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In alone, there was a Some ridge houses even had ocean views from upper floors. West Palm Beach Vs. Concert purchases Club and operates as it deems appropriate to achieve rate of return for its investors. The sale of the land to GL was approved by the membership just about one year ago. It had been our plan to report on the FCO proceedings shortly after the meeting but steps to rid the south of MM took precedence. Did you go to other banks or lending institutions to see if their rates or terms were lower?
Clearwater Entertainment Presents:
When the defendants sold club property to a company called Akoya Associates LLC, they allegedly failed to enforce a standard time of the essence provision in the contract, which according to the country club class action lawsuit led to a five-year building delay. The Boca West class action lawsuit also asserts the club has failed to reimburse residents for mandatory fees for lockers that were never provided. The Boca West Country Club class action lawsuit asserts the following claims: District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Link to the case: Boca West Country Club Lawsuit. And More Questions 1 What is the status of the letter from the FCC relating to the water agreement for sections of the North Courts that has been ongoing for many months now? Do you own a home in the Fountains? On June 2, the Palm Beach Post reported on the deal see June 5 below , which was followed by scores of you writing your thoughts to Recent Comments , and our publishing five Posts on the topic.
We looked for a Northern Court to say something, or do something, since they were going to bear the brunt of the changes. They own the land. Finally on January 18, this Blog hosted a meeting of all 9 North Court Presidents to discuss the upcoming sale. It was a first. The North Courts had never met as a separate entity before.
All Presidents attended, except one where a VP stood in. They brought guests who engaged in the 2 hour discussion. The plan was found by one of our research people and it sure caused a stir because it was the first hard evidence of what might be coming. Not to crow too loudly, but we at the Blog and the Presidents at the meeting who were predominantly not FCC members, saw it before nearly every FCC member did, and we shared it immediately.
We reported on that meeting in greater detail on January 20, under the title, We the North. Shortly afterwards we again asked each President to name a representative to work with our research team to explore more fully what the impending sale might reveal. It is comprised of owners from almost every North Court with a vast array of backgrounds and a common interest in looking at all factors that impact on the North. We continue to grow in numbers and continue to welcome all like-minded North Court owners to join us.
Our concerns are many: Our Team members have already looked at traffic and pollution issues and were concerned enough to recommend to all North Courts that they retain professional help to investigate more fully safety, health and other matters around the sale. Tivoli and the Town Houses have yet to decide. Plaza and Luxemburg have not joined in. Hopefully they will soon come to understand the importance of all the North Courts working together for the future well being of us all.
What will you do? You can contact your Board and encourage them to join the other North Courts in hiring professional help, or thank them for being concerned about your well-being.
Fountains Country Club loses the case plus court costs and attorney fees against Luis Elu on April 21, FCC vs Luis Elu. The FCC owns 3 eighteen-hole golf courses, tennis courts, and a number of buildings in the north and south. In the north they own the Lake Worth gatehouse, the Melaleuca Gate, all the common roads and lights. From the perspective of power and influence, the FCC sure has a lot, easily the most in the Fountains.
The majority of those owners are FCC members. As a group they have much power and influence in the south, especially as it impacts on lowering property values.
The Fountains Condominium Operations Inc. No one represents or speaks for all the North Courts. They own their own units and jointly own their pool, parking areas, some plantings, lights, and a little surrounding land.
They have no social facilities, other than their pool and the rented Fountains and Craft Hall facilities. In fact to get to their property they pay a rental fee to the FCC for the roads and gates. That all changed after with the introduction of mandatory membership and the market drop.
As expected they have not consulted with the Northern Courts about their plans. However we have rights too. We have the right to be safe, and the right to have our health protected. And we have the right to know how this projected new group of homes will impact on our lives in the future. We have many questions about the future, and an increasing number of questions about the present. After all, most of us really have no need to go south of the bridge, or much reason to do so.
It is time to pay a fair and more equitable share of running the Fountains. The way to do that is for all the North Courts to band together to gain the power and influence needed to deal with the FCC and the others on a more equal footing and as a force to be respected. We call on all North Court Boards to unite and work together for the mutual benefit of us all.
And we call on all Owners to let your Board know that you support them in doing so. Finally, we have a Team of committed owners who are working for a united North. Write Contact Us top right if you want to join or help us. On March 15, , the following letter was received by all the residents who had written to the Ms.
Burdick, Mayor of the County Commissioners. Because of the extraordinary number of emails received by her and her department, Ms. Burdick requested the opportunity to meet with the residents who have not had a chance to question or be heard with regard to the proposed GL Homes project. CAMM was happy to provide the venue for this very important meeting.
All residents are invited, whether you are directly impacted or just dealing with the increased traffic this project will create.
Please join us at the Temple Beth Tikvah on March 27th at 7: I have received numerous E-mails and telephone calls regarding the proposed Fountains North development. Many of you have shared your concerns with county staff, but many residents still have questions. Because this application proposes less than homes and does not seek any exceptions which would require approval by the Board of County Commissioners, this application will not come before the Board of County Commissioners.
The applicant must comply with the county rules and address concerns raised by staff and resident. Obviously, traffic patterns and safety are paramount. The purpose of this community meeting is to provide residents with an overview of the application and the process, to answer their questions and to ensure that county staff understands the concerns of the residents.
The meeting will take place on Monday, March 27th, from 7: Monday, March 27th 7: Temple Beth Tikvah S. Jog Rd Greenacres, FL One member advocated putting on file the DNA of every animal in the Court and then when feces was found having it tested and putting the costs of the test along with a fine on the owner.
Another thought that all dogs should be outlawed in his Court. A third recounted the elaborate steps he had taken to try to stop one owner from having her dog defecate on Court property other than her own. However, to begin, a piece of older news which demonstrates the strained relations here in the Fountains. No one left behind. Or, what would you like to see going on?
We have a number of fishing folk and an author among us here in the Fountains. Contact Us for details. The Fountaineers cycle daily. Over the next 4 weeks, the Blog will advertise activities open to everyone every Monday. The 4th DCA judges have ruled and affirmed the decision of the trial judge in favor of the 7 North Courts. Attached is the per curium affirmed decision. There is no written opinion.
The decision is not final until the time runs out for the FCC to file a motion for rehearing. So, if anyone wants to see it without making the trip, they can. Here is the link:. There is a limit to the number of video connections this site can serve. Especially during high profile cases, it may be difficult to connect to the live video stream. You can read the Briefs made by both sides by clicking on http: We hope they are addressed.
Perhaps someone will confirm the sudden release of Kemper Sports and the reasons why, if so. And hopefully readers will sign up on the new FCO web site and begin to tap its possibilities. Mandatory membership in the Club was defeated. The Club appealed and the Oral Argument is part of that appeal. What happens if they lose the appeal?
Your guess is as good as ours. What happens if they win the appeal? However, if everything proceeds as it has and the GL Homes do complete their purchase and begin building homes on the North Course, then significant changes will start taking place for the North Courts. First, if nothing else changes, the North Courts will grow from units to units. Will everyone still be administered by the FCO? And what will the funding formula be?
Second, what plans are there to deal with the increased traffic? The officially filed number indicates additional car trips a day emanating from the new development. Who is acting on behalf of the North Court owners to address our concerns? The North Courts do not have a history of working together. The 7 Northern Courts banded together because it was a matter of self preservation, and a smart use of money.
The members will sell off whatever land they can, build a wall at the bridge, and have only gates on Jog for their entrance. North will be a separate community. Years of mismanagement has led to this, and the remaining members will vote for this. Whether you agree or disagree, this seems to be the future of FCC.
The Oral Argument will take place at The courtroom has a capacity of The clerk at the court advised to arrive early as the seating is limited. There will be cases heard before ours and if they know that there is a large group to attend they will clear the courtroom of attendees from the prior case to make room. Oral argument is set to begin at As to attendance at the Oral Argument, it is thought that it will make no difference whether there is a large or small attendance, however it could move them to decide the case sooner rather than later if they see it has such a great public interest.
Some notes on getting there: The Academy is about 10 to 12 miles from the Fountains and it should take 25 to 30 minutes to get there. It is located north of Okeechobee and west of North Military. If you need a ride, or are willing to give someone a ride how many? Additionally, each new GL Home unit and existing one bedroom condo unit would pay the same shared cost amount. What steps will the FCO take to prevent this unfair and inequitable allocation and the resulting GL shared cost supplement?
The FCC owns the roads in the Fountains that we travel upon, and we pay for the upkeep of those roads through a portion of our HOA fees. What is the duration of the agreement that documents this arrangement? Also, if there is damage to the roads by construction vehicles, which party controls the repair process including management of funds disbursement?
Original date had been the 8th. Voting was by proxy. Unfortunately, proxies are public, so many residents were afraid to sign for fear of being shunned.
A little background for you: A number of years ago, Presidents of the courts and the President of the FSPOA, at that time, agreed to remove all rules and regulations from their Master Declaration, with the exception of two, the Mandatory Membership by-law and the by-law allowing them to assess residents for costs to repair or replace the properties owned by the FSPOA. This was done to allow the courts the ability to govern themselves without interference from the FSPOA. The fact they still carry the MM by-law in their documents, is the reason none of the southern courts or residents can repeal MM without the FSPOA removing that by-law from their documents.
They are guilty of failing their fiduciary responsibilities to the residents of the south, due to the tremendous devaluation of home prices throughout, due to their insistence on retaining the mandatory by-law.
At some point, this board should be held accountable for their actions, which are causing the southern homes to continue to decline in value.
Many residents are in favor of eliminating MM, however, they are afraid to state that publicly for fear of being ostracized. It is sad, but true, and until they reach that point, CAMM and those brave residents who are not afraid, will continue to fight for our freedom from MM.
Attend the meeting on February 22nd at the Temple Beth Tikvah at 7: Only those who have suffered the consequences of Mandatory Membership can and do understand the problems we deal with because of MM. Devaluation of our home values. The northern homes have begun recovering from the destruction to their values brought upon them from MM.
Readers of the Fountains Residents Network, this Blog, know that the Northern Courts are facing a very uncertain, perhaps critical, time. If you are prepared to help, contact the Editor and describe your area of expertise or interest at.
Of great interest is the location of the entrance into the community. The plan shows it to be next to the canal, just beyond the bridge on Fountains Drive South. This is the only way in and out of the GL community of homes. Since this is an ALL AGE community, it is assumed or more cars would be exiting the entrance very morning, as these residents are families with working parents.
Please pay particular attention to the county application for Plan A on Page 2, where the options to build on some or the entire acre North golf course are defined.
Notice — A problem with the Google Chrome browser. If you use Chrome on your phone or PC, the recommendation is to open this website and immediately refresh the screen to see the latest info. Click the reload arrow, shown highlighted below:. June 2, https: I wonder if we could get name plaques for each Court so they could be placed in front of the accompanying President, so the audience would be able to identify where that President is from, the names of the Presidents might change from time to time, so just a plaque with the Court name on it would probably be best for this request.
Unfortunately our server went down and it is only now that we are up and running again. Another batch of questions will be forthcoming tomorrow. We wonder if any of the Presidents nearly all of whom receive this blog will attempt to respond. We will be posting questions we intend to ask at the meeting on Monday and Tuesday so that answers can be prepared. Remember the 7 Northern Courts won their case over the FCC regarding mandatory membership, in effect getting rid of it?
Order Setting Oral Argument. We are doing so to give the community insight into the goings-on and perspectives of the FCC. Board of Directors Meeting Date: September 20, at 2: In attendance by phone: Stephen Danzig, Harriet Miller Staff guests: Ricardo Catarino, Joe Roux Recorder: Napieralski called the meeting to order at 2: File of original minutes: Traffic Study of accidents. He resigned the membership in December The country club sued him.
The decision is in. For those of you who are out of town, the country club has stopped watering the North course and has mowed the grass down almost to the dirt. Marvin Talsky is a Canadian attorney and a long-time Fountains resident and club member. Thank you for your recent letter in an effort to dispel rumors and mistruths and give answers.
It is regrettable that your letter became necessary as a result of misinformation, partial information and in some areas a complete lack of information. It is apparent that the powers that be who run the club do not believe that the members they are supposed to represent in a fiduciary capacity are entitled to the information or able or comprehend or deal with it or may be a fifth column in relation to the interest of the Club.
Your letter, in my opinion, does nothing to dispel rumors or provide credible information to satiate the demand of members of which I am more vocal than others. President since you have not seen fit to disclose the terms of the contract and just what you and the Board have contracted to do and to provide for GL we can only rely on rumors and our own innate intelligence that there is more besides the pool. You yourself spoke of enhancements to the fitness and tennis facilities and without the contract and information from you we are again only left to speculate.
What else you have obligated the Club to provide and at what cost? You cannot have it four ways Mr. President please tell Us the truth NOW once and for all what the Board has decided in regards to the loan.
Firstly there will be no homes for several years and there will not be sold homes for several years. So that stream of income will not materialize until all the homes are sold and occupied however the expense of maintaining the pool and amenities to be built for GL will be incurred from the day the Pool and amenities are completed which will I suggest be several years before all the homes are built and occupied.
Did you fail to consider that or is just another example of smoke and mirrors, misinformation, lack of information or a goodie to quell the masses.
What expert reports or other empirical evidence do you have or are you relying on. What about inflation, repairs, eventual replacement when GL is hopefully in their eyes long gone, having made their monies and moved on?
Surely you are not relying on the Boards expertise, shown to be seriously deficient over the past number of years. Get your story straight and give it straight. Finally we get word of upgraded amenities. Are they for us or GL homeowners and what is the cost? No information or particulars. Traffic, here again you fail or do not want to comprehend that these homes will result most assuredly in two car families, i.
The same at the end of the work day and the school day when the return trip takes place. Have you any statistics on how many cars leave and enter today before the coming to are involved and what are the busy times? The Court and County will be interested. Yes there are cars that drive slow but that is probably by the seniors that you continue to pressure notwithstanding longstanding promises to offer relief. That sir is a stain you cannot cover or excuse. Unless of course you re too busy suing and defending to do the right thing for our seniors who do not or are unable to participate yet are required to pay full membership fees, assessments, etc.
VIEWS — As for the issue of views the excuses are not tenable nor are they supported by any empirical evidence except your word which I suppose we are to accept as gospel. If closeness to Jog Road is the determining factor there are parts of West closer to Jog which are being retained???
What alternatives were examined Sir and with whom? Why should we assume and accept in the face of no information that there are or were no other alternatives? From your perspective I can understand why you are frustrated that some people might disagree with you especially since you are in possession of all the information and we who disagree have nothing to rely on except rumor and the party line.
There are other people resigning besides those who joined in the last few years having been induced by obviously wrong information and false promises. What about these sir?
Why are they resigning? High membership costs, disenchantment with the way things are run; a desire to find a more hospitable inviting less expensive place to live?
The continuation of the lawsuits has destroyed the community. Likewise the tactics of delay do nothing to bring us together nor do they instil confidence in those of us who like our neighbors whether they are members or not.
Few, except the Board, believe that your opinion of contractual servitude will prevail. However, you continue to waste money which will never be recovered.
It appears the lawsuits have frightened no one and are welcomed by the lawyers. I am glad sir that you recognise that you have a fiduciary duty but respectfully it does not just extend to enforcing your views professed to be in the best interests of the club. There are other views as well. Nothing that you have done or promised has created any meaningful increase in equity members nor will it. You fail to learn from history of our Club or others who have succeeded. But then again you have succeeded in tearing apart a club that I loved and enjoyed as did many others.
Pitting neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, instead of the topics being about family, friends, activities, where to go for dinner with the exception of the Club the discussions are about our marginalised seniors, our friends and neighbours in lawsuits, who has been shunned and who is going to be shunned who shall speak and be entitled to give opinions and who shall not.
You are hallucinating in the face of the demise of Golf Clubs that we will get new members especially that for some unknown reason they will flock to the Fountains and lineup to join us.
The vote that was taken is meaningless sir in the absence of an examination of the vote itself, who were those who voted for and who were those who voted against. How many of the votes were coerced from the seniors who do not understand the issues. What group abstained of the touted equity members?
That is quite significant for, if you are correct, less that 50 of the people entitled to vote cast their vote. But I have a question for you. How much will be spent on realigning, irrigating and improving the remaining portions of the golf courses and where, sir, is that money coming from after you pay off Wells Fargo?
Food for more rumors. The following letter was sent from the Fountains Country Club to club members, and contains responses from a resident: In it he described several problems with British rule, which helped form American ideals.
The plain Ianguage that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain — you will see below how Mr.
Napieralski does not use common sense but continues to talk misrepresenting the truth, without including the required facts.
Once again we find that we are put in a position of either listening to all of the rumors filled with mistruths and hopefully as time goes on the rumors will just go away, or we need to respond and attempt to set the record straight and get the correct information into the hands of not only the members but the residents who reside within the Fountains Country Club as well.
The following are the facts! This letter is filled with mistruths and, to Mr. Napieralski dissatisfaction, will not qo away. Napieralski states above that the funds must be used as capital expenditures.
So how can it go to pay any of the multi-million dollar loan? He offers no specifics — not even an example. Many of these have already disappeared. And has the Capital Assessment of two years ago gone away or has it become part of your reqular dues? Match you current annual bill with all the related charges to your bill of Finally, with the new pool and upgraded amenities we are very hopeful to attract new members.
The still believe that the are the only golf course in America that can reverse its membership problems. Remember, the unit apartment complex will not be part of the Fountains Community and will have separate entrances. When is the last time there was a traffic jam in our community aside from the car in front of you going so slow?
With new homes at two vehicles each and apartments at an averaqe of 1. And besides, Security requires that we drive slow for safety.
These land parcels were chosen because of the proximity to Jog Road and have the least impact on all community members. If reading this correctly, Mr. Napieralski is stating that he and his band of Board Members put any alternate site on the bidding table any part of all three courses.
Most realtors I have talked with are excited about the new community and feel it will upgrade our image. What could possibly be the benefit to an owner who is a non-member and lives next to either the new homes or the apartments which is, by the way, next to an electrical substation — good luck with your wi-fi…. Napieralski may be correct that our image has the potential to be upgraded because it is at the bottom of the barrel right now, thanks to him and his cronies.
Just imagine what will happen to dues, assessments and the Country Club itself without the influx of this capital and upgrade to our facilities. It is hard to imagine why someone would want to stop this. Now they want to resign, thereby increasing the dues of the entire membership!
The alternative mav not be good for the Country Club but would be just fine for the Fountains Community. Clearly, Napieralski is now talking just to Country Club people worrying about monies they want to get their hands on. Read the lines carefully — they are only interested in getting these monies and upgrading a failing country club.
No wonder members are waking up to the misrepresentations and tending their resignations. Initially, the club filed about a half a dozen lawsuits against buyers of homes who did not take membership.
Shortly thereafter, the seven northern courts filed suit against the club. That suit made the first group of lawsuits moot until the big lawsuit was settled. So, we took no action on those suits. Eventually, one of those original suits was dismissed because no action was taken. The Club did not win or lose that suit, it just dropped due to inactivity. The remainder of the first grouping of lawsuits have been abated until the Appeals Court decision.
The Club still feels strongly in these cases and we will wait for the decision to determine our next steps. My guess is that the FCC defaulted and therefore the Plaintiff was successful.
The board is waiting on the appeal which, without any doubt, will be denied. The days of their scare tactics are over. We also have a group of lawsuits against individuals who have attempted to resign from their membership, which we believe is in violation of the contract they signed with the club.
The effect of their resignations puts a greater burden on existing members. It is our fiduciary duty to enforce the contracts that members willingly entered while knowing the rules. People are resigning because they are waking up to the FCC. What they did sign up for was an opportunity to play at any of the three golf courses which are now beinq divided into somethinq less still no specifics from the FCC.
Wonder if Napieralski and his Board are subject to the same or do they have special exemption? In short, the deal with GL Homes is an excellent addition to the club in both dollars and new members. This was never more evident than the favorable outcome on the vote to sell both parcels of land, for and 29 against.
Please listen to facts and not rumors and use some common sense. As always if you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me, or any member of the Board of Directors. The vote was made by members who never saw the contract and were told that if the denied this, they would only cause their dues and assessments to continue to rise. In other words the FCC remains committed to runninq themselves without reducing budgets, without controlling reckless spending and therefore, continuinq on a path of financial destruction — hoping that this sale with save them.
It will only be temporary — the day is coming. Napieralski and his so-called Board have forgotten or never knew what their fiduciary responsibilities are or the would have never gotten themselves and the members into this mess. It only took them 10 years or so to totally destroy the FCC.
It is our fiduciary duty to enforce the contracts that members willingly entered while knowing the rules.. Commentary by Manny Luftglass. The country club members were asked to approve the contract without ever seeing the contents. To date, the club has refused to share the contract with any member, including past Presidents and Board members.
Unfortunately, this is misleading because the money has to remain in the Capital Account to be used only for capital improvements, such as the new resort-style pool and amenities GL Homes requires for the new owners.
This money cannot be used for Operating Budget items, therefore, the chance of seeing a reduction of dues and fees to members may take a number of years, if at all. Only new members will improve the finances, but the country club has continually ignored the declining interest nationally for golf and the total lack of interest in country club memberships. In , the Fountains Country club persuaded the community that their property values would be stronger if they voted to require all new buyers to join the country club.
It became a real estate disaster. The homes in the south are still mandatory and are experiencing some of the same problems as those in the north experienced previously. In fact, one resident in the south offered to give their home to charity, but was turned down due to the requirement of mandatory membership. In spite of the fact that the courts in the north voted out mandatory membership and registered the new non-mandatory membership by-law with the County of Palm Beach, the country club board brought lawsuits against people who purchased their condo without becoming a member.
Due to these lawsuits, seven of the court boards in the north filed a lawsuit against the Fountains Country Club in an effort to protect their residents from further lawsuits. The trial was held this past August with Judge Artau rendering a decision in favor of the associations. The country club has recently filed an appeal, however, with such a strong conclusion by Judge Artau, it is the opinion of many this appeal may not prevail.
Recently, the club agreed to sell the north golf course to GL Homes, who intends to build a unit rental building on 18 acres and single family homes on another parcel of 40 acres.
Sadly, in both cases, this construction is going to destroy the peace and quiet of the many residents who presently live next these parcels.
The interesting fact of this sale, is the communities impacted by this new construction are those same courts who opted out of mandatory and sued the club, which resulted in this trial last August.
There is a concern about more accidents within the Fountains, resulting from the number of additional cars for the families in so many homes, as well as the traffic on Jog Road. The community is being divided by a country club that states it is designing a first class experience, but in truth, between the lawsuits and new homes which will destroy views and cause increased traffic, it is ruining the Fountains experience.
The community consists of two parts, residences on the north side of the development north court associations , and those on the southern end south court associations. In the past few weeks alone, the Fountains Country Club has filed about 25 lawsuits against residents who are fighting mandatory club dues.
One resident, Susan Shea, President of Gefion Court, has filed her own lawsuit against the club, for malicious prosecution. The club sued her after she purchased her home in Gefion Court and after her court voted out the mandatory membership requirement for new buyers, which the club knew. These lawsuits have created bad feelings in the community. The country club explained that they file the lawsuits to fulfill their fiduciary duty.
If you are concerned about what you read, send your thoughts and questions to the Blog. Club members have until June 20 to approve the deal with GL homes.
If approved, it will take approximately one year to get the county permits and then another year to build. If you believe Mandatory Membership has not lived up to the promises made through the years by the Committee for Mandatory Membership and the present Fountains Country Club Board, are you ready to eliminate MM in your community?
The popularity of the Masters and other tourneys notwithstanding, courses are closing at the rate of a year. The number of duffers is down to 25 million from 30 million a decade ago. Neither did we guess that over 80 owners would receive an invitation to join us. We did know that we needed more answers regarding mandatory membership, primarily, as well as other developments in the Fountains.
On Good Friday, the Versailles Court vote took place and the results have been reported in minute detail in our Recent Comments column. In fact from shortly after the meeting adjourned on the Friday until about the same time Easter Sunday, there were over 75 entries in Recent Comments! We were also told that she was DUI. Anyone with details, please advise us. This unsettling incident conjures up the number of speeders we have in the Fountains and drivers who run stop signs.
It would be timely to get a full official report of what happened and what preventive measures are being taken. And then today, Easter Monday, we hear that the Versailles vote has been changed. See Recent Comments for details. We will do a retrospective of this season shortly, but right now we want to introduce a new feature.
Op-eds can raise awareness about a particular topic or aim to persuade others, and can substantiate the writer as a expert on a subject. There is another URL below of writing tips. Who would have thought that moving to a truly beautiful, retirement oriented, gated community in South Florida would have been anything but endless days and nights of sun, fun, leisure, social activities, and above all, community and a sense of belonging?
How sad for all of us! Instead of friendship and camaraderie, we are beset by law suits, counter law suits, threats, accusations, recriminations, frustration, and an ever simmering and increasingly expressed anger. After working for over two decades in the mental health field, I know that often anger is not the illness. Like a fever, it is frequently the symptom of an underlying illness.
In the case of anger, the underlying illness is almost always hurt, pain, and frustration. Or we can devote at least some of our precious time and energy to looking at what we are going to do to effect change here at The Fountains.
To be sure, the grievances are all too many and too real to just ignore. There will be more lawsuits, more love letters, more protests, more meetings, more insurrection, more threats, more counter threats, in essence….. Is there any other reality possible?
Is there any other course of action that can co-exist with all the negativity here at The Fountains? The Fountains will never be the same again! No matter what happens with Mandatory Membership, property values, contracts with the FCC, lawsuits, bankruptcies, restructuring or redevelopment, The Fountains will change. Exactly how and when it will change is unclear. Many factors that will affect that change are beyond our control.
But make no mistake, change at The Fountains is coming! Over time, we will be measured not by our ability to either resist change or manage it. As a community, we will be measured by our capacity to accept, maybe even to embrace change, and ultimately, to shape it.
I can tell you that positive changes are not wrought by negativity — by exclusion, by threats, by bullying, by obfuscation…in other words by the politics of division. We only have to watch TV for a few minutes each day before we see what that approach is doing to this country.
I know we can do better! I am, my neighbors are, my friends are, you are! We can start by talking with each other…not at each other. We can make an effort, all of us, to listen, really listen to what our neighbors have to say…their hopes and their fears, their aspirations, their vision for a better Fountains.
We can do that by using every means of communication at hand…the blog, e-mails, newsletters, Board meetings, websites, forums, town halls…whatever, whenever, wherever we get a chance. We need to hold our electoral officials accountable for following up and following through. But we also need to let them do their job and not question each operational decision. I believe change in this beautiful community is inevitable. There is no looking back! What are you willing to do to help you and your friends and neighbors.
What are you willing to do to create a new and wonderful Fountains? Karen Liberman is a retired Executive Director. She has been a resident in the Fountains since She is not a member of the Fountains Country Club. Karen has over 40 years experience in non-profit management and Board Governance. If you attend the meeting on March 8, at 7: We will go over how to fill it out correctly to vote to repeal Mandatory membership. We will make copies of your vote for safekeeping, as well.
It is the same ballot they will receive in the mail. You can drop it off in person at the FCO office ask for a receipt if you do this and keep a copy of your vote ; you can mail it in any envelope to the address below; or you can fax it to the number below.
We still need numbers to impact on the Versailles Board members who still have the power to block our majority vote to end Mandatory Membership in Versailles. Versailles proxy vote page.
We will be covering some of the same information disseminated at the last meeting as well as new information that has come to light since our last meeting. Gene Lipscher and George Ord, attorneys for the Seven Courts against the Fountains Country Club will be attending to explain some of the legal issues we face and to answer questions. Each area is affected by mandatory membership, in different ways. Gene and George are familiar with all the different types of issues facing us. All Versailles residents, in particular, should make every effort to attend as your Chairperson will be explaining the process for the upcoming vote going out to eliminate mandatory membership in Versailles.
This meeting may be the last one until the Fall, as the season is coming to an end and most residents will be leaving. Be sure to give us your email addresses, so we can keep you informed over the summer season. We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday. Gene Lipscher will be there to answer all questions regarding resignation from the Fountains Country Club. Gene has requested that you bring copies of any communications you have had with the Country Club, their membership office and accounting department.
Everyone with legal questions regarding resignation and or mandatory membership are invited, and encouraged to attend. The following was received late yesterday from David Schwartz who is in contact with the 7 North Court legal team:.
They are appealing the Final Judgment dated January 13, in favor of the seven northern courts. The FCC has 90 days to file their brief although they can ask for an extension.
The FCC can ask for oral argument which the appellate court may or may not grant. In regards to an appeal, there is a presumption that the trial court ruling is correct. The burden is on the appellant to show that the trial court decision is in error. Generally, the appellate court will not retry the case and will not substitute their judgment for that of the trial court.
There must be some error of law for the appellate court to overturn the trial court decision. While the appeal is pending, the trial court ruling stands and continues to stand until, and only if, it is overruled.
Therefore there continues to be is no mandatory membership in the north seven courts. Additionally, on February 1, the attorneys for the seven north courts filed a Motion to Tax Costs. This motion is requesting the trial court to tax the costs incurred in the litigation by the seven courts against the Fountains Country Club.
The costs incurred include filing fees, mediation fees, court reporter fees, deposition transcripts and witness fees. It had been our plan to report on the FCO proceedings shortly after the meeting but steps to rid the south of MM took precedence. Some notes from that FCO meeting follow. First observation was that there were over 65 spectators in the remarkably attentive audience. Second observation was the meticulous and detailed report regarding plans for the new north gate by George Siegel.
If plans go forward as proposed, residents can expect the north gate to be closed for 3 months this summer. Third observation was a very disquieting solution for Snowbirds who rent cars during their times at the Fountains. Check with your local Board for details. Finally, as mentioned in an earlier post: We should understand how they work.
We encourage your attendance at the monthly meetings. Legal advice will be available for questions pertaining to the subject of mandatory membership. We look forward to the opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors and to assist everyone in making the right decision, for themselves, on this very important question.
Palm Beach County had 1, homes trade hands during the month of December, a 6 per cent jump from a year ago. When Mandatory Membership was first introduced, they told us it was in our best interest as it would preserve and protect of property values. Unfortunately, just the opposite has occurred. What does this tell us? Mandatory Membership did not do what it was intended to do. Values have been going down for several years and will continue to go down as long as Mandatory Membership is a requirement of purchasing a home in our communities.
Below are several options for doing so. While we wait to find out who is going to pay the Court costs in the recent 7 North Court Mandatory Membership case, and, at the same time, look forward to the long-awaited Plan B from the FCC, we are publishing the recent results of a survey conducted by one of our contributors, Dan.
Two days ago we invited our readers to pose questions to the FCO Presidents before their 3: Will there still be a club, restaurants , tennis golf and gym? Who will pay for it and how much more will it cost those who want to continue as club members? The FCO is our management company. This afternoon, there is a meeting at the FCO office at 3 p. How many elevators are there in the Fountains? If not, why not?
These meetings have been open to residents for just over a year and their decisions impact on all of us. Questions are allowed from those in attendance only at the end of the meeting. We will gather and post those we receive right here, for all to see, tomorrow.
The set design was realistic and so sumptuous, with Marie Antoinette and her ladies of the court drinking their tea in 24 karat gold tea cups while her subjects were dressed in rags looking for food in the streets. We all know what happened there. There has never been much effort by the powers that be as far as I can see over the past five years to stem the tide of increasing expenses for the members or to address the declining products and amenities of The Fountains CC, which have now been documented in writing by our current President.
The Club has never made an effort to decrease the annual budget and expenses or made any bold, new decisions to change our course. I now fear that it may be too late for their vaunted Plan B that will no doubt be held out as a carrot tomorrow at the meeting.
Let me tell you why this slacker resigned. I have a close family member who is a special needs person. When a special needs female who cannot speak reaches puberty, she requires a sterilization operation to avoid any consequences of sexual abuse that she will never be able to report to anyone.
This is my niece who is now 34 years old and requires two full time health aides to help her parents in her daily care. Over the past three years, it has been increasingly difficult for me to meet the rising costs of being a Fountains CC equity member in light of my own family responsibilities.
I am so angry with myself that I allowed the Fountains CC to push me around the past few years with their threat of lawsuits to keep me paying the exorbitant fees.
I should have resigned at least three years ago. I do not begrudge in any way anyone that is able to afford the rising costs of membership and can continue to enjoy the Club. I truly am happy for you, but please do not deny me the ability to make the necessary financial decisions for myself that have to be made.
I would never, ever choose a leisure activity cost for myself over the needs of my family. I am sure that every person that has resigned so far has had their own very valid reasons for doing so, and for the Club to paint us in such a negative light is a grave injustice and just plain wrong.
The Club has been following a failing business model now for the past five years, or perhaps I should failed, I hope that will not be the case for those that wish to continue as Members. The people who are resigning are not sitting back this time. Many have consulted attorneys who have explained to them that the Club is very vulnerable in many areas: The lawsuits that the members would bring against the Club would require the Club to open their financial records, membership rolls and the pricing of each and every membership agreement, as well as all Board Meeting Minutes and Ballot Votes, etc.
There will be a complete and absolute end to the secretive, behind closed doors policies of the Boards over the years. The Bank will be involved in depositions and therefore privy to all of the information that would be provided by the Club under subpoena. I read three newspapers a day and it seems to me that the press takes quite an interest in these types of cases; nothing good could possibly come out of that scenario.
This is not the answer. This community will be a morass of angry, dissatisfied people — who would ever want to buy into or join such a Club? There could have been some answers five years ago if decisions and changes had been made back then; viable golf club buyers were spurned by the Board; they held on to Mandatory and chose to sue. There certainly was no shame or embarrassment in letting members know five years ago that declining membership would be leading to a pro management company coming in to make all the necessary changes.
I do believe members would have understood this and supported it, albeit with the commensurate amount of whining, but we would have gotten through it. The end results of that never happening are here now. As I close, I would like to thank all of our esteemed forces on this Veterans Day, who have been fighting for generations, giving their lives and limbs to protect the freedoms that we seek here at The Fountains CC right now.
Because I resigned, I will be able to triple my donation this year to ourbravest. I have a request for the members who keep using my name connected to anyone leaving the club. I have not told anyone to leave the club to join another club or to stay at the Fountains.
We have had many discussions about the Fountains and the consensus is pretty much the same. We have been playing on sub standard conditions for over 16 months. The worst part — there does not seem to be much hope for the future. We were all really excited about the new patio furniture but in the end it was not equal to having greens you can make a normal stroke on.
Not sure if I can explain this to the masses but our group plays golf because we love to play and we are competitive and build our golf year around the 10 to 20 outside tournaments we will play. To us golf is important, not patio furniture or the club house in general. The fact we hear the club lost a million last year and that was all on club house costs, we do not see much hope they will ever spend the money to get the course back to what we consider a playable condition.
If the clubhouse was a double wide trailer we would be fine. We are here for the golf, not the country club and that is probably our mistake. And there are a lot of good players who belong here and do not play in our group so I do not know what they are thinking. I do not know our Golf Chairman and she may be a very nice person but the board saw fit to make her the golf chairman and I can tell you she has no idea between a knock down wedge or a cut 9 iron, a stinger, how a 60 degree wedge should act when it hits the green or how a real chip and run should react.
I am sure she has no idea why having to play lift clean and place is different than playing it down. To real golfers, lift clean and place is not golf but something else all together different. Back to the greens. Then go play a tournament somewhere and you have no chance of adapting in time to do any good.
Chipping to the greens is like landing your ball on a quilt. So here again you need to develop a new method of chipping which only works at the Fountains. If you miss a green on the North you will have a lie that is either in thick weeds or wet mud. I know most of you will think we are whining about nothing, but to good players these things make all the difference in the world, and good players will not continue to play on these conditions. One of our group, Mike Johnson, bought a premiere membership this year with cart plan.
Mike played in the U. Am last year and several major amateur tournaments this summer. Again, unless you know how to hit a no hands wedge that comes in head high skips once and comes to a stop you have no idea what I am talking about. And that is fine, golf can be enjoyed at all levels, you do not have to be a scratch player to have fun. The West has been redone and I really hope it comes out great, but experience tells us putting new grass on the same old dirt and using the same old irrigation system will probably get you the same old results.
As I said earlier, I am not the one driving this group of players to not come back here, that has been done by the club thinking that the conditions we have been playing on for over a year are acceptable. Even if I wanted to, I could not convince them to stay and play these conditions for another year. So my advice for those of you with big mouths who think you need to berate someone for wanting to play on a well conditioned golf course, you might be better off directing your energy on to the Golf Chairman and the Board — the ones who make decisions regarding the conditions of the golf courses.
To a person, every one of our group which numbers around 22, wants to stay here. We like it here, we like the staff, the staff is great, the course layouts, the three courses and it fits our location. But after building our group to over 20 good players, my guess is less than 5 or 6 will remain. And it is not that I, or anyone else, is telling them to leave. The base was vital to the allied war effort, as it provided an excellent training facility and had unparalleled access to North Africa for a North American city.
Nearby Palm Beach was under black out conditions to minimize night visibility to German U-boats. The s saw another boom in population, partly due to the return of many soldiers and airmen who had served in the vicinity during the war.
Also, the advent of air conditioning encouraged growth, as year-round living in a tropical climate became more acceptable to northerners. West Palm Beach became the one of the nation's fastest growing metropolitan areas during the s; the city's borders spread west of Military Trail and south to Lake Clarke Shores. However, many of the city's residents still lived within a narrow six-block wide strip from the south to north end.
The neighborhoods were strictly segregated between White and African-American populations, a legacy that the city still struggles with today. The primary shopping district remained downtown, centered around Clematis Street. In the s, Palm Beach County's first enclosed shopping mall, the Palm Beach Mall , and an indoor arena were completed. These projects led to a brief revival for the city, but in the s and s crime continued to be a serious issue and suburban sprawl continued to drain resources and business away from the old downtown area.
By the early s there were very high vacancy rates downtown, and serious levels of urban blight. Since the s, developments such as CityPlace and the preservation and renovation of s architecture in the nightlife hub of Clematis Street have seen a downtown resurgence in the entertainment and shopping district.
The city has also placed emphasis on neighborhood development and revitalization, in historic districts such as Northwood, Flamingo Park, and El Cid. Some neighborhoods still struggle with blight and crime, as well as lowered property values caused by the Great Recession, which hit the region particularly hard. Since the recovery, multiple new developments have been completed.
According to the U. The authorized project will provide year flood protection to the urbanized eastern basin and year flood protection to the western basin. All eastern basin features have been completed. During mediation of the Everglades water quality litigation , a technical plan was developed for resolution of the litigation.
The technical plan included a substantially modified C project. The modified plan expands the original 1,acre floodwater detention area into a 6,acre stormwater detention area.
In addition to the flood damage reduction benefits provided by the original project, the modified plan provides water quality treatment , reduction of damaging freshwater discharges to Lake Worth , and increased water supply for the Everglades and other users. Federal Government cost share. Congress in Fiscal Year President to the U. According to the United States Census Bureau , this city has a total area of Due to vast areas of wetland immediately to the west of the city's downtown, growth took place to the north and south in a linear fashion.
Until the s, the city was no more than several blocks wide but over blocks in length. Large scale development finally expanded to the west of the city with improved access and drainage in the s. However, the city boundaries were not expanded much with the exception of the "Water Catchment Area", an uninhabited area in the northwest part of the city. Known as Grassy Waters, it now serves as a reservoir for the city drinking water as well as a nature preserve. Bel Air Historic District: Developed from to as a neighborhood for tradesmen and real estate salesmen who helped develop Palm Beach County, some of Belair was originally a pineapple plantation owned by Richard Hone.
Hones's frame vernacular house, built around , still stands at Plymouth Road. But before it was developed, the land was sold to William Ohlhaber, who raised coconut palms and ferns. Eventually, Ohlhaber platted the subdivision and sold off lots.
The first house built in the subdivision was Ohlhaber's mission-style home at Pilgrim. In Hone's house was bought by Max Brombacher, Henry Flagler's chief engineer, and it remains in the Brombacher family today. Belair became West Palm Beach's fourth historic district in August Central Park is a collective name for several subdivisions north of Southern Boulevard. In , James W. The ownership of what is now known as Central Park changed hands many times before being developed.
Around , the tropical wilderness was transformed into an exclusive neighborhood with curbed roads, sidewalks and a pier at the foot of what is now Southern Boulevard.
The neighborhood became part of West Palm Beach in , and was named a city historic district in December In the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Noted for its Mediterranean revival and mission-style homes, El Cid developed in the height of Florida's real estate boom. In the late 19th century, most of the land north of Sunset Road was pineapple fields, but the crop dwindled in the early 20th century.
Pittsburgh socialite Jay Phipps subdivided the old pineapple fields in the s. He was called "Cid", meaning "lord". El Cid became a city historic district in June Originally a pineapple plantation, Flamingo Park was established by local contractors and developers, who saw the potential in this area—one of the highest coastal ridge sections from downtown West Palm Beach to Miami.
Some ridge houses even had ocean views from upper floors. Recently, residents rallied to have stop signs installed throughout the neighborhood and have banded together to ward off commercial and industrial zoning. Property values are rising as residents renovate and restore Spanish-style houses. Most of the homes in the neighborhood, developed from to , are mission style, but nearly every style is represented.
There are many Mediterranean revival-style houses along the high ridge line. Only two buildings in the historic district are known to have been designed by architects: One of the city's oldest neighborhoods still intact, Grandview Heights was built as an extension of Palm Beach Heights from around to Grandview Heights originally attracted construction workers who helped build the luxury hotels, ministers and store owners.
The neighborhood has one of the city's best collection of early craftsman-style bungalows, as well as some modest, Mediterranean revival-style homes. The neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Lies just south of Palm Beach Atlantic University.
An expansion of Old Northwood, Northboro Park was mostly custom houses for upper-middle-class professionals. Most of the houses are Mediterranean revival, mission and frame vernacular. Developed from to , the neighborhood became the city's second historic district November and the historic designation may soon expand north to 45th Street. The demolition of Northboro Elementary School began in late The first home in Northboro Park is 36th St.
West Palm Beach's first historic district to be included on the National Register of Historic Places February , the Northwest neighborhood was first settled in , when the black community was moved from the Styx in Palm Beach to West Palm Beach. It also served as the city's segregated black community from to along with Pleasant City. Northwest remains a predominantly black community but according to the city planning department, most middle- and upper-class blacks moved to other neighborhoods after desegregation.
Tamarind and Rosemary Avenues were the commercial centers for blacks by , but most commercial buildings have been demolished or remodeled so the architecture is no longer significant. Mickens was a philanthropist and humanitarian who promoted education for black youth. Another notable house is the Gwen Cherry house at Division Ave. Cherry, Florida's first black woman legislator and a resident of Miami, inherited the house from relative Mollie Holt, who built the house in The next year the neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in Old Northwood Historic District: Old Northwood was developed from to —the height of the city's real estate boom.
The Pinewood Development Co. The buyers were professionals, entrepreneurs and tradesmen. Among them was David F. Dunkle, who was mayor of West Palm Beach.
Northwood Hills Historic District: The Neighborhood Association has worked several years to achieve the distinction of historic designation. This is the first district to be designated since Northwood Hills has a number of Mission Revival houses, a significant collection of Post-World War II architecture, a unique street layout, and one of the highest elevations in the city.
The Northwood Hills neighborhood has also elected to allow the establishment of Bed and Breakfast establishments within the neighborhood. Promoted as a high-end neighborhood patterned after the prominent Prospect Park district in Brooklyn, this area consisted of mostly smaller estates for prominent businesspeople and northern investors. The neighborhood has a high concentration of Mediterranean revival and Mission revival houses. It was developed from to and became a city historic district in November West Northwood Historic District: Cashing in on the real estate boom, developers of West Northwood built speculative and custom houses for upper-middle-class professionals from to ' Dominant architectural styles are Mediterranean revival and mission.
Although the area was declining, that has reversed in recent years, as more investors buy and restore the houses. West Northwood became a city historic district in August These neighborhoods are not technically within the boundaries of West Palm Beach, being located in unincorporated Palm Beach County.
However, residents possess a "West Palm Beach" address and urban services, such as police, fire, parks, water and sewer, are provided by a combination of Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach in these areas. The contiguous "urbanized" area, of which West Palm Beach is the core city, includes most of eastern Palm Beach County and has an estimated population of around 1,, Key incorporated cities and their populations within the West Palm Beach urbanized area include:.
The wet season—May through October—is hot, humid, and wet. During this period, more than half of the days bring afternoon thunderstorms and sea breezes that cool the air for the rest of the day.
These fronts last only a few days before high temperatures return to the 70s and 80s and low temperatures to the mids. Occasionally, stalled cold fronts in the fall and spring can also lead to heavy and prolonged rainfall. The only record of snow was on January 18, , when flurries were reported.
West Palm Beach has an average of wet days and sunny days annually. The hurricane season is officially from June 1 through November 30, with the peak months being August, September, and October.
The city has received direct or near direct hits from hurricanes in , , , , , , , , , and As of the census of , there were 54, households, out of which As of , The average household size was 2. As of , the population was spread out with The median age was 37 years. For every females, there were For every females age 18 and over, there were As of , those who spoke only English at home accounted for West Palm Beach is governed via the Mayor-council system. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote.
The five members of the city council are each elected from districts. The United States Postal Service operates several post offices in the city limits:.
The West Palm Beach Post Office,  including the window unit,  is located in an unincorporated area. The Haverhill BR post office is also in an unincorporated area.
K—12 public education is administrated by the School District of Palm Beach County , which is the eleventh-largest school district in the United States by enrollment. Private schools in the area include: The original Palm Beach Junior College building was restored and is now adjacent to the campus of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts , a magnet performing and visual arts high school.
It is now a satellite building of Palm Beach State College. Palm Beach Atlantic University PBAU , a four-year private Christian university with approximately 3, students, is located in the city on seven blocks within the south end of downtown.
The campus includes several historic structures converted to academic use. PBAU has recently added schools of nursing and of pharmacy. The campus now belongs to Keiser University , a regionally accredited school that offers a variety of degrees at the Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral levels. It is one of their 16 Florida campuses. Named for a Mandel Foundation grant received in , the Mandel Public Library provides books, performances, classes, research, entertainment, technology, music and more.
Norton Museum of Art: The permanent collection features 19th and 20th century European and American art, Chinese, contemporary art and photography. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts: Built in , the Kravis Center hosts performances of music, dance, opera and theatre.
An abandoned Holiday Inn, demolished on New Year's Eve and transformed into an outdoor waterfront amphitheater. The museum provides access to Palm Beach County history through on-site investigation in the Research Library, on-line research on www. The museum is free to visitors and offers Docent-led tours for adults and school groups. Palm Beach County Convention Center: Built in , in the historic Flamingo Park district, it was variously an art house cinema and alternative music performance venue until severely damaged by Hurricane Wilma.
There is a Jewish community offering learning and cultural activities. SunFest has an annual attendance of more than , people. SunFest is a c 3 non-profit organization. Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: In the past, West Palm Beach has hosted various professional teams such as arena football , minor-league ice hockey , baseball , and semi-professional football teams. The Miami Marlins and St. In the past, West Palm Beach hosted spring training for the St. Louis Browns from to , the Philadelphia Athletics from to , and the Kansas City Athletics from to at Connie Mack Field , which was demolished in , and for the Milwaukee Braves from to , the Montreal Expos from to and from to , and the Atlanta Braves from to at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium , which was demolished in PBAU has recently purchased a large tract of land just west of downtown where there will be built a multi-use athletic stadium.
Florida Atlantic University 's athletic programs are played in neighboring Boca Raton. Northwood University competes at the NAIA level, where their basketball coach Rollie Massimino , has given the athletic program national exposure. Palm Beach Polo and Country Club counts 7 polo fields among its world-class facilities and many high-goal games are played in the area.
The equestrian events at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center are the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival, the Global Dressage Festival and over 40 weeks a year of equestrian competitions, hosted in Wellington. The National Croquet Center has 12 full sized croquet lawns, making it the largest dedicated croquet facility in the world. It hosts several national championships and in May will host the World Championship when representatives of up to 25 countries will be competing for the Wimbledon Cup.
Okeeheelee park contains one of the most celebrated BMX race tracks in the state of Florida. Opened in on re-developed land where dilapidated single family homes and apartments once stood, CityPlace houses a multi-plex movie theater, night clubs comedy, dance , restaurants, clothing and home-decor retail outlets and multi-story town houses and apartments.