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Call to Order

President George Spoll called the meeting to order at 9:35 AM.  27 representatives of 19 member associations were in attendance, along with 16 guests.

Introduction of Guests

There were no special introductions.

Remarks by Host Condominium

David Lapovsky, representative of The Water Club, provided an overview of the complex noting:

  • There were 172 units in two (2) buildings, on 19 acres
  • The south tower was constructed in 1995 with the clubhouse
  • The north tower was completed in 1999
  • The units range from 2,700 square feet to 3,500 square feet
  • The amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, jacuzzi, two spas with saunas
  • The clubhouse is 16,000 square feet
  • They were self-managed with 31 employees – an office manager, concierge service 12 hours during the week and 10 hours on weekends, two full-time landscapers, who were employees of Bright View
  • The fees were $4,475 per quarter of which $3,825 going to operating expenses and $650 per quarter into reserves
  • They did not fully fund their reserves
  • this year they would be operating on a five-year reserve plan, and from that plan, they would have their next five years and beyond – not major repairs, but replacement schedule

Approval of Minutes

The February minutes were approved as written.

Treasurer's Report

Steve Jackson, Treasurer, informed the membership the balance was $3,606.42.  There were two associations remaining that have not paid their 2017 dues.  

Unauthorized Use of the Federation Directory

Steve Jackson, Treasurer, discussed the annual directory noting it was a helpful document and was compiled for the purpose of individual contact.  It was not created to be used for a political purpose or a movement throughout the Key.  The directory was provided for each association to ask questions of each other, and the information was private.  He commented that the next directory would be distributed in May and would include a disclaimer that it only be used for private communications.

Secretary's Report

Roger Goldstein, Secretary, reported the Federation will be issuing the 2017 survey shortly; however, there were a little over 40 associations that have not submitted updated information.  He also discussed that last month he noted he had sent out letters to a dozen associations who were not members inviting them to a meeting; however, he had not heard back from any of them.

Report of the Nominating Chair

Election of Directors

Bart Wassmansdorf, Nominating Chair, presented the election results to the members.  He mentioned that last month, during the meeting, he urged people to submit their names for consideration of appointment to the board, but he did not receive any names.  The following are the nominees:


Roger Goldstein

Richard Hershatter

Steve Jackson

Cheryl Loeffler

Ellen Parker

Glenn Peterson

Carl Pfirrmann

Rich Pearce

Beverly Shapiro

George Spoll


There were no other nominations from the floor, and the nominations were closed.

It was moved and seconded that the nominees, as noted, be voted by acclamation.  Motion carried unanimously.


Other Business and Announcements

Annual Longboat Key Goals and Objectives

Roger Goldstein, Secretary, presented a report on the Goals and Objectives that the Federation would be drafting to present to the Town Commission.  The issues include: traffic, public transportation, cellular service, Town Center, recreation facility, and, community development and planning.  The actual verbiage for those issues would be presented at the April Federation meeting.

President Spoll informed the members the reason for the advance notice was to allow an opportunity for members that might have any additional topics to address, to please provide.  He commented it was useful for the board to have more input from the members.


Sea Turtle Ordinance

Cyndi Seamon, Longboat Key Turtle Watch, explained the Town had passed a new ordinance in 2016 concerning lighting requirements that would be enforced in 2017.  The Town was sponsoring a lighting workshop on April 5, 2017, at Town Hall to review the new regulations and how to comply with the lighting requirements.

President Spoll included that if members live in units facing the Gulf of Mexico they should pay attention to the new requirements, because the restrictions have become more difficult.


Changes to the MCAT Longboat Key Bus Service

Ryan Suarez, Manatee Transit Planning Manager, discussed new changes in services pointing out:

  • The new service will begin on April 15, 2017, and ahead of the service, they would be replacing some of the fixed route service
  • This was being done in coordination with Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT)
  • They will be operating an on-demand service in the Manatee County portion of the island, but Sarasota County will maintain the Sarasota County portion service on an hourly basis
  • The service requires residents to make a reservation the day before to schedule their trip
  • The fares on the Longboat Key Shuttle will be the same fare of $1.50 per trip, and they will honor all MCAT and SCAT passes
  • If a resident was 80 years of age or older, the fare was free
  • The change will be more cost effective for the county
  • They will be using a smaller bus that will allow them to load bikes and mobility aids
  • The resident will be required to schedule their trip in advance
  • There was a short video available on the Town's website and the County's website that explains the new service in detail
  • The change was so it was cost effective for Manatee County- last year they met with the group 'Aging in Paradise' and received a number of comments about the service not being what was needed
  • Through discussions with Town staff and the public, this is the service the county developed to replace the fixed route service

Someone asked when a person calls ahead to schedule the service, did they have to specify where the bus should pick them up.  Mr. Suarez replied yes; they should call and provide their name, address, pick-up location, destination, and time.  It was asked if they would need to call for a return trip.  Mr. Suarez explained when they made the reservation they would be asked if they need a return trip.

A member voiced concern with the requirement to make a reservation a day ahead; they did not believe the County would have a lot of riders if they did not decide to use the service until that day.  Mr. Suarez commented the only way to make it work was to know in advance how much service was needed on a daily basis.  The hours of operation for call ahead service was 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  He mentioned if they determined there was a large demand for same day service, they could consider modifying the service. 

There was a question of whether the service was pick-up at the door, or the resident would need to meet at a bus stop.  Mr. Suarez responded the service was for pick-up at your door; however, they have a list of stops that the bus might not be able to get to.


Use of Annual Directory

Frank Morneau, member of Preserve Longboat Key, Inc., and a resident of the Aquarius Club since 1975, discussed that the residents were confronted with a problem on Longboat Key where they were encountering a referendum that would result in increased density, traffic, etc.  A number of presidents of various abutting associations came together and formed Preserve Longboat Key, Inc., to attempt to bring an awareness level to the key, but in order to do that, they were under a time constraint with the approaching referendum.  As a result, they discussed how they could get the word out to everyone and asked the 'Keep Longboat Special' group to assist them.  The 'Keep Longboat Special' group provided them a list of 1,200 plus names of residents on the key.  He explained that he looked at the Federation of Longboat Key Condominiums, which he had been a member for years as president of the Aquarius Club, and he had a copy of the annual directory.  This directory would allow them to provide notice to the condominium associations, and because of the defeat of the referendum, it proved the mass of the population agreed with their stance.  He wished to apologize for using the list to get their notice out.  He requested that the members consider allowing the use of the annual directory if there was a situation where notice needed to be provided immediately to members.

Steve Jackson, Treasurer, explained the point was there were people that received emails that were offended that the directory was used.  President Spoll noted there were enumerable commercial entities that try to use that list; it was a leadership list and not a broad list of all members who live in those respective associations.



The Digital Dilemma: Paperless Documents and How to Protect Them

Carl Pfirrmann, Islander Club, introduced Tom Martin, Director of Business Development, Intechgrate Systems.  He commented that Mr. Martin assisted his association about a year ago when they lost all their electronic data.  He had brought the issue to the Federation Board, and they thought it would be good to have a program on protecting data.

Mr. Martin noted that his company was a local company in Sarasota, who were a managed service provider – they provided services for companies who did not have in-house IT departments, and they also provided services to augment IT departments.  He continued with discussing:

  • The documents people used today were Microsoft Word or Adobe
  • One gig of memory will hold 18,874 one-page Word documents, and for those people who use photos, it will hold 614 5-megapixel photos
  • A square foot of business space in Sarasota is currently at $20.00 per square foot, and a one-drawer file cabinet would take up seven square feet of floor space
  • Calculating the cost of physical storage versus digital storage, the digital storage would provide savings in operating budgets
  • Thumb drives can store 1,000 documents, music, pictures, and directories, and once the information is stored, it was easy to share that information
  • The days of the fax machine were fading away as people use email more to send documents
  • If a document was in a digital format, it would be easy to find, and provided a cost savings in consumables, such as paper, envelopes, toner, etc.
  • Some forms of documentation are not meant to go digital – an association would want to maintain some of those confidential documents and keep them safe
  • It was easy to transform a paper document into a computer document – one could scan the document into the computer and index it; the most important thing was to name it properly and store it in the right place so it would be easy to recall
  • Technology has the capability to take a scanned document and make it OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so when it is scanned, it is scanning the actual words; this makes it easier to locate documents by searching keywords
  • Most software today is a subscription based service; and there is the ability to save files/documents in an external service (Cloud)
  • Concerning retrieving documents – there was a technology used by offices called 'back-up,' which looks at a computer and its stations and creates a 'back-up' of all the data
  • Backing up data was good, but the ability to encrypt it was better for protection

Someone from the Water Club commented they had digitized all their blueprints, and questioned the cost if someone did that for a new building.  Mr. Martin explained it can be done, and the cost would be based on the size of the file it created, along with the amount of storage needed to save it off-site.  He noted it would be a monthly type cost.

It was asked if it was safe to back-up all your documents on a thumb drive or drive – what was the best way to secure records.  Mr. Martin responded whenever they discussed security, they need to ensure the integrity of the data was there, and that no one can access.  He suggested back-up on a thumb drive, CD-rom, or the best would be a Cloud service.  The other consideration was how quickly they could turn the computer into an operating piece of equipment if there was an issue with the system.

Mr. Martin discussed the difference between Dropbox versus a Cloud service pointing out that a homeowner using Dropbox might be fine, but from a business standpoint, it was suggested they use a data center.  Someone asked how a thumb drive compared as a back-up to an external hard drive attached to a computer; is it possible to go automatically to a Cloud backup.  Mr. Martin suggested a portable hard drive, such as a SSD drive or a back-up data drive. 

There was a concern noted with an association's numerous files that go back as far as the 1970s and how they could get all that paper into digital format.  Mr. Martin explained there was scanning equipment and software available to assist in creating your own digital file cabinet or file structure. 

Someone questioned the security of backing up to a Cloud service.  Mr. Martin commented it was as secure as your password; there was no encryption on the back-up.


Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for April 15, 2017, at Beach Harbor Club.  The program will be discussion on the legislative changes to Florida Statute 718.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:43 AM.


Roger Goldstein,   Donna Chipman

Secretary               Scribe