Cascade Lakes' Boards of Directors have been using unanimous consent to make decisions behind closed doors and without community input. This is totally illegal, and we are going to prove it to you right now. Also, in using this illegal procedure, the Board recently took action without actual unanimous consent. Let's start with that.
On or about May 20, 2021, a form entitled "Consent Motion - Date" was generated for the purpose of having a secret Board action. Here is a snapshot of that document:
As you can see, the document itself relies on Florida Statute Section 617.0821 for its purported authority. The document states that the action is taken by unanimous consent.
However, two Board member signatures are missing, that of Linda Arbeit and Bob Dingee.
Nevertheless, this document was raised at the June 2, 2021 Board meeting where it was announced that the pool and deck will be open to guests pursuant to this alleged unanimous consent which clearly was not unanimous.
Since this document was officially uploaded to FirstResidential's portal for this HOA, it is clear that this is the document relied on for the false claim that there was unanimous consent.
Upon information and belief, one or more Board members was misled into believing that all Board members had signed off on this document. The document was loaded onto the FirstResidential portal, presumably by the Property Manager who presumably takes direction from her Board liaisons. The Board liaisons to the Property Manager are the President, Jeff Green, and the Vice-President, Harvey Ginsberg.
This is precisely why on our Agenda Page under Item M, we called out this policy and concluded that the Property Manager should report to all Board members, since all Board members are created equal and should know what is being done.
And now for bombshell #2: The statute which the form specifically relies on, Section 617.0821, states in its entirety as follows:
As you can see from the clear language of the statute, the statute ONLY applies if the by-laws don't say otherwise. However, this HOA's by-laws do say otherwise, at page 3-6, Section VI, subsection A, which requires open meetings of the Board and notice to all residents. Therefore, this HOA's documents specifically preclude the use of Section 617.0821 by the statute's specific language.
As if that weren't enough, it is a basic rule of statutory construction that when or if there is a purported conflict between two statutes, the specific always controls over the general. That means necessarily that Florida statute 720.303(2)(a) and (b) which specifically applies to HOAs controls over any other statute on the subject matter.
Furthermore, Florida statute 617.0301 states in pertinent part: "...If special provisions are made, by law, for the organization of designated classes of corporations not for profit, such corporations shall be formed under such provisions and not under this act." Since HOAs are specifically governed by the Florida statute 720 scheme, this means that the 720 statutory scheme controls over the 617 statutory scheme.
Section 720.303(2)(a) and (b) requires open meetings after notice with only two exceptions: discussions with the attorney on litigation matters and when discussing personnel matters. Section 720.303(2)(a) and (b) supersedes statute(s) to the contrary.
Therefore, this entire process is fraudulent and illegal. The improper use of the so-called "unanimous consent" needs to stop because it deprives the residents of the required opportunity for their input at an open board meeting before any vote on any issue.