11 October 16, 2019


Oct 16, 2019

 The Board of Directors meeting was called to order by the President, Charlie Coupe, at 7:00 p.m., in the Tanglewood Club House/Bingo area, on October 16, 2019.  The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Estimated number residents in attendance was approximately 193.  The Mission Statement was read.  All residents are welcome to attend the HOA monthly meetings.

Roll call was taken by the newly-appointed secretary, Marianne Jones.  Board members in attendance were:  Charlie Coupe, Don Toth, Jack Nelson, Bob Cartwright, Judith Eckstein, Janet Peterson, Marianne Jones, and Bob Sisson. Jim Inch had an excused absence and will arrive in a few weeks.  There was a legal quorum.

Minutes of the April Meeting

Bob Cartwright pointed out one change regarding a credit from Office Depot that actually was from American Express.  Motion to accept was made by Don Toth; seconded by Jack Nelson and unanimously approved. The motion is carried.  April Minutes will be corrected and posted to the Bulletin Board and to our website.

Resignation of Directors

Two directors have resigned, Tom Guinther and Merritt Wiley.  Their contributions to the board were acknowledged and they were thanked for their service which is greatly appreciated.

President’s Report

 The agenda items were as follows:    2020 lease rates, status of the lawsuit and new process for election of board members.

  1. Charlie Couple offered commentary on the unreasonable rents, pass-through charges and lack of road maintenance.
  2. Vice President and Chairman of the Legal Committee, Don Toth, gave a summary of the lawsuit.
  1. The Board convened the Statutory Committee in the fall of 2017. We met with Hometown America (hereinafter referred to as “HTA”) and their attorneys to no avail. No concessions were offered.  In a subsequent meeting of the Homeowners Association (hereinafter referred to as “HOA”), we discussed a lawsuit. A petition was presented to the community, members signed overwhelmingly for the majority to sue HTA for excessive rents, lack of maintenance, and other items. The lawsuit was entered into the court system of Highlands County and is now public record.
  2. The HOA was served for a deposition. Don was subpoenaed and appeared on June 19, 2019 and again on August 22, 2019.
  3. On September 22, 2019, at 2:05 p.m., a court hearing was convened before Judge Ward. Present for the HOA were Brandon Craig and Scott LeConey, our two attorneys, as well as Don Toth, Charlie Coupe and Jack Nelson.  Representing HTA were: J. Allan Bobo, their attorney, his assistant, and Darlene Bradley, the property manager.
  4. Two motions were presented. The first motion was to attach the petition that everyone signed to our lawsuit. It was approved. The second motion was to allow HOA to represent all 1096 homes and the community residents in a class action lawsuit by the HOA.  HTA objected and wants everyone to sue individually. This is not financially viable.  No decision has been made by the judge.
  5. HTA called for witnesses to testify; that was granted.  Testifying and cross-examined were Don Toth and Darlene Bradley.  Various documents (exhibits) were presented and accepted.   Examinations continued with objections and other utterances.  Summations were presented by both HTA and HOA.  Court adjourned at approximately 4:15pm. Decision is under advisement and will be rendered.  Don spoke to the attorney this morning and there was no new information.  Our attorney feels confident judge will rule in our favor.

Charlie then asked for the reports of Officers and Committee Chairs:

Treasurer’s Report
 Bob Cartwright gave the treasurer’s report
Balance on hand as of April 1, 2019: $27,692.74
Total Expenses:  $14,710.11
Total Deposits:    $4,735.00
Ending balance as of September 30, 2019: $17,717.63

Bob asked that HOA members do not pay their dues until they receive their notices for 2020 in December.         Dues must be paid by midnight on January 31, 2020 in order to vote in the February 19th election.

A motion to approve expenses and the Treasurer’s Report was made by Don Toth and seconded by Jack Nelson, unanimously approved and motion carried.

New Secretary
President Charlie Coupe introduced the new secretary, Marianne Jones, and she summarized her background and experience.  Marianne will be assisted by Mary Lee Cipriano, as recording staff assistant.   Merritt Wiley has agreed to work with Marianne during the transition.

Election of Directors and Officers for the HOA Board.

President, Charlie Coupe, gave an update on the election of officers and directors.

  1. Tom Guinther, the former Bylaw committee chair, with input from his committee members, had presented a plan to eliminate bias and elect board members through secret ballot. Homeowners are encouraged to pick up an application and submit a resume if they are interested in serving on the HOA Board. In January, all the applicants will be presented via email showing their application information and resume data.
  2. If there are no applications, the board will vote for the current cycle of three Directors to be voted in for the next three years. Any appointed Directors will also be voted in as permanent.
  3. The election of officers will proceed according to Florida Statute 723 as stated for the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.
  4. The other bylaw change will set the maximum number of Directors to nine. This allows three Directors to be elected yearly for another three years.

Don Toth made a motion to submit the changes in our bylaws for the election of Board members to our attorney and Judith Eckstein seconded.. It was unanimously approved and the motion was carried.  Upon approval by our attorney, the newly-revised bylaws articles will be posted on the bulletin board.


 Safety and Security
Jack Nelson discussed issues about the lights on the main road coming in from 27 being out which have now been repaired, difficulties with seeing the gate at night, new parts ordered for the gate.  He reiterated safety tips when walking at night, wear light clothing, carry a light, wear a reflective vest and walk facing on-coming traffic, as well as golf cart safety at night.  He encouraged everyone to be careful and safe.

 Sale of Homes and Amenities update

  1. Judith Eckstein reported that from April to September HTA sold 23 homes averaging $39,480, Four Star sold 14 homes averaging $47,820 and Florida Mobile homes reported none. Potential customers will have to call the Four Star employees with a special code to have the gate opened, as it will no longer be open on weekends.
  1. Judith also reported the following amenities improvements:
  1. Billiards tables have been resurfaced and the pockets are new.
  2. Ping Pong tables have been moved to the Activity Center. Tables can be folded and put aside when the Activity Center is in use.
  3. Kitchen has new floors, dishwasher installed or to be installed.  HTA team came in and scrubbed the kitchen, ovens have been cleaned and calibrated.

Comments and Suggestions
 Janet Peterson’s report went back to March and included the following issues and resolutions:

  1. Children running around in the fitness room has been resolved with a sign posted that no one under 18 is allowed in the fitness room.Pothole at 658 Safari Hunt, filled with Cold Patch by HTA and potholes are being constantly repaired.
  1. Three utility poles on Carefree Parkway were leaning significantly and deemed a fire hazard. That was a Duke Energy problem and was fixed in September.
  1. Even though HTA office gave out the gate code, the office reports there have been no problems.
  1. The red/blue tarps on roofs in Wildflower from Hurricane Irma damage and Christmas décor still up in spring has been taken care of.
  1. Darlene has instituted a new system of continual watching to be sure our houses are kept clean, pressure washed twice a year, keep your yard done. They will send out notes and people have seven days to take care of weeds and 30 days to take care of pressure washing. Residents need to make arrangements for summer maintenance if they are gone, so it will not be a problem.
  1. Complaint about pool music automatically shutting off. Billie has to reset when it times out.
  1. Concern since May 12 of the signs in different neighborhoods being faded. Darlene says the property is divided into four quarters and one quarter is checked each month. Janet will further clarify as to what will be done with the signs.
  1. New thermometers are now in the pool.
  1. HTA is doing their best to keep the love bugs in the bathrooms cleaned up.
  1. Palms in front of clubhouse have been trimmed and fertilized.
  1. Complaint about golf cart path to Heartland Bank, has weeds and is overgrown. This is Sun n’ Lake’s responsibility and will be contacted.
  1. Messy flower beds on the Circle have been taken care of.
  1. Report of bikes in gym not working properly have been taken care of.

Charlie Coupe reported that residents with email addresses ending with embarqmail.com or centurylink.net are being blocked by Century Link.  Suggested that residents contact Century Link to stop blocking Constant Contact, or check out a different service, such as Comcast or Verizon.
There was no unfinished or new business.  A motion was made by Jack Nelson to adjoin the meeting and seconded by Bob Sisson, unanimously approved and motion was carried.

The floor was opened for questions and discussions.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Lee Cipriano, Recording Staff Assistant and
Marianne Jones, Secretary