Pickett Downs Phase IV

Neighborhood News

Events/ News

ACC Openings - There are two opening on the ACC Board.  If you are interested in volunteering your time to serve, please contact Toni Karnitz at tonikarnitz@gmail.com or Daymon Lawrenson.

Executive Board meeting is scheduled for 18 June 2018

Reminder to maintain ditches and swales to keep them clear.  If you are having trouble with water drainage, please contact St. John's River Waste Management - Bill Carlie @ 407-659-4833 or wcarlie@sjrwmd.com  

Minutes from Monthly Board Meetings

Minutes from Monthly Board Meetings

21 May 2018
Attendees: Brian Spiess, Joe Sala, Toni Karnitz, Brian Barnett, and Stan Marko

Old Business: 

  • Toni read the Minutes from the 09 April 2018 Executive Board Meeting.  Additions and corrections were made during the reading of the same.  After appropriate revisions, Toni Karnitz moved to Accept the Minutes.  Joe Sala seconded.  All Board Members concurred with the Acceptance of the 09 April 2018 Minutes.  These will be posted to the Website.
  • Outstanding bill fro Wean & Malcho for $453.29, stemming from the collection efforts for non-payment of CY 2018 Annual Dues.  At present, all lots owing dues have paid.  The bill is for outstanding fees and costs associated with collections for lots 226 and 235.

Discussions too place regarding whether or not authorization should be provided to Wean & Malchow to place liens on lots 226 and 235 for outstanding attorney’s fees and costs associated with prior efforts to collect dues.  After all questsions/ concerns were address, Toni Karnitz made a motion to provide Wean & Malchow authorization to file claims of lien against lots 226 and 235.  Joe Sala seconded the motion.  All Board members were in agreement and the Motion passed.  Toni will contact Wean & Malchow to move this matter forward.

  • Brian Spiess provided a Treasurer’s report indicating that there is $21,771.34 in our checking account and $626.00 in savings.  Brian indicated that there is a $3000 minimum balance required.

Brian Barnett asked questions regarding payment of the HOA invoices to see what bills may/may not be outstanding.  Brian Spiess reported that all annual HOA bills, as represented in the 2018 Annual Budget have been paid from funds approved by the Associations’ members.  There are still approved/ budgeted funds available for use in CY2018.

  • Brian Spiess brought the HOA financial records to the meeting for turn-over to the new HOA Treasurer.  Brian also indicated that new signature cards will need to be created for the existing accounts, once new officers are elected and determinations are made as to which officers will be signing.

New Business

  • Brian Spiess brought ACC business to the table concerning the use of wire fencing and the placement of sheds on lot 2011, without seeking ACC approval for either.  Brian advised that he, on behalf of the ACC board held discussions with the owners and explained that these types of efforts required ACC approval and that wire fencing is not permitted in our neighborhood.  The parties came to an agreement on the fence with the compromise that the owners would submit a request for a wood and wire fence.  The ACC approved the wood and wire fence for the front and the sides of the lot.

There are still unresolved issues with the owners regarding the placement of a 12x20 shed on the property as the same was not in compliance with the existing Covenants and Restrictions, as all structures must be 20’ off the property line and the owners have not submitted plans regarding the structural integrity of the building for hurricane force winds etc.

Toni indicated she would work with the owners and with Daymon of this effort. 

Also, we are in need of ACC Members, as both Joe Sala and Brian Spiess are stepping down from these duties.

  • New Officer Elections were the last order of business.  Toni Karnitz made a Motion to nominate Brian Barness as the Association’s new Treasurer.  Joe Sala seconded.  All members were in favor and Brian Barnett is the new treasurer.

Toni Karnitz made a Motion to nominate Stan Marko as the Association’s new Vice President.  Brian Spiess seconded.  All members were in favor and Stan Marko is the new Vice President.

Toni Karnitz will remain the Association’s President and Carla Baird will remain the Association’s Secretary until their term is up in May 2019.

Toni moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:30PM.  The motion was seconded by Brian Barnett.

Respectfully submitted,

Toni Karnitz, President.


May 12, 2018


Executive Board Attendees:  Toni Karnitz, President, Joe Sala, Vice President, Brian Spiess, Treasurer, Carla Baird, Secretary and Daymon Lawrenson, Architectural Review Board (ARB) Chair


The meeting was called to Order by Toni Karnitz at 9:00 a.m. and reviewed the Meeting’s Agenda.  Toni noted that there were not enough members present to constitute a Quorum.


Carla Baird read the Minutes from the May 2017 Annual Homeowners’ meeting.  There was no Quorum present at the May 2017 Annual Meeting. 


Toni Karnitz opened the meeting by providing general comments and gave a synopsis of the November 11, 2017 Annual Budget Meeting which included a recap of the Olson litigation (PICKETT DOWNS UNIT IV HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION, INC. vs. STUART W. OLSON, CASE NO.: 2011-CA-004399) and the possible courses of action that were socialized on how to pay the Final Judgment against the HOA. 


Treasurer’s Report - Brian Spiess provided the Treasurer’s report stating that the Association is working within the 2018 Approved Budget and that there remains 22,366.00 in the Checking account and 626.00 in the Savings account.  At the time of the 9 May 2018 Annual Meeting there was one (1) outstanding bill owed to Attorneys Wean and Malchow, for attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the collection of outstanding annual dues.


Architectural Review Board (ARB) - Daymon Lawrenson touched on important issues in neighborhood, reminding neighbors of the following:


1.     Each homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of our ditches/swales.

2.     Grass should be edged/trimmed that connects to the roads, because if left alone, it will tear-up the roadbed.

3.     The Association’s Covenants and Restrictions have a Nuisance clause that pertains to boats and trailers.


Toni Karnitz took this opportunity to remind everyone that it is the Board’s responsibility to enforce the Association’s Covenants and Restrictions and the contents of same should not be a surprise to anyone.  Each homeowner is provided with a copy of those when they move in and they are also posted on the Association’s website at www.pickettdowns4.com.


Brian Barnett brought up the topic of water and drainage issues, saying that now is the time to clean out front and back ditches before the rainy season.  A discussion about flooding took place.


Litigation Up-Date – Toni Karnitz informed all meeting Attendees that there are two active litigations, as follows:


1.     Valerie A. Scott vs. Pickett Downs Unit IV HOA, Inc., Case No 2017-CA-000739.  There was no new information to report on this case.


2.     Pickett Downs Unit IV Homeowner’s Association, Inc. vs. Stuart W. Olson, Case No. 2011-CA-0043992.  Toni Karnitz reminded the meeting Attendees that on February 21, 2018, the Defendant’s attorney filed a Motion to Appoint Receiver, however, the Defendant did not set the Motion for hearing.  In addition, Toni pointed out the Board provided a status letter to the neighborhood on the litigation and explained why the Board determined the most viable resolution of this litigation would be to have the Court appoint a Receiver.  The appointment of a Receiver reduces the risk to the Board associated with the collection of votes and monies and also reduces the opportunities for additional litigation to be initiated against the Board. 


Toni further explained that the Board is a Corporation.  Toni’s goal as the President of the Board of Directors of this Corporation is to try and find a balance to do what is in the best interest of the neighborhood and serve the interests of the Corporation.  Toni reminded everyone that whatever happens to them also affects what happens to her and each member of the Association’s Board of Directors. 


Toni reminded all present that if they haven’t started to put funds away to pay their share of the Judgment, they should start now.  Toni also addressed the many voices that would like to revise our Covenants and Restrictions to include verbiage that would preclude the filing of any litigation by the Board.  She pointed out that the Association’s Board forms the Board of Directors for a Corporation and therefore holds dual responsibility – one to the Corporation and one to the neighborhood.  Toni reminded all that she must perform a balancing act to serve the best interests of the corporation and the interests of the neighborhood. 


Toni Karnitz took questions from neighbors:


Q:  Roger Baird asked if we have control in expediting the Olson litigation.


A:  Yes, we are working on making that happen.  In Toni’s perfect world, she’d like to see it set for hearing sometime in July.  It depends on the Court’s availability and when the attorneys are available.  We are in the process of setting this for hearing and moving this forward.


Q:  Samantha Ward asked if the Board has any monies to help with payment of the litigation, to help lower the cost of what each homeowner will have to pay?   


A:  Yes, but right now there is nothing to pay toward and no way to protect ourselves.  We need to have an Order and a payment plan and we have neither.  We have a Budget that has approximately $23,000 in our account that could off-set some of the costs for each person.  However, we would need to vote to use those funds and that is a problem with this neighborhood.  This neighborhood doesn’t vote; people don’t vote.  Joe Sala will no longer be serving on the Board and with his leaving there will be no one to go door-to-door to collect votes.  Nothing can be done without support of neighbors.  And if people don’t care enough to vote on items that need voting, then this Board can’t help you. 


Tell you neighbors to start voting and if you’re not informed, then come to a Board meeting.  They are held at Toni’s house. 


Q.  Stan Marko - Should we use all of $23,000 for Olson litigation?  What about other bills that may come up?


A.  If we took all that money and paid it toward the Judgment, we would be foolish to completely wipe out our bank account.  We still have money in our Budget. 


We must prioritize for all things and we must follow the Budget.  If we have road issues, the neighborhood can vote for a special assessment for Capital improvements to conduct any needed road repairs, repaying, etc.


Q.  Mike Fernandez asked if the Lawsuit is done, is there only the payment and interest will there be any more attorneys’ fees?


A.  Hoping that we are done and have just the interest and payment.  But we still need attorneys go to court for hearings.  However, we feel pretty confident that we will not see attorney’s fees like we have seen in the past.  You will see fees and costs for the Law Firm Wean and Malchow for collection of dues and perhaps the placement of liens for those who do not pay dues or paid attorneys fees associated with dues collection.


Q.  Going forward, is there anything that can be done so we don’t end up in this situation again?


A.  Suzy Miller responded saying there is no way to guarantee that.  We are in a special situation.  There is no way to guarantee that litigation would ever be filed again.  If homeowners do what they are supposed to do, then there should be no problem. 


Mike Fernandez voiced concerns that he had no way of knowing how much this was going to cost him and concerned about the future and what lawsuits may happen.  Toni reiterated that this Board is also a Corporation and the Board did not file a lawsuit at the drop of a hat.  There were communications made and numerous attempts to resolve the situation before filing a lawsuit, but there are Covenants and Restrictions that need to be enforced and there are always lessons learned. 


This Board is working hard to resolve all issues and move forward, but there is no way to predict issues in the future. 


This neighborhood does not work as a team.  The same people show up every time.  60 lots don’t care about what’s going on until they are asked for money.  Lot owners need to be informed.  Toni indicated that Minutes are posted to our website for all to read and learn what’s happening in the neighborhood.


Q.  Bruce V. asked why is there some information concerning the lawsuits that can’t be shared?  We’re responsible just like the Board, I’m not aware of any clause that says this is secret.


A.  Suzy Miller responded saying there is something called Attorney-client privilege and the Board is the representative of the homeowners and they are the client and there is a privilege; and because the litigation is with other homeowners, there is a privilege relationship there that should not be disclosed and legally cannot be disclosed.


Toni reminded all not to forget the Board is a Corporation, as well as, individual homeowners.  Toni says she will divulge any information she can.  Any up-dates will be posted to the Association’s website NOT on social medial.


Q.  A homeowner inquired about the clearing/cleaning of the creek in back of Breaks Lane and Warner Drive.


A.    There is no money in budget for that at this time.


Q.  Can a homeowner do it?


A.  Daymon indicated that muck is an issue and equipment can get stuck.  Perhaps a group would like to get together and volunteer on how to get this done.  It was noted that in order to clear out the area behind Breaks Lane and Warner Drive, written permission would need to be obtained from every pertinent homeowner.


Q.  Why isn’t litigation paid by Boards insurance? 


A:  The liability insurance carried by the Board is paying for the attorney’s fees and costs associated with the Scott litigation.  The Board still had to pay a $1,000.00 deductible and it is possible that additional monies may be owed in the future. 


A neighbor indicated that his homeowners insurance offers a rider that will assist with the payment of judgments associated with homeowners associations and suggested that everyone check their homeowners insurance for a rider. 


That completed the Q&A Session.


Board Vacancies – Toni Karnitz stated the Board will be losing two members and therefore, there are two openings on Board.  Toni thanked both Brian Spiess and Joe Sala for their years of service, hard work and dedication.   


Toni Karnitz nominated Brian Barnett to Board.  Carla Baird seconded.  Brian Barnett stated that this is the time to join the Board and be a part of this community.  Stan Marko volunteered to become a Board member and was introduced to all meeting attendees.


HOA Website - Dan Hopkins our Webmaster is moving.  We are seeking a volunteer to take on this very easy assignment.  Please contact a member of the Board if you are interested.


Community Events:


-Patty Guise organized a GREAT cookie exchange during the holiday season.  Participants met at the lake, ate cookies, drank hot cider and enjoyed a crisp Florida “winter” day.  There were 7 participants and we’re hoping to do this again in December with more people – which means more cookies.


-Five houses participated in yard sale with phase 2 & 3.  Brian Spiess was instrumental in putting up signs around Phase IV to promote this event.


-Many have voiced an interest in participating in more social/community events.  Toni suggested a Book Exchange, with the caveat that she would not organize, as her plate is full.  Toni asked for volunteers to become a Social Events Chair and bring ideas and leadership to the Board for future events. 


Toni Karnitz confirmed that all members present have signed in and asked that they check their addresses to make sure they are correct.


Next Executive Board Meeting – May 21st at 2215 Breaks Lane, 7pm.  All are welcome.


Joe Sala made a Motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Toni Karnitz.


Meeting adjourned at 10:01am.


Minutes submitted by Carla Baird, Secretary.





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