08/28/20 SPECIAL BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted August 29, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the August 28, 2020 Special Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary indicated inbold blue.
News Flash! The synopsis and commentary of the August 28, 2020 Special Board of Directors meeting has arrived!
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
Today’s Edition is Entitled:
“Remove Me (Not To Be Confused With Engelbert Humperdinck’s 'Release Me')"
“Please release me, let me go
For I don't love you anymore…”
On August 21, 2020, twenty-four hours after we published our August 19, 2020 synopsis and commentary (“Egos and Echoes”), Board member Linda Arbeit asked to be removed from our email database, thus joining Marion Weil and Harvey Ginsberg in the category of Board members who have opted out of our database. This is the same Board member who also told your Editor that she does not read the Cascade Lakes Message Board. Nothing says caring about the community you represent more than refusing to read what residents write, either on the HOA’s website or here, where we post many residents’ comments on our Residents’ Input Pages and report on many issues relevant to the community.
It is also a fact that many of the things we have raised are ultimately, if not begrudgingly, implemented, or voted on, consistent with our positions. We cannot understand why these individuals feel so threatened by knowledge and progress, but clearly, they are. They can’t stand being called to task and fail to understand that they serve at the pleasure of the community, not the other way around.
The community has a right to demand fiscal responsibility and basic competency from their governing representatives. In that context, it is no different from any other political office, either locally, statewide, or nationally. To this we say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Simply put, you don’t get to govern with impunity. You don’t get to govern without consequences. You don’t get to govern behind closed doors. Maybe you used to get away with that in the past; welcome to the new reality.
Specifically, on the evening of Friday, August 21, 2020, Linda wrote:
“Please remove me from you e-mailing list.
We sent the following email back to her about an hour later:
Are you sure? Have you read the last synopsis and commentary? Have you read the residents' comments on our Residents' Input Page under Message Board: General? Are you 100% certain you want to be removed? Perhaps sleep on it and let us know in the morning. Consider this email our gift to you before you make a knee-jerk reaction that really has no benefit to either you or to the community.
Vicki and Arthur”
Three days later, on the evening of August 24, 2020, and shortly after we sent out our email blast about the choosing of the September Resident of the Month, we received a reply directly on top of our above email from Linda:
“Please remove my name from your e-mail list. Thank you.
And Another One Bites the Dust –from the iconic rock group, Queen, 1980.
Well, at least Linda, unlike Harvey, was polite about it.
But remember, folks, this is a Board member. This is not the same as a resident wanting to be removed from our database, such as Roberta Alter aka Angry Bird, so named because she has attacked us relentlessly without provocation on numerous occasions – see our Calling Out Bullies page - and because she inexplicably always appears so angry (which reminds us of the 1993 film title, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape).
Roberta Alter is a mere mortal citizen just like the rest of us lowly peons. Linda Arbeit is an elected official who controls your money and promulgates the policies and rules by which you are required to live. A Board member thumbing his or her nose at a resident whom he or she represents is a big deal.
Linda barely got re-elected this past March and was visibly and rightfully concerned on election night. Residents may not be so generous next time around.
And now it appears that the community wishes me to depart the stage and get on with the show.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 11:06am.
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.
[Editor’s note: at the start, there were 66 individual devices in the meeting; this includes all Board members and the property manager. During the course of the meeting, that number rose to a maximum of 75, and some devices, such as your Editor’s and Roving Reporter’s, were shared by two residents.]
Marion: This is a special board meeting for Cascade Lakes; there is one topic, Hotwire Contract, we have quorum, it’s been properly noticed. Linda, do you have your flag? Linda: Yes, I do. Marion: Can you all stand and join Linda in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Linda Arbeit. [Editor’s note: all Board members properly stood.]
Marion: Good morning, everybody. We have met with the Hotwire executives and the Association’s consultant. There are two options, both bulking phone service…$12 a month plus taxes paid by the residents. That rate may be expiring soon. Other options included to extend the contract out for three years or five years, each including monetary incentives. The options we have before us include extensions for three or five years.
Option One: bulk phone at $10.00 a unit plus taxes and fees of $6.42; option to drop the phone from the bulk would be at the end of 2026. Three percent escalation would apply. They’re offering battery backup replacement for the first year, three years after that, and then years seven and then they will reimburse the association $40 per home for years 4, 7, 10…voice boxes…There would be a one-time $15,000 credit in year one of bulk renewal and it would take effect 1/1/21.
Option Two: a five-year extension. Bulk phone at $10 per unit plus $6.42 taxes and the option to drop the phone from the bulk service at the end of 2026. There is a three percent escalation for the first three years and two percent for the last two years. Battery backup replacements…voice boxes…a one time credit of $15,000 years 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 = $75,000, would take effect 1/1/21.
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Sharon Brick: I just want to be clear, that we as residents, our responsibility is $10 plus $6.42 and the bulk phone for the first three or five years with escalations during that time. Marion: no. If the Board decides to bulk the phone, all residents will pay $10 plus $6.42 through the entire contract…we can bulk the phone without the extension for $12 instead of $10. Sharon: I’m not sure, if you don’t bulk…Marion: if we don’t bulk you will pay $12 plus taxes and fees which comes to $23 and change.
2. Stephen Sussman: The question I have is the $15,000 credit. How is that paid to the community? Richard: in the past, the original contract, we got $150,000 from Hotwire and what we’re doing is reducing your maintenance fee each year by the $15,000. The overall maintenance fee. Now, the three year $15,000 versus the credit versus the first month’s payment. Five years, versus each of the five years. [Editor’s note: this is not clear.]So, in one case, $15,000, option to $75,000 credit spread over five years.
Stephen: So, if I understand that correctly, the fee we pay every month…Richard: when we do the calculation of the maintenance fee, take $15,000 and divide it by 600, spreading among all the residents. [Editor’s note: that’s $25 per unit.] Stephen: I’m not quite understanding. [Editor’s note: neither are we over here in the newsroom.] Stephen: how is our maintenance fee being reduced? Richard: We pay more than $50,000 a month to Hotwire times 12 months. It’s part of the calculation of the maintenance fee. We reduce that number for each number. Your quarterly maintenance fee would be $6.00 higher. [Editor’s note: new math?]
3. Trudy Lieberman: I’m asking for the Board to put that on paper. Some of us are visual learners, not auditory. I would like to see that written down [to be able to digest it]. [Editor’s note: excellent suggestion not only on this proposed contract, but all contracts.]
4. Elliot Graff: I have my Hotwire bill. You’re saying $12 plus tax. I’ve been paying $16.99 plus $12.92 in tax for $29.91. Marion: voicemail is an extra $5.00. Elliot: so, if you have voicemail, what is it going to be under the new contract? Marion: $5.00. Deborah Balka [property manager]: the fee goes up. It won’t be the same as what they’re paying now. If we don’t bulk it, it will be $24.95 plus tax. Eileen: we’re doing Residents’ Input now; let’s complete that.
5. Carl Bergman: There are other phone systems out there, Ooma, you can get, that are less than a third the price without bulk. People can choose their own. VOIP system. [Editor’s note: Voice Over Internet Protocol].
6. Jeff Green: [Editor’s note: we believe Jeffrey D. Green]: One. I think I can explain. If you don’t bulk, it will cost $24 plus tax and each year they can charge what they want. If we take this, three percent [escalation]. One question: three and five years just for the phone, or for the TV and internet? Marion: it’s extending everything.
7. Neal Zavat: from Derbyshire. I have a problem here. Other communities and other vendors do not charge what is included in the HOA. Why are we even considering… Marion: other developments have triple play, includes the phone. We have double. The two years is up; they gave us an extra thirteen months. Neal: why can’t we negotiate with Hotwire? There are a lot of things promised that were not given. We do not have voice remote. They substituted Echoes instead, which is not acceptable.
8. Alan Silver: In our contract, I recall the battery replacements were part of the base contract and not tied to the telephone. Marion: the battery replacement is part of the two options. Alan: having nothing to do with the phones. The battery would be replaced free of charge throughout the life of the contract. Marion: we’re just discussing the two options they offered. Alan: it’s already part of the base. Marion: ok, great. Alan: $115,000 additional cost to the community, and they’re only offering $15,000 back, so it’s a hundred thousand increase. I also agree with Carl; there are many systems available much less expensive. I got VOIP, $10 a month, inclusive of all the fees. It has more features than Hotwire. The downside is you don’t get the called ID on the TV.
9. Joyce Winston: [Zoom operator Mike Blackman called on her; no response.]
10. Pat Nast: We’re three years into a ten-year contract. Marion: correct. Pat: They want early signature now. We know that tech changes very rapidly, and seven years from now we might want something more sophisticated or reliable. If they’re so eager, why don’t we take a tougher position? Seems like they’re pushing us to sign a contract now. Why don’t we take the time and look at better options? I don’t have a house phone anymore. Somebody hijacked my phone number…and they said they couldn’t do anything about it…They’re not giving me service and I didn’t see any reason to keep the phone. I’d prefer not to pay for something I’m not using. Marion: ok, thank you.
11. Joyce Winston: [Zoom operator Mike Blackman called on her and stated she was unmuted; still no response.]
12. Phil Berman: The amount that you’re talking about - $10 plus tax – each resident owner is going to be charged? Marion: If we bulk the phone, every resident will have to pay. Phil: whether you have a phone or not? Marion: Correct.
13. Barry Gordon: Grove Ridge Lane. I agree with everybody else. It makes no sense to pay that money. The other thing that really bothers me, we’re taking the contract and giving them a new contract. Technology: what happens eight years from now…could be a whole new world out there and we’re stuck with this.
14. Jeffrey [Editor’s note: we believe Jeffrey D. Green]: After I heard we’re gonna extend the whole contract out, that might be a little bit crazy. Negotiate. There are systems out there much cheaper. Find something else. Magic Jack is $39 a year. People say it’s working great.
15. Stephen Sussman: We haven’t gotten voice activated remotes from two years ago. You want to extend it; we didn’t get what was promised. They’re not fulfilling their part of the contract. Marion: We are going to be getting the remote regardless. Stephen: We were supposed to be getting it two years ago. If they’re not delivering what they’ve promised, why should we go with them…technology…fire speeds on the internet.
16. Trudy: Why are they not looking into robocalls? I’m getting many more than I used to get. Marion: Have you asked? Trudy: I certainly have. I’m always on the phone with them. You know that, Marion. Marion: I know that.
17. Joyce Winston: [Zoom operator Mike Blackman called on her; no response.]
18. Barbara Gordon: We’re in the third year of a ten year contract; it’s really premature to negotiate and extension…When they’re really hungry for the business, they’ll give you a better deal…You’ve got seven years left.
19. Judie Delman: What is the bottom line if we don’t extend any contract at all? … Marion: it would probably be very shortly – after the $12.99 plus taxes and fees, would go up to $24.99 plus taxes and fees. If we bulk it, it stays at $12.99. Eileen: I feel like a lot of it is “funny money.” Marion: Do you want to save this for when the Residents’ Input Session is over? Eileen: They haven’t put it down in logical sequence.
20. Joyce Winston: [Zoom operator Mike Blackman called on her; no response.]
Marion: Eileen. Eileen: With Mike Blackman’s permission, he agreed to give his opinion of present and future technology.
Mike Blackman: We all have lived in present technology. Future technology: I’ve had over 50 years in computer and I.T. [information technology] business and I continue to run my own little business now after I retired…The price of technology continues to come down because of competition out there…other options – content – TV services – HBO, Showtime; HBO and HBO Go are being discontinued for HBO Max…Comcast…AT & T…We’re seeing many more [online]streaming services…So, extending the contract now is a bit premature…Pricing structures are very competitive, so we’d probably be in a better position not extending our services now…internet services…network neutrality …[legislation …charge [rates]for internet services. Phone services – there is an ever increasing migration from analog to digital…275 million people of the 330 million people in the country are already using a smart phone; it increases 10% a year…Most people are going to discontinue their landlines.
There are other services providers – AT&T, Comcast…you don’t have to be a Hotwire subscriber…all are offering promotions…other communities who responded without exception – nobody is extending contracts until 18 months before the expiration of the contract. If you extend now, you’re locking yourself into…Migration away from the today technology will continue…Bottom line: any extension of the contract…is not a good idea. It will lock you in and make it very inflexible. You won’t be able to take advantage of next year.
Eileen: Words matter.
[Editor’s note: Bravo. We’ve been saying this since we arrived here and noticed so many things amiss. We’ve been pummeled by certain members of this community, especially and mostly by certain individuals who hijacked the pickleball club, for this exact sentiment; more on that in the upcoming September 2, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary, so stay tuned.
The Editor’s Opening Monologue for that upcoming synopsis and commentary, which is already written, edited, and press-ready to go, is based on the most recent pickleball club meeting which occurred on Sunday, August 23, 2020, and is entitled “Togas and Tantrums,” and it’s a real humdinger, and it is not for the faint of heart (Merriam-Webster: “faint of heart: idiom, lacking the courage to face something difficult or dangerous —usually used in the phrase not for the faint of heart”).]
Eileen: We need to know: is it a ten-year contract or a 12-year contract? Residents have Ooma, Magic Jack, systems all over the place; as a homeowner we can save money.
Sue: I listened to everybody. Everyone’s comments including my own…Better if we had given the residents in writing these options. [Editor’s note: Amen.] Sue: Letter from Hotwire…150 mph to 200. I checked their webpage; there’s no such thing as 200. Yesterday, I called Hotwire; I asked what every single item on the bill – they have 250; 200 is not available. It leads me to believe that they’re not honest to begin with. I want to comment on what Alan [Silver] said. The list that they gave us – it includes many items in the original contract…Alan, you are correct…same as before…my bill indicates Amazon Echo Dot…Marion: We’re not paying for that.
Sue: We’re paying for services not gotten for three years. They owe us a rebate. I do not believe having money is the same as credit. The original contract – a pass-along fee – page 33, not the same as credit. I don’t believe that renegotiation ever works in favor of other than the vendor. Locking ourselves in – things changing. I don’t know if I’ll be alive in 12 years, and it bothers me that a contract extension outlives me. You are locking people into a service they don’t and didn’t want. Bottom line, is it worth it? Are we getting more? My judgment – keeping it as it is. It is not beneficial to us; it serves no purpose.
Richard: I wrote down – I prepared a speech. Technology – things are continually changing…we should have an opportunity to look elsewhere. We were promised voice remote…still waiting…residents will go elsewhere for house phone services…our quarterly maintenance fee would automatically increase by $49 just for the phone, and $67 in 2032. Everyone will have to pay even if you don’t use…currently in our maintenance fee we’re paying $276 internet and cable. $388 in 2032 for the same two services…we’re in a better bargaining position if we wait…Better for the community in the long run if we don’t extend.
Harvey: [not clear] …I agree with Mike. We don’t know what technology in the future – I would propose we not accept option one or two and demand the battery backup and voice remote.
Mark: I was part of the negotiation team…I was truthfully under the impression that we were only negotiating the telephone contract, not extending the internet, etc. How do we know they’ll even have the updates? We’re waiting and waiting…
[Editor’s note: why hasn’t the property manager along with the association’s consultant handled the issue of the lack of the contracted voice remote for the last two years?]
Mark: I am opposed to extending this right now subject to further negotiation or looking into these other communication companies. Mike: do they do bulk? Linda: After listening to everybody’s comments…I respect everybody else’s point of view.
[Editor’s note: except ours over here in the newsroom and those people who contribute to and rely on this News Site for the unfiltered truth about this community and how it is governed. If you really “respect everybody else’s point of view” as you falsely claim, you wouldn’t be asking to be removed from our email database because you would want to know what the heck is going on around here and what your constituents think and say.
G-d forbid you actually learned something from this News Site, from us, and from those who contribute silently and confidentially (our undercover reporters) to our postings.]
Linda: I don’t think we should vote for anything at this point, especially existing contract; Hotwire hasn’t given us…original contract…technology…why would we want to lock ourselves in…Phones, residents should be responsible for. If a resident wants VOIP, they can negotiate…I don’t think it’s fair to commit residents to something they’re not going to use…
Marion: I was on the original negotiating committee; like Mark, I thought we were negotiating for phones…it saves each resident $6.25 a quarter on your maintenance if you get the $15,000. I agree with Sue – would rather have the cash.
Eileen: One more option. If we all leave, they lose money. Third option, we don’t want option one or two but we’re happy to stay with you at the same price…or look around next year…
[Editor’s note: way to go, Eileen! Is Eileen on the negotiating team, and if not, why not?]
Richard: They’re trying to push us into the bulk. People who don’t have phones will have to pay for it. I’m fine with the current situation; that’s up to them.
Harvey: I don’t have a house phone, don’t need – I don’t want to pay for it…Mark: your VOIP system is breaking up, Harvey. Marion: We can’t hear you, Harvey. [Editor’s note: I’ve been saying this for months now.]
Eileen: Each individual makes their own choice.
Harvey: Motion: 1. To reject option one and two; and 2. Demand system up – battery backup and voice remote cable boxes. Marion: Second.
Sue: That stuff is already in the contract. I’m going to defend educators: if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist, and be careful what’s in writing. You need people – experts in contracts you are negotiating. [Editor’s note: hmmm, does anyone know anyone who negotiated contracts for decades and as a litigator knew what language to put in and what language to leave out?] Sue: Every word in the contract is important. We are dealing with other people’s money and our own. We need experts. I would never be on a contract negotiation. Be very careful what you put in writing and what’s not there. When we negotiate a contract in the future…what is in writing matters.
[Editor’s note: tell that to the pickleball club; they get all twisted into pretzels when your Editor requires precision in language that they use and also when your Editor requires that they follow the language of their own governing documents, but alas, I digress.
Rest assured, however, “Togas and Tantrums” (the Editor’s Opening Monologue of the September 2, 2020 synopsis and commentary) is coming soon enough.
“Just you wait, ‘enry iggins, just you wait.” (My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle, 1956 stage play, sung by Julie Andrews, and made more famous by the 1964 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.)]
Linda: Number one, I do have a house phone, but I’m starting to get the feeling that that’s not gonna last much longer. As a Board member, I feel it’s my responsibility to the bulk of the community – and to sign a contract that would pay for a phone that they are not using now or in the future – is not responsible or fair…Number two, I don’t understand the battery replacement. I thought that was part of the contract. Marion: I have not found it in the contract where they replace the batteries. [Editor’s note: both your Editor and Rosalie Feuer sent messages in Chat that we each received free battery replacement.]Sue: I know it’s somewhere in the contract. Mark: some residents were not charged. Harvey: …reading from the contract… [re: upgrades]Harvey: I proposed we do not accept either option one or two and continue the course of phone service as presently where the individual homeowner will pay the fee, and second, to demand the immediate upgrades – the battery backups and the 4K cable boxes with voice-activated remote control. Marion: Second. All in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Joyce Winston: …I’m paying $28 for phone every month. It looks like everyone’s paying different prices. Marion: voicemail is an extra $5.00. Joyce: I’m willing to pay my own. Shouldn’t enter into a contract where everyone has to pay…I didn’t have service for a day…service is not great, can’t always get through and that really bothers me. Eileen: It behooves all of us to examine our bill; it’s our responsibility, not part of the Board, to check our own.
2. Judie Delman: I remember Hotwire mentioning battery included. I’m concerned. You’re negotiating one and two…It doesn’t seem to me you’re doing any negotiation to keep the price down for us… Marion: we really don’t have land lines. Our phones are over the computer. The group did try very hard; this is what they came back with….
3. Sharon Brick: If we’re not doing the bulk, when does the existing rate change? As of when? So, if I want to negotiate with a new provider, I know when. Marion: I believe it’s going to change at the end of September. Sharon: And it won’t impact? Harvey: September 1. That’s why we’re having the meeting. Marion: but you won’t get the bill till the end of September.
4. Trudy Lieberman: As much as…problems with Comcast, I’ve never had as much trouble a I’ve had with Hotwire; and can’t get through. When I call Deborah in the office, she says “try again.” Deborah: I cannot contact our rep without a ticket number. Trudy: we can’t get a ticket number if I can’t get through. Mike Blackman: the number I used, 1-800-355-5663, I’ve got through every time.
[Editor’s note: the number I have used to assist with issues concerning my parents’ home phone (on Grove Ridge Lane) is 1-800-355-5668 and I have never had a problem getting through. Getting results is a different story.]
5. Neal Zavat: Because Hotwire has reneged on things we were supposed to have, why can’t we get out of the contract now and go to a different provider? Marion: we would have to renegotiate, having them dig up streets again…not enough for a non-performance of a contract.
[Editor’s note: Marion, you, unlike me, are not a lawyer, and you don’t know what you’re talking about. See my additional comments below.]
Neal: they haven’t provided voice remote. Marion: we have to come up with a schedule, in a pandemic, snowbirds; they have to switch out boxes, you have with high definition boxes.
[Editor’s note: Nonsense. Each homeowner should be able to schedule this with Hotwire. We’ve called them directly and they have come out on more than one occasion and there has never been a service fee.]
Mike Blackman: Individuals having problems…if the community is having outages, that would be a basis to challenge the contract.
[Editor’s note: I respectfully request that you non-lawyers stop playing lawyer. Failure to provide an integral part of what was negotiated and what is specifically in the written contract may indeed be grounds for demanding at the very least a credit, the value of which would have to be determined by researching what similar companies would charge for this missing service or, if your contract breaks down the pricing and actually identifies it, that would be a good indicator of its value.
As an example, let’s say the value of this equipment is a very reasonable amount of $5.00 per month per homeowner and let us assign only one unit per home for purposes of this hypothetical. That’s 600 homes times $5.00 equals $3,000 per month for every single month that this equipment was not provided and was required.
We have heard from this discussion that this equipment is missing for two years. That would be 24 months times $3,000 per month equals $72,000 which the HOA should immediately demand back from Hotwire, in addition to $3,000 per month for every month going forward that this equipment is not installed. Why doesn’t the Board instruct the HOA attorney to send Hotwire a simple demand letter on this matter? That might get their attention and it may result in $72,000 being returned to the HOA’s coffers.
In the meantime, each homeowner should schedule the installation of this required feature with Hotwire. We need a copy of the contract when those appointments are sought to be made so that we can advise Hotwire of exactly where in the contract it states they are required to provide this service or equipment. Make the contract available to the community immediately. If the Board won’t act, at least allow individual homeowners to exercise their rights under the contract. Having a copy of the actual contract is necessary to effectuate those rights.]
Arnie Green: I had my battery changed and they never charged. Harvey: A number of people on chat also had their battery changed and were not charged. [Editor’s note: yours truly and Rosalie Feuer.]
Marion: Round Table.
Sue: No, I’ve already said…
Harvey: already said what…
Mark: agree with everybody; I’m done.
Linda: I’m done.
Eileen: It disturbs me that one of the things in the original contract is being used as a bargaining chip. I’m disturbed at them for holding this over our head…
[Editor’s note: Respectfully, nobody is holding anything over anyone’s head, and here’s why: At the meeting, why didn’t one of the so-called negotiators for the HOA simply say to the Hotwire side of the table:“hey, this is in the original contract, so leave it out of these discussions and by the way, where the hell is it?” And if they have been in breach of the contract for years, why didn’t anyone in authority do anything about it? What efforts were made? What about the property manager and the association’s representative? What are they there for if not to represent the association in issues with the provider? This is really a no-brainer and yet it appears that there are no brains working on this matter.
Where have all the brains gone? Long time passing Where have all the brains gone? Long time ago…
(Adapted from Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Pete Seeger, 1955.)]
Where is the follow up? The same lack of follow up exists with other contracts, such as when the pavers and fence at the tennis court were installed improperly. We called this out months ago and we even have a dedicated page under our HOA Issues page under the Awnings, Pavers, Fence page where we specifically addressed this. Was anything done? Go see for yourselves; but be careful not to trip when you get there.
Or how about when the sidewalks were repaired and they left in the wood stakes and forms; someone could easily trip on them; also, because they are not removed, your Roving Reporter has seen them get chopped up by Palm Beach Broward Landscaping and cause a flying hazard. So, their job is never completed because they don’t remove the stakes and forms that they used to fix the sidewalks but there is, once again, no follow up.]
Joyce Winston: [Editor’s note: Joyce is not on the Board and should not be participating in the Round Table discussion. We thought all non-Board members were muted by the host.] Joyce: The Hotwire phone number is in the Cascade Lakes Phone Book on page 1. [Editor’s note: we realize that Joyce was only trying to help, but that misses the point. We’d like to help, too, but do think our audio would be unmuted?]
Marion: motion to adjourn. Second: [unknown.] Marion: All in favor? Unanimous. Ok, thank you everybody; we’re adjourning at 12:26pm.
[Editor’s concluding comments: What is striking about this entire meeting is that this is something, i.e., forcing the entire community to pay for bulk phones when many homeowners do not have, want, or need a home phone, that your Editor vehemently opposed over a year ago on the HOA message board and at a board meeting because it was akin to socialism, i.e., forcing everyone to pay for a home telephone whether they wanted one or not so that the few who wanted it could get a good deal. I objected to having to subsidize the folks who wanted home phones.
I was mercilessly lambasted, condemned, and viciously excoriated on the message board and in the community by way of mean gossip and heckling. I was ostracized, and some people even engaged in character assassination of me because I had the unmitigated gall to speak my mind and hold firm to my principles. Others falsely accused me of harassing them on the topic because I was relentless about my position and I was passionate about it.
Your Editor insisted that the Board negotiate better and not enter into an agreement that forced payment by each homeowner to a service provider which many residents didn’t want. Now it is clear that my position is fully supported by the entire Board, unanimously, and most of the residents who spoke at the meeting, and for the exact same reasons and concerns that I voiced a year ago. Thank you.]
[Editor’s final note: Thanks as always to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green, for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the special board meeting of August 28, 2020; next Board meeting: September 2, 2020 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]