11/04/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted November 8, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the November 4, 2020 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary indicated in bold blue.
This edition of the synopsis and commentary is entitled: “False Pretenses.”
This edition is entitled “False Pretenses” based on those words used by Board member Linda Arbeit as her reason for originally voting for the fences on March 18, 2020 which she now regrets, along with Eileen; specifically, Linda stated: “I believe this proposal was passed under false pretenses.”
Kudos to the Board members who came to this realization, albeit a little late and perhaps because they weren’t paying attention or prepared when the matter was originally discussed and voted on back on March 18, 2020. This will be further addressed in the body of the synopsis below.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition of the Editor’s Opening Monologue is entitled:
“Go Ask Alex, The Sequel”
On October 14, 2020, we reinterviewed Alex, the former handyman. We present for you the brief background and our follow up, which is our sequel to the August 5, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled “Go Ask Alex.”
One day over the summer, former management company handyman for the HOA, Alex Sanchez, was banned from the community. He says the property manager, Deborah Balka, did him in. We presume that Deborah’s position is that he was terminated for cause.
Regardless of this alleged he said/she said, he is no longer the maintenance man. (For a refresher, see our “Go Ask Alex” August 5, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary for our interview of Alex and for the Board vote banning him from campus which they did secretly on July 17, 2020 to be effective July 27, 2020 and then ratified at the August 5, 2020 Board meeting.) That Board decision is a standing rule that has never been officially rescinded.
The next thing we know, without any Board vote reinstating his permission to ingress and egress, and likely so as not to allegedly further interfere with his business relationships with individual residents as we had specifically warned, he’s back doing odd jobs for the residents. Who let him back in without a Board vote and why the secrecy?
Some residents don’t know that he is available again for odd jobs. We guess you have to be connected to the Board member(s) who decided to let him back in. Maybe some residents who still don’t know stopped using his services because they didn’t want to be subject to discipline for sneaking him back into the community to work for them. They should not be left in the dark.
In any event, it was incumbent upon the Board to have voted publicly at a duly noticed meeting to rescind their original outrageous ban in the first place against Alex entering the community. Why was this not on any Agenda since he was let back in? Why is every single Board member silent? Every single one of you: what’s a matta wit yu?
Alex’s supposed permanent replacement as the HOA’s new handyman, through the management company, FirstResidential, was Brad. Deborah introduced Brad to the community by announcing him at the August 19, 2020 Board meeting. Brad is gone. He quit. That didn’t last long. Per our interview with him, also on October 14, 2020, he claims that he could not work with Deborah and her alleged micromanaging his job.
Brad said that from the get-go he had his concerns because he understood that he was supposed to have taken both a COVID and a drug test and a background check before getting onto the property. He never took the COVID test, never took the drug test, and he thought that was really strange.
It seems to us that he was ready to pee in that little plastic cup but, alas, no one wanted to know what was lurking in his specimen. And it appears to be a simple matter for virtually anyone to obtain a specimen, no?
Brad stated that Deborah, the property manager, “pulled me into the library and said about Alex, ‘do not interact with a white Lincoln truck, don’t answer any questions, don’t talk to him, don’t talk to the neighbors, pretend he doesn’t exist’ because he was going to work for neighbors. Then she said, ‘We can’t ban him from the property.’”
Now back to Alex. By claiming that banning Alex was an “emergency,” the Board made it seem as if Alex were an immediate danger to the community. This turned out to be completely not the case at all. It was very misleading to the community and in our opinion, dishonest, as well as an abuse of power, because there was no true emergency. So why did every single Board member sign off on this?
And now he’s roaming free on campus and not one Board member has commented about it and there was never any vote to rescind the unanimous vote to ban him from the community. So apparently it was never an “emergency” such as banning someone who was a danger to the safety of the residents.
And by the way, when was the Board intending on informing the community that Alex was allowed back onto the premises? Based on their silence, it is clear that the answer is “never.” That in and of itself is unacceptable, outrageous, and the opposite of transparency, that they would secretly disavow their prior vote and keep that from the community at large. Every single Board member owns this one.
We asked Alex if he were still working for FirstResidential. He responded, “no.” He stated he does not have another job. He stated, “Ron, Deborah’s boss, he called me up and told me I was allowed to go back in and do work, side jobs, when whoever calls.” It is significant that no one in authority has formally advised the community of this fact. Why not? Marion, Mark, Harvey, Richard, Linda, Eileen, Sue: why so silent?
Your Editor asked Alex, “the side jobs, does everyone know?” He responded, “I don’t think so. I’m getting in contact with them slowly, other residents are telling them, or have seen me.”
Why is Ron Capitena, Deborah’s boss over at FirstResidential, contacting Alex to grant him permission to enter the community? Their relationship was terminated. This has nothing to do with Ron or FirstResidential. FirstResidential fired Alex; they have no more business with him and no right to usurp the order that was put in place on July 17, 2020 and ratified on August 5, 2020 banning Alex from the community.
The rule banning Alex was, in our opinion, a potentially actionable tort, but the proper way and frankly the only way to have mitigated the damages was for the Board to rescind its asinine vote banning him in the first place, which is still technically in force. It was incumbent upon the Board to rescind the vote and then contact Alex, a free agent, directly, and also to contact via email all the HOA members and community residents that the banning was rescinded. Who exactly is running this community?
To have instructed our property management vendor who has no relationship with or to Alex whatsoever and no authority to give any instructions to an independent businessman vis-à-vis his clients within the gates of this community is outrageous. Ron Capitena is not on the HOA’s Board of Directors; he is an employee of the HOA’s vendor. He is not a Board adjunct.
This is the same guy who was called out by this News Site for making errors at the Candidates Night before the Board elections last March (see our dedicated BOD 2020 Elections page under the March 11, 2020 date, under our HOA Issues page). He is an administrator/employee of FirstResidential who terminated this man. He is the last person who should be in contact with Alex about this matter. He is not in privity with Alex; he has nothing to do with Alex’s ingress into and egress from this community.
By way of example, let’s say you worked in an office. You had a boss. Your boss had a boss. Your boss fired you. You go on your merry way. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, your former boss’s boss calls you and gives you an instruction on permissible behavior between you and unrelated third parties. Does this make any sense? Yet that’s exactly what transpired here.
The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that Marion, the Board president, advised Deborah’s boss, Ron Capitena, or advised Deborah Balka, the property manager, to contact her boss, Ron Capitena, to contact Alex to advise him that he could come back into the community to do odd jobs for residents.
So once again we have Marion “Weiling” her unilateral and unauthorized power and making executive decisions that she has no right to make, and the rest of the Board by their continued silence means that they approve of her making unilateral and unauthorized decisions without a duly noticed Board vote. This is getting quite tiresome, and frankly, we hear through the grapevine that people are getting extremely fed up. Marion is not the mayor of Cascade Lakes; she is but one Board member with one vote. She has no right to make any executive decisions on behalf of the HOA.
We do note the relative proximity to the HOA’s annual elections; March is but a stone’s throw away and people are taking notes. For example, we here at the News Site are taking notes from the comfort of our own home.
Meanwhile, the COVID cavorters are plotting and planning at each other’s homes on how best to position themselves for the March HOA elections to unseat Marion and potentially others. As we see it, they are keeping very quiet on social media so as not to jeopardize their chances on taking over the Board and this community. Thankfully, we over here at the News Site have good memories and good records.
Also, apparently a couple of them are jumping ship: they have their homes listed for sale. That decision is on them: while Board member Harvey Ginsberg appears to blame us for this exodus (see his comments at the Round Table in the October 21, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary), we believe he ought to put the monkey on the backs of whom it belongs: the alleged rule breakers and cheaters who got caught, not we over here in the news room who are merely reporting it. Harvey’s comments are just another case of trying to shoot the messenger.
And then strikingly, later in the Board meeting below, he says they’re leaving because of the COVID restrictions. So, which is it? We think we understand: no matter what, first blame the News Site. That’s Harvey’s default setting.
As for Alex, the former, former handyman, check out his business card on our Handyman page under our Marketplace page. He advised that he is available for all kinds of odd jobs.
Per Marion at the Board meeting on October 21, 2020, the new maintenance man is a guy named Bill. Bill replaced Brad who quit. Brad quit, according to his statements to us, based on his displeasure with how he was being treated by Deborah. On November 6, 2020, we had the pleasure of meeting the new maintenance man, Bill, when he meandered onto our property in the back and we questioned this stranger in our backyard that Friday morning. He said he was with Cascade Lakes. When asked for his name, he said, “Bill,” so that tracked. He stated he was “looking for drainage.” He seemed very amiable.
A resident advised us that there is a petition purportedly circulating to oust Deborah as the Property Manager. While it is true, in our opinion, that Deborah can be brusque and abrupt, it is also more likely than not that the place would go to hell in a handbasket in no time if we did not have a strong property manager.
It is also true, in our opinion, that Deborah is extremely efficient and competent in her job duties, very personable, and has a great sense of humor and a warm smile. Our position at this time is, therefore, that she should remain, but try to strike a lighter tone with a bit more patience, latitude, and flexibility. And we say this even though she did not accept our Friend Request on Facebook. We still like her.
The real issue here as we see it is not Deborah, who is doing her job; it is those to whom she reports, to wit, Marion and Marion’s sidekick, Mark, the office liaisons per Deborah’s statement to us. So, if you have a problem with Deborah, we respectfully suggest that the real problem is those to whom she reports and from whom she takes instructions. That issue is best dealt with at the ballot box in March 2021.
Separately, we have an update to our October 7, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled “Three Dog Night.” Upon information and belief, Resident #2, the purported Chin Chin owner (times 2 dogs or times 3 dogs depending on your dog math), sold her home and it closed on October 29, 2020. We welcome the new owners.
I see I’m being politely asked to leave the stage and get on with the show.
Board Annual Budget 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 Eileen. [Editor’s note: Eileen had a flag; all Board members stood.]
ANNUAL BUDGET MEETING:
Marion: Motion to approve the proposed 2021 budget. Second: Harvey.
Eileen: $1625 maintenance fee…proposed…raising the quarterly dues…to $1,675…would give us additional funds, $120,000 added to the capital reserve…I would like to say a great thank you to all the committees…and the budget committee for all their work. Sue: I tend to agree with Eileen…I would vote to increase the dues to $1,675 because I think it’s fiscally responsible to do so. Eileen: motion to amend the motion. Sue: Second.
Harvey: we are in line with other communities our age…better off to wait to next year…I would not be for that motion. Richard: capital reserve – I don’t like putting money into the capital reserve without being specific…if it’s less than 1% we have all this money…any Board can go in and dissect it and spend the community’s money on capital improvement that the community doesn’t want. I don’t even like the one percent…first have the community vote on it…I do object to putting money into a capital improvement without…
Linda: I do agree with Richard on that…I wanted to see the maintenance increased…we should raise the maintenance…or do an assessment; that really is a toss-up…Mark: thank Eileen for presenting this…she has the best interest at heart for the community…we need to put most of this to votes…
Marion: I don’t want to have the maintenance raised for several reasons. We gave the residents the amount of $1,625 at the budget recommendation to the Board…we need a vote of the community…not by a survey, a vote…Linda: the meeting was a proposal…I don’t see anything wrong with raising the maintenance…like a savings account…as long as Boards don’t take advantage and vote for things that should be a community vote..
Eileen: many residents…are clamoring to upgrade this community…one community meeting since I’ve been here [the café] …last year, there was a presentation about the mailboxes and nothing was done…hopefully, the Board doesn’t use the money for anything else. Richard: once you have the money…but what we’ve had in the past…certain Boards just go ahead and spend it…you could set up a reserve for it, but to put it in a capital reserve…and you know they can take any expense and dissect it for one percent…
[Editor’s note: yes, just like the fence/gate issue, splitting up the project in three parts so that each part is less than the threshold required for a community vote.]
Eileen: people in the community also want to resurface the pickleball court…Richard: it’s the community’s money…capital reserve, we could have four Board members that want a putting green, nothing to restrict…Sue: if the Board wants to spend…that circumvents the rules…or attempts to make an end run to avoid a community vote, then folks you have the wrong people on the Board…can’t believe…would be so unethical as to do that.
[Editor’s note: just like the fence/gate issue, splitting up the project in three parts so that each part is less than the threshold required for a community vote. Per Sue’s statement, that would appear to be unethical, and yet that was exactly what was stated at the March 18, 2020 Board meeting.]
[Editor’s note: there was more discussion.]
Richard: I will speak to Sue privately about certain things and that’s why this is a big bugaboo for me.
Mark: If $1,650 I would vote for it. Marion: we told the residents it would be $1,625…their maintenance will not go down…if we need the money, put out assessment…All in favor of increasing it from $1,625 5o $1,675: Sue, Eileen Linda. The motion fails. Vote on maintenance $1,625 question, all in favor? Harvey, Richard, Marion. Mark abstains. Motion fails. Mark: motion for $1,650. Eileen: second. Marion: $1,650? Passes (voting against it: Richard, Marion, Harvey).
[Editor’s note: Eileen, Sue, Linda, and Mark voted to increase the quarterly maintenance fees to $1,650, which is $25 more than what was noticed to the residents. The motion passed.]
Richard: I’m concerned about spending money in the capital improvement...I don’t want the Board approving something – I’d like to restrict…I’d like to do away with the one percent – because you could take any expense and dissect it to one percent and believe me it’s been done before and spend the community that four people on the Board want…Sue: you would have to change the documents…
Richard: why can’t we do that? Sue: community vote, 75% of the residents would have to approve. Richard: I don’t think the community would have a problem with that…Eileen: I agree that that should be removed…based on the community vote…
Linda: every year our expenses go up…there should be a stipulation that the one percent not be in our documents - it should be – you have to have a community vote…it has been done in the past – getting away with one percent by doing it piecemeal…put to the community that the documents should be changed. Marion: you could put that on an Agenda…
[Editor’s note: wasn’t that the basic complaint we had about the gate/fence project? Apparently, a number of Board members woke up and are now confirming our complaint, whereas before, we over here at the News Site were being lambasted and skewered for raising it and complaining about it. Harvey is still falsely claiming that we are a “bogus fake news” site (see his rant below). Perhaps they went back and listened to the videotape of the March 18, 2020 Board meeting and saw that we reported Harvey’s remarks correctly when we reported that he stated:
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…”
Those were his words and you will see later in the general Board meeting under Old Business, Item 2, N & S Fences on CL Blvd, where other Board members finally admit that what we wrote was in fact true about the breakdown of that project. When we first reported it, we were slammed, and as late as October 28, 2020, Marion sent out a defamatory email blast to the entire community about this News Site, which we will comment on shortly. We rest our case.]
Marion: all in favor? Eileen: second. Marion: all in favor of approving the budget with $1,650 maintenance? Unanimous.
Sue: August 21, 2019, my birthday, motion to accept $193,710 from South Florida Mailboxes was unanimously approved. On February 5, 2020 motion to postpone until survey completed, 6-0 with Mark abstaining. Involve the Rules and Regs committee.
[Editor’s note: the mailboxes and poles (the latter of which are part of the mailboxes) belong to the individual owners; you have no jurisdiction to order mailboxes for anyone. Mailboxes are to be chosen by the individual owner with approval of the ARB. That is what the documents say. Read our dedicated Mailboxes page. So that vote was completely improper.]
Marion: motion to adjourn. Second: male Board member. Adjourned at 10:03am [10:06am on our computer].
[Editor’s note: and now a word on this completely flawed process. The following was sent in an email to the Board and the Chairman of the Budget Committee on the evening of November 5, 2020:
“Florida Statute 720.303 (2)(a) and 2(b) controls all HOA Board meetings, including the annual budget meeting, which is separate and apart from the regular Board meeting.
That statute requires notice of all items on the Agenda for said meeting and it also requires that residents have a right to speak for a minimum of three minutes at said meeting: “The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated items.” That means the right to speak about the quarterly maintenance dues before a vote was taken.
A motion was made that was not on the Agenda for the budget meeting. The community was not given the required notice. The maintenance dues increase is a major change which suddenly appeared out of nowhere in this meeting, and it went from $1625 to $1650 and should not have been voted on without the required notice and the required resident input before the vote.
Is this even proper? The extra $25 per quarter is $100 per year per household for a total of $60,000 of an undesignated slush fund which is more than what would be required for a community vote for an expenditure. So how can you have money sitting there without being properly designated and without knowing where it is going or what it is for?
This caught the entire community by surprise, including the Chairman of the Budget Committee. It is incumbent upon the Board to fix this gross error. Start over. Re-notice the meeting. Send out a proper Agenda with this item on it if you wish to pursue it, explain how it is even proper, and include on the Agenda the Residents’ Input Session. Do it right.”
At press time, we are awaiting a substantive response.
After we sent that email, we researched it further and found this: Florida Statute 720.303(g) does not permit overindulgence into the budget without a reasonable basis therefor, so increasing the quarterly dues on whim without a specifically identified reason appears to be disallowed.]
Regular Board Meeting:
Eileen: point of personal privilege. Captain Lobster is this evening…
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: We call this section “Fear and Desperation vs. Clarity.”
The following is our response to HOA president Marion Weil’s email blast purportedly on behalf of the entire Board sent October 28, 2020 which insulted and defamed your Editor, your Roving Reporter, and this News Site.
Marion’s email falsely claimed that we sometimes harass the Board and other residents, that this News Site is “bogus,” that it is “pretending to be” the official Cascade Lakes website, and that we are “ghosting” Board meetings, whatever that means, but we’re pretty sure it’s derogatory. All of these statements are patently and demonstrably false.
Clearly Marion is not mindful of the “Streisand effect.” Per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, under their “Words We’re Watching” section: “The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby the attempt to suppress something only brings more attention or notoriety to it.”
Aside from Marion’s abuse of HOA resources for the purpose of engaging in shame dumping over our demands for transparency, let’s parse her statements and show you just how disingenuous she is in our opinion.
Who exactly is harassing whom? Not one resident has contacted us and claimed harassment; however, the reverse is true: we have sent cease and desist letters to residents who have spread vicious rumors and lies about us and we have reported on others who engage in behind-the-scenes character assassination of us seemingly at their every opportunity.
Here’s a pop quiz: which of the following dueling scenarios is harassing:
-When we state the truth, or when the Board allows people to bully us?
-When we call out alleged fraud such as the rigged Pickleball elections of January 2020 for which all officers resigned in disgrace, or when the rule-breakers defame us?
-At a Board meeting in late 2019 when your Editor stood her ground, or when Marion physically tried to grab the microphone away from your Editor at around the two minute mark when the Florida statute mandates that a resident shall have a minimum of three minutes to speak at a Board meeting?
-When we opine on Board actions, or when Marion sics the HOA lawyer on us with your money to try to intimidate and stifle us? We just got the numbers from the HOA office on November 6, 2020: $6,052.35 was spent of the HOA money in legal fees for 2019 and 2020 against us specifically, and in our opinion, that was a total waste of your money and completely fiscally irresponsible. Who authorized that?
Was that done with the $1,000 per month slush fund of HOA money that Marion as president apparently gets to use at her discretion without any notice to the community or any Board vote? Is that how she used, in part, her $12,000 per year of HOA money that she believes she is entitled to use at her sole discretion? Where is her accounting? Where are the checks and balances? Where is the rule or regulation that permits this? We could find none. It is time for each and every Board member to step up and address this serious issue.
There are many more examples. Who is really harassing whom?
Harvey says it’s ok to criticize the Board and that the Board is, in his words in the October 21, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary, “fair game for criticism,” but apparently only on the unofficial Cascade Lakes Facebook page where Board bashing is an allowed indulgence by select people deemed worthy of that luxury.
How exactly did we get relegated to second class citizenship under this scenario? Why are the Facebook page criticizers given a pass, but we are repeatedly denounced for demanding transparency, honesty, fiscal responsibility, and integrity from those who are in leadership positions within the HOA?
The audacity of the HOA president to put out an email blast to 1,135+ people with wild accusations and phantom harassment claims against two members of the HOA speaks for itself. Was this action professional? Was this action appropriate? Was this action the embodiment of class? Was it a shining example of leadership?
Marion claims in her email blast that “this is intolerable.” What exactly is intolerable: that we provide necessary checks and balances? That we question expenditures? That we call out alleged malfeasance? That we challenge decisions that appear questionable? That we point out apparent hypocrisy?
Contrary to Marion’s statements, the News Site is not “bogus,” we are not “pretending” to be anything other than what we are, and we don’t understand the accusation that we’re “ghosting” Board meetings. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ghosting thusly:
“1. The appearance of a ghost or secondary image on a television or other display screen.
2. The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
So, which are we: Casper the Friendly Ghost or Rhett Butler? The claim is truly bizarre. We invite clarity on that term. Marion, in your next email blast to the entire community, please define “ghosting” as you understand the term and please cite your reference material.
Marion also complains of us that we are “two residents...giving their own views on the meetings...” Yes, we do that; what exactly is the problem with that?]
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Jeffery D. Green: [Budget Committee Chairperson] The Board is not fiscally responsible; you’re fiscally irresponsible. Adding $25 to the budget makes no sense…mailboxes, pickleball have to be voted on by the community. Spending on crap we don’t need…I was Chairman of the Budget Committee…we discussed…I’ll let you know the rest another time.
[Editor’s note: please run for the Board.]
2. Jeff F. Green [this is a different Jeff Green, this one is married to Diane Green]: Governor DeSantis did not extend the order…Palm Beach County expires November 6…will probably not extend it being that the State has not extended it…I strongly urge the Board to open up wherever possible…ridiculous, no pickleball play in the evening and the pool…very large number of residents, if you don’t unlock the community, we will – petitions, will seek legal advice…not fair…will not be tolerated once the emergency orders have been lifted…
[Editor’s note: please do not run for the Board. And this so-called “large number of residents” is, upon information and belief, not as large as one would be led to believe. Loud, yes; large, not necessarily. Finally, as of press time, the State’s emergency order was extended to January 3, 2021.]
2. Barry Gordon: This Board should…completely fiscally irresponsible with what you just did with the budget. I think it’s disgusting.
3. Irwin Schenkman: mailboxes. Marion: not on the Agenda; bring it up in the second residents’ input session. Irwin: shed? Residents – have them paint around the whole building…and some of the signs we’ve had in the past…tennis signs…
Approval of Minutes: October 21, 2020 – Lind Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of October 21, 2020. Second: Harvey. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: I did not do a report today because you had a budget meeting; except mow will be three times this month; finish today, the 11th and 12th and the 23rd to the 24th.
[Editor’s note: the following items are not on the Agenda but most certainly should be:
A. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community: 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 (see our story above in the Editor’s Opening Monologue).
This, in our opinion, is no way to run an organization, where some elite few are aware of the Board allowing Alex inside the gates and some are not; does that sound fair and transparent to you?
B. Correction of March 18, 2020 HOA Minutes: these Minutes are inherently incorrect. The Minutes state that the fence price for the north and south side of Cascade Lakes Blvd. at Military Trail is an amount that includes the pedestrian gates and then they state that the gates are not included. Both cannot be true. Sue addresses this in item #2 below.]
1. Roof Replacement: $347,700 (1,3) (R) Richard Greene. Richard: color- we can’t use that same material…too light…propose same tile as we used before…hire engineering expert in roofing? ... anticipated life is 20 years…Motion to approve the contract with the amendment. Second: Mark.
Harvey: Propose as part of Richard’s motion, hire independent engineer to act as project manager. Richard: I agree to amend it. Sue: what exactly is covered in limited labor and materials warranty and why is the warranty so limited? Guaranty for 20 years but limited guaranty for 8 years. Marion: this is what the lawyers recommended. Sue: performance and payment bond? …
Eileen: how much is a project engineer gonna run us; would affect the reserve. Richard: it’s coming out of reserve…project manager is very important…I’m guessing at least $10,000. Marion: I’m guessing around $25,000…
Richard: well worth it. Harvey: well worth it. Richard: I think Steve [Olitsky] is an excellent source…nothing is going to be done before hurricane season is over. Marion: any other questions/comments – roof amendment from the attorney. Motion, contract with amendments, amendment to use an engineer, all in favor, $347,700 including amendment and including finding an engineer whose expertise is in roofing: unanimous.
2. N & S Fences on CL Blvd - Sue Schmer
[Editor’s note: Marion in her e-mail blast of October 28, 2020 stated that the sheriff advised the HOA of the vulnerability of the front entrance and exit at Cascade Lakes Boulevard and Military Trail. She failed to advise as to when this advice was given. Was it given in the last year or was it in fact given back in 2018 when nothing was done because apparently it wasn’t too important then?
It seems much more likely that the sheriff surveyed the entire community and pointed out various vulnerable areas all around the perimeter, including Piper’s Glen and the canal behind Grove Ridge Lane and Landon Circle. The place is not encased or walled or moated. There is no drawbridge, and this isn’t a castle. Other communities in the area do not have entrance fences and gates in addition to their guard shacks.
Upon information and belief, a purported survey was done to determine security issues, but that survey was done prior to March 2019 and before Harvey Ginsberg was on the Board. Nothing was done on the matter of the front fences/gates until a full year later, on March 18, 2020, by the Marion/Harvey duo per the official HOA Minutes.
The residents are paying for ADT security services as part of their HOA dues. Marion mentioned in her email blast that someone entered the community with a gun; this was a long while ago and there is no mention as to where the individual entered; likewise, the reference to the individual found in the clubhouse a long while ago also did not reveal when this occurred or his mode or location of entry.
Per one well-connected resident on the HOA message board, it was believed that Marion “was referring to the incidents that occurred years ago in her recent update.” [underlining supplied.]
In the last year and a half that your Editor and Roving Reporter have been here, there has been one known crime report and that may have been an inside job, meaning by someone who had permission to access the community, thus neutering the urgency of the fence/gate security argument. The Board refused to advise the residents of the details of that purported crime.
As we have continually asked, where is the transparency? Why is there so much secrecy? The obvious question is: why was there a sudden need on March 18, 2020 to spend your money on fencing (as part of a larger project admitted to) years after the alleged incidents referenced? In the meantime, we stand by our reports on the fence/gate as written because none of what we have reported, which included the HOA’s official March 18, 2020 Minutes and Board member statements, has been refuted by competent or convincing evidence.
To the contrary, the evidence supporting our report is overwhelming, and as you shall see below, includes the actual proposal from Rapid Fence showing the detailed charges exactly as we reported the breakdown.]
Harvey: Point of information please. Marion: yes. Harvey: ok, just a point of information here. I’ve been the victim of a malicious attack of rumor, innuendo, misinformation, and character assassination and outright lies by Vicki and Arthur Andelson on their bogus fake news website regarding the matter of the fences to be erected on Cascade Lakes Boulevard, questioning my integrity and my motivation as a Board member.
I demand a public apology from them, but I doubt that one’s coming any time soon. Sadly, there are those in this community who read their malarky and believe it as the gospel truth. I’m thoroughly disgusted by this and to avoid any further, adding any more fuel to the fire, I’m going to recuse myself from any further discussion on this matter. Therefore, I’ll be muting my audio and video for the duration of the discussion and will return upon its conclusion. Thank you. Marion: thank you, Harvey.
[Editor’s note: this ranting and raving by Harvey is harassment toward us. The only one engaging in defamation is Harvey. Not one fact was ever disputed. Harvey just recused himself. The March 18, 2020 Minutes and the synopsis speak for themselves. As you will see from the Board’s discussion below and the document below, it is clear that what we reported was accurate.
The ones entitled to a public apology are we and the community, but no one is holding their collective breaths. Frankly, you, Harvey, owe the community an apology for trying to do an end run around the community vote. Marion, you were his tag-team on this one, so that goes for you, too. The two of you abused your power and should be ashamed of yourselves.
And Harvey should really stop insulting the residents of the community; they are fully capable of thinking for themselves, agreeing with us, disagreeing with us, and drawing their own conclusions. This criticism of the community is a deflection, and it is similar to the false claim that the News Site is “brainwashing” the community (credit Debbie Berenholtz for that one). Nonsense. Give the residents more credit than that.
Final thought: here is a multiple-choice question: who stated at the March 18, 2020 Board meeting: “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…”?
B. Vicki and Arthur
C. None of the Above.
Answer: A. Harvey.
Here is a copy of the proposal for the fence/gate, which totals $62,710 on this document, which we obtained from the HOA office on November 6, 2020, so you can see with your own eyes that what we reported was true, including all of the specific breakdowns exactly as we reported:
We rest our case. And now on to the Board discussion.]
Sue: I thought long and hard about whether or not I should put this on the Agenda, and after weighing the pros and cons, I said, yes, and let me explain why. I was not on the Board at the time. I’m going to ask and answer questions.
1. Is it required to improve security? No place will ever be 100% secure.
2. What factors went into the decision-making factors? On March 18, 2020, my opinions, I do not think that it was necessary. Because…sheriff’s…break-ins – at the time past, in my judgment…no need; no issue of security at that time. The motion was passed. On January 8, Landscaping and Safety & Security; on March 4 postponed for more information, on March 18 the motion was made.
3. What is the total cost of the fencing? It is not mentioned in the Board Minutes; will it be $23,990 without adding additional fencing improve the security? The answer is NO; unless we add on things, it will not improve security.
And Linda, for your Minutes, the total amount was not $23,990; it should be $21,370 because the March 18th motion – to amend the original motion not to include the pedestrian gates; the figure is incorrect…
4. Rationale based on wants or needs – where do we go from here. If at all possible, get out of this contract. I asked for permits, was told they were not available. We are concerned about spending money and this is a serious mistake.
Marion: the contract is already signed, deposit given, permits applied for; safety and security committee – for years – have had the sheriff department in here doing inspections – all of them have said the south and north side are the easiest ways to come in through the front… I believe they are necessary for security…regardless of ADT…
[Editor’s note: no; that’s an attempt to cover for herself and Harvey; it was Marion’s motion and Harvey seconded it.]
Linda: I was on the Board that voted for the gates – the fences, sorry… but it was also said you would need the swing gates and pedestrian gates… [emphasis supplied.]
[Editor’s note: whoa: that’s what we reported and is another admission which confirms our report. Someone else on the Board besides Sue definitely listened to the tape and then reread our reports which were 100% consistent with the tape, so thank you, Linda, for taking the time to do so. Also, this is consistent with the actual document we received from the HOA office showing the proposals and the breakdowns.]
Linda: Fences- why do you have to go through the bushes when you can walk through…
[Editor’s note: again, making the same points we made.]
Linda: I also feel we should try to get out of this; as long as the materials haven’t been delivered, lose the deposit, fine. We should withstand the loss of the deposit. The contract should be broken.
Marion: they make it in their own factory.
Eileen: I never went to that factory…$1,000 deposit… I totally and completely agree with Linda…having looked back I regret I voted for it…
[Editor’s note: it is OK to make a mistake; owning it shows courage. Own it, correct it, and move on. Thank you. To the contrary, doubling down on one’s errant behavior and decisions – Marion and Harvey – shows cowardice.]
Eileen: It would have needed a community vote…
[Editor’s note: yes, that is what we said, that Harvey and Marion did an end-run around the community vote rule and tried to piecemeal this to achieve their own goals at the expense of the community. The rest of you (except Alan Silver who was the lone dissenter) were duped. We are very happy that you now see that reality.]
Eileen: I would also like to see us try to get … [out of the contract]
Richard: If I was on the Board, I agree. You have a signed contract with a vendor; you don’t want to have a reputation…
[Editor’s note: oh, please. Call them up and tell them to stop the presses immediately. Ask them how much they are out of pocket with their labor and materials to date. Pay that. Tell them you want to work with them in the future. And then be done with it.]
Linda: Assuming we can get out of it, I don’t want to be held hostage by a company; if the company doesn’t want to work with us, there are many other companies. I believe this proposal was passed under false pretenses. [emphasis supplied.]
[Editor’s note: wow, Linda just stated that she believes the proposal was passed under false pretenses; that’s a stunning turn-around and a complete vindication of what we reported, and a repudiation of what Harvey is ranting about.]
Linda: It wasn’t going to be done at once. 2020, 2021, then gates 2022… [emphasis supplied.]
[Editor’s note: this is exactly what we reported. Linda’s clarity on this as opposed to her statements at the previous Board meeting again points to one inescapable conclusion: she likely listened to the tape and confirmed to herself what we reported.]
Linda: Those fences are not gonna afford us any more security…Break-ins, I’m not so sure break-ins come in through bushes or hedges; it’s usually a car…two of those break-ins were inside jobs – that’s a belief and other people’s beliefs… [emphasis supplied.]
[Editor’s note: did Linda memorize some of what we have reported? It sure seems like it. This is a complete turn-around from what she stated at the October 21, 2020 Board meeting. Again, that is OK, we applaud the willingness to be educated and corrected and to then own it. Thank you, Linda.]
Mark: I’m the one that voted against the contract.
[Editor’s note: no, Mr. Magoo, you voted for it; former Board member Alan Silver was the lone dissenter.]
Mark: As much as I’m against it, we have to [honor the contract.]
[Editor’s note: why? There is no liquidated damages clause in the contract, which we obtained on November 6, 2020, so negotiate a cancellation fee; perhaps the $1,000 deposit will be sufficient, or ask them to credit it against a future project as Debbie Berenholtz suggested in the Second Residents’ Input Session. This is so simple. But don’t delay, because the more time that you allow to transpire, the more work they will have done and the less they would be willing to settle.]
Sue: Point of Order. Marion, this is a discussion of the Board only.
[Editor’s note: that’s what we said a few synopses ago; we queried as to why Deborah was participating without being first called upon; we queried if she were the 8th Board member, so thank you, Sue.]
Eileen: Motion [to cancel the contract]. Sue: Second. Marion: 3 to 3. The motion dies.
[Editor’s note: Eileen, Sue, and Linda voted to cancel the contract; Marion, Mark, and Richard opposed the motion.]
Sue: Ok, I have another motion. If you read the contract you signed, when you cancel, you can get out of it if both parties agree. Motion. [it died.]
Sue: for fiscal year 2021, no additional money is to be spent on the front gate fencing and gates unless the entire process is put to a community vote. Eileen: Second. Marion: unanimous. Linda: Sue, can I have that in writing? Eileen: we’re only gonna have one fence on one side. Richard: the contract said two sides. Eileen: when is the second fence due to be put in? Marion: 2021. Richard: reserve item.
[Editor’s note: Call them up and talk to the vendor! And then, in Harvey-esque fashion, put this back on the Agenda for next time and try again.]
[Editor’s further note: Harvey has returned from his self-imposed exile.]
3. Hotwire Update: Marion Weil
[Editor’s note: on Sunday, November 1, 2020, a resident reported to this News Site that he/she contacted Hotwire directly and had Hotwire install the voice remotes, per the HOA’s contract, without charge.
Per this resident, Hotwire initially wanted to charge $495 but the resident demanded that they look at the HOA contract and after multiple attempts, they were able to adjust their system to provide for the voice remotes and their installation without charge, which the resident reports was done on October 29, 2020.
Congratulations to the resident for his/her tenacity and ability to get something done that apparently the HOA Board was previously and incomprehensibly incapable of timely accomplishing.]
Marion: we will be getting the voice remotes in a project starting January 11…pod by pod…you will exchange your digital receiver/DVR. You will lose everything you have recorded because it’s another DVR. They will be removing the battery back-ups…Eileen: [words to the effect of: wouldn’t the battery assist us with a hard line?] ... Marion: the battery will last three years…$55 if replace the battery…Harvey: in writing? Marion: yes, you got it this morning.
Sue: on page 3, specifically lists – battery back-up and on page 5, required to maintain the stuff they put in. Why are we paying…Marion: they have the right to change their charges. Sue: their charges, not the equipment. Every time spending money it involves contracts; I read it one way; others read it another. Eileen: we have to look at this…Marion: you do not have to accept the new remotes and boxes…Harvey: the picture quality is better…
1. Hartzell: Change order – electric $3,431.40 (1,3) (R) Mark Goodman. Mark: eliminate from the discussion because we did have it in the contract, and I am negotiating with them; remove from the Agenda.
2. Hartzell: Interior Wall - $2,280 (3) (R) Mark Goodman. [Editor’s note: this appears to be a contemplated interior wall within the new shed/utility building.] Mark: to separate the various parts of the building… Marion: Lee would have interior wall so his equipment would be separate from maintenance…plywood… Mark: $2,280 to build this wall. Second: Marion [possibly] Eileen: has Engineering looked into this?
Marion: yes. Mark: Engineering was for this. Marion: Larry Jacobowitz and Arnie Green as project managers. Sue: why wasn’t this thought of or done before? We keep on adding things to the contract. Where were the specs? Why didn’t…ask Lee before?...
Marion: contracts- monies set aside for contingencies…this one popped up. Sue: maybe I question the pop-ups. Eileen: hindsight – I personally think that the utility building is an eyesore, too large, the angle is horrible, it’s removed any pleasant view of the sports center, and all I heard, we had no choice – a lot of residents reflect the same. We have to do something to enhance the community…hoping will take away from this…
Harvey: wall – I’m definitely against painting anything on those walls because it would look like graffiti. Sue: wait until New Business #5.
Marion: proposal, motion for utility building…Harvey: after we get the Certificate of Occupancy? Marion: yes. Marion: all in favor? 4-2-1. [In favor: Richard, Marion, Mark, Harvey; Against: Eileen, Sue; Abstain: Linda.]
3. Landscape: Utility Building – $2,020.00 (1,2) (R) Mark Goodman. Mark: already included in the budget…will greatly improve the look of the building…motion for utility building landscape; second: Harvey. Eileen: if you put a palm in the middle of that wall, how do you put signage? Two smaller palms, you can have signing between them. Marion: palm tree toward the rear.
Linda: if you’re gonna put trees up, to keep everything balanced, I suggest two palms…and low bushes…something that resembles symmetry. And you want to see what it’s gonna look like…ficus…I would like to see something other than ficus; I would like to see low flowering bushes…this building is an eyesore; I propose to take this off the Agenda until we see a rendering…
Sue: I more than agree with Linda. How can you vote on an expenditure of money when you haven’t seen any plans that would justify the cost…table this… Marion: this will hold up our C.O. [Certificate of Occupancy] County requires…Sue: it can’t wait two weeks until the next Board meeting?
Deborah: permission to speak?
[Editor’s note: perfect; everyone is learning the proper procedure, so kudos all around. We didn’t hear permission granted, but we assume Marion nodded in some affirmative fashion.]
Deborah: this is according to the plan that the County is requiring…this is the minimal to get a landscaping [approval] first…Linda: there’s no reason to rush into this…wait until you’re all satisfied… [Editor’s note: a discussion about the palm tree ensued.] Deborah: [starting to speak] – Sue: Marion, Point of Order, this is for discussion for the Board!
[Editor’s note: ok, two steps forward, one step back. It’s a learning curve and a retraining process. Further Board discussion ensued.]
Harvey: two weeks more isn’t gonna hurt us…table this motion…rendering…motion to table this motion pending rendering. Sue: second. Marion: two motions. The first motion, to accept the proposal: all in favor? Mark, Richard. Oppose: four. Marion: abstain. Now, motion to table: all in favor? Unanimous.
4. Sidewalk ramp to be enlarged – $2500-$4300 (1,3) (R) Mark Goodman. Mark: increase the ramp near the utility building…wider ramps for the carts…
Marion: Lee on the cart, he has to run over some of the stone work by the bicycle racks and by the pickleball courts…two proposals, to remove and relocate existing river rock, cut curbing and dispose, form concrete pour, replace the slabs with 3,000 psi concrete reenforced…four inches thick…by the pickleball court, pavers there…pavers are $450, concrete slab $2,592 = $3,042. Hartzell, same thing, $4,320.
Mark: motion to approve APC contract, $3,042 based on the request of the Engineering Committee and Lee. Second: Harvey.
Sue: anyone who watched that building go up knew Lee could not get his cart around. What did the specs say? Marion: every project has change orders; this is one of them. Sue: this is not a change order before you had any work done…Marion: the building could not be smaller per the County. Sue: I’m not going to go with that…sprinklers to be removed by others? Who? Marion: not an extra cost. All in favor of APC for $3,042: Richard, Harvey, Marion, Mark. Four, passes. Three abstain: Linda, Sue, Eileen.
5. Signage for Utility Building – Sue Schmer. Sue: motion for Facilities to get prices for signage for the utility building beige wall facing the parking lot. Second: Eileen. [Editor’s note: something to the effect of – but not make a decision on…] Harvey: what do you mean? Sue: a mural was not a signage; signs means letters. I don’t want to predetermine what Facilities decides, led by Phyllis Martin-Hirsch, a very capable woman. [Editor’s note: we agree wholeheartedly!]
Harvey: Graffiti. Sue: you don’t know until they come up with them. Harvey: I want to see renderings. To paint something on the sides of the walls to make it look cheap, I want to see what it’s gonna look like. Eileen: Harvey, you’re assuming it’s going to be a mural; they’re looking at signage…looking at other signage for the community…Harvey: motion to table to get further information. Several Board members: it is to get more information…Sue: amend, to get further information. Eileen: Second. Marion: Unanimous.
6. Plans for State of Emergency when rescinded – Sue Schmer. Sue: Eileen and I are very concerned. If the state of emergency is not extended, we needed a plan in place…Eileen actually did the majority of this…Jeff Green [Jeff F. Green, the newer Jeff Green, not the Jeffrey D. Green Budget Committee Chairman], we did review the Palm Beach County rules, came up with suggested plan that includes every place in the clubhouse…Motion to accept the rules for use of the common areas when the County and the State rescind the emergency orders. Harvey: Second.
Harvey: Let it be said that we have the plans in place and then we will blast these in an email…we need to make accommodations for family members so they can sit side by side…violations…Eileen: …card and poker rooms…question came down, face masks and six feet distancing in closed environment…Harvey: six feet, and if you can’t, then you need to wear a mask…Eileen: the pandemic is still here…sitting at a card table…it’s an unknown…I question…being inside- even with a mask, are we safe…
Harvey: if you feel uncomfortable playing in the card room, then come, if you don’t, then don’t…there are people playing now in their houses…Sue: our concern…you’d have to remove some of the tables in the card room; it’s a logistical nightmare for the staff…Eileen: have to be consistent – card room and ballroom… [back and forth]
Harvey: …take the chairs away…Linda: I’m starting to agree with Harvey; we are all adults…if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t come…we can’t stop living until there is a vaccine…card room, mark off the tables…getting redundant…
Eileen: then open up all the amenities…pool room, card room, ballroom. You’re picking and choosing. Why? If there’s no restrictions, open up, or, if you want to be consistent, be consistent with every amenity.
Harvey: …we are all adults. Some people are moving out because they’re tired of all the restrictions.
[Editor’s note: oh, so it’s not because of us over here at the News Site as you previously falsely claimed. So, when were you lying: then or now?]
Marion: We are responsible for the health and safety of our residents. We can’t just throw everything to the wind…Eileen: it is not set in stone at this point…I believe we have to be consistent…Marion: if Palm Beach County lifts the state of emergency on November 6, then we need to put this in action quickly…
Sue: [more discussion] …people will be happy when they see it…there shouldn’t be anybody that thinks that the Board doesn’t have plans just in case. Harvey: …Lee is still responsible for doing scheduling…we need to put these into place. Eileen: we should go over each item and vote each item yes or no. Marion: only disagreed – ballroom with movies and penalties with violations.
Eileen: sports, back to …it says, ‘continue to be done by Lee until further notice.’ The fitness center, limited, open but still limited…opening would be foolish…exercising, a lot of germs…machines, every other one…
Harvey: we have to sanitize…in effect on the 7th…but have to sanitize…Marion: [snowbirds, testing] we’ve been told by the attorneys we’re not medical staff, we can’t do that… [further discussion] …Eileen: some people are comfortable with scheduled swim…a half day as option; some people are uncomfortable with open swim. Harvey: every morning. Eileen: not fair; some people want to do it in the afternoon.
Marion: violations…Mark: are we continuing with Zoom? Arnie: up to the Board. Eileen: we can continue to do Zoom. Harvey: we’re getting better attendance in Zoom. Lawyers are saying in webinars – I suggest we continue. [discussion] Eileen: I’ll revise it…Harvey: I don’t mind doing it. Sue: I want to give deference to Eileen on this…
Marion: motion, all in favor, Eileen update? Unanimous. Then send to Deborah to be sent out.
[Editor’s note: on November 6, 2020, the State’s state of emergency order was extended to January 3, 2021.]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Joyce Winston: families are people that own the house, not their children, grandchildren. Marion: correct, no guests.
Joyce: now, fences, proposed. At one of the meetings, it was finally agreed that the total cost was over $62,000, which does come over the one percent that needs a full vote. I am ashamed you think you can get around us; that’s disgusting. We have documents, it must be a vote of 75%...I wish you would stop ordering these fences until…I am just furious that you could put one over. Harvey said it, it’s in the Minutes of the G-d damn meeting, so we don’t have to put a community vote. I ask you to cancel.
[Editor’s note: Here is what he said at the March 18, 2020 Board meeting:
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…”]
2. Larry Jacobowitz: the shed, Engineering Committee – nothing was done that we suggested. Setting up walls – we had no input on that; it’s not from the engineering committee. In terms of hiring an engineer – doesn’t want to take responsibility. We will sit in on interviews and make recommendations, but the final decision should come from FirstResidential and the Board.
[Editor’s note: this is directly contrary to what Marion and Mark represented above under New Business, Item 2. They said in response to a question from Eileen:
“Eileen: has Engineering looked into this? Marion: yes. Mark: Engineering was for this.”
So here you have the Chairperson of the Engineering Committee directly contradicting the clear representations of two Board members, Marion and Mark. Now if you were a betting person, whom would you believe: the Chairman of the Engineering Committee or Marion and Mr. Magoo?]
3. Barbara Gordon: I can’t get over how many Board members that are already a fait accompli. Things that are, are, and we need to move forward…utility building, no point in going over how much you don’t like it…adult community, I didn’t vote for Board members to be my parents…everybody has free choice…you are dealing with adults.
4. Shelly Andreas: landscaping at the shed, it was not the chairpeople or the committee who decided what plants were to be there. That was the landscaping plan from the County in order to get your Certificate of Occupancy…
5. Leonard Tannen: I’m appalled at the lack of information that the Board members bring and and then vote on it…ill prepared…from a fiduciary point of view…Joyce…I agree with her…doing things, I can’t believe in twenty years we have never cancelled a contract. An absurd statement to make. The whole business with the fence…be prepared…don’t presume facts…I was really ticked off, someone made the comment we’ve never cancelled a contract; that’s unrealistic.
6. Joyce Winston: Eileen, I was ad hoc president, been here from the beginning, we did have 91% approval of the refresh of the clubhouse…when you have a legitimate reason to have the community spend over one percent of the budget…Harvey should recuse himself from any vote. Marion: he did.
7. Irwin Schenkman: mailboxes, I don’t ever remember the community response for the mailboxes; there are only about 20 poles not standing, can be easily taken care of. Home Depot. Decorating the building – tree- lose the parking spaces…paint the palm tree as a frame…doesn’t have to be planted…hang pictures on the building…decorating the building with sports things would really work…I don’t ever remember us hiring somebody to oversee…we have a lot of talented people in this place.
8. Debbie Berenholtz: any issue with weak security on their routers? Hotwire. My name says weak security. Scams…anybody having a problem…Marion: I haven’t heard of anybody. Debbie: concern, when they put Hotwire in, they used cell phones…can they get into our computers…my mother was recently hacked and some others…we have break-ins when Hotwire comes into the community…Marion: we will address that. Harvey: you should be running a firewall. Debbie: we thought the break-ins were the day workers.
9. Beryl Goldberg: Echoes – return? Marion: no, the Echoes are yours. Beryl: every two months you bring up a bill for replacing trees…because the roots…before putting any shrubbery…we need to make sure…not going to pull up a sidewalk or a walkway and then have to be replaced…and then replace with two trees because that is what the County is saying…it’s quite upsetting every other month.
10. Diane Green: we were hacked in a couple of different ways, our router was hacked…all of our passwords were compromised…pool – lounge chairs are all stacked up, moldy, will eat through the fabric; somebody needs to take those lounge chairs apart and clean them.
11. Art Ritt: I’m upset like a lot of other people – the contract on the fences – we have nothing to lose. Somebody might say something bad? That’s ridiculous. Why can’t it be utilized in the back fence; is that a possibility? Marion: we already have them back there. Art: we need to go back and talk to these people – committee – doesn’t have to be the Board. Renegotiate.
12. Dorothy [probably Waxman]: I was in NY six months, came back, Friday, did not think [the shed/utility building] it was so terrible, otherwise, looks like landscaping will draw your eyes to it. Landscaping could cause a problem. We have made a lot of mistakes here, lounge chairs with slats, and then one with people hurting their foot, then water in it; we have to be very careful. Refresh for the clubhouse was handled so fabulously…lobby looks great…
13. Debbie Berenholtz: question, can we put our deposit with this company as a credit toward possible future repairs rather than losing the deposit? Marion: I don’t know; we’ll have to see.
[Editor’s note: this is an excellent idea; negotiate for this result.]
Round Table Discussion:
Eileen: [about the new rules] rules coming up, arts and crafts room, pool room…
Linda: proceed with caution, landscaping in front of the utility building…
Sue: I’ve said enough.
Harvey: the only thing I want to say is there’s been a lot of comments about the mailboxes, about homeowners owning the mailboxes; there’s been a, I don’t know where we got it from, I think it was webinars, whatever, what’s happened in other communities in the past, just to clarify is the community, the association, takes temporary ownership of the mailboxes and then replaces them, and then after that’s done, the mailboxes are, they turn mailbox ownership back over to the, to the homeowners, all right, so, the other thing, too, is for our personnel session after this, everybody has the thing, give me five minutes to log on so we can host that webinar.
[Editor’s note: Harvey, have you lost your mind? The only way that other communities could have possibly done this legally is if there were a provision in their governing documents allowing for it or if the communities properly and legally voted for it. Our governing documents do not allow for it and in fact specifically state that the mailboxes are owned by their homeowners and that the fate of each individual mailbox is controlled by the individual homeowner with ARB approval.
You cannot under any circumstance circumvent ownership of these mailboxes, period. You have no eminent domain rights. We are not selling to, or transferring to, the HOA our ownership rights in our mailbox. You cannot vote to make us do that. Stop trying to finagle the rules to fit your agendas.
Also, Harvey’s statement wherein he suggests transfer of ownership of the mailboxes from the individual homeowner to the HOA for the limited purpose of replacing the mailboxes shows that he knows that there should be no community vote to buy 600 uniform mailboxes to begin with and that the mailboxes are determined by the individual homeowner with ARB approval; why else suggest such a scenario if you believed the mailboxes were subject to a community vote?
In fact, the mailboxes are not subject to a community vote in and of themselves; the only way to accomplish community control over the mailboxes is to first change the governing documents that define the ownership and rights in the mailboxes (and the poles, which are a part of the mailboxes).
But that would likely be very problematic because those who already purchased their homes purchased them with the ownership of the mailboxes included. You can’t legally take part of an owner’s property away. The state could do that through eminent domain with a justifiable reason and just compensation due, but the HOA is not the state.
If you could accomplish changing that (doubtful), then you would have a shot at a vote to purchase mailboxes en masse for everyone. But as it stands now, there is no rule requiring uniformity and no rule allowing you to control individual mailboxes, so let it go already.]
Marion: can I get a motion to adjourn? Sue: motion to adjourn. Linda: Second. Marion: Unanimous, 12:18pm. [Editor’s note: 12:21pm on our computer.]
[Editor’s note: Once again, a big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meetings. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.
And so concludes the board meeting of November 4, 2020; next Board meeting: November 18, 2020 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]