For today’s board meeting, I am providing the below synopsis so that you can know what went on.
Board Members Present: All except Mark Goodman.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Eileen.
Marion’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
Ganoderma palm fungus, white rot on trunk, contagious, work order immediately to remove those infected trunks.
New patio furniture in, glass tops to arrive shortly. Do not sit on the tables, and the tables should not be used to change diapers, ugh!. Change babies’ diapers in the bathroom.
Hotwire bills will be adjusted.
Show tickets for 4 shows: purchase tickets, includes coffee, tea and dessert.
Thank you for using proper conduct at board meeting. These are board meetings, not resident meetings. It is not the time for residents at the podium to speak to other residents. Speak to the board only.
Residents vs. guests: no fobs or transponders for guests. A resident is a person who can show government identification that they live here.
Pool and pool deck safety, food under the portico only.
There will be an in camera board meeting for personnel discussion after the adjournment.
First Residents’ Input Session:
2.Larry- committee report- engineering- shed position. Sticks out, very tight turn, 2 handicap spots. Type of building is very expensive. Need a shed, not the Taj Mahal. Just need to store tools and golf carts. Don’t need a fairly large building that is not pretty. Urge you to reconsider. It is very expensive and unsightly in an area where it will cause a problem. Alan Silver asked: is there an alternative? Palm Beach County wants it there, let us know what you want, where, when.
3.Irwin Schenkman, Landon Circle: regarding broadcasting board meetings, I don’t know why, there’s no law about it [writer’s note: yes, there is, FHA requires it]. Why are we involved with Barkley Square, it’s a quarter of a mile away. Broadcasting the meetings is expensive, we don’t need that, don’t have to pay [writer’s note: no, per Alan Silver, the cost is about $100].
4. Miles Alter: I echo what Irwin said about broadcasting the meetings. People salivate with new technology. Systems could be hacked into. It’s not necessary to wash our dirty laundry in public. I disagree, it’s not necessary. Harvey’s reply: we have people in this community screaming for transparency. The NSA doesn’t care about Cascade Lakes. It offers the transparency. Miles: that’s not the only issue. We talk about financial issues, problems in the community. It’s zero about transparency. [writer’s note: it’s about transparency and about giving everyone access to know how they are being governed, including those who are infirm and cannot attend. It’s also a requirement under the FHA, more about that later.]
5.Vicki Roberts, Landon Circle (me!): [Audience heckling] Who ever said “here we go” be quiet. You all read my message post, I wasn’t going to talk today, I actually don’t have anything prepared, this was the first time that we were going to sit there quietly but after that, I have to talk. This is about disability and people in this community who cannot come for various and sundry reasons and disability issues, and under the FHA it’s required, so kudos to Harvey for the transparency observation, one hundred percent true, and thank you to the board for putting it on the agenda because it’s necessary and required under federal law. [clapping heard] Oh, you could clap, go ahead. We don’t want to have this community dinged $19,000 per complaint to the FHA authorities- we certainly don’t want to do that because we end up paying for it. Marion: Vicki, we are not required by the FHA, we have had our attorneys look into this, and we are absolutely on solid ground. Me again: The same attorneys that advised you on other things. It’s time to get a new attorney if that’s his advice because I’ll tell you, regardless of his advice, if a complaint is made, and the FHA finds that you are not in compliance, for each complaint, it’s $19,000 plus potential penalties plus punitive damages and believe me, they have an unlimited budget, our Federal government, that’s your tax money that’s paying to go against you. And the people in this community want it. I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me and said thank you, thank you, thank you, because we can’t come, we can’t get out of bed, we have a doctor’s appointment, we have medical issues, we have disabilities, we can’t make it, and you have to make it available. It’s considered a common communication and common situation for this community. It’s not negotiable. So please do it so that it doesn’t cost the rest of us $19,000 plus per complaint. Thank you. Marion: Thank you.
6.Phyllis Dinnerman: no financial info should be put in News & Views. It is given out by realtors.
7.Paul Friedlander, Grove Ridge Lane: how many other communities broadcast board meetings. Marion: about ten. Paul: so, it’s about one third, very few.
8.Roberta Alter: how many are being sued by their residents?
Approval of Minutes: Linda Arbeit. Move to approve Nov. 6th: 5-0-1, Harvey abstained because he was not there. Approved. Move to approve Nov. 20th: 6-0. Approved.
Property Manager’s Report: Debra Balka: [writer’s note: I don’t have notes for this portion but my overall take-away was that Debra did an excellent job in her report; it’s all good, so, thank you, Debra!] [Per Arthur’s notes, Angie left, and two others are taking over her workload. Debra also gave the mowing schedule, December 10, December 11, and December 30, and next week trimming will hit Landon Circle. Thank you, Arthur!]
1.Katzman Chandler (lawyers) new program to handle legal processing for maintenance fee arrearages by homeowners. This is a new program they offer that is no cost to us; guaranteed no fee [writer’s explanatory note: they take their fee and costs from the homeowner in arrears, it’s tacked onto the amount needed to cure the default]. There is one home in foreclosure. Harvey: we should consider using them for everything. Gerry: I agree to that. Marion: it’s a boutique firm, I don’t want to go with a boutique firm [writer’s comment: I believe this was based on possibly being more expensive and/or not having the expertise in HOAs]. Harvey: our present counsel, how many HOAs do they represent? Let’s compare apples to apples. Rich in the audience: Saks, Saks, & K was the Cadillac of law firms years ago, their advice has always been top notch [writer’s note: not from what I’ve seen and read in the 6 months I’ve been here]. Gerry: we’re discussing only the issue of homeowners who are in arrears. Linda: is there a hidden cost? Gerry: no. Alan: only fees from the penalties and interest – we have to waive the ability to collect the fees. Eileen: we don’t get the money? Gerry: we have no output up front. Harvey: is there any downside? Marion: look at SS&K contract – did we give them the opportunity to do foreclosures? It’s probably in the contract. They have the ability to sign on to First Services. Harvey: we need to review it, we should amend the motion to make it pending review of the contract with SS&K; discussion: make sure no conflict or non-compete clause. Discussion: table the motion, do the research, address at the next meeting. Motion to postpone 5-1 [the writer did not write down who opposed].
2.YMCA contract: contingency, attorney looked at liability waivers, prepared 5 pages of addendums to the contract, the Y signed off on the addendum. Motion to approve addendum to contract: approved 6-0.
3. Island Air Contract: added to old business: vs. Thermal Concepts and per Debra, 2 others were contacted for bids and never responded. Eileen: there is a huge gap. Island Air $5,500 vs. Thermal $19,600. Debra: Island Air has done a wonderful job. Alan: doesn’t list which air conditioners or the number (13)? Debra: Yes, I have the serial numbers of each unit. Motion to accept the contract: approved 6-0.
1.Broadcasting Board meetings: Alan: Bellagio Reserve does streaming of their board meetings. Leah over there said they do it live through YouTube. They email the residents with a link. The community can sign in. Snowbirds and others in the community can watch on their phones or computer. The issue is that the link can be forwarded. Their board is not concerned and they have been doing it for about six months. Technical – Mike Deckinger – one problem is that we could not be able to guarantee an operator to control it; but the audio/video conferencing tool we have, no operator is required. Audio problem is that it is not designed to use with a microphone, the Owl has its own internal microphone. Then the house system instead, we can do it in the booth, but the sound doesn’t come to the front, we would have to buy equipment to do it. The total cost would be $100. This is not a recurring cost. There are two discussions: first, motion to live stream future board meetings, and second, to record it to be viewed after the fact. Another choice is Zoom, same as video conferencing. We could send an email blast with the link, and one would watch it in real time. Harvey: stream in real time. Transparency. Eileen: can the streaming be recorded? Answer from another board member: yes, it can be recorded. Harvey: why, are you afraid? Eileen: to open up the board meetings to everything, there are a lot of people disabled, older people who are electronically illiterate. [writer’s note: that’s on them, if they care to know what is going on, then they would have to take the necessary steps to either learn or get the help to set them up. Your obligation ends once you make it available.] Comment from a board member: the synopsis reaches everybody; our attorney said no synopsis. Alan: attorney supported streaming [writer’s note: that’s odd, since if he supports streaming, which itself can be recorded, then why was he opposed to recording it?] Eileen: the synopsis is second hand. It’s an interpretation. [writer’s note: my notes say the comment was “it’s not an interpretation” but that would not make sense with the prior statement.] Alan: get it on the phone. It’s not only for the handicapped, it’s for the snowbirds. 18 percent. Harvey: 20 percent never used anything. It’s their problem, not our concern. [writer’s note: I agree.] They need the opportunity. It would stop a lot of the complaining about transparency and the FHA. [writer’s note: yep.] Linda: it’s less than $100 according to Alan. Eileen: Any downside? Alan: the link – could be watched. Bellagio Reserve board considered this and decided it wasn’t an issue. Gerry: this question was raised 8 years ago, I have asked. And Marion. Mike Blackman from the audience (webmaster): great idea to record and make available to everyone. As to streaming downside: record or website. Alan: these are large files. Marion: on hotwire community, my second motion. Mike Blackman: both: link on website, stored; and the community channel. Harvey: livestream and record. Motion to live stream: Harvey: amend the motion to stream and record. Alan: no, separate motions. Motion to live stream made by Alan, seconded by Harvey: 6 – 0 PASSED. Motion to Record: and look at approach – website, community channel, link on website – per Mike it’s possible. No additional cost. Motion: 4-2. Motion Passes. Voting For The Motion to Record: Linda, Gerry, Marion, Harvey. Voting AGAINST the motion to record: Eileen, Alan. Motion PASSES.
2.Barkley Square: south of Tuscany Bay. A doctor bought it, wants to put up shops, restaurant(s), and have medical offices upstairs on the second story. This is on the west side of Military Trail. Marion: variance re reduced width requirements – right of way buffer width, waive the building setbacks requirements, elimination of foundation planting, increase the easement overlap. It impacts four HOAs – us, Tuscany Bay, Colonial Estates (mobile homes), and Colonial Preserve. In between Tuscany and Colonial Estates is Steiner Road, which is just gravel right now. Both Colonials support it because it’s blank land, but not the way it is proposed. There is a problem parking. 192 spaces then 183 spaces now 159 spaces. General discussion: only asks for 2 handicap spots and this is for doctors’ offices. Gerry: parking is grossly underestimated, it will be a zoo. Big large trucks. General discussion (Gerry, Marion): trucks need to make a wide turn out and will impact lanes on Military Trail, as there is no turn lane into it. Gerry: no lane for trucks and cars to come in. Very unsafe. Marion: two areas are now being considered as one development but no contiguous land. Safety and traffic issue. Eileen: residential care (assisted living) is on the east side. Alan: need parking guidelines. Friday there is a public hearing before the Zoning and Planning Commission, 9am, 2300 N. Jog Road, West Palm Beach.
3. Removal of infected palm stumps: Harvey: $1,250. Motion in favor: 6-0. Approved.
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1.Roberta Alter: Are the annual and budget meetings also going to be recorded? Answer [possibly Marion]: yes.
2.Arthur Andelson, Landon Circle [writer’s note: my wonderful husband!]: Barkley Square: traffic discussion, did you talk about the right lane being backed up onto Military because people are going to be looking for parking places going in, so that’s going to cause rear ends on Military; was that brought up during discussion? Marion: yeah, we will bring it up, thank you; Arthur: or we can research because I plan on going on Friday. Marion: thank you.
3. Howard Olarsch: [per Arthur, as I don’t have specific notes on this]: discussion about increase in iguanas and also about safety regarding speed of vehicles by vendors and residents within the community. Board said that the safety committee is aware of it.
4.Vicki Roberts [me]: Just a couple of points. Number one, somebody mentioned on the board, I think it was Gerry, that you’re not allowed to say the name of the HOA member in foreclosure. Gerry: that’s right. Vicki: it’s public record, it’s on the Palm Beach County Clerk’s website; I know who it is because I checked on the website myself; I’m not going to out anybody here because I don’t think that’s appropriate. Marion: good. Vicki: But it’s not actually confidential; it’s for the whole planet to hear. Gerry: we can’t say it. Vicki: yeah, but I don’t think it’s – I wouldn’t out somebody like that either. Harvey: I think it’s just a common courtesy because of the community – everybody knows everybody, and why share someone’s tsuris. Vicki: I agree with you, 100 percent. Number two, Eileen had a concern about the doctoring of recordings if for whatever reason it were used as evidence. Authentication of evidence – there is a whole process, a whole list of things you have to go through to authenticate a recording – before it comes in, and that is to address specifically that issue of doctoring, so if there were an issue, a court would look at all of that and make a determination as to its authentication, so that issue is essentially dealt with in terms of authentication of recordings, I just wanted to make that clear. Next, to a resident who thinks that FHA violations and the $19,000 I talked about previously are lawsuits by residents, no, it is not a lawsuit by a resident, FHA violations have nothing to do with lawsuits by members, they are the Feds that impose the fees. The callousness of some residents as to their infirm neighbors is embarrassing for those callous individuals, so shame on them. And finally, thank you to the board for voting for transparency and for the opportunity for all residents to be apprised of what’s going on; that’s all we ever wanted. Thank you.
Round Table Discussion:
Eileen: at 9am it is scary on the boulevard.
Gerry: Thankful for the recording cameras at the gates. Back gate leaning/hanging: a vendor did it, and we know who.
Marion: The Cooperator Expo is December 12, there will be more than 300 vendors. [writer’s note: per their website, it’s “Everything Condo, HOA, & Apt.” It looks like you have to register online to attend. It is from 10am to 4pm, and its location is: Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316. I did not see any fee associated with registering to attend.]
Harvey: FPL installed new light posts, but they’re not on. Landscaping needs to trim the trees around them [so as not to impede the light].
Gerry: website: all documents need to be fully removed and just the new documents should be up there; Sue/Rules and Regs: we recorded all of the changes made. Gerry: we want the new documents up.
Harvey: Sue Leonard not here, but pickleball report is that there are 76 different players, and 13.71 people per day average, so that’s good. [writer’s note: I have been there when there are so many people that many are waiting in the seats for a turn on the courts. There are four courts, 4 people per court, which is 16 people who can play at one time. We have had to rotate ourselves because there are so many residents there to play!]
Linda: hotwire- Hallmark is gone. Marion: it is now part of their advanced Premium Channels. [writer’s note: not all of Hallmark; we watched a romantic movie the other night on Channel 436. Also Channel 100 works, which we think is the same as channel 436 but not high definition, so you definitely want to watch the hi-def one on channel 436 if you have a choice.]
Eileen: Comcast is charging an additional fee – running out of data for streaming. Is there anything in our contract?
Debra: I’m on it. Will talk to our rep.
Marion: We will meet for our in camera meeting [personnel matter] after our Adjournment, after a five minute break. Thank you all; we are adjourned at 10:55am.
And that’s what went down at today’s board meeting. Cheerio!