A Summary of Board Meetings

Holly Lake Pembroke Pines Board Meeting summary

Just in case you missed it….

Although we have posted the Minutes of each meeting submitted by Next Gen, the approved Minutes often do not tell everything that transpired at the meetings. Below is “the rest of the story”.

Sept 6, 2018 Meeting – President Terri Moody tried to force homeowners to cut their own back yards.

At the board meeting on Sept 06, 2018 the board discussed eliminating back yards from cutting, meaning everyone will need to cut their own back yard. Terry Moody, who suggested it, said having back yards included in cutting resulted in too many complaints for her to deal with. The other board members thought it was a bad idea and discussion ended with no action taken.

Oct 04, 2018 meeting – Brightview Lawn Service quit after only one cut

At the Oct 04 meeting, after announcing that Brightview had quit after only one cut stretched over 12 calendar days, the Board president again blamed desperate homeowners for delaying lawn crews. She wanted to stop backyard cuts for any member with a fence. The Board replaced Brightview with Tropic Star, a smaller lawn service that admitted it would need 3 days to finish at $4,000/cut, less than Brightview. This may be a solution, if Tropic Star announces which home sites will be serviced on each day, so that residents need not keep gates open and pets inside for more than a single assigned cut date. Tropic Star began on Monday Oct 08 but did not finish until the next Monday Oct 15. Its crew was polite and efficient. Report immediately any bad service or skirting damage to Kathryn Sajdak, Next Gen manager – 954-349-8777.

November 01, 2018 – Terry Moody moved to give Tropic Star a $2,800 hardship bonus

At the November 01, 2018 Board meeting, Terry Moody moved to give Tropic Star a $2,800 hardship bonus and then proposed that rear fenced yards must be mowed or not at all, a penalty for overgrowth. But some residents had fences built by their adjacent neighbors, not by choice. Any 6-foot privacy fence hides unsightly items from public view, so what problem is our president trying to solve? We are into dry season with monthly cuts. December’s was scheduled again for a 3rd Monday, always a bulk trash pick-up day, and continued for 2 more days. Why can’t Tropic Star organize our home sites into 3 or 4 groups by address, so that we residents know exact date to clear trash and keep gates open to backyards?

At its Oct 04, 2018 meeting, the Board had voted to hire L&J Property for 3 days/week at $850/month for clean-up. Contract was rescinded at Nov 01 Board meeting in order to give maintenance job instead to Terry Moody’s most vocal political supporter. The Board approved purchase of additional garbage cans for pool areas. Meanwhile, pole-type waste baskets to reduce litter in our parks were bought a year ago and still have not been installed. The clubhouse bus stop shelter, torn down a year ago, has never been replaced. Five park benches paid by 2017 Board are also in storage.

Delays of 15+ months continue on covering the clubhouse pool equipment and fixing magnetic locks. Until Nov 26, clubhouse gym & sauna were closed to homeowners who pay their fees “due to vandalism.” The new high-res cameras can identify teen intruders who use parents’ cards to invite their pals into our rec hall, but the alleged damage has yet to be identified, so no fines can be imposed on parents. Landscape sprinklers were turned off as dry season officially began on Oct 15 and now continue on 40% of schedule needed to protect clubhouse landscaping against hot winds. As of Dec 16, 2018, gym & sauna were closed again; the club house pool had a 12-inch drop in water level, and the family park pool remained closed. So far in 2019, the gym and club house pool have been open, but pool card readers out of camera view were vandalized. Small children can open the gate, a cited code violation. Teens from outside Holly Lake use our pool. Preserving Association assets and amenities is any Board’s FIRST legal responsibility.

Our Board and Next Gen rig elections

The November 1st Membership meeting featured Nominations for the 2019 Board. At first, president Moody tried to roll over her 2018 Board by declaring lack of quorum. When Ed Batten presented 33 eligible limited proxies to achieve quorum, she claimed that they were “presented late.” Next Gen accepted and vetted them, so that nominations continued. Homeowners on recorded deeds nominated themselves or were nominated in person. Besides the 5 officers of 2018, all who want to continue in the current posts, Ed Batten stood for president, Nikki Cohen and John Chaves for vice-president, Louis Rivera for treasurer, and Julie Brito for corresponding secretary. Treasurer Wyant checked her books to determine if any nominees owed money to the Association, so that they could pay before Nominations Meeting was adjourned, in order to qualify per FS 720.306 (9-b). Candidates Batten, Rivera, and Brito were told that each owed modest fee balances.

However, when all 3 offered to pay immediately, Next Gen refused to accept their payments, contrary to law and the Board officers’ fiduciary responsibility, simply because its staff is “not insured to accept cash.” The decision eliminates campaign competitors for current officers Moody, Wyant, and Badin. Last year, for far larger debts, president Moody demanded that Trisha Cogan be given 5 extra days to pay. Trisha will be seated unopposed for 2019. Except for vice-president, the other 4 officers were ready to enjoy an engineered roll over.

Unfortunately, the Aged accounts used in good faith by treasurer Wyant are not final. Next Gen’s own accountant closed members’ accounts of October 11 days later on Nov 11, after all adjustments. Those closing balances are opening balances for Nov 01, day of Nominations , and showed two rejected nominees with positive balances: Batten for $47 and Brito for $40. Logically, they could not have accrued debts exceeding these credits to the Association by 6 pm the next day. Rather than notify Batten and Brito of the prior error, Next Gen did nothing. Ballot packages were not mailed until Nov 14. Next Gen had 3 days to request bio’s and place these nominees on the ballot to challenge Terry Moody and Maricarmen Badin. As for Trisha Cogan, she was 3 months in arrears, but was not on the ballot anyway, because she had no opponent. She was ineligible; per our Bylaws, her vacancy will need to be filled by a special election.

Although members did not vote to adjourn, president Moody opened her monthly Board meeting. Next Gen presented a 2019 draft budget that the Board approved 5-0 without input allowed from the floor. Terry Moody then moved to pay new lawn service Tropic Star an extra $2,800 for first 2 tough cuts. Without revealing details to challenger nominees, Board also passed new rules, already discussed at Special Oct 15 Board meeting for 2018 Elections campaign. Next Gen mailed out absentee ballot packages by Nov 18 without the rules. Annual Election only for vice-president was scheduled for after Board meeting Dec 06.

At its Oct 04 meeting, the Board already had authorized an ad hoc Elections Committee and called for volunteers among homeowners who are NOT running for office, in order to formulate procedures for the 2018 elections. Instead, on Oct 15, the Board itself became the “Elections Committee” and adopted procedures similar to those used last year.

The Board then voted to deny homeowners the right to vote by electronic means, a legal option passed by the 2017 Board to reduce costs and guarantee tamper-proof results. E-voting improves turn-out by absentee owners, those who work at night, caregivers and the chronically ill, who could vote more securely from their own homes. Only 26 homeowners opted-in for the debut month November 2017; of these, 13 or 50% voted, far better than Holly Lake’s 20% general turn-out. However, of these 13, 12 voted for Terry Moody’s opponent.

Quorum is easily achieved with E-voting. Members present can also move to continue the session at another specified time, so that more members can be asked to attend. Terry Moody and Next Gen refused to consider the latter option for Nominations in 2016. Terry tried and failed to stop 2018 Nominations for “lack of quorum.” The same “no quorum” tactic was used at December 06, 2018 Annual meeting to halt vice-president vote count. The Association’s attorney told attendees that only 32 ballots had been received or voted at the meeting. Perhaps, as alleged last year, some absentee ballots were incomplete and the instructions by this same attorney too confusing. Only 37 or 5 % are needed for quorum. But the envelopes were never counted in front of the assembly nor examined to determine if Next Gen had conveyed all absentee ballots to the meeting.

The December Board meeting that was announced in E-blast, on website calendar, and street billboards for the same time was never convened, even though a quorum of 5 directors was present to conduct the Association’s business. Our Bylaws require the Board to hold a meeting every month to attend to the needs of our 785 members. Terry Moody said that directors had nothing to discuss, despite the many problems enumerated above on this page. Apparently, Christmas party time was more important to the 2018 Board; critical repairs and access to amenities can wait until 2019. As Tony Migiliore declared, “I’m finished for the year!”

On December 19, vice-president Migliore was forced to attend a Emergency Meeting called to resolve 2 pool repairs that Terry Moody said were not needed 2 weeks earlier. The agenda failed to approve any other business. The Board then decided to defer any more work until January 17, 2019.

All 5 officers were present at the January 17 meeting to begin their reign as 2019 roll-over Board. Tony Migliore wanted to remove all volunteers from the Advisory Committees and “start all over,” ignoring the many registered volunteers in 2018 who were never called to serve. New business included issues with PPines detail police, the new violations policy, and the need for posting new pricing for private use of the rec hall.

Only ten members attended the Board meeting. Of these, two were protesting demands by the Association’s attorney to pay $1,000 and sign a waiver to their constitutional rights under FS 720.305 (2b) to a hearing before our impartial Covenant Enforcement Committee, just for buying a house without prior Board approval. No damages to the community were even alleged. The buyer, a single mom, had paid $200 screening fee and presented her application to Next Gen, then waited weeks in vain for the Board’s decision to accept or reject under its 2018 Rules. Failure to pay the $1,000 fine and the attorney’s fees immediately becomes a special assessment and potential lien on the house. Buying, selling or renting our homes is always time sensitive. Subjecting applicants to the duress of unreasonable delays causes economic harm. President Moody announced that many others had been fined $1,000 plus attorney fees for such minor failures of process.

Recently, the Voice has learned that potential buyers or renters are being told that they cannot pre-qualify to be accepted as future residents under criteria detailed in the Board’s new Corporate Resolution. Instead, they must first contract to buy or rent in Holly Lake, a process that often requires weeks of searching, negotiations with us homeowners, and perhaps services of a broker, all wasted, if they are later denied the right to occupy their home.  Bankers routinely pre-qualify home buyers for mortgages, so that sellers can accept initial offers, knowing that the buyer has funding secured.  Any Board rule that makes buying a home more difficult in Holly Lake seriously degrades the market value of our property, usually the major life investment for many of us. Brokers won’t show our homes, when their clients may face weeks of delays from Next Gen’s approval process and then be denied the right to live here.  The better families can avoid our grief and go elsewhere. What other west Broward HOA’s screen prospective residents so thoroughly, while denying them the ability to pre-qualify? The goal of screening, to secure better residents, is defeated.

The Board needs to explain this counter-productive policy. Its only visible purpose is to squeeze us homeowners and their buyers for $1,000 fines plus attorney fees, when the buyers are forced to occupy before Board approval can be obtained, which is forbidden, even when no damages to community welfare are evident. Except for investors, any buyer who wants to reside here first had to vacate a prior home or apartment. A later Board denial or delay can result in being homeless.

How is this policy in our “best interests”? You can read the 2018 Corporate Resolution under the “News” drop-down here or at the Association’s website. Its stated purpose is to gather information before offering a right of first refusal, limited to appointing a committee for 60 days. Before 2006, waivers of the “first refusal” right were routine. Our Association has no legitimate interest in buying houses. So why is it used now to screen and deny prospective residents?

Since January 17, when the roll-over Board’s new fining policy was first revealed in public, its illegal persecution for violations of its procedures has multiplied. These $1000 fines are demanded only for minor and often accidental failures to secure Board approval to transfer home titles, which itself damages nobody. Enforcement is selective. Some citations are for failures that predate the Board’s May 2018 Rules & Regs by several years, without any complaints from neighbors.

Victimized homeowners have emailed dozens of protests to the Voice. If you have been cited unfairly for violating procedures, then you are invited to join others in securing legal resources, emailing the Voice at:  michener@bellsouth.net. This offer is not for failure to pay dues, nor failure to keep a “neat & clean” home site, nor for misbehavior in common areas nor violations of PPines Code.

At the March Board meeting,  fee to replace magnetic cards for access to clubhouse gym and pool was set at $10; the first card per unit will be free. Fee to replace mailbox key is now $15. The rec hall rental fee is now $150 for private parties. No fee to reserve picnic pavillion at family park. Both facilities require $50 deposits. The picnic tables west of clubhouse still lack pole BBQ pits and a gazebo, approved and purchased in 2017. April’s Board meeting was rescheduled for the 18th, Thursday before Easter week-end, when many Holly Lakers were out of town. In front of only 12 attendees, the Board discussed mailroom issues and then voted to impose fines on 40 homeowners with any inquiry as to merit of individual cases.

Turf is dormant during the dry season anyway, but on January 21st, members received a 2 pm notice that Tropic Star had begun its $4,000 lawn cut again on a bulk pick-up Monday. For residents who want their backyards cut, we hope that our Board will provide at least 4 days notice to “open gates and clear trash.” They did so for February’s cut with bilingual E-blast, but then reverted to “same day” notice for its two Wednesday cuts in March and again for April 10.  Lawn cuts are scheduled weeks in advance; why not let residents in on the secret? Crews have been polite and efficient; please contact Next Gen immediately, if Tropic Star missed you or caused damage. It is liable per the lawn service contract.

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