Name: Silence Dogood
Comment: The following minutes of the recent tennis subcommittee meeting were received from an anonymous source who claimed to attend by virtue of the audio/video skycam which is installed in the tennis center meeting room on the second floor:
At the tennis committee meeting on April 10, 2012 a vote was taken relating to the surveillance system installed at the tennis center and throughout Pelican Landing. Having presumably conferred with the chief Pooh-Bah Marie and her extensive legal team, the chair of the meeting informed those attending that only 60% of the locations where this system is installed in Pelican Landing include audio recordings, but the locations of the 40% video-only cameras could not be identified. He also stated that other communities have similar surveillance systems, but he could not identify any of them. He further stated that the ace legal staff of Pelican Landing, fresh from the loss of a law suit by a resident costing Pelican Landing residents $-redacted- , had vetted the system and found it perfectly legal under Florida and Federal Law. The legal team also found the other police state activities described below to be perfectly legal, reasonable intrusions on the residents’ privacy and free speech rights.
The failure of the tennis committee to vote in favor of a motion urging the outright rejection and removal of the audio system at the tennis center was a great disappointment to this correspondent and all who value their rights. We were told that the system is necessary for our security against the crime wave sweeping the community, and particularly the tennis center, and that this system was authorized by our board over 7 or 8 years ago so what’s new and why is everyone complaining now? However, it was disclosed that the system was replaced and enhanced with audio recording capabilities in 2011 when the then-existing system failed to catch the notorious middle finger-wagging assault described below.
Crime wave, you ask? Yes, but you won’t find the crimes recounted in the puff piece flyers distributed to the residents. First there is the story of the missing smart phone that disappeared from – where was it, the kitchen in the community center? the office of the tennis center? — well, it was lost some place in Bonita Springs. If that weren’t terrible enough, there is the anecdote of the confrontation that almost led to blows between a security person and a resident (a lawyer, praise God) regarding use of the bathroom at the canoe park about 5 years ago. Thank goodness every word was recorded, the lawyer was vindicated, justice was served, and the employee was discharged! Then, there was that truly horrific incident at the tennis center which shattered the residents’ confidence in their safety here at Pelican Landing and inspired the new surveillance system (at what cost?). This past winter a resident allegedly “gave the finger” (a/k/a “flipped off”) to an employee trying to enforce the short-lived rule against residents utilizing the empty tables and chairs outside the office during a team match! Oh, the inhumanity! (May I suggest a public service award to the guy and his finger for causing a stupid rule to be rescinded?)
After several residents and committee members condemned the surveillance system and urged its removal, an attendee informed those present that our lives and conversations are truly trivial and insignificant; that it’s not important that we are being recorded because we say nothing of importance anyway. We are told that only Marie and some guy named Ryan, head of “Privacy” (I’m not making this up!) have access to the recordings (how comforting!). We are even told that these devices are very important for employee training purposes (perhaps they should be made mobile and follow and record Marie, the “Privacy” guy and the Board members during the performance of their police state duties).
What amazes your minute taker is how willing United States citizens (I’m presuming here) and Pelican Landing residents are to give up their fundamental rights, based solely upon trivial anecdotes! Where are the crime reports, the beatings, the muggings, the overwhelming bad behavior sweeping our community that justify these insignificant bureaucrats’ surveillance of the residents in a purely social area with a video and audio recording device the size of a dinner plate nailed to the wall not 10 feet from the chairs and tables, peering over everyone’s shoulder?
The bottom line on surveillance is that apparently some members of the committee and some of the residents would deem it a perfect world if every move and word of every person in Pelican Landing were recorded in case one of these horrific incidents were to be repeated. Well, they won’t have to wait much longer. During the discussion, in light of the insignificance of the residents of Pelican Landing, it was announced that a drug testing regimen was being commenced for those entering Pelican Landing (center gate as a trial – but if you complain it must be because you are a drug user), that full body scanning equipment would be utilized at the North Gate and that Marie and Ryan have almost mastered the maneuvering of the unmanned drone they have purchased with their petty cash account, and that the drone’s debut surveillance flight over Pelican Landing is expected on July 4th in honor of our nation’s independence. It remains an open question whether the drone will be weaponized.
In the meantime the remote speed traps installed in Pelican Landing (that must be the mystery device just outside of the Sanctuary on Pelican Colony Drive) will soon go active. In order to insure collection of any fines imposed on those exceeding the 5 mph speed limit, each resident wishing to have driving privileges within our community will have to post a debit or credit card from which their fines can be automatically deducted. The speed traps will be monitored 24/7 by Marie and Ryan. In light of the significant increase in Marie’s and Ryan’s responsibilities, Board president Dufas, in executive session with himself, decided to double their compensation packages (from their current $-redacted- and $-redacted- levels, respectively).
We also learned for the first time that the tennis committee has authorized a search for an assistant pro and that job descriptions for that position and other positions at the tennis center are being prepared (unbeknownst to the tennis committee). (This is not a joke!) Not mentioned was whether the job description for the tennis director will require full time management duties, and whether the assistant pro’s job description will include making kickbacks to the tennis director of portions of his/her lesson and clinic income and generally being treated like crap and then fired if he or she “gets too close to the residents”, so as to parallel the experiences of the former assistant pros. It should be noted that this item was not on the Agenda for the tennis committee meeting, and that the Agendas and Minutes for the meetings of the tennis committee are scrubbed carefully before being issued and even then not made directly available to the users of the tennis facility by email, and therefore provide little notice or value to the residents.
Despite internal complaints by several committee members about the recent survey regarding team tennis, as well as many written and verbal criticisms of the methodology pursued by the tennis committee in enacting the two team rule and the various problems with the rule, the tennis committee did not rescind the two team rule. There was no mention of when the tennis committee actually voted to impose a two team rule or references to agendas and minutes to reflect its passage after it was shelved last year, not to mention how an advisory committee suddenly found itself with unbridled power to impose anything it wished to impose.
Note: Subsequent to the meeting a member of a team that plays totally outside of Pelican Landing was told that the players on her team would be charged with one team membership by virtue of playing on this team, even though this team has nothing to do with the Pelican Landing tennis amenity or facilities. Several other team players found their two team limits exceeded by virtue of their multiple team memberships in Toronto.
You can hardly make this stuff up!
Silence Dogood, Unauthorized Cyber Secretary of the Tennis Committee