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A Letter to the Board January 19, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People.
21 comments

ChessAfter writing Birds of a Feather Flock Together, I sent a letter to the presidents of the master association and our component association:

First, let me compliment you (and the other board members) on the handling of the meeting last night.  You covered a lot of ground with grace and good humor.  Well done.

Second, let me voice an objection to cutting down the Australian Pines on the west side of Spoonbill Landings without a more formal inquiry being done by the master board to assess the residents’ concerns and the best way to handle those concerns.

When Mr. McBride informed the master board last night that he had called everyone who lives on the west side of Spoonbill Landings to ascertain how they felt about the birds and the trees, his statement shocked and alarmed me.

No one called me, and I live on the west side of the street.

When I stood up to inform the board that no one had contacted me, neighbors assured me that they had included my opinion in the poll based on the concerns I had expressed for the birds and the trees at our component association meeting back in November.

They said that they had not bothered to call me in advance of last night’s meeting because they already knew that I disagreed with their assessment of the situation, as well as with their proposed solution.

But their attendance at the master board meeting last night, en masse, belied their explanation for the intentional oversight.

I expect they didn’t call me because I would have asked why they were conducting the poll, and that would have opened a can of worms they didn’t want opened.  Once I knew about the poll, I would have known about their plan to attend the master board meeting for redress of grievances against the birds.

Perhaps they wanted to present their petition to cut down the trees and evict the cormorants without ”the opposition” there to voice objection?

The vast majority of the neighbors who attended the meeting last night know how I feel about the birds and the trees and none of them let me know about their plans to petition the master board.

Perhaps they didn’t want me to have an opportunity to share a slightly different view of the world with the board before the board made a decision?

The trees in question provide shelter and nesting ground for pelicans, herons, egrets, anhingas, and osprey in addition to the cormorants, and provide shade in the summer months.

Before cutting them down, more questions should be asked of everyone living on the west side of Spoonbill Landings.

At present, I have no idea what questions were asked during the poll referred to last night by Mr. McBride.

Nor do I know whether the proposed solution of chopping down all of the trees was conveyed to those polled.

And the reason I don’t know is that I was intentionally excluded from the poll.

Hmm . . . I wonder, was anyone else excluded?  Are the numbers accurate?  If so, what do those number signify?

Perhaps residents were asked only if they EVER smelled an off odor coming from the lagoon.  If so, it’s not surprising that 51 out of 55 (if the numbers are accurate) said, “Yes.”

I, on occasion, have smelled an off odor coming from the lagoon.  But I go out on my deck EVERY DAY and the smell has never chased me inside.  The smell has never caused me to shut the lanai doors when I otherwise wanted them open.

Before spending $15,000 (or more) to top the trees and haul them away, a drastic step which would upset the current environmental balance behind our villas ~ an environment enjoyed not only by the birds, but by otters, turtles, and raccoons ~ I request that the board ask a few more questions, not only of the residents of Spoonbill, but also of the local agencies charged with protecting our environment.

Perhaps a less expensive solution could be found.  Like buying nose plugs for those offended by the nature that surrounds us.

Third, I object to the calling of a special meeting of the master board to address these concerns in the absence of evidence to substantiate the need for haste due to the threat of imminent harm ~ for example, affidavits from medical practitioners rather than the hearsay and anecdotal evidence offered by my neighbors last night.

Thank you for your consideration of my position in this matter.

Quote:  They took all the trees, put ‘em in a tree museum. ~ Joni Mitchell

Related posts:   Ten Things We LOVE About Florida * Otters Outta Sight! * Why I Otter Kill You! * Florida Is For The Birds

Birds of a Feather Flock Together January 19, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, People.
21 comments

Last night, we went to the master association board meeting.  We found a dozen of our neighbors in attendance.

A dozen neighbors who never attend the master association meetings.

These neighbors attended the meeting because they are concerned about the number of cormorants roosting in the Australian Pines opposite our villa, and want the master board to cut down the trees.

They don’t want the birds hanging out there at night.

In laying out their petition of grievances against the birds, the speaker for the group told the master board that they had called everyone on the west side of the street to take a poll about the perceived problem and 51 out of 55 people agreed that the birds are a nuisance.

Wait!  What!? 

I live on the west side of the street and no one called me.

When I stood up to inform the board that no one had contacted me, my neighbors assured me that they had included my minority opinion in the poll based on the concerns I had expressed for the birds and the trees at our component association meeting back in November.

They implied that they had not bothered to call me because they already knew that I disagreed with their assessment of the situation, as well as with their proposed solution.

But their attendance at the master board meeting, en masse, belied their innocent explanation for the intentional oversight.

They didn’t call me because I would have asked why they were conducting the poll, and that would have opened a can of worms they didn’t want opened.

Once I knew about the poll, I would have known about their plan to congregate at the master board meeting for redress of grievances.

And that would not do!

They wanted to present their petition to cut down the trees and evict the cormorants without “the opposition” there to voice objection.

All twelve of these neighbors know how I feel about the birds and the trees and none of them let me know about their plans to petition the master board.

None of them wanted me to have an opportunity to share a slightly different view of the world with the board before the board made its decision.

Although I find the actions of these Dirty Dozen to be dishonest and duplicitous, I’m not really surprised by their stealth and sneakiness.

After all, birds of a feather flock together.

Quote:  They took all the trees, put ‘em in a tree museum. ~ Joni Mitchell

Related posts:   Ten Things We LOVE About Florida * Otters Outta Sight! * Why I Otter Kill You! * Florida Is For The Birds