Property Manager’s Report – June 2017

IT’S A LOVE HATE THING
Love should always be first so let’s address that: When spring is in the air (and it was…. I seem to remember a couple cooler days) the critters do what they do. The babies are now starting to get around so certain animals like foxes (who may make their den under your raised deck or in the wooded area by your house) might be more aggressive. Be careful of all wildlife and pay particular attention at dawn and dusk or at night when many of the critters are out. Also, alligator mating season was a little over a month ago so Momma Gator has been protecting her nest and her young ones. Don’t approach any animal and please do not feed ANY wildlife! Doing so is not only against PGA POA Rules but it also causes the animals to lose their fear of humans and causes them to approach by associating humans with food. I promise there is enough food for all the critters without your intervention.

The hate thing is the dreaded Hurricane: This is the last time I will use the “H” word in its full form because Hurricane Season officially begins June 1st. This is the time when you should start preparing by checking your supplies of water, batteries, non-perishable food and other supplies. This POA website has a number of suggestions for preparing your home and family. If you have storm shutters, remember that PGA POA rules only allow clear panels and accordions to be installed/closed for the season. If you will be away during storm season, you should have someone available who can install your hurricane protection for you in your absence and you should make those arrangements now so the person has you on their list of homes to secure. Don’t forget about potted plants, patio furniture and any other decorative items you may have outside. You might think the storm can’t pick up that 50 lb. birdbath…. but you’d be wrong.

CHANGES AT PGA POA
The Assessment: The annual assessment (due on July 1st or before) is now $730.00 Please remember that the Board cannot remove interest charges once they start to accrue so please be sure to pay on time.

This is the first increase since 2011. Despite the best efforts of the Board, it was necessary to increase the annual assessment by $30.00 per residential unit. A copy of the operating budget and the footnotes that explain each line item is included with the assessment coupon in the large flat package mailed June 1st. Please note that there is also a “Direct Debit” form if you would like to sign up to have the funds transferred from your bank account.

The Board: With deep regret, I must let you know that the POA President, Bob Hodgson, has resigned from the Board. He was first elected in 2003 and served continuously for the past fourteen years and served as President since 2006. The Board and POA staff will miss his leadership and we wish him the very best. The Board of Governors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy so if you have experience with HOA/Condo boards and you’re interested, please send me a note (before June 20th) and provide your experience and background.

The Hearings Committee: The Committee is looking for volunteers. Per State Statutes, Hearings Committee members cannot be members of the PGA POA Board, nor can they be a spouse of a POA Board member. This committee meets as needed to determine whether to fine owners who continually violate the POA Rules and governing documents. No one likes to impose fines but everyone purchased under deed restrictions that require certain maintenance standards and require all owners to abide by the documents. When an owner fails to do so, the Board may refer the matter to the attorney for action; enter the property and correct the violation; or refer the matter to the Hearings Committee (or any combination of these options). Owners may meet with the Hearings Committee and the Committee and the Committee may then impose fines of $100.00 per day. Per the Statute and POA By-Laws the Board of Governors cannot overrule the Hearings Committee’s decision. If you feel that you are interested and qualified to serve on the POA Hearings Committee, please send me a letter with your contact information and background. The submittal deadline is June 20, 2017.

THEFT
In addition to homes being “broken into” (and I use quotes because doors aren’t locked and/or alarms aren’t set it) we now seem to have a problem with someone helping themselves to newly planted landscape. The POA has had plants stolen from Burwick Park, Marlwood Park and PGA Blvd. So to the person in the white vehicle with the new bed of Arboricola, SMILE: you are on camera and we may be contacting you with some people in uniform. To everyone else, keep your eyes open for suspicious activity and report it to the police. Minor or non-emergency matters can be reported to PGA Security at 627-1600 or to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department at 799-4445.

THE RUMOR
Several people have told me they heard a rumor that I am retiring. Maybe it was hopeful thinking on their part but the answer is no, it’s just another rumor. Besides, I can’t retire – I’m no good at crossword puzzles!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

No one really cares if you’re miserable so you might as well be happy.

Congratulations Major Jack Schnur!

jack-schnurMany of our PGA Residents have had an occasion to work with Major Jack Schnur.  For a few it may have been an unfortunate situation involving a burglary, theft, vehicle accident or some other law enforcement action.

But many others, during his 33 years with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, have had more pleasant and happy occasions to work with Jack.

As the year turns over into 2017 we are happy to report that Jack has retired from the City of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and will take up a new position as Security Director for The Gardens Mall.

During his years with the Police Department, Jack has worked as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective, Road Patrol Sergeant, Crime Prevention Sergeant, and Commander of Investigations. His most recent assignment was as the Major overseeing the Special Operations Bureau. His collateral duties included Hostage Negotiations Team Commander, Crime Prevention Practitioner, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Practitioner. Jack was also an Ex-Officio Member/Advisor to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation.

Jack holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Palm Beach State College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Administration from Barry University.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy’s Florida Executive Development Seminar, Nova Southeastern University/Broward Sheriff’s Office Executive Leadership Program and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

In his new position as Director of The Gardens Mall Security Department he will supervise the 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year operations designed to keep shoppers, employees, businesses and the Mall itself safe. Gardens Mall Security Officers under Jack’s command are readily accessible and maintain a high level of visibility through all interior and exterior areas of the property. They partner closely with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department to provide an enjoyable and safe shopping experience.

Jack Schnur is what others have described as a “perfect fit” for The Gardens Mall and we are sure he will do an outstanding job, as he has for 30+ years at our local Police Department, in keeping shoppers safe.

Congratulations Jack, from all your friends at PGA National. We’ll be seeing you ’round the Mall!

Property Manager’s Report – June 2016

LOCK IT OR LOSE IT
There should be an article in this issue from the Security Director, Keith Echols. The City is again experiencing problems with theft. While typical theft is as a result of vehicle (or home) doors left unlocked, there have been a few incidences of sliding glass doors being pried open and small items stolen.

Please remember to lock your vehicle and your home and SET YOUR HOME ALARM! Crime exists everywhere so please do your part to secure your property and be alert. If you see suspicious people, don’t be afraid to call security and, if you are truly concerned or see a crime in progress call the police.

THE STUPID GATE WON’T OPEN
If you are having difficulties getting in (especially or only at the Northlake entry) it could be that your barcode sticker is worn out. Sometimes rumors spread that the barcode is too high, too low, or that it is raining or the sun is at the wrong angle, etc. I promise you that is not the case; it is a laser that reads the barcode from 24” off the ground to 65” from the ground so unless you have a barcode on a skateboard or a tractor trailer, it should read fine.

If you look at the decal and it is gray and black (or all black) and no longer has black and white stripes then it is time to replace it. Likewise, if there are any tears or holes, it won’t work. Barcodes should never be peeled off one vehicle and put on another. Not only will our data base be wrong but the barcode may not work (or not for long). The Northlake Blvd reader is the most sensitive so when your barcode is starting to go bad, that is the gate where it will start failing first.

To get a new barcode, bring your vehicle registration, $5.00 and, of course, the car to the POA office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and we will replace it for you. Please note that only PGA owners and authorized renters are permitted to have barcodes. Also, because we put the barcode on the car (and not you) the vehicle must be registered to the owner or renter.

Yes, we need to see the registration even though you showed it the first time you got a barcode and we are sorry for the inconvenience. The car may have been registered to someone else in the interim and, more often than not, the license plate may have changed since it was first issued and we’d like to have the correct information. We try to follow procedures carefully so if the POA ever gets full time access control, we don’t have to start completely over in rebuilding a data base for 5,000 homes and issue all new barcodes. We sincerely appreciate your understanding in this regard.

WE THE “YOU PEOPLE”
I admit (with appreciation!) that we haven’t been called a “you people” in quite some time. When speaking with your property management company (whether at the POA or your neighborhood) please remember that the management staff takes direction from, and follows the policies of, your elected Board members. The staff are employees of an independent company and are often blamed…but we have big shoulders so it is all good.

The POA gets calls and visits from residents who are upset that something isn’t being addressed by their neighborhood association to that resident’s satisfaction. We explain that the POA can’t assist with the way an individual neighborhood association is run. Each community elects a Board to handle the matters of the association. That Board hires a management company or an individual manager to handle the day to day affairs and ensure that policies and procedures of the association are carried out. It is just like any business; the staff cannot fire a company or a person who is hired by someone else (in this case, the Board for the Association). Complaints and concerns need to be brought to the Board’s attention. Of course, the POA will continue to do what we can – often it is just passing along your request.

IT ISN’T ALL ABOUT MONEY
It is time for the annual assessment to the POA. The invoices were mailed on June 1 st and anyone with a prior balance or credit should have a note explaining same with the coupon. Likewise, those who signed up for “direct debit” will receive a budget and a note reminding why no coupon is enclosed. Remember, the POA assessment notice comes in a large flat envelope with the operating budget. The coupon is on the bottom of the letter and a return envelope is enclosed for your convenience. Assessments are due July 1 st to avoid interest charges.

If you are interested in signing up for Direct Debit (so the assessment is taken directly from your account each year) forms are available at www.pga-poa.com under the “Documents & Forms” heading. If you want to start this procedure for the upcoming assessment, the form must be completed and returned before June 20th .

As always, if you have any questions, just call us at (561) 627-2800

STORM SEASON
This is it! The official start of storm season was June 1st so I can’t use the “H” word for a few months. As a reminder, this website (www.pga-poa.com) has some helpful information regarding preparations before, during and after storms.

Every year I get calls about a “generator on wheels” outside various fenced areas along the main PGA National roads. The most noted seems to be the one on Avenue of the Masters at Masters Park. Those are, in fact, generators placed by Seacoast Utilities and the fenced areas are “Lift Stations” (i.e.: the equipment that keeps the sewage systems working). It is important that they be run by generators if power is out. After Jeannie, Francis and Wilma a few years ago, Seacoast started placing the generators. They are installed until the end of November when the storm season officially ends. They may not be pretty but it is a whole lot better than what it might look like if they weren’t there to work when power is out! Your understanding is appreciated.

HAPPY SUMMER
Wishing all of you a happy month with good friends and in good health.

Security Director’s Report – May 2016

With the summer months upon us, there are some concerning developments taking place involving gated communities. Local law enforcement agencies in areas such as Martin County, the Treasure Coast, and Jupiter have all seen a rise in residential and auto burglaries. Collectively, these agencies feel the number of incidents will grow over the next few months. Officials believe that a lack of safety practices will contribute to the rise of these incidents.

This year alone, PGA National has experienced sixteen auto burglaries and two residential burglaries. The lack of safety practices officials fear that will contribute to the rise in burglary incidents include leaving your vehicle unlocked/unsecured with valuables inside, which was a factor in all of the auto burglaries within PGA National so far this year. In one of the auto burglaries a gun was taken from the vehicle. In both residential burglaries, neither home alarm was not set. Officials have stated that to greatly reduce your chances of becoming the next victim of a burglary, simply lock your doors and set your alarm.

PGA National is a great community and we are extremely proud to serve you as your security provider. It is paramount that we work as one to curtail criminal activity within our community. Working together we can dismiss the belief that there are easy targets within PGA National and collectively ensure that the quality of life remains prevalent.

Remember to always secure your vehicle when not in use and never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight. Always secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity. Never hesitate to call security at 627-1600, any information on the person(s) or vehicle involved will be extremely helpful.

Property Manager’s Report – January 2016

First, I would like to wish all PGA residents a very Happy and Healthy 2016!

ANNUAL MEETING
Just a reminder that the POA Annual Meeting will be Wednesday, January 20th in the Masters Ballroom at PGA National Resort. Sign in starts at 5:00 p.m. and the meeting starts promptly at 6:00 p.m. This year, there were five people being elected to the nine member board. There were two new candidates (Samuel Boyd, Jr and Bob Kramer) along with incumbents Mike Engelsher, Art Garbarino, Ralph Infanti, Karen Warshaw. Don Paulus, whose term was to end in January, 2016, previously resigned leaving a vacancy and Jeanne Larsen, whose term ends in January, 2017 resigned in December so the Board voted to appoint the two new candidates to fill both vacancies. Since the statute change doesn’t allow nominations from the floor at the meeting there was no need for a formal election. One of the candidates will serve a full two-year term and the other will serve until the end of Jeanne Larsen’s term (January, 2017). It is still important for residents to attend the meeting.

The City and County officials take time out of their busy schedules to speak at the meeting and bring residents up to date on matters of importance; representatives of Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District will tell you what is going on with sidewalks, lake maintenance, roads and drainage; and the POA’s auditor will be there to review the financial status of the POA.

Ok, here’s the hook….every good sale has one, right? If the above doesn’t convince you to come to the meeting, the good folks at Honda Classic generously donated a number of passes (including two tickets to the Champions Club at Nicklaus Village which entitles ticket holders to access the 12,000 sq ft air conditioned hospitality tent on the 18th hole). There are a number of opportunities to win other passes via drawing so please plan to attend the annual meeting.

NORTHLAKE BLVD ENTRY
As I write this, the landscapers are finishing up plantings to get the entry cleaned up in time for the Christmas holidays. We are still trying to finish everything by December 31st but with the holidays, I expect it will take a little longer. I know this paper usually comes out around the 10th of the month so as you read this, I’m hoping the job is complete. When it is totally finished, let me know what you think (yes, good and bad). The Maintenance Committee and Board can always enhance things if necessary.

THE FUN THINGS
The Art Festival on December 12th was successful but there weren’t many PGA residents attending. The Special Events Committee will be deciding whether to continue with the event in future years or not. It is a lot of work to organize and it is held for the residents’ benefit. Please let us know if you feel the Arts & Crafts Festival should continue to be held or if future events should be cancelled.

The Annual Children’s Party in the Park will be held, as always, in April. This is always a successful event. More information will be published over the next few months.

AS IT BEGAN, SO SHALL IT END
I started by wishing you all the best for the New Year. The beginning of each year also starts another year that I’ve served the residents and Board of PGA POA and this year will be number eighteen. I cannot believe how quickly time passes. The annual children’s party each April reminds me how fast time marches on. Last year a resident with a toddler stopped to say hello. She said she remembered when she was a kid playing the games and going down the giant slide and now she was there with her child. Wow! I remember going down that giant slide when the event was in tiny Marlwood Park. To my left was Siro DeGasperis (the first POA President after transition from the developer) and to my right was Ralph Infanti (a Board member who is still serving) – it was a fun ride until that last bump when I went airborne. If Siro and Ralph hadn’t been holding on to each arm, I probably would have ended up in the wilderness preserve with the alligators! Those who blame me personally for everything from leaves falling to rainfall, had the perfect opportunity to see me go. Oh well, memories!

Security Director’s Report – December 2015

As we prepare for the 2016 year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on 2015, which was a good year for security within PGA National. For the third year in a row we have seen decreases in the overall crime within PGA National. Your phone calls reporting suspicious vehicles and people was a tremendous help. We look forward to the challenges that 2016 will bring and we are confident that with your assistance it will be a great year.

Remember to always secure your vehicle when not in use and never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight. Always secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity and never hesitate to call security at 627-1600. Any information on the person(s) involved or vehicle description will be helpful.

Security Directors Report – September 2015

I’m sure by now you all have taken notice of the newly installed gate arms. The gate arms are equipped with LED lights to enhance driver awareness and safety. The “Red” lights, indicates the need to stop and use caution as you approach the gate in the closed positon. The “Green” lights notifies you when it’s safe to proceed through the gate as they move up into the open positon. The new gate arms are part of a series of improvements taking place within PGA National to increase the overall aesthetics of the community. I really hope you all enjoy the new look as much as I do.

Now that the holiday season is amongst us. I would like to remind you all that a “Property Check” form can be obtained at any of the gate houses or by visiting www.gateaccess.net to have you property routinely inspected while you are away. Also, it’s a good idea to check with the POA Office to ensure that your contact and guest information are correct in the ABDI computer system.

Remember to secure your vehicle when not in use, never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight, secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity and never hesitate to call security at 627-1600. Any information on the person(s) involved or vehicle description will be helpful.

Property Managers Report – September 2015

JOIN THE ‘FUN’
It is almost that time again …..The POA annual meeting is only a few months away and the search for candidates is on. If you are interested in serving on the POA Board of Governors, please send a letter with your contact information and qualifications to my attention at the POA Office (7100 Fairway Dr #29, PB Gardens, FL 33418)

Every year I hear from qualified residents who say, “I don’t want to run against any of the current board members, they are always re-elected” or “The Resort dictates who is elected”. Be careful because that’s how Pinocchio’s nose got so long; neither statement is true. First, there have been several instances where a current board member is not re-elected and second, there are 4,895 residential votes possible (if owners will simply send in their ballot) and the Resort and Members Club (combined) only get 161 votes.

Sometimes the current board members agree to run for re-election because it is almost impossible for find candidates so you should submit your application. If your answer is “I don’t have time”, consider that the Board only meets once per month and unless you serve on the ARC, or Maintenance Committee (ie the two busiest committees) your time investment will be minimal.

The Board is made up of nine members who serve a two year term. At this year’s election, five individuals will be elected so if you are willing to continue the Board’s objectives of improving the community without financial impact, please drop me a letter. I will pass it along to the Nominating Committee.

LET THERE BE LIGHT!
For the past several years, the POA has worked to find gate arms with built in lighting that are long enough to accommodate width of the exit lanes. I’ve said it before: nothing is ever easy! I am happy to report that new gate arms have been located and by the time you read this, they should be installed at all POA gates. The arm shows red when closed and turns to green when open. This is important for the exit lanes so the red lights can be easily seen when approaching. Now, how about a party to celebrate getting rid of those tube lights that have been ‘cable tied’ to the gate arms? I hope you like the new gate arms. Thank you for your patience during the long search for same.

LONG RANGE PLANS AND COMMUNITY PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
The POA Long Range Planning Committee has accomplished a number of objectives that started in 2000 with then President Phil Lyddon and the Committee began developing Masters Park. (Do you remember when it was an overgrown vacant lot?). Other projects since then included replacement of all playground equipment in Marlwood and Burwick Parks; replacement of directional signs; irrigation installation long the main road rights of way; re-roofing all POA Guardhouses and re-finishing the exteriors in stone and installing impact glass windows/doors; re-facing all of the entry monuments and re-landscaping the main entry; landscape enhancements along PGA Blvd and the traffic circle; implementing a community TV channel (that has since been disconnected); and re-landscaping the Northlake Blvd entry. Of course the Northlake entry and completion of the re-facing of guardhouses is still in progress but the point is that the Board has accomplished an awful lot of objectives with minimal budget impact. I think the next area to be addressed will be the main entry corridor and traffic circle but we’ll see what the Committee comes up with. There is always room for improvement.

When I came to PGA (17 years ago) the budget was just under $500.00 per year. Since that time, the annual assessment has only gone up a total of $200.00 per year despite the economy and ever-increasing maintenance costs. The only special assessment was for $70.00 per lot as a one-time expense to install the exit gates and bar code system when the POA went to limited access control. Even when Jeannie and Francis huffed and puffed, they couldn’t blow down PGA and there were no assessments imposed for cleanup (with appreciation to the City, FEMA and your Board).

The Long Range Planning Committee and Board of Governors continue to work to improve and “update” the community but I sure wish I had more “before and after” pictures. Evidence that your Board is doing the right thing really showed when the economy took a turn and homes weren’t selling…..except in PGA National. Next time you see a current or former member of the POA Board be sure to thank them and not to beat it into you but feel free to join the Board.

IN CLOSING
September is the big storm month so if you don’t already have your supplies get started. Things like batteries and water are always first to go. For information on what to do before, during and after a storm, please look around on this website – there is a lot of interesting and helpful information here.

Security Directors Report – August 2015

Last month, the local news reported that Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service, conducted a state wide sweep of over 6,000 gas stations as part of an identity theft investigation. A total of 103 gas stations across Florida were discovered to have credit/debit card skimmers attached to their pumps. Eleven of those gas station were in Palm Beach County, in areas such as Boynton, Tequesta, Jupiter and Wellington.

Investigators say there’s no foolproof way to identify a gas pump that’s been rigged with a skimmer, but have found thieves often place skimmers on pumps further away from the store so they are not noticed as quickly. As customers, some of the ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of the scam is to pay in cash, use the gas pumps closer to the front of the store, and check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Also, check your bank statements for any suspicious activity.

Another more serious and dangerous crime that is taken place at gas stations, includes what is commonly known as “carjacking”. Criminals are placing a single piece of paper on the back window and in some cases attaching strung up cans or bottles to the bumper of the unattended vehicles. The purpose for this is to get the unsuspected driver’s attention and have them exit the vehicle to investigate and at that moment, the carjacker will appear out of nowhere and jump into the vehicle in hopes of driving off. In some cases, the owner of the vehicle have been run over and/or dragged several feet sustaining various injuries. Investigators say women are more likely to be targeted by carjackers because of the potential valuables inside of their purses such as cash, credit cards and other personal information, which are left inside the vehicle during the incident. If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, Investigators suggest that you do not exit your vehicle to investigate until you have left the area. Take the vehicle’s key with you when you exit the vehicle, do not leave the vehicle running.

It is often said, “That the more you know, the more it helps”. This information is intended to make you all aware of the potential threats and criminal activity in our area. Your safety outside of PGA National is important to us as well. Remember to secure your vehicle when not in use, never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight, secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity and never hesitate to call security at 627-1600. Any information on the person(s) involved or vehicle description will be helpful.

Property Managers Report – August 2015

It’s August….did you make your payment?
Just a reminder that the annual assessment to PGA POA was due on July 1st and if you haven’t paid yet, interest has been posted to your account. Please contact the POA office (561-627-2800) to find out the balance owed and send your payment right away. Delinquent accounts will soon be referred to collection at which time you will be responsible for all collection fees and costs, as well as the assessment and accruing interest. If there is any reason why you cannot make your payment, please call me at the aforementioned number.

Slow Down
The new flashing speed warning signs have been installed at the south end of Ryder Cup Blvd. The speed limit in this area is 25 mph and the sign will alert you if you are exceeding the speed limit. If you are not aware (and I hope you are or you aren’t paying attention when driving) there is a driveway on the west side of Ryder Cup Blvd for the Preston and Preston Courts community. Because of the road design, drivers leaving these communities have a difficult time seeing cars coming from the north going towards Northlake Blvd. and cars entering PGA from the south ‘racing’ after stopping at the gate. It is very important that drivers on Ryder Cup Blvd obey the posted speed limit sign and watch for cars entering/exiting Preston. I was happy to see cars slowing after the signs were posted; I just hope it lasts so you don’t get a speeding ticket!

The north and south ends of Ryder Cup Blvd; Avenue of the Champions; Tournament Blvd; and the western portion of Avenue of the Masters are all 25 mph roadways. Some feel it is too slow but keep in mind that there a number of children, bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and carts crossing the curving roads. There are also large trees overhanging the streets casting shadows and Sand Hill Cranes (the large gray birds with a red crown) that tend to stand in the street and “blend in”. If you don’t care about any of that, give this a thought: Outside of PGA along other streets, have you ever seen a car cutting in and out of traffic and racing from traffic light to traffic light? Ever noticed how they are always at the same light as you even though you aren’t speeding along? So maybe doing the speed limit in PGA will get you there just as fast and help keep you (and others) safe.

Hello? Can you hear me?
That’s what many people say when they use their cell phone in the northwest area of PGA National. I had a visit from a representative of FPL and he had some good news: At the FPL station on the north side of PGA Blvd, west of Mirasol, there is a cell phone tower. AT&T and Verizon will be added to the tower. This should improve cell phone reception, particularly in Marlwood where there has always been a reception problem. I’ve been here for 17 years (can you believe it?) and over that time I’ve received calls from residents saying Verizon told them the POA won’t allow them to put in a tower in PGA National. Interestingly enough, no one from Verizon has ever contacted the POA office about installing a tower (we are used to being blamed) but we were happy to hear the problem will soon be solved.

Critter Corner
We have lots of wildlife in PGA thanks to four golf courses and a wilderness preserve with plenty of places for the animals to enjoy life in a beautiful community. They do their best to stay away from people but sometimes we try to “help” by leaving food out. Don’t do it! Aside from the fact that the POA rules prohibit feeding any wildlife, including birds, by feeding animals, you draw them to the area. I had a resident tell me “it is just bird seed!”. Well, that’s true and sometimes the sunflower seeds have little worms in them. The opossum and armadillo like to dig little holes and eat grubs. In addition, whatever seeds the birds don’t eat, the rats will enjoy and larger animals go after the rats (not to mention, the rats can get into homes). The leftover seeds sometimes sprout and the bunnies like to munch on those tender shoots. You say that’s ok because bunnies are cute …. but foxes love bunnies (nope, they don’t snuggle with them, sorry). We can go on up the food chain but I’m hoping you stopped at the attraction to rats and the fact that once invited, may just come inside. Nature is an efficient machine all on its own – please don’t feed the animals and please keep YOUR pets inside or on a leash or in a fenced yard.

Some of you may have heard the reports of Coyote being spotted (and later captured) in Boca Raton. Of course we started getting calls that residents may have seen one in PGA National right after the news report but to date, the rumors are unsubstantiated. We do have foxes (the only larger animals verified in PGA). Leave them alone and they should leave you alone. If the animal is aggressive, you should call animal control or just call PGA security.

Bar Code Stickers
If your barcode isn’t opening the gate, it is probably a result of one of these things: 1) you are a renter with an expired lease; 2) you had a temporary tag that expired and you didn’t notify the POA of the new license plate number; or 3) your barcode decal is old and/or damaged.

If the sticker looks gray and black (instead of black and white) or if there are scratches or tears on the decal, it is time for a replacement. Just stop by the POA office with the vehicle registration and $5.00 (and the car, of course) and we will have you in and out in minutes.

Please do not pull barcodes off and re-stick them on new cars (or other cars). They are designed to tear but even if you successfully transfer the barcode, it won’t work (or not for long). As indicated above, it only takes a couple minutes to get a new barcode so please help us keep our database accurate and get a new barcode. Likewise, let us know if you get a different license plate so we can update the records.

A point on the weather and barcodes: We are in the regular afternoon rain cycle. It’s good for the plants and grass but doesn’t allow us to attach barcodes. Please don’t shout at the staff when we can’t attach a barcode immediately following rains. We don’t mind getting wet, but the glue on the barcodes does not like any dampness. If there is any moisture at all, the decal just slides off. To answer your next question, no, we can’t just give it to you. We are hopeful that someday we will have 24 hour access control so it is important the database is accurate. If we don’t attach the decal we have no way of knowing whether it was put on the registered car or to a friend, relative, housekeeper, etc. (Yes, it does happen!) Also, if the device isn’t attached exactly right the scanner won’t read it.

Speaking of weather
Just a final note: Although the “H” (storm) season started a couple months ago, September is the month that most storms decide to blow in and do serious damage. We have been lucky lately but that is no reason to let your guard down. Be sure you have water, batteries, canned foods, etc. stocked up. Here on the POA website there are some helpful articles on storm preparation and area shelters.

Hope you have a happy August and a storm-free September!