03/02/22 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS
Posted March 5, 2022. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the March 02, 2022 Board meeting with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue and pictures.
This synopsis and commentary is the property of Vicki Roberts, is my independent work product, and is not affiliated with the HOA. Redistribution or republication of cartoons is strictly prohibited and may subject you to legal liability for copyright infringement. Bizarro cartoons are courtesy of Dan Piraro, www.Bizarro.com. Thank you, and you may now enjoy the show.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled“Hello, Neighbors”
(including: your new Board members, PBB charges reversed, Board meetings in the ballroom, and other juicy stuff!)
Having this News Site digitally (online) is enormously helpful to the residents to keep them informed of what’s going on in the community. I am sure there are also other benefits to having digital (online) media such as this website, not only for all of us, but for others as well.
In fact, some residents are complaining that they cannot drag their significant others away from this News Site once the synopses are published.
And I am more than thrilled to hear that the newcomers to our community are enjoying the reporting as well. I want them to feel as welcome as possible once they arrive and I am doing my part just like other residents are doing their parts in making them feel welcome.
No, really, Cascade Lakes is a very welcoming place; just please make sure to keep up on your quarterly dues.
And it’s really great to have a live guard to let your guests in at the front gate.
Perhaps some of the new residents have never attended an HOA Board meeting before. That experience can be an eye-opener; I know it was for me when I first got here in 2019.
And it is true that some people view some Board members with a certain, shall I say, skepticism.
But have no fear, I am here to give it to you straight, warts and all.
But remember, this is an HOA, and all neighbors must abide by all lawful By-Laws.
I say “lawful” By-Laws because it would be wholly improper and illegal for a By-Law to be created, along with any attempted enforcement thereof, which abrogates a statute or flies in the face of a state or federal statute, rule, or regulation, or impinges on any right granted by the United States and/or Florida Constitutions.
Anyway, this is a great neighborhood with great people (for the most part) who just sometimes disagree on the issues du jeur, and also when they have nothing better to do besides complain.
But enough about me. Now on to the penultimate or possibly last Board meeting of the present Board. And whatever you do, don’t call them a lame duck group.
Remember, they can still do a lot of damage before the new Board ushers in.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green, President (EqualBoard member)
Harvey Ginsberg, VP (EqualBoard member)
Richard Greene, Treasurer (Equal Board member)
Linda Arbeit (Equal Board member)
Bob Dingee, Secretary (EqualBoard member)
Sue Schmer (EqualBoard member)
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Bob Dingee [Harvey held the flag].
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff announced the four members of the new Board who filled the open slots. Because there were only four candidates for four open slots, there was no election.
The new Board is effective on March 24, 2022, which is the end of the current Board’s term. The new Board consists of the following people in alphabetical order:
Arthur Andelson [your Editor's husband - filled one open slot
Jeff D. Green
Richard Greene - incumbent, filled one slot
Pat Nast -filled one open slot
Sue Schmer - incumbent, filled one open slot
Congratulations to all and I am looking forward to a new political season which I hope will bring forth fairness and transparency for the benefit of the residents.
First Residents’ Input Session:
If you have a question or comment, please politely and discreetly raise your hand.
1. Judie Delman: [Editor’s note: Judie commented on the $144,785 being spent on landscaping and noted that stating that it is in the budget “doesn’t mean a thing, just because it’s budgeted for doesn’t mean it is really a need as opposed to a want…”
She wanted a complete breakdown of “every tree, every branch… so that the community can understand…” what they’re being charged for. Jeff: “they’re necessities, Judie, and you’ll here about it after [during the meeting].”
2. Arthur Andelson, Landon Circle:
New Business Item #5: Pickleball Portable Nets: I have 3 suggestions.
1. If we are replacing the old net with the same type of nets, whoever assembles them should use a silicone caulking at all the seams to keep the water out.
2. The old nets should be cannibalized. For example: Saving the operational wheels because some of the wheels will go bad with the new nets due to clay getting into the bearings.
3. The old nets could be saved and be reconfigured as barrier extensions between courts A and D and courts B and C.
Jeff: Arthur, I would suggest you talk to Lee about that because I think it would help if you talk to him about that, ok? Arthur: ok, thanks.
3. Lillian Astrachan: [Editor’s note: Lillian was concerned that having Board meetings in person would deprive snowbirds, incapacitated people, and others from attending and participating in the input sessions. She suggested a hybrid of live and Zoom.
Jeff stated they could watch the tape. Lillian pointed out that they can’t comment after the fact. Harvey stated they are in discussions with resident Jeff F. Green (not the HOA president) about running the Owl technology.
Mike Blackman stated that he is the Chairmen of the C.I.T. Committee (community information technology) and they will address it at their meeting.]
Approval of Minutes: February 16, 2022 Board meeting: Bob Dingee
Bob: Motion to approve the Minutes of the February 16, 2022 Board meeting. Jeff: seconded by Linda. All in favor? Unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: the report is self-explanatory and was provided via email to the residents. Richard stated that there is an error in the Reserve revenue for the month; it is “$59,000, expenses are $2,600, and the balance is $56,800.”
He stated they are projecting an increase of about $600,000 in the reserve but stated: “we never know; that number will change drastically…”]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah: …mow… March 1, 15-16, and the 31st. April 7th fish-stocking will take place. FPL boxes, 3 large, 37 regular, FPL doesn’t paint. $4,075 cost to repair. Annual meeting: there will be no election…via Zoom…second notice will be mailed out Thursday… Jeff: wait until the next Board regarding the FPL boxes. Will put it on the Agenda for April.
1. C.I.T.: [Community Information Technology]: Mike Blackman: the website continues to change, added enhancements… tedious to maintain and support…recommend we add another webmaster, Jeff F. Green [another resident, not the HOA president]. Item #2, we’re looking at alternative ways of recording the Board meetings…
1. Entertainment:[Editor’s note: flyers and e-blasts will inform the community of events.]
2. Landscaping: Shelly Andreas, Co-Chair. This Thursday, tomorrow, looking into which flowers we will be planting for the summer.
3. Fitness Center: Linda Bennis: Indoor fitness classes began March s1st… registration required.
[Editor’s note: Many important items are still being ignored. Details are found on the page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
NEW ENTRIES ON OUR LIST:
[none at this time.]
UPDATE TO LAST BOARD MEETING AGENDA ITEM:
PBB’s root mound removal charges reduced to zero thanks to your new incoming Board member, Arthur Andelson:
[Editor’s note: at the last Board meeting of February 2, 2022, with respect to New Business Item #2, to remove three root mounds - PBB proposal for $1,350, the following exchange took place at the Second Residents’ Input Session, with further commentary by Arthur, in our synopsis of said meeting:
“2. Arthur Andelson: Landon Circle. On New Business item #2, talks about the mounds. Palm Beach Broward was already paid to do this job and it was substandard; I don’t understand why we’re going back to pay them to do their job properly. That’s the question.
[Editor’s note: Arthur… explains: “PBB was paid to remove the trees; they then put sod over the mound they left where the tree once stood. That sod was higher than the rest of the sod because it was placed on top of the mound. This was clearly going to result in a hazard that would need to be dealt with. Why did PBB not properly flatten the area when they removed the tree? Who puts sod on a root mound?
It appears to me that they ground up the roots but didn’t do it properly or adequately to remove the remaining root mound. Why should we pay them again for something they were paid to do properly and failed to complete?”]
Jeff: we’ll look into it, Arthur. Arthur: thank you.”
Well, look into it they did. The very next day the proposal was revised, and the root grinding price was reduced to zero. Yes, that’s right, it went from $1,350 to no charge.
Thank you, Arthur Andelson, the HOA’s incoming Board member, for again saving the community money and not allowing PBB to get away with improperly charging the community!
This is a wonderful preview of what Arthur will be able to address once he takes his place on the Board at the end of the month. And now on to Old Business.]
1. Update on COVID restrictions – Harvey Ginsberg
[Editor’s note: Harvey graciously emailed your Editor his comments and motion for inclusion herein. Thank you, Harvey!]
Harvey: “Update on COVID Restrictions
The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continues to decrease dramatically with the positivity rate in PBC 5.67% and our County Risk level is medium as of 2/25/22.
The CDC issued updated its guidelines for masks on 2/25/22. Given these new guidelines, the fact that we now have the Reme-Halo air purification system installed throughout the Clubhouse, and that proof of vaccination will be required for admission to shows; I believe that we can safely increase occupancy to 160 (50%). Coral Lakes recently had a show with ~500 people in attendance with masks mandatory. The Cascades also recently did the same with ~400 in attendance.
Therefore, I’d like to make the following motions:
1. Increase the ballroom capacity to 160 (50%) effective March 16th. Only vaccinated and boosted people are allowed in the ballroom. Up to 12 people can sit together in a group if they wish. Masks are mandatory. There should be 6 feet between groups. Either doors should be opened, or other steps taken to maximize ventilation. When Palm Beach County moves to a Low-Risk category the 6-foot distance and mask recommendations will be dropped. If we go back to a high-risk status, then tighter restrictions will be imposed.
2. Allow refreshments and food to be served on the pool deck for shows and parties, effective April 1st. The reason for not allowing it was to prevent transmission by people mingling in a crowd, not the food itself as studies have shown that transmission risk from surfaces and food is very low.
This will allow movies and indoor shows to resume, which will allow Jesse Hamilton and Jane Curry to perform in the ballroom. Of course, if we have another spike then we’ll have to revert to previous measures. By limiting capacity to only 50%, we’ll be able to maintain some distance between groups while returning to some semblance of normalcy. Eventually, the goal is to open to 100% capacity with no restrictions when the pandemic becomes endemic.”
Sue: “the way the motion reads, you say: ‘increase the ballroom capacity to 160’ and then later on, you say: ‘no fixed capacity limit,’ that is basically antithetical.
And my concern is, ‘up to 12 people can sit together in a group’ – if they’re members of the same family and if they have all been immunized, and how would you create a process by which you would check vaccination and boostered people considering that I do believe the state says you can’t do that.
And another situation I have is that there would be a new Board in place in like, what is it, two-three weeks, and I think that, uh, we should at least postpone this to March 16th because the positivity rates I understand need to be 5 – below 5% for a minimum of two weeks. And I am concerned that what we are proposing is not necessarily what I read from the advisory group.
And I think that we should at least, um, postpone this so that we get more data that’s in line with, um, the CDC and the mechanism by which to implement this needs to be more firmly fleshed out.”
Harvey: “we may have a new Board coming on… however, we still have a Board in place and business still needs to be conducted. We can’t put stuff off because this is what you might call a ‘lame duck’ Board.”
Sue: “no, I’m not saying that, Harvey; I said postpone it to March 16th, our next Board meeting, so that we have data that is in the recommendation, two weeks with less than 5% positivity rate.”
Harvey: “… I agree with you that it does seem antithetical with the “no fixed capacity” …that was basically the recommendation of Jeff Hyman and Pat Nast, the other two members of the group, and I’d be willing to strike that line because you’re right, it does kind of contradict the 160…
So, I can amend that so we can get rid of the ‘no fixed capacity limit if these rules are followed’ … as far as proof of vaccination, the governor says businesses cannot require proof of vaccination. We are not a business in that sense of the word, and we can ask for proof of vaccination.
In fact, [Entertainment chairperson] has told me that she already has a process in place to ask for proof of vaccination, either show us your vaccination card or negative test within 48 hours prior to the show and they’re going to be using wristbands… if you’re not vaccinated and boosted, then you can’t go to the show. Or at least if you can’t show a negative test.
So, there are plenty of checks and balances in place… we’re at medium risk now, and if we go to low risk, we can get rid of the six-foot distance and the mask recommendations.”
[Editor’s note: the 48-hour negative test alternative was not included in the motion. That appears to be an omission. That should clearly be added since that method is a reasonable alternative to this new rule and Harvey mentioned it as one of the acceptable protocols for entry into the ballroom for shows.]
Deb: boosted? I’m taking a cruise – boosters are not required. Bob: are you changing your motion? Harvey: yeah, strike that sentence.
[Editor’s note: the stricken part is “no fixed capacity limit if these rules are followed.”]
Deb: boosted? Harvey: fully vaccinated is two shots and a booster. Jeff: residents want more…I still feel strongly about the mask mandate…it’s time to start opening… All in favor? 5-0-1. Sue: I’m abstaining. Jeff: the shows will be back indoors with restrictions.
2. Return to ballroom for Board meetings – Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: Jeff moved to return the Board meetings to the ballroom as of April 6th; Harvey seconded the motion.]
Harvey: we need to have a means of cleaning the microphones, disinfectant wipes. Jeff: talk to Mike Deckinger about that. All in favor? Unanimous.
1. Allstate - Aerator in Spring Oak $1,065 – Bob Dingee
Bob: in the pond…injects air into the water, helps reduce the algae. Needs a new compressor. Second: Sue. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous. 6-0.
2. PBB - Palm & Hardwood Trimming - $83,108 – Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: the PBB contract is up for renewal during the term of the incoming Board. A long time ago, soon-to-be Director Arthur suggested a Schedule A to be appended to the contract which delineates specific costs for specific landscaping related issues. This has been on this website since early 2020.
This contract needs to be better negotiated so that the piecemeal charges don’t end up dwarfing the main contract price.
Linda moved to accept several proposals which totaled $83,108. The first motion was regarding raising and thinning every single hardwood tree: $55,440, seconded by Harvey. It passed 5-0-1 with Sue abstaining.
Sue abstained because the proposal said “all” trees without specifying a number that the word “all” represents. Other Board members stated that it’s a ballpark figure because trees come and go (added, removed). Sue stated,“if someone gives you a price, they have a number in mind.”
Richard stated that the palm trimming is done twice a year, and the hardwood trees are done once annually.
Second motion: palm trimming of all community and residents’ palm trees: $27,668, seconded by Bob. It passed unanimously.
Note from soon-to-be installed Board member Arthur Andelson:
Since PBB is already doing the hardwood trimming, the palm trimming should automatically be a large-negotiated discount because they’re already here with their crew and equipment (the cherry pickers – the truck with the basket, and the woodchipper).
They gave no discount at all, because the palm trimming is done twice a year and they merely charged for one time, so if you double it to get the annual amount, you see that it is almost the same as the annual hardwood price ($27,668 x 2 for palms = $55,336 vs. $55,440 for the hardwoods).
This needs to be much better negotiated in the future. This entire project (New Business Item 2 and Item 3 below) should have been consolidated and heftily reduced in price.]
3. PBB – Hardwood Crown Reductions - $15,722 – Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: same comments as above. Linda made the motion, Richard seconded it, and Sue again questioned how they determine the price because she noted the proposal stated, “price varies by size and species; they gave you a specific number.”Jeff stated that previous Boards went out for a bid and PBB came in much lower.]
Jeff: they must have looked at it. Sue: how do they get a specific number? We don’t know what it costs per size and per species. The contracts with PBB lack specificity… lacks specificity and an approximate breakdown of costs… I question the amount.
Shelly Andreas (Co-Chair, Landscaping Committee): It is not a contract; the contract we have does not include all these proposals.
[Editor’s note: point of fact: every single proposal becomes a binding contract once it’s countersigned.]
Sue: that’s my point. It should. Shelly: if it’s in the contract, and you have a lower amount, then you’re stuck…[Editor’s note: that’s why it is important to negotiate properly up front.]
Shelly: it’s not a contract. [Editor’s note: yes, it is. Each one is a separate contract once executed (signed).] Shelly: In the past… bid… none ever broke it down to size, type, or whatever; it was always a flat fee…
[Editor’s note: perhaps it’s time to stop repeating past ways that don’t necessarily serve the community; perhaps it’s also time to better negotiate this contract when it comes up for renewal.]
Richard: the contract we have is for maintenance. A lot of communities have two landscapers: one does maintenance, and one does the tree trimming. Our contract only deals with maintenance. Other communities work the same way; we just happen to work with the same landscaping to do both.
[Editor’s note: the motion passed 5-0-1 with Sue abstaining.
Note from soon-to-be installed Board member Arthur Andelson:
Since PBB is already doing the hardwood trimming per New Business Item #2 above, the crowning of the hardwood trees in certain areas should automatically be a large-negotiated discount because they’re already here with their crew and equipment (the cherry pickers – the truck with the basket, and the woodchipper).
This needs to be much better negotiated in the future. This entire project (New Business Items 2 and 3) should have been consolidated and heftily reduced in price.]
4. PBB – Ficus Removals and Installations - $45,955 – Linda Arbeit
[Editor’s note: Linda made three motions totaling the above figure.
The first proposal involves, per Linda, all ficus except the parking lot, the personal property between the homes, and around the air conditioning units. It is to remove the ficus and replace with green arboricola (it doesn’t say clusia in the alternative) and sod. The proposal says it is between Corbel Lake and Polly Park. That totaled $27,425.
Linda stated we will save money by not needing the white fly spraying (in the areas where the ficus are being removed, so the cost for that will be less). Sue seconded it and is passed unanimously.
The second proposal was also to take out ficus, this time between Landon Circle and Grey Birch and replace it with green arboricola and sod, for a total of $17,738. Sue seconded it and it passed unanimously. The proposal also does not include clusia.
The final proposal was to remove the ficus on the“north end of Rosetree Park” per Linda’s presentation and to replace the ficus with “Green Arbor Calusa” [sic] added in handwriting, for $792. The words “3 gal” (three gallon) are in the proposal. No sod is listed on this proposal. Harvey seconded it and it passed unanimously.
Harvey asked if this completes the five-year plan and Linda stated, “yes, except for the parking lot and residences.” The motion passed unanimously.
Two of the approved proposals, which are now contracts, don’t include clusia (the third one has a handwritten version of it spelled oddly), but my take-away from the Board meeting was that clusia was an option for those two areas notwithstanding its absence from the two actual agreements.
Obviously, these proposals need to be looked at more carefully and dealt with more precisely. Board members: please read what you are approving and signing off on or run it by your contract expert (yours truly) who would easily catch such obvious omissions.
So, today’s total alone to PBB is $144,785. So much for the 2021 budget surplus of $150,000. It just got eaten up.]
[Editor’s note: the nets are rusting from the inside out. Harvey moved to replace them; Linda seconded it. Harvey agreed with Arthur’s comments in the First Residents’ Input Session. The motion passed unanimously.]
6. Fitness Door Opener - $3,100 - Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: Jeff stated it’s not opening properly and needs to be updated to the same one as the Clubhouse. Stanley Access Technologies is the vendor. There is a one-year warranty for parts and labor. Motion by Jeff, Linda seconded it; it passed unanimously.]
7. Golf Cart Purchase - $6500 – Jeff Green
[Editor’s note: clubs, balls, and caddy are not included.]
Jeff: Lee’s golf cart has been dying… he’s using his own parts… it’s from a resident whose husband passed away recently; Lee would take Deborah’s golf cart. Other proposal was more than $6,500…the resident would like to see the cart stay in the community; it’s worth $8-9,000. Motion to accept. Linda: I second. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Barbara Appleby: are they trimming and pruning all trees? Linda: it’s not pruning. Barbara: does it include the privacy ficus? Linda: no. Only on the common property, not the residents.’ Deborah: if it’s behind the homes on common property then yes. If you have a specific question, email me.
2. Judie Delman: …I recently removed a large oak tree; at the same time, roots of a community tree were dividing the ficus. It was looked at by the manager of PBB. He put it in writing that it should be pruned. It’s affecting my…patio bricks…and… porch… $1,100, I wrote a check to take down the tree… a week later, I was informed that that tree was coming down. Both of these trees were never measured; what was the cost to remove the second tree?
Next subject: the… Stealth form of Omicron is far more transmittable; it’s doubled every week… far more severe… Why is it not being discussed? … Who is on the advisory board and who are they following?
Harvey: Jeff Hyman [epidemiologist, upon information and belief], Pat Nast, virology, and myself, critical care nursing. We follow the CDC guidelines… the bottom line is if you don’t feel comfortable, it’s a personal choice not to. We’re not babysitters…
Judie: I will come with my double mask on… “News report has put out yesterday that we are doubling every week Stealth, which is B2.” … It is much more dangerous, and much more transmittable.
Harvey: we’re going with the CDC and not somebody’s right-wing media.
[Editor’s note: Harvey, first, she didn’t identify any specific media. She specifically said the words “news report” and I listened to the tape twice to confirm it. Second, please keep your politics out of it. Your comment was inappropriate.]
3. Skip (Seymour) Jacobs: [Editor’s note: regarding the new pickleball nets] Is there a warranty? Harvey: one year, standard. Jeff: it would have to be limited… if you fall into the net and rip it… not sure if the nets are made for clay courts, so whether that affects it.
Skip: second, the golf cart buying from a resident. Is there a warranty? How old is it? How will it be maintained? Jeff: it’s very well maintained. Deborah: there’s no warranty left; it’s a 2016. Lee’s is over 20 years old. Harvey: according to the bill of sale, it was refurbished in 2020[presumably he is referring to the one they are buying].
4. Arnie Green: the fitness door; fire exit, same problem?... fire department… Deborah: it opens automatically… I’ll check with Stanley [the vendor]. Arnie: has to be put in. Check it before install, not to pay twice. Jeff: we’ll check it, Arnie.
Round Table Discussion:
Harvey: I want to thank and congratulate Linda for her service of six years and future endeavors, such as the Treasurer of the Bowling League.
Sue: Ditto for me… Six years is a testament to fortitude and ability to get along with others. For the future, landscaping should develop a glossary of words and terms… Linda, personally and professionally it’s been a delight.
Richard: I want to thank Linda, it’s not an easy job… good luck.
Bob: same thing, Linda, thank you, good luck.
Deborah: it was a pleasure working with you.
Linda: I want to thank everybody for thanking me… it was a pleasure; I hope I served well… I’m here if anybody needs anything. Congratulations to Sue and Richard for another two years and congratulations to Arthur and Pat, and I wish all for you much success, stay cool, enjoy the experience; it’s a wonderful experience.
Jeff: Linda, thank you very much for your time… [he then thanked the Zoom operators] … next meeting will be March 16th at 9:30am on Zoom if we have one, if we have enough items on the agenda.
Jeff: Motion to adjourn. Sue: Second. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous. [adjourned at 10:57am.] Jeff: we did it under an hour and a half.
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operators Mike Blackman, his assistant Arnie Green, and, as backup if needed, Anita Goodman, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. I thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the Board meeting of March 2, 2022; next meeting: March 16, 2022 at 9:30am, unless it’s cancelled.
Thought for the Day:
Maturity, grace, and being realistic means accepting the things we cannot change and working around challenges where possible.
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