gate, creating a clear benefit to him personally (more on that under New Business, Item #7, when again he is embroiled in a dog and fence issue).
So how is this Pickleball Ladder Match Rigging Scandal going to be properly investigated when the chief investigator leading the task force has a clear and unequivocal bias against the main complainant and target of the rigging? This bias continues to this date, as shown below during the meeting. Isn’t this like the proverbial fox guarding the hen house?
It gets worse: we have another Board member, Fox #2, as detailed below, who is trying to figure out ways to let new residents know that we’re not the official HOA website (see New Business Item #6 below). For the record, we never said we were; we are an official News Site, however.
Your Editor is a member of the national organization, Society of Professional Journalists, and also a member of the Florida Press Club. And the facts we report are true; if we make an error, let us know and we will promptly correct it. Otherwise, it would behoove the naysayers to specifically point out an error to support their otherwise baseless allegations. Absent evidence, it just amounts to a lot of hot air.
Then you have a third Board member, Fox #3, telling everyone in an official Board meeting that the HOA doesn’t have a Resident of the Month, a Roving Reporter, or a Facebook page (see comments under Jeff’s Opening Remarks below), again denigrating your Roving Reporter specifically, who is the target of the Pickleball Ladder Competition Rigging Scandal along with two other residents who were used, manipulated, lied to, and deprived of their rights to the common area and their rights to engage in a fair competition with their fellow residents.
Perplexingly, at the restraining order hearing against Chick Coletta, Chick actually complained to the judge that only your Editor and Roving Reporter get to pick the Resident of the Month. Newsflash: we own the News Site, just like Chick used to own a furniture store. Didn’t he get to pick which furniture was for sale? So according to Chick, choosing the Resident of the Month is apparently justification for his vile, profanity-laced death wish emails to your Editor.
Evidence at the restraining order hearing showed that the sole criterion for Resident of the Month is “kindness and warmth toward everyone he/she meets.” Even the judge was asking Chick what’s wrong with choosing someone based on that criterion, and the judge could not understand Chick’s objection to the Resident of the Month award. Perhaps Chick was upset about not having any input in choosing the Resident of the Month.
We’re not aware that he permitted his customers to choose the prices for his furniture. We, however, always ask for input from the residents. Every 17th of the month we publish a notice on our News & Announcements page seeking nominations for the award.
So you have three Board members hopelessly conflicted and they should have all recused themselves, but we bet they didn’t. So that’s how you end up with a kangaroo court that rubber stamps foul behavior.
It is clear to us that apparently blind loyalty has clouded some individuals’ moral judgment and ethical compass. It’s almost as if they are uncomfortable with ethical behavior.
What motivates people to be unethical? Does it harken back to the days of their early childhood?
We don’t think this is nit-picking, and we know the difference.
On Wednesday night, August 18, 2021, the Sports Director sent your Roving Reporter an email stating that both Mike Feinberg and Carmen Coletta were deemed to have acted in an unsportsmanlike manner in violation of the rules, and he issued the following penalties: each was suspended from the Ladder play for one week commencing on August 21, 2021, and each was demoted on the ladder five rungs. We thank the Sports Director for imposing these well-earned penalties.
These unsportsmanlike individuals will have to work their way back up the ladder, however long that takes, and if they continue to refuse to play on Court 1 with your Roving Reporter, they will have a de facto suspension for life on Court 1 every week that your Roving Reporter earns a berth on Court 1.
At the August 21, 2021 Saturday morning pickleball Ladder competition, the day this report went to press, Michael Feinberg, who was suspended from the competition, and his wife both showed up at the pickleball courts wearing Superman T-shirts, and she was taking photos of him standing courtside directly in front of where Arthur was playing in the middle of a match while Arthur was trying to play in his match. Doing this during play is also unsportsmanlike behavior, and we will continue to call it out.
And by the way, these bullies and their cronies are some of the same people who claim we are the bullies, which is classic psychological projection (they blame the target for the exact thing they’re doing).
Anyone who supports the sending of vile, profanity-laced death wish emails to another human being is a bully. That includes the two suspended players, Mike Feinberg and Carmen Coletta, and it includes the others who supported this vile behavior in court: Diane Fiorillo-Green, Jeff F. Green (not the HOA Director but rather the Chairperson of the Recreation Committee), Debbie Berenholtz (invisible dog fence applicant), and others, and of course, the email sender himself, Chick Coletta.
Members of this little group have purportedly circulated false and manipulative information in the hopes of getting the neighborhood to circle the wagons along with them. Instead, sometimes bad actors get what’s known in psychology as the boomerang effect.
That appears to be the case here. The wagon circlers are not apparently increasing their ranks; those ranks are likely decreasing because they are becoming louder, nastier, and desperate, and more and more people are becoming thoroughly disgusted with them.
In conclusion, it appears that the matter is now resolved as far as it is going to be resolved. As for the takeaway from all of this, as always, we report, you decide.
And now on to the Board meeting where Jeff, the president, had some choice words for your Editor and Roving Reporter.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green, President (Equal Board member)
Harvey Ginsberg, VP (Equal Board member)
Richard Greene, Treasurer (Equal Board member)
Alan Silver, Secretary (Equal Board member)
Linda Arbeit (Equal Board member)
Bob Dingee (Equal Board member)
Sue Schmer (Equal Board member)
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
[Editor’s note: Jeff called the meeting to order.]
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Alan Silver.
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
Jeff: We do not have an official Resident of the Month [but we do, and it’s one of our most popular pages!], a Roving Reporter [but we do, and he is a much beloved member of the community!], or a Facebook page for Cascade Lakes [but we do, and so does Carmen Coletta, aka Mrs. Chick Coletta, who has had one for eleven years and decided to selectively target residents from participating on her page, but apparently that Facebook page is perfectly acceptable to Jeff and has been since its inception eleven years ago, because he has never registered a complaint about it since its inception back in 2010.
In fact, no one has ever publicly complained about Mrs. Coletta’s Facebook page dedicated to our HOA, but somehow, the one we just started for our wonderful community, by the same name, is objectionable to Jeff to the point where he felt compelled to make a formal statement about it at an official Board meeting.
Perhaps Jeff should tell the many residents who were and are happy to sign up to be a part of our new community Facebook page, where they have a place to freely interact with each other, that he only approves of Carmen’s page, since he was clearly targeting the Facebook page we started for the benefit of the community. Perhaps Mrs. Coletta’s Facebook page of the same name is perfectly fine with Jeff because Board member Harvey Ginsberg has contributed content to it.
The difference, Jeff, is that we have told NO ONE not to use Carmen’s page, but you’re essentially telling EVERYONE not to use ours by suddenly making it an issue and denigrating it. We’ll let the community decide for themselves if that sounds like it meets the “fundamental fairness” sniff test. Let’s all take a sniff and think about that for a moment.
It is curious, though, that Mrs. Coletta’s page was the central location where some of the residents of the pickleball club who purportedly participated in the cheating scheme discussed in the above Editor’s Opening Monologue complained the loudest about the then-Board’s refusal in May/June 2020 to open the facilities during the raging pandemic, and that same little group attacked the then-Board mercilessly.
We guess that was perfectly fine with Jeff, too, because he never said a peep about it, either back then, since, or now. Those Facebook posts on Carmen’s page were vicious in their attacks against the then-Board. Jeff remained silent. But we put up a Facebook place of goodness which welcomes residents in a joyful and open manner, and literally within 48 hours of the unveiling, Jeff goes apoplectic.
And by the way, what exactly is objectionable about having a Resident of the Month? The sole criterion for winning the award is “kindness and warmth to everyone he/she meets.” Really, you’re offended by that?
You are insulting all the winners over the course of the last almost two years and their friends. Why is there so much hate for the residents who are excited about who will be the Resident of the Month, who enjoy trying to figure out who is about to be honored by the fun clues, and who then learn a little bit about their neighbors when the winner is revealed? So exactly why are you complaining?
Why are you so threatened by us? You seem really stressed over the existence of our News Site and now the community’s new Facebook page.
Note to Jeff: the residents abhor selective targeting of particular residents because it offends their sense of fundamental fairness which they expect from their elected leaders.
Note to residents: we love you, too! We hope that the new Facebook page will allow you to freely interact with others in our wonderful community. Thank you for all your continued support, and we are as excited as you are about your new Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach Facebook page!]
Asphalt Project: [Editor’s note: the asphalt laying company and the private specialist hired by the HOA to oversee the project both reported that the project is moving along swimmingly. They said that over time the unevenness in the appearance and tire marks will dissipate. The independent consultant said that he has been present every day and there are no structural deficiencies.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you want to speak, raise your hand where it is indicated at the bottom of the screen if you can find it.
1. Roberta Alter: [Editor’s note: Roberta asked some logistical questions about the asphalt project on her street. She also mentioned that the pool truck blocked five parking spaces in the parking lot and asked if he could finish before 6:30am.] Jeff: we’ll talk to him; depends when he comes in.
2. Robin Schmierer: [Editor’s note: this resident stated that on Landon Circle at the curves the pavement is rutting. The consultant, Beau, replied.] Beau: I don’t understand the term “rutting.” The machine… does it … there is some hand work done which is a little bit different texture on the surface, shading, and over a couple of week will be blended in, the same with the scuff marks.
3. Alan Silver: tar on the driveways, you said you would sandblast that off. Beau: at the end of the job we will do a walk-through, by then people will send in their specific addresses…we’ll make a list…
4. Marion Weil: …swirling tire marks on our driveway and tar on our garage door… pieces of tar… Deb: send me an email. Jeff: I think the job so far has been very well done. Thank you, guys.
5. Judie Delman: [Editor’s note: Judie was very concerned about the invisible fences, asked if it affects dogs walking by. The short answer is no, in that it does not provide an electrical shock to a dog who is not wearing the collar synced with the system. Harvey stated that it is used for conditioning, first the dog gets a beep and then a small shock.]
Judie: what has happened yesterday, I spoke with Hotwire…fiber optics…damage…trying to repair…whenever there is a problem, we are entitled to a credit on that day. $5.00 a day. Jeff: Richard and I have already spoken about that, will take care of that. The community is going to get the credit.
Approval of Minutes: July 14, 2021 Board meeting: Alan Silver:
Alan: Motion to approve the Minutes of the July 14, 2021 Board meeting. Jeff: seconded by Linda. [silence] Sue: all in favor? Jeff: Approved? Unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene: [Editor’s note: this was provided with your Agenda notice. Richard moved to approve, Alan seconded, and it was unanimous.]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: [Editor’s note: Deborah thanked everyone for their good wishes during her Covid; her husband is trying to get stronger and is on the mend.] Deb: mow today and Thursday, next week final mow.
Jeff: I was remiss in my opening comments not to thank Deb, she worked very hard from home and her staff, too.
[Editor’s note: Jeff, maybe if you stopped focusing such venom on your Editor and Roving Reporter, our News Site, and the new community social media Facebook page, you would not have been so remiss in your opening comments in forgetting to thank Deborah; just a thought.]
1. Facilities: Phyllis Hirsch for Barbara Gordon: [Editor’s note: Phyllis kindly emailed the report for inclusion herein.] We have met and are working on 2022 budget. Getting bids for ADA toilets in all clubhouse restrooms, using funds from 2021. Three bids will be presented next week.
2. COBWRA: Vicki Roberts: [Editor’s note: COBWRA is an Advisory Group.] COBWRA. Coalition of Boynton West Residents Associations; I executed a “no” vote on the developer’s plans into the AgReserve on behalf of our HOA; this was Bruce Brodsky’s wish as well. Thank you.
3. Entertainment: Diane Fiorillo-Green: …The October 30 party could be moved to the pool deck if necessary…
[Editor’s note: These items are still being ignored. Details are found on our page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
A. Rescinding illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote. –THIS RULE HAS BEING EXPANDED TO INCLUDE SECOND VIOLATIONS; THERE IS AN APPARENT OBSESSION WITH TRANSPONDERS.
B. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community
C. Improper use of HOA funds
D. Improper expansion of Presidential powers
E. Disabling of the Zoom meeting Chat function
F. Clubs and Their Asinine Rules -- HANDLED; RULES NEUTERED; AWAITING NOTICE TO COMMUNITY, NEW RULES TO BE SENT TO ALL RESIDENTS, & REMOVAL OF BOGUS PICKLEBALL CLUB RULES FROM HOA WEBSITE
G. Two incident reports
H. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members
I. Weekly email blasts; News & Views dedicated page for president; president assuming too many liaison positions that target communication and final decisions
J. Eliminate Liaisons To Vendors; Property Manager and HOA Attorney To Report To All Board Members
K. Expenditures That Are Not Revealed To The Community Need to Be Openly Disclosed; Where Does Your Money Go?
L. Message Board Suspensions
M. Webmasters Making Board Decisions
NEW ENTRIES ON THE LIST:
[none at this time.]
1. Update on facilities openings-Harvey Ginsberg
Harvey: it is reasonable to delay the reopening of the clubhouse until the surge has passed…I propose that the clubhouse remain closed, re-evaluate September 1. The fitness center and outdoor amenities remain the same. Second: Bob. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
Alan: the fitness center, more options for outdoor classes, poolside yoga Saturday mornings…will be talking to the Y…other suggestions… Second: Sue. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
1. Formation of a stamp club-Jeff Green
Jeff: from Keith Lichtman, gonna be a club, he’s the club president. Not gonna have dues at this time. I make the motion to approve. Linda: Second. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
2. Approval of Long-Range Planning Process - Alan Silver
Alan: Long Range Planning is not currently planning upgrades…collecting data…we are seeking approval for projects. 1. Defining what it means to be a community of choice, including welcoming new residents discussed later. 2. Resident survey, repeat January 2020, determine interests and desires. 3. Realtor survey. 4. Visiting sister communities to see what improvements they’ve done… motion to accept the active projects of the Long Range Planning Committee and to accept their first draft of the first community of choice. Second: Sue.
Richard: something I worked with the attorney…change any amenity, has to go to a community vote. I feel very strongly about that… people bought in here … don’t like to eliminate or change an amenity based on four Directors. So I can’t approve this unless we get a community vote.
Jeff: I tend to agree with Richard… one percent to ½ percent we had in there, should be part of the same thing.
[Editor’s note: there was a lot of back and forth about this. They talked about better marketing for their goal of reducing the community vote requirement from 75% to 66 2/3%. Is it really appropriate for Board members who are supposed to represent the entire community to be taking sides on this issue and trying to devise marketing tools to push one side which supports their personal agenda against the other side which they're against?
Sue warned to proceed with care on the future wording of the proposed amendment based on the failure of the vote when this was tried recently. Sue suggested that the Board allow Alan and his Committee to do their due diligence first, whereupon the motion passed unanimously.]
3. PBB Irrigation Proposal 66-21- $2320 - Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: this was an emergency behind a home on Landon Circle, a leak in the main line, and it was repaired and completed. Linda made the motion, Harvey seconded it. It was approved unanimously.]
4. Fabulons entertainment - Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: Richard said the show is scheduled for February 12, 2022 in the clubhouse, 60’s music this time. Harvey wanted a force majeure in any contract, which we agree with. Jeff said there’s no deposit so there is no liability, and he stated that he did speak with the Entertainment Chairperson to put it in any contract. Richard made the motion to accept this contract, Linda seconded it, and it passed unanimously.]
5. Pool Heater Maintenance - $1,070 - Jeff Greene
[Editor’s note: Jeff reported this was necessary and is for the year’s maintenance; he made the motion, Bob seconded it, and it was approved unanimously.]
6. Plan to Welcome and Integrate New Residents into Community - Alan Silver
Part II: “Toxic Official Board Reports”
[Editor’s note: make no mistake about it, this is code-speak for “how to we steer newcomers to the HOA official page as opposed to the News Site.” We know this because Harvey even mentioned our welcoming card we send to new residents as we learn of their joining our community. We also know this because in the Board packet, which is now posted online, it contains the following false and defamatory statement specifically aimed at your Editor and Roving Reporter:
“…sending…toxic reports on board activities and community affairs.”
First of all, our reports are for all to see, just like this one; read them and decide for yourselves. Second, the unsupported and false statement that our reports are somehow “toxic” is, upon information and belief, offensive to the majority of the community, and is actually a reflection back on those who make such baseless accusations.
It appears that this portion of the Board packet was prepared by Alan, who presented it to the Board at the meeting, and Harvey clearly verbalized his agreement with Alan’s choice words. In this case, we have Alan putting in an official HOA document a false statement that our reports are “toxic,” which is an outrageous abuse of power, and it is in our opinion completely unprofessional to put this kind of language in an official Board document, aside from its falsity.
The word “toxic” is usually reserved for dangerous chemicals and people with personality disorders who lend themselves to that type of behavior.
This is just another attempt to discredit factual reporting, and it is a push-back against the community’s demands for transparency and an end to the elitism that permeates many individuals currently in positions of power. The people want fairness for all, not elitism for some. Elitism is the opposite of fairness. Elitism is what’s toxic, not what we report.
Here is more of the farce contained in the official Board packet:
“…our community efforts in welcoming and providing accurate information have been limited.”
As opposed to what? Our information is accurate. Look within and stop blaming us for your shortcomings. And if there is something not accurate in any of our reports, then by all means point it out so that we can review it and confirm or correct it. Otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air because you’re losing control of the narrative, and your version is manipulative, and that’s dishonest and that’s what actually toxic.]
Harvey: we all know that welcome letters are going out from other sources, and we want to get a jump on that.
[Editor’s note: Why can’t the HOA welcome letters peacefully co-exist with ours? What’s wrong with both? When new people move in, they receive through the mail all sorts of welcome flyers, letters, cards, discount coupons, and gift certificates. How is ours any different? What exactly is upsetting about our lovely welcome cards?
It appears that some members of the Board don’t like welcoming cards – no, that’s not accurate; they just don’t like welcoming cards from your Editor and Roving Reporter.
For the record, we don’t send out letters; we send out welcoming cards. Here is what our cards look like, to those of you who might wonder what is objectionable about them (the front cover, the inside message, and the back of the card):
Now please tell us what is offensive about these welcome cards. Or perhaps it’s not the cards; it’s us.
We also include our News Site card, which is this:
We have no idea how that could be considered objectionable either, but apparently, these individuals and some others only want to hear from you or us if we extol their virtues and agree with everything they say and do, because if you don’t, you, too, may be placed on their “toxic” list because they are only interested in your silent obedience; they are not interested in your complaints, and woe be to you if you dare to voice them.
In any event, Alan moved to accept the plan they laid out, Linda seconded it, and it passed unanimously. That plan includes a welcoming letter from the Board, announcing new members at each Board meeting with their permission, special meetings to meet the Board and learn about the HOA, and to restart Committee Expos and high teas for newbies.]
7. Allowing invisible dog fences - Harvey Ginsberg
Part III: “Invisible Electric Shocking Dog Fences”
Here’s how it works: the dog wears a special collar which first beeps and then zaps him with an electrical shock if he gets too close to the invisible fence. That’s how it works, folks. Unsurprisingly, most dogs dislike it and take it very seriously.
[Editor’s note: the words “dog fences” next to the name Harvey Three Dog Night Ginsberg of fence/gate infamy (see October 7, 2020 synopsis and commentary) is priceless. What is it with Harvey, dogs, and fences? Did he learn nothing from Three Dog Night?
Ultimately, he recused himself when the Board voted to rescind the contracts for the front entrance fence and gate after his conflicts on that matter were revealed by this News Site. His backyard abuts the area that would have been covered by the fence that was being paid for with HOA money and he failed to disclose that. But more egregiously, he also tried to do an end run around the required community vote for such an expenditure.
He excoriated your Editor and your Roving Reporter for daring to report these facts, and he falsely claimed that this News Site was fake and bogus. It was many, many months later, when Harvey wanted to be vice-president, that he finally admitted that he did in fact try to do an end run around the required community vote by doing the project that abuts his backyard piecemeal: first the fence, then the gate, thus staying below the threshold amount of money that would have required a community vote.
We unearthed that scandal in our well-received October 7, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Three Dog Night, which grew out of a dog bite incident that occurred involving Harvey’s then-neighbor who purportedly used to trade dog-sitting responsibilities with him.
At times he purportedly had five dogs in his possession on his property (his two and the neighbor’s three); we satirized the issue and queried whether he wanted the fence along the back perimeter of his property for a dog kennel, and how convenient it was to have entered into the fence contract with HOA money instead of paying for a fence himself.
He finally admitted and then issued a perfunctory apology for trying to do an end run around the required community vote and asked for forgiveness in December 2020 when the position of vice-president became available and he wanted to be VP so badly, and he then claimed the office of vice-president without a required majority vote, and the former Board permitted that farce (see our January 6, 2021 synopsis and commentary entitled Vacancy At The Bates Motel which discussed the actual vacancy of the office of vice-president).
It wasn’t until this past March 2021 when he legitimately received the minimum votes to assume the position that he actually was entitled to it.
And by the way, per our By-Laws, the office of vice-president has no functions; it only exists in the event the president is unavailable (By Laws, Section VIII, Officers and Their Duties, Section G (2), page 3-10), so we don’t understand what all the fuss is about for this otherwise functionless office.
And of course, make no mistake about it, if you wanted a fence on the property line in your backyard, you would have to pay for it yourself, and not be able to avail yourself of community money. Don’t you think he had a duty to disclose that before he voted for it?
We see Harvey has not learned anything from that scandal. This Agenda item concerns a request of a resident which involves an application to the ARB (Architectural Review Board) to install an invisible dog fence. This Agenda item is being presented by Harvey. Why? Harvey is not the Board liaison to the ARB. That’s Linda Arbeit.
But Harvey put New Business Item #7 on the Agenda (invisible dog fence), and took the leash on that matter, wherein a resident seeks to have an invisible dog fence approved on her property. Nothing has changed since the last Board refused to even debate this exact same request in 2019.
Harvey brought this up because his friend, the resident in question, tried to get this invisible fence for her dogs back in 2019, was denied by the ARB, appealed to the Board, and couldn’t even get a second on the motion. During the meeting now, two years later, Harvey falsely stated, starting at 55:25 on the tape, the following:
Harvey: “Well, if you remember, a while back, a resident came to, went to the ARB, and asked about installing a, an invisible fence for, in their yard, so they could, for their dog. The Board tabled the request because they didn’t have, they felt they didn’t have enough information.”
This is 100% false on two counts. First, they had plenty of information at the time, including a brochure about it as well as the availability of the vendor’s representative, and the same access to the internet this time around to research it. Second, the Board in 2019 did not table the matter. Specifically, per the official Minutes of the September 6, 2019 Board meeting, under New Business Item #5, it states:
“Invisible Fences – Discussion – Motion was made to allow invisible fences providing homeowner has liability insurance. No 2nd. Motion died.”
The Official Minutes are consistent with your Editor’s handwritten notes from that Board meeting, written in real time. In addition, your Editor and your Roving Reporter each has a specific memory of the matter having been denied by the ARB and it was up for appeal to the Board. At the time the matter was called, we recall Director Marion, the Board liaison to the ARB at the time, made the motion and no one, including Harvey, seconded it, and so it died on the spot. The Board did not, in fact, table the motion.
Now this same resident is back with her friend Harvey pushing her specific agenda item. By the way, she was present in Court defending and supporting Chick Coletta’s vile, profanity-laced death wish emails to your Editor (see Editor’s Opening Monologue above). Anyone detecting a pattern here? It does seem to always be the same small group of individuals who are embroiled in controversy based on their bad behavior.
Harvey made the motion; Jeff seconded it. He amended the motion to “allow invisible fences with approval of the ARB, the homeowner shall have liability insurance and sign a hold harmless.” The Board vote was divided: Harvey, Jeff, Richard, and Bob voted to allow the invisible fence; Linda, Alan, and Sue voted against it. So it barely passed. This should be revisited for the safety of the community.
This is a very bad idea and potentially lethal. Let’s say you’re walking your dog, and unbeknownst to you, the house in question has an invisible fence and that owner’s dogs are playing in their front yard. The dogs see you and your dog and startle you both; you’re trying to maintain control over your pooch, and you slip and fall, hit your head on the pavement, and the next thing you know, your heirs are suing the HOA for wrongful death. Still in favor of that invisible fence? The same is true if you’re walking alone.
It’s just wrong on so many levels.
For example, the dog you’re walking on a leash on the sidewalk could get away in the excitement, cross into the yard of the resident with the invisible fence, and now you have a three-way dog fight in progress on the resident’s property.
Also, while the motion said that the resident would have to sign a hold harmless agreement with the HOA, there is no such requirement between that resident and you, any of you. Any plaintiff’s counsel will also name the HOA as a defendant in the lawsuit along with that resident if/when you are injured based on the hypotheticals above. The HOA will be on the hook for potentially millions of dollars for which its insurance carrier may deny coverage. How is such an enormous judgment going to be paid?
Sue tried to warn the Board of the dire consequences foreseen by approving this matter. Harvey interrupted her. Sue stated she allowed him to speak without interruption and would like to finish before he interjected.
Sue: … PBC ordinance chapter 4 - It shall be unlawful for any dog to be off the owner’s property unless the dog is under the restraint or control of a person by means of a leash or other device such as a case, crate, or vehicle in accordance with section 4-24.
Palm Beach County Ordinance 4-24, subsection (e) states:
(e) Any dog maintained outdoors for all or part of the day in a fenced yard or other type of enclosure shall be provided a minimum of eighty (80) square feet of open space. An additional forty (40) square feet shall be required for each additional dog kept in the same enclosed area.
Each dog shall be provided sufficient shelter within the enclosed area. Any enclosed area where a dog is confined shall be kept free of objects that may injure the dog and shall be cleaned regularly to remove feces. Dogs shall not be maintained outdoors during periods of extreme weather including but not limited to hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornados.
Sue was also concerned about the digging and wiring. She stated that training is required. She cited questions from the website BobVilla.com, noting that two invisible fences can apparently interfere with each other, the damaging effects are very visible, the dog can go through the fence, other dogs can enter without issue, the dogs may be loose on common property as well as the owner’s property, there may be excessive noise from barking, and other issues.
She also cited information from VCAHospitals.com/KnowYourPets. She stated that she sent the entire Board a list of pros and cons. Some of the “cons” include:
(1) lack of protection: they do not prevent hazards from entering the yard; other animals can access the yard and interact aggressively with pet dogs;
(2) barrier frustration: when the dogs see other dogs outside the perimeter, they get stressed because they cannot join them;
(3) there is a degree of discomfort; the electric shock is painful. Try it and see if you like it;
(4) reliability issues include if the power supply is interrupted or the collar has a dead battery, escape is possible;
(5) other escape issues: if the dog is startled or sees something he really wants, he can breach the barrier and ignore the electric stimulus. Then if he wants to return, he may get shocked trying to get back in the yard.
Bob noted that the ARB should have guidelines, and that it has to be a foot away from the property line. Harvey stated that the owner has to submit a site plan. Alan noted that Sue cited a regulation that went into detail about clean up. Harvey stated that the dogs must be under the supervision of the resident. Linda queried as to how that would be enforceable?
Jeff then just ended debate and called the question after which Linda had to leave the meeting. We do appreciate that Linda stayed so that she could cast her “no” vote, so thank you, Linda. The four votes for approval were Jeff, Harvey, Richard, and Bob. Three votes against it came from Linda, Alan, and Sue.
With this new Board ruling, there may be others, so now the residents are going to have to walk the pods and be very careful and vigilant, because you won’t know who has an invisible fence and who doesn’t, and do you know why? Because it’s invisible. You may see loose dogs not on leashes on people’s front yards, or you may not, and one may dart out at you from behind a shrub, and before you know it, you’re so shocked because you didn’t see it coming that you lose your balance and fall.
It’s also cruel to the dogs. How would you like to get an electric shock for doing what comes naturally to you? We think this is barbaric.
Harvey: “ok, so I will let this resident know that she should put her application into the ARB.” (tape, 1:13:47)
It is once again time to get on the telephone and send in your emails to the Board and let them all know, especially the four who voted for this disaster, how horrible and dangerous this truly is. There is strength in numbers; this can and should be revisited at the very next Board meeting, which is around the corner on September 1, 2021. In the meantime, the ARB should hold off on taking any action on this application pending further review by the Board.]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Vicki Roberts: [Editor’s note: I repeated the paragraph above which stated with: “This is a very bad idea and potentially lethal…” I then stated that we moved here in May 2019, were invited to the March 2020 high tea for new residents which was cancelled due to Covid, and I asked that we be included in the tea once it resumes as we never had that experience and would like to have the experience that every other resident has had; we are entitled to that. Deborah, the property manager, said she will include everyone on the list.]
2. Dorothy Waxman: I’m dead set against the invisible fence. I know all the problems it could cause… It should never be allowed in the front. If somebody is walking their dog and that other dog is barking, and that dog does something, runs, or whatever, hurts somebody, is her insurance going to pay for that? Why doesn’t that person fence their patio or screen their patio? …I think it’s absolutely a horrible idea.
3. Eileen Olitsky: the entertainment contracts, I would like to know what’s happening with Sarge… my recollection is that we did have a deposit which we did not get back... Richard: scheduled for 2023… Jeff: January.
Eileen: I’m a dog owner. I did not get up at the beginning because to be honest with you, I never thought this would pass. As a realtor, as a previous homeowner where they had fences, invisible fences, they had a lot of problems. I lived in an HOA, single family unit; there were lawsuits as well. So, I would beseech you to revisit this; I know you just had a vote. There are too many amendments, there are too many problems, we have ten feet I believe into the property is community property.
I don’t understand why if someone wants some dog out, I have a metal enclosure. It’s like a playpen. I could put my dogs in that playpen while I’m gardening. But, again, many of you had said, if the dogs can go on the property, a dog can break loose from my leash and attack the dog on that property. There are too many liabilities and would hope that you would revisit this before making a final decision. Thank you very much.
3. Joyce Golden: I’m in favor of giving the resident the opportunity to try it; if there are any problems, that can be addressed. Let her try it. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: differing views are always welcome. It is generally a good thing to get different perspectives on various issues. We can peacefully and respectfully agree to disagree. We respectfully suggest, however, that the only way some of these potential problems can or will be addressed would be through an expensive lawsuit after the fact that the HOA will be responsible to defend, and that could prove very costly and affect your pocketbook personally.]
Round Table Discussion:
Bob: I’m ok, thank you.
Harvey: Nothing, thank you.
Alan: I’m ok, thank you.
Richard: I’m meeting with Deb tomorrow at 2, and we’re starting on the budget for the contracts.
Sue: I would like to take this time to address an issue involving the Sports Center which unfortunately has gone viral. There have been accusations made of who supposedly have taken sides in this issue. As most of you know, I do not act out of emotion or personal feels as they tend to cloud your judgment. My desire now is to quell the unfounded rumors and innuendos that have caused additional controversy within Cascade Lakes.
Not only is this antithetical to our desire to make our community one of choice, but all of us deserve better. While it is perfectly acceptable to agree to disagree, it is not acceptable to manifest behaviors unworthy of adults. We all deserve a level of courtesy and respect, and we must and can do better. It is in our own best interests to do so.
And I say this, actually, out of respect for my own principals. Because I think that we need to just be a little careful. When they say sticks and stones can hurt you, hurt your feelings, and words will never harm you, words are more harmful. Bones heal. Feelings and attitudes and words can never be taken back.
Jeff: thank you, you’ve said your piece.
[Editor’s note: again, this comment is not nice; it’s nasty. Has Jeff said that to any other Board member after a comment at Round Table? No.]
Sue: yes, I did.
Jeff: I have nothing to say either.
Harvey: I move that we adjourn.
[Editor’s note: Bob seconded. Meeting adjourned at about 10:50am.]
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistants, Arnie Green and Anita Goodman, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the Board meeting of August 18, 2021; next meeting: September 1, 2021 at 9:30am.
Thought for the Day:
Remember, real people like you for who you are on the inside.
Don’t forget to join the community on the new Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach Facebook Page, a place where you can freely interact and communicate! Click here:
Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach
Cheerio until next time.