10/21/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted October 25, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the October 21, 2020 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary indicated in bold blue and in our red Notice below.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines commentary thusly: “An expression of opinions or offering of explanations about an event or situation. ‘an editorial commentary.’”
This edition of the synopsis and commentary is entitled:
“DEFLECTION AND PROJECTION”
Several Board members defamed and disparaged this News Site and its staff during the October 21, 2020 Board Meeting by falsely claiming, among other things, that what we reported in our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (Three Dog Night) was a “rumor” which should “die” per president Marion Weil’s edict, among other disparaging remarks. In our opinion, this is just an attempt to continue to cover up alleged malfeasance by attacking the messengers. We address these false and defamatory statements below as they appear in the meeting.
We note that in response to a resident’s question, Board member Harvey Ginsberg essentially admitted that the project was more than just the fences and did, in fact, include the swing gates (see below). In the Round Table Discussion, Board member Linda Arbeit, by her own words, essentially confirmed what we wrote about additional expenditures being “put off” (not cancelled, but “put off” which is what we reported) (also see below).
Our report is also confirmed by the language contained in the official Minutes from the March 18, 2020 Board meeting which six Board members approved (one was absent). That language is also included below in our report. We have put the Board member admissions below in red for ease of reference and we also quote from the actual approved Minutes.
Not one Board member has refuted or denied the facts we reported in our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (Three Dog Night). Some are throwing poison darts toward us, but they have not denied the truth of the story. One would think that would be the very first thing they would do if the story were false, but they are silent as to the reported facts. We invite you to draw your own conclusions based on the evidence.
We stand entirely by what we reported in the October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (Three Dog Night). We recognize the push back by these Board members for what it is, in our opinion, an abuse of authority and improper use of a bully pulpit to smear us when they are called out for their alleged bad behavior.
We are not an “unofficial” HOA/Cascade Lakes website or a website that is “not official” as one Board member falsely claimed: we are an official and independent News Site. The HOA does not own either a copyright or a trademark on the name “Cascade Lakes” or the word “synopsis.”
We demand that these Board members retract, cease, and desist their slanderous statements and we reserve all rights.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
We had an Editor’s Opening Monologue ready to go, however because of the seriousness of this issue, we made the decision to delay the monologue story until the next issue. Therefore, without further ado, we begin.
Cambridge English Dictionary: “a change of direction, or the act of preventing something being directed at you.”
Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves by attributing them to others. (Sigmund Freud, Case Histories II (PFL 9) p. 132).
For example, a bully may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target. It incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping. Hotchkiss, Sandy; foreword by Masterson, James F. Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism (Free Press, 2003).
In layman’s terms, whatever they’re accusing you of doing, they’re the ones doing, and this includes victim blaming and bullying. Keep that in mind as you read our report.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
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.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Linda. [Editor’s note: Linda had a flag; the Board stood.]
Sue Schmer: Point of order. An abstention is not a yes or no vote. It means you choose not to vote…
[Editor’s note: thank you, Sue; this is exactly what we pointed out in our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (Three Dog Night) after Marion erroneously stated that an abstention was the equivalent of a no vote.]
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Marion never provides this News Site with her pre-written and pre-prepared opening remarks and announcements for your benefit, so we move on.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Chuck Cramer: nighttime pickleball play – Palm Beach County is in Phase 3. It’s reasonable for the Board to allow us to extend play…please consider opening evening play for pickleball.
2. Judie Delman: .my opposition to moving on for the next 12 weeks for anything that is going to affect keeping people six feet apart. In the pool they do not stay 6 feet apart…consider keeping things the way they are…to keep the situation in tow, I ask please not to increase anything…during the next 12 weeks.
3. Howard Olarsch: …I had sent letters to the Board…I bicycle every morning…a Board member’s husband walks in the center of the Boulevard and now it’s an epidemic…I asked someone can you stay on the sidewalk…said, ‘why don’t you just fall off your bike and break a leg.’…excuses…roadways are for bicycles and cars only…I see more and more people strolling in the center of the Boulevard…for years, and no action taken. Upon my death my wife is going to sue Cascade Lakes.
Approval of Minutes: October 7, 2020 – Lind Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of October 7, 2020. Second: Sue. Eileen: on page 2, on Round Table, said Goodman second, Richard Greene, unanimously approved. I think that’s an error. Linda: Roberta on the phone raised her hand. Supposed to be when the meeting adjourned. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
4. Roberta Alter: [back to First Residents’ Input Session] Thirty people in the pool; I go four to five times a week…people do not social distance when there’s 20 in the pool. To increase to 30 with the numbers rising in Florida is a huge, huge error.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene [Editor’s note: the report was emailed to all residents, is self-explanatory, and will not be repeated herein.] Marion: motion to approve the treasurer’s report. Harvey. Second: Linda. …Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: Palm Beach Broward [landscaping company] – mowing will be next Monday and Tuesday. Will be short one mow for the month… [other items we note are covered by e-mail blasts from the office.]
1. Facilities: Phyllis Martin-Hirsch, Chairperson, Facilities Committee:
[Editor’s note: Phyllis Martin-Hirsch was kind enough to email the Editor her report for the benefit of the community; thank you, Phyllis. Here it is copied and pasted exactly as provided:]
- Identification of crooked cable boxes will be completed by the end of this week.
- Estimates for resealing the roads are complete.
- Estimates for community signage are complete.
- A committee meeting is scheduled for October 29th at 3 pm.
- The agenda: discussion and recommendation of vendors for roads and signs. The committee will present it's recommendations to the Board after careful consideration of the pros and cons of each proposal.
2. Engineering: Larry Jacobowitz: the engineering committee met, reviewed for the roof, fitness center, guard house. Richard Greene will give the findings.
[Editor’s note: there are four matters that the Board apparently refuses to place on the Agenda, and by not doing so, this creates unnecessary divisiveness. This divisiveness rests squarely on the Board. Here they these important matters, in random order:
A. Hotwire: The allegedly missing voice remotes: All of our previous synopses and commentaries have been based on statements made at the August 28, 2020 Board meeting. At the October 19, 2020 Board Budget meeting, when questioned about the voice remotes by Leonard Tannen, Marion suddenly stated:
Marion: “we got everything that is in the contract.”
The clear implication was that the voice remotes are not in the contract and therefore aside from begging, we are essentially out of luck. This is in direct contradiction to statements made by Board members at the August 28, 2020 Board meeting, per our August 28, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled “Remove Me/Hotwire.” At that meeting, we reported the following as having transpired:
Richard: “We were promised voice remote…Harvey: “I would propose we…demand the battery backup and voice remote…Motion: 2. Demand system up – battery backup and voce remote cable boxes.” Marion: “Second.” … Sue: “That stuff is already in the contract.”
So, which is it? Is it in the contract and the Board therefore made a motion to essentially enforce the contract, i.e., demand compliance by Hotwire, or is it now what Marion stated at the October 19, 2020 Budget Board meeting, to wit, “we got everything that is in the contract.” Both representations cannot be true. We immediately requested in writing a copy of all Hotwire contracts (consistent with our statutory right). In the meantime, a resident mentioned the issue and those comments are reported below in the Second Residents’ Input Session.
We promptly received the 47-page Hotwire contract which was signed by then HOA president, Paul Friedlander, on February 9, 2017. Paragraph 13 appears to be a complete waiver of any and all damage claims, be they direct, indirect, or consequential. We would never agree to such a waiver and cannot understand why this paragraph was allowed to remain in this contract. It is essentially a “go pound sand” clause.
This should never have been allowed to remain in the contract, and if it were not removed prior to signing, then the HOA should never have contracted with this company, because with this clause the HOA has no monetary rights of redress of any grievances.
Voice remotes are not listed as an entitlement under the contract per se. Under Section 5h, however, voice activated remote controls are available if Hotwire has made them available to any property within the county within the past 12 months of said upgrade being made available. Therefore, it first has to be determined if another property in the county has the upgrade, and then a demand needs to be made.
It was incumbent upon the Board to have made this clear. Instead, we have conflicting statements by Board members which resulted in confusion and anger which was totally unnecessary had the Board been clear and transparent from the start. These conflicting statements caused unnecessary divisiveness and this divisiveness rests squarely on the Board.
B. Clubs improperly making their own rules: On October 15, 2020, we sent the following email to the Board:
Re: Pickleball Club’s Illegal Rules and Regs
Please add to your next Agenda a definitive statement and vote that clubs are not permitted to have their own Rules & Regs…
We then quoted the Rules & Regs Chairwoman’s committee report and our own commentary from our October 7, 2020 synopsis and commentary.
This item was not placed on the Agenda, even though one Board member, Sue Schmer, called such practice out at the last Board general meeting when she stated:
“In the statutes and in our documents, it is the Board ONLY that determines the use of the common areas and any violations from them.”
Not addressing this critical issue also causes divisiveness because residents are in disagreement as to what rules apply and to whom. It also appears that the Board is allowing factions within the community to control the behavior of others and who gets to use the common areas. This divisiveness rests squarely on the Board.
C. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community: Also not on the Agenda is a vote to rescind the banning of Alex, the former handyman, from the community. Notwithstanding the fact that said ban is still the rule of the community, apparently, he is being allowed back in without restrictions. This is no way to run an organization: making a rule of prohibition and then breaking it for those in the know. This is also the opposite of transparency.
Additionally, this creates divisiveness because some people know about it and some people don’t, and some people are now using his services and others are still afraid to. It creates stress among those who do not know and who see a neighbor using his services. If he is seen on the premises, people wonder if he should be reported. Others know that he should not be reported.
It is unconscionable that the Board has not advised the community, because by not doing so, they have created a two-tier system for residents: those who are in the know and those who are left out of the loop. So which rules should be followed and by which residents?
We will have a full report on this matter in our next synopsis and commentary. We completed a full interview of Brad, the former maintenance man who replaced Alex and subsequently quit, and we also have a follow up interview with Alex. That was to have been our Editor’s Opening Monologue to this synopsis and commentary, but we wanted to stay focused on the serious issue at hand. Stay tuned. In the meantime, this causes unnecessary divisiveness and this divisiveness rests squarely on the Board.
D. Rescinding the vote for the $62,710 fence and gate: On October 17, 2020, per a request from a resident, we emailed the Board asking them to add an item onto the Agenda rescinding the vote which was made on March 18, 2020. We stated in that email:
“The reason for the rescission is that there appears to be a conflict of interest in that Board member Harvey Ginsberg failed to disclose his alleged personal benefit from this project and furthermore, there is no evidence of any security issue, so it appears to have been voted on under false pretenses in our opinion. For a detailed discussion of it, please see our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled "Three Dog Night" on our news site, CascadeLakesResidents.com.”
This item was also not placed on the Agenda. Instead, we had a diatribe by a few Board members about the issue and some statements made by them which were questionable at best, and which we respond to in detail as they appear below. For example, Marion called the matter a “rumor.” It was not a rumor; it was literally discussed by the Board at the March 18, 2020 Board meeting. In fact, the official Minutes of that meeting, which are posted on the Cascade Lakes website and which were approved 6-0 (Mark was absent) state exactly:
“2. Fence for Cascade Lakes Blvd. (1,2) (NB) Rapid Fence- Marion Weil made the motion to put fences on north and south sides of Cascade Lakes Blvd. and two pedestrian gates; 2nd- Harvey Ginsberg; Motion was amended: Gates [sic] to be put on north and south sides of Cascade Lakes Blvd. not to include pedestrian gates at this time using Rapid Fence $23,990- Motion- Marion Weil; 2nd-Harvey Ginsberg; For the motion: Jerry Dinerman, Linda Arbeit, Marion Weil, Eileen Olitsky, Harvey Ginsberg; Against the motion: Alan Silver. Motion passed 5-1-0”
This is entirely consistent with what we reported in our March 18, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary:
“Item 2: Fence for Cascade Lakes Blvd. Marion: south side of the fountain almost to the island of the guardhouse. 316 feet. $10,550. The north side is 332 feet, $10,820. Three channel, one post. The pedestrian side gates $2,620, mechanical. Alan: One at a time. Eileen: two at the same time, then next year for the gates. Harvey: I agree, we need to plan for the whole project, $62,710. $38,700 swing gates. Some will have to go for a community vote.
Marion: we’re not doing the gates. [Editor’s note: that’s one way to avoid a community vote, do it piecemeal so it doesn’t reach the threshold amount requiring a community vote.] Harvey: do the fences now, the pedestrian gates next year, the swing gates the following year, if we can get it done so we don’t need a community vote…”
The official Minutes specifically state that the total is $23,990, but when you add up the numbers, that includes the pedestrian gates ($10,550 for the south side fence, plus $10,820 for the north side fence, plus $2,620 for the pedestrian gates equals $23,990 which is what the Minutes state), but the Minutes then specifically exclude the pedestrian gates.
So, the Minutes themselves are inherently inconsistent: the total amount stated includes the pedestrian gates, but the verbiage specifically excludes the pedestrian gates. There is no mention of the $38,700 swing gates because that is supposedly being put off for two years per Harvey’s statement on March 18, 2020 and confirmed at this Board meeting below in his response to a resident’s question.
Therefore, Marion’s deliberate and misleading statement that this is just a “rumor” is dishonest, an abuse of power, a gross manipulation, and done solely to discredit this News Site. Other Board members’ piling on in their attacks about our report are also disingenuous. We address those comments as they appear in the meeting.
Our report was and is accurate; you are always free to decide for yourselves whom to believe: the News Site with the actual evidence on the one hand, or the Board members who are telling you otherwise and in spite of and contrary to the evidence on the other hand, and without any evidence to support their claims. You decide.
In any event, this divisiveness rests squarely on the Board.
So, there you have it, four critical matters and not one of them is on the Agenda. Not addressing each one of them creates divisiveness which rests squarely on the Board. And now on to the food trucks.]
1. Food Truck – Past & Future events – Eileen Olitsky. Eileen: I’m pretty excited…we have a line up…That’s Amore…walk up; they don’t want pre-paid…The Philly Grille…Captain Lobster Rocking Seafood…we had a problem with Out of the Box…Chimichurri Empanadas ad Grill…Hip Pocket Delicious Desserts…I’m thinking of the 4th after election day…the popularity of the food truck is enormous…
Marion: I’m drooling…Eileen: chairs- great idea if we weren’t in COVID19…bring your own chairs, masks, sit while waiting for their food and then take it home. Sue: Thank Eileen and Harvey for investing time…Eileen: my iRobot is trying to get in the room…Harvey: motion to book lobster truck and Hip Hop Dessert for the 4th [of November]. Linda: Second. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
2. Roof Replacement – $347,700- $496,600 (R) Richard Greene. Richard: the roof is over 20 years old…continually finding leaks, spent $50,000 in the last three years…our insurance premium is higher…we received six proposals, the engineering committee met with three…start by January, complete no later than April…decided on two, Latite Roofing and Pegasus. Recommend Latite Roofing because $40,000 cheaper…Latite was used by the original builder; we’ve been using them for 20 years…$265,000 in the general reserve for the roof. There is no need for an assessment to cover the shortfall of $82,000…
Mark: motion subject to review by the attorney to look at the contract for Latite $247,700. Second: Eileen. Sue: reading the two contracts is like reading Greek…Richard: the contract…is with the attorney…I was very impressed with the engineering committee and Deborah and how they delved into the contract…
Sue: it needs to be looked at by a contract attorney that deals with this kind of stuff…product warranty…lifetime…the contract doesn’t say lifetime, it says limited lifetime warranty…hopefully the attorney will address that…
[Editor’s note: Sue’s comment about needing a contract attorney that specializes in this area is right on the money. Does the Caplan firm which the HOA uses have such an attorney?]
Richard: The Latite number is including the permit…it’s about a three month project, finish by early April…Linda: are we gonna spend extra money…Deborah: they know they have to match the color. Harvey: project manager? Richard: Latite is giving us a project manager. Eileen: the shed has a certain type of roof because of the permit…Marion: it’s a polymer.
Eileen: why are we not using the same…I’m concerned, the shed right now, it’s very large; right next to it is the fitness center…if it doesn’t match it will look shoddy…you’re shaking your head, Marion, I’m not done yet, please give me the courtesy - we just want to make sure there’s consistency in the visual. Linda: I agree…if it looks like crap…we end up short-changing ourselves…the tile on the fitness center and clubhouse should be exactly what it is on the utility building…
Deborah: I am waiting for Latite to give me the additional cost for that material…Richard: the engineering committee feels it will be about $100,000…Marion [polymer] will last forever…Deborah: they install it with foam and it never needs cleaning…Sue:…samples before we commit…polymer, if lasts forever, might be worth the investment…this is the first house I’ve owned…my super was on retainer…
Richard: they’re made with different lots, so even if it’s the same material, there’s no guarantee it’s the same color…you might be spending $100,000 that does not match exactly to the shed…Eileen: Steve [her husband] does roofing all the time; may he have permission to speak? Marion: sure. Eileen: I asked him to look over the materials.
[Editor’s note: this is an excellent idea by Eileen; let an expert give his opinion; utilize the experts that live among us and then everyone benefits.]
Steve Olitsky: tiles come in a variety of colors…there are many different colors in the community already…look at some of the houses in the community, they have blended roofs; they’re not a single monotone color. Mark: seems like we’re probably gonna postpone this vote until next time…never has to be cleaned, that’s gonna be a good savings…
Chat Room: Jeffrey D. Green: no contract should be signed until hurricane season is over. If we have a hurricane, we might get the roof paid by insurance. Marion: I would like to table this…
Chat Room: Chuck Cramer: …your insurance company may not cover shed tiles on the clubhouse. Deborah: they do not any longer…Chat Room: Beryl: While the tiles may have a lifetime warranty, there can still be leaks and fixing them is not covered by a lifetime warranty... Marion: Table this…all in favor? Richard: I’m abstaining. Marion: 6-0-1.
1. Increasing Pool occupancy to 30 per session- Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: ah, now we think we know why a few people came to Harvey’s “de-fence” (defense) on the HOA message board to what we see as “inde-fence-ible”(indefensible) concerning the fence he allegedly wanted parallel to his backyard and paid for by you: the COVID cavorters seek greater access to the pool and he’s their point person for that end game. Harvey is leading the charge to add to the pool occupancy, and also to add evening play on the courts (item #2 below for which he couldn’t even get a second to his motion).
No wonder former faux pickleball “leaders” Debbie Berenholtz and Robin Day Schmierer came to Harvey’s defense on the HOA message board about the $62,710 fence and gate issue and defamed your Editor, your Roving Reporter, and this News Site by falsely stating that this News Site “falsely accuses different residents each and every month” which earned those two Diane Green acolytes a berth in our Hall of Meanness on our Calling Out Bullies page.
Remember we called out the fraud in the pickleball club election process and other behavior, so obviously they’re trying to damage our credibility and defame us to protect themselves. That also earned Debbie a “cease and desist” letter from us which we cc’ed to all Board members. Shortly thereafter, the entire message board thread was removed, but as you have come to expect, we have a copy of it so as to preserve the evidence.
Debbie’s response on the message board, in attempting to justify her libelous statement, was that it was “her opinion…that your website is inflammatory and unneighborly.” Our response was, among other comments, “making false statements is not a matter of opinion. It is an actionable tort.”
The Debbie/Robin Harvey defense appears to be a very convenient quid pro quo, going something like this: we’ll seek to smash the credibility of the News Site and its Editor and Roving Reporter on the HOA message board and claim the story is false - never mind we have no evidence to refute it, we’ll libel them anyway, and in exchange, Harvey will seek to increase our pool and pickleball play. Coincidence? We think not.
And as an added bonus, Debbie also queried in her message board post whether many of you are “just being brainwashed by the evil “other” website...” This insults many members of this HOA: that’s what she apparently thinks of you, that you are too stupid or too gullible or too easily malleable to think for yourselves and draw your own conclusions.
Debbie Berenholtz’s comments demeaned and insulted many of you, implying that you are easily “brainwashed” by this News Site and are incapable of thinking for yourselves. We take her at her word, so that is apparently what she believes; we just thought you might like to know.]
Harvey: …we are now able to use the indoor pool…Siegfried and Rivera Associates law firm… [Editor’s note: the reference to this local law firm is unclear.] … positivity rate is at five percent…it’s gone up a bit…here in the community we’ve done a hell of a good job in keeping the virus in check…my suggestion, go to 30, and that would include the indoor pool…motion to increase the capacity of the pool to 30 people per session starting on Monday. Second: Richard. Marion: discussion.
Sue: guidelines are just that, they are guidelines. We have to take into consideration as to what is best for our community…social distancing in the pool right now is virtually non-existent…indoor pool…more sanitizing…I am very, very concerned about the indoor pool…problems getting in and out of the pool…cases are rising, Florida is in the top 5 of the people with COVID…I don’t know where people on the outside have been…
Harvey: 15 to 45 age group is where the largest number of cases are coming from…people are getting COVID fatigue…give a little more slack…creating an atmosphere of animosity…we can’t stay closed forever…Marion: we went to 24 in the last meeting…I do not see great social distancing…if we let more people in, they will have to be 5 foot 10 and taller to be in the deep end…the people who die from the virus are in our category, not the young people…I don’t want people to go out and bring it back…
Linda: it seems it’s getting a little bit worse…we’re increasing; why would we open up the pool to more people…I don’t think it’s safe…wait until December or January and see how it goes…the reason our numbers have not been going up is because we’ve been very diligent. Marion: statistics from Johns Hopkins…we are in a 10 percent range, not five percent. I believe Johns Hopkins over the Palm Beach County Health Department…All in favor of increasing the pool occupancy to 30 people: Four to three, the motion dies.
Mark: we voted on this two weeks ago; let’s leave it at a rest now…if the virus is going up, just leave it…Eileen: did we vote for those opposed or just assumed? Marion: I just assumed. Thank you, Eileen. All opposed? Four.
[For: Harvey, Mark, Richard; Against: Marion, Eileen, Sue, Linda, so the ladies take it and the motion fails.]
2. Limited evening play on courts on a trial basis- Harvey Ginsberg. Harvey: …I got an email from the pickleball people…snowbirds are coming back, people are working…trying two sessions, 6 – 8:15pm, tennis and pickleball, unmonitored or self-monitored…courts B and D starting at 6 and 7 to 8:15 you’d have courts A and C, staggered court times…motion for a limited trial basis, two sessions 6 to 8:15 with staggered start times for tennis and pickleball. Marion: do I have a second? [none] Marion: motion dies.
3. 2-3 benches at Dove Hollow Park $760-1140 – M. Goodman. Mark: …two are ready to collapse and one…needs fixing…I was surprised that our chairman, Eileen, wasn’t involved…I’m sorry, this should be corrected…Facilities chairman should be involved…News & Views contributed…motion to order three benches; we could take the money from News & Views, they are willing to contribute. Second: Sue or Eileen. [Marion may have said Sue, and she may have seconded, but Eileen definitely said the word “second.”]
Eileen: I’m not the chairman; Phyllis Martin-Hirsch is the chairman; I’m the liaison…somehow this was short-circuited…my concern…when Paul was president and the benches were donated by News & Views…the rout was through the general funds, it’s not really a donation…any excess money normally goes into the general funds…Richard: you’re correct…we have a loss I’m projecting… I hate to put it into this year…the benches are included in the 2021 budget…
Marion: these benches are dangerous…rusted…I would like to have two benches and one garbage bin…
Harvey: if safety is an issue, it should not wait…it should be done immediately…Marion: and we could remove them and not replace them…Richard: remove them now and in two months replace them. Deborah: there are four benches, one will remain. Marion: when Bill, our maintenance guy, does a sweep, he can empty the garbage.
Mark: first proposal, replace two benches and add a garbage can in the Poly Park area. Marion: replacing three benches with two benches and a garbage bin. Second. This is almost under Deborah’s purview and my purview.
[Editor’s note: this is the second time in a Board meeting that Marion has admitted to having a slush fund of your money every month; she stated it at the April 1, 2020 Board Meeting: see our April 1, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary. Also see our dedicated President Gets $1K/month? Page under our HOA Issues page. Where is this written in our governing documents?]
Richard: why can’t we wait two months to give the appearance we’re being fiscally responsible…makes us look bad…Sue: if you can move them…anybody can…best to spend…than to have any resident put in harm’s way…Eileen: we should remove them based on the liability now…replace them in January. Marion: motion to remove three benches and replace with two benches and one garbage bin now. Sue: Second.
Marion: I don’t think the financial problems are that great. Richard: don’t you rely on your Treasurer? That’s an insult to me… [Marion: something to the effect that no insult was intended.] Richard: it sounds like an insult. Marion: calling the question: remove immediately: 2 to 5 [Marion and Sue for the motion, 5 against.] The motion fails. Eileen: remove three faulty benches immediately, replace with two and a trash bin in January. Second: Harvey. Marion: all in favor? 5 – 2 [Marion and Sue dissented.] Marion: Passes.
4. Emergency Repair- pool water fountain pump $1700 – M. Goodman. Mark: the water curtain, waterfall, is not working. The motor went…emergency repair, got unanimous consent from the Board. Call the motion for public consideration. Marion: Eileen second. All in favor? Unanimous.
Marion: there is a rumor going around, about $67,000 on Glenville. This is nothing but a rumor; I don’t know how it started; I’m putting that rumor to rest today. Whoever started the rumor should hang your heads in shame. It upset a lot of the community. The rumor dies now.
[Editor’s note: per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “rumor” is defined as “1: talk or opinion widely disseminated with no discernible source; 2: a statement or report current without known authority for its truth.”
There in fact was never a “rumor” to live or die; there was, and is, however, the truth, and that is very much alive. Both the March 18, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (which is consistent with Linda’s official Minutes) and Linda’s own Minutes which were officially approved and signed off on, specifically support what we reported about that issue.
Harvey in fact bragged about doing it piecemeal to avoid a community vote. Below in response to a resident’s question, Harvey specifically references the swing gates which is part of that project. Later in the Round Table discussion below, Linda takes a hard swing at this News Site but at the same time admits to other costs connected to that project, also consistent with our report. We have put those admissions in red for ease of reference. So, if anyone should “hang their heads in shame,” it’s Harvey, Marion, and Linda for their disingenuous statements.]
5. Resident input re: 2021 Proposed Budget
[Editor’s note: There was plenty of resident input at the October 19, 2020 Board Budget Meeting and it was refreshing to see the community so fully engaged. The October 19, 2020 Board Budget meeting was attended by over 65 people, as opposed to last year when they just pinned a small notice on the small bulletin board outside of the property manager’s office and only your Editor and Roving Reporter attended. A big thank you to our anonymous source for alerting us to that itty-bitty notice at that time.
And at that budget meeting last year on October 21, 2019, your Roving Reporter reports that at no time did Jon Nast, on behalf of the Safety & Security Committee, ever mention the need for fencing at that location. He showed up because they did not turn in a report in time for the meeting and he was trying to get money for either speed bumps and/or safety signs for the roads, which was perhaps six or seven thousand dollars, but no security fence was ever mentioned.
In the October 19, 2020 Zoom Board Budget meeting, the Board permitted many residents to voice their opinions and ask questions, and it was a lively exchange which was informative and appropriate. Last year, we were specifically told that we could not speak at all for any reason. What changed?
At the October 19, 2020 meeting, Jeff D. Green, the Budget Committee Chairperson, made a detailed and thorough presentation. He did a wonderful job. The following exchange took place:
“Your Editor: How much was spent in 2020 on the lawyers for issues related to Arthur and my writing commentaries on our News Site, CascadeLakesResidents.com?
Jeff: We won’t have that experience anymore.
Vicki: Oh, you mean you won’t be harassing us anymore?
Jeff: I haven’t been harassing you.
Vicki: Not you, the Board.
Jeff: We’ve lowered the legal fee and hopefully they won’t harass you anymore.
Vicki: oh, great! Thank you! What is the breakdown?
Jeff: I’m not at liberty to say.
Vicki: oh, so you have the information.
Marion: send a written request and we will research it.
Vicki: to Deborah or to Marion?
Marion: either is ok.
Vicki: Thank you.”
After this exchange, your Editor wrote in the Chat function:
"Jeff D. Green, please consider running for the Board in March."
Immediately after the meeting, we sent a written request to Deborah for the breakdown of legal fees spent to go after us (with your money) in 2019 and 2020, and we also stated:
“We are not asking for information about the contents of the Board's communications with the lawyers. We are asking for the dollar amounts spent, which is not privileged.
Marion stated at the Budget Meeting that this would have to be researched. This should not cost any legal fees for this calculation because it is a billing matter.”
If and when we learn how much of your money was spent needlessly harassing us, we will let you know, but at press time, we still have not received the requested information.]
Leonard Tannen: there’s an elephant in the room…what it’s for…Richard: fence, approved $20,000. As far as $67,000, I have no idea where it came from.
[Editor’s note: it was $62,690 ($62,710 as added up by Harvey) and it came from a Board meeting before you were elected, Richard, and Linda’s Minutes support our report, as do the statements she and Harvey made in this Board meeting. Perhaps you missed all of that.]
Richard: the $20,000, there was an approval for it. Marion: that contract was signed, we do have a deposit on it. Deposited cancelled, check stale, another check put in. Both sides of Cascade Lakes Blvd. from Military to the guard shack.
Leonard: why after 20 years we’ve had no security fence…everyone living on Pipers Glen and the back side of the north canal ought to be having similar fences up. Marion: ok, thank you for your viewpoint.
Phyllis Martin-Hirsch: regarding the roof, is the guardhouse included? [Editor’s note: someone said yes.] Phyllis: second, I want to thank the budget committee and especially Richard Greene… [Editor’s note: we wholeheartedly concur with Phyllis.]
Roberta Alter: indoor pool…Marion: this is about the budget…
Judie Delman: during the budget meeting, the subject is a sore spot, I’m the first or second house on my street, I watched the roads going down, I agree 100% [apparently with Leonard from what it sounded like] … nobody from the Board watched those roads go in – if they had overseen the foreman, they would have stopped the sloppiness…we should have someone babysitting the foreman. It’s our money…somebody with knowledge… Harvey: there will be a project manager…that’s his responsibility… Judie: you’re leaving it up to whoever is from the company… Marion: somebody is always watching from our property manager’s office.
[Editor’s note: we beg to differ with regard to this last statement by Marion. What expertise does the property manager have concerning the roof or about any type of construction work?]
Stephen Sussman: why was the fence put in as different sections as opposed to the gate – because it would require a community vote and by doing it piecemeal you do away with the community [vote].
[Editor’s note: this is exactly what we have been objecting to, among other things, and we rightfully called it out.]
Marion: the $67,000 rumor, we have no idea where it started.
[Editor’s note: This is demonstrably false; it was her motion where the matter was specifically discussed. It was stated to be $62,710, not $67,000, and it’s not a rumor and you, Marion, and Harvey, know exactly where that fact started. The actual prices, to the dollar, were discussed at the March 18, 2020 Board meeting. Harvey’s math was off by $20.00; those were bids and proposals that were looked at and specifically quoted from.]
Stephen Sussman: how far does it go up? Marion: it stops at the end of the island.
[Editor’s note: on March 18, 2020 Marion stated it stopped at the beginning of the island; we called this out as being unlikely, and now she has corrected herself. So, someone’s been reading our synopses.]
Stephen: and the gates opening and closing? Harvey: goes to the swing arm.
[Editor’s note: oh, so you are talking about the $38,700 gates to be installed at the swing arm at a future time so as to piecemeal this “pet” project, no pun intended. Thank you for the admission, Harvey. That destroys the “rumor” claim right there.
You see, folks, it is true, just as we reported, and those swing arms appear to go just past the boundary line of Harvey’s house; drive over there yourselves and you will see. Linda’s March 18, 2020 Minutes state $23,990 and when you add the swing arm gates which cost $38,700 you get $62,690; Harvey said $62,710, which is off by $20.00. That’s close enough; we rest our case.]
Jeffrey D. Green: the roof…I urge the Board not to sign a contract for the roof until after hurricane season…the insurance company will no pay us because you needed a new roof and you have a contract for it…
Arlene Nissensohn: about the trash can; you put one up on Cascade Lakes, you told us, if we’re going away, we can’t go in and put it in the trash can near the clubhouse. What are we supposed to do with it, and one little one, you can hardly put anything in… Linda: one thing we don’t need is an eyesore…
Marion: now it’s the Board’s turn…about the budget…Linda: I’m fine with the budget. Harvey: ATP $500, what is ATP? Richard: late notifications. Deborah: authorization to proceed to legal. For delinquencies…
Sue: this, I think, is the first time for a residents’ input session…I was not on the Board when fencing was done…at some time we need to revisit in terms of needs and wants…there are issues that have not been addressed…such as hard court pickleball courts…mailboxes…
[Editor’s note: the mailboxes are for the individual owners to decide. We recognize that Sue believes she has researched this to death and is firm in her convictions; we ask that she take another fresh look at this issue, because the governing documents actually provide for individual owners to decide, with ARB approval, on the mailbox of their choice.
As for hard courts, we ask you to visit our dedicated Pickleball page under our HOA Issues page and read how the pickleball club is allowing unlimited “sponsored guests” to be full club members, and that means that non-Cascade Lakes individuals can usurp your right to play on the courts, and anyone from anywhere outside of the community can use this community asset, wear and tear it down, and potentially sue the HOA if they are injured during play in the community, while you sit home staring at your paddle.
Because of that, we recommend a HARD NO for HARD COURTS. The last thing we want to do is to encourage outsiders to flood the pickleball club as full members. Now it appears that one or more members on the Board may be trying to figure out a way to do it by juggling the numbers in the budget to avoid a community vote: see Richard’s comments highlighted in red below.]
Marion: these are not budget items…Sue: … [briefly mentioning the special assessment and the quarterly dues] …Mark: I’ve been Treasurer for many years…I really appreciate Richard and Jeffrey [D. Green, Budget Committee]… agree with the budget. Eileen: …some of the wants and needs...if it’s not in the budget it would be in the reserve…where are we going to get the money…
Richard: signs are in the budget…traffic signs…pickleball comes out of the capital reserve, either increase the maintenance fee or would have to be a special assessment…
Marion: I’m fine with the way the budget was done…quarterly payment of $1,625 is well within the average of all the homes in our area, including some of the newer homes.
[Editor’s note: a Board member voiced appreciation to all who worked on the budget. This was possibly Harvey as he did not otherwise speak on this matter.]
6. Landscape- Tree Roots $1,458 – Mark Goodman. Marion: Palm Beach Broward proposal number 66-20. Mark: I’m asking for approval. Second: Eileen. Marion: all in favor on Wycombe Avenue? Unanimous.
7. Har Tru - $2,497.42 – Linda Arbeit. Linda: Motion to approve. Second: Harvey. Mark: we do this every year and…is needed. Richard: this is in the budget. Lee does a very good job when he does his budget. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Roberta Alter: three comments. There are benches on Cascade Lakes Blvd. Marion: they seem to be in good shape. Roberta: why indoor pool and why turned down? Marion: somebody wanted it open and the rest did not. The County is for commercial use, not residential or private residential. Roberta: the budget is high. Most of these other communities have social directors and café. Marion: we are in line with other communities.
Phil Berman: it’s about a month since I’ve asked about voice remotes, the response is it is being held off because of safety issues. I called Hotwire, they have no problem installing, no safety issue, but will charge me for it. They had no knowledge [about getting the voice remotes]. Marion: correct. Phil Berman: then 5h, it says, the association may request upgrades including voice remotes but it doesn’t say we will get them…if free to another community within the last 12 months, have these conditions been met…
Marion: it is still a safety issue. Tomorrow Mark and I will speak in a Zoom to the owner, and we will lay it on real thick. Phil: make sure to tell them they don’t seem to have a safety issue. Marion: when we had it installed, we had hundreds of trucks in here. That would be the case…Phil: personally, it would not bother me. One to two trucks in and it will take two to three months. Marion: we’ll see how we can work it out.
Elliot Graff: the fence, $20,000, you have a deposit on a fence. The rumor was $67,000. To squash the rumor, what will be the cost? Marion: two fences, $20,000 total.
[Editor’s note: that is not what the official Minutes from March 18, 2020 state; feel free to read them yourselves as they are on the HOA’s website. The total stated in the Minutes is $23,990 and includes the pedestrian gates even though the Minutes also inconsistently state that the pedestrian gates are not included.
Also, that is only a portion of the project that they want to do piecemeal so as to avoid a community vote. The breakdown which included the gates was given in the March 18, 2020 Board meeting and it came to $62,690 which Harvey erroneously stated was $62,710. We didn’t just pull that number out of a hat. It literally came out of Marion’s and Harvey’s mouths:
South side fence: $10,550
North side fence: $10,820
Pedestrian side gates, mechanical:$ 2,620
Subtotal: $23,990 – amount stated in official Minutes
Swing gates: $38,700
Total: $62,690; Harvey stated $62,710.
Again, this is what Harvey and Marion stated:
Harvey: I agree, we need to plan for the whole project, $62,710. $38,700 swing gates. Some will have to go for a community vote. Marion: we’re not doing the gates. Harvey: do the fences now, the pedestrian gates next year, the swing gates the following year, if we can get it done so we don’t need a community vote…”
Elliot: I live on the back canal – people come by boat – I reported it. To me, that’s more dangerous.
[Editor’s note: that is what we pointed out in our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary (entitled Three Dog Night).]
Marion: a lot of people walk in – the guard doesn’t see them. Elliot: at least you have a guard. Marion: that’s the most vulnerable spot according to Safety and Security.
Phyllis Dinerman: who was in charge of the utility building project? Jerry was on the Board for six years and never saw one plan. It is located in one of the worst places…It closes off the welcoming feeling. Who was in charge, and who saw the architecture? Marion: the Board has seen the architecture. It was at least 4 or 5 years ago. Deborah: it started seven years ago. Marion: the project was already signed; it was the only place Palm Beach County would let us do it except for behind the tennis courts and indoor pool. Phyllis: it is an eyesore. Marion: you’ll get used to it.
[Editor’s note: Really? This appeared to us to be quite flippantly stated.]
Leonard Tannen: security defense deposit. Marion, you said replacement check. Marion: stale check, it was over three months old.
[Editor’s note: stale checks are generally those checks which are 180 days old, or about 6 months old, not three months.]
Leonard: that means you did it without the Board’s approval. Marion: not true. Leonard: when was it approved and on what basis? Marion: it was approved by the Board of Directors. Richard: March. Linda: March 18, 2020, approved 6-1.
[Editor’s note: that’s right, just exactly as we reported; then-Board member Alan Silver was the lone dissenter.]
Leonard: what was the need? Marion: security. The Sheriff’s Department and Safety and Security, and that’s the last thing I am saying on the fence.
[Editor’s note: she definitely doesn’t want to talk about the fence, and she mislabels the facts as “rumor” because this looks really bad. And it looks really bad because it is really bad. We stand by our entire report which is consistent with the official Minutes and consistent with the admissions made by Harvey and Linda.]
Paul Friedlander: the shed, I was on the Board, nothing signed…I believe the present Board…Richard: the contract was signed by Rich Ruskin.
Phyllis Martin-Hirsch: regarding the Facilities Committee, we only address items that benefit the entire community, not a specific few. Jerry Hirsch: security, the weakest part is the front gate? Elliot pointed out correctly; the biggest one is the back gate… Marion: thank you, Jerry.
Joyce Winston: this has nothing to do with my political affiliations…why budget [meeting] used a Democrat-Biden ad at the Budget meeting. Marion: that was not the budget committee. That was done by a resident who has apologized [a mix-up with her Facebook page]. Joyce: I’m sorry that I missed that.
Barbara Gordon: I absolutely agree with Roberta and those who agree, we must have the same color on all the buildings…the building is overwhelming already…secondly, with all the constrictions…I don’t see any reason why pickleball and tennis can’t be…evening hours…
Steve Olitsky: in reference to the location of the shed, I was on the Board with Rich Ruskin…our contract was to replace the two portable structures with a permanent structure…it was determined…some residents went to the County…delayed the process…I wasn’t involved with the new location…it changed…that was not the project that was put together under Rich Ruskin.
[Editor’s note: that’s a very interesting comment. Who approved the behemoth that is overtaking part of the parking lot?]
Ann Friedlander: you mentioned that a stale check is three months. It’s six months, 180 days. Marion: it’s six months.
Round Table Discussion:
Linda: yes, um, I’m gonna talk about two things, one is the fence, and one is, well, three things, one is the fence, one is Hotwire, and one is, um, rumors that are started by someone or whoever, um, on an incorrect, well, on a website. This is not an official Cascade Lakes website, and I’ll go to that first.
[Editor’s note: what we reported were not rumors; that is a fake claim. Our report is factual, accurate, and true. It also contains our opinions based on the facts, which included Linda’s Minutes to the March 18, 2020 Board meeting, which were subsequently approved by six Board members.
Our News Site is a legitimate News Site which is not an unofficial knock-off of any other website. It is independent and it reports on matters related to the community. The community does not have a copyright or a trademark on the name “Cascade Lakes” and it is false and derogatory to claim that the News Site is an unofficial site piggybacking on another website which is referred to as an official website. This is false and defamatory.
The two are unrelated except to the extent that information reported on the News Site is directly about the community. The News Site is independent and just like other news sites, reports on facts and renders opinions, which includes satire. It also includes resident input (letters to the Editor), and it operates as a checks and balances regarding conduct of elected officials and others who assert authority in other ways. There are many other similar type news sites all across the country.]
Linda: There are things that are being written on unofficial website, a private website, that’s called Cascade Lakes but it’s not Cascade Lakes, and I think that at this point we should have a blast put out to the community maybe on a daily basis telling the community and the residents what the correct and official Cascade Lakes website is. And this is where all the official and true messages that the Cascade Lakes Board is putting out, is on, not on any other website. I think this is very, very important; that’s number one.
[Editor’s note: the name of our News Site is not “Cascade Lakes” as Linda erroneously states. It is CascadeLakesResidents.com and it is an independent News Site. It is not an unofficial website; this is a disparagement of our News Site. Our website is an official website; it is an official News Site. And the HOA does not have exclusive use of the phrase “Cascade Lakes” and never did. The HOA did not copyright or trademark the name.
In reality, a copyright would likely be impossible, because one cannot copyright an idea, just the expression of an idea; as for a trademark, even if the HOA were to obtain one at this juncture, which is highly unlikely, the Lanham Act (the Trademark Act of 1946) would only potentially cover it for usages that were initiated after the trademark, not those in effect before the trademark; there is no grandfathering in names that are already in use by others.]
Linda: number two, there was a, um, chat message that said that the March 18th synopsis talked about the price of the 63 or whatever the, whatever that number was for the fences.
[Editor’s note: no, not just for the fences; per Marion and Harvey at that meeting, the south side fence was $10,550; the north side fence was $10,820; pedestrian side gates were $2,620; $38,700 was for the swing gates, and then it was erroneously totaled by Harvey to add up to $62,710 based on those statements; the actual math totals $62,690, so he was off by $20 from the stated numbers. Then Harvey said: “do the fences now, the pedestrian gates next year, the swing gates the following year, if we can get it done so we don’t need a community vote…”]
Linda: Number one, that’s not an official synopsis. The synopsis, I used to write synopses until we were told by the attorneys that they don’t want us to write a synopsis anymore.
[Editor’s note: once again, this is an independent News Site and reporting on Board meetings is one of the main things we do. The implication that only a Board member can write a synopsis about a meeting is hogwash.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “synopsis” as follows: “A brief summary or general survey of something.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “synopsis” thusly: “a condensed statement or outline (as of a narrative or treatise).” Anyone can write a synopsis of a meeting and neither the HOA Board nor Linda nor anyone has the exclusive right to prepare a synopsis of a meeting.]
Linda: If there is to be a synopsis, it should be by a Board member and not by a resident because the Board members are the ones who have the official Minutes reports and have been at the Board meetings and can write a synopsis that’s accurate. And if I’m brought to task on this comment, so be it. I will accept it.
[Editor’s note: Here Linda appears to be mixing apples and oranges – the Minutes have nothing to do with listening to a meeting and preparing a summary of it. And the Board members are not the only ones who attend Board meetings.
And when Linda did her synopses, it was as Secretary, not as a Board member per se, because per the HOA governing documents, one does not have to be a Board member to be the Secretary of the HOA (see the HOA By-Laws, page 3-9, Section VIII, Officers and Their Duties, Section A: “a Secretary, and a Treasurer who…do not have to be Directors…) and the function of preparing Minutes and the optional synopses for the HOA is strictly secretarial/ministerial.
So, Linda’s comments are actually misleading. And the Board never voted to approve any of the prior synopses which Linda used to prepare. They approve the Minutes, and in the March 18, 2020 Minutes there is a glaring inaccuracy between what is included in the $23,990 stated therein and what is not. So, the official Minutes are officially inaccurate.
Finally, neither Linda nor anyone owns the word or the exclusive use of the word “synopsis.”
Linda: The, um, fence price in the Minutes was $2,300 and it was for both sides. Sue [shaking her head no].
[Editor’s note: it was in fact for $23,990 per the official Minutes, with or without the pedestrian gates, depending on what part of the Minutes you choose to believe.]
Linda: If there was another price that was brought up, um, in the rumor, that might have included the pedestrian gates which we said we were going to put off.
[Editor’s note: Harvey stated that they should put off the pedestrian gates for one year and the swing gates for the following year, although the dollar amount in the Minutes combines the fences with the pedestrian gates. In any case, that necessarily means that they plan on doing the entire project as was stated in the March 18, 2020 Board meeting. So, there you have it, folks, another admission that exactly what we reported was and is true, that they are piecemealing this project to avoid a community vote.
Now you have two Board members confirming our report. The so-called “rumor” claimed by Marion and Linda is not a rumor; it is a deflection to avoid the truth. It is so much easier to blame the News Site and its staff after they were caught and called out. So, thank you, Linda, for confirming our report as Harvey did above. In fact, specific dollar amounts were stated, and Harvey then totaled those amounts exactly as we reported. His math was off by $20.00.
Therefore, we have the actual Minutes approved by the Board, Harvey’s admission, and now Linda’s admission, all of which point to the accuracy of what we reported. The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that statements and protestations by Marion, Harvey, and Linda to the contrary are not true, lack transparency, and are deceitful to the community. This was no “rumor;” this was and is factual; stating otherwise is slanderous and injurious to the reputation of this News Site and its staff and is also dishonest to the community at large, and this creates divisiveness.
There has never been an instance where what has been written on the News Site has been successfully challenged except for an honest error made on the reporting of a resident’s comments at a prior Residents’ Input Session, and once advised of that error, we immediately posted an addendum and we owned our error. This was an error we made concerning a statement made by Adam Singer, who contacted us about it, and when we owned our error publicly and immediately made the correction by way of an Addendum, he was very appreciative.]
Linda: And as for the need of the fences, you residents, you have forgotten that when there were break-ins in this community, you wanted those fences put in [Eileen nodding in agreement] and you wanted security. You can’t have it both ways. Now that we don’t have break-ins,
[Editor’s note: so with this admission, why do we suddenly need the fences if we don’t have break-ins? And if we now don’t have break-ins, that suggests that the fence and that project in fact doesn’t have anything to do with break-ins or security after all.]
Linda: you have forgotten about that and you’re chomping at the bit to say we shouldn’t be spending the $20,000 or $23,000 in the both gates on both sides of Cascade Lakes Blvd.
[Editor’s note: congratulations, Linda, you have now graduated to insulting the residents, so suddenly we don’t feel so alone in your criticism. And since you raised it, Linda, where were the break-ins? What caused them? Were they inside jobs? Were they hedge jumpers near Harvey’s backyard? We’ll lay bets that they were not. The smugness and indignation reeking from Linda (and later Harvey) while disparaging residents is palpable and disturbing.]
Linda: yes, you definitely, there definitely have been, um, areas around the perimeter of this community you want to go into, but I walked around this community when Rich Ruskin was the president. I walked around it with Rich Ruskin and Barry Gordon on a Saturday morning. And there are many, many places where people can get in through, um, these places, especially when the canal is empty. But you can’t – we can’t put fences around the whole community, maybe you can, but not at one time because it would break us financially. So just remember when there were break-ins in this community everybody wanted a – security. All right, that’s enough about the fences, but the price I had on the Minutes was $23,000 that was for both sides.
[Editor’s note: the prices quoted at the March 18th Board meeting included breakdowns for the pedestrian gates and swing gates, and every one of you who was present knows this to be true. Harvey then specifically and brazenly stated:
“do the fences now, the pedestrian gates next year, the swing gates the following year, if we can get it done so we don’t need a community vote…”
So these comments complaining about our synopsis are completely misleading because at all times we reported the breakdowns of the prices for each part of this project that was discussed and the total as stated by Harvey, who then realized that it exceeded the Board’s limits and sought a way around it as we reported. We note that no one has stated that what we wrote is not true, and no one has challenged the prices we reported, and that in and of itself is very telling.]
Linda: The next thing is the Hotwire phone problem. Don’t bother Deborah. Call me, email me; I will get in touch with the person who helped me.
Harvey: [from his bully pulpit pushing back against the truth]: Ok, I want to address the events that occurred over the weekend so please bear with me. Our community is being poisoned by a pervasive bullying being carried out by certain individuals on their private website. Unfortunately, there are several residents who are tired of putting up with this hostile environment and have either sold or are selling their homes in search for a friendlier, less hostile environment.
[Editor’s note: put the monkey on the back of those whom it belongs. You got caught, Harvey, and you got called out. Certain individuals are selling their homes because they got caught and they got called out. It was clear to us that they wanted power which is now elusive for them because their conduct was exposed. They were part of the team who rigged the pickleball elections and resigned in disgrace. We called them out. We are trying to make this place more transparent and to clean up this place and get rid of the graft and corruption by calling it out, so it is truly odd that you would defend and coddle them.
And they were the ones who were talking smack about all of you on the Board on the Cascade Lakes Facebook page, which apparently you have no problem with. Now, Linda, for your edification and education, unlike our News Site, the Cascade Lakes Facebook page is an unofficial Cascade Lakes internet page. Board bashing is clearly totally allowed there, and Board members make comments on that “unofficial” Cascade Lakes Facebook page now and then, including you, Harvey. Somehow that’s perfectly fine with you, Linda, and Marion.]
Harvey: This has to stop and it has to stop now! [jabbing his finger onto his desktop] Most bought here because we are a friendly community in which we can spend our retirements enjoying the amenities and the friends we’ve made. We cannot let the actions of a few residents whose sole purpose seems to be to agitate and turn the residents against each other and the Board to what appears to be their own personal pleasure and satisfaction.
[Editor’s note: Neither this News Site nor its Editor nor its Roving Reporter gets any pleasure or satisfaction in reporting alleged corruption, dishonesty, lack of transparency, abuse of power, and other alleged malfeasance by members of the Board or others in positions of authority; this is our home, too, and we don’t appreciate being bullied, but we will not be silenced in the face of this conduct. Harvey’s comment is not only outrageous and disingenuous, it is also a flat out lie.
Harvey’s last comment appears to mirror the disgraced pickleball club election rigger Diane Green’s comments to your Roving Reporter, when she was the Chairperson and he was the Secretary of the Entertainment Committee, when she was angry that he called out her rule-breaking about financial expenditures and for which your Roving Reporter sent an email to the Entertainment Committee’s Board liaison, Eileen. Diane complained with words to the effect of “everything has to be proper and legal with you” and that “you get pleasure in calling out people; this is your entertainment.”
So, it appears that the script is coming from the same playbook.
And this is the same Diane Green who resigned in lieu of being terminated by the Board for insubordination in her capacity as Entertainment Committee Chairperson, which is an adjunct of the Board, when she engaged in repeated Board bashing on the unofficial Cascade Lakes Facebook page.
This is also the same Diane Green who emailed the entire pickleball club when she claimed the presidency and had access to all club members’ emails and tried to gather support for the pool reopening during the pandemic and who bragged about traipsing around the state and the plan to be outside the community “as much as possible” because she didn’t get her way. This is also the same Diane Green that believed she was entitled to have the pool reopened because under her watch the pickleball club gave the Board $1,000 toward an awning; to us, this smacked of a quid pro quo.
Now that Harvey appears to be her group’s point person for expanding the facilities during COVID19, in our opinion these individuals are clearly aligned.]
Harvey: On a personal note, being on the Board makes us fair game for criticism and we accept that.
[Editor’s note: you admit it makes you fair game, and this is because it is a politically elected position, and we agree with you, but you don’t agree with yourself and you don’t in fact accept it and most of your colleagues on the Board don’t accept it either. Your statement appears to be completely contrary to your and their complaints about this News Site’s reporting.]
Harvey: but involving our spouses in that criticism is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. And that’s all I have to say.
[Editor’s note: As to the complaint about spouses, we believe Harvey is referring to a satire cartoon which we posted in our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled Three Dog Night of two cartoon characters in bed together, and an imaginary statement we attributed to Harvey as the satirical cartoon man. Here is what we wrote and the cartoon:
Later that night, strictly in our imagination: “Martha, I can’t believe we’re getting away with this! Why didn’t I think of this sooner and run for the Board years ago?”
And whom else should we have placed that cartoon character in bed with? A hooker? The five dogs he was allegedly babysitting? A hooker and five dogs?
Separately, and this is not satire, in our opinion Harvey’s wife appears to be a very lovely person.]
Linda: Bravo to you. Richard: I have nothing to say except thank you very much, Harvey.
[Editor’s note: what is striking about this entire discussion is the complete and utter failure to refute any of the facts and allegations reported. One would think that would be the very first thing that would be done: refute what isn’t true; and yet no one has done so. They in fact do the opposite: their comments actually support the reporting. These Board members did not refute or challenge the following allegations and/or statements:
1. That Harvey lives across from the guard shack.
2. That he engaged in babysitting of a resident’s dogs and at times has had five dogs in his residence and possession, contrary to the HOA governing documents.
3. That he stated to do the fence and gates essentially in a piecemeal fashion to avoid a community vote.
4. That he failed to disclose the potential conflict of interest he had in voting for that project or any portion thereof or how it would potentially benefit him personally.
5. That he had in fact totaled the project as costing $62,710 and stated, “do the fences now, the pedestrian gates next year, the swing gates the following year, if we can get it done so we don’t need a community vote…”
So, his outrage is a deflection and instead of owning his conduct, he doubles down and bullies the de facto whistleblowers, which is a projection. Now that, in our opinion, constitutes divisiveness and dishonesty. In short, he refuted none of the allegations and instead went on a diatribe.
We called out the conduct which Harvey claims above we have the right to do and now he claims that we are being divisive; yet he sat there silently along with all other Board members at the January 8, 2020 Board meeting while a resident got up at the First Residents’ Input Session and demanded that we should move away, stating: “Just move outa here, go back to where you came from.” [lots of loud applause], and the entire Board at that time allowed this, and some Board members think that’s not being divisive? Harvey’s hypocrisy is stunning and to us, and in our opinion, he speaks with forked tongue.
Sue: I do believe, Linda, I can’t find the exact papers but when I did research the fences, I do believe there on March 18, 2020 the proposal figure was $23,990 and there were two other references in prior Board meetings and the second one was to have a select group of people to look into the fencing and that on March 18th it was approved.
And I, the divisiveness in this community is becoming problematic. I am not going to blame anybody one way or the other because as adults we have freedom of choice and we have freedom to read and look at what we want. And everyone has the right to express their opinions. I’m a very, very strong proponent of free speech. However, there are degrees of it and even the Supreme Court in 1917 said that there were.
[Editor’s note: again, thank you, Sue, for a voice of reason and honesty. As to the limits on free speech, that includes prohibitions against, for example, yelling “fire!” in a crowded theatre, inciting a riot, or defaming someone. Those examples are not considered protected speech. None of that, however, is present on the News Site.]
Sue: We need to come together, and this is not a political statement. We need to come together for the benefit of the community. While every voice should be heard, we do not represent a particular cohort; we represent the entire community. We need to listen to everybody, get as much information as we can, and make decisions based upon what we think is in the best interests of the community. As I’ve said before, we are an indirect democracy. You elected us to make decisions for you. Hopefully, using our judgments and data and facts and any information that is available, we will do so, and continue to do so. Thank you; I’m done.
Mark: …thank you Harvey for your comments; I agree with you and I also agree with Sue that we need to be all in harmony. We can disagree but we need to be friendly about disagreements...everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and that’s it.
[Editor’s note: Mark, do you even know what you are talking about? Harvey’s comments are on their face incompatible with Sue’s comments, so it seems implausible at best that you could be in accord with both.]
Bottom line: Board members who are engaging in this continuous defamation and disparagement of this News Site and its Editor and Roving Reporter: cease and desist forthwith. Marion, Harvey, and Linda: stop slandering and disparaging this News Site, its Editor, and its Roving Reporter. In our opinion, doing so under color of authority is an abuse of your positions of power within the community. Stop spreading misinformation. Stop misleading the community. Own your conduct.]
Eileen [cleverly avoiding the topic and pivoting brilliantly to the pandemic; who would have dreamed that talking about a pandemic was the safe go-to topic?]: the pandemic…I would like to see the community open…the reality is this is a pandemic…we as a Board walk down the middle…one death is too much and one more illness is too much and that’s what we are trying to prevent…we are looking at snowbirds coming back…voluntarily take a while…I hope they would wait to see how they are feeling before they join others in the community…I beg you all to wait, to see, to not be divisive…
[Editor’s note: thank you, Eileen; beautifully said.]
Marion: motion to adjourn? Sue. Second: Linda. Marion: All in favor? 11:48am.
[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 now let’s all sing along in unison:
Happy Thank You to you,
Happy Thank You to you,
Happy Thank You Mike and Arnie,
Happy Thank You to you! And many more…
And so concludes the board meeting of October 21, 2020; next Board meeting: November 4, 2020 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]