12/02/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted December 6, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the December 2, 2020 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”
We had heard through the grapevine a number of days before this Board meeting that Harvey was itching to be Vice-President. No one’s been this excited to be Vice-President since former slum occupant Eva Duarte married Argentine strongman Juan Perón.
And with that, I’m being politely urged to end the monologue and get on to the penultimate Board meeting of 2020.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:31am.
Board Members Present: Marion Weil (President), Richard Greene (Treasurer), Linda Arbeit (Secretary), Harvey Ginsberg, Eileen Olitsky, and Sue Schmer.
Call to Order: Marion Weil.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Richard Greene. [Editor’s note: Richard had a picture of a flag; all Board members stood.]
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Harvey and Richard: “don’t worry! We’ll save you!”]
Harvey: Point of Personal Privilege: I’d like to address the situation regarding the fences on Cascade Lakes Blvd. I was wrong to suggest that by doing the project in piecemeal we could avoid the need for a community vote. For this, I am truly sorry, and I apologize to my fellow Board members and the rest of the community as well. I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
I assure you that my sole motivation was and always has been the safety and security of the community and not personal as has been suggested by some individuals, as I have nothing more to gain from the project than any other resident of Cascade Lakes. I’ve recused myself from any further discussion and vote on the matter and will continue to do so. I will support whatever course of action is decided on by the remainder of the Board. Thank you. Marion: Thank you.
[Editor’s note: well, that’s a start, an admission that what we wrote was true, that you specifically stated that your intention was to do an end run around the community vote requirement. Had we not brought it up, however, there would never have been an apology and this expenditure would have gone through as if it were business as usual.
We also do not believe it is fair to say that Harvey had “nothing more to gain from the project than any other resident of Cascade Lakes” because clearly the project benefited him and his specific location vis-à-vis the project. At the very least, he should have disclosed this to the community at the time that matter was raised and prior to the vote.
Now how about an apology to this News Site and its residents, your Editor and your Roving Reporter, for slandering us and calling us “fake news” and “bogus” on the record. Obviously, with Harvey’s admission, it is incumbent upon him to apologize to us and to the entire community for his slanderous comments on more than one occasion.
For example, as we reported in our October 21, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled Deflection and Projection, Harvey attacked us, harassed us, and falsely attributed negative intentions to us. Then again as we reported in our November 4, 2020 synopsis and commentary entitled False Pretenses and Go Ask Alex, The Sequel, he went even further and engaged in actual slander of us and this News Site. He named us personally and publicly.
Why didn’t he apologize back then? He had more than enough opportunity. No, he remained silent, and actually went on the offensive, and that was a deliberate decision. When Mark Goodman resigned as a Board member and Vice-President, Harvey saw an opportunity to be Vice-President, and likely knew that there would be no or little way he would be able to secure that spot unless he apologized for his previous behavior. He is also eyeing the March elections which are around the corner. So, is this truly genuine or is it a political calculation?
Now that Harvey has admitted that what we reported was true with regard to his attempt to do an end run around the requirement of a community vote for the fence/gate project, it is time for him to issue an apology to us and to the community for his inappropriate remarks about us and this News Site during his slanderous ranting. We won’t hold our breaths, however.
Meanwhile, we saved the community $62,710 on this issue alone, and another $60,000 on the annual budget meeting do-over/challenge against the collection of an undesignated fund sought by raising the quarterly dues beyond which that which was recommended by the Budget Committee, so claims of our being evil and harmful to the community ring hollow.
A third example is when we first arrived here a year and a half ago; the issue of that moment was whether or not to force everyone into having landline phones (VOIP phones to be more accurate: Voice Over Internet Protocol, which are not true landlines). Your Editor was very vocal on the HOA message board and at Board meetings in my opposition to this monthly expense being forced upon every homeowner.
That would have cost about $23 per month per home, which was $13,800 per month overall ($23 times 600 homes) which would have cost $165,600 every year ($23 times 600 times 12 months). Your Editor was harassed by multiple residents for my unrelenting objection to this form of socialism, but I was undeterred, and this forced expense was ultimately not implemented.
It is true that I was not the only one who objected, but by most accounts, I was the most tenacious and unrelenting about it. Some of those complainants who lambasted me on the HOA message board back then are now ardent supporters of this News Site and your Editor and your Roving Reporter, and we appreciate that very, very much.
We won’t list here all the other sums of money we have saved the community by being vocal and challenging matters when appropriate, but the amounts of savings are really adding up, and we are thrilled to be able to do so. We regret that we arrived after the shed issue was essentially a done deal ($130,000 down the toilet) and of course after the clubhouse hurricane windows were purchased without a community vote ($230,000 upon information and belief). But we are here now, and we are going nowhere else.
We are by no means taking credit alone for any of this. We do, however, take credit for opening up a forum where these issues can be raised, developed, circulated, and addressed, and for keeping the pressure on so that the community at large can express their views and thereby have an impact on how they are governed. Anyone who objects to that open communication and the twin goals of fairness and fiscal responsibility in our opinion doesn’t love Cascade Lakes as much as we do.
And now let’s all sing along to the tune of We Love You Conrad by Charles Strouse (composer) and Lee Adams (lyricist) from the classic Bye, Bye, Birdie (1960 stage production; 1963 film):
We love you Cascade LakesOh yes we doooooo We love you Cascade Lakes And we'll be true When you're not near us We're blue Oh Cascade Lakes we love you
Trivia: the late Dick Gautier played Conrad Birdie on Broadway (see photo above) and was nominated for a Tony for his role. He also played Hymie the Robot on the iconic television sitcom (situation comedy), Get Smart. Your Editor worked with Dick in the late 1970’s on a TV game show called Liar’s Club, a Ralph Andrews production which taped on the KTLA lot in Los Angeles. Dick was a panelist, as was Betty White and a then relatively unknown comic named David Letterman.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Dick was a great caricaturist. During one of the story meetings on the Liar’s Club, he drew a caricature of your Editor, however after an exhaustive search we were unable to locate it by press time; it must be tucked away in one of our many unopened boxes from our move here a year and a half ago.
Your Editor had a blast working on Liar’s Club in the late 1970’s. With all the comedians and comics around, it was really hilarious, and Dick’s talents were legendary in the industry. And then some twenty years later, we dated briefly, but that’s a whole other story. And now on to the residents’ input session.]
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Jerry Dinerman: I was concerned about the discussion which is on the Agenda for the president’s discretionary funds. I asked the Treasurer to try to look up when a vote was taken, Marion, as you had said we had done many times. Marion: yes. Jerry: I spoke to him yesterday and he said he didn’t do it and I asked why and he said because it’s on the Agenda. Well, this is no way to answer a resident’s concern, to say something is on the Agenda to I don’t have to look up what you’re looking for. I was very, very concerned about that [Richard is raising his hand to speak]. Marion: ok.
Jerry: It’s the current Treasurer, ok. [Richard Greene is the current treasurer]. For those residents who may not know me, because we have a lot of new residents now, I’ve been on the Board for six years; I’ve held the office of Secretary, I’ve held the office of Treasurer, and I’ve held the office of Vice-President, and I’ve just got off this past election cycle.
I’m very concerned because in the six years that I have been on the Board, I do not ever, ever remember the discussion of a thousand dollars discretionary fund by the President. I’m not concerned with whether it was used or not; I’m concerned by the fact that it now seems to be established that no vote was ever taken for this item. And I’m very concerned, and I hope something will be done at today’s Board meeting. Marion: ok.
Jerry: In addition, as far as I know, Deborah always had a $500 fund, and I’ve ever heard it brought up and discussed at the Board meeting to make it a thousand dollars rather than $500. Marion: ok, thank you. Richard: ok, I’d like to say something, too. Marion: no, Richard, this is just Resident Input – Richard: well, he brought up my name and I think I should say some--- Marion: no. Jerry: I did not bring up your name, I said the treasurer. Richard: you said the treasurer, I’m the treasurer. Marion: Richard, not now. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: if there were a resolution as Marion asserts, it would be reflected in the Minutes. Former Board member/Secretary/Treasurer/Vice-President Jerry Dinerman above states he doesn’t remember any discussion about it in his six years on the Board. We are in the process of obtaining all Minutes from January 1, 2012 forward. Once we receive and review them, we will report if, in fact, there ever were any Board vote(s) on this matter as Marion claims was done over several Boards. We have our doubts.
In addition, in our humble opinion, voting to perpetuate something that was never properly authorized to begin with does not make it proper. There already is an emergency procedure in place which this Board used for the closing of the pool and facilities and which is on this Agenda as Unanimous Consent, Item #3 under New Business. And this has nothing to do with the cost of an emergency item. The cost is irrelevant. What is relevant is the character of the item or issue: is it an emergency, and if so, the Unanimous Consent is the procedure.]
Approval of Minutes: November 18, 2020 Board meeting: Linda Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of November 18, 2020 budget meeting. Second: Eileen. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous. November 25, 2020 – Budget meeting: Linda Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of November 25, 2020 budget meeting. Second: Harvey. Marion: any discussion? All in favor? Unanimous.
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: landscaping, two mows this month: 9 and 10 and 22-23…oleander trees will be removed on the boulevard… [landscaping matters] …mulching will be done before the end of the year… waiting on an upcoming proposal… waiting for credit(s)…Image Janitorial Service working hard during the pandemic… roof tile…five samples… pool and sports center… add to agenda to find out when we’re reopening; I do have staffing available… I’ve also attached rules for bocce playing… mildew on homes… starting to appear… bleach and water, rinse… Health Fair February 9…review and let me know…Fiddler has begin pressure cleaning…
[Editor’s note: the following items are not on the Agenda but most certainly should be:
A. Banning clubs from having their own rules, policies, and by-laws: the pickleball club’s new rules allow non-resident interlopers full membership in the pickleball club with full voting rights and full access to the pickleball courts so that they can displace residents, so that they can wear and tear on community assets, and so that they can present liability claims to the HOA when they are injured on campus. No clubs should have anything more than an approved mission statement.
B. Road Resealing: this is a simple, inexpensive fix that would go a long way toward beautification of the neighborhood and sprucing up the look of the entire place. Frankly, it is long past the time for this matter to be addressed.
C. Rescinding the illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote. It is simply unacceptable that the Board would violate the Florida statute that specifically requires the allowance of ingress and egress by residents and owners. This is not a legal discipline that can be imposed. The maximum discipline after all other discipline has been imposed is a $1,000 fine and limiting access to common areas. Preventing ingress and egress by seizing transponders is not an allowable discipline, period. This needs to be addressed and rescinded.
D. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community: Still not on the Agenda is a vote to rescind the banning of former handyman Alex 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 the November 4, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitledFalse Pretenses and Go Ask Alex, The Sequel). 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?]
1. Correction of Board minutes for March 18 – Sue Schmer.
Sue: motion to correct the Minutes of March 18 to reflect the actual cost of the two fences, $21,370. Eileen: second. Marion: all in favor? Harvey: recusing myself. Marion: Unanimous with recusal, 5-0-1.
2. Letter to Rapid Fence to cancel the contract.
Marion: for your information, as we were preparing the letter, Rapid Fence called, Deborah explained to him…he said, no problem, will be giving us back out deposit and hopes we will be doing business with him again.
[Editor’s note: kudos to Deborah.]
Linda: is this reflecting in the Minutes? Marion: it should be; it’s on the Agenda.
[Editor’s note: Here Marion is admitting that what is on the Agenda should be reflected in the Minutes. Therefore, the resolutions to which Marion refers authorizing the president to have the use of a discretionary fund should be in the past Minutes. We shall follow up with this.]
Eileen: I would like to thank Deborah to whatever she said; very grateful…kudos. Sue: I’m not so sure it needs to be taken into the Minutes. No votes taken. Minutes reflect actions of the Board…Linda: this changes every time we have a discussion. You say only motions voted on are reflected and then not. Marion: it was an action taken by the Association, should be in the Minutes. Eileen: is it possible for Deborah to put something in writing to Rapid Fence so we have something that he agreed to cancel. Deborah: I already did…email… waiting for his response.
[Editor’s note: thank you, Deborah. We appreciate your efficiency.]
3. Board President’s discretionary spending – Sue Schmer
Sue: I also was unaware of the policy… residents have been questioning this… simple motion, motion to rescind the policy of any discretionary spending by the Board President as this exceeds the President’s authority under the HOA By-Laws. Eileen: Second. Marion: any discussion? Richard.
Richard: I’ve been involved with the Board and the finances for over ten years. To be honest with you, the president, even though it’s been their discretion, has really never spent anything by themselves that wasn’t approved by the Board.
[Editor’s note: that last statement is demonstrably false. There was no Board vote at a required open Board meeting approving the payment of $6,052.35 to the attorneys to go after your Editor and your Roving Reporter which itself was an exercise in frivolity.
Here is a depiction of President Marion “I never spent a dime” Weil tossing HOA money to the lawyer to try and shut us up.]
“why, thank you!”
Richard: So, even if it was there, it was only supposed to be for emergency purposes.
[Editor’s note: says who? Are you just making this up as you go along? Was going after us an emergency? You apparently approved it and knew about it because you allegedly signed off on the requests for payment. By not involving the Board on those expenditures, you deprived the rest of the Board and the community of the checks and balances that a Board vote at an open meeting is designed to provide. You did an end run around the Board and the community.]
Richard: And to be honest with you, it’s never been spent.
[Editor’s note: said the guy who signed off on a portion of the legal fees to go against us without any Board vote or approval.]
Richard: In addition to that, any time money is spent, it is reviewed by two people.
[Editor’s note: that’s after the fact, after the work is performed and the HOA has received an invoice for payment. This is mixing apples and oranges: mixing the hiring of the service with the payment for the services rendered after those services have been performed.]
Richard: And to answer Jerry’s question, looking for twenty years of Minutes is ridiculous. I have limited time, I get a lot of requests, and if I think that something is not going to be, not accomplishing anything, I don’t want to spend umpteen, I went to Deborah to find out approximately when it could be; she didn’t have any idea. That meant I had to go through twenty years of Minutes. I don’t have the time to go through twenty years of Minutes so you can bring up my name.
[Editor’s note: how about delegating it or providing the residents with the means to obtain those Minutes for themselves? We just requested them and were advised for the first time that we can access them through FirstService Residential’s portal. Why were we not even told of the existence of this tool when we moved here a year and a half ago?
It should have been part of the Welcome Packet and Welcome Interview. Now suddenly on Friday, December 4, 2020 we received a community-wide email advising residents of the existence of this tool where they can find Minutes, Board packages, and other useful information. So, once again, had we not asked, no one in the community would still ever know. That internet address is: https://cascadelakes.connectresident.com.]
Richard: you know, we have limited time, you’ve been on the Board, you know we have limited time, if something is not going to be beneficial, and I said it was going to be discussed at the Board meeting, I have no problem with it being discussed at the Board meeting, but it wasn’t accomplishing anything. It was just to satisfy your ego and that is enough for me. Enough said.
[Editor’s note: Richard Greene, hear this and hear it well: this hostility, dismissiveness, condescension, and nastiness toward a resident is completely uncalled for and unacceptable. If you cannot be decent toward your constituents, you have no business being on the Board, period. We don’t give a rat’s ass how good with numbers you are. That means nothing when you speak to and about someone in this disgusting manner.]
Marion: I believe this started in 2012 when I first got on the Board, approved by resolutions, Miles Alter was the president, $500. When Richard Ruskin became the president, it was raised to $1,000 by resolution…in tandem with the property manager… the real reason for the $1,000 for the president was for emergency purposes… I really think it should stay that way… something dire, we have to be able to approve that…
[Editor’s note: copied from the Chat function:]
From Chuck Cramer to Everyone: 09:56 AM
the BOD has emergency powers. why add to it?
From Marion--Cascade Lakes to Everyone: 09:56 AM
Please do not chat during meeting
[Editor’s note: as we discussed in the November 25, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled A Penny For Your Thoughts, here we go again, with Marion trying to silence the masses. No one is forcing you to read it; avert your eyes if you don’t like what you see. The Chat function, in our opinion, is invaluable because, heaven forbid, you might just learn something before you vote on a matter that affects over 1,100 people.
Shutting up this resident and everyone else is frankly unacceptable. We will not be silent if we choose to comment in the Chat function. If you want to shut us and anyone else up, you will have to learn how to disable the Chat function, and if you do that, it will be a clear sign that you have no interest in being open to residents’ suggestions in real time as you make real decisions that affect many, many people. And also, if you do that, you ought to it on the Agenda and get a Board vote on it. You speak for yourself, Marion, not for the Board.
A fairer approach would be to ask that the residents use the Chat function gingerly and only on matters that are critical to the issue at hand so that, again, if you miss something, it can be addressed and corrected immediately.
Requesting temperance, moderation, or some reasonable restraint in the use of the Chat function is a much better approach, in our opinion, than ordering everyone not to use the Chat function at all. This is not a fiefdom; it is a community of owners. It is time to start treating the owners with the respect and dignity that they deserve, such as the way we see Sue and Eileen approach their job functions.]
Richard: any authority is reviewed by the treasurer…we also have an audit committee.
[Editor’s note: this is irrelevant because it occurs after the fact. We are not talking about paying duly earned invoices; we are talking about the initial authority to hire the vendor in the first place.]
Sue: Richard, I’m not arguing procedural issues; I’m arguing whether or not it’s within any Board president’s authority. To me, this is a matter of principal. Emergency powers, if something really happened, a thousand dollars would not nearly cover an emergency situation. I think that existing 720 law gives the Board emergency powers and I think that if we had to hire any vendor, I think they can wait a day or something. This is not a procedural issue; this is a matter of principal in terms of what the responsibilities and actions of the Board president or any officer can take vis-à-vis our established rules and regulations and By-Laws.
[Editor’s note: Richardwas intensely waving his hand during the latter part of Sue’s comments, à laHorshack from Welcome Back Kotter (1975-1979 TV sitcom):
This is rude, and actually more distracting than the Chat function, in our opinion.]
Richard: there are times when there is an emergency. Fortunately, Deborah is around to address it. But the thing is, supposing there’s a leak in the clubhouse and something has to be done. There’s nothing wrong with the president getting in touch with a plumber in an emergency situation like that as opposed to trying to get in touch with Deborah on her day off on something like that. We have had emergencies, but fortunately, Deborah has been around.
[Editor’s note: how about hiring a lawyer to try and squelch free speech? Under Richard’s aka Horshack’s theory, there’s nothing wrong with the president doing something even though it exceeds his or her authority specifically granted by statute and the governing documents. This posture is a dangerous one because it justifies exceeding one’s authority, it justifies ignoring the statute, and it justifies ignoring the governing documents.
When you start going down that road, you are taking the path of no return in terms of honoring the statutes and governing documents versus doing whatever the hell you want and then backing into its justification later. That’s very Machiavellian, as in, the ends justify the means. When you conduct an audit as a CPA, do you back into the numbers, too?
The best example of the potential for abuse is the actual abuse which occurred when thousands were spent on going after your Editor and Roving Reporter without a Board vote at an open meeting. This unregulated discretionary grant invites this type of abuse of power and it disenfranchises the other Board members and their constituents.
And in fact, Horshack, there were months when the amount exceeded $1,000 that the lawyer invoiced, so now you have a situation where since you opened the door, there really is no limitation, so why even have a Board? Just crown Marion queen of Cascade Lakes and be done with it. Then you and Harvey can be “Marionette” court jesters, and all will be well in the queendom.]
[Editor’s further note: Eileen raised her hand. After Eileen raised her hand, Harvey raised his hand. Then Sue raised her hand.]
[Editor’s note: court jesters trump all other Board members.]
Harvey: ok, well, first of all, we’re talking about a hypothetical situation.
[Editor’s note: can the community get its $6,052.35 hypothetical dollars back from the lawyers?]
Harvey: because the money has never been spent in all the years that we’ve had this, so just because it’s a procedural thing, it’s not like we’re going out and partying on the weekends and using discretionary funds.
[Editor’s note: no, those are the Covid cavorters who are partying on the weekends and then some, such as, upon information and belief, the one or more who attended a wedding and brought the virus back to the pool session they attended.]
Harvey: I think if we take away the discretionary funds and like Richard says we have a problem on a weekend where Deborah’s unavailable, and something has to be done, somebody needs to be able to have the authority and be able to say, ok, let’s get this done. And if you can’t get all seven of us together, ya know, to make an emergency decision, so personally I think that we’re just, uh, talking about a hypothetical here and it just seems like we’re trying to limit the powers of the office.
[Editor’s note: that’s exactly right, Harvey, we are trying to do that, because the office has only limited specifically identified powers by law and the governing documents, and neither the statute nor the governing documents expand on those powers. So, what you are saying, is that the rules be damned, and the President should not have such limitations. How would you feel about that on the national level? Your argument is one that a dictator would make.]
Marion: Eileen. Eileen: if it’s never been done, why have it, why have it there? Harvey: because it might have to be done. Richard: it’s an emergency. We’re talking about emergencies. Eileen: excuse me, Richard, excuse me. If I had a leak in my house, and somebody came, they would bill me, and I would use a credit card. In the event of an emergency, it can be done by any of us. So, if we never used it before, why should it be on the books? It’s just, to me, it’s just not necessary at all.
[Editor’s note: Sue again raises her hand. Harvey’s hand was not raised.]
Marion: Harvey, you were saying something, or you’re finished? Harvey: uh, I’m finished. Marion: ok, Sue, last comment. Sue: last comment, I do believe there is a difference in wording between emergency and discretionary. Emergency and discretionary are not synonymous, and the motion was discretionary spending, because in my judgment, it does exceed the Board’s [sic] authority as stated in our By-Laws. Read them. I made the motion, it was seconded. If there’s no more discussion, then let it go to a vote.
Richard: could I ask, why don’t we change it to just emergency spending as opposed to, uh, just leave it, as opposed to discretionary? It really is for emergencies, that’s what we want it for. Marion: ok, no more discussion; I’m gonna call it to a question. Alright, all those in favor of eliminating the president’s discretionary spending, raise your hands. [Sue and Eileen raised their hands.] Marion: All those opposed raise your hands. [Marion, Richard, Harvey, and Linda raised their hands.] Marion: ok, it fails, 4-2.
[Editor’s note: Now let’s review what just happened concerning Richard aka Horshack aka Yosemite Sam.
First, Richard aka Yosemite Sam nastily and aggressively chastised a member of this community, Jerry Dinerman, for daring to ask him to research an important matter, and then he voted on that matter without having the facts (such as, was it ever voted on, approved, or authorized in the first place? Apparently, that is irrelevant). This is no way to treat a fellow resident and we found this display to be lacking in grace. We don’t care what level of acumen Richard may possess with numbers; there is no place for this dismissive attitude by a Board member toward a resident.
As for the four wayward Board members who by their vote defied the statute and the HOA’s governing documents, if they will do it once, they will do it again. Those of you who are ok with this, by all means vote for them when they are up for re-election, but then your complaints about them later will ring hollow.]
4. Electrical work for pool pump area - $4295-$5990 (R) Richard Greene
Richard: two proposals…the engineering committee preferred the one from Bosch. $5,690. Transformer… I propose we go along with Bosch Electric for the transformer. Harvey: second. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous. Harvey: add something, replacing, wiring and conduit as well so that we have that in writing. Deborah: I’ll write it right on the proposal. Harvey: …like Sue is fond of saying, if it’s not in, it’s not done.
[Editor’s note: actually, she says that if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist.]
5. Pool and Sports Center and Bocce Rules (added to Agenda during the meeting): Linda: motion to reopen the pool and the sports center on Saturday, December 5, enough time to elapse… Second: Harvey. Harvey: CDC – decreased the recommendation time for isolation and quarantine time from 14 days to seven to ten days… seven days if you’ve had a test, ten if you haven’t… no reported incidents. Eileen: thank Bob Levin for sending us that email- CDC information…
Sue: please include Bocce courts; we’re in the process of finalizing it…I’ve gotten all that information… rules can be included in the weekly report… Marion: amendment to include Bocce. Sue: yes. Linda: second. Eileen: 8am? Marion: for Bocce. All in favor of amendment to include Bocce? Unanimous. Deborah: Bocce rules… Sue: you’ll get it as soon as the meeting is over. Marion: motion to reopen the pool, sports center, and Bocce… December 5… using the same rules. All in favor? Unanimous. Deborah: calls may begin on Thursday for Saturday and Sunday.
[Editor’s note: the night before the Board meeting, at 7:39pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Alan Silver on behalf of the pickleball club sent out an invitation to sign up for the pickleball ladder for Saturday, December 5, 2020 on the pickleball courts. Board member Harvey RSVPed Tuesday night, December 4, 2020, and signed up, and others did the same.
How is it that the ladder invitation was sent out, and a number of players RSVPed that they were going to do the ladder, if the matter was not even on the Agenda at that point? The Agenda came out on Monday morning; the ladder and these RSVPs occurred on Tuesday, and this item was an add-on to the Agenda during the Board meeting on Wednesday.
So apparently a number of people had a head’s up on this matter, perhaps even before some Board members knew it would be added on to the Agenda. Harvey, as a Board member, clearly gave the go-ahead because why else would the ladder suddenly appear with an email blast to the pickleball club for immediate sign-up for play when at that point the courts were closed and there was no Agenda item listed on the notice sent to the community at large. If we were on the Board and this occurred, we might be a tad ticked at being left out of the loop.]
1. Storm Eta damages - $1785 – (1) (O) – Marion Weil. Marion: landscaping proposal, swale trees on common property…remove and replace the silver buttonwood on Landon… three on Landon… $1,785. Marion: make the motion. Second: Linda[and Sue and Harvey raised their hands simultaneously]. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
2. Amazon Distribution Center – Marion Weil.
Marion: Village of Golf is considering a distribution center for Amazon. Right now…plans …six smaller warehouses…Amazon wants to build a 65,000 square foot distribution center…join in and say no way… the motion I make that we continue to oppose disruptions to the residential areas in which we live, we will join other developments. Second? Harvey.
[Editor’s note: Eileen said it first, Marion. Who else besides us is seeing a pattern here?]
Harvey: gonna be 24/7 operation, noisy, trucks, four story building…fight this vigorously…Marion: we’re not fighting Amazon; we’re fighting the Village of Golf. They don’t need Palm Beach County approval; they’re their own municipality…One heck of a traffic problem. Eileen: Golf is not gonna pay for any damage on the Palm Beach roads… Harvey: strip mall approved down the street…by Tuscany Bay… gonna add to the traffic…
Marion: start a resident write-in campaign…COBWRA [Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations] is gonna come up with a letter.
[Editor’s note: Marion then moves on and again forgets to take the vote and is reminded by several Board members who said, “wait...”]
Marion: All in favor? Unanimous.
3. Unanimous Consent – closing of pool and sports center. Marion: Board action to close the pool and sports center…Covid… this is just an awareness to the community. We don’t need a vote on this.
4. Replacement of Board Member. Marion: the Board members have all given names…our By-Laws allow the Board to pick a replacement… Board members unanimously selected Bob Dingee…he will be available. I make the motion we replace the vacant…Second: Sue. Marion: discussion? [silence] All in favor? Unanimous. Welcome, Bob. Bob Dingee: Thank you; hello everyone.
[Editor’s note: and just like that, his face popped up on the video. Mazel Tov, Bob!]
5. Vote for Vice President
[Editor’s note: We imagine that Harvey could hardly contain himself as he awaits his anointment. Hurry up, somebody get the holy water…]
Marion: Several suggestions… majority of the suggestions is for all of us to email Deb for our selection. Is that acceptable or do you just want to vote, because we would have a secret ballot which is allowed by law. Sue: I think it should be a secret ballot; best way to go. No one will be embarrassed…how many votes somebody got.[wanna bet?]
[Editor’s note: does anyone actually believe that there was no “Weiling and Dealing” behind the scenes between Harvey and Marion to try and secure at least one more Board member for his anointment? Linda will probably abstain for fear of hurting anyone’s feelings. That leaves three other Board members to vote: Richard, Eileen, and Sue. In this imaginary scenario, we suppose it went down something like this:
Harvey: “all I need is to turn Richard.” Marion: “we’ll both talk to him. He’ll do it. Don’t worry.” Harvey: “that’s good, because no way am I gonna get votes from Sue or Eileen. They’re too damn independent these days.” Marion: “I know. It’s a problem. We have to stick together.”]
Eileen: how many of us are voting? Marion: we now have seven. Eileen: my understanding was that Bob was not coming on today, coming on for the next meeting. Marion: we voted him in today… Bob Dingee: I’ll probably abstain; I haven’t had a chance to work with anybody…give me a couple of weeks and then if you need… Richard: I like what Sue said, emails to Deborah…as opposed to negotiated now.
Eileen: usually the vote for every officer has to be transparent. Marion: no, it was by secret ballot. Eileen: but it was at a Board meeting. For eight years… [since Eileen has been here] … I would recommend we do it today and make the decision today. Harvey: in the past… organizational meeting… they state their interest to run. Marion: they do not do that in public.
Linda: it’s a nomination by the people on the Board… person then accept then secret ballot. People don’t volunteer themselves… if you send in your choice to Deb, that’s how you keep it as a secret ballot… Eileen: text it to Deborah now and email now and she can announce it right now.
Marion: you don’t have to nominate. The Board selects… Deb, can you accept texts, emails? Deborah: sure. Text to my cell phone. [Ping!] I just got one from Eileen, thank you. [Ping!] Thank you, Marion. [Ping! Ping!] Deborah: I got an abstain, doesn’t say who it’s from. I got it. Dorothy [a resident, possibly Waxman; there are two Dorothys listed in the online directory: Waxman and Rosenholtz]: can people vote for themselves? Marion: yes, people can vote for themselves. Deborah: trying to see who abstained. Eileen: a couple of years ago…President…ties quite often, kept doing it.
Deborah: I have three for Harvey, one for someone else, one abstain. I have five. 860 [cell phone start], Harvey, I got you. Sue? Sue: yes, I did, I sent it to your phone. I’m sending it now… Deborah: did you send it to my email before? Sue: yes. Deborah: let me check my email then. [Ping!] Deborah: I got your email. Ok, I see it. Got it. Three Harvey, two for Sue, one abstain. Marion: ok, so Harvey’s the new Vice-President. Thank you everybody.
[Editor’s note: based on this exchange, it is clear that the most likely scenario is that Marion, Harvey, and Richard voted for Harvey; Sue and Eileen voted for Sue; and Linda abstained. Alternatively, Richard could have abstained, and Linda could have voted for Harvey, but we doubt it because Linda was pretty damn upset about the fence/gate fiasco, so we’ll stick with our first supposition.
What this does show us is that, the way we see it, two Board members seem particularly enamored with Marion’s style of leadership; in our opinion, one Board member, our very own Evita Perón on steroids, sees it as an avenue toward the pursuit of power in order to assuage his ego.
The other seems to have a cow ring in his nose.
The final Board member of the original six, Linda, seems to be “on the fence” an awful lot (pun intended); thankfully, she got off the one Harvey wanted and came to her senses about that one. However, it appears that her failure to vote actually resulted in the win for Harvey.
This is what happens when you don’t exercise your vote on behalf of the community who elected you and you cede your voice to others: you disenfranchise a large part of the community and you get a result that many members of the community object to vigorously. You as a Board member were obliged to exercise your equal vote and you utterly dropped the ball.
Separately, so much for secrecy; but we like transparency anyway, so all’s well that ends well in terms of the way this went down. As for the choice, the residents will have their say in March. Marion, Harvey, and Eileen are up for re-election, as is the Bob Dingee seat. Respectfully, those of you who would still vote for Marion and Harvey after all the shenanigans that these two players have engaged it get what you deserve.]
Eileen: Are we going to be discussing Body Wellness today? Marion: I don’t know if everybody looked over…we’ll add number six to New Business: Body Wellness Health Fair. Deborah: Body Wellness scheduled for February 9… [originally in the ballroom] … drive-thru expo…in the parking lot… open truck… lunch… DJ, live entertainment… pretty organized… attend by a schedule by last name… gifts… social distancing will be strictly enforced; stay with original day if possible?... at no cost to the association.
Harvey: motion to accept the offer…Marion: February 9… second? Linda. Discussion? No. All in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: Bob Dingee casts his first vote! Yay, Bob! You go, girl!]
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Janet Letterman: question re opening date, tennis players, most play on Friday; any chance to change the date from Saturday to Friday, December 4? Harvey: more than seven days [quarantine]; I see no reason that we can’t. Sue: I also play tennis on Fridays, most of the time with Janet… not so sure…given Lee’s scheduling…I don’t think Lee will be able to schedule for Friday, and usually he schedules two days in advance…don’t want to burden him further…
Janet: can we ask him? Eileen: at this point it’s up to Lee; it also involves the pool people… we have to look at the staff and look at Lee. Marion: Deborah, would we be ready with… sanitizing… Deborah: I guess we can…Cicely can do Friday at the pool… I have to contact Water Aerobics… Janet: I’m concerned with tennis (and pickleball) … don’t include the pool and the exercise group. Marion: we’ll get in touch with Lee and see what we can do. Harvey: Water Aerobics can wait till Monday. Marion: Harvey, let’s see.
2. Howard Feuer: I want to extend our appreciation for your opening up the pool again, however, I have a comment to make. The reason we closed the pool is obvious to everybody. This created a lot of consternation amongst the pool goers and we didn’t know who came down with it and which session it was. Several people have spoken to me and several said they had spoken to you, Marion. Marion: they have.
Howard: we know that in other communities, if this occurs, they put out the name of the individual with the permission of the individual. I believe under HIPPA regulations, that is permissible, and I think this would certainly help all of us who use the facilities if we know who came down with it and when it occurred and only of course with their permission, would we then want to be tested or not. This has really created a significant problem and stress for a lot of us. Rosalie: I would like to know who it is. I would hope you would consider that. Thank you. Marion: Thank you, Howard.
[Editor’s note: that sounds entirely reasonable. There was no further response from Marion or anyone on the Board.]
3. Wayne Keyes: Marion: hi, Wayne, how ya’ doing. Wayne: fine, thank you.
[Editor’s note: now it’s Wayne; last time it was Mr. Keyes. We suppose that ever since Marion learned that Wayne was the September Resident of the Month, she decided to be friendlier toward him.]
Wayne: I wanted to, I know you just voted on the issue of the discretionary funding for the president. Marion: yes. Wayne: I wanted to just revisit that issue. And the reason why is that I see, I wasn’t able to find anything in the Rules and Regulations or any written By-Laws or even written policies and procedures that would authorize such a fund. And I was just wondering whether or not you had the opportunity to consult with the attorney, the Association’s attorney to see whether or not a vote by the Board itself, in the absence of anything in writing giving such an approval, would be legal.
Marion: yes, it would be legal, and we had a vote today.
[Editor’s note: again, Marion deflects and sidesteps the question. He didn’t ask you if you thought it was legal, Ms. Non-Lawyer Marion, he asked if you consulted with counsel.]
Wayne: I understand you had a vote. I’m asking whether or not you had the opportunity to consult with the attorney and to run it by him or her. Marion: I have spoken to the attorney in previous, same attorney, in previous years about this issue, and he’s fine with it.
[Editor’s note: all those who believe this, please raise your hands. Seeing no one, we continue.]
Marion: This is nothing unusual. Every association allows this. It’s for emergency--
[Editor’s note: we are not so sure about that, but regardless, that is totally irrelevant. If other associations allow, for example, the president to have two votes by policy, is Marion saying that’s ok, too, since other associations allow it? This is nonsense. And nowhere does it state anywhere that this is just for an emergency. There is a difference between the words “emergency” and “discretionary” as Sue later correctly points out.]
Wayne: Even in the absence of anything in writing that would authorize such spending? Marion: there were resolutions that were written by the Boards. I know one was in 2012, and the other was when Rich Ruskin became president and it got bumped up from $500 to $1,000 and there was a resolution then. Wayne: a written resolution? Marion: yes. Wayne: alright, is it possible that we can see that? Marion: if we can find it. We don’t have to save, um, information for that long.
[Editor’s note: per Deborah, those Minutes are on the FirstService Residential portal, so let’s take a look. According to Marion, they are written, and according to the property manager, the records exist from that far back and every year forward. So, the hunt is on! First person to find it wins a $10 Dunkin Donut gift card on us!]
Wayne: alright, ok, then, so you’re not gonna consult an attorney about this. Marion: no, I have in the past.
[Editor’s note: we find this claim to be likely untrue and a bald-faced lie based on a history of questionable responses from this witness.]
Marion: every time you consult an attorney it costs a lot of money.
[Editor’s note: no kidding? You had no compunction to consult the attorney multiple times to go after your Editor and your Roving Reporter to the tune of $6,052.35 of HOA money and now, all of a sudden, you’re concerned with legal fees? This is a sham. Wayne is being snowed, and we believe he knows it.]
Wayne: right. You know, the – Marion: one more minute. Wayne: yeah, I think you wanna be able to put guard rails around the use of the fundings so as to avoid any abuse of discretion and also for the issue involving transparency. So, I was wondering if a rule or regulation – Marion: Wayne –
Wayne: --could be written about this. Marion: we’ll consider that [wanna bet?] but when the president spends money and you heard it has never been done in the 21 years that we’re here [not true: you have never explained the $6,052.35 you used of HOA money to pay the lawyer to go against us personally], when that happens, an invoice goes through a system that gets multiple approvals so that would be on an Agenda if that got spent.
[Editor’s note: the spending of HOA money to pay the lawyers $6,052.35 to go against us personally has never been on any Agenda, so this is demonstrably false.]
Wayne: I see. Ok, um – Marion: time’s up. Thank you, Warren. Wayne.
[Editor’s note: Wayne has never gone by the name of Warren. Marion was fiddling with something to her left at the time she spoke and clearly was distracted. She had had enough of Wayne, and she couldn’t even be bothered to get his name right. This reminds us of when Angelo Ganguzza wrote an email to the Board and Marion wrote back to him, “Hi, Anthony!”]
4. Sara Fishkin: thank you, obviously the Board knows Bob Dingee, and I would just like to know more about him if possible. That was my first item. And secondly, I would like to say thank you to Mark Goodman for all of his years of service in many capacities on the Board. Marion: yes, we agree, thank you. Bob, you wanna give a two-minute summary of you?
Bob Dingee: I’m a snowbird for one thing; that’s why I’ve never run for the Board for the full 12 months.
[Editor’s note: actually, he was a candidate at the last Board election cycle earlier this year, which was for a full twelve-month period, and then he took himself out of the running before the voting commenced but after the ballots were already printed. Marion reminded everyone at the time not to vote for him on the ballot; she so stated because he had bowed out.]
Bob: When they asked, I said, well I’ll be here winter so I would do what I can to help. I’ve been in [something]communities since 2013; I’m a retired engineer, and I’ve been on the Engineering Committee almost the full time, and I’m also on the Facilities Committee. So I’ve been involved around the peripheral edges and stuff.
Round Table Discussion:
Harvey: other than to thank the Board for voting me in as Vice-President, I have nothing else to add.
[Editor’s note: Evita was not so lucky in her 1951 quest to be Vice-President, so Harvey did one better than the late actress-cum-Spiritual Leader of the Nation. In any event, we congratulate Harvey Evita Ginsberg on his new position.]
Linda: I have nothing, thank you. Richard: welcome, Bob, and I have nothing else to add.
Eileen: Yes, welcome, Bob, we look forward to working with you. Bob: Thank you.
Sue: Yes, I also would like to congratulate Bob, I think he will be a welcome addition to our group; and I would like to congratulate Harvey on becoming Vice-President.
Bob: I’m looking forward to working with everybody, and I’m glad I didn’t have to vote[for the Vice-President slot] because I don’t text. [Board laughs.] Marion: well, now you can email; we do both. Bob: And Harvey, congratulations. Harvey: thank you, Bob, congratulations to you, too.
Marion: I would also like to welcome Bob to the Board; we can get together and I’ll fill you in on everything you need to know.
[Editor’s note: translation: Marion wants another flying monkey and wants to put her spin on things right away. Other Board members: are you paying attention?]
Marion: And thank you, Harvey, for selecting and being voted in as Vice-President. Harvey: thank you.
[Editor’s note: Marion starts to wrap it up.]
Linda: Marion? Hello? I also just wanted to add, congratulations to Bob and to, uh, Sue, uh, Harvey, Harvey for getting to be Vice-President, and Bob for being now a Board member. It slipped my mind, the mind that’s left.
[Editor’s note: did you all catch that little slip of the tongue where Linda initially congratulated Sue instead of Harvey for the position of Vice-President? Perhaps she realizes what a gross error she made by abstaining, essentially ceding her vote, and allowing others to decide for her. And why would she abstain for such an important vote?
Had she voted for Sue as her slip of the tongue indicates, it would have been a tie and Harvey may not have won. You have a vote, Linda; it was incumbent upon you to use it because you represent a constituency that you disenfranchised by your abstention and potentially changed the course of history.]
Marion: ok, I need a motion to adjourn? Harvey: so moved! Marion: and a Second? Sue: [with her hand raised] I’ll second. Marion: Linda.
[Editor’s note: and there is yet another slight by Marion against Sue.]
[Editor’s note: is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the number of times Marion bypasses Sue and Eileen and recognizes others in their stead?]
Eileen: and a vote! Sue: a vote! [again, the person presiding over the meeting forgets to call a vote.]Marion: oh, I’m sorry.
Harvey: [gushing like a leak at Hoover dam] it’s unanimous!
[Editor’s note: is Evita now calling the vote? We thought that was the function of the president who presides over meetings. Harvey’s not finished, Marion, he’s gunning for your post.]
Marion: ok, all those in favor of adjourning?
Harvey: no, let’s stay on for two more hours!
[Editor’s note: Evita Ginsberg clearly doesn’t want to leave the Casa Rosada balcony.]
Marion: Alright, Unanimous. Thank you everybody.
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Arnie Green for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank Arnie for his continued service and volunteerism. Mike Blackman was not present at this meeting.]
And so concludes the board meeting of December 2, 2020; next Board meeting: December 16, 2020 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]