Harmony Revisionism

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Geo

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Jun 23, 2010, 11:08:19 PM6/23/10
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What would you think of a group or individuals who seem so closely linked to
the developer of Harmony that they willingly participate in revising the
historical record of our nascent little local government here?

It may seem insignificant to some (like the Wikipedia vandalism perhaps, see
http://tinyurl.com/28vsu8d ), but subtle changes to the truth in ways that
benefit the developer can only make people wonder what kind of place Harmony
really is.

What does it mean when fantasy seems more important than reality here?

The officially transcribed minutes of the 4/29/2010 Harmony CDD meeting do
not accurately reflect what actually happened that evening. I suspected that
this might happen. So I made a public records request for the audio
recording of the meeting.

Why did I suspect that this might happen? Because it has happened before.
The previous example is trivial, but it did suggest that a more egregious
occurrence might surface one day. That day is today.

The previous example occurred during the 3/26/2009 CDD meeting. The details
were posted a few days later ("Why You Should Attend CDD Meetings", see
http://tinyurl.com/23c5uxg ).

At the time Bob Evans made a funny remark. It was not very becoming of the
chairman of the board of a CDD, but so what. You can hear his remark in the
first attachment below. It's plain, simple and to the point. Bob Evans said
what anyone else might have said under similar circumstances: dog owners
should cleanup after their pets or have "it" returned to them.

So what's the problem? The problem is that the person transcribing the
actual spoken words of Bob Evans took it upon herself to censor his remark.
And she even said that she would do this immediately after he said it!
Brenda Burgess decided to exclude the words of Bob Evans from the public
record. Why? Apparently she was concerned that Bob might come across as less
than dignified, so she edited him. Yet what authority did she have to do
that?

It would seem that Brenda Burgess has done it again. But this time instead
of a raw quip, she has expunged several statements made by multiple
speakers. She has suppressed entire blocks of speech multiple times during
the 4/29/2010 CDD meeting (see attachment 2 below). Again why?

In my opinion, Gary Moyer's assistant did this because she knew that this is
what the developer would want - those with the power to hire or fire her
company (Moyer Management Group / Severn Trent). Did Gary Moyer or Bob Evans
or anyone else order Brenda Burgess to do this? We have no way to know. All
we know for sure is that she did it, Gary Moyer signed-off on it and Bob
Evans and the other CDD supervisors approved it.

What I also know is that Brenda Burgess has been given the responsibility of
transcribing Harmony CDD meeting minutes - verbatim. Of course the CDD
attorney will claim that verbatim transcripts are not required by law. But
verbatim meeting transcripts are required by Gary Moyer. I was told by
Severn Trent that this is how Gary Moyer handles all of the CDDs that he
manages. In fact, I was told by the documentation coordinator that there are
two obvious ways to know if CDD meeting minutes are in summary format or
verbatim format (the only two possibilities):

If CDD meeting minutes are in summary format there is a phrase like "this is
a summary" on the first page, otherwise the minutes are verbatim. Also, if
the CDD meeting minutes are in summary format they occupy only a few pages.

Harmony CDD minutes typically require several dozen pages. The 4/29/2010 CDD
meeting minutes are 39 pages and clearly not even remotely like a summary.

When I asked the Severn Trent records administration manager about verbatim
meeting minutes (vs. summary meeting minutes) she responded:

In no cases will our minutes be considered court
reporter minutes, which are fully inclusive of every
oh, aah and um that transpires at a meeting.

This was the response that I received after I had already been told verbally
by the Severn Trent documentation coordinator that Harmony uses "verbatim
minutes" (her words). Thus I think that we can reasonably conclude that
while various "oh, aah and um"'s may be excluded from the minutes, we can
expect everything else to be included, especially any substantive evidence
of meeting irregularities.

As an example, and also as a precedent set by Gary Moyer himself, here we
have Mr. Moyer speaking on the record way back on April 27, 2000 during the
second Harmony CDD meeting (yes, that's meeting #2):

Mr. Lentz [the original developer of Harmony prior to
Starwood's involvement] has made his comments and we
have entered them into the record verbatim.

So if we can expect Gary Moyer to faithfully record the developer verbatim,
we should also expect him to faithfully record tax paying Harmony residents
verbatim as well, right? Wrong.

What makes this revision of the historical record especially troubling is
that it looks like an attempt to cover-up an unmistakable breach of CDD
rules of order. It is now an established fact that CDD meeting rules in
Harmony have been enforced differently depending on the speaker.

Why does this matter? What does it mean? It means that the freedom to speak
at Harmony CDD meetings is determined by developer whim, not by the rules of
order.


Here is the first part of the 4/29/2010 CDD meeting that was censored:

http://tinyurl.com/272rt3e

As you can hear from the meeting audio, I tried to point out a misuse of
taxpayer money just before the supervisors offered their approval when Bob
Evans immediately and rudely silenced me. This is important because it
proves that while other residents are permitted to interrupt CDD meeting
proceedings with relevant questions or commentary (prior to the established
"Audience Comments" section), I was prevented from doing so (see
http://tinyurl.com/39nl5ym ).


Here is the second part of the 4/29/2010 CDD meeting that was censored:

http://tinyurl.com/29dp53r

As you can hear, I simply and courteously attempted to do what David Leeman
(Kerul Kassel's husband) has done in the past (ie. interrupt the "Supervisor
Requests" section of a meeting). But I was informed by Kerul Kassel that
this is not appropriate and therefore it would not be permitted. Thus,
unlike others previously, I was silenced for the second time that evening.

All of this is relevant considering what I finally asked at the end of the
meeting (which does appear in the meeting minutes):

Mr. George Schiro asked do different rules of order
apply to different meetings?

Bob Evans refused to respond. So Kerul Kassel responded instead:

Ms. Kassel stated obviously you think they do, but my
impression is the same rules of order apply at every
meeting.

Kerul Kassel's statement is false. But this fact can't be proven from the
official meeting minutes since the proof has been excluded.

To my follow-up question:

Mr. Schiro asked do different rules apply to different
residents who ask questions?

Bob Evans replied:

Mr. Evans stated no, I think we are pretty fair and
balanced.

What seems fair in Bob's "developer world" is clearly not fair or balanced
in the real world. But again, anyone reading the actual meeting minutes
would have no way of knowing this since the multiple proofs of Bob's lie
have been expunged from the official public record.


Here is the final part of the 4/29/2010 CDD meeting that was censored:

http://tinyurl.com/2a8umwc

At the end of the meeting Shad Tome yells and slams the table. He goes
overboard with a verbal as well as physical outburst. Yet at this point of
the meeting all that appears in the official meeting minutes from Shad is
this:

Mr. Tome stated yes, it does. There is a use agreement
in place for the CDD�s use.

Reading the official public record one has no idea what actually transpired.
This gives Shad Tome, the President of Harmony Development Company, some
plausible deniability. He can now claim that he never had an outburst at a
public meeting in Harmony since that's what the official public record
shows. Yet Shad himself proves otherwise after following the meeting with an
apology letter to the CDD Management Company:

From: Shad Tome
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 8:21 AM
To: Moyer, Gary; Wright, Brenda; Boyd, Steve
Subject: My behavior

Gary, Brenda, and Steve -

I sincerely apologize for my unprofessional and
disruptive outburst last evening. I surely didn't
intend to get in the way of your business. I assure
you that will not happen again on my part. I am sorry
for my uncharacteristic behavior.

Shamefully,
Shad


Shad Tome
President
st...@harmonyfl.com

HARMONY
3500 Harmony Square Drive West
Harmony, FL 34773
407.891.1616
407.891.1620 (fax)

Strangely, Shad never apologized for his outburst to me, the audience or to
the CDD supervisors (as far as I know). Yet even more strange is the fact
that Shad apologized for something that apparently never happened -
according to the public record.

So what we have in the official meeting minutes of the Harmony CDD board
meeting of 4/29/2010 is a big lie of omission. But how can this be?

How can the CDD management company that we pay more than $50,000 every year
in tax dollars for accurate verbatim meeting minutes let this happen? How
could the CDD manager, Gary Moyer, sign his name to this falsified record?

How can our elected CDD officials unanimously approve of such lies? Did they
even read the meeting minutes before approving them?

There oughta be a law! (maybe there is)

Harmony 2009-03-26 - 02-38-40.mp3
Harmony CDD Meeting Minutes 2010-04-29.pdf

Geo

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Jun 24, 2010, 7:13:31 AM6/24/10
to HarmonyFL
Here's one important point that I almost forgot to mention.

The audio recordings of CDD meetings (the only true record of what
actually happened) are destroyed by Severn Trent / Moyer Management
after 2 years. As unbelievable as this sounds, it is absolutely true.
Once again one can only wonder why.

The longest meeting that I have heard occupies about 25 megabytes of
disk space in a single file. This means that using a now commonplace
terabyte disk drive available today on Amazon for $70, the Harmony CDD
could store more than 40,000 audio recordings of really long CDD
meetings and the cost would be less than 1/5 of a cent per meeting.
Thus 1 year's worth of CDD meetings would cost a whopping 3 cents!

When I made the suggestion during the 5/27/2010 CDD meeting that all
audio recordings of CDD meetings should be retained by the CDD and
made available online forever, this idea was dismissed by Gary Moyer
as just another apparently major expense that the CDD could nary
afford.

This is reminiscent of Gary's response to my suggestion during the
4/29/2010 meeting that the CDD website needs fixing and that my 14
year old son could do it for free:

We can hire a webmaster and pay good money to do what
you are asking us to do.

Yet we learned that not only could the website be fixed within a
matter of days after that meeting, it WAS fixed and it was fixed for
free (as Gary Moyer admitted during the subsequent 5/27/2010 meeting).

So at this point I would take Gary Moyer's technology cost estimates
with a grain of salt. He seems to have about the same capacity for
such judgments as Bob Evans (and about the same desire to improve
things here and make the powers that be more transparent and
accountable).
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