10/20/21 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted October 22, 2021. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the October 20, 2021 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated in bold blue and pictures.
SPECIAL NOTICE: PAP WALKATHON 2021:
Elaine Cramer, on behalf of PAP, requested that we include this notice to everyone, and we are pleased to do so. Cancer affects everyone. No one is immune. Help everyone and your own immune system by participating and contributing to this worthy cause while engaging in a healthy walk.
The Walkathon is Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 9:00am. It is outdoors and travels along Cascade Lakes Blvd. Come on out and join the community! You can sign up as late as the morning of the event. Just show up at the pool deck and give your support!
There are also registration forms in the spinners. Or click on the link at the bottom of this synopsis for the flyer and more information. Mark your calendars now! Let’s all come together for a worthy cause!
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled:
“The Lawyer and the Shakedown”
An issue was raised during the Second Residents’ Input Session that was so important that we decided to forego our planned Editor’s Opening Monologue (which was all comedy but which we’ve put off for a future synopsis and commentary), and instead we are bringing you that resident’s comments and our commentary here, up front, and central. It’s anything but comedic, but it’s important.
So, without further ado, we bring you that portion of the Second Residents’ Input Session and commentary.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
3. Kenneth Kaplan as delivered by Vicki Roberts:
[Editor’s note: Ken is a new resident. Welcome, Ken! Ken was not able to make the meeting because he had an appearance in tax court, so he asked your Editor to read his speech. He also permitted your Editor to edit his speech for grammar, but those edits were very, very minimal.
The transcript of the comments at the meeting are in black; commentary that did not take place at the meeting but is inserted in this synopsis is in bold blue.]
Vicki Roberts for Kenneth Kaplan: Ken was not able to make the meeting because he has an appearance in tax court this morning, so he asked me to read his speech. I also asked him for his credentials so that I could include those with his speech.
Ken is a semi-retired CPA. He was employed by the world’s largest international public accounting firm for years. He then opened his own firm and is now semi-retired since September 2021. He passed the CPA exam in 1973. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has had years of continuing education. He is experienced in forensics, auditing, taxes, and business consulting and has 48 years of professional experience in the field of professional accounting.
His duties have included assisting large business clients in the planning and enacting of a fiscal plan. His experience includes working with regulated publicly traded companies auditing detailed collections and reportings of the expenditures and revenues involved in clients’ business operations and on behalf of various government agencies.
Ken asked this question at the October 18, 2021 Budget Meeting to the Residents, but was concerned because he felt he was not given an adequate answer. He pointed out that what was presented to the community was a budget-to-budget comparison as opposed to an “actual expenses of the past year” to “recommended 2022 budget” comparison. Here is what he says:
Ken: “My concern is that what was presented was a budget-to-budget comparison, which simply compares hunches or best guesses that could have been right or wrong to begin with. This is as opposed to comparing actual expenses to the new proposed budget, which would have helped owners focus on using factual information, rather than simply comparing hunches or best guesses that could have been right or wrong to begin with.
I'm a bit surprised however that the CPAs on the Board feel they have the leeway in deciding what information they CHOOSE to share or even to perhaps keep hidden rather than to follow a generally accepted practice. Our profession is based in a great part on the belief that it could be a slippery slope if allowed to pick and choose what financial information to present and what generally accepted information to delete.
I personally believe that the Board should focus more on those community members that do want to understand how their dollars are being spent. After all, those who are simply only interested in the bottom line will still have a bottom line by the Board doing the right thing, so in effect, the Board would be serving the entire community and not deleting those who are genuinely interested in knowing. Perhaps the Board will reconsider. I hope so.”
Vicki speaking now: So, in other words, the presentation did not involve actual expenses that were incurred in the previous fiscal year, or most of it, since the year is not yet over. The presentation only compared the previous budget which may or may not have lined up with the actual costs that were incurred in 2021 to the new proposed budget, since the budgets are only estimates or best guesses of what you think you might need for any given year.
Ken wants the community presentation to include an analysis and comparison of actual expenses to date versus the new recommended budget so that everyone can see the real numbers compared to what the recommendation is for 2022 and compare those real numbers instead of just an estimate which is what the 2021 budget was. That sounds reasonable and intelligent. Will you be taking his advice in the future?
First and foremost, we want to make it crystal clear that we believe 100% in the integrity and honesty of the Treasurer, Richard Greene, and the entire Budget Committee. The same is true for all Committees who submitted requests for fiscal year 2022.
We also recognize and acknowledge Board member/Treasurer Richard Greene, property manager Deborah Balka, and the entire Budget Committee’s extremely hard work in handling this monstrous job of analyzing and preparing the budget, which we understand takes months to prepare and includes an analysis of the actual expenses to date during the latest fiscal year. Thank you to all of you for your hard work and efforts.
But this has absolutely nothing to do with that. This has only to do with what is conveyed to the residents so that those residents with questions have something meaningful to review, analyze, and to be able to formulate intelligent and thoughtful queries. After the above speech was read, the following exchange took place, and we thought the reaction of Richard and Jeff toward Ken’s comments was unfair:
Richard: Jeff and I would like to meet privately with Ken, would like to discuss it further; what he said is not entirely accurate; it’s not fair to say anything until we meet with him. It’s important he know all the facts before he makes comments like that. Jeff: I’m not going to even comment on it because you’re 100% right.
Comments like what? A truthful comment that the budget meeting for the residents did not include a comparison between actual expenses and the 2022 budget? The tone and hostility coming from Jeff was extremely palatable. Why?
And what is not accurate in what the resident said? He never said you didn’t use the actual costs in your analysis and preparation of the 2022 budget. And why shouldn’t he speak publicly at the Residents’ Input Session about whatever he wants to with respect to community business? Isn’t that the sole purpose of the Second Residents’ Input Session?
All he said was that he wished you had informed the residents. That’s it. So why are you bashing him? Why the hostility? He’s a new resident and this is how you’re welcoming him? Why is it “not fair to say anything until we meet with him?” Why can’t he express his opinion without you guys getting all twisted into a pretzel? He’s not knocking what you did or your methodology; he’s just asking you why you didn’t present it to the residents.
We are reminded of a comment at a Board meeting by then-Board member and then-Treasurer, Mark Goodman, back in 2019 when we were new here and had questions and we were in line waiting to speak at the Residents’ Input Session. Mark looked at us directly and told us to “be quiet and learn how things are done around here.” We looked at each other in disbelief.
We will do no such thing. We didn’t take that absurd and outrageous advice then, and we will not take it now. That was just another example of an attempted intimidation tactic to shut us down. Needless to say, that failed miserably.
And now this same type of pressure is being applied to new resident Ken Kaplan for questioning the powers that be, and for merely making a suggestion. He’s being told “not to say anything” until they show him how things are done around here. Why? It sure sounds familiar, and we had a little déjà vu feeling there.
Richard: he received the report. Vicki: he says he did not. Jeff: it was mailed to him yesterday.
Oh, so he didn’t receive it; so, the resident is correct again: his statement as reported to me the day before the Board meeting that he did not receive it was accurate and the statement that he received it was not accurate. And you snail-mailed it to him? Why? Why not just scan and email it to him? Or make a copy of it and hand it to him?
We understand that he will be receiving it (eventually) and that Richard and Jeff, both CPAs, will be meeting with Ken, also a CPA. There seems to be an abundance of CPAs in Cascade Lakes.
Back to the issue, Ken is of course correct: where are the actual numbers, the actual expenses of what was actually spent to date so that we can all see what the actual costs were as opposed to just comparing the numbers to what was the published budget for the previous year which was only an estimate and itself came out in late 2020 for 2021.
Now that he raises this, it does seem pretty basic, and yet it is not done when presenting the annual budgets to the community. Richard’s response to Ken privately was that it becomes too confusing for the residents who just want the bottom line.
Ken’s response back was to focus the meeting on those who want the actual numbers, and the rest of the residents will still get the bottom line, so it’s a win-win situation for all concerned. There is validity to that point.
Why not give the residents both the actual-to-date costs and the budgeted amounts? Just add another column to the spreadsheet that was distributed to the residents for the actual expenses to date, and indicate it is up to the present, because obviously 2021 is not over yet. That would completely resolve the issue, wouldn’t it?
For some reason, Ken’s suggestion was met with hostility and unfair claims that what he was saying was inaccurate; in fact, what he suggested was not inaccurate, it was a fact (no actual expense numbers were given to residents) with a suggestion (give them the actual expense numbers).
But the best way to illustrate this, we think, is to give you one example of one line-item. Let’s pick an easy one: legal fees.
Also, that’s one we personally know a lot about, and we have the written evidence to back up everything we’re about to tell you.
The budget for legal fees for fiscal year 2021 was $12,000. The budget for fiscal year 2022 is $15,000, so they are allowing an additional $3,000 for legal fees. Why? What were the actual legal fees incurred to date in 2021? Are they in fact raising the amount allocated by $3,000 because they exceeded the amount estimated in the 2021 budget by about $3,000? Is that what happened? It seems logical. That’s a whopping 25% increase!
Why these hefty legal fees were incurred is a story in itself: spending your money to go after this News Site and its staff made up the bulk of this budget item and that was done without the entire Board’s knowledge because one or two members of the Board decided to act punitively on their own and the lawyer went along with it, a big no-no all around. All their efforts failed miserably, and your money was completely wasted.
For example, we had an irrigation dispute with Palm Beach Broward Landscaping when they failed to properly flag irrigation lines before a dig to install a propane tank in our backyard to feed our new generator, thus causing the irrigation line to be severed. We timely put in a work order specifically requesting that they flag those lines in the specific area where the tank was to be installed, an area of about 16 feet across by 4 feet wide.
Instead of sending someone from their separately designated Irrigation Division, PBB sent an inexperienced landscape worker from their regular landscaping crew who claimed there were no lines in the dig area. Well, surprise, surprise, there were, and the bobcat severed the pipe because PBB failed to flag it, and according to what the bobcat operator told us, had it been flagged, he could have dug around it.
PBB then demanded $550 from us to install and connect a new pipe, without a breakdown as to parts and labor. When we balked at that and demanded a breakdown, Yuri, PBB’s on-site landscaping manager, stormed off our property in a huff (the nerve of us, the unmitigated gall we had, to expect a breakdown of parts and labor).
They then begrudgingly presented a written breakdown of $70 for parts and the balance of $480 for labor ($480 representing 4 hours of anticipated labor at the rate of $120 per hour for two guys to dig the trenches and install the new PVC pipe). That totaled $550.00: $70 plus $480 = $550.00.
They wanted payment up front, and we were told by the property manager to make the check out to PBB directly (not the HOA, but PBB directly) and deliver it to the office. PBB would not start work without this payment in full up front.
Your Roving Reporter then dug the trenches himself, thus eliminating the need for that portion of the labor estimate. Therefore, their new labor portion was only one hour at their rate of $120 per hour. In fact, the on-site irrigation manager for PBB who supervised the job when it was finally done confirmed the one hour in labor as the total labor charge. So, the new total was $70 plus $120 = $190.00.
But, no. They were still demanding $550, because after your Roving Reporter dug the trenches himself, the job of installing the new piping still had not been done. This made no sense. Eventually it was done, and then PBB demanded $265.17 in a revised invoice where the same exact piping which was $48 suddenly appeared on the invoice as $240. Why?
They jacked up the same part 5x to arrive at their fake invoice amount. They then created a fake “discount” so bizarre that even the property manager couldn’t figure it out. The charge for the $48 PVC pipe remained listed as $240. The invoice made no sense.
And for good measure, they claimed they needed 40 feet of piping when in fact they only needed and used about 30 feet, and there was about 10 feet left over from the broken off pipe that was still usable and will likely be used elsewhere.
They took with them that original 10-foot pipe that was still good, plus the 10 feet of new pipe that they didn’t use at all but still charged us for, which was a total of 20 feet of piping.
The invoice, however, was never adjusted to reflect the actual amount of piping ultimately used or the fact that they took the extra piping that we (ultimately) paid for to use for a different job somewhere else. But we didn’t complain about that. Maybe we should have.
Home Depot in fact charges about $48 for that part and we presented a screenshot of that part online from Home Depot’s official website. So, naturally, we refused to capitulate to this obvious shakedown.
We refused to be gouged. The Home Depot prices for all the parts combined totaled a little less than $70, but PBB is entitled to have a small mark-up so the original estimate for parts, the $70, was accurate and honest except to the extent that it was for 25% more pipe than was needed. The $240 gouging price, however, was neither accurate nor honest.
A separate issue is that we were expected to pay for PBB’s negligence. The lawyers were sicced on us even though this was a private dispute between us and the vendor, and it was the vendor’s fault to begin with. Why else demand that we pay the original $550 to PBB directly if this were something other than a private dispute?
Interfering with that private dispute, one or two Board members (Jeff and probably Harvey) ordered the property manager to pay the entire disputed bill with HOA money and then go after us for reimbursement of the full, gouged amount.
Other Board members were left in the dark and knew nothing about it. We know this to be a fact because we asked them. The lawyer should have never engaged with one or two Board members and should have informed the entire Board and at least have gotten a quorum before dealing with any of them. The lawyers should be fired forthwith.
We refused to pay the gouged amount; but we decided to compromise, even though this was caused entirely by PBB’s own failure to properly flag the lines, and we said we would pay $190.00: $70 for the parts which was what the original estimate stated, even though it included 25% more piping than was used and they kept the extra piping which we paid for, along with 10 feet of the original piping that was still usable, and $120 for the one hour of labor indicated in the final invoice.
And that is what we paid: 100% of parts and labor ($70 + $120 = $190) even though they took some of the parts with them for use on another unrelated job for the future for which they’ll probably still charge the homeowner the full price for that future job. But why would we or anyone pay one cent more than 100% of parts and labor? And yet Jeff and presumably his wingman, Harvey, were demanding that we do just that.
Deborah, the property manager, who was caught in the middle of all of this, managed to miraculously resolve the matter by getting Jeff (and probably Harvey) to agree to the $190 and end what was clearly escalating, because we clearly were not backing down, and in fact, we were ready to take it to the mat.
The HOA potentially ate the difference because they apparently paid the amount demanded without our permission or knowledge and now wanted reimbursement from us for the higher amount. We have no knowledge of any negotiation the HOA had with PBB to wipe out the difference, and this vendor caused the problem to begin with, and this vendor collects a million dollars a year from its contract with this HOA.
Do you think this vendor would have balked at foregoing a few hundred dollars that they were gouging us to begin with and jeopardize that contract, especially since it was their own negligence that caused it? Of course not. But apparently the HOA paid them, and then was demanding the full amount back from us, because, in our opinion, Jeff’s motive really didn’t have much to do with PBB.
Now here’s the galling part: what did Jeff on his own or with his wingman, Harvey, spend of your money on legal fees, without telling other Board members, to go after us on this minor issue, which had it gone any further, would have ended up in court and the HOA would have likely been responsible for our legal fees and costs after we won the case in addition to paying the HOA lawyers to unsuccessfully oppose us. And what was the motive?
Legal fees charged for this issue alone totaled $2,746.56, plus there was the property manager’s time, plus the additional money the HOA paid PBB to make up the fake difference and then had the nerve to go after us for the overpayment they made. So, all of that totals approximately $3,000.00. We have the legal invoices.
So, if you were wondering why the legal fees for the 2022 budget added an additional $3,000 compared to fiscal year 2021, there’s your answer. And this is why they ended up exceeding fiscal year 2021’s published budget. The actual legal fees exceeded the estimate of the published budget by about $3,000 and it was on this irrigation matter.
And based on that, they increased the amount for fiscal year 2022 so they can harass us further on whatever other garbage issue they come up with. Increasing those fees only encourages further abuses because now Jeff has more of your money to play with to sic the lawyers on us for his whim at any moment.
This was most certainly punitive because the goal was to suspend us from the use of community assets and ultimately to put a lien on our house for the unpaid portion of this bogus irrigation bill. We guess that’s one way they thought they could get rid of us. Of course, it was an epic failure.
That is what they asked the lawyer to research: whether we could be suspended and whether they could ultimately put a lien on our house which if unpaid, would potentially result in foreclosure and then bye-bye to your Editor and Roving Reporter. That appears to us to be the true motive. What a nasty little scheme that they’re using your money to perpetrate.
Under this scheme, you as the homeowner are potentially really screwed because now this minor claim, which was excessive to begin with and totally improper, has now cost you several thousand dollars to extricate yourself from this nightmare not of your making. And if you failed to pay the lien, they could also commence the foreclosure process and take your house.
And did you know it took three separate lawyers at that law firm to commiserate about it and try to figure out what to do? Yes, one at $350 an hour, one at $305 and hour, and one at $275 an hour. The legal fees on this matter are from July 19, 2021 through September 1, 2021, from the start of the issue to the date we paid the $190.00 and the matter was closed.
Ultimately Deborah convinced Jeff (and likely Harvey) to accept our $190 and be done with it. Board member Sue Schmer was also integral to the resolution of this matter because she and Deborah came to our home on September 1, 2021 and that is where it was essentially resolved at that level because the next step was the courthouse steps, and frankly, our briefcases were packed and ready to go because this was a matter of principle, and if they could do it to us, they could do it to you.
What stopped us from striking first was the abhorrent thought of you all having to pay for the HOA attorney to defend what was essentially defenseless. We decided that we would hold fast to our position until the HOA attorneys actually sent a lien notice, after which we would have no choice but to unwind it through the judicial process.
But after that meeting with Deborah and Sue, Deborah took our $190 check to Jeff and presumably Harvey and convinced him or them to take it and be done with it. Smart businesspeople know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. That’s Poker 101.
If anyone believes that this was fiscally responsible, please let us know. So again, as to why the legal fees were increased by $3,000 for fiscal year 2022, a whopping 25% increase, at least now you have your answer, and giving them more money for 2022 only encourages this type of abusive, irresponsible, despicable behavior. So now if you challenge them, they have more money to go after you and force your hand, even if you’re right.
This is not fiscal responsibility; this is using your money as if it were Jeff’s personal piggybank to go after us. This is reason alone to remove Jeff Green from his position as president of this HOA and to vote him out of office when he comes up for re-election in 2023.
This is the worst kind of abuse and bullying tactics on any resident to whom he owes a fiduciary duty. In our opinion, this makes him the poster boy for abusive fiscal irresponsibility.
And remember, this is not the first time a Board member/president has sicced the lawyer on us; this is on top of the over $6,500 on previous failed attempts to shut down this News Site, plus the wasted legal fees used for trying to shove the virtual guard down your throats for which we spearheaded the successful opposition.
Jeff used that opposition to try to humiliate and discredit your Editor and that, too, was an epic failure (see the June 23, 2021 synopsis and commentary entitled “En Garde!”). And he hid his discussions with the lawyers at that time from other Board members. He also improperly caused Director Sue Schmer’s agenda item on that issue to be removed from that agenda, and then he and Harvey added that to the agenda at the meeting where they needlessly brought the lawyer, whose charges for that also appear on the invoices we have.
What a total waste of your money. It also caused horrible and completely unnecessary stress on a lot of people in the community. And removing another equal Director’s item on the agenda when no Director has veto power over another is reprehensible. And then adding that very same item to denigrate that other Director is disgusting. These are all abuses of power.
Jeff’s strong-arm tactics didn’t work on us, unlike they did with the News & Views magazine back so long ago when he, as Budget Chairperson to our understanding, purportedly strong-armed that group, which was then independent, to hand over the $35,000 or so in their bank account: see our January 6, 2021 synopsis and commentary entitled “Vacancy at the Bates Motel, Benched, and Pole Dancing” (the “BENCHED” section). News & Views was then subsumed into the HOA as a Committee.
We reported in that synopsis that this turn-over of $35,000 from one entity with a separate tax ID number to the HOA with its own separate tax ID number was likely a taxable event, even if it were styled as a “donation” because such a “donation” is not part of any assessment or any quarterly dues and therefore not exempt from taxation according to IRS rules per 26 U.S. Code Section 528(d)(3).
We didn’t name Jeff in that report as being the person identified to us who allegedly engaged in the strong-arm tactics as reported to us, but we’re naming him now. Remember this guy from that synopsis?
In our opinion, that’s a bully. And it’s coming from the Thug-in-Chief, the president of the HOA. This kind of thuggery needs to stop.
This News Site is hated and feared by some people in this community because they don’t want you to know what’s going on around here; it’s as simple as that. Because knowledge is power, and that’s a threat to theirs.
We ask two final questions, the first of which is this: how many of you have paid PBB for work performed on your property for minor issues for which you were separately charged a non-negotiable fee without a breakdown of costs and labor?
And that brings us to our final question of this report: how much might PBB have charged Director/president Jeff Green if the broken line they purportedly caused had been in his backyard?
So, when a resident asks for the actual costs to be presented to the residents, as CPA/new resident Ken Kaplan properly asked at the proper time, he is not being unreasonable or inaccurate in his comments. We also agree that the community should be apprised of what the actual costs for the year to date are as opposed to just a comparison to the previous year’s budgeted amount which is only an estimate. Add a column to the spreadsheet.
Two Board members publicly ganging up on this resident, for simply asking a question and making a suggestion at a public Board meeting, was reprehensible. We thank new resident Kenneth Kaplan for raising this critically important issue. He did not deserve to be publicly denigrated by two Board members. And now on to the Board meeting.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green, President (Equal Board member)
Harvey Ginsberg, VP (Equal Board member)
Richard Greene, Treasurer (Equal Board member)
Alan Silver, Secretary (Equal Board member)
Linda Arbeit (Equal Board member)
Bob Dingee (Equal Board member)
Sue Schmer (Equal Board member)
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Harvey Ginsberg.
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff thanked the Zoom operators. He made some announcements. Information concerning upcoming events is distributed via email and will not be repeated herein. Based on his comments, apparently Jeff still believes that we don’t exist. Obviously, we do if you’re reading this.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you want to speak, kindly raise your hand.
[Editor’s note: no residents wished to speak about the agenda items.]
Approval of Minutes: October 6, 2021 Board meeting: Alan Silver
Alan: Motion to approve the Minutes of the October 6, 2021 Board meeting. Seconded by Bob. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene [Editor’s note: residents received the report with the notice of the meeting and it is self-explanatory. Sue moved to accept the report; Alan seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: mowing is completed for this month as of this week…
Long Term Planning: Kathleen Spence: [Editor’s note: Kathy spoke and also read from a prepared report; as requested, she immediately emailed the report to your Editor with Board member/liaison Alan Silver’s blessing; we thank them both not only for emailing it to your Editor but for doing so in lickety-split time. It was immediate.]
"Project: Integrating New Residents into the Community
Because of limitations due to COVID 19, residents who have moved into the community since 2019 have not had the opportunity to participate in events sponsored by the Board of Directors and official committees of the Board that provide accurate information about the operation and opportunities of our community. In a joint effort of the Welcoming and Caring Committee and the Long Range Planning committee a plan containing a variety of activities was developed and presented to the Board to meet this challenge. The Board approved the plan and the following provides a progress report on those activities.
• The President’s Message in the News and Views includes a welcoming to new residents.
• The Board president introduces new residents who moved in during the month as part
of his introductory remarks at each board meeting.
• The Welcoming and Caring committee has planned a Newcomers’ Social for early April 2022. This traditional annual event will offer three dates for new residents to receive a formal welcome to the community and meet fellow newcomers.
To be scheduled by the Board:
• An evening meeting in the ballroom and simulcast on zoom to introduce Board members and their individual function on the Board and the committees operating on behalf of the community. New residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and
meet each other. (Originally scheduled for September.)
• An information meeting: “What is HOA life like?” (Originally scheduled for October.)
• A ‘bagels and coffee’ casual meeting for newcomers to meet each other and Board
members. This would be repeated as needed with rotating Board members. (Originally
scheduled for January.)
• Committee Expo early March. An opportunity for committees to share information with
residents so people could sign up in April.
The committee is also working the 2nd iteration of the resident survey and the realtor survey for board review. We are conducting visits to neighboring communities and preparing for an open house to the community to explain our plan for community of choice."
[Editor’s note: Kathleen mentioned the need for “accurate” information three times in her speech and also stated the need for “reliable sources.” We can’t help but believe that this was a jab at this News Site, so we ask: what exactly is inaccurate or unreliable about what we report? If you cannot prove it, then please lose it.
The implication that what we report is neither accurate nor sourced reliably is not backed up by actual facts; if we’re wrong about something, let us know and we will correct ourselves, as we’ve done in the past, since we’re not perfect. Otherwise, it’s just false accusations and that’s very unfair.
The Welcoming Committee was given a lot more money for 2022 and we know why: because they think they have a monopoly on reaching new neighbors and they don’t want anyone else, particularly us, welcoming anyone. And they want to control the narrative.
Welcoming Committee Chairperson Nancy Rowe made that very clear in her presentation to the Board on September 1, 2021. How sad. By acting this way, you’re actually being more divisive, and frankly, paranoid.
Apparent edict: no neighbors shall contact a new neighbor before the Welcoming Committee does. Please put a sign outside the new neighbor’s house that reads, “No Talking To Me Until The Welcoming Committee Has Greeted Me,” which may be months later, but too bad. Don’t talk to that neighbor under any circumstances.]
Budget: Mark Goodman: I want to thank our Budget Committee and others…
[Editor’s note: These items are still being ignored. Details are found on our page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
A. Rescinding illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote. –THIS RULE HAS BEING EXPANDED TO INCLUDE SECOND VIOLATIONS; THERE IS AN APPARENT OBSESSION WITH TRANSPONDERS.
B. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community
C. Improper use of HOA funds
D. Improper expansion of Presidential powers
E. Disabling of the Zoom meeting Chat function
F. Clubs and Their Asinine Rules -- HANDLED; RULES NEUTERED; AWAITING NOTICE TO COMMUNITY, NEW RULES TO BE SENT TO ALL RESIDENTS, & REMOVAL OF BOGUS PICKLEBALL CLUB RULES FROM HOA WEBSITE
G. Two incident reports
H. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members
I. Weekly email blasts; News & Views dedicated page for president; president assuming too many liaison positions that target communication and final decisions
J. Eliminate Liaisons To Vendors; Property Manager and HOA Attorney To Report To All Board Members
K. Expenditures That Are Not Revealed To The Community Need to Be Openly Disclosed; Where Does Your Money Go?
L. Message Board Suspensions
M. Webmasters Making Board Decisions
N. Communications With The HOA Attorneys
NEW ENTRIES ON THE LIST:
[none at this time.]
1. Update on facilities openings: Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: there was a lot of discussion on this; ultimately it was decided to relax the restrictions as follows:
Effective October 25, 2021, the clubhouse will be open 8am – 11pm and the fitness center will be open 6:30am to 11pm, seven days a week for both. Fitness center: maximum of 8 people for the cardio room, 4 for the weight room, and 5 for the yoga room.
Clubhouse: vaccinated guests will be allowed and it’s up to the resident to determine that. Functions will be allowed, but no parties, movies, or shows at this time. No more than 40 people in the ballroom. Microphones will not be shared and must be disinfected.
There will be no attendant after 4pm for either the clubhouse or the fitness center. Masks recommended but if more than 20 people then mandatory. Guard closes up at 11pm at his shift change.
Harvey made the motion and Alan seconded it. Linda was not comfortable with inviting in guests and neither was Sue. Here’s how the vote went down: In favor: Richard, Harvey, Jeff, and Alan. Opposed: Sue. Abstained: Linda and Bob. Therefore, motion passed.]
1. PBB Tennis Area - $1,750: (O) Arbeit
Linda: Proposal #84-21, delivery and installation of black edging, weed liner, yard chip rock…contrast…will look very, very pretty. I propose to accept…to beautify the sports center. Second: Harvey. Harvey: Blue? Deborah: no, like the opposite side, will match…with sign…Bob: edging around the sign? Linda: around the whole area. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
2. PBB Rear exit both sides - $5,595 (O) Arbeit
Linda: ficus removed, dirt exposed, shade element…these plants will grow in the shade… [types of plants] … and sod… #90-21, motion to accept. Second: Sue. Jeff: inside or outside the gate? Linda: inside.
[Editor’s note: a discussion was had about the 90-day warranty and that PBB usually replaces plants even outside the warranty without additional charge. Linda said that they have a good relationship with PBB. The motion passed unanimously.]
3. Office Computers (2) $1950 (R) – Green
[Editor’s note: the office computers are old, and they need new ones. Jeff made the motion. Sue clearly seconded it first; instead, Jeff recognized Harvey as the second to the motion. Harvey asked about transferring the data and Deborah said they would work on it. It passed unanimously.]
4. Grievance Procedure and Form- Schmer
[Editor’s note: Sue thanked Saul Roth and Joyce Winston, Chairs of the Grievance Committee and Rules and Regulations Committee respectively. This is a new form to use to request a grievance hearing from adverse action by the Board or by the webmasters, such as when they hit you with a violation notice or warning for a Message Board post.
We are thrilled that this procedure has now been implemented. We were deprived of this statutory right in the past on the whim of former HOA president Marion Weil and we very much appreciate that this is now implemented. Bravo to Sue, Saul, and Joyce and everyone else who worked on this. It gives us faith in our fellow neighbors and shows us that goodness prevails.]
Sue: …when someone disagrees with the Board or webmasters for the Terms of Service…state law: you have a right to a grievance hearing to object to the issuance of that penalty. Call the property manager’s office, request a grievance hearing form [they will also put it online under Documents on the HOA website], she will call the Chair of the Grievance Committee, the Chair calls the person, a mutual date is decided on, bring what you want.
This is private. The only thing the Board knows is what the decision is. The property manager will inform the Board and the resident as to what the decision was. It is confidential. It is final; by state law the Board has no right to review any decision. There is a form. [The form was shown to the residents on the Zoom screen.]
Sue: motion to accept the grievance procedure and form as written. Second: Linda. Jeff: I want to thank Sue and the committees for putting this together so quickly…did an excellent job. Harvey: add to the e-forms on the website. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Judie Delman:
[Editor’s note: Judie said the entertainment committee did a marvelous job. Secondly, there is the Delta Plus variant of Covid. She asked about liability issues now that the New Year’s Eve party has been relocated to Wood & Fire if someone drives home inebriated. She asked if this were discussed with the attorney. Jeff said they did not speak with the lawyer about it.
Judie was concerned because the flyer states 180 people inside and outside and it’s a buffet with unknown guests. She suggested that the Board discuss with the attorney any liability from a car accident due to inebriation.
She then stated she liked the lanterns coming in but wanted information about the columns in proportion to the other lighting. She wanted to see what it was going to look like for transparency purposes. She hoped it would be tall enough.]
2. Shelly Andreas: A request from the Landscaping Committee and Chairs, would appreciate if residents and those with dogs try not to step on or all the dogs to go on the newly planted sod and plants.
3. Kenneth Kaplan as delivered by Vicki Roberts: [see Editor’s Opening Monologue.]
4. Roberta Alter: [Editor’s note: Roberta wanted to know about redoing the clubhouse and stated it’s almost 21 years old. Alan stated that Long Range Planning is working on potential upgrades in concert with the community, and starting off with a survey, looking at what other communities are doing, and they are planning a town hall in the next couple of months.
Roberta stated that it would have been a good time while the clubhouse was closed. Jeff stated that it was refreshed seven years ago. Roberta stated it was more than seven years ago.]
5. Mike Blackman: in reference to the work request form, I’ve made an enhancement; you can now attach a photo to every work request online. [Editor’s note: very cool. Thank you!]
6. Howie Feuer: [Editor’s note: Howie was concerned that there was no staff person after 4pm manning the clubhouse because there are emergency situations. Harvey said, “that’s what 911 is for.” Howard then noted that when calling in to the office, sometimes he only gets a message. He said that before Covid, the clubhouse was staffed after 4pm. Harvey stated that there was not a lot of work for them to do.]
7. Steve Schlosser: [Editor’s note: Steve reiterated what Richard Levy previously stated at the last Board meeting about letting the community know about crimes that occur within the community, that it is public record, and that the previous Board already voted to do that. He asked, “why is this not being done and what is being done about it?”]
Steve: I’ve already expressed to you that you do not need the permission of the person, you have a duty…it was already voted on. Jeff: it wasn’t by this Board. [So what!?! This comment is absurd: is Jeff saying that all prior Board actions are neutered and of no force and effect?]
Steve: So, it was voted on by a previous Board and all of a sudden, you don’t do it? Report what is on the sheriff’s website. They consider it a crime, not you. Jeff: who’s gonna look at that website and look at it every day? I don’t have the time…
Deborah: possible, put the link on the [HOA] website, and those interested in it can check it out themselves. Sue: previous Boards make changes, and those changes are in effect until another Board changes them, the By-Laws and Rules & Regs only. Any changes to the Articles or the Covenants have to go to a community vote. Give me some ballpark time, and I can share what was passed.
Steve: approximately 6-8 months before the Covid shutdown; Marion was president. I brought it up, we got into it, I called for a vote, and it was 6-1; Marion was not in favor. Sue: I’d be more than happy to follow up. Harvey: put it on the agenda and vote; then if you decide to put a link, we can do it.
Alan: emails, I thought we had asked Safety & Security if they want to take the responsibility. Has that been done, Harvey [Board liaison to Safety & Security]? Harvey: I don’t know. Mike Blackman: we have on our website a category called “community links.” … I can easily add that to the list. Deborah: that would be wonderful. Jeff: we can definitely do that.
8. Jane Krive: Tell me besides Saul Roth who’s on the Grievance Committee.
[Editor’s note: Saul Roth is the Chair; and in alphabetical order there is Paul Friedlander, Gary Gerst, Arnie Gold, Phyllis Hirsch, and Eileen Olitsky for a total of six.
Having just been through this process with respect to an unfair violation/warning notice from webmaster Anita Goodman on a series of recent and multiple Message Board posts of your Editor which the Grievance Committee reversed in full, your Editor can personally tell you that this group takes its work very seriously and is an incredible group of wonderful people.
We are all very lucky to have these particular residents on this particular Committee, although we gently suggest that one of them not bring other work to work on during the presentation because the aggrieved person deserves your full, undivided attention and it’s the respectful thing to do. Other than that, we doff our hats to these residents.]
Round Table Discussion:
Harvey: I want to encourage residents if you have a breakthrough case of Covid19 to let us know; we will do it anonymously unless you ask us to publish it…we are guiding a lot of our decisions [based on what’s going on here] … there is no stigma attached.
Alan: no comments.
Bob: no comments.
Richard: if anyone has a question on the 2022 budget, feel free to call me… I’m not bashful; we can meet privately… how the money is spent is very important to the community…
Linda: dog walkers, pick up after them; people, don’t trample the sod and flowers. The Landscaping Committee, Shelly and Barry, are working very hard and can only do it if the community cooperates. I live on a berm; I see people leaving poop… Please be respectful of your neighbors. Pick up after your dogs.
Sue: I’m good.
Jeff: So am I…
Alan: motion to adjourn. Second: Bob. Sue: All in favor? Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: Meeting adjourned at 10:52am.]
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistants, Arnie Green and Anita Goodman, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the Board meeting of October 20, 2021; next meeting: November 3, 2021 at 9:30am: this will be the Annual Board Budget Meeting followed by a regular Board meeting.
Thought for the Day:
Sometimes acting on impulse is premature at best; it’s important to pause and think it through.
October 18, 2021: Happy 68th Anniversary to original owners, Stanley and Adele Roberts, your Editor’s parents. A big thank you to all the residents who sent their good wishes.
1. Don’t forget to join the community on the Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach Facebook Page, a place where you can interact and communicate! Click here:
Cascade Lakes Boynton Beach
2. Let’s all continue to congratulate our October Resident of the Month! Click here:
Resident of the Month
3. The PAP Walkathon 2021 is here! Pick up a registration form in the spinners, or show up on November 13, 2021 on the pool deck, and let’s walk to beat cancer! Click here for flyer:
PAP Walkathon 2021
Cheerio until next time!