09/02/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted September 3, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the September 2, 2020 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary indicated in bold blue.
Hear ye, hear ye! Announcing the synopsis and commentary of the September 2, 2020 Board of Directors meeting.
This edition is entitled: “Togas and Tantrums.”
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
The Pickleball Club Mission Statement on the HOA website has changed. There was no membership vote, no approval from the HOA Board who originally granted the group permission to have the club based on its original mission statement, and no change in the corporate charter. In fact, the change in the mission statement is directly contrary to the corporate charter, which specifically limits the pickleball corporation to the play of pickleball only.
The new mission statement adds the words “and parties” to the mission of the club; in other words, the purpose of the club is to play pickleball and to have parties. Who changed the mission statement illegally? The deterioration of the club continues.
The sneakiness of changing this when nobody was paying attention (except us) is noted. So, who did it and which individuals decided to usurp the club members’ votes and change the mission statement? Chuck Cramer is the newly elected President. Elaine Cramer at the time of this change was listed as temporary chairperson of “Entertainment.” This is the pickleball club, folks, not the HOA. This was done prior to the membership meeting which was scheduled for several days later. They’re already back to their old tricks.
These few renegades cannot control themselves and have no interest in running a club where the members share in the decision-making of the club. They have an incessant need to force this club to engage in parties and activities that have nothing to do with pickleball.
The most likely reason for this obsession with parties is that they want to increase the club’s membership so that they have a better shot at getting hard courts for the community by building a big enough base of voting residents to overcome the 75% threshold that a community vote on the issue requires. In the meantime, because of the way they are going about doing this, your potential liability for their actions continues.
This News Site has always supported the concept of hard courts for pickleball in the community, however, we cannot support a group that changed the mission statement in the dark of night, that rigged the former elections, that continues to operate in a manner that exposes the HOA members to potential liability, and that continues to operate without the appropriate and required membership input. That is not a club; that is a fiefdom.
You may make your opinions of this known when the issue of hard courts comes up and you have the opportunity to vote for an additional assessment for that purpose, and it most certainly will come up at some point in the future.
After we published our August 19, 2020 synopsis and commentary (“Echoes and Egos”), we noticed that there were some changes made to the pickleball club’s page on the HOA website. Here is a look at the revisions, which includes changing “Contact the Board” to “Contact the Club Officers” and the removal of Elaine Cramer and Debbie Berenholtz from the bogus categories of “Entertainment” and “Membership” respectively.
You will recall that the corporate charter specifically prohibits a Board and also that there was never any club vote on those additional “positions,” and in any event, the club’s corporate charter specifically limits the club’s activities to pickleball, not entertainment/parties. Here is a screenshot of that part of the club page on the HOA website as of the morning of August 23, 2020:
Also note that included therein are the words: “Governing Documents” and “Club Incorporated or Not Incorporated” under the words “Contact Committee (Temporary).”
The Pickleball Club had a Zoom membership meeting at 4:00pm on Sunday, August 23, 2020. We actually believe that Chuck could and would make a great president of the pickleball club because of his sheer passion for, and dogged devotion to, the sport. We just wish he would follow the rules, play fair in the administration of the club, and not be persuaded by others who have ulterior agendas.
We joined the Zoom meeting as fully paid members. If we had known we could have opted for the half-price “social” special (“social” members were allowed to pay half but with full membership rights), we would have. Why spend more when you get the exact same thing for half price?
Can you just imagine something in the store for sale, and the exact same item is on the sales floor in two areas next to each other, and one price tag on the left pile says “$20.00 a piece” and the other price tag on the right pile says “$10.00 a piece,” and you say to the sales associate, “What’s the difference? Because they look identical.” And the salesperson says, “They are exactly the same; one is just more fun than the other.” You respond: “But they are exactly the same.” The salesperson persists: “Yes they are, but the $10.00 one on the right is more fun.” And if the one on the right is more fun, then shouldn’t that be the more expensive one?
Ok, not as complex as e=mc², but we think we understand.
Or, in the words of Arte Johnson, with a faux German accent, from the famed and classic Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In TV show (1968-1973):
“Veddy interesting, but shtupid.”
It is noteworthy that when the skewered vote to give $1,000 to the HOA for the canopy was made, the people who had the fun membership and only paid $10.00 had the same vote as the people with the regular membership who paid $20.00. So, percentagewise, the people who paid full membership paid double for the canopy/awning as opposed to the people who only had the fun membership. So, the full membership is the less fun membership, and this made suckers out of all of us who paid the full membership price.
And to be clear, the canopy/awning was never really about an awning or an alleged donation; it was about buying favoritism from the Board (see the rogue former “leadership” group’s May 7, 2020 scathing letter to the Board on our BOD 2021 Elections Page where they bemoaned the refusal of the Board to open certain facilities during the pandemic after they gave, what they thought, was the quid pro quo, i.e, the money for the canopy/awning). The Board was all too happy to take monies from the club’s piggybank and limited coffers to pay for this community asset. Shame was richly earned all around. But alas, we digress.
By the way, did you see the pickleball club’s report in the August 2020 News & Views? The pickleball club was the only club report without authorship. Are they now afraid to put their name(s) on what they write? Own it, you cowards.
And in the pickleball club’s report in the August 2020 News & Views (page 45, paragraph 2), it states:
“You do not have to join the Pickleball Club to play, but once we are allowed to have club events again, some of our fun parties have been for members only.”
Here is a simple translation for you: whatever you do, don’t pay the full membership price under any circumstances. For the half price, you get to play and go to their parties. And if you don’t pay anything at all, you still get to play pickleball, and go to some of their parties. So why join this club at all? What exactly is this club about? It appears from all evidence that this is a party club, not a pickleball club. We think it should be renamed. Here are some suggestions: “Toga in Paradise,” “The Toga Express,” or how about “I got Toga to the Bathroom.”
At the Zoom pickleball club meeting, overall it appeared that a couple of the officers were distressed that a decision had to be made about whether or not to dissolve the corporation, notwithstanding the fact that the HOA Board and its attorney already strongly suggested that for obvious reasons which we already discussed in detail in prior synopses and commentaries. What is truly bizarre is that some of them believe for reasons unknown that there are good reasons to keep the corporate structure. We have never heard one reason articulated.
At the meeting, Chuck Cramer, the new president of the club, advised that the club now boasts 336 members. From what we could see, there were a total of 33 members online for the meeting, which is a shy less than ten percent (27 individual devices of which 6 were seen as being shared by two people). That total of 33 includes all new officers and your Editor and Roving Reporter. Chuck thanked the former faux officers for “doing an excellent job in bringing us where we are today.” He actually said this with a straight face and without choking on his words.
We query: if they were so wonderful, why did they resign en masse in disgrace and why was there a neutral appointed to administer a special election? Everybody knows why: this News Site called out the fraud and deceit and they got caught red-handed. And now, individuals are upset with us because they got caught. Some of these individuals and one significant other appear to be calling for our removal from the club. For example, here is what Angelo Ganguzza, husband of a former resigned “officer” said:
“The reason that we’re here is because we had certain members that were problematic and caused us, whether it’s, you know, whether it’s, you know, poor intent. Are there gonna be rules that we’re gonna have in place that allow the Board or the committee or the officers to determine what would be conduct unbecoming of a member?”
Was Angelo referring to the former fake officers who rigged and hijacked the previous election (of which his wife was one of those officers who resigned) and caused the club to have to engage a neutral and have a special election? Or was he more likely referring to your Editor and your Roving Reporter, and inquiring if the club should institute a “speech police force” so that concerned voices can be silenced and/or removed from the club? Up until this point, we believed his wife, Debbie Ganguzza, was innocently caught up in the malfeasance of others. Now we’re not so sure.
We even gave Mrs. Ganguzza the benefit of the doubt a month prior to publicly calling out the malfeasance and advised them both that we would not remain quiet about the malfeasance, believing that she was an innocent bystander to what the others were doing. That is why we never mentioned her by name when we called out that malfeasance the following month.
With full knowledge that we were not going to remain quiet, the Ganguzzas suggested that we get together with them socially after their daughter from up north left; they stated she was arriving June 12, 2020 and staying until the end of that month. They even suggested that we could get together prior to their daughter’s arrival, but it was too hectic for us with caring for your Editor’s ill father and so we declined, and instead stated that we were looking forward to getting together with them after their company left.
What happened? They were so nice. Then, suddenly, out of the blue and without ever communicating with us again, they apparently decided to drink the Diane Green Kool-Aid and now we have Debbie Ganguzza’s husband, Angelo Ganguzza, wanting to form an excommunication committee targeted specifically toward us, we who are de facto whistleblowers who call out illegal actions by those assuming positions of authority.
[Note to Board Member Harvey Ginsberg: this is a proper use of the phrase “de facto.”]
Alan Silver responded in the pickleball club Zoom meeting:
“There will be rules of etiquette; details will be in the documents we’re going to be working on in the next few weeks, so if you’re interested, let us know.”
What does that mean? Rules of Etiquette a la Miss Manners? And besides, Lee Sinett, the Sports Director, already has those in place. Or are these people talking about etiquette to try and punish those who called out malfeasance or who are being bullied and shunned by a few people (such as Angelo just displayed), i.e., your Editor and your Roving Reporter. In the words of Shakespeare:
“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
[Stated by Dick the Butcher in Henry VI, part 2, Act 4, Scene 2, line 73.]
So, Angelo appears to be espousing a new rule for the club that if you call out malfeasance, regardless of your intent, you must be booted out, excommunicated, shunned, tarred, and feathered. Or, put another way, according to Angelo, the club essentially needs a Gestapo force, led by a non-existent “Board” or a “committee” or “the officers” to use his exact words. Way to go, Angelo.
Angelo, why are you so angry? Perhaps all this anger stems from Diane Green’s anger at the Board as she displayed during the Second Residents’ Input Session which we report below. The puppet master has finally revealed herself.
Angelo, you’re riding your bike through the community like Chicken Little lamenting to your Roving Reporter about how the Board lied, and that you are thinking about moving.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! The Board lied to us! The Board lied to us!
How did the Board lie to you? What promises did the Board make to you and then renege on? Did you ever talk to the Board? Why didn’t you bring it up during any Residents’ Input Session? The May 7, 2020 email sent out to the entire Pickleball club stated that the Board lied, but it never stated what the lie was and yet all of the “leadership team” at the time, which included your wife, put their names on that letter. What exactly was the alleged lie? Identify it with specificity. We bet you can’t.
When we call out the Board on this News Site, we always set out the specific facts, and then let the reader decide. You claim, based on what you were told by one or more in your group, that the Board lied, but not once has any of you actually articulated what was allegedly stated by one or more Board members and how what was allegedly stated was untrue. That’s called character assassination, and it’s true with respect to whomever you accuse, whether it’s us over here in the press room or whether it’s a member of the Board of Directors. Until such time as you identify with specificity your accusation, the facts, and the supporting evidence, what you are doing to the Board of Directors as well as to your Editor and your Roving reporter is pure, unadulterated character assassination.
Was it one or possibly two officers who were Chairpersons of Committees at the time, that claimed to have access to the Board, who stated that the Board lied (conveniently without ever identifying the alleged false statement) and then manipulated the rest of the then-pickleball “officers” to put their name on the email that went out to the entire pickleball club? Who really lied? Did the Board lie or was it really the person who said the Board lied who is the true liar? With whom should you really be angry? If you have been lied to and manipulated by this one person once, the real questions are how often have you been lied to and manipulated by this person overall and why do you keep buying into this person’s fraud and deceit?
And let us not forget what Chick Coletta wrote on the pickleball ladder invitation, wherein he repeatedly refuses to play with a certain member because that member allegedly is “a cheater.” Is this part of the group of individuals that are being protected? Why indeed, yes, it is! We can confirm that he is specifically referring to one of the former officers of the club who resigned in disgrace on July 9, 2020. He also admitted it directly to your Roving Reporter when they were together in Chick’s car en route to a match at another community. Here is a screenshot of one of those comments, and it is not the only one:
So, Chick Coletta is refusing to play on the pickleball ladder because, in his words, it is a
“You put a person in the number one position because they cheat to get there.”
Hey, Angelo, is he going to be in the doghouse, too? Are you going to try and revoke his membership, too, because he makes comments that you don’t like about the lack of integrity in this club? Or does he get a pass because your misplaced ire and rage are just reserved for us as opposed to the individuals who caused all of this in the first place?
And who’s “poor intent” is Angelo referring to? Ours? For calling out cheaters just like Chick did? And here we have the new president of the club, Chuck Cramer, praising these people who almost ran this club into the ground (see June 24, 2020 synopsis and our dedicated Pickleball Page under our HOA Issues page) and is potentially dragging the entire HOA membership with them. Remember, statutes of limitations have not yet expired on their wayward conduct, and the HOA Board and its attorney recognized that what the club was engaging in, through its former purported “officers,” was and is putting the entire HOA at financial risk, and for what? Because “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (made famous by Cindi Lauper in 1983) and everybody damn well better get out of their way.
You are an enabler, Angelo. You are equally culpable. Are you now taking Chick’s place as ringleader Diane Green’s chief henchman? On the one hand, there’s having intelligent and respectful discourse and trying to iron out your differences or establish that you cannot, and then there’s Angelo’s way. This was never personal and yet Angelo just made it personal, so congratulations, Angelo, and for what exactly? We sure hope it was worth it to you because it seems to us that you all got out of it was a brief feel-good moment in front of your small audience of Mean Girls, and now your words are before the entire community and they can decide for themselves what to think about it.
Chuck Cramer also stated that the officers would be establishing committees and setting the ground rules for those committees. This is not proper with a corporation which is member-vote driven only, as opposed to a governing Board. Chuck has no authority to do this. Regardless, it will be done, because apparently most people just don’t care or don’t care enough.
Alan Silver, the Vice-President, stated that there were no By-Laws, and that the Articles of Incorporation were “open to interpretation.” He is 100% wrong. They are clear as a bell. We have gone over this laboriously and will not repeat it herein. Chuck stated that they have “encountered conflicting information” as to whether or not the club should be incorporated. We have heard no information favorable to keeping the corporate structure from anyone and only reasons to dissolve it, including from the HOA Board and presumably its attorneys. So why is this group so desperately clinging to a corporate structure that is harmful to the entire community by the manner in which it is being run?
Let us remember that membership in this club is not required to be on the ladder or to play on the community courts. So, what exactly is this club offering? They offer get-togethers where they can collectively bully and trash other members of this community for calling out their malfeasance (see our Calling Out Bullies page which includes bad behavior by the former faux president, Diane Green).
You get to decide if membership in this group is something you want to be a part of. It certainly doesn’t seem that most residents are terribly interested in it, given the fact that less than 10% of the alleged membership showed up for the meeting. That being said, why are a dozen or so people or less exposing the entire HOA community to potential financial liability because they want to party, and at the same time they are trying to figure out how to shut us up and not let you know about your financial risk?
(1) Here we have a group of Mean Girls, which now includes one husband, Angelo Ganguzza, attacking, without any identified or identifiable basis therefor, the HOA Board of Directors: read this groups’ blasts on the Cascade Lakes Facebook Page where attacks on the HOA Board of Directors are relentless, all because the Board is trying to protect the community during a pandemic and won’t open certain facilities to this group’s liking and demands;
(2) This same group of Mean Girls and Angelo Ganguzza are also attacking this News Site and its husband/wife duo, for getting in their way of trying to turn this 55+ community into the Lido Deck on a cruise ship during a pandemic and other wayward behavior; and
(3) Now they’re trying to figure out a way to oust your Editor and Roving Reporter from membership in the pickleball club, for calling them out, by perhaps forming a special police force to stamp out criticism and stomp on and destroy anyone who dares to bring to light their malfeasance; they are doing this in addition to their continued and relentless character assassinations of your Editor and your Roving Reporter.
Remember, two of the leaders of this small and noisy group resigned before getting booted off their Committee Chairperson positions by the Board of Directors, and they further resigned in disgrace from their “leadership” positions in the pickleball club. These are the people, along with their dutiful enforcers, calling us out for exposing their bad behavior. We’ll let the reader do the math on this one.
Angelo Ganguzza wants “New board, new rules” per his Facebook post on August 23, 2020 on the unofficial Cascade Lakes Facebook page. Upon information and belief, the new rules to which he is referring include opening the facilities and partying like it’s “1999” (Prince, 1982 chart-topper), and your safety during a pandemic be damned.
His post was “liked” on Facebook by Diane Fiorillo-Green, the leader of the flock (former Entertainment Chairperson who resigned in lieu of termination and former faux pickleball president who resigned in disgrace). Diane Green has been seen running around Cascade Lakes shoring up her loyal supporters and she is also very adept at using the telephone. We suppose that she is revered mainly for her leadership skills.
Angelo’s Facebook post stating “New board, new rules” was also “liked” on Facebook by Elaine Cramer, former secretary of the pickleball club and Diane Green’s dutiful handmaiden.
We want to give credit where it’s due: both of these women were the main protagonists in the pickleball club election rigging scandal. Make sure you don’t disagree with these people or their associates, or the Wrath of Khan (Star Trek II, 1982) may descend upon you, too.
Here is a screenshot of Angelo’s Facebook post stating “New board, new rules” and the “likes” he received for this post from these two individuals:
Do these individuals have your best interests in mind? Do you trust their judgment with your pocketbooks and the ability to make decisions that directly affect your lives? You decide when the March 2021 elections come around and you see one or more of them or their cohorts on your ballot. This is about the future of this community.
And now, without further ado, I have been politely informed that I must leave the stage to start the show.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:31am.
[Editor’s note: prior to the start of the meeting, the following exchange took place:]
Sue Schmer: the ARB guidelines say that they have to approve ornaments.
Eileen Olitsky: Sue, we will talk about it later. [Editor’s note: translation: we’re here!]
Harvey Ginsberg: there are 29 people online. Marion: that’s good.
[Editor’s note: uh, no, actually it’s abysmal; clearly, they’re waiting for the Synopsis and Commentary, which is both informative and a lot more fun, and definitely more widely read than you think; the stats don’t lie.]
Harvey: we’re doing better on Zoom than in person. [Editor’s note: Nope, not this time.] Deborah Balka: We are about 45. [Editor’s note: Nope, you are 30 and that includes seven Board members and Deborah, so that leaves a paltry 22 unique devices tuned in.]Someone: it’s more convenient. [Editor’s note: definitely.]
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. Give me a minute. I forgot to print out my opening remarks. Marion: Can we all stand and join Harvey in the Pledge.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Harvey Ginsberg. [Editor’s note: Harvey had a flag and all Board members stood, proven by their video cams’ recording of six stomachs and one chest (the short one).]
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Marion’s husband, Walter, appeared to be snoozing in a chair behind her and off to the side, but then came alive at some point during her speech. Overall, there was absolutely nothing newsworthy to report; it was somewhat of a snooze-fest, so Walter’s initial reaction was reasonable. If it were truly that important, Marion would have emailed her written remarks to us for inclusion in this synopsis and commentary so that most of the community could read them, but even then, you’re not missing anything, folks, and it really was nothing about nothing.]
We can just picture Board President Marion Weil and her husband at the dinner table when the topic of this News Site came up:
Marion: Pay no attention to them, dear. Per my instruction, nobody reads their little website anyway.
Walter: Well, ok, dear, you’re the President, so you know best.
Then suddenly, later that evening:
Marion: Walter, where are you? We had such a wonderful evening. Walter? WALTER!!
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Stephen Sussman: Deb is aware of this; it seems the community property behind Glenville pod and Corbel, none of the palms were trimmed. Yuri was here…they’re gonna get to it whenever they get to it…pushing us back later…and making mistakes…I have tree branches over my roof…I don’t want to be responsible if there’s a storm and stuff comes down on my house. That’s your trees…they didn’t do the back, the whole length.
Deborah: I have spoken to Stephen, it is not that the whole length isn’t done, he feels certain trees…Stephen: they didn’t touch those trees. Deborah: that is what you are saying…they will be getting to you. Stephen: we have four storms in the Gulf. Deborah: the branches are not touching your roof at this time. Stephen: maybe someone from the Board should come to my backyard. Deborah: I’ve been there. Marion: we’ll look into it.
2. Miles Alter: Since the community is new, we have not allowed tag sales. We don’t want transient people coming into the community; this is a no-brainer. Also, the rear gate- the Agenda has to be clearer about what you’re talking about, because we don’t need to spend thousands exiting the community. Electronic voting – we don’t need it; we’ve been doing fine…Food truck – we might want to try one food truck; we don’t have to have an army of them.
Approval of Minutes: August 19, 2020 & August 28, 2020 Special Meeting – Lind Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of August 19. Second: Mark? [Harvey raised hand]; Marion: all in favor? Unanimous. Linda: motion to approve Minutes of August 28. Second: Eileen. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: Palm Beach Broward [landscaping company] – will be mowing the 4th, 11 and 14, 21 and 22, and 29 to 30. The trim crew is now in Angel Wing. It was to have been completed in Landon yesterday…storm this weekend…two trees down…Corbel irrigation, please add cost of repairs $2,337.10…Zoom classes…rear cameras- due to the storm we lost a router, there is a new router on order and added an additional one as a spare. The pool line – we are waiting for new equipment from Hotwire…Please contact 561-737-0462. Don’t leave a message…
[Editor’s note: no items were listed on the Agenda under Old Business, not even a discussion about pursuing Hotwire for all the money it owes to the HOA – see the August 28, 2020 synopsis and commentary, wherein we calculate a minimum of $72,000 owed plus $3,000 per month for every month that the voice remotes purportedly required by the written contract remain undelivered.]
1. Tag Sales: Should they be allowed?
[Editor’s note: no Board member was assigned this item on the Agenda.]
Marion: …there was a tag sale on the corner of Landon and Landon, and there were a lot of cars there.
[Editor’s note: Joan Ehrlich passed away on July 6, 2020 and this sale was likely conducted by her family; have a heart.]
Marion: by the time I got there, everything was inside…not allowed unless person called in…now the guards know. It is not in our new Rules and Regs.
Eileen: This was the children of a deceased resident, an estate sale. They may not be aware. I’m wondering why – next time if you see something like this, call us right away. Harvey: regarding the Rules & Regs, I could only find real estate signs, open houses. We need to put something in there; motion, I propose that we do not allow tag sales in Cascade Lakes…
[Editor’s note: this is hopelessly vague and really needs to be buttoned down. The idea of a garage sale where the items to be sold are outside is one thing; selling something inside your own home is entirely different. How is “tag sale” being defined exactly?]
Mark: estate sales? Marion: in my experience, those are held inside the house. Sue: I actually did research on this. Page 22, Article 8, Section B, certain restrictions…we could do that automatically.
[Editor’s note: it is on page 1-15 and we beg to differ. That section does not restrict estate sales or tag sales. It restricts the operation of, for example, a dental office in your home; i.e., you cannot convert your home into a dental office. You can run a side business in your home, and many residents do; that is entirely different from converting your lot into a commercial operation. It is silent on estate or tag sales and even a generous interpretation of that section would not support such a ban.]
Sue: Additionally, anyone who would consider a tag sale, you can’t sell something that is under a recall, you might need a permit, and under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, people selling are legally responsible. If they sue, I guarantee the HOA is gonna be part of the suit…Credit to Marty Brainin for holding onto everything [past association documents] …I would suggest putting it in the Rules and Regs…It fits better with Covenants…the issue only happened once or twice.
Eileen: …estate sales…call for an appointment…increases the traffic into the community…no place to park, and so it should be estate sales, tag sales, and garage sales. Harvey: estate sales are more like an auction…too much traffic, too much trouble…Marion: sidewalks…we could just say no sales…Harvey: tag sales, garage sales, estate sales, etc. Marion: Sue, bring this to the Rules & Regs Committee and have them come up with the wording. Sue: Joyce Winston is the Chair, and I have full faith in her and the entire committee…Harvey: next meeting. Sue: You will have that. Richard: can we prevent these sales [in the meantime]? Sue: I do believe the Covenants cover it. [Editor’s note: No, they do not.]Richard: we should let the community know that they shouldn’t do this. Sue: page 22, Article 8. Marion: I can put it in my weekly update on Tuesday. Deborah: the guardhouse has been alerted to that; no one is allowed in unless called by the resident. Sue: people do read the Rules & Regs…it would be terrible of me to make a blanket statement even if it were a joke. [Editor’s note: a prior statement was made that your Editor missed owing to the rapid rate of speaking.] Sue: I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions. Mark: tell the realtors when the people move in.
2. Electronic Voting for next Board of Directors election- Harvey Ginsberg. Harvey: …webinar the other day…becoming more and more popular. Florida Statute 720.317 re electronic voting; it is available to us. The advantage is you save money on postage and printing; people have to opt in. The cost of the ballots is reduced by more than half…three hours down to a half hour…increases member participation, reduces labor in tallying the votes…legal requirements – board resolution, members vote in, would have to run this by the attorneys…people can still vote on paper…one company pricing $750 for one vote. For $1,080 a year, as many votes as you want for a year. I would like to set up an ad hoc committee, maybe Marion, Sue, myself, to explore…come back to the Board with recommendations. Becker – have set up voting rolls…they walk you through the whole thing.
Deborah: I want to be included in that to see how it works. It wasn’t clear…about the mailings…Harvey: people have to opt in…Deborah: our attorney…working with Becker ballots…Marion: right now, First Service contract, do our mailings at no cost to us. We would still have to send out mailings about the candidates…not sure how this would gel together. Eileen: down the road this sounds like a good idea…Covid19 now…to me, in my opinion, it’s another stresser to have to deal with…once Covid19 virus is over…hybrid…go online, great idea…but we should wait. Richard: we are paying FirstResidential an administrative cost of $875 a month. We might be able to reduce that. Eileen: hybrid…Deborah: You’re gonna have to mail to everyone. Sue: 720 was cited and our By-Laws, page 3-4, Section E, you have to provide paper ballots. Is this cost effective. I read one article, a lawyer said not too many Florida communities are doing. VoteHOA Now and Inspectors of Election. I’m for – that we should try to get more stuff done electronically. What’s most cost effective. Management companies work closely – I don’t know if FirstResidential is working with Becker in any other communities they service. How would they handle proxy voting? ... A lot of questions, overlapping responsibilities…reach out to other communities.
Mark: there are several but I agree with Eileen…720.317 states – each resident has to confirm in writing that they wish to have online voting…Harvey:[Editor’s note: words to the effect of ‘people our age don’t like change’]. You have to send out…nominations anyway, so you include the opt-in/opt-out form…change is inevitable…at this point all I want to do is investigate it…Mark: I’ll poll the communities in my treasurer’s group. Eileen: we’ve been going through a lot of change lately – I’m not opposed to this; I’m opposed to this now…
Marion: Do we want to set up a committee? Sue: it’s a good idea to get the information…all change is threatening…
[Editor’s note: trust us, we know. When we make suggestions that involve change for the betterment of this community, a lot of people feel threatened.]
Sue: but the purpose of change is because something is immediately useful…
[Editor’s note: you mean like our Synopses and Commentaries?]
Marion: Harvey, myself, Sue on the ad hoc committee. Harvey: you don’t need a motion to do it. Marion: ok, so three of us will get together…
3. Rear Exit Gate: Add Barrier Arm $4,245
[Editor’s note: no Board member was assigned this item on the Agenda.]
Deborah: the exit gate in the rear – vendor are coming in and non-residents are coming in through the exit gate when a resident leaves the community. There is no arm there, therefore another intruder comes in. We have had the gate hit, damaged…right now, the camera is out. By putting in a new barrier arm, with a remote, that’s why it’s so expensive, it would prevent people coming in. There are no signs on the back gate that says the wrong way, do not enter. It’s constant, when a resident leaves, somebody’s sneaking in.
Harvey: People don’t wait…good idea…and wrong way sign…Mark: I totally agree about the sign, but I’m opposed to the barrier arm – we’re struggling to find money for landscaping, etc. Sign, camera, sure…I’m not for the barrier at this time. Deborah: if it’s not a resident, we can’t find the license plate…we don’t have access to the database…Richard: I’m more inclined to agree with Mark; let’s put up the sign first and see what happens. Our capital improvement budget is down to $20,000 and this is another $5,000 out of it. Sue: I completely agree; reading the contracts, warranties, only one year parts and service calls. Way too expensive. Warranty and service charges are kind of high. Signage outside – Pipers Glen – we need to reevaluate that…
Marion: we can’t use the money from capital improvements for landscaping. Richard: Correct, it has to come out of operating budget. Harvey: monthly maintenance, we have a contract with AT&I…no added expense for the maintenance…Richard: I did get Safety & Security budget…it can always be added into next year’s budget. Marion: motion to table this until the 2021 budget. Second: Sue. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous. Deborah: I’ll order a Do Not Enter sign. Harvey: Wrong Way sign. Mark: put it by the tag sale…
4. Food Trucks (2) – Eileen Olitsky. Eileen: Steven and I went on a research mission – a food truck in Boca – Cousin’s Maine Lobster. It was very orderly, opened 12 – 8. We waited about 25 minutes [Editor’s note: words to the effect of ‘but that was because there were a lot of people’].It was very crowded. Everyone kept their social distance, masks. We sat under a tree with another couple…it was delightful…Flyer from Bellagio – once every two weeks, one at lunch time, one in the evening…no one has called me back…Deborah: I’ll give you more information later…Eileen: I’m proposing we look into the first week in October for a food truck in the evening. Cousin’s Maine Lobster, usually from 5 to 8 – you can pre-order and pick up. If we put it at the far end of the parking lot, people can bring their chairs. Might be a nice event. My proposal is we start with the first, if successful, then twice a month. Harvey: second.
Harvey: Where to put it…where the knife sharpener is…at the end of the parking lot…Mark: clean up, chairs…do we have to guarantee a minimum? Eileen: I don’t know yet…
[Editor’s note: your Editor then typed into the “Chat:” “They are required to have insurance?”]
Mark: garbage cans? Eileen: last year it was proposed by Entertainment, the reaction was – not clean. Research – cleaner than restaurants. Other option – Saerina [Tauritz] came up with – I want to give credit - food on the Boulevard, you can park it somewhere in the middle and then have the sidewalks. You could even have music.
Marion: we got a “Chat:” we have to look into a few things, we have to check on insurance – workers comp, liability insurance, what else. Deborah: they’re all bonded. Marion: they need to be licensed by Palm Beach County. Deborah: licensed, inspected. Harvey: they have certificates from the Board of Health…Sue: a friend of mine lives in Bellagio…she said she would not go back again – she makes better stuff at home. [Editor’s note: what’s her address?] Sue: a major complaint - even with six feet distance, it’s kinda hot now. Logistically…the parking lot is limited now due to…construction. And on Cascade Lakes Blvd., what would that do to incoming and outgoing traffic…is it doable…is there a guarantee of how much they need to sell…I have no objection to getting information…
Mark: Delray, during their concerts, we can look into – all kinds…always a variety…once a month…Harvey: Eileen, you’re talking about October, starting to get cooler and snowbirds coming back. Looking into after the High Holidays…try it…we won’t know unless we try. Eileen: I will research three different food trucks…Marion: all in favor of researching the food trucks? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: why is a vote required for anyone to research anything? This makes no sense whatsoever.]
5. Palm Beach Broward Landscaping– Corbel irrigation controllers. [Editor’s note: an add-on to the Agenda per Deborah’s request as reported above in the Property Manager’s Report.] Mark: we’ve been getting letters. Proposal from Palm Beach Broward. A lightning strike caused Corbel irrigation to go out. #45-20 for $2,337.10. Ok, it’s a lot of money. Unfortunately, landscaping is the major part of our maintenance that we’re paying. Here’s another surprise – we are overbudget as it is. We have to do this or we have no irrigation…we have to set our priorities…I know the landscaping along Cascade Lakes Blvd. and in the front of the community needs to be done…and the pots…the landscaping committee is looking into a lot of things…I’m submitting #45-20 to the Board for approval…there were another two under $300 that Deborah could approve…
Harvey: Second. Harvey: Richard, is this landscaping or repair and maintenance? Richard: it would be a combination. It’s gonna be repair and maintenance but coming out of the operating budget. Mark: we went to the insurance company because it was lightning; we have a $5,000 deductible. We tried. Deborah: this controller was installed in 2019. Sue: in rather small print on the contract, it says a foreman will be on the job supervising contractor employees at all times. Mark: absolutely. Marion: all in favor of replacing the controller lost due to lightning strike on Corbel in the amount of $2,337.10? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Murray Gellen: [Editor’s note: muted.]
2. Judie Delman: the food truck. A lot of snowflakes are not coming back right away…because of the virus…so if enacted in October or November it may not have the same advantage because of the flu and the virus…yes, we do have insurance, but if someone gets food poisoning, the Board is allowing the food truck in here. Will we be attached in a lawsuit? Electronic voting: I’m for it, but I know a number of elderly people that don’t use the computer or may not understand what they’re subscribing or unsubscribing to…I want to ask – is Alex coming back into this community to be able to do things?
Marion: Alex was allowed to come back to finish the work he was doing, with his agreement with FirstResidential. Judie: He can’t come back? Marion: not in the agreement between them. Judie: so, he’s not allowed? Marion: correct.
[Editor’s note: If there is truly is such an agreement between Alex and the management company, FirstResidential, as Marion claims, why is FirstResidential allowed to have him enter the premises when the Board voted to ban him from the community forthwith pursuant to what the Board claimed was an emergency action which they later ratified at a Board meeting? It is bizarre to allegedly terminate him and then allow him back in to complete work, especially after the Board voted to ban him immediately. What about the unfinished work he has with members of the community?
What is clear here is that the residents are not getting a full and accurate explanation of the entire situation surrounding Alex Sanchez’ relationship, both past and perhaps present, with this community. What Board member(s) without authority gave permission to allow him back into the community for a limited purpose after the Board voted unanimously to ban him completely with no exceptions? What Board member(s) broke their own rule? Are the rest of the Board members comfortable with this and if so, why?]
Judie: food truck – how it affects us. Eileen: it’s similar to having a catered party here. Judie: I think it would be a liability of the community; should be questioned about with attorneys. Mark: I will ask the insurance company about that as well.
3. Jeffrey D. Green: Wycombe Avenue. Palm Beach County, Phase Two, what affect here? Marion: we don’t know yet. Palm Beach County is still discussing it.
4. Diane Fiorillo-Green: [Editor’s note: anger is detected in her voice]:we know what Phase Two is already in the rest of the State. There should be a plan in place. I would like to know what your plan is. You should have a plan. Marion: We need to have what Palm Beach County has in store for 55+. Diane: Jeff and I experience Phase Two all over the State -we go to hotels, pools, people don’t need to wear masks…Waiting for Palm Beach County is not an acceptable answer. What is your plan? Marion: we do not know what will change. Harvey: Palm Beach County webinar – Monday – shared their draft for Phase Two. It will be implemented in five different stages over five months. For example, bowling alleys, etc…If that works, then schools…to make sure we’re not gonna have an uptick.
Diane: Outside this county, life is normal. Harvey: Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade – three counties - account for the majority of Covid19 in the State. Diane: Two communities older than ours - pools are open, clubhouses opening – in Palm Beach County – they are open. How come they can do that and we can’t? Harvey: this is not the appropriate forum, just a political…Marion: this is what your Board has done; these are the rules we’re going by; until we know, we’re staying the way we are. Diane: [Editor’s note: spoken in a snide manner:] Of course you are.
[Editor’s note: the real reason Diane is itching for the pool to open is because it is her de facto office where she consolidates her power base. Side note to Harvey: this is another proper use of the phrase “de facto.” For those of you who need a reminder, this individual is the same person who posted on the Cascade Lakes Facebook page back in early June the following statement:
“And that is why the plan is to be outside the gates as much as possible!”
Here is a screenshot of that memorable post:]
5. Murray Gellen: [Editor’s note: no response; muting issues, and then suddenly, voila!] Murray: Good, I finally arrived! Is this still for participation? Marion: Yes. Murray: ok, I see a plethora of messages on the message board every day – I don’t dignify with an answer – I think the Board has to address immediately. If you have to establish morale in this community…has to address- the community grounds. I know there’s money involved…Palm Beach Broward has been with us for years; if you talk to the guy in charge, to correct the negligence of the trimming and what goes on. Number two, an unfair thing, I hear people crying about improving our open grounds; we’re not doing this. I know the problems on the Board. I served on it. I appreciate it. Needs to be something done about the morale; don’t tell me about this baloney about money. There’s a license in the documents – you can spend money up to a certain dollar. I see all this procrastination. Newer people don’t understand the dynamics. The Board has to take more action…The negligence going on with the maintenance is not fair to all of us…You need to address this or you’re gonna have a lot of unhappy people…patching a bench, cutting trim, Palm Beach Broward, these guys – you and I know the tractors- punishing us…
[Editor’s note: Murray spoke very fast, so I did my best to get down what he said in real time, manually by hand, and then I typed it up by hand from my notes and I tried to get this synopsis delivered to you as quickly as possible.]
Marion: It’s someone named Dennis. Murray: I’m sure he will acknowledge- it’s so persuasive [Editor’s note: perhaps the word was “pervasive”]. Murray: I as an old timer see the deterioration of the environment, but damn it, you need to come to grips with this to build morale in the community.
6. Art Ritt: Online voting…hundreds of thousands of voters…might be cost effective. With 600 homes, you can’t justify the expense. The estate sale: I’ve been to two dozen private home estate sales in gated communities. You call up, and they set up an appointment for you. They allow one or two people at a time. If I want to sell…a painting, that I could not have some type of advertisement…not 100 cars…but if it’s done in the right way…I have a right to sell something in my house. Usually listed under “estate sale.” Food truck: don’t start with lobster or sea food products. It is so costly and loses the quality in a matter of minutes. Introduce a general – salad, soups, sandwich to start. With a high-end product with such little…wrong approach. Start off with general, one with a multiple menu at reasonable cost.
7. Rosalie Feuer: My blood pressure went up. I want to thank you for the restrictions in our community and for listening to the regulations of Palm Beach County. I resent someone who is going off campus and bringing their germs from all of these unmasked places. Thank you for keeping us safe.
[Editor’s note: Thank you, Rosalie. Germs indeed: potentially killer germs. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We’ve been sounding these exact alarm bells for months now. Your Editor and Roving Reporter are the 24/7 caretakers of your Editor’s 95-year old father who presently resides on a hospital bed in our living room. Certainly, he qualifies as being one of the most vulnerable seniors in our community. We have to be hypervigilant. We wholeheartedly agree with Rosalie. And for the record, Rosalie’s demeanor and manner of expression were polite as opposed to Diane Green’s manner of expression.
Diane Fiorillo-Green aka Diane Green is young (in her 50’s) and in our opinion, and apparently in the opinion of others, has shown to have engaged in careless behavior such as she admits to on Facebook and elsewhere (see her post above wherein she asserts: “And that is why the plan is to be outside the gates as much as possible!”). This is the former Entertainment Chairperson who resigned in lieu of being terminated and the former faux pickleball president who resigned in disgrace after admitting to issues with that election process.
To us, in our opinion, her repeated statements mean that she doesn’t give a damn about any of you. This is the so-called ringleader of the group whose mantra is “New board, new rules” as laid out in the Editor’s Opening Monologue above and also on our News Site’s dedicated Pickleball page. The carefree, free-for-all attitude of this crowd is stunning. They are planning on putting one or more candidates up for election this coming March. Remember this at Cascade Lakes’ election time. We will most certainly remind everyone because we believe that this type of behavior is reckless and dangerous to those in the community who are most vulnerable, and that means most of you and your loved ones.
Round Table Discussion:
Harvey: I have nothing.
Linda: I know that there are a lot of places that need improvement in the community; it does take patience. I know landscaping and I know we’re over budget. Landscaping Committee and Palm Beach Broward need to meet to improve the community…truthfully, it’s very sloppy, messy looking…a lot of the sidewalks are very badly stained, besides the roads looking ugly. It does look like it’s not being taken care of…
Eileen: New Year’s Eve and Show Series – vendors have been fabulous…Wood & Fire immediately sent back our deposit check…we have cancelled New Year’s Eve, the Show Series…it’s officially cancelled…information on refunds to the residents will follow. Art, I just said I went to Cousins, and I will look at three or four food trucks. Rest assured, we will make the decision together. Lawn and house ornaments – on some properties it’s getting more expression than we need…should be going through ARB for permission…ornaments…look into the size…will be checking with Shelly [Andreas, Architectural Review Board (ARB) Chairperson] and Rules, CC&Rs.
A lot of difficulty - contractors coming in, parking everywhere, it’s very difficult for rescue trucks to come in and for people to park in front of their own homes. One side of the street. I’d like to look into that. Keeping up properties: landscaping is looking really shoddy; we look run down…if it requires an amount of money from the residents to get it done – we are twenty years old. Finally, trash cans, people are just in general not following the guidelines…reminders have to go out; rules can’t be broken the way they are.
Mark: Eileen has covered it all for me.
Sue: Regarding Phase Two, I want to respond to Diane and Rosalie. We carefully thought out a workable plan [Editor’s note: I believe she said with experts], but I agree, planning is necessary. Several webinars attended…at the next meeting we should have some ideas as to a plan; very few things changing. The County is opening up water fountains. Whatever we do, we have to plan for the emergencies better…Every emergency I had as an administrator happened at 2:45pm[Editor’s note: with school closing at 3pm]. We did have plans. Oversight: as Board members, we have an obligation to see what’s going on in the community…
[Editor’s note: Hint to Linda: Sue says you have an obligation to see what’s going on in the community; you could start by reading what residents are saying on the Cascade Lakes website’s Message Board and elsewhere, even our News Site. Ignore everyone at your own peril come your election time in March 2022. Same goes for you, Marion and Harvey.]
Sue: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. People who never complain are complaining. The problem is greater than we think it is. Palm Beach Broward – we have so many contracts…
Landscaping Issues Which Impact Security and Costs to the HOA and homeowners:
The following is a transcript of Arthur Andelson’s comments during the First Residents’ Input Session at the March 4, 2020 Board of Directors Meeting and Board President Marion Weil’s comment directly thereafter. Arthur's comments were regarding the failure of the Board to negotiate landcaping issues. The items on that Agenda included tree removal on Landon Circle and ficus replacements in various locations. This matter is now interwoven with security issues, and is also interwoven with the fact that homeowners are on the hook for additional costs to adequately secure their homes and the community with sufficient hedging to deter unlawful entry.
“Arthur Andelson, Landon Circle:
New Business Items 4, 5, and 6 totaling 61,702 dollars in additional payments to Palm Beach Broward Landscaping.
Before voting on these items I want to know is there a predetermined price breakdown in our contract with Palm Beach Broward Landscaping for these special assignments.
This price breakdown should be discounted because they are already here in our community with their workers and machinery.
They are supposed to maintain our landscaping by irrigating, grooming, and hopefully fertilizing our plants to keep them healthy.
For example, ficuses should be fertilized once a month during the growing season from spring to fall using either a fertilizer called 10-10-10 or an 8-8-8, diluted 50 percent.
Technically what is going on here is that the way the Board is doing business on behalf of our community is that you are rewarding them for not doing their job.
I don’t know if they are doing the required fertilizing because the items you have on the Agenda strongly suggest that they are not, otherwise why would they even be on the Agenda.
If there is no predetermined price breakdown in the contract, there should be an addendum to the contract by adding a Schedule A and negotiating these types of known issues in advance.
A sample Schedule A would list the following items with detailed descriptions and prices.
Tree removal categories should have listed amounts. There should be a Large tree definition and cost including a bundle rate if there is more than one tree involved at the same time. This template would be the same for Medium and Small trees. There would be a separate cost for the root ball.
There would be a Palm Tree category.
There would be a Bush category.
There would be a cost breakdown for plant replacement.
The cost of the plant should be no more than 10 percent above their cost.
There would be a spraying category.
There would be a tree trimming category.
There would be a sod replacement category.
And the labor cost of replacement should be broken down by the size of the container holding the plant or plants with bundle rates.
Why hasn’t this been properly negotiated with this major vendor which has a million-dollar contract with us?
Also, ficus are known to be hardy and full. If they were properly maintained from the get-go, there would not be a need for these types of additional expenses because they have been allowed to grow unmanaged.
Marion: ok, thank you everybody. Approval of Minutes, Linda.”
Sue: …budget for emergencies. Everybody who makes a complaint should be responded to. If we have to get experts in to get better deals or better contracts, then this is what we have to do.
[Editor’s note: This is unclear. Is Sue referring to hiring outside experts? If so, you want to spend even more money on experts when you have experts right here in the community, including yours truly, who are more than capable of doing the same thing or even better? This is not fiscally responsible if this is what you meant.]
Richard: Budget: there are contingencies built in, but this budget was done in October. Because of our landscaping expenses, we’re moving money around…Committee requests- there is a Zoom budget meeting September 23 and September 30 with committee chair-people …Landscaping will be reflected in our [new]maintenance fee…
Marion: Landscaping: I’ve been complaining about ferns from the beginning…working with landscaping; look for something that can grow in the shade and get rid of the ferns. I need a motion to adjourn. Harvey: motion to adjourn. Marion: approved by Linda. It’s 11:05am; meeting adjourned. [Editor’s note: Zoom access was immediately cut off.]
[Editor’s note: Once again, a big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meetings. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.
And so concludes the board meeting of September 2, 2020; next Board meeting: September 16, 2020 at 7:00pm. Cheerio until next time.]