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06/07/2018 Letters to the Editor

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Deal could become sticky, costly

Where in the RSPOA governing documents does it state a specific percentage required to increase the Annual Assessments above 3 percent? How was it determined that 50 percent plus one vote of a required quorum would suffice to pass such a vote? See CCRs, Article VI, Covenant for Maintenance Assessment, Sec. 5. (Ambiguous?)

If the governing documents do not specifically state a voting percentage required to approve this proposed increase to the Annual Assessment above 3 percent, then, would the various Florida Statutes apply that requires at least two-thirds of the total membership to vote in favor of such an action.

This could become a sticky wicket, costly too.

James Cochran,

Rainbow Springs

Considerations for a community center

Looking, reading and listening to all the opinions on the proposed improvements to our community via the offer presented by Mr. Gissy, I vote yes. Let me explain why.

First, I have a golf course view, even if it is through 50 yards of woodlands.

Secondly, while I can find no fault with the Schlei’s presentation for voting yes, I question the reasoning presented by Mr. Griffin.

Did we subsidize the failing golf club before? No, that is true, while we had the chance to, we did not. That is the exact reason we no longer have a community center, a community swimming pool, driving range, excellent restaurant, not to mention the comradery of our friends and neighbors at the watering hole.

We have lost property values, community pride and most of all, we look exceedingly cheap complaining about our annual dues. Considering how little we pay for our annual dues.

While the majority of residents did not play golf, we did move into a golf community. By not supporting those who did golf, we were not “exercising fiscal responsibility,” we were simply selfish.

Golf course numbers declined at a rate of 1 every 61 hours in 2013. Following years did not fair much better. We lost ours, for that and from what I witnessed was, largely a personality issue. Shame, because it did not have to happen and now it is going to cost us much more to get half as much out of it.

Looking at the future, now that the economy has been recovering for the past seven years, Mr. Gissy may have the opportunity to open a very reasonably priced golf course considering a large portion of the golf property is going to be subsidized by the community. Now that is a smart business man.

C.S. Williams,

Rainbow Springs

Proposed lease of country club

Over the years a number of the residents have lost a spouse, and with that loss they have lost a large part of their income.

The assessments come at the first of the year right after Christmas and the property tax bill. Some of the residents have a hard enough time paying their property taxes and to double the POA assessments is not acceptable.

I have this to say about this proposed lease. If you want it you pay for it. Don’t expect the people who don’t want it and will never use it to pay for something you want.

The old golf course should be mowed and maintained and that is the responsibility of the property owner. If an individual property owner does not maintain their property, the POA will force them to maintain it.

Why hasn’t the POA Board gone to the county to force the current owners to maintain the old golf course? In most areas, if a property owner does not maintain their property, the county will mow the grass and give the bill to the property owner.

The golf course and clubhouse has proven to be a failure, so why would the residents vote to do it again?

If we approve this deal we will be stuck with it for the next 30 years. A large percentage of the residents will never use the clubhouse or facilities, so why pay for something you will likely never use?

I vote no.

Charles Scearce,

Woodlands

Editor’s Note: The golf course and country club are not part of the POA “common grounds;” therefore, the POA cannot require the property owners to maintain the grounds.

Deal shouldn’t include property owners

What? Only 290 homeowners could vote to raise my POA fees?

How is that possible? Read on.

We moved to Rainbow Springs in 1999 precisely because this community did not require that homeowners join the country club. When Mr. Gissy’s proposal was offered, I only had three criteria:

l Let us have a free and fair vote,

l Show us a legally binding dollar figure cap on the increase; and,

l Let us read the fine print.

Now the vote is due, and these three criteria have not been met. This is not a free and fair vote: it is a “quorum” vote that will allow a small minority to raise our fees. A legally binding dollar figure cap on the increase is not even considered, and as for the fine print? There is none to read. We are asked to increase our dues, encumber our homes and trust the developer and our RSPOA Board to agree on a long-term deal that protects us all.

Even if my criteria had been met, there is an issue that is receiving little attention. According to the language in our covenants, the authority of the Rainbow Springs POA Board to conduct a quorum vote to finance Mr. Gissy’s project is open to debate.

As stated in our covenants, the “quorum” vote is only intended to permit this minority vote to authorize the POA Board to levy an assessment to “be used exclusively for the improvement, maintenance and operation of the Common Areas.” (RSPOA Governing Documents, Art. VI, sec. 2). The old country club is private property and is not part of the Rainbow Springs “Common Areas.” This rule, on its face, does not appear to allow the POA Board to finance the leasing of Mr. Gissy’s private property, should he become the owner. See RSPOA.NabrNetwork.com, Resources tab>RSPOA Governing Documents>Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements –rspoa.nabrnetwork.com/files/761/dyn1873/RSPOA%20Restated%20Articles.pdftotality.

The position of our RSPOA Board is that the covenants grant broad authority to deem Mr. Gissy’s property to be a “Common Area” because they can enter into a long term lease agreement for the premises. The quorum vote, as specified in our covenants, is the only legal means of deciding if the POA Board may levy assessments on homeowners.

This “quorum” rule specifies that if only 35 percent of 3,306 possible voters cast a ballot, the will of fewer than 18 percent (579) residents will decide for us. And that is the best case: If fewer than 35 percent of us vote, there can be a second vote that only requires a 17.5 percent voter participation, and fewer than 9 percent (290) will decide. Unlikely? Perhaps, but possible under this rule. (see link above, Art. VI. sec. 5). Source: POA meeting of 5-28-2018.

Under the preliminary terms of this proposal, the first year’s rent we will pay Mr. Gissy well exceeds $300,000 and it increases every year thereafter. All homeowners will be legally obligated to continue to pay. Will this end well?

With genuine respect for Mr. Gissy and the dedicated members of our RSPOA Board, I must ask: have any of these good, well-intended people ever developed and operated a community recreational facility? No? Well then, what could possibly go wrong?

Think back: Remember when the Dunnellon city council voted to develop and run a telecommunications company? That folly resulted in a $30 million debt and years of litigation and acrimony - but no telecommunications company. These people had good intentions too, but had any of them ever run anything remotely like a telecommunications company? No and everything that could go wrong, did.

While not conflating these two, we must remember Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

With apologies to our RSPOA Board and my many friends and neighbors who so dearly want this clubhouse, I cannot vote for this deal to find out what’s in it. Nobody should. And since it is at least arguable that the RSPOA Board might lack the authority to use the quorum vote for this purpose, it is important now that everyone in Rainbow Springs vote.

If you have not mailed your ballot, please do so on or before June 14. If you already mailed your ballot, do you now wish to change your vote? You may. Just attend the meeting at 10 a.m. June 20 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Bring a photo ID, and see the CPA’s at the rear table for a new ballot.

If you need a ballot, or assistance in completing and submitting it, contact ClinnonAlexander@aol.com or call 352-465-5166. Our “get out the vote” committee will provide a ballot and any information you need.

As for myself, as much as I support the idea of having a community center, I prefer to let Mr. Gissy and Mr. Kaprelian fashion a deal between themselves that does not involve using a minority vote to force the participation of every resident of Rainbow Springs.

Clinnon Alexander,

Rainbow Springs

There’s plenty to discover at library

Thank you for the recent article regarding the Dunnellon Public Library. Although the library recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary at its current location, I am always surprised when someone tells me they “didn’t know Dunnellon had a public library.”

In order to serve the ever-changing needs of our society, libraries are also changing, and for the better. Some believe a library is “just books,” but nothing could be further from the truth! The resources are plentiful and innovative. Many community activities and programs take place at our library and the children’s section will interest any child.

The media specialists are among the most helpful people I know. They are insightful, knowledgeable, and patient; true public servants. These professionals have been especially helpful to me as I endeavor to assist deserving children through my academic assistance program. I am truly thankful for their expertise and kindness. Further, my students become quite fond of the media specialists as a result of the positive experiences they have with them.

The benefits of reading, for everyone, are numerous. Ask any teacher for advice regarding student success, and this is what you will hear – students who are good readers earn the best grades, have the best attitude toward learning and set the highest goals.

Summer reading is assigned because it can help prevent the “summer slide” wherein students’ academic skills decline as a result of being out of the classroom. Parents who take their child to visit the library soon find the child asking to visit again! Reading is good for those who are no longer in school, as well. Everyone has heard you should “never stop learning;” it is good advice.

The Dunnellon Public Library is your library! Step inside and you will discover many great things! See you there!

Linda Caldwell,

Dunnellon

River cleanup another success

Rainbow River Conservation Inc. organized another successful Spring Rainbow River Cleanup on May 19, and would like to thank all who took part.

The turnout for our event was good, despite threatening weather. We were lucky, the rain held off!

The amount of trash collected this year was actually less than in the past several years. The alarming fact is that we keep finding tires in the river. The trash collected from the river this year included: an auto tire, cement block “anchors,” masks and goggles and the usual bottles and cans. A long steel rod was found that was sticking up out of the bottom.

The turnout for this year’s Cleanup included approximately 100 people taking part.

The Board of Directors would like to thank all of our members and friends who volunteered for this effort. A special “thanks” goes to those businesses that helped support the Cleanup, and a very special “thanks” to Swampy’s Bar and Grill for providing the hot dogs and buns. And also a very special “thanks” to our guest emcee, Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant.

Boat usage and handling: Rainbow River Club, Marion County Parks Department (KP Hole), Marion County Sheriff’s Department River Watch and Rainbow River Canoe & Kayak.

Support: Riverland News, Citrus Chronicle, Ocala Star Banner, Marion County Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Team, SWFWMD’s team and Boy Scouts of America Troop 422 from Clearwater.

A special thanks to Rio Vista Homeowners’ Association for the help and support of its members and the use of the River Park. We were very pleased to have our own Meagan Siegfried help us with evaluating and awarding the prizes.

The following local businesses generously provided the many prizes that were awarded: Swampy’s Bar & Grill, The Blue Gator at Angler’s Resort, Rainbow River Canoe & Kayak and Thor and Fran Siegfried Therapeutic Massage.

As vice-president of Rainbow River Conservation, Inc., I appreciate all the support to keep our river clean throughout the year.

Jerry Rogers,

River cleanup chairman,

Vice president RRC

What’s more important issue?

While President Trump blatantly and illegally used the power of his office to apparently connive Qatar to finance Jared Kushner’s debt payment on his failed condo at 666 5th Ave by blockading that country until mysteriously the $1.2 billion mortgage payment appeared. Our Mr. Schlei must have believed his letter to the editor maligning the Affordable Care Act was far more important.

He starts by calling this healthcare plan for the poorest of Americans a “monstrosity.” Really, being able to buy reasonably priced insurance even with with a pre-existing condition, or being able to stay on your parents insurance until you’re 26 is somehow a monstrosity?

Apparently, Trump pulling America out of the Iran nuclear deal, resulting in that Iran declaring to restart their nuclear program on an “industrial scale” is less important to Mr. Schlei.

By doing so, Trump disregarded all of our NATO allies, China, Russia, his Defense Secretary, 63 percent of Americans, the Republican head of the Armed Services Committee, the U.N. Secretary Council, and 94 percent of the experts on foreign relations. Trump did it simply because it was a signature Obama accomplishment. That is a disgrace!

Mr. Schlei felt compelled to repeat Obama’s misstatement about the recipients of the ACA being able to “keep your doctor.” For the most part, that was true. Let me remind you of a real whopper of a lie: “We are going to have healthcare for everybody a much better healthcare program for all at a much lower cost.” Trump also promised “not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid”.

Yet, according to the CBO, the House Obamacare repeal measure would have cut Medicaid by $880 billion with 14 million people immediately loosing coverage, a number that would grow to 24 million in 10 years. Last week, Paul Ryan announced an $800 million Medicare cut.

The ACA resulted in the lowest increase of medical insurance in 50 years. The Peterson Institute for International Economics reports the rate of annual increase for private insurance has dropped from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent. Medicare increases dropped from 2.4 percent to -0.3 percent following ACA.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports a dramatic 17 percent drop in hospital acquired conditions since the ACA, which is 5 years old.

Mr. Schlei, the Supreme Court did not “rewrite the law” as you claimed, but rather ruled on the intent of the words, making the ACA the law of the land.

Really! Mr. Schlei, Obamacare is what is on your mind? Not the fact that Trump just used his office to punish his political enemy Jeff Bezos’s Amazon because he also owns the Washington Post that has been reporting on Trump’s corruption and incompetence?

Mr. Schlei chose to ignore the recent school shootings, but included the discussing false battle cry of the Republicans, that Democrats love “executing babies in the womb.” One more time sir, the ACA only allows abortion for incest, rape and when the mother’s health is in danger. It was the Republican dominated Supreme Court that made Abortion legal in America.

On May 30, 400,000 people in Virginia got Expanded Medicaid thanks to 15 newly elected Democrats and Obamacare.

Mr. Schlei, you like quoting from the Bible, so, think about these: “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another” or more appropriately, “He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.”

B. Charles Williams,

Dunnellon