09/01/21 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted September 4, 2021. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the September 1, 2021 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue and pictures.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition has three parts and is entitled:
“Ground Control To Major Tom”“False Friends” and“This is your Welcoming Committee?”
Part I: Ground Control to Major Tom
In the classic song Space Odyssey, written in 1969 by David Bowie, ground control loses contact with Major Tom, their hero space-floating astronaut.
…Ground Control to Major Tom Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear me, Major Tom?...
Sometimes it feels as if the circuitry connection between the Board and the membership is broken, because a lot of residents are feeling the pain with some of the decisions being made at the top (the most recent and short-sighted invisible dog fence vote is a good example).
Perhaps it’s more than a tone-deaf attitude of some at the top. Perhaps it’s a function of cronyism as well as a failure to communicate with the residents before consequential decisions are made that adversely affect much of the community.
In the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, the character named Captain, a cruel prison warden, played by Strother Martin, explained why the Luke Jackson character, played by Paul Newman, kept trying to escape: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
I’ve always said, “communication is king.” Many misunderstandings result from the failure to adequately communicate.
But in truth, better communication would result in less mistakes being made.
In a more local context, the apparent problem with the Board of Directors vis-à-vis the HOA membership at large could, in part, be the result of a colossal failure to communicate.
The continued secrecy and lack of transparency never seems to end. Agenda items are too vague to give the residents a clear idea of what is under consideration for them to have meaningful input before the Board votes, and deals and discussions done at poolside or elsewhere by a few seem to determine actions taken at Board meetings.
The silence of most Board members in view of this elitist type of governing allows it to continue and flourish.
The HOA members deserve a whole lot better. The members need all Board members to follow the rules, and when they don’t, other Board members need to speak up and call them out and challenge the elitist behavior.
Until that happens, elitism will continue to rule the day as some of the other Board members continue to remain silent. Perhaps there is wisdom in their remaining silent; I don’t know, I’m just surmising. Maybe they’re afraid to speak up because they know something they don’t want you to know.
But truth be told, if Board members spoke up, it would be a much more democratic process and it would shed light on other Board members who sometimes dominate the Board meetings and discussions behind the scenes.
It would operate as a checks and balances which is what having seven equal Board members is supposed to do, and it would expand the understanding of the entire Board on matters dominated by a few.
Speaking up would encourage questioning each other in a robust debate for the benefit of all and it would clarify issues before problems arise.
Speaking up would also allow individual Board members to better formulate their position on issues before voting on Agenda items.
And speaking up will not result in much lengthier Board meetings, as long as the comment is succinct and to the point.
But remember, sometimes it is imperative to speak up, because remaining silent just allows the questionable behavior to be the order of the day.
And sometimes to be effective you just have to speak up on an equal footing with your colleagues, and you have to voice your objections with equal fervor to counteract their assertions.
Also, effective communication sometimes requires more than just emailing back and forth. Sometimes it requires actually speaking with the other person, because the last thing you want is for either individual to be surprised by something that was not effectively communicated.
Also, sometimes people allow ego to get in the way of good judgment, so that no matter how much effective communication you provide, they still make foolish and short-sighted decisions. I guess they just don’t see themselves how others see them.
There are certain people in this community who have openly expressed a longing for the way things were here at Cascade Lakes before your Editor and Roving Reporter arrived.
What they are really longing for are the so-called good old days of elitism and cronyism without our constantly calling it out; unsurprisingly, they are the very elitists and individuals who consider themselves more privileged than you lowly HOA members.
These are the same fat cats who reward their dutiful underlings with little perks here and there to keep them happy, docile, and most importantly, obedient. The last thing this little group wants is equality among all HOA members because that would erode their power.
Their interest is control, and if you’re not towing the line, you will not necessarily find an open reception, regardless of your good ideas and good intentions.
And sometimes it seems as if one or more members of the Board of Directors appears to favor certain groups or individuals in the community and disfavor others notwithstanding the fact that we’re all equal brothers and sisters in this HOA.
In conclusion, while it’s one thing to tout the desire for community togetherness and kumbaya love among everyone, it’s another thing to be claiming that desire while at the same time promulgating a caste system whereby the only road to nirvana is the path that serves the ruling class.
We prefer our own path, free and independent from this elitist, ego-driven nonsense, so we walked away from those individuals.
And with that said, we now bring you the Board meeting consisting of seven equal Board Directors.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green, President (EqualBoard member)
Harvey Ginsberg, VP (EqualBoard member)
Richard Greene, Treasurer (EqualBoard member)
Alan Silver, Secretary (EqualBoard member)
Linda Arbeit (EqualBoard 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 Linda Arbeit.
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff mentioned that the Men’s Club, after 21 years, is disbanding; he thanked Howard Greene for his service, and stated that Howard’s house is already sold. He separately stated that new residents will be named at the second Board meeting of every month with their permission.
Jeff repeated the mantra that there is only one official HOA website, there is no official Resident of the Month, Roving Reporter, or official Facebook page.]
Jeff: I know I keep saying that, but some people are not aware of that.
[Editor’s note: seriously?]
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you want to speak, kindly raise your hand.
Mike Blackman/Zoom Operator [tasked with calling on the residents]: yeah, the first hand that’s up is Roving Reporter. You can unmute yourself.
[Editor’s note: we are listed as such in the Zoom meeting. Alan is seen on the tape cheerfully chuckling. We, ourselves, thought the timing of it was hilarious!]
1. Vicki Roberts: Yes, this is Vicki, the Editor, not the Roving Reporter, but the Roving Reporter is sitting next to me. Vicki Roberts, Landon Circle. Invisible Electric Shocking Dog Fences: This is a safety issue. You are putting the community at risk. This is a community of elders. All it takes is one unsuspecting elderly walker near any of these houses and someone is going to be startled and slip and fall.
The person will be seriously injured or dead if they hit their head, and the HOA will be sued and responsible for approving and implementing this new rule. The HOA will be jointly and severally responsible for all damages, make no mistake about it. A hold harmless clause means nothing to a plaintiff’s counsel. It just gives him more entities and parties to sue. You are opening up a Pandora’s box, and one day someone’s injury or death from this will be on you.
You’ve also essentially obliterated the “no leash” rule.
The motion was made to appease one of the youngest members of this HOA, Debbie Berenholtz. Ms. Berenholtz does not represent the majority of the community and Harvey Ginsberg shouldn’t be making motions to favor his friends at the expense of the rest of the community which is significantly older than Debbie Berenholtz.
[Editor’s note: later in the meeting, during the discussion on the invisible fence issue, Harvey made a Point of Personal Privilege, which I am inserting here because it refers to the last sentence I read above at the meeting.]
Harvey: “Point of Personal Privilege. A comment was made earlier during the First Residents’ Input Session that Deb Berenholtz came to me as a friend and wanted me to do something for her as a favor; and let me just say that if any resident approaches any Board member and asks them to bring something to the Board on the Agenda, that’s appropriate.
That’s not a favor; that’s our fiduciary responsibility. So, whether I agree with the fence or not, whatever, I’m doing what should be done, any one of us. In fact, she sent the email, I think to you, Jeff, and then you shared it with the rest of us.”
Alan: “Point of Order: We’re talking about a motion to rescind. I think our discussion should be following with that.” Jeff: “I think we should just vote on Linda’s motion at this point. If at some point in the future we want to readdress this, do your homework, and we’ll readdress it. But if not, let’s take a vote on Linda’s motion.”
[Editor’s note: Thank you, Alan and Jeff, I appreciate what you both said. Now here is my response to Harvey: Harvey is 100% correct. That necessarily means that your Editor was 100% wrong. I apologize to Harvey and thank him for mentioning it because it’s so true, so important, and shame on me for missing such an important point. Now back to my speech.]
Vicki: Now Directors Linda, Susan, and Alan recognized this when the motion was made. It’s time for the rest of you Directors to understand the profound impact of your decision. The last time this was raised was in 2019 and the motion couldn’t even get a second, not even from Harvey, because Marion raised it because she was the liaison to the ARB. Nothing has changed since then except the Board membership.
Other residents have told you of their previous experiences with these dangerous invisible fences. It is time to listen to those whom you represent.
This is your opportunity to fix your egregious error. Please do it. One of you please make a motion to rescind this disastrous decision which will otherwise result in a predictable disaster just waiting to happen. No one wants to then say, “told ya’ so and this was completely unnecessary and could have been totally avoided.” Thank you.
2. Eileen Olitsky: Eileen Olitsky, Spring Oak Avenue. I am in complete agreement with Vicki. What I don’t understand is that in order to get yoga twice a week, we do a poll. Why was no poll done for this invisible fence? The only person that wanted it is one person. And it went to one Board member who also has dogs. Without a poll, and without the community’s input in this, it’s a fiasco. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
I was very disturbed when I heard this last week and unfortunately didn’t get on initially. Please, please, I beseech you to remove this. I can’t understand why four of you would vote for it. Those four don’t even – only one has a dog. What is the benefit of this, and why is it being done? Thank you very much.
3. Joyce Winston: I’d like to discuss, or bring up, one of the items that is on the Agenda about the invisible dog fence. I am Chairman of the Rules & Regulations Committee. I was asked by Sue Schmer, our liaison, to investigate this topic, and to bring all of the information to the Board. Jeff and I discussed holding a meeting about this last week.
Unfortunately, I was hospitalized, and we couldn’t have the meeting last week. I have extensive information that I have researched and I don’t feel that this topic should be discussed at this meeting until we have had a chance to thoroughly get this out amongst all of us.
Jeff: we will be discussing that today, so if anyone else wants to talk about it, why don’t you hold off until the Second Residents’ Input Section [sic]until you hear what we have to say, because we have it on the Agenda.
Part II: “False Friends”
4. Debbie Berenholtz: I am the person [requesting the invisible fence].
[Editor’s note: In a last-ditch effort to save a sinking ship, Debbie made an impassioned speech about the topic and stated: “I take the safety of my dogs very seriously.”
Another resident later noted that Debbie pointedly never mentioned the safety of her elderly neighbors. Debbie also never mentioned in her speech that her dogs would be on a leash outside in her front yard, so presumably she intended the invisible fence to be a substitute for a leash and never addressed the leash rule.
Joyce Winston then interjected that it is supposed to be “three minutes per person” because Debbie had in fact hit the three-minute mark and it didn’t appear that she was finished (8:48 on the tape to 11:48 on the tape).]
Joyce: how long can she speak? Debbie: as long as you want.
[Editor’s note: no, that’s false, but it gives you a great window into the mindset of the individual making that false claim. The correct answer is a minimum of three minutes and at some point, the person in charge of the meeting, the President, should interject and say, “thank you, your time is up.” As a practical matter and one of precedence, it’s three minutes.]
Joyce: no, three minutes per person. Debbie: oh, oh, oh, I’m done, thank you.
[Editor’s note: During Debbie’s speech, there were a mere 62 devices logged into the meeting. Subtracting the seven Board members and the property manager and the three Zoom operators, that left a paltry 51 other devices tuned in, and none of them spoke in support of Debbie’s plea for the invisible fence, a wish for which Debbie has been yearning for two years now, and something that was of the utmost importance to her.
Now why is this significant? Here’s what comes immediately to mind:
Where were Debbie’s so-called close-knit friends? Why weren’t they there to support her at this pivotal meeting and why didn’t they speak up to support her? Where was Chick Coletta, the author of the profanity-laced death-wish emails to your Editor, whom she supported in court?
Where was Superman Wannabe aka Mike Feinberg, who also raised his hand to testify in defense of Chick’s vile emails and is part of that little group of so-called friends?
Where was the ringleader, Diane Fiorillo-Green, her husband, Jeff F. Green, Lillian Mazzola, Jane Krive, Steve Schlosser, and others, all who defended those vile emails in court along with Debbie Berenholtz and who are part of that close-knit group of so-called friends?
This is Debbie’s supposed inner circle of friends. They’re so close that she recently proudly posted photos of herself online with Lillian and Diane with fake dinosaurs at a local pottery vendor.
They were all silent; they were nowhere to be found, not one of them. They abandoned Debbie on an issue that was one of the most important issues to her for the last two years. These are people whom she calls friends. Their absence is striking. They left her high and dry to defend her dream request alone.
Debbie was a better friend to them than they are to her.
She was there for Chick, she defended Diane in the past, called this News Site “evil” because we dared to call out malfeasance that we witnessed concerning other people she felt or feels close with, and yet in her one time of need on her one issue, every last one of them abandoned her except Board member Harvey, and Harvey did the right thing by putting the issue before the Board per the resident’s request.
Not one spoke up when given the opportunity at the First Residents’ Input Session or at any time. And they didn’t speak up at the previous most recent Board meeting either when the issue was raised. She got zero support two times in a row for her issue about which she has been passionate for two years.
If this isn’t an indictment of false friendship, then we don’t know what is. Debbie Berenholtz has been manipulated and used, plain and simple. If she continues to go back to this empty well, which only knows how to take and knows nothing about how to give, she can expect more of the same from this selfish group of “miscreants,” to use another resident’s description of these individuals, not ours.]
4. Dorothy Waxman: ok, I’m really surprised listening to Debbie, I don’t know her. All she’s talking about is the safety of her dogs. We’re talking about the safety of the people in the community. This is not up north. This is a senior community, and Landon Circle has huge lots; she could have a fencing company make a fence for her dog that’s big in the back. Or she could fence in her patio.
Why should we have to be unsafe to keep her dogs safe? I don’t understand that. I’m upset because I had one next door to me up north, and the barking that went on whenever a dog passed was horrible. Thank you.
Approval of Minutes: August 18, 2021 Board meeting: Alan Silver
Alan: Motion to approve the Minutes of the August 18, 2021 Board meeting. Jeff: seconded by Bob. All in favor? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: [Editor’s note: Deborah’s report was chocked full of information all of which will likely be email blasted to the community at the appropriate times. She did mention that the Budget Committee’s meeting with the Board is October 12, 2021 at 10am, the report to the community is on October 18, 2021 at 7pm, and the Board will vote on the budget at the November 3, 2021 Board meeting. There are three mows in September: the dates of 8-9, 16-17, and 27-28.]
1. Rules & Regs: Joyce Winston: I was asked as part of the Rules and Regulations to investigate the issue of the invisible fence. Palm Beach County law, section 4-33, says 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 chain, leash, or other device or is sufficiently near his handler to be under his direct control and is obedient to that handler’s command or is caged or crated.
It shall be unlawful fo the owner of any dog to tie, chain, or tether a dog on the owner’s property in such a manner that the dog has access to public property or the property of another [without] the consent of the owner of such property, meaning your next-door neighbor, or anybody else.
My question is, what happens if the house is sold, or rented? Is the person that takes over, if the person is allowed to have this invisible fence, allowed to keep it? Who is responsible? Who then puts down the million-dollar policy for it? Will someone buy a house knowing that these people put in this fence and won’t take it out? And then they’re responsible for the indemnification of the policy? Every house here shares a common property with a neighbor. There is no guarantee that the dog might not get loose.
Harvey: Point of Information. This is not a Committee report. Joyce: it is. Harvey: no, it’s not. Joyce: this is the information on what you have on what the Rules & Regulations looked into this month, and I’m just about finished, but I am concerned about the fact that we do not have a completely fenced in home, and that a dog could still get out.
[Editor’s note: Harvey cut Joyce off almost exactly at the two-minute mark. You will see below that no one, and I mean no one, cut off Nancy Rowe’s 20-minute diatribe which took pains to repeatedly lambast your Editor and Roving Reporter during her so-called Caring and Welcoming Committee report.]
2. COBWRA: Vicki Roberts: The Canyon Town Center Concert Series is on. Brought to you by Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation, Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, and COBWRA, Coalition of Boynton West Residents Association.
The Feelin’ Nostalgic live music miniseries is the third Saturday of every month from 7 – 9pm and takes place at Canyon Town Center, located at 8784 Boynton Beach Blvd. at Lyons Road, although the Amphitheater’s address is 8802 Boynton Beach Blvd. The first date is October 16, Lu White & Friends; then on November 20 we have the Mary Washington Brooks Trio, and on December 18 we have the Samantha Russell Duo.
The Legends on the Lawn Series then returns in January 2022.
Check it out; it’s free, it’s fun, it’s outdoors, and it’s a great way to spend a Saturday night with friends. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: your Editor has a great flyer about these terrific events! I created a brand-new page on our News Site dedicated exclusively to COBWRA. I have posted the flyer and the information on this new dedicated page with a link to it at the end of this synopsis, and I have also posted it on the Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach Facebook page. That link is also at the end of this synopsis.]
4. Landscaping: Shelly Andreas: Landscaping did not meet last month…working on a major project…fountain and side… [interrupting noise] … excuse me, I’m talking, it’s really not polite… and also the sides of the guardhouse.
5. Facilities: Barbara Gordon: working on the project on the front entrance as well … four pillars… on top… those bowls can no longer be planted… stack stones on those pillars, remove the bowls… all four sides… two feet plus electric lanterns to be placed on top, match… to help enhance and beautify the entrance to the community.
Part III: “This is your Welcoming Committee?”
4. Caring and Welcoming Committee: Nancy Rowe:
[Editor’s note: This was the first time since we’ve been here that a Committee Chairperson hijacked the meeting for 20 minutes; all other committee reports have been concise and to the point.
Nancy Rowe droned on interminably (actually a whopping 20 full minutes) but her main point was to bash us and this News Site. She literally used her authorization to present her Committee report to bash other residents. And the irony of it is that she is in charge of the so-called “Caring and Welcoming” Committee.
How is this caring and welcoming? She proceeded to blame us because, apparently, she believes that she is not doing a good job and so it must be our fault because it could not possibly be her behavior. As always, here are the facts along with our response to her comments, and you get to decide for yourselves what to make of all of it.
Nancy Rowe made some very unprofessional, disrespectful, false, and dishonest remarks about us and this News Site. What did she actually say? Here is it, in all its decadent glory:
1. She stated that we are an “unauthorized website.” This is false. We are not an unauthorized website. We are real. We have never claimed that we were the official HOA website and indeed we have always separated ourselves from the HOA website. We are a News Site. We report facts and we give our opinions after careful research and contemplation.
If Ms. Rowe means that we don’t have HOA permission to operate, that we are not “authorized,” to use her word, by the HOA brass, well, that’s true, but that’s because we don’t need it.
We’re separate and independent, we are not beholden to anyone, and we don’t need anyone’s authorization to operate, so the premise that we are somehow “unauthorized” is farcical and nonsensical, and for the life of us we cannot understand what Ms. Rowe doesn’t understand about that.
2. Next she stated that we give out “a lot of misinformation.” This is also false. Nothing on our News Site is misinformation (unless we mere mortals over here make an occasional mistake, in which case we try to correct it as soon as we learn about it).
Making such a false statement, however, which Ms. Rowe most certainly did, is giving out “misinformation” to use her word, aside from also being defamatory. And with such an audacious statement, we dare you, Ms. Rowe: tell us what specific statement we have ever made that is, according to you, “misinformation.” Name it or stand down.
We’re officially throwing down the gauntlet so let’s hear it. It’s time to start backing up your attacks with actual facts, not baseless conclusory words with no factual foundation.
3. Her next attack was that we engage in “ill will.” This claim was never substantiated by Ms. Rowe and is also untrue. We’re busting our asses trying to right the ship and make it fair for everyone, not just the elitists who think they’re better and more privileged than everyone else.
This type of poisonous and toxic talk by Ms. Rowe during an official Board meeting is the opposite of good will. This talk is “ill will” to use her phrase. And coming from the Chairperson of the so-called Caring and Welcoming Committee makes it even more despicable. By the way, we are relatively new residents here, having arrived in mid-2019. How is this caring and welcoming toward us?
4. But she wasn’t done. She was on a tear. She next stated that when she tries to talk with new residents, “they don’t want to talk to us because they’re already welcomed by an unauthorized group.” Say what? Does anyone actually believe this is true, because it sounds like sheer nonsense to us. In the August 18, 2021 synopsis and commentary, we showed you our Welcome Neighbor cards – the front, the inside, and the back.
We are not an “unauthorized group;” we are welcoming residents with nice Welcome Neighbor cards. Our welcome cards are not in competition with the HOA’s efforts; they complement the HOA’s efforts. All welcoming efforts should be, well, welcomed, no? Why not? Why can’t all wonderful forms of welcoming peacefully co-exist? What’s the problem? Does Ms. Rowe and the HOA own a monopoly on welcoming new residents?
Honestly, I think we’ve entered the realm of the truly bizarre. Where is all this viciousness coming from? Frankly, this kind of viciousness has no place running the “Caring and Welcoming” Committee or in fact any group charged with actually caring and welcoming anyone, because this display is the exact opposite of caring and welcoming.
Is Ms. Rowe’s position that no resident should welcome a new neighbor under any circumstances? Or is it more likely that she’s targeted us and is incensed that we would dare welcome new neighbors because in her mind she owns the exclusive right to welcoming new residents. Now how unneighborly is that? And how elitist is that, too?
This kind of active hostility is abhorrent to the community at large and no way to approach new residents. Perhaps they are turned off by this bad behavior and this individual’s incessant and unending hostility. Who would want to listen to that?
And now this Chairperson comes to the Board, and at an official Board meeting complains, blames us instead of putting the blame squarely where it belongs, on herself, and then asks the Board to do something about this imaginary problem.
Ms. Rowe, it’s time to stop attacking us with baseless statements and it’s time to act like the name of the Committee you Chair. How are your statements “caring and welcoming” to us, or to anyone for that matter, when you’re spewing this kind of bile?
As everyone knows, we have a Resident of the Month whom we honor, and the sole criterion for the award is “kindness and warmth toward everyone he/she meets.” Did Ms. Rowe, the Chairperson of the Caring and Welcoming Committee, exhibit those simple basic traits?
Perhaps it’s time to hand over the reins of the Caring and Welcoming Committee to someone without an implicit bias and to someone who actually is caring and welcoming to all. It appears to us, Ms. Rowe, that you have lost your objectivity, and therefore your effectiveness.]
[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-Ginsberg/Silver
[Editor’s note: Harvey made a motion that the clubhouse be re-opened to members only, no guests, and to extend the closing of the gym and clubhouse to 10:30pm. Jeff seconded it. There was a discussion, and then Jeff called the vote. Jeff and Harvey voted affirmatively, and the remaining five Board members voted against the motion. The motion failed. Jeff stated, “we’ll hold it two weeks and then revisit it.”]
2. ARB guidelines for invisible fence- Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: Linda immediately made a motion to rescind the former invisible fence vote from the last Board meeting. Alan seconded it. Sue also appeared to second it. Richard stated that if he knew it was for the front or side of the house, he would have voted no. This is odd because it was pretty clear at the prior Board meeting that it was for the front and sides.]
Harvey: Jeff and I have had a discussion with Shelly at the pool…we…did…the task backwards… and that’s why I support rescinding this…talk to the ARB…let them due their due diligence… let them make a recommendation, if they say no, it dies there… Linda: it’s not part of any of the HOAs in southeast Florida, and Harvey, thank you. We did not do due diligence…
Sue: this has been thoroughly researched; I sent all the Board members the pros and cons… the fence guidelines are unenforceable…Palm Beach County Ordinance 4-24… extreme weather, including heat… minimum space requirements… made for large backyards, not private communities… insurance issues… the cons outweigh the pros; it should not go to the ARB. Joyce researched extensively…it’s not something an HOA should engage in… get rid of this, not go to the ARB, it’s unenforceable…you cannot enforce this…
Alan: Point of Order: we’re talking about a motion to rescind; our discussion should be on that. Jeff: vote on Linda’s motion to rescind, put the guidelines on the back burner. Sue: second. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous. 7 – 0.
[Editor’s note: the invisible fence is gone; you won’t “see” it anymore, at least we hope not.]
3. Asphalt project update-Bob Dingee
Bob: temporary markings…next week, permanent markings…entrances…did not pave all the way; we don’t own over the canal so we had to stop at the edge. Color – we see minor differences, manufactured…different lots… will all age, and in 6 – 12 months will be gray, not black.
1. 2022 Holiday lighting renewal $11,000 –Linda
Linda: I would like to meet with JM Lighting and Deborah… add lights to fronds at Military Trail and Cascade Lakes Blvd… motion to pass the contract with the provision that they give us more lighting. Second: Harvey. Deborah: if they don’t want to? Linda: I still… Deborah: ahs to be in your motion. Linda: motion to pass the contract. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous, 7-0.
2. 2022 Janitorial contract $93,600-Jeff
Jeff: with Image. Renewal of the contract. Motion for approval. Their people are excellent workers; continuation with the vendor, so no need to get three bids… originally came in higher Deb got them to agree to a price very similar to last year’s… no set-up fee as long as it’s during the day; fee for cleaning up reasonable as well. Discussion? [silence.] Second: Linda. All in favor? 5. Oppose: one, Sue. Abstain: one, Alan.
[Editor’s note: At a Board meeting in the past, the Board passed a clear rule that any project over $25,000 required a minimum of three bids. There was and is no exception for “renewals.” This was just apparently made up by Jeff.
Five Board members were fine with it. Two were not. So, while the contract itself may have been fine, the process was violated, and that’s a matter of principle which apparently was of no import or significance to five Board members.
The way this should have gone down is as follows, and it would have been simple: first make a motion to make an exception to the three-bid rule for renewals. If that passed, then you would be home free. If it didn’t, then just follow the rule you previously passed and get three bids. Or if you don’t like the three-bid rule anymore, then vote to rescind it. But the last thing you ought to be doing is ignoring your own rules and so blatantly violating them.
When you start ignoring rules at whim, you create chaos and lack of consistency, and it sets an example to the community that rules are selectively enforced. This is called a free-for-all, and it is no way to run an organization.
When this free-for-all is led by the Director running the meeting, the President, who then makes up a bogus excuse for doing so, it’s worse, because one of his three functions as President is to make sure Board orders are carried out. So, he abrogated his responsibility by failing to carry out the three-bid rule.
Taking this a step further, is this now going to be the way the Board is going to review the landscaping contract when it comes up for renewal? What about the Hotwire contract? How about the ADT contract? These are major contracts involving millions of dollars.
Setting this type of precedent, where sometimes rules matter and sometimes they don’t, depletes the community’s confidence in its leadership.]
3. Poly lift sidewalk repairs $4,800-Jeff
Jeff: sidewalks on Cascade Lakes Blvd. only at this time… motion to accept. Second: Sue. All in favor? Unanimous. 7-0.
4. 2022 Addendum to Pressure washing $8,800-Linda
Linda: Fiddler on the Roof, to pressure wash all the sidewalks. Second: Harvey. Harvey: didn’t we already agree to do this? Deborah: it was one time a year. Harvey: next time, the contract will be two times a year. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous. 7-0.
5. Tennis supplies $4,062- Harvey
Harvey: Lee proposal… 288 bags… hard shoe court rake, drag broom… Richard: it is already included in the budget. Harvey: motion to accept. Jeff: Second: Bob. Unanimous. 7-0.
6. Window repair $2,300-Richard
Richard: one of the hurricane windows in the lobby broke; the first layer cracks sometimes; withstands about 200 mph; replace, proposal. Second: Bob. Deborah: the window has been ordered. Alan: wasn’t it put in relatively recently…warranty? Deborah: doesn’t cover, it wasn’t that soon. Richard: three years ago… Sue: final payment due…shouldn’t we have an inspection? Deborah: upon installation. Richard: we gave 50% deposit to order… Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
7. Pest control arrival-Jeff
Jeff: Southeast Pest Control, they handle most of the community, were stopped by the guard after 21 years because they’re not allowed in until 8am… motion to allow pest control vendors at 7am to enter. Second: Bob. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Rosalie Gold: Glenville Drive. I’m happy with all the changes, but the Glenville entrance is a hot mess. It looks terrible… Landon Circle pod looks gorgeous… front entrance, a lot of the signs, especially going out, are crooked, it’s quite annoying… over signage, what happens to all the signs? That’s money, metal, it costs money… some were new… and my last comment, what’s going on with the mailboxes, they look terrible, up, down, back, forward, all different height.
2. Roberta Alter: issue with my street, cars are allowed to park on the wrong side of the street, accidents waiting to happen… ambulance could not get through… what can we do… the gate people, tell people, mostly vendors… Jeff: we’ll deal with the guards.
3. Dorothy Waxman: the loss of the Men’s Club is a big loss to the community… bingo… pizza… maybe a new person with an old person… I’m a snowbird so I can’t do it.
Round Table Discussion:
Linda: I have nothing, thank you.
Sue: absolutely nothing.
Harvey: nothing, thank you. I wish everybody a happy holiday for those who celebrate.
Alan: committee reports…30… perhaps we break them up alphabetically into two groups, and questionable, I would like to see the committee reports… what happened to them… I could in my Minutes, I could provide a link.
Sue: excellent idea.
[Editor’s note: as stated above, actually, this was the first time since we’ve been here that a Committee Chair hijacked the meeting for 20 minutes; all other committee reports have been concise and to the point.
In the future, the person running the meeting (which is the President’s job) should cut her off and be done with it. Then you won’t have a problem. You don’t need to split them up into separate Board meetings.]
Jeff: we have 30, but we had four today. Split them up…or keep it…
Richard: I like Alan’s idea of splitting it…We’re going out for a reserve study, we haven’t had one since 2018… an outside engineer to review our work early 2022…
Bob: nothing at this time, waiting for Richard, engineers, will work with.
Jeff: nothing, thank you Mike, Alan, and Anita, superb work…Zoom.
Alan: send the Committee reports.
Jeff: motion to adjourn? Alan. Second? Richard. Sue: all in favor, raise your hand. Jeff: thank you, everyone. Sue: happy holidays to all if that’s what you celebrate.
[Editor’s note: Meeting adjourned at 10:57am.]
[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 September 1, 2021; next meeting: September 15, 2021 at 9:30am.
Thought for the Day:
I just figured out why I’m an eternal optimist. It’s because I find that usually, things have a way of working themselves out.
1. 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: