04/21/21 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted April 21, 2021. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the April 21, 2021 Board meeting, with assistance from your Roving Reporter, and with commentary and satire indicated inbold blue and pictures.
Editor’s Opening Monologue:
This edition is entitled “I Think We Nailed It”
True story: One day in the very early 1960’s my Dad, original owner Stanley B. Roberts of Grove Ridge Lane (now living with us on Landon Circle and who is on the cusp of his 96th birthday), decided he was going to finish the unfinished basement in our new house on Long Island, New York. So he undertook that massive project, and after a few weeks or months, voilà! It was done.
A friend came over and marveled at the exactitude of the new walls, flooring, and overall appearance, and casually commented, “it’s amazing what you can do with a level…”
…to which my father replied, “What’s a level?”
Growing up, we spent many happy times in the finished basement. We had table hockey…
And a dark room for developing photos (which doubled as the laundry room, or probably vice versa) where we had the enlarger on top of the dryer and the developer and stop bath on the ironing board …
And there was a working Lionel electric train set with all the bells and whistles which was very elaborate for the time…similar to the below image:
…I think they’re called ‘loco’motives probably because some of them went to crazytown, USA…
And we had a ton of board games, like McDonald’s Farm Game, which was my personal favorite, but which really required at least three people to make the game worthwhile.
Dad put a light switch at the bottom of the first step down to the basement so that my brother and I, as toddlers, could reach it and turn on the light, go downstairs, and play before breakfast.
As I got older, and into my teens, I used to sing and dance to records from the 1950’s and 1960’s Broadway shows (The Pajama Game was my favorite) which I would play down in the basement by myself on a 1950’s GE radio/stereo/phonograph player which I still have, and which is now presently situated next to my parents’ wheelchairs (photo taken March 27, 2021 during the creation and writing of this Opening Monologue):
All of those original records are in the cabinet below the GE player, including The Pajama Game.
Dad’s workshop in our Long Island basement was in the back next to the huge oil burner tank (years before it was later buried outside), like this sample, but not as dust-free:
He had so many tools, and yet he didn’t consider himself particularly handy; his shop next to the tank in the basement looked similar to this:
I think he was a lot handier than he gave himself credit for.
Fast forward to 2019. I wrote a poem called “The Handyman’s Lament” which is included in my book, Bourgeois Poetry by Vicki Roberts. Perhaps some of you can relate:
The Handyman’s LamentSo many tools to play with all day,Where shall I start, there’s work every which way,Wrenches and hammers and C-clamps galore,Lathes and tile saws and oh so much more!The wife’s in the kitchen with pastries she bakes,Sweet pies and cookies and all kinds of cakes;But my toys are not there, they’re in my garage;And I just can’t resist my tools to massage;I have gadgets, devices, contraptions to use,Does anyone know a better way to amuse?I’m sure there is something in need of repair;I need an excuse to be in my lair;Where is my drill, I know it is here,I thought I put it right next to my beer;The tape measure’s here, so are the screws,But if I find that damn drill, now that’ll be news;There are boxes and bins with all kinds of scrounge,So many projects, no time to lounge;But it’s getting late, time to call it a night,My handyman dreams about to take flight;So goodnight my pliers, my nails, and my bits,My level, my box cutter, and of course my vice grips;I’ll see you tomorrow at dawn’s early light,Until then my sweet babies, I bid you good night.
And now without further ado, let’s Begin the Beguine (Cole Porter, 1935).
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
Board Members Present:
Jeff D. Green (Board member and office of President)
Harvey Ginsberg (Board member and office of Vice-President)[still apparently VP for real.]
Richard Greene (Board member and office of Treasurer)
Alan Silver (Board member and office of Secretary)
Linda Arbeit (Board member)
Bob Dingee (Board member)
Sue Schmer (Board member)
Call to Order: Jeff D. Green.
[Editor’s note: Jeff added three items to the Agenda: #s 8, 9, and 10 below: replacing the aerator compressor in Angel Wing pod $1,395; irrigation $1,335; and Hard-Tru for tennis and pickleball courts per Lee’s request. He reported that he attended a president’s group of 35 communities and only two have opened their clubhouses. He stated that the Board is working on a plan. And one more thing: he reminded everyone that the only official website for the HOA is theirs. Good to know.]
Pledge of Allegiance: led by Bob Dingee. [Editor’s note: Linda had a flag and all Board members stood.]
Jeff’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: Jeff had no opening remarks additional to what he said above and dove right into the Board meeting. Excellent! Now that’s what we call streamlining!]
Residents’ Corner and Thought for the Day:
First Residents’ Input Session:
1. Stephen Walter: [Editor’s note: Stephen complained that his car has been in the shop for months and he needs a sticker. We did not, however, see this on the Agenda.]
Approval of Minutes: April 7, 2021 Board meeting: Alan Silver:
Alan: Motion to approve the Minutes of the April 7, 2021 Board meeting. Jeff: seconded by Linda [although Bob also seconded it]. All in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: The Minutes of the Residents’ March 25th annual meeting was mentioned. Jeff stated that people said the Board should not have approved them. This is true. It wasn’t a Board meeting; it was a Residents’ meeting. Jeff asked for a resident to move to approve them. Barry from the Zoom audience so moved.
Sue made a Point of Order that it was not on the Agenda, that it needs to be, that she thought it would be in two weeks, Jeff then said they would add it, and Shelly then seconded the motion. Harvey then said that if it is not on the Agenda, it cannot be voted on. Sue then stated, “didn’t I just say that, Harvey?” For the record, yes, you did, Sue. Jeff then said if it’s not right, we’ll do it again.]
Jeff: we’re not seeing them raise their hands. We don’t have a majority to approve. Alan: table it to the next meeting. There’s a function in Zoom. Jeff: tabled to the next meeting.
Treasurer Report: Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: the report was attached to the email notice of the Agenda, is self-explanatory, and will therefore not be repeated herein. Richard did mention that houses are selling quicker than anticipated; 13 were sold through March 31st. Each one contributes $1,625 to working capital plus a $300 application fee. Bob moved to accept the report; Alan seconded it and it passed unanimously.]
Property Manager’s Report:
Deborah Balka: …final mow...27th and 28th…holiday lighting, last year of the contract, a little over $8,000. Fish stocking completed in the lakes so you can go fishing.
Iguana report: Tuesdays and Thursdays, many seen in the canals and the banks but unfortunately not in our contract; there is an abundance of them on the banks.
[Editor’s note: unfortunately? To the contrary, thank goodness. We don’t need a murdering spree against these gentle creatures.]
Lee requested Hard Tru, it’s within the budget.
[Editor’s note: Alan moved to accept the property manager’s report; Sue seconded, and it passed unanimously.]
Engineering: Bob Dingee: the roof, started putting tile on Monday; got the glue in. The Fitness Center window replacement, we anticipate delivery this week or next week…when the roofers are done…next month. The roads: three estimates obtained, the two lowest bidders were brought in Monday for a question and answer session. Hope to have a package for the Board to review by the end of next week.
Landscaping: Shelly Andreas:[Editor’s note: Shelly was kind enough to email her report for inclusion herein.]
Shelly: “At this point in time the landscape committee is working to get the projects that are in progress finished. The summer annuals will be planted in approximately 2 -3 weeks. They will consist of various plants.”
Rules & Regs: Joyce Winston: Joyce: all of the Rules & Regs that were passed with the last Board have not been distributed to the residents. They need to sell the house and pass the documents to the next buyer. Mail it out to all…
[Editor’s note: These items are still being ignored. Details are found on our page entitled “Agenda Items.”]
A. Road Resealing
B. Rescinding illegal “Take Away Your Transponder If You Have An Estate Sale” vote.–THIS RULE HAS BEING EXPANDED TO INCLUDE SECOND VIOLATIONS; THERE IS AN APPARENT OBSESSION WITH TRANSPONDERS.
C. Rescission of the improper banning of Alex from the community
D. Improper use of HOA funds
E. Improper expansion of Presidential powers
F. Disabling of the Zoom meeting Chat function
G. Clubs and Their Asinine Rules-- HANDLED; CLUB RULES NEUTERED; AWAITING NOTICE TO COMMUNITY, NEW RULES TO BE EMAILED TO ALL RESIDENTS, REMOVAL OF BOGUS PICKLEBALL CLUB RULES FROM HOA WEBSITE
H. Two incident reports
I. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members
J. Weekly email blasts; News & Views dedicated page for president; president assuming too many liaison positions that target communication and final decisions
K. Re-Vote for the office of Vice-President -- MOOT AS OF MARCH 25, 2021
L. Eliminate Liaisons To Vendors;Property Manager and HOA Attorney To Report To All Board Members
M. Expenditures That Are Not Revealed To The Community Need to Be Openly Disclosed; Where Does Your Money Go?
N. Message Board Suspensions: any suspensions from the HOA message board that were never voted on by the Board at an open meeting need to be removed from those residents’ records. Suspensions are strictly governed by statute and the HOA governing documents. Webmasters have no authority to issue suspensions.
NEW ENTRIES ON THE LIST:
O. Webmasters Making Board Decisions: Apparently the webmasters on their own decided along with their liaison, Harvey Ginsberg, to reset everyone’s violation clock to zero as of April 7, 2021. We learned this in an email from Mr. Ginsberg. This was done without a Board vote at an open meeting.
The Board should immediately admonish the webmasters that they have no authority to do so and take the matter up for voting if the Board is so inclined. Allowing the webmasters to run amok and make whatever arbitrary rules they please without Board approval at an open meeting is improper and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
1. Expert directory/committee signup-Alan Silver: Update status
Alan: to date, 133 registrants; 29 just for the registry, the rest for the committees…experts and expertise runs deep and wide… committee sign ups, many. Caring and Entertainment are oversubscribed. Audit, Safety & Security, Lakes are undersubscribed. I will have a current status later today. Registration is open until April 26.
Sue: I have to commend you, how you did it; it was a pleasure to work with you on the forms, so far it’s working out well. Congratulations, you really did a good job.
[Editor’s note: we agree 100%. Alan and Sue did a great job in preparing the form and Alan appears to be doing a great job in processing and organizing what is coming in.]
2. Board Action At A Glance-Alan Silver: Report on feedback
[Editor’s note: At the last Board meeting of April 7, 2021, the following exchange took place, and we quote it exactly as it was stated:
Harvey: [starting at 19:00 on the tape] “I think the intention is honorable because I think what we’re trying to do, and correct me if I’m wrong, is, um, to counteract the unofficial synopsis that goes to, that goes out on a different website. I think this is a good idea, and will give the residents some information that’s not hearsay and not editorialized, so I’m in favor of this motion.”
Jeff: “ok, Alan, will you please make your motion again.”
Sue: [starting at 19:24 on the tape]“I’d like to respond to Harvey.” Jeff: “Go ahead, Sue.” Sue: “Just on matters of principle, and I will make this short. I strongly disagree with what you have just said.” [Editor’s note: a Board member then chuckled.] Harvey: “ok, we’ll agree to disagree.”
Contrary to Harvey’s claim, discrediting HOA residents (us in particular) and what we provide for the benefit of the community at large is the opposite of an honorable intention, and this is likely why Director Sue disagreed “strongly” with Harvey’s statement after he said it.
And let’s all remember that Harvey barely won election the first time around (purportedly securing his position by one vote) and he barely won re-election the second time around (by a mere 17 votes), so he was the last choice both times; third time might not be a charm, Harvey. Here’s a friendly tip for the future: insulting your way through Board meetings might not be the best way to go.]
Alan: I received about 20 emails and initially the reviews were mixed. Not enough information in the document. The time stamp was effectively a table of contents for the video…The number of positive responses was far greater than the negative. Link to the video in the report. Overall, there was a general acceptance of the utility of the report. Motion to permanently feature it with link. Harvey: second[naturally]. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: This new feature is very nice and we like it. We note, however, that the videos are only active on the HOA website for two weeks, so if you don’t make use of it during that time period, where will the link go inasmuch as the video has vanished?
It is also most certainly not a counteraction to our synopses and commentaries. It is completely different. If you want to trudge through the video, by all means do so, as is your prerogative. And the link feature will cut down on your time if you are only interested in certain things. If you want analysis and what we hope is a fairly fun read, then continue enjoying our work product. Or do both. We see it as a win-win for everyone.]
1. Preparing to reopen fitness center Alan Silver: YMCA recommendations
Alan: On April 8, Jeff, Linda, Deborah, and myself met with Barry…the Y… number of recommendations for the facility modifications. Do not begin classes; limit the number of people in the gym to ten based on reservations, seven in the cardio and three in the weight room…
Y staff will measure temperatures, masks when not exercising, social distancing; close every other cardio, Monday to Friday 7:30am to 11:30am; registration – one hour blocks, target opening May 17th, water aerobics and Zoom classes…the Y continues free admissions to all residents… motion to agree to open the fitness center under the guidelines recommended by the Y. Linda: Second.
[Editor’s note: there was some back and forth which didn’t change anything.]
Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
2. Modification of ARB guidelines-Linda Arbeit: Giving ARB flexibility on color selection.
[Editor’s note: this is a fantastic way to get away from the boring monotony of endless uniformity and cookie-cutter banality and to enhance and beautify the homes and the community at large. It is time to recognize that uniqueness, coupled with classiness, equals an upgrade to the neighborhood, which in turn raises the level of the community so that it stays competitive with the newer neighborhoods in the surrounding area.
Hint: forget about uniform mailboxes and start thinking about what really gives a place that “wow” factor: uniqueness, classiness, and creativity. When you allow residents to create a unique and classy look to the outside of their homes, the entire community benefits. Vive la différence!
Linda reported that a resident/homeowner requested of the ARB permission to have installed backyard motorized gnat screens with ivory aluminum casings or frames. (In the past, the frames had to be white per ARB guidelines.) These particular homeowners do not have a birdcage in the back and the gnats were eating them up alive on their covered patio, which often made it impossible to sit out there and enjoy the sunset.
And honestly, the ivory matches the house colors much better, blends better, and looks classier. The ARB approved the homeowners’ request. Your Editor and Roving Reporter thank the ARB and the Board so that we will no longer have to provide food and shelter for a bunch of thirsty, blood-sucking gnats. (Yep, it was us!)
“Hi, Arthur, I didn’t recognize you. It’s me, your wife, Vicki.”
Permission was given for the ivory color for the back of the house framing of these gnat screens. Linda stated that both she and Shelly (Chairperson of the ARB) agreed it was time to change the guidelines for changing colors and Shelly stated it was a very good change.
Therefore, after a discussion with the ARB committee, it was determined that similar colors to white, such as ivory, would be allowed for backyard patio screen enclosures. Shelly Andreas, ARB Chairperson, was kind enough to email the exact language for this synopsis and for the benefit of the community:
“ARB Guidelines: Under Doors, Screens and Lights, should now read:
Variations in design or style or type of garage doors will be considered.
Variations in design or style of entrance doors including but not limited to glass panels will be considered.
Front entrance screen enclosures must be white aluminum with charcoal screening.
Patio screen frame enclosures may be a different variation of white which can include cream, eggshell, ivory and vanilla with charcoal screening.”
Linda: motion to accept the change in the ARB guidelines. Richard: Second. Sue: this was approved by the entire ARB committee? Linda: yes. All committee members indicated it was appropriate. Harvey: bronze? Linda: not now, off the table. Alan: ARB guidelines should be revisited.
[Editor’s note: we agree with Alan. It’s time to allow creativity and flexibility to naturally upgrade the community each house at a time.]
Linda: for another day. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous. Linda: the Board has to make the decision to approve right now the change for the resident applying for the ivory color change. Jeff: that’s part of the change. Harvey: it became moot when we accepted.
Sue: Point of Information: ARB meetings have to be publicly noticed, every ARB meeting has to be publicly noticed and residents invited. Harvey: an approval to repair a roof? Sue: read 720. Harvey: every time? Sue: that’s what 720 is saying; I texted all of you. Jeff: we’ll discuss at another time. [Editor’s note: the vote was unanimous.]
[Editor’s note: Sue is correct. Here is the pertinent part of Florida Statute 720.303(2)(a) and (b) which has been posted on our Relevant Rules page for over a year now (with our underlining below for ease of reference):
(2) BOARD MEETINGS.—
(a) Members of the board of administration may use e-mail as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on an association matter via e-mail. A meeting of the board of directors of an association occurs whenever a quorum of the board gathers to conduct association business. Meetings of the board must be open to all members, except for meetings between the board and its attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation where the contents of the discussion would otherwise be governed by the attorney-client privilege. A meeting of the board must be held at a location that is accessible to a physically handicapped person if requested by a physically handicapped person who has a right to attend the meeting. The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to the meetings of any committee or other similar body when a final decision will be made regarding the expenditure of association funds and to meetings of any body vested with the power to approve or disapprove architectural decisions with respect to a specific parcel of residential property owned by a member of the community.
(b) Members have the right to attend all meetings of the board. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated items.
That’s what it says folks, in clear English. All ARB meetings must be public with the residents’ right to speak, just like a regular Board meeting. Zoom ‘em up!]
3. Insurance renewal- Richard Greene
[Editor’s note: Richard reported that the HOA’s current insurer is on the verge of financial insolvency so that if a claim were made, it would potentially not be payable. Therefore, he recommended immediately signing up with Lloyds of London which the HOA’s broker recommended. Richard moved to cancel the policy immediately (it is up on June 30th) and sign up with Lloyds of London immediately. Harvey seconded the motion.
Jeff called the question. At that point, there was a power outage of sorts which knocked offline both Alan and Linda. Then Sue seconded it (even though Harvey had already seconded it, so we guess that means that Sue thirded it.) Jeff called the vote, unanimous of the 5 Board members, noting that they had a quorum, so it was fine. He was right.
Then Alan came back online. At some point Linda joined the property manager in her office and was present again. Harvey asked for a re-vote. This was 100% wrong. There was no need for a re-vote. A quorum was convened, a vote was taken, and it passed. That’s it. Instead, there was more discussion (totally improper), Richard then made the motion again, Sue seconded it this time, and Jeff called the motion which was unanimous. Procedurally, this was completely incorrect.]
4. RCI Contract-Jeff Green: $45,000: Remedial cleaning between paint jobs
Jeff: From Fiddler On The Roof, other company owned by Rosen who owns RCI; the reason there was not three bids is because its really an extension of the paint contract…next paint will be 2026… prior bids did not have this included in the contract… mild cleaning solution to all exterior wall surfaces… then lightly power washing… includes touch up painting, recaulking, and repair masonry cracks…then bids for 2026… reserve item, money in the reserve now. Motion to approve. Second: Harvey.
Sue: I have issues with it. The contract extension, we did it 2015…contract extension usually refers to time and not to the subject matter. It is not a contract extension. The Board voted…fiscal responsibility – any item great than $25,000 should have three actual bids; that’s what it says. I’m not questioning the rationale. I’m questioning to what extent should be ignore our rules for the sake of expediency…
Harvey: the original contract, August 2015, extension of the contract signed December 2, 2011…the Board at that time didn’t plan on having another remedial cleaning… single source bid – you have to -no one would touch another contractor’s work… same thing with Palm Beach Broward…ficus replacement…
Sue: Harvey, you’ve proven my point. It was not in the contract… to what extent do you want to bend the rules because it’s inconvenient. Yet we put a rule in place…the thinking is inconsistent. Jeff: All in favor to approve the contract for remedial cleaning: 6. Sue: abstain; I can see both sides.
5. CL Blvd Ficus Removal - $52,982 - Linda
Linda: replace with arboricola. Normally three bids, however, “sole source justification” – Palm Beach Broward knows our development, irrigation, where the pipes are, they know where all the zones are, therefore, motion to accept the proposal for [the reduced amount of]$48,852 to remove all the ficus and replace with arboricola and caloosa. Second: Harvey or Bob.
Jeff: made sense to do all at once…aesthetically will look better. Harvey: completion of a five year plan that took seven years… Linda: not a completion…Sue: same argument here, justification is PBB knows where the wires are, could keep them forever. I’m concerned. We are obviating our own rules for fiscal responsibility. If PBB knows where the wires are, why don’t we… put higher shrubbery so owners don’t have to pay for it… Jeff: we have money in he budget. All in favor? 6. Sue: Oppose. Deborah: letters will go out to all homeowners on Cascade Lakes Blvd.
6. Remove Mahogany Trees - $6,750 - Linda
Linda: To remove nine trees in the parking lot; the road will be milled, road redone. Removed then put back in again. Second: Harvey. Harvey: why do we have to remove? Deborah: the roots are lifting the asphalt. Replace with other than mahogany. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
7. Irrigation – Corbel, Landon and Angel Wing– $4,800 – Linda
Linda: irrigation is rotted…economically and directly need to be fixed. Entrances. Not to exceed $4,800. Motion to accept the proposal. Second: Bob. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
8. Aerator: Bob: Angel Wing aerator is not working; compressor has failed. $1,395 for a new one, one year guaranty; the old one is seven years old. Motion to accept. Second: Linda. Jeff: all in favor? Unanimous.
9. Irrigation: $1,335. Deborah: behind a home and it encompasses two other homes. Getting too much water; only has irrigation and it needs rotors and sprinklers. It’s urgent. The sod is dying on the side and the back is too much water drowning the plants. Jeff: motion to accept. Second: Linda. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
10. Hard Tru: Jeff: Lee put in a request yesterday and Deborah decided to put on the Agenda. $2,559.06. It’s a budgeted item. Motion to accept. Second: Bob. Jeff: All in favor? Unanimous.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Barry: [last name not given]The rear gate signage – 2 cars backed up – not residents, couldn’t get in. Piper’s Glen sign – the residents only sign is gone. It’s half way through into the gate. I had to back up…a truck the day before… Deborah: on the right hand side. Barry: I know, other sign. Deborah: we put it closer. Jeff: you’re coming past the turn. Deborah: I will redo it.
2. Joyce Winston:[Editor’s note: your Editor asked Joyce to email her comments for inclusion herein which she graciously did.] “What I spoke about was really from my work on the Long Range Planning Committee, when 3 of us (me, Mike Gentry and Carol Charles) visited Signarama to look at what signs they produce, how various color schemes would look on signs throughout the community, and especially that there were too many signs on the back gate entrance, signs of different sizes and colors, etc.
Mike, as Chair of our Committee, sent our suggestions to the Facilities Committee, who eventually selects what is ordered. When I saw all the different signs on the back fence and surrounding area, I couldn't believe what I saw....duplications of messages, all sorts of colors, shapes and materials used for the various signage....in other words, nothing really changed except we spent money on new signage that looks no better than we had before.”
Jeff: we’ll look into it.
Joyce:[Editor’s note: Joyce also emailed the following for inclusion herein.] “I agreed with Sue Schmer, Board member, that we should not be renewing landscaping, painting and similar contracts without getting 3 bids for anything that costs more than what our documents call for. I was part of the Ad Hoc Board that hired Palm Beach Broward as our landscaper 21 years ago. The landscaping has deteriorated, numerous complaints from residents, and we do nothing to replace them.”
Joyce: Sue brought up having to use the same contractor for years and not giving ourselves the opportunity to get bids. We’re entitled to get multiple bids in accordance with our documents… Jeff: I have some ideas on some of the contracts and we will be discussing as they come due.
Round Table Discussion:
[Editor’s note: what? This meeting’s not over yet?]
Harvey: nothing, thank you. Sue: Review of ARB rules, well worth considering…try to hook up with Rules & Regs Committee; they are exceedingly knowledgeable on what works and what doesn’t. Bob: nothing. Richard: nothing. Linda: nothing. Alan: nothing.
Sue: motion to adjourn. Second: Alan. Jeff: all in favor of adjourning and not wanting to stay here another hour, raise your hand. Unanimous. 10:47am.
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Arnie Green for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank him for his continued service and volunteerism. (Mike Blackman was absent.)]
And so concludes the Board meeting of April 21, 2021; next meeting: May 5, 2021 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.