Highlights from the October 19, 2022 Board Meeting:
“No Answers or Records for You!,”
“No Misinformation Contrary to the Claims of the Four Officers,”
“Campaigning At Official Board Meetings”
Welcome once again to the Highlights of the latest Board meeting. Only about 34 people (other than the technical people, the Board, and the property manager) showed up in the ballroom when the meeting started; an unknown number were on Zoom.
They didn’t let the Zoom people into the meeting until one minute before the meeting started; the people in the ballroom could enter and chat at any time. How about allowing that for the people on Zoom, too? Let them in at 9:15am or so and give them the same opportunities that the people in the ballroom have. It seems only fair to do so.
For newcomers: all seven directors are equal. Four are also officers: Jeff (president), Harvey (vice-president), Richard (treasurer), and Pat (secretary) with very limited administrative functions.
Despite the fact that they have those additional limited administrative titles, they’re still all equal directors in charge of managing the HOA. They often think otherwise, conferring on themselves more power than they actually have.
Part I: No Answers or Records for You!
Before I hit the highlights of this meeting, I want to mention the community budget meeting which took place on the evening of October 17, 2022. It was excellently presented by Budget chairperson Mark Goodman and was for the purpose of having resident input and questions after the presentation.
An owner who was the former treasurer and vice-president of the HOA had a couple of questions. The treasurer, Richard Greene, angrily and physically tried to grab the microphone away from him as he was trying to get clarification on a budget-related matter.
This is the second time Richard was rude to this fine gentleman; Richard previously told him he didn’t have time to answer his questions; that occurred a year or two ago.
Richard, with Jeff, also purportedly told another resident to “sue the HOA and win” if that resident wanted to see HOA financial records. The statute (720.303) requires the records to be provided. See the link to the October 11, 2022 Sun-Sentinel article at the end of this report for what happened to one local Association who took Richard’s and Jeff’s position.
The title of that Sun-Sentinel article is: “Boca condo board loses bid to withhold financial records from ‘troublemakers’” and it turns out the troublemakers were the condo associations’ treasurer and president, not the homeowner they accused of being a troublemaker.
That condo association is now on the hook for likely hundreds of thousands of dollars because they denied a simple record review request from a homeowner’s attorney. They lost in court on October 11, 2022. The HOA statute mirrors the condo statute.
The same thing happened to equal Board member Arthur as happened to the residents requesting financial documentation from Richard, our treasurer. Arthur repeatedly asked for financial documentation concerning the foreclosure Richard mentioned at a previous board meeting and was refused the information. To date, it has never been provided.
Richard also refused to share with equal Board member Arthur any financial documentation regarding the salary increases he and his colleagues were giving to the management company’s staff.
Richard demanded that Arthur attend what was an illegal closed board meeting if Arthur wanted to have that information. Arthur refused to violate the law (720.303) and to date has never been provided with that financial information either.
(No closed board meetings are allowed except for pending litigation discussions with the HOA lawyer and to discuss personnel matters, but the HOA doesn’t have any personnel. These are FirstService Residential’s employees, specifically not the HOA’s employees, and it says so clearly in their contract, which I have personally reviewed.
Five members of the Board met anyway, and Director Arthur refused to attend or participate in this illegal closed board meeting. Director Sue also reports she did not attend or participate either.)
If Richard repeatedly won’t share financial data and documents with an equal board member, it’s no surprise that residents’ requests for answers, information, and documents are also shot down.
This is the opposite of transparency. What is he hiding? What is he afraid of? Why are some other board members protecting, condoning, and coddling this behavior?
Part II. No Misinformation Contrary to the Claims of the Four Officers
Jeff’s Opening Remarks:
Jeff used his opening remarks to try and discredit reports made by this website as well as statements made by Arthur. Jeff claimed that there was misinformation reported. Nope.
The four officers sent out an email on October 4, 2022, urging residents to come to the meeting so he could clarify the record on what they claimed was misinformation published by this website. This was a colossal backfire because court records and actual statutory language prove our reports right and accurate, and completely refute their claims.
Jeff made three points, presumably on behalf of the four officers who signed that email: himself the president, Harvey the vice-president, Richard the treasurer, and Pat the secretary. The first one is the most glaring of the three because it’s so easily refutable.
1. First, he said that there was no delay in the foreclosure matter and that the attorney is taking action.
A check of the Palm Beach clerk’s website shows this foreclosure action was finally filed on October 3, 2022, notably the day before the four officers’ e-blast to the community through the property manager’s email. That strongly suggests that their email blast was calculated.
The house in question is abandoned as the neighbors know. A review of the complaint on file with its accompanying exhibits which is on the Palm Beach County clerk’s website reveals the following:
The wife died first and the husband died on May 2, 2021. Delinquent maintenance dues started as of July 1, 2022, two months later. Demand for payments were not sent out until almost a year later, on March 21, 2022 and May 10, 2022, and they were sent to the deceased owners at the [abandoned and vacant] house address on Dove Hollow Avenue.
The Claim of Lien (Exhibit B attached to the Complaint) was dated May 17, 2022 and signed by treasurer Richard Greene on that date. Maintenance dues were delinquent as stated in this exhibit as of July 1, 2021, a year and three months before the foreclosure case was filed and almost a year after the delinquency began.
All of this information is public record in the court file. Just look at the Complaint and its attached Exhibits. It’s all there.
So claiming there was no delay is belied by the actual facts and documents taken from the county website. For those of you interested, the case number is 50-2022-CA-009812-XXXX-MB.
There was no misinformation reported by this website, me, or Arthur, contrary to the four officers’ email to the community and Jeff’s opening remarks at this Board meeting. There was a delay. A big delay.
2. Second, Jeff said there were no illegal meetings because the HOA lawyer said they were legal because it was to discuss “personnel issues” and “attorney client consultation.” Just because the lawyer claims that they are legal does not make them legal. The statute is clear and in plain English and his pronouncements fly in the face of its clear language.
The HOA has no personnel, which everyone seems to acknowledge, and the statute does not allow for closed meetings for “attorney client consultations.” It only allows for “pending litigation” discussions with the lawyer and discussions about personnel of which there are none.
It’s a lot more restrictive than either Jeff or the lawyer is either willing to admit or understand. Again, it’s in plain English: see Florida statute 720.303(2).
There was no misinformation reported by this website, me, or Arthur. They secretly met with the attorney to discuss matters other than personnel and pending litigation. And they did so with your money.
3. Third, he complained that board protocols vis-à-vis communications to the community were not followed. He is correct that if a board member communicates with a resident, he/she should do so on their own behalf and not on behalf of the Board.
However, if a Board member wishes to so communicate with a resident, there are no protocols indicating that such communication would be improper because it just wouldn’t be improper. And actually more communication is better than less communication. And each board member has an independent fiduciary duty to each resident.
He then complained about posting(s) on a private website “trashing” fellow board members. This website reports the facts and then comments thereon.
If any board member is acting outside the scope of his or her fiduciary and/or financial duty, it will be called out.
If any board member acts in a way that clearly shows animus toward other board members and residents, it will be called out.
If any board member breaks the rules, it will be called out.
That’s not “trashing;” that’s called checks and balances. As you will see in this report, he and other board members continue to treat Arthur and Sue dismissively and condescendingly.
And they continually have a real problem with transparency. They refuse to work with Arthur on agenda items. They don’t communicate with him for the most part, he is left out of the loop, and he and Sue find out things during Board meetings while the rest of the board members know about them in advance. It goes on and on.
Sue then spoke from a prepared statement she wrote. For the record, neither I nor Arthur saw it in advance and we heard it for the first time when everyone else did. Some residents have falsely claimed that I write her speeches; I never have, that’s just more lies circulated to contribute to the goal of character assassination.
I haven’t written Arthur’s either. He’s perfectly capable of reducing his own thoughts to writing and does so all the time. So the nonsense residents claim to the contrary is not based on actual facts and is literally made up, fabricated, and created from whole cloth.
Sue decried the four officers’ email blast through the property manager’s office and called it improper, disrespectful, and unethical.
Sue: “What I am about to say is based on principle and not on personalities. I believe that the recent actions of the officers of the board that were put in writing to the community regarding this meeting without the knowledge of other board members were improper, disrespectful and unethical.
We are supposed to be conducting Association business and not our own. It would be proper procedure to respond to the sender’s website and not use a Board meeting to do so.
If there is any more proof as to why we need a Board Best Practices document, it is manifested in our Board meetings and interactions with each other…
This constant bickering and arguing is unhealthy for the community, is divisive, and on occasion, unethical and certainly antithetical to what you say you want – teamwork, courtesy, respect, and acceptance of opinions that differ from your own. There is a reason why members do not want to run for the Board and it is on display almost on a daily basis.
Our primary responsibilities are to maintain the common areas, ensure compliance with governing documents, and conduct the association’s financial business. We need to use our meetings to fulfill them and not for any other purpose.”
I want to thank Director Sue for publicly calling out this despicable display by the four officers and presented by Jeff for what it was: “improper, disrespectful, and unethical,” among other things, including untrue and misleading.
Part III: Shutters Shuttered
This was New Business #8 on the agenda.
As most of you will recall, Director Arthur heard your calls for the ability to put up your shutters, at your discretion, in a weather emergency. He sent an email to the rest of his colleagues on the board and posted his proposed motion for all to see, which was slightly tweaked to include “at your own risk” in the language.
He promised you he would put it on the agenda, and he kept his word. When it became apparent that the motion would fail, he revised the motion to try and get it passed. Here is the revised motion:
Motion: Motion to Amend Rules & Regs Sections 2(a)(iii) and (iv):
The following replaces Rules & Regs Section 2(a)(iii) on page 4-2 of the governing documents:
“Notwithstanding anything stated to the contrary herein, if any of the following occurs, shutters may be put up, hung, installed, employed, and/or closed at the homeowner’s discretion and at their own risk:
1. if a state of emergency dealing with weather conditions has been declared for Palm Beach County by either state or local officials, or
2. if a hurricane watch or warning has been issued by an official government agency, or
3. if the property manager issues a notice permitting it.
The following replaces Rules & Regs Section 2(a)(iv) on page 4-2 of the governing documents:
“Notwithstanding anything stated to the contrary herein, shutters must be removed from windows and doors no later than 72 hours after the state of emergency has been lifted, the hurricane watch or warning has been removed, or the property manager issues a notice requiring removal.”
Resistance ensued. Arthur made some serious points which I am bolding for emphasis.
Arthur: The reason I said state of emergency is that gave the residents an additional two days to prepare… snowbirds… to set up people to come in and put in the furniture. It allows the residents, the members, the time needed before waiting for the warning or the others, because it may be serious enough to give the residents enough time to evacuate.
…I don’t feel like restricting the members or residents from protecting their property is the way to go. I want to expand it by picking these three items. Thank you.”
More resistance. And then Arthur pointed out a very serious point as to why his motion should pass:
Arthur: “If it’s in the By-Laws that restricts the members from doing something, and they don’t do it because they’re following the By-Laws, and damage does happen to their house that could have been avoided, then whose responsibility is it?”
Jeff: Let’s vote on Arthur’s…
Arthur was asked to re-read his motion which he did. Audience members were heard agreeing with Arthur’s motion.
After going back and forth about this simple language, in predictable fashion, Arthur’s motion was defeated 2-5 with Sue and Arthur voting for it and the rest shooting it down. The Gang of Five is alive and well. A few audience members were seen raising their hands in support of Arthur’s motion when Jeff called the question.
Then, Jeff surprised some board members with a prepared motion about shutters which was not on the agenda, and Jeff’s motion passed 5-2 with Arthur and Sue opposing. Here’s how that went down:
Jeff: “…I believe our hurricane procedures are adequate right now… In the case of any other weather-related potential storms or other weather disasters, you may at your own discretion close your shutters as long as after the weather passes you open or remove said shutters within 24 hours.
And I would have this put into the Rules and Regulations as specific rule number 2… I would add “and other related storms.” He later said the phrase to be added was “and other weather-related storms” after Arthur pointed out the heading referred to hurricanes only.
Then Pat, who understood Arthur’s point, asked Jeff for permission to modify the heading and Jeff said that “Rules & Regulations would find a place to put it properly.”
Sue stated, “I think that 24 hours is way too soon” and queried why it was less time to take them down than to put them up.
That’s true; twenty-four hours to remove shutters is really putting unfair pressure on owners, especially snowbirds, who have to arrange for their removal.
Sue tried to amend Jeff’s motion to include Arthur’s points but of course, that was shot down. Sue: “…would you agree to that because that is very specific.” Jeff: “no.”
The real reason in my opinion that this went down the way it did is much more sinister: under no circumstances will some Board members vote for anything proposed by Arthur, plain and simple, and to heck with what’s in the best interests of the community.
It appears that the same protocol is used for Sue’s motions. I base this conclusion on the history of the voting of this group.
In this case, what would have been in the best interests of the community is flexibility to protect your assets during a declared weather emergency by allowing you to put up your shutters.
In any event, as one resident noted on the HOA’s message board, he’ll take the potential “violation hit” because he’d rather be safe than sorry, so he’s going to do what he believes is in the best interests of protecting his home.
I’m reminded of an old FAA rule I learned in flight school: for the safety of the passengers, in an emergency you may break every other FAA rule.
First Residents’ Input Session (highlights only):
1. The entertainment committee chairperson got up and was annoyed. “Whose bright idea was it to add Bingo to the agenda and waste everyone’s time and money…”
And there you have yet another disingenuous and rude comment, this time from a committee chair. I’m not sure what money was wasted and actually this was one of the few agenda items where the expenditure of money was not involved. But accuracy is not this individual’s forte.
This was expected because this person does not like boundaries and doesn’t usually let rules or honesty get in her way. I say that not as an opinion but based on her behavior observed by many.
(Lying to people to fraudulently induce them to sign a recall petition to remove Arthur from the Board is one example that immediately comes to mind; falsely telling them he committed two felonies is defamation per se. This is but one of a number of examples.)
This well-known liar, the entertainment chairperson, then made up yet another completely false statement and attributed to me something I never said at the one Splish Splash Bingo I attended at the beginning of the year. While bingo was on the agenda, bashing other residents was not.
She falsely claimed that I said something when I won and went up to collect my winnings. At the time, I danced, I smiled, and I thanked both she and her husband as I collected my money which I believe may have been $20. They smiled back at me and were equally cordial to me. That’s it.
In fact, at the time, I even commented to Arthur afterwards how the two of them behaved themselves during that brief exchange and that it was both pleasant and professional among all three of us. And Arthur responded at that time, “that’s the way it should be.”
Later, in an email, this entertainment chairperson made up a non-existent nasty statement and attributed it to me, claiming falsely that I stated it when I was collecting my winnings, which I never did. Now she repeated this lie during her diatribe at the podium at this board meeting.
I immediately called it out as slander, which it was. I said I was not going to allow fabricated slander, which it was. This type of vicious slander should be called out immediately, and if it happens again in my presence, I will call it out again.
The good news is that her track record of lying and corruption is well established (see June 15, 2022 Board meeting highlights, entitled “Explosive: Lies Exposed, A Smoking Gun, and Vindication.” See the link at the end of this report for some of her fibs and fabrications).
This known liar also went on to complain falsely, bizarrely, and nonsensically that Arthur and I were “sabotaging bingo.” So, according to this Liar-In-Chief, following the law is sabotaging bingo. That’s a consistent attitude for a chronic rule breaker, so no surprise there.
This is the same liar who purchased a projector with HOA money without the entire Board’s knowledge or a Board vote at an open board meeting with required resident input.
She appeared visibly agitated. She ended by describing herself as a “fed up resident” which is the same nomenclature used by the anonymous email senders of hit pieces attacking other residents.
After she made that statement, some in the small audience, like good Stepford Wives, applauded this Liar-in-Chief. To Harvey and Jeff’s credit, they both immediately admonished the audience not to do that. Thank you both.
2. A resident supported changing the Rules & Regs to allow homeowners to prepare prior to a hurricane. He said he supported modifying the present Rules & Regs. He thanked three Board members for their responses to him. Arthur was one of those responses.
Treasurer’s Report: [this was attached to the meeting notice and is self-explanatory.]
Property Manager’s Report: she asked residents not to honk at and curse the guards if they are having trouble getting in via the transponders on their cars and to instead come into the office to get new ones.
Why are residents honking at and cursing the guards at the front gate? What’s wrong with you people? Get out of your car and politely explain your predicament. Or, if that’s too difficult, use your cell phone and call the guard from your car which is presumably stuck at the front entrance gate just a few feet away.
Why are some of you so darn nasty? There seems to be a proliferation of nasty people here. They’re easy to spot; they immediately try to turn you against people they don’t agree with.
We say, be friends with whom you want. They say, if you’re friends with us, you will be demonized, harassed in and on common areas, ex-communicated, and made to feel uncomfortable. You decide.
1. Entertainment: [flyers and emails to follow for all planned events.]
No other committees made reports for this meeting.
1. Mailbox Ad Hoc Committee/Project Update – Pat Nast
Richard reported for Pat (they, along with Sue, comprise the ad hoc committee) that they’re working on it with the chairperson of Long-Range Planning in terms of upcoming planned town halls to educate the residents. He stated a community vote is required.
See the links below for the actual law on mailboxes, what the Federal Postal Manual states, what our governing documents state, and what the cost to you is for your neighbor’s neglect of his mailbox.
1. Irrigation Clock Angel Wing pod / PBB / $2500 – Harvey Ginsberg
The clock that regulates the irrigation was apparently broken and it erased the programs and the start times, so a new one was needed.
Arthur suggested this was really Old Business and Pat and Jeff immediately denigrated him, in direct contradiction to what Jeff complained about in his opening remarks.
Pat said it was “silly” and Jeff said in a dismissive way, “it’s something so trivial.” If one of them or their preferred board members suggested it, the condescension would have not been there. Leadership and condescension are not synonyms.
Arthur noted that paragraph 3.2 of the FSR contract allows the property manager to make these decisions without a Board vote to protect the property and did not understand the vote because it was already authorized under their contract and already ordered and replaced before the Board meeting.
I reviewed the last sentence of paragraph 3.2 of FSR’s current contract, and Arthur is 100% correct. This issue falls within that authority. No prior board approval is required.
The operative phrase in that sentence is “without first obtaining the approval of the Association.” (The Association operates through the Board.) The property manager did this, and it was perfectly proper under her contract.
Clearly other Board members didn’t understand this. Jeff, again dismissively and condescendingly said, “so no one says we don’t have a vote; if you don’t want to vote, abstain.” The vote was 6-0-1 with Arthur abstaining.
New Business Item #s 2 through 5: these all passed unanimously.
2. Clubhouse Plants & Sod / PBB / $1915 – Harvey Ginsberg
3. Sod Replacement Landon Circle / PBB / $5275 – Harvey Ginsberg
4. Cascade Lakes Blvd Sod / PBB / $13,340 – Harvey Ginsberg
5. Mulch Proposal / PBB / $6750 – Harvey Ginsberg
Not sod. Mulch. Or, if you prefer: Sod? Not so mulch.
6. News & Views Computer / $684.98 - Richard Greene
This was the purchase of a computer for the HOA magazine, News & Views. Richard stated it was to facilitate downloading and printing, as the current computer is seven years old and does not permit certain necessary functions to be performed.
This was approved 6-0-1 with Arthur abstaining because it was already approved by Richard and purchased three days before the Board meeting. So how could Arthur vote for something already approved and purchased? That made no sense.
Richard, the treasurer and Board liaison to the News & Views committee, apparently advised the Board after the fact that this purchase was made.
Regardless of whether or not the purchase was justified or would have received a unanimous vote, the fact that it was done in advance without the knowledge of the entire Board or a Board vote and without the required resident input is troubling and contrary to the open meeting law (720.303).
This is the same thing he did with the entertainment chairperson’s purchase of a projector, and he is also the board liaison to that committee. He permitted that purchase in secret without the knowledge of the entire Board and without a Board vote at an open meeting with required resident input. This pattern is deeply concerning.
This computer issue falls once again on treasurer Richard Greene and whoever else on the Board knew about it and voted to authorize it in secret and prior to the Board meeting. Why couldn’t they have waited just three days and done it right?
7. Pool furniture cleaning / Stanley Steemer / $1141.71 – Jeff Green
Self-explanatory. This passed unanimously.
8. Shutters: Homeowner’s Discretion In Emergencies – Arthur Andelson
This was reported and discussed above in Part III.
Part IV. Bingo!
9. Addendum to By Laws - Bingo games - Sue Schmer
At the last Board meeting, Arthur pointed out that bingo at HOAs is strictly controlled by Florida statute 849.0931. I covered this issue in the September 21, 2022 Board meeting Highlights entitled, “The Barefoot Contessa, Interruptus and Chatterus, Illegal Committee Spending and Gaming, and Mailboxes: Paying for your Neighbor’s Neglect.”
Bingo proceeds were illegally used to buy a screen for a movie projector without the knowledge of the entire Board and without a board vote and also in complete violation of the governing statute. You cannot do that, period. You either donate the excess proceeds or you provide free bingo to the members at the next bingo event.
Once again, the treasurer, Richard, who oversees the Entertainment Committee, seemed to have no problem with this as he defended the purchase of not only this screen but also the aforementioned projector from Entertainment Committee ticket sales without the knowledge of the entire Board or a board vote at an open meeting with the required resident input before the vote.
So now we have three things in a very short period of time that Richard has authorized without the entire Board’s knowledge, without a Board vote, and in secret without a meeting with required resident input: a projector, a screen, and a computer. And that’s what we know of.
And this was also done in close proximity to his signing a so-called “Board Resolution” which was hidden from at least two Board members, done in secret, where he attested to his status as a CPA in a Florida document where he has never practiced and where his New York license hasn’t been active for over a decade, something the Florida statute strictly prohibits.
Arthur put everyone on notice of the bingo statute, which is in plain English, at the September 21, 2022 board meeting.
Nevertheless, afterwards, the recreation committee chairperson aka the Barefoot Contessa (see September 21, 2022 Board Meeting Highlights, hyperlink below), who is married to the entertainment chairperson who calls the bingo numbers when she’s not busy spreading character assassination and lies about me and Arthur, put out a flyer that invited everyone of all ages to bingo (“Fun for all ages”), and touting the jackpot as being the “balance of the CASH.”
The plain English statute prohibits the playing of these cash bingo games to anyone under 18 years of age and the maximum payout cannot exceed $250, so the flyer encourages two separate violations of the law.
Picking and choosing what laws to follow and which ones to ignore, or which parts to ignore, creates chaos and inconsistency and sets a tone of lawlessness.
Since the statute in question is written in plain English, either individuals were too lazy to read it or deliberately chose to ignore it. Some people thrive on chaos, inconsistency, and lawlessness.
Sue moved to add to our By Laws bingo rules consistent with the statute. Here was her motion:
Sue: “Motion - to be added to section P of the By Laws [after the first three subsections]:
4. The HOA, committees and clubs shall be in compliance with Florida statute section 849.0931 including, but not limited to, the distribution of proceeds and the age requirement for participation.”
The Gang of Five, of course, in predictable fashion, balked at the idea as being unnecessary. I guess if it’s not in the By-Laws then only the statute can be ignored as opposed to the statute and our governing documents both being ignored.
I see their point. Why violate two things when you can only violate one? By the way, the law imposes criminal liability and penalties: a misdemeanor and then a felony for a second offense.
The resistance from the rest of the Board except for Arthur who seconded the motion was predictable.
Sue: we were not in compliance with state law. Add to section P. This was mine, and I do believe that on many occasions we have changed the By-Laws; we’ve added rules and regulations that were not [previously] in compliance. This is nothing new. For example, the flag issue, definition of residents. This has nothing to do with any person.
Jeff said it was “ridiculous,” once again being dismissive of and condescending to a fellow board member contrary to his own complaints.
Arthur: this was brought up because money taken from bingo was used to purchase HOA property. It’s not about taking fun away. It’s about following the rules. Section 14 says it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. Now the community is aware, and we just put it in the By-Laws. No biggie.
Jeff: at the presidents’ meeting, I asked, did you know about the statute? Some did, some didn’t. Not in their Rules & Regs. [Who cares? We live here, not there.]
Richard: I feel the same thing. We’re gonna stick with the law. There’s probably gonna be other things we don’t follow… [That’s an interesting comment.]
Sue: this is circular reasoning. If everyone was aware of this then there wouldn’t be a need. There’s a need because nobody knew. Not every state statute. What we have now is not proper. I will not debate it anymore. You know where I stand on Rules & Regs and I often stand alone and that’s ok.
Sue and Arthur voted for it; the Gang of Five rejected it. So it failed. Will the Recreation committee flyers be updated to remove the invitation to minors and the unlimited jackpot language?
Second Residents’ Input Session (highlights only):
There seems to be a lot of angry people in this community. That’s unfortunate. Residents got up to the podium, and they seemed so angry. It seems as if the truth bothers them. They don’t want it publicized. Let’s see what they said.
1. A resident stated, “Arthur, you and Vicki have good hearts and mean well for the community. You’re handling everything in not a good way.”
That’s his opinion, to which he is entitled, but he then bemoaned that I should just report what happened at the meetings and “shouldn’t make comments.” Huh? You’re telling someone not to comment? You yourself just made a comment. Would you tell yourself not to comment?
Apparently, the naysayers can make comments all over the place but just not me and Arthur (and presumably others who are like-minded). It doesn’t work that way.
He also stated, “I don’t think it’s a spouse’s place to make comments” but didn’t explain his reasoning. I assume he meant a board member’s spouse. There was zero authority offered for his contention and it was a nonsensical statement in my opinion.
Later during the Round Table Discussion the president’s wife made a comment and no one complained.
Maybe only certain board member spouses are allowed to make comments according to some of these people, and they actually may only comprise a small group overall. Less than three dozen people in a ballroom out of a total of 1,288 residents is hardly a consensus and not all of this 2 ½% of the community were towing the party line.
And that’s after the four officers sent out a community-wide e-blast through the property manager’s office on October 4, 2022 urging people to come on down and support their opinions about others challenging their opinions, and falsely claiming that misinformation is being circulated, presumably by this website. And they did that using HOA resources.
One or more of them is also denigrating me, other Board members, and other residents in and on common areas, using News & Views, and using the attorney with your money to try and silence and/or intimidate another board member and residents.
They even bumped up the budget allowance for the HOA lawyers from $12,000 in 2021 to $15,000 in 2022 and now $25,000 for 2023. A significant portion of that money was wastefully spent on harassing me and Arthur.
All of this suggests their intention to continue to misuse their positions of authority. None of it is successful. It reminds me of that old saying: “A universal characteristic of insanity is inflexibly doing the same thing over and over while hoping for different results.”
Now back to this resident’s comments. Fact: every single member without exception has a right to comment on board business. This is so basic that it’s very bizarre to hear these comments coming from someone who I always thought was intelligent and of reasonable mind. Perhaps I gave too much credit in that regard.
This resident said that he felt that it was as if I were on the Board and that it’s like Arthur and I have “two votes on the Board.” Sorry, but that also made no sense whatsoever to me and to others.
He then said people are asking him “to analyze Vicki’s comments.” So first he doesn’t want me to comment, but then he states essentially that he’s being asked to comment on my comments. So again, only others are allowed to comment, including him apparently, but not me. If someone can explain to me the sense and logic of this, please send me an email.
Take-away: you, sir, are opining about what I’m opining about. Your opining is ok, but my opining is not. Got it.
2. An angry resident saw fit to denigrate board member Arthur and falsely claimed again that Arthur is not his own man but is merely my puppet. He said I was the puppet master.
First of all, it’s puppet mistress. Second, this is nonsense. Arthur is not only an equal spouse in our personal lives, but he is an independent thinker on the Board. So is Sue (not my spouse, but an independent thinker), who was also denigrated.
This type of low-class made-up gossip serves no beneficial purpose and serves a more sinister purpose. These are the same people who complain about this website, which reports facts and includes opinions based on those facts.
In their minds, it’s ok for them to trash and bash to their heart’s content, to have and say their opinions out loud, and facts and truth be damned.
Their comments lack substance, are accusations without factual bases, and hence lack credibility.
They assert over and over again that I should not publicize my opinion while they publicize theirs all over campus continually and incessantly.
It doesn’t work that way. Opinions are not only reserved for the elitists or individuals who act like elitists here and those who agree with them.
And also, if you make false claims and engage in character assassination, you will be called out, plain and simple. If you stop making false claims and engaging in character assassination, there would be no report refuting it because it wouldn’t exist.
This approximately 6’6” large man also referred to a board member, clearly Director Sue, who does not reach 5’ tall, as “1/2 a board member” and falsely accused her of “aiding and abetting” Arthur, whatever that means.
This type of low-class personal attack is more of a reflection on the speaker than anything else, and it reflects quite badly. This is just classless thuggery.
As an aside, at the beginning of the meeting, this man was seen in deep conversation with the entertainment chairperson, the aforementioned Liar-in-Chief.
3. Another angry resident was again very perturbed about a former resident visiting our community and using our amenities as multiple residents’ guest.
The angry resident complained again about it, having complained at the last board meeting. For reasons unknown, she appears to have clear animus toward this former resident and is gunning for her.
Deborah, the property manager, explained to her that if a resident invites this former resident in, she has every right to come into the community, just like this complaining resident’s guests can do and anyone’s guests can do.
This resident wanted more information and specifics as to which residents Deborah talked to about this specific former resident, and the property manager politely and properly told her that it’s between the property manager and the residents to whom she spoke.
This angry complainer got angrier, and then made an astounding comment: “what about transparency?”
This is astounding to me because this website, along with Directors Arthur and Sue, is all about transparency, and this resident is part of a group of haters that are focused on the opposite. So I guess to this resident, it’s “transparency for me, but not for thee.”
The property manager held her ground to her credit.
Please note, Ms. Angry Resident, that you don’t get to dictate who invites whom in here unless there’s a really compelling reason to keep someone out, such as known pedophiles and axe murderers.
What if someone didn’t want one of your guests here because of some inane reason or personal animus? Honestly, who the heck are you to carry on about other people’s friends and guests?
At the last board meeting, this angry resident stated that this guest is here seven days a week using the facilities. After investigation, it’s my opinion that that claim was and is false, as that guest reports a work schedule and other obligations and commitments that preclude such claimed usage and other information which refutes the claim.
The guest/former resident reports that she actually works Tuesday through Thursday and has appointments on Mondays and Fridays, has only ever gone on alternating weekends to the pool as an invited guest, and has also been spending time elsewhere visiting her partner.
She also states she has never gone to the health club (presumably she means the fitness building) or pickleball since she moved out. She doesn’t play tennis.
So the angry resident’s complaint appears to me to be personal, unfriendly, and completely disingenuous. And this angry resident is on the Grievance Committee of all things. How is this person unbiased with this type of intense animus and inappropriate complaint? To me, this individual is one angry lady with questionable judgment.
4. The Chairperson of the Rules and Regulations committee (who was also the former HOA president) claimed that laws in Florida “are effective October 1st because that’s the fiscal year.” That’s completely incorrect; the effective date of a statute or law and the Legislature’s fiscal year are completely unrelated, and now I’m going to prove it to you.
Virtually every law includes the date of effect at the bottom of the state senate bill from which it arose. Some take effect upon enactment, some have a July 1st date, some have a January 1st date, to name three examples.
Pick almost any statute you want, scroll to the bottom where it shows you the history of it from the state senate, and copy and paste that into your browser, and then scroll to the bottom of that, and you can see it in plain English for yourselves. Try it with a couple of different statutes and you will see exactly what I’m stating.
Let’s take for example statute 720.303, the HOA open meeting law. The history at the bottom says that it came from “ch. 2021-99” among other places.
Put that in your search engine (“ch. 2021-99”) and then click on it. It’s entitled, “Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 630.” Yes, it’s redundant in the title. At the very bottom of the document (scroll down) it states: “Section 27. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.”
Fiscal year has absolutely nothing to do with a statute’s effective date. I want to thank the chairperson of Rules & Regs for giving me the opportunity to correctly explain statutory effective dates. This is a very similar process that occurs in other states as well.
Part V. Campaigning at Official Board Meetings
Round Table Discussion and Adjournment:
Only Sue and Jeff spoke. Sue thanked all the people involved in presenting the budget. She said Richard as treasurer did an outstanding job on the budget. She also thanked Deborah. She also stated:
Sue: “Regarding the comments made about me. I believe in free speech. I am an independent thinker. I do believe in free speech. Say whatever you want as long as it’s factual and truthful.”
Bravo. Some residents disagree with her, so it’s a good thing we have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which, apparently, they have an issue with. I recommend going to Venezuela, North Korea, China, and some other countries notable for their lack of a First Amendment or its equivalent to see how that really operates.
Jeff started his campaigning early. He mentioned that he and Harvey were up for re-election (he didn’t mention Director Bob who is also up for re-election).
He stated, “they can keep bashing me, I don’t care” and he stated he wasn’t sure if he would be seeking re-election but that “residents are urging us to run again.” This is called campaigning and attempting to sweeten the pot to his advantage.
He said, “I don’t know if I’ll run again, whether I will or not; it’s no biggie to me.” His wife in the audience was heard twice saying, “it is to me.” Apparently, she as a spouse of a Board member is allowed to comment with impunity. So some spouses are allowed to comment but others are not. I think I got the rules down straight.
Is it at all appropriate for a board member up for re-election to do that at an official board meeting? Are the future candidates in competition for his seat also going to get to speak at an official board meeting about their candidacies? The answer is resoundingly “no.”
If you want to get your message out, board member Jeff, buy a slate mailer and have your flyer mailed to the 600 homes. Or wait like every other candidate for the candidate statement form and submit it just like everyone else. You’re all equal candidates at election time.
But I believe it is wholly inappropriate to use an official board meeting to promote or even discuss your candidacy when no other candidate other than some favored current board members have that luxury. It’s an abuse of your current position. Exercising my First Amendment rights, that’s my opinion.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:42am.
Thanks for reading, and to all of our wonderful neighbors and readers, thank you again for your unwavering support!
Your faithful scribe, Vicki Roberts
Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad, Cascade Lakes original owners Adele and Stanley B. Roberts, who celebrated their 69th Anniversary on October 18, 2022, having married on October 18, 1953. Well done, Mom and Dad!
Hyperlinks To Happiness:
1. More on Mailboxes: Mailboxes
2. “Explosive: Lies Exposed, A Smoking Gun, and Vindication:” June 15, 2022 Board meeting
3. The Barefoot Contessa, Interruptus and Chatterus, Illegal Committee Spending and Gaming, and Mailboxes: Paying for your Neighbor’s Neglect: September 21, 2022 Board Meeting
4. Sun-Sentinel October 11, 2022 article, “Boca condo board loses bid to withhold financial records from ‘troublemakers’”