12/16/20 BOD MEETING: SYNOPSIS AND COMMENTARY BY VICKI ROBERTS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM ARTHUR ANDELSON
Posted December 20, 2020. Your Editor provides the following synopsis of the December 16, 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, “Can’t Touch This”
Who could forget the iconic MC Hammer hit of 1990, “U Can’t Touch This” which he wrote with co-writing credit to the late Rick James and Alonzo Miller for its riff’s take-off of their 1981 megahit, “Super Freak,” one of your Editor’s favorite musical numbers.
The song title also purportedly applies to political signs on election day in certain locations.
The Cascade Lakes Clubhouse was an official election precinct/polling location on November 3, 2020. At the November 4, 2020 Board meeting, which was one day after the country’s general election, current HOA President Marion Weil in her opening remarks stated as follows regarding what allegedly occurred the day before, on election day:
“Yesterday, Election Day, ran fairly smoothly. Some residents were upset that there were some political signs erected. There was an altercation among residents regarding the signs. These types of actions were not and will not be tolerated. Please note that these signs were a minimum of 150 feet from the polling entrance, which is allowable under Federal election rules. On Election Day, the Federal rules regarding public elections override Cascade Lakes rules.”
Marion described an “altercation” in her words; however, we question this word, because an altercation suggests two or more combatants, and in this case, it appears from what is being alleged that the alleged attacks only went one way, so the use of the word “altercation” apparently was not only misleading, but also false, if the allegations are true.
Marion did not identify the alleged Federal election rules to which she referred, and despite our search, we could not find anything specifically on point except one rule that appeared to state that there can be no political signage or campaigning within 150 feet of a polling place. There does not appear to be any specific Federal rule mandating that signs must be permitted even if they are 150 feet from the polling entrance, although the First Amendment to the United States Constitution likely covers the issue with respect to speech vis-à-vis the government.
Cascade Lakes, however, is private property, and the First Amendment does not generally apply to a private corporation. It applies to the government only. There also appears to be differences among the states on the rules concerning political signage, and there are also some court rulings on the matter. The rules, however, appear to apply to city and county and state governments, and not necessarily to private corporations such as an HOA.
However, the designation of the clubhouse as an official polling location likely makes it a de facto government location for that specific date and that specific purpose. Thus, it appears that the political signs near the official polling location, if they were at least 150 feet from the entrance to the polling station, were legally permissible on that date for that purpose.
Regardless of the above analysis, it does not change the fact that if an assault and/or battery occurred, those alleged torts would be actionable by the aggrieved party or parties against the alleged instigators/perpetrators.
Marion in her Opening Remarks the day after the election was essentially admonishing the community not to pull up election signs. Now why did she say that? According to our sources, there were incidents in the parking lot whereby residents allegedly removed political signs they didn’t like on election day, and indeed Marion refers to “an altercation.” Upon information and belief, based on our sources, it was not “an altercation.” It was allegedly a combination of unprovoked attacks.
There were purportedly three separate incidents. Two alleged incidents occurred in the parking lot where the handicapped spaces are located on the right side of the clubhouse, adjacent to the parking for tennis, pickleball, and the pool. The political signs were purportedly in the grass swale in front of the parking area at a distance of at least 150 feet from the polling place entrance.
A third incident allegedly occurred when a resident allegedly kicked a sign out of the ground on the far side of the same parking area, closer to where the old sheds were. It appears to be undisputed that all signage was a minimum of 150 feet from the polling entrance at the Clubhouse.
The first allegation is that a sign was picked up, thrown by a resident toward another resident, and it allegedly hit that resident in the leg and caused injury. The resident allegedly suffered a bruise on her leg from that alleged incident. If true, this would constitute an assault and battery. These are state crimes separate and apart from the signage issue, if indeed they occurred. There is also the issue of alleged vandalism of the signs which presumably were the personal property of the residents who placed them where they did. Vandalism is a separate crime.
The second allegation involved two residents allegedly pulling up signs and getting in the faces of two other residents, the latter two of whom were campaign volunteers for one of the political Presidential candidates. This incident allegedly occurred when two residents allegedly screamed in the faces of the two resident campaign volunteers, mostly directly at one but they were purportedly standing next to each other.
One of the alleged screamers is married to the third incident’s sign kicker who allegedly kicked the sign out of the ground at the far side of the parking lot near where the old sheds were. This husband-wife duo is well known in the community for their purported belief that cavorting all over the state of Florida during a pandemic is their right, which technically it is, and they in fact bragged about it and solicited others to join them.
However, they are therefore in that endeavor apparently and allegedly unconcerned about the risks that their behavior poses to our community of elders when they then allegedly comingle with others in and around the community and then one of them allegedly screams in another resident’s face with whom she disagrees politically.
We received the following information from a concerned resident; while we quote that resident, we caution that these are allegations, not proven facts, and not independently verified except to the extent that Marion makes an admission in her Opening Remarks as transcribed above. Here is the report from the concerned resident:
“…The first incident involved a male resident illegally ripping political signs out of the ground and, to make a long story short, literally threw them at a female…who is a resident and had every right to be there. She suffered a wound on her leg.
In the second incident, another female…who was again, legally there, was approached by two other females returning from the pool. They verbally abused her screaming, “those signs are illegal” and “you don't belong here” and “are you even a resident”. The resident felt threatened and afraid of violence. At the same time the perpetrators were pulling out the signs and throwing them to the ground…In both of these cases the offended women submitted official Cascade Lakes Incident Reports…”
[Editor’s note: the resident also reported that a trained poll worker who is also a resident allegedly witnessed the second incident. We checked the Cascade Lakes Address Directory and confirmed that the name given to us for the alleged trained poll worker is indeed a resident here.
As to the incident reports, these reports are supposed to go to the entire Board of Directors which would then as a whole determine punishment, if any, after an investigation and an opportunity for the parties to be heard.]
The resident’s report continues:
“Unfortunately, the entire board was not made aware of the incident reports and a decision on the punishment was hastily rendered [by Marion Weil, the president, alone] without the knowledge of other board members. The perpetrators, unhappy with their punishment, asked for a hearing in front of the Cascade Lakes Grievance Committee. Their request was granted. It is worth noting here that the Grievance Committee has the authority to agree with the punishment levied by the board…or [make it] less harsh [or eliminate it entirely].
Unfortunately, …the board, or a member of the board did not follow its own rules and regulations, protocol was broken…[which] left the Grievance Committee with their hands tied and… [with]no choice other than not hearing the case and unable to confirm a punishment.”
[Editor’s note: as we understand it, because the matter was never adjudicated by the entire Board, the Grievance Committee’s position was that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter since there was no Board action to review and they do not review decisions made by lone Board members.]
The resident’s report continued:
“There is one point here, and one point only. It is not the fact that the perpetrators in both these cases received no punishment. Moreover, it is the fact that a negligent board of directors, or director acted totally inappropriately, abusing the powers bestowed upon directors of this community.
The bottom line is no one on the board took personal responsibility for this costly mistake and the only comment from the board president has been, “Yes, mistakes were made, and made up for.” I asked who made the mistake, and more importantly, how were the mistakes made up for. There was no reply from the board president after two attempts. This is unacceptable behavior and needs further investigation.”
We were advised that immediately after the alleged incident concerning the two women, the alleged instigators/perpetrators were purportedly advised by the property manager that their conduct was not proper and immediately thereafter one of them purportedly gave a quick, half-hearted apology.
If true, the alleged actions of the three residents against the three alleged victims (one resident who was allegedly hit by a thrown sign and another two residents who were allegedly screamed at within an extremely close range, i.e., inches from one of the women’s face) would likely constitute either and assault or a battery (the latter if there were any physical contact made between the alleged instigator/perpetrator and the alleged victim or if the object allegedly kicked or thrown made contact with the alleged victim, as described above).
These are torts. A tort is a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.Individuals who commit torts are called tortfeasors. Torts are actionable in the civil context by a lawsuit filed by the alleged victim.
This behavior, if true, is certainly not the right way to comport oneself.
This is separate and apart from a potential criminal case concerning the same conduct; the filing of a criminal case is determined by a prosecutor usually after a police report is filed, the matter is investigated, and a determination is made that the criminal case would likely be provable beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard than that required to prove a civil case.
For an explanation of what the standard “beyond a reasonable doubt” actually means, feel free to borrow the book, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Introduced by Larry King (Phoenix Books, 2006), which your Editor co-authored with then-San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris (her contribution starts at page 366), Alan Dershowitz (his contribution starts at page 22), Vincent Bugliosi (his contribution starts at page 15), Robert Shapiro (his contribution starts at page 46), Scott Turow (his contribution starts at page 384), Gerry Spence (his contribution starts at page 395), and others luminaries.
In the book, starting at page 33, I explain the meaning of the term ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ and how it should be applied. We have copies in our garage for those among you who are curious and interested. Just shoot me an email and we’ll dust one off for you.
This conduct may also violate the elder abuse laws because at least one or more of the residents, upon information and belief, may qualify as an elder person underFlorida statute 825.102.
Florida Statute 784.011defines an assault thusly:
“(1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083."
Florida Statute 784.03defines a battery thusly:
“(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”
We are most concerned about the alleged assaults and the one battery. All three women were allegedly assaulted; one woman was allegedly hit by the thrown sign and injured (the battery). If a resident has an issue with another resident’s sign, the resident should have reported the matter to the property manager and certainly not taken matters into his and/or her own hands. This alleged violence has no place here; the alleged victims certainly had and have the option of filing a police report or two.
Having this matter purportedly dismissed in short shrift by the HOA’s current president, as has been reported, sets a very bad example. Giving a pass to this type of alleged aberrant behavior sends a very bad message, to wit, that it will be tolerated based on who is allegedly doing the assaulting. Having discipline imposed by one equal Board member is actually improper and illegal per the statute and the HOA’s governing documents.
When a complaint is made, or an incident report is filed with the property manager’s office, the property manager apparently forwards that incident report to her Board liaisons. They, in turn, should immediately provide that report to all Board members for their review. In the future, perhaps the property manager should herself forward any and all incident reports to all Board members, because it appears that the Board liaisons likely did not forward those alleged incident reports to their fellow Board members.
At the time of these alleged incident reports, the Board liaisons to the property manager were president Marion Weil and then-Vice-President Mark Goodman, the latter of whom recently resigned. Apparently, upon information and belief, neither of those liaisons provided the incident reports to the rest of the Board. This failure, if true, was not only completely disrespectful to the rest of the Board and the entire community, but it was also, in our opinion, a complete abuse of power and a dereliction of duty.
Is this why Mark resigned? Did he resign for other additional reasons connected to these purported incidents? Just asking; let’s continue with this report and see where it leads.
And if all of this is so, why are certain people in this community more important than others, and why are one or two people deciding the fate of others, when all Board members are created equal? It is time for the Board to shut this behavior down now. The moment the Board, or a member of the Board, discovers a similar behavior or action by an aberrant Board member, it is incumbent upon that Board member to put that matter on the very next Agenda and litigate it before the entire community.
As for the incident reports, the proper procedure would be for the Board as a whole to review the matter and deliberate fairly upon it. The rest of the Board members were deprived of their right to do this by the alleged deliberate concealment of the incident reports.
Had the other Board members been so advised, at that point, if discipline were sought to be imposed, the alleged offenders would have had the right to an appeal to a grievance committee under both Florida statute and the HOA’s governing documents. It appears from the concerned resident’s report that this mandatory procedure was allegedly bypassed and usurped by the President, Marion Weil, in conjunction with the other then-Board liaison, the former Vice-President, Mark Goodman.
This is not the first time Marion has broken disciplinary rules: she similarly took matters into her own hands when she disciplined your Editor for posting truthful messages on the HOA message board about her having secret board meetings, which was confirmed in writing by then-Board member Alan Silver. She suspended your Editor from the message board for 30 days for posting these factual posts.
There was never an open Board meeting or an open Board vote on this discipline. There was a kangaroo court-style made-up “appeal” procedure that Marion concocted, with the HOA lawyer present (hence, some of the legal fees paid by the HOA), which illegally bypassed the process required by the statute and the HOA’s governing documents.
Marion was the prosecutor (she made the charges), the judge (she presided over this bogus appeal process), and the jury in that process (she voted to affirm the suspension). Your Editor had demanded a grievance procedure and was denied same; instead, Marion made up this Board appeal process which exists nowhere in statute or in the HOA’s governing documents. This fake procedure eliminated any oversight that the statute and the HOA documents specifically provide for by way of a grievance committee.
Now back to the discipline Marion allegedly imposed on her own against the two residents who allegedly tampered with the signs and screamed at and intimidated the two women residents. One reason Marion may have done so, if indeed she did, is to try and curry favor with one of these alleged tortfeasors who is well-connected to the pickleball club, in the hopes of saving her own political ambitions which were severely compromised by this particular club.
See our 2021 BOD Election page for a detailed discussion about that; essentially, they were furious with her for not acquiescing to their demands after they gave the Board $1,000 toward a pickleball court canopy and expected a quid pro quo which never came. They stated in their letter of May 7, 2020 that “it will be remembered” come election time. That letter is also posted on our 2021 BOD Election page.
These two alleged instigator/perpetrator residents were also members of the former Entertainment Committee. Another alleged sign-kicker is an officer of the computer club and is married to one of these alleged lady instigators/perpetrators.
One way for Marion to try and get around her purported election vulnerability would theoretically be to appease these allegedly offending residents with a decision, albeit singular and without Board authority, that there would be no discipline, or limited discipline, and they would essentially get a pass. In this way, Marion may believe she has some leverage to save herself from losing critical votes in the upcoming election while at the same time, keeping the other Board members and the community in the dark.
Of course, one must remember that old tale of the little girl who was begged by the snake to pick her up and carry him across the river. The little girl didn’t want to, stating that she was afraid he would bite her. He promised he would not. So, she picked him up, whereby he promptly bit her. She cried, “but you promised!” And he responded, “you knew what I was when you picked me up.”
So, it should come as no surprise that Marion is allegedly “Weiling and dealing” behind the scenes in the hope of a successful outcome on election day, but it should also come as no surprise when those purportedly “saved” residents turn on her and put up themselves or their own candidate(s) to take her down. We’ve said it before: the politics of appeasement never work.
Separately, we have been informed that another Board member at that time, not Marion, shortly after one of the alleged incidents occurred (we will not mention this individual by name although we have been given this individual’s name; we’ll call this person Board Member #1) allegedly approached yet another Board member (whose name we also are aware of but will not identify in this report and instead will refer to as Board Member #2). Board Member #1 allegedly asked Board Member #2 to ask one of the alleged victims to drop the incident report.
We were also informed that said Board member #1 allegedly insinuated that if the incident report were not dropped, rumors would be circulated denigrating the alleged victim (we can certainly relate to such character assassination, as we have personally experienced it here ourselves). This, if true, would constitute an attempted extortion.
In conclusion, as reported above, Marion stated unequivocally at the November 4, 2020 Board meeting that “Election Day, ran fairly smoothly.” Suffice it to say that the multiple alleged crimes by multiple alleged people as outlined above are not examples of a smoothly run election day, but that’s just our opinion.
As for the discipline issue, the HOA President, Marion Weil, purportedly violated Florida Statute 720.305 and the HOA governing documents specifically covering the issue of discipline, to wit, Rules & Regulations, Section E, Violation Guidelines, pages 4-16 and 4-17 when she allegedly illegally took the matter(s) into her own hands and improperly and irresponsibly meted out discipline without the knowledge of most Board members, without a required Board vote, and without the knowledge of the community at large. If true, by doing so, she also interfered with the victims’ rights by protecting the perpetrators.
The Board should immediately place on the Agenda both alleged incidents and then conduct a proper review and decision by Board vote on each matter. After that vote, the aggrieved parties may petition the Grievance Committee for a de novo review of the Board’s decision, during which time the discipline is stayed for 14 days pending that procedure. The Grievance Committee can affirm or deny the Board’s decision and that committee’s decision is final.
What this HOA community is dealing with is an alleged rogue Board director (in this case, Marion) allegedly doing things outside of her permissible responsibilities and functions, and at the same time, there are other Board members allegedly giving her a pass to do as she pleases. The community at large, for its part, contributes to this imbalance of power by repeatedly contacting her alone instead of the entire Board when an issue arises.
Notice to the community: the residents in this community also have a responsibility to immediately stop contacting only the president with whatever issues they may have. Contact all the Board members at the same time. There is a form on the HOA website for doing so, or you can simply email all of them together. When you fail to do so, you create an imbalance of power and you enable the president to take it upon herself to have improper sole discretion to handle your matter. You are contributing to this improper procedure when you do so.
Why would you so limit yourselves and allow her to allegedly continue to abuse her position of power? This makes no sense to us and should never be the way any issue is handled. We have never, ever written solely to Marion. All of our correspondence to the Board has always been to each and every member thereof. That should be de rigueur,the customary and proper way of presenting any and all complaints, recommendations, suggestions, and anything that you believe is relevant to the community.
Also, that way, you get seven bites at the apple instead of one. You want something on the Agenda? Why would you only ask one equal Board member instead of all of them, any and each of whom have the right to add your matter to the next Agenda. And by only contacting the president, it appears as if you, the resident, are trying to “Weil and deal” for favoritism, which is completely unfair to your neighbors and fellow owners. It’s time to stop this cycle of fake privilege that the president has allegedly assumed.
And now it appears that my monologue is over due to my microphone cord having become suddenly entangled.
Board Meeting: Audio and Video Up and Running; Zoom meeting online starts at 9:30am.
[Editor’s note: a paltry 47 devices were online at the commencement of the meeting. Subtracting out the seven Board members and the property manager, that leaves 39 devices including your Editor’s computer (a mere 3.4% of the community). Later in the meeting that number reached 62 total devices, which subtracting out the Board members and the property manager still leaves only a measly 54 devices tuned in, which is 4.7% of the community.]
Board Members Present: Marion (“I’m Queen of Cascade Lakes and Don’t You Dare Cross Me”) Weil (President), Harvey (“Evita”) Ginsberg (Vice-President), Richard (“Yosemite Sam”) Greene (Treasurer), Linda (“On the Fence”) Arbeit (Secretary), newly appointed Board member Bob (“Welcome to the Board!”) Dingee, Eileen (“Voted Most Improved”) Olitsky, and Sue (“Get It In Writing”)Schmer.
Call to Order: Marion Weil.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Evita. [Editor’s note: Harvey “Evita” Ginsberg had a flag; all Board members stood.]
Marion Weil’s Opening Remarks and Announcements:
[Editor’s note: here is an excerpt from Marion’s remarks:
Marion: “…do not use the Chat function during the meeting. Interruptions by a Chat disrupt the meeting…
I’m addressing two rumors. The first rumor concerns the Association paying legal fees. All invoices are approved by the Board of Directors. No Board Officer unilaterally addresses a legal issue.
In this case, a resident with a private website needlessly created an issue for the sole purpose of harassing the community, including sending the attorney a 113-page document. Yes, 113 pages among other documents. The Association paid the attorney’s invoice and informed our law firm that the Board will not pay any legal fees for residents contacting the Association’s attorneys.”
[Editor’s note: there was never any Board vote at an open meeting for that edict.]
Marion: “Residents have every right to seek legal counsel for any reason they choose. That is their business, not the Association’s. If residents have an issue with Cascade Lakes, by all means bring it to the Board of Directors. That’s the first step to addressing a concern.
The second rumor is that a community vote needs to be taken to repair the roadways. No such vote needs to take place. There are funds in the reserve specifically for the roadways under repair and replacement. The Engineering Committee will be writing specifications for bids to repair and seal the roadways…”
[Editor’s note: Ok, you started in again, Marion, against us. En garde!
Marion’s remarks contained further lies and defamation against your Editor and your Roving Reporter. Your Editor added this to the Chat function when Marion made her comments:
From Me to Everyone: 09:39 AMIt was in response to your siccing the lawyer on us.We never initiated any contact with the HOA lawyer.It was always in response to the crap you sent to him about us.Stop lying to the community.
This is total manipulation of the facts and was extremely dishonest of Marion in our opinion. The only harassing that is going on is coming from Marion toward us. Again, this is classic projection: see our October 21, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled “Deflection and Projection,” which, according to our site analytics, was one of our most popular essays.
So, according to Marion, the following constitutes us “harassing the community:”
(1) Marion has the lawyer write us a letter based on false and defamatory statements she made to the lawyer which made its way into his letter and for which there was, of course, no proof, because it was, in fact, false;
(2) we respond proving that the statements were in fact false and we prove it with actual evidence in the form of itemized and organized exhibits;
(3) the lawyer never replies to refute our proof.
And yet, somehow, in Marion’s world, this is us “harassing the community.” We respectfully request an explanation as to how this constitutes us “harassing the community.” We will happily insert said explanation without edit into a future synopsis and commentary if we receive one.
And as for Marion’s repeated use of the word “rumors” when referencing this News Site’s reports, let’s be clear: these are not rumors. We don’t report rumors. We report alleged facts as we discover them. We also invite all readers to make their own decisions about the facts and the issues we raise. If we get it wrong, let us know, and we will own our mistakes.
For your information, Marion, there are large swaths of this community that are fed up with you. More to the point, what Marion is saying is that when she orders the attorney to send you, the resident/owner, a damning letter which contains lies and falsehoods purportedly supplied to him by her, you the resident should not respond, and just take it in the you-know-where. This is classic bullying and intimidating behavior on the part of this HOA president and it should not be tolerated by anyone.
It is never a good idea to allow a defamatory statement to remain unchallenged; in law, there is something called a ‘tacit admission,’ which essentially means that if someone makes a statement about you, and it is false, and you do not respond or deny it, you may be deemed to have admitted to it by your failure to respond to something that a reasonable person, when faced with such defamation, would not remain silent about and would deny.
This all started when in 2019 we accurately accused Marion of conducting illegal private Board meetings. The lawyer’s letter criticized us for doing so. In fact, however, we then received a copy of an email from another then-Board member to the attorney which admitted this fact, among other things. So, the entire basis for Marion’s harassing us by siccing the attorney on us was based on our calling out her illegal conduct which was subsequently confirmed in writing by another Board member at the time.
Marion’s reference to 113 pages was to the exhibits only. The letter was 22 pages; the entire document was 119 pages; there were 25 exhibits attached to the letter separated by exhibit tabs for ease of reference (included in the total count) and that portion of the document totaled 97 pages.
The lawyer’s initial letter contained only false allegations, no evidence, and no reference to any supporting evidence. It was necessary to address each and every false statement and then prove its falsity, which we did, and we then addressed what we described as alleged fraudulent behavior on the part of one or more Board members. We stand by our letter and supporting exhibits.
All of the accusations in the lawyer’s correspondence were amply refuted with actual proof as opposed to the lawyer’s conclusory statements (undoubtedly based on what he was advised by Marion) which were demonstrably false. The lawyer’s initial letter to us and our response, to which we never received a reply, are available to anyone who wishes to read this material and then judge for himself or herself as to who is harassing whom here.
To those of you whom Marion allegedly falsely told that we caused the legal fees and that we initiated contact with the HOA lawyer: as you can see from the above, that is 100% false and you’ve been played. If Marion will allegedly lie to and manipulate long term so-called friends in order to maintain control, is this the type of leadership you want for the community at large?
Other instances of Marion’s harassment of your Editor have been previously documented; see for example our November 4, 2020 Synopsis and Commentary entitled False Pretenses for further examples. One such example was when at a Board meeting in late 2019 when your Editor was rightfully at the podium during a Residents’ Input Session and Marion came at me and physically tried to grab the microphone away from me at around the two minute mark when the Florida statute mandates that a resident shall have a minimum of three minutes to speak at a Board meeting.
We have the tape of that assault, and yes, in my opinion that most definitely constituted a criminal assault for which I could have legitimately filed a police report which would have triggered a criminal investigation of Marion. Marion should thank her lucky stars that I did not file a police report because I certainly was well within my rights to do so. My restraint in that regard should be noted.
Apparently, in our opinion, Marion is under the erroneous impression that only she gets to make pronouncements and edicts and that no one is permitted to challenge her and that only she is permitted to harass residents. So, who is really out of control here? You decide.
Now let’s all kick it up for Marion and her leadership style.]
We occasionally feature a resident’s comments here in the Residents’ Corner. On December 7, 2020, we received a letter to the Editor from a resident regarding Board member Harvey “Evita” Ginsberg, which we reprint in its entirety below. The author has requested anonymity at this time, and we are honoring that request.
“To the Editor:
Why is it that when a board member violates Florida HOA Law and tries to defraud the community by cheating them out of a vote on an expenditure in excess of $65,000, that instead of being forced to resign from the board, he instead is promoted to vice president?
That is exactly what happened over "Fence Gate." Board Director Harvey Ginsberg deliberately tried to pull the wool over the eyes of every resident of this community by proposing that security fences be installed piecemeal (one section at a time with separate contracts for each section of fencing) so that the cost of each section would be below the 1% community voting threshold.
Fortunately, a new board member (Sue Schmer) who was not on the previous board at the time this very poor and very illegal amendment was approved, called the board out and forced a vote to cancel the contract. On the second attempt the vote was successful and as a result the contract has been cancelled and we will not be spending ridiculous amount of money to fix a non-existent problem.
Nonetheless, the architect of this scheme to defraud the community did so in a clear-cut breach of his fiduciary responsibility and certainly should not be re-elected in march of 2021. We deserve, and should demand, honesty, transparency and no personal agendas from every resident who runs for our board of Directors. We have an annual budget in excess of $3 million and every cent should be spent on purchases and programs for the benefit of every resident.” --Anonymous
[Editor’s note: rewarding bad behavior with a promotion does appear to send the wrong message. Harvey’s apology does seem to have been calculated because it was clear that he had the position of Vice-President on his mind at the time he issued his apology. Why else did it take him two months and four Board meetings before he did so?
Yet not until the position of Vice-President became available the second half of November (nine months later) did Harvey aka Evita start formulating his apology and then he only issued it on December 2, 2020, the day of the vote for that office. See our Synopsis and Commentary of the December 2, 2020 Board Meeting entitled Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.
So how sincere was his apology really? Or is it more accurately described as perfunctory yet mediocre performance art?]
First Residents’ Input Session:
[Editor’s note: no takers.]
Approval of Minutes: December 2, 2020 Board meeting: Linda Arbeit: Motion to approve the Minutes of December 2, 2020 budget meeting. Second: Harvey. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
Treasurer’s Report: Richard Greene. [Editor’s note: the report was attached to the notice of the Board meeting and is self-explanatory. Yosemite Sam did note that News & Views has “a lot of advertisers who have not paid” and the News & Views Committee “will talk about setting up a reserve for bad debts.”]
Property Manager’s Report: Deborah Balka: final mow… 22-23…Palm Beach Broward is off for the holidays 24-25 and 31-1…six unpaid quarterly dues at this time…happy holidays.
Facilities Committee Report:
[Editor’s note: as always, we thank Facilities Committee Chairwoman, Phyllis Martin-Hirsch, for providing her report via email to your Editor so that the entire community can benefit from the hard work of Phyllis and her Committee.]
“Benches for park area
The Board asked the Facilities Committee to find replacements for two broken benches in the park area. Initially, this appeared to be an easy fix, but it was not. I would like to recognize and thank several members of the Committee for their hard work and perseverance in their tireless efforts to accomplish this task: Mike Gentry, Linda Bennis and Chris Gavitt. We all have different taste but were able to very successfully work together in accomplishing this project.
The Board has received a packet with the results of our investigation. First, we were unable to find a local manufacturer of commercial benches so we used online catalogs from four different companies. After our best abilities at comparison we voted to recommend the Classic Park Bench, as detailed in your packet. A photo is included, indicating our color choices. Additionally, a sample of the slat in in the mail but we have not received it as yet.
We focused on comparing product appearance, cost, quality, shipping and return charges, and warranty. The costs in general appear to be very similar. We were unable to visit other communities due to the current Pandemic situation so we had to rely on photos and specs. I even stopped at several local parks to see what a commercial bench looked like in a park setting.
After discussion of all aspects of the purchase, the Committee voted to select the Classic Park Bench from The Bench Factory. It is manufactured with recycled plastic, as requested, and cost is in keeping with industry standards. With regard to installation, management will provide for the installation in-house.
**Footnote: the following was added orally by me.
The proposed benches are a little more detailed and a positive upgrade
The Board should wait to see the slat prior to making final decision
The information has been presented. Now it is up to the Board to decide”
[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. Marion advised that this is a “repair and replacement” that does not require a community vote. She also stated in her December 16, 2020 opening remarks: “The Engineering Committee will be writing specifications for bids to repair and seal the roadways…” We will continue to monitor this.
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?
The next two matter are new updates to this list:
E. Improper use of HOA funds: Who authorized the $6,052.35 to go after your Editor and your Roving Reporter with no notice to most Board members and the community? And why exactly did Marion and one or two other Board members do that? We have never had a definitive answer to these questions, and the community deserves to know.
And who else was targeted without Board knowledge, without a Board vote, and without community knowledge? Let’s put this on the Agenda and find out. Marion states that all Board members approve attorney invoices. This is irrelevant, after the fact, and not the issue. There was never a proper Board vote to spend this money at any open Board meeting.
F. Improper expansion of Presidential powers: in our opinion, the motion to discontinue this illegal “policy” of permitting the president to have $1,000 per month in discretionary funds failed on December 2, 2020 because there are Directors on the Board who either don’t understand the rules and/or who don’t want to bust up the coalition which they have formed so as to solidify their power and ensure the implementation of their agendas. Sue and Eileen were the only Board members at the time who apparently understood that this is an unauthorized and improper grant to the president.
Keep in mind, Marion stated that this was voted on by multiple Boards, a statement in and of itself which is suspect, because if something is ruled upon affirmatively, it need not be ruled upon again, as it would already be the law of the land. So, we were very suspicious of Marion’s claim. A former Board Vice-President, Jerry Dinerman, who served on the Board for six years during the stated time period, also disputed Marion’s claim during one of the Residents’ Input Sessions.
It is unclear to us how a policy can continue that was purportedly never voted upon in the first instance. Marion stated that the policy dated back to a time period no earlier than 2012.
We then endeavored to seek review of all Minutes from January 1, 2012 forward. We offered a reward to anyone who could find any Minutes reflecting Marion’s claim that there were multiple Board votes authorizing a presidential monthly amount of either $500 or $1,000 during the time period Marion claimed was when said rule was voted upon multiple times by multiple Boards.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
On December 14, 2020, it was reported to us that an individual combed through all the Minutes from January 1, 2012 forward and purportedly found the only Board Minutes referencing the giving of a monthly amount and it was specifically for office expenses.
It was the Minutes of August 19, 2015, under New Business, item 3, as reported by the then-Secretary, Steven Olitsky, who submitted the Minutes but was absent from the meeting according to the Minutes. It states: “Office spending allocation raised from $500 to $1000.” These are the funds that the Property Manager has for use at her discretion for the benefit of the community. The implication is that the original $500 would likely have been authorized prior to January 1, 2012, a time period which was outside of the search parameters based on Marion’s stated timeline.
It was reported to us that there were no Minutes which were found by this individual, who we were apprised combed through all the Minutes from January 1, 2012 to the present, which authorized any monthly sums to the president. Arthur delivered the $10.00 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card for the benefit of that individual who undertook the time-consuming task, and we thank the individuals involved in that process.
Therefore, to permit a policy to continue that is not based on any rule or regulation or order is, in our opinion, an abuse of discretion on the part of the Board and wholly improper. It also sets a dangerous precedent that policies may be implemented without Board vote at the whim of a few and to the detriment of the owners/members of this community. The remedy is to keep placing this matter on the Agenda and identify it as an improper allocation to a Board member until this unauthorized power is stopped.]
1. Well pump – emergency repair for pool heaters - $1837.62 – Harvey Ginsberg. Evita: On December 8, the pump quit…lost the ability to heat the pool…two bids…HydroDynamics, emergency authorization $1,837…replaced…one-year warranty… as to parts…working. Propose we…ratify…Marion: we all approved it online, so we’re gonna ratify it…just for everyone’s information. Linda: well, Spring Oak. Marion: same one.
2. Rules for post State of Emergency – Linda Arbeit. Linda: Sue, Eileen, and myself got together…rules for when the emergency was lifted… for owners and permanent residents only… no guests or league play… until further notice… facial coverings… indoor common spaces…outdoor…when social distancing not possible… Sue: it’s six feet…reading all of it is not the best way to go. Linda: I’m gonna turn it over to you.
Sue: …we exist under emergency powers…masks, cleaning and disinfecting… areas of the ballroom…created possibilities for movies…same for the card and poker rooms, fitness center, arts and crafts room, sports center, bocce…will be known to the community as soon as possible… loss of privileges can include…restriction of use…violations, infractions …progressive…one week, two weeks, or four weeks…CDC guidelines are in effect...
Marion: under pool, #6, lounge chairs, should be grouped together only for permanent residents in the same household. Evita: suggestion…leave it to read…Sue: …’as amended’…Evita: …until pandemic is declared over by the CDC… Marion: Sue. Eileen: excuse me, Marion, I had my hand up first.
[Editor’s note: there Marion goes again, snubbing Eileen. We called out this pattern previously. Here we have it again.]
Eileen: …’as amended’…if need be, makes more sense to me… adding a lot of words that don’t need to be added… Sue: end it ‘as amended’…in this case, more words isn’t necessarily better…[Deborah raises her hand.] Marion: Deb. Deborah: …permanent residents only… for all of the rules… for use of the community areas… [discussion about wording back and forth] …Linda: motion. Evita: Second. Marion: all in favor of using this when the emergency orders are appealed? Unanimous. [we think she meant ‘repealed.’]
3. Utility Building Update – Change Order - $600 – Bob Dingee. Bob: came up as part of inspections… fire department dinged us… we need a step out the door… $600… Deborah: has been approved; I had Rich sign off on it; it’s been done. Marion: do we need a vote? Deborah: no, just for transparency.
[Editor’s note: the following items are not on the Agenda but most certainly should be:
A. Two incident reports: Discipline issues as to each: the Board should immediately place on the Agenda both alleged Election Day incidents and then conduct a proper review and decision by Board vote on each matter. This includes (1) the alleged throwing of a campaign sign at a resident which allegedly hit and injured said resident and (2) the removal of other campaign signs with the alleged assault “in your face” screaming by two residents against other residents (during the Covid pandemic of all times).
The HOA President, Marion Weil, purportedly violated Florida Statute 720.305 and the HOA governing documents specifically covering the issue of discipline, to wit, Rules & Regulations, Section E, Violation Guidelines, pages 4-16 and 4-17 when she allegedly illegally took the matter(s) into her own hands and allegedly improperly and irresponsibly meted out discipline without the knowledge of most Board members, without a required Board vote, and without the knowledge of the community at large. She should recuse herself from any further action on these matters.
B. All incident reports are to immediately go to all Board members: the Board should immediately place on the Agenda a directive to the property manager that any time an incident report is filed, it is to be immediately distributed to all Board members, not just the property manager’s Board liaison(s). Every single Board member must be apprised of the report; all Board members are equal. This will allow any Board member to place on the Agenda a discipline issue with regard to any alleged incident.
In connection with any and all incident reports, residents should make sure that each and every Board member receives the report, and should report all issues to each and every Board member. Reporting something solely to the president does a disservice to yourselves and at the same time disrespects every other Board member who is equal to the president. The office of the president is merely an office; it is separate and apart from a directorship. You owe it yourselves and to the community at large to report these incidents to each and every representative/director of this HOA.]
1 Park bench replacements –$797 + shipping - Eileen Olitsky. Eileen: …the Facilities…great group of Committee members that worked very hard, we really appreciate them…plain ones… a lot of maintenance…going with the plastic park bench… four foot bench in desert tan…two of those…motion…Richard: ordering from a catalog, cost of restocking, won’t be able to return it; we have to make sure that we’re getting what we want…want to make sure it’s solid…the ones at the bocce court, bending, almost a danger to sit on…has to be solid…we don’t want it buckling…
Phyllis Martin-Hirsch [Facilities Committee Chairwoman Extraordinaire]: comes in 4, 6, and 8 feet…I do agree with Richard…we don’t want to send anything back… maintenance, installation, that’s gonna be in house. Eileen: motion to accept subject to visual inspection of the slat… or table it… Deborah: there is one bench in the park at this time… Eileen: motion to accept this bid. The Bench Company, for two of them, size… Phyllis: originally, requested to look at the four-foot benches; more people to sit with six foot… I think four foot would be ok.
Deborah: three blank spaces where we took benches out…Eileen: a lot of people with dogs there. Excellent idea to get a trash can there [with two benches] … motion to accept the bid for two 4-foot benches subject to inspection of the slat. Sue: Second. Eileen: add to the motion tan benches…
Evita: this is a January expense. Richard: it doesn’t matter…will not receive it until January; doesn’t become an expense until we receive it… Marion: for social distancing, do we want a six-foot bench? Richard: Bob’s gonna help with the installation… Bob: I called the company…slats, hollow vs. solid…told me…solid… good material… maintenance man, installation won’t be that big a deal…plenty of room to put a bigger one in there… the bigger it is, the more it will start sagging… 5, 6, 7, 8 years from now…probably won’t, in the shade, not hot sun… Eileen: I walk my dog there…I don’t see that many people…never been crowded…
Phyllis: the six-foot one has a support bar in the middle…I think… Linda: what is the difference in price between 4 foot and 6 foot? Phyllis: about $200. Linda: I walk around the community… I see some people sitting on the benches on Cascade Lake Blvd… I’ve never seen anybody sitting on the benches in the Polly Park area… I don’t think it’s necessary to order a six-foot bench… [more discussion]… Sue: committees vis-à-vis the Board…Phyllis and her Committee have done an outstanding job…I believe we should not micromanage… inordinate amount of time on [small expenditures] and less time [on more]… it’s a replacement…
Eileen: here, here. I’m in full agreement…adjust the amendment. Motion to replace three benches, 4 foot in tan. Sue: Second. Marion: raises the amount. Deborah: am I still getting a trash receptacle? Eileen: I’d like to add that to the motion. Marion: will be about $1,500; we’re adding a third bench and a trash can. Deborah: the trash can is about $270. Richard: freight, $90 each bench, approximately $500 for each bench and waste basket. Marion: $1,800. All in favor of three benches in the tan color, 4 foot, and one trash can? Passes 6-1; Richard opposes.
2. Iguana Contract – Renew - $ 6800 – Eileen Olitsky. Eileen: we have a new iguana contract… renewal is up at the end of January; the contract is for $6,800… so far, we have 95 iguanas that were caught; comes out to about $72 for each iguana that was caught. Motion to sign another contract with them on condition that they come in the afternoon… They repopulate quickly… Second: Linda. Evita: most caught in the summer, May, June… $72 per iguana is a lot of money…I’m on the fence…
[Editor’s note: that’s pretty funny, Harvey aka Evita stating that he’s ‘on the fence.’ Did anyone else notice that reference? He wasn’t ‘on the fence’ when he tried to do an end run around the community vote to get a fence abutting his property using HOA money.]
Evita: …but in the long run, it’s probably worth…$6,800… [more discussion] … Evita: two other invasive reptile species; can this contract be amended… or does it include… one has an orange head, another…forked tongue.
[Editor’s note: oh, this is too rich, the fence reference, the forked tongue reference! This Board member may have a career in comedy once his days on the Board are over.]
Deborah: do you know what those are? Evita: I have to go back and research… just ask them… Deborah: iguanas? Evita: lizards, from South America… Deborah: I’ll ask if any other lizards are included.
[Editor’s note: we highly doubt it; the name of the company is Blue Iguana, not Blue Lizard.]
From Richard’s iPad (2) to Everyone: 10:24 AM“iguanas along canals are approaching back of homes Lake Worth drainage will not clear we have to clear with our own contactor”
[Editor’s note: upon information and belief, it was Richard Levy who commented in the Chat Function above.]
Marion: postpone until our first meeting in January. Deborah: [getting the new contract] I’ll request for the next meeting. Is that alright? Eileen: no, I’d like this motion…that’s a maybe…I don’t think this needs to be tabled… Marion: this is being postponed? Eileen: no, we’re voting on it, subject to…on condition that… I’d like to continue with the motion. Marion: motion, Eileen, second Linda. All in favor? Unanimous.
3. Pressure Washing – 2021 2X - $8800– Eileen Olitsky. Eileen: twice on the Boulevard, looking at… all the sidewalks… midway through the hurricane season, it’s so grimy and disgusting and a hazard, you can trip on the grime. Proposal to increase the pressure washing one more time for the year… Deborah: I would recommend doing it again… now and June and then December again… Eileen: usually the build-up comes in August…very unattractive… I would prefer… in November… hurricane season is over November 30…
Sue: $8,800 for Cascade Lakes Blvd. and all the sidewalks? Eileen: yes. Sue: contract for January 2021 including pressure washing on Cascade Lakes Blvd. only, May or June. Total cost $120,000; they list seven items; shouldn’t we itemize… what are we paying for… 2021 says only one pressure washing. I’m not clear… here’s the contract [holds it up] … not itemized…
Deborah: this is an additional pressure washing of the community sidewalks. Cascade Lakes [Blvd] sidewalk gets two pressure washes a year, usually around May, then December. The rest of the community only gets one now…$8,800 [is] how much to do all the sidewalks twice a year…Evita: note a third pressure wash of Cascade Lakes Blvd… Deborah: correct. … [more discussion] …
Sue: in the contract, January 2021, it only indicates one pressure wash in May/June… proposal contract 17194… Deborah: add on. Sue: how much for the 600 homes roof cleaning?... Deborah: $120,000 is the Eco-roof cleaning, 2021, including the pressure washing… [more discussion] …Sue: big contract, $120,000, not itemized, so I don’t know what the cost of the 600 is…
Richard: when they bill us, they bill us as they do each house… Eileen: two different things here; future contract has nothing to do with this motion. We’re adding an additional pressure wash for the community sidewalks. They make a lot more money when residents hire them… they’re benefiting as well.
Evita: I don’t know why we’re bickering. This contract has already been signed; we’re doing an addendum…Eileen: I don’t believe we’re bickering; somebody asked for clarification.
Marion: all in favor? Unanimous.
[Editor’s note: Sue seconded apparently at some point, but we don’t recall hearing that or hearing a formal motion either.]
4. PBB – Mulch - $6873 – Marion Weil. Marion: Mulch. You have the proposal…common area… $6,873… 1,740 bags of mulch; we have a credit for flowers and for two mows that never happened, $10,135, apply $6,873 to this proposal. So, the actual cost to this proposal will be zero.
[Editor’s note: say what? Can Marion’s math be that off, or is this another attempt to manipulate the facts? The cost of this proposal is not zero; it’s $6,873. It is most certainly not zero, unless suddenly Palm Beach Broward Landscaping has decided to work pro bono.]
Evita: $3,262 left. Marion: I propose at the cost of zero. Harvey, second.
[Editor’s note: this dynamic duo is at it again. They are both trying to snow you. She’s making a nonsensical motion that she claims costs you nothing and he’s seconding it. This is beyond the pale.]
Eileen: I seconded it.
[Editor’s note: ok, another snub at Eileen in the process, but no one should be seconding a fake zero-cost motion, because it’s not true.]
Marion: oh, Eileen was first, sorry, Harvey. Sue: not including the hedges on top of the berms. Marion: …rain…sprinkling…dirt and mud rolling down… All in favor? Unanimous.
Eileen: basically, we’re using a credit; it’s not really zero.
[Editor’s note: ah, finally, somebody woke up.]
Evita: using already been spent [money]. Sue: not it hasn’t been spent. Eileen: if Linda could revise that; it’s not free; using credit; a little more transparency about that… Linda: how much credit? [wake up, Linda.] Marion: $6,873 out of a credit of $10,135.
[Editor’s note: a Board member mentioned something to the effect that there was not a vote.]
From Me to Everyone: 10:42 AMYes she didshe said unanimous
Marion: Vicki, please don’t use the Chat; if use again, we’re gonna disable it. It’s only for the Resident Input Session.
[Editor’s note: no such admonition was given to the other resident who used the Chat function during the meeting as posted above (Richard Levy); and as you will see later, Evita moved to disable the Chat function notwithstanding the fact that Marion stated if it were used again, it would be disabled, and in fact it was not used again. Five Board members voted to disable the Chat function with Sue being the lone dissenter and Bob abstaining. Shame on the rest of the Board for squelching speech.]
5. PBB – Replacement of Oleanders - $4484 – Marion Weil. Marion: different colors throughout the community, 15 gallons, two in each area, then dark brown mulch. Harvey. Eileen: Harvey, I have a question. Many people walk their dogs; oleanders are not safe for dogs…want to make sure the scents don’t attract them…many people don’t know [they’re toxic] … safety for all pets… Marion: Harvey. Sue: I believe my hand was raised before Harvey.
[Editor’s note: here we go again. This time Sue is allegedly bypassed by Marion in favor of Harvey; earlier it was Eileen who was purportedly snubbed on two separate occasions during this meeting.]
Marion: no, I don’t believe so.
Evita: our By-laws require a leash, it’s up to the owner, just like toads, will kill the dogs… up to the owners. We can’t micromanage the community. It’s ridiculous that we’re talking about plants that are toxic to dogs. Sue: I looked it up…yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows… berries… toxic to dogs… my concern…shed, when the flowers and berries fall off, may fall off where dogs walk… and may even be toxic to humans…
Marion: recommended by the Palm Beach Broward who know how to care for them. Sue: Firespike, parts of the plant are dangerous… concern… if you are replanting…are these the right choices for a community of dog lovers… flowers shed, fall off… Marion: every flower sheds. Sue: it depends where they shed. Marion: that’s up to G-d. Sue: concerned…toxic to dogs…
Evita: with all due respect, you’re trying to micromanage the Landscaping Committee and Palm Beach Broward…we can’t micromanage the community.
Eileen: Harvey, I’m going to say this: one of the greatest micromanagers, respectfully, is you… we can’t always control what a dog is going to consume…it is way further responsible to not provide the risk to homeowners.
[Editor’s note: bravo.]
Richard: what about the actual homeowners who put these plants… Deborah: they are already. Richard: so, all we’re saying is putting it somewhere else. Marion: correct. Linda: is it possible to table this, go back to the Landscaping Committee and Palm Beah Broward to look for plants that are not harmful…we don’t want to offend, and we don’t want to hurt…revisit.
Marion: puts it into financial category of 2021.
[Editor’s note: didn’t Richard state above that the expenses are calculated when they are paid? So, this would be for 2021 anyway according to what he said, so this argument makes no sense.]
Marion: I’m the liaison to the Landscaping Committee, there are colorful plants, incredibly difficult to find plants that will flower and give color. Richard: then put a rule out, anyone can’t put these plants on their property…we’re doing basically the same thing…
[Editor’s note: no, you’re not; you’re doing it for the common areas which have nothing to do with a homeowner’s private property for which no one may enter absent permission.]
Sue: we control the common areas and individuals control their own areas… mixing apples and oranges… you can’t walk your dog on someone’s individual property… I’m not gonna vote on this; I feel this is a danger to dogs, especially when you can’t control where the flower and seeds drop. Marion: …you need to leash your dog and be careful where your dog walks…
Eileen: …every homeowner needs to know which ones are poisonous with a picture of it…Marion: ok, I can amend the motion…
Shelly Andreas [Landscaping Committee Chairwoman]: One simple question. For almost twenty years oleanders have been on Cascade Lakes Boulevard and if you can tell me that any dog has been hurt or killed… they are also toxic to dogs. There has never been an incident… do you want colorful or just sod… green… if those two plants are offensive to you, we can take them out… landscapers have worked with these plants in other areas… we have issue with watering… if you want to eliminate those two [Committee is ok with that].
Marion: approval of landscaping proposal 83-20 for plants, replace oleanders, $4,484, with a blast to the residents that two of the plants may be harmful to dogs. $3,262 credit, cost $1,222. Second? Linda. All in favor? 5-2. [Sue and Eileen opposed.]
[Editor’s note: once again, Marion makes a completely misleading statement. The cost is not $1,222. The cost is $4,484.]
Evita: “Marion… can I make a motion regarding the use of the Chat Function? Marion: yes. Evita: I would like to make the motion that we disable the Chat function between Resident Input Sessions for all meetings from now on because it’s continually being by certain people. Not everybody, but it’s very distracting. Marion: well, if we do that, Harvey, then people like Shelly who wanted to give her input couldn’t do that. Evita: she raised her hand. She didn’t use the Chat function; she raised her hand. Marion: ok, any, I’ll second that then. Any discussion? [Sue raises her hand.] Sue.”
Sue: “oh, boy. As a proponent of free speech, and you know how I feel about the Chat room because I told you. Sometimes there’s information that is given by residents that is helpful in our decision-making, as Shelly. Sometimes I read something, somebody said last week about something that was already in our documents about emergency powers.
I, as you know, I do not find the Chat room actually distracting because I can look down and I can read very quickly and look at all of you. I think it’s a question of not only free speech but people giving valuable information as Shelly did. And I am not an opponent of – a proponent of blanket cutting off of a Chat room that is an avenue that could possibly help us in our decision making.”
Richard: “My feeling is – I’m opposed – I agree with – we should turn it off. When we have, when we have these meetings in the clubhouse and we talk, we don’t let the residents suddenly stand up and disagree with us.”
[Editor’s note: note true, fellow residents; if they like you, they let you. It depends entirely on who you are. We have been to Board meetings in the clubhouse where audience members pop up and depending on who they are, they are allowed to interject. Bottom line: all residents, while created equal, are not treated equally, and we object.]
Richard: “If somebody has a question and wants to ask a question, we do have residents, we have residents’ comments sections, input sessions, that they can use, if they really have something to add. First of all, a lot of times I see a chat there that I know is completely wrong and I’m saying to myself, what the heck can I do about that. I don’t like chats going out because you don’t have an opportunity to respond to it.”
[Editor’s note: this last comment of Richard’s is patently false: your microphone is always on, Richard, and you have a mouth; you can respond at any time at your pleasure. You can respond verbally (which residents cannot do because their microphones are muted) and/or you can type in the Chat function.
You just want everyone to shut up and you’re not interested in what residents have to say and then you get hostile when they speak at the Residents’ Input Session where they challenge you and you insult them by claiming it’s just about their ego as you shamefully did with Jerry Dinerman at the last Board meeting. That’s how you got the nickname “Yosemite Sam.”]
Richard: “Second of all, as far as speech, or free speech is concerned, there’s limitations in free speech. You can’t run into a theatre yelling ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’”
[Editor’s note: now suddenly he’s a lawyer, comparing yelling fire in a crowded theatre to typing in a chat room about a Board meeting; this is not only a nonsensical comparison but, in our opinion, downright dumb.]
Richard: “We are letting every resident have input. And they’re allowed to speak and if they have something to say, let’s all hear it. Let’s all see what they’re doing. I find it very distracting and I don’t think it’s a free speech comment because we’re not telling any resident that they can’t talk on an input session. All we’re doing is saying to a resident, you can’t talk while we’re talking. And I don’t see anything wrong with the proposal that Harvey put forward.”
Marion: “It’s not a matter of free speech as Harvey and Richard both said. It’s not a matter of free speech; it’s a matter of what 720 says.”
[Editor’s note: The Florida statutory scheme starting with 720, the HOA statutes, does not say one word about a Chat function in a Zoom meeting.]
Marion: “And 720 says the residents can have input in the input sessions.”
[Editor’s note: listen, fool, the statute provides the minimum you must provide to the residents, not the maximum. You have it backwards. And when I was at the podium speaking at a Residents’ Input Session, you, Marion, cut me off well before the statutory three minutes I had in which to speak as stated in my comments under your Opening Remarks.
So, the one time, according to you, Marion, that a resident is permitted to speak at a Board meeting, you illegally cut that resident off and you did so in a most physical and harassing manner; you approached me very aggressively and sought to physically grab the microphone away from me. And you then allowed and encouraged the residents to heckle me as you were engaged in this assault upon me. Again, you should thank your lucky stars that I did not file a police report because I certainly was well within my rights to do so.]
Marion: “not willy-nilly.”
[Editor’s note: the statutes do not say that. That is a false statement. The statutes do not limit the input, they merely dictate the minimum input. They say nothing about allowing input “willy-nilly” which, last we looked, is not a legal phrase in any event.]
Marion: “I find it very distracting. I don’t know about your screens, but when it comes up, sometimes it hides your faces, and I can’t see you. And sometimes I’ll miss pointing someone out or recognizing someone if they want to speak because I have this in the middle of my screen.”
[Editor’s note: the Chat function is to the right and does not interfere with the visuals of anyone’s faces, so we simply don’t believe Marion’s statement, and it also seems to us that the only time Marion allegedly misses pointing someone out or recognizing someone if they want to speak is if that someone is Sue or Eileen, and there was no chat happening on any of those multiple occasions.]
Marion: “Any other comment? Harvey.”
[Editor’s note: Harvey “Evita” Ginsberg is always seen by Marion to be called on or recognized to speak, so apparently the Chat function never hides his face.]
Evita: “yeah, just like Richard said, we won’t let anybody stand up in the middle of a -in person meeting, that’s interrupting, that’s rude, that’s the same thing as using the Chat. That’s why I made the proposal.” Marion: “any other last-minute comment? Ok, all those in favor of disabling the chats except for the input sessions, raise your hands. One, two, three, four, five. All those opposed? One. Bob?” Bob: “Abstain.” Marion: “ok, so motion passes four - no, five, one, one.”
[Editor’s note: Five Board members voted for the motion. Sue opposed. Bob abstained. Our take-away in general: Marion and Evita operate out of pure vindictiveness in our opinion. The others do not, but this decision, in our view, was a poor one.
This is just more shutting down of communication which exposes abuses of power and manipulations of the truth (lies). And if that does not work, Marion uses thousands of dollars of your money to intimidate anyone whom she believes is getting in her way or calls her out for her alleged malfeasance. Harvey aka Evita, in our opinion, latches on to Marion to maximize his control and power.
(Reference: Jack And The Beanstalk, or Harvey climbing up Marion’s leg; you decide.)
Note to Yosemite Sam: not to worry, she has another beanstalk to climb up.
Getting back to Marion’s uncomfortable relationship with the truth, a simple example is her misuse of the 720 statute to which she just alluded above. There are countless examples. Her inaccurate description of our response letter to the lawyer which we corrected above is yet another example. There is a plethora of examples that we have documented over the course of the last year and a half that we have been here.
If you all are ok with this dynamic duo, then by all means re-elect them in March. It will certainly provide endless content for this News Site.]
Evita: Mike, from now on, that will be up to you to disable... Mike: yes, of course…
Second Residents’ Input Session:
1. Joyce Winston: not sure…whether the permanent residents or owners could use…chaise lounges or whatever to get together. Is the word owners as opposed to permanent residents something that should be considered? You know, there’s a lot of people that come here, they don’t own, maybe they’re renters so they’re considered permanent…
Marion: we know who the permanent residents are versus the owners, and if, let’s say your daughter is living with you on a permanent basis, and you can’t make it to the pool, but she can, she’s entitled to that lounge. Joyce: that’s very good to hear…can you put the telephone number for the iguana company in the next phone book? … do we call the office? … Marion: the numbers are posted during email blasts, however, it’s a contract… Deborah: it was already in the News & Views… Joyce: I’m very happy you want to remove the oleanders…they are poisonous, not just to dogs, but to people…
2. Phyllis Martin-Hirsch: welcome to Bob to the Board, I think he will be a tremendous asset, having worked with him…
[Editor’s note: we think Phyllis would be a tremendous asset to the Board; please consider putting your hat in the ring, Phyllis.]
3. Barry Gordon: Grove Ridge Lane, regarding the pool, lately people coming with their own chairs to talk; we’re still at 24 people, maybe just want to sit, that could be one number, and still have 24 in the pool…
4. Richard Levy: Grove Ridge Lane, along the E3 section of the canal, I contacted Lake Worth Water District, we have an overgrowth of iguana here, large ones. They do not clear iguana. I’m asking, if we expand, and they allow it, the patrol area to include the canals that parallel Grove Ridge Lane and Landon. They sun themselves.
Big ones…Jabba The Hutt…destroying the bank, eating grass, everything… we have permission … to have our own contractor to clear the bank… they’re filthy animals; they leave it all over the grass… Marion: we’ll have to first work with Lake Worth Water District…something in writing… Deborah: I also spoke with Lake Worth Water District. They are not going to do anything.
[Editor’s note: we’ve name ours Punxsutawney Phil and we think he’s cute. He does a very good job of eating the grass on the berm while we wait for Lake Worth Water District to fix their mower.]
5. Judie Delman: park benches, a number of meetings ago, we decided…two benches and one barrel. I also heard our magazine, News & Views, was donating and paying for that.
Diane Rogovin: [News & Views Club News Editor]: [suddenly laughing very, very loudly, so much so that it appeared to startle everyone, and apparently, her microphone was not muted.] Marion: thank you, Diane. Diane: oh, you’re more than welcome, it’s my pleasure.
[Editor’s note: why is Marion thanking this rude interloper whose microphone was not muted? Apparently, some residents are more equal than other residents; Diane Rogovin has special privileges to speak at her pleasure with the approval and thanks of the president even if she interrupts other residents. Note to the rest of you: you’re not Diane Rogovin. Second note to residents: thankfully, you’re not Diane Rogovin.]
Diane Rogovin [speaking out of turn]: and I have a couple of questions, too. Marion: Diane, wait your turn.
[Editor’s note: this woman is not only loud, she’s also rude to other residents. But we already knew that. We noticed her negative disposition a while ago. She appears to be in a perpetual state of ire. Somehow kindness seems to have escaped her and was replaced by pure anger and an unearned sense of entitlement. She is most certainly not eligible for Resident of the Month, having amply disqualified herself. Warning: approach with caution, or better yet, not at all.]
Judie: could you answer my question, please?
[Editor’s note: good for Judie for not backing down.]
Marion: yes, we did not approve the other two benches, we unapproved the other two benches because they were made out of metal. We went ahead with this meeting and we approved the two benches that the Facilities Committee… Deborah: three benches. Marion: three benches, actually, that the Facilities Committee recommended. It’s not coming out of News & Views. Judie: it’s not being donated. Marion: no.
6. Elliot Graff: I was on the Board for four years…we had wants and needs…a lot of people in this community are hurting financially… some of the needs are truly wants, and we need to look at this more closely.
7. Rosalie Feuer: the pool issue was given very short shrift. Everybody has the right to use the pool as they see fit. However, we could not get in this weekend…because the quota was filled… only 17-18 people in the pool… we have to give people some credence… 6-7 people yesterday weren’t even wearing bathing suits… we have to have two lists: sit at the pool… I shouldn’t then not be allowed to go swimming that day because they want to be with their friends… I trust people…
[Editor’s note: in our opinion, she’s right. If you want to be with your friends but have no intention of using the pool, then meet them on your patio or on your driveways or wherever else, but to deprive the pool people of their time in the pool in this manner is selfish when the actual pool-goers have no other place to exercise their limited pool time allotment.]
8. Howard Feuer: I had a discussion yesterday; possibility of opening up the indoor pool and then you can increase the number… there should be some separation of people going just to socialize, which they’re entitled to do…and the pool…
[Editor’s note: they’re entitled to do it on their patios, they should not usurp the one location that provides for limited pool use which results in depriving others of using that specific facility.]
9. Diane Rogovin: thank you very much for what you do for News & Views…#1, many of the things you have discussed this morning should be placed not only in email, but also be placed in News & Views… we are looking for new contributors… 550-word maximum…email it to me. News & Views in the past donated to the community the benches along Cascade Lakes Blvd. and two TV sets in the fitness center.
[Editor’s note: News & Views didn’t donate anything. That money came out of their budget which the HOA pays for, which comes from the residents’ money, and News & Views is a Committee, which is a Board adjunct; it is not a club. So you, the members, actually paid for it directly.]
Diane: We don’t have excess money now. That’s why we need advertisers and we’re looking for people to place interesting articles in News & Views. I am very disturbed… [again] … dead spots…no grass… there are weeds practically all over…I have nothing but blue flowers which are commonly called the weeds…
[Editor’s note: if they are on your property, that’s your responsibility, not ours. Take care of your own property, woman. Put in a work order, and then pay for it like the rest of us.]
Diane: …when killed in January, I have mud. There has to be something we can do with Palm Beach Broward…I’m the one that has, yes ma’am, a big mouth [Editor’s note: so stipulated] and I’m going to continue to fight this issue for as long as it is because I want it fixed once and for all. Thank you very much. And thank you to all you Board members for your work that you do even when everybody bitches and complains about you. Thank you.
[Editor’s note: we have noticed that this woman always seems to be angry about something. Perhaps a glass of wine and a serving of brie would be helpful.]
Round Table Discussion:
Linda: nothing, thank you.
Eileen: food truck, That’s Amore, was here last night. Schedule: 12/30 Captain Lobster, 1/14 Monster Burger, 1/28 Gee’s Habachi, 2/14 PAP fundraiser, Valentine’s Day, The Greek [food truck], 2/24 Philly Grille, 3/11 Cousin’s Maine Lobster. I want to thank everybody for supporting the food truck.
[Editor’s note: we have not participated, but we thank Eileen for all her hard work in adding this joy to the community.]
Marion: thank you, Eileen, I know you’re doing this all by yourself. Eileen: Thank you, Marion…for your kind words.
Evita: I empathize with people who have problems with the capacity of the pool…please be patient… will get back to normal… Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanza.
Sue: wish…healthy and happy holiday season and I want to thank all the residents for the privilege of serving as a Director of Cascade Lakes…2021 has to be better than 2020.
[Editor’s note: Sue, you are a breath of fresh air and hope for the community.]
Bob: wish everybody happy holidays.
Richard: wish everyone happy holidays.
Eileen: I would like to thank Mike and Arnie again…happy holidays…
Marion: I, too, want to thank Mike and Arnie…wish all the residents a happy holiday season…Thank you. I need a motion to adjourn.
Eileen: motion. Sue: second. Marion: all in favor? Unanimous. 11:23, thank you everybody.
[Editor’s note: A big shout-out to Zoom operator Mike Blackman and his faithful assistant, Arnie Green, for doing a great job administering the Zoom meeting. We thank them for their continued service and volunteerism.]
And so concludes the board meeting of December 16, 2020; next Board meeting: January 6, 2021 at 9:30am. Cheerio until next time.]