Gateway Sun

The attendees of the November 21 meeting of the Stoneybrook Homeowners Association were treated to an extremely uncommon event: a display of common sense by an HOA board.

Well, at least by most of an HOA board.

Here’s what happened….

About 6-7 weeks ago a Stoneybrook resident realized they forgot to bring their identification with them when they left their home. Upon returning to Stoneybrook, the resident made an honest effort to explain the situation to the security guard, who was working for Alert Security, in the hopes of being allowed to go home.

The guard (who has since been transferred or is no longer with Alert) refused to allow the Stoneybrook resident in to their own community.

One source familiar with gated community security told me there are methods guards can use to verify identity, such as asking the resident to verify a piece of information in the HOA’s database. But rather than try to work with the resident to find a solution, the guard simply flexed their authority and refused entry.

The Gateway Sun has obtained a copy of the guard report which contains the homeower’s address. So I can tell you that it would have been a 2-mile walk to park at the gatehouse, go home, get the ID and return. Based on the time of day it’s entirely possible this person was coming home from work and not really dressed for that kind of walk. Not that it should matter.

Instead of making the trek, that homeowner called their spouse, who drove their vehicle with a transponder to the entrance.

The couple entered Stoneybrook one behind the other – essentially tailgating.

The security guard was clearly not impressed that those homeowners dared to defy the badge, so the guard issued a $100 fine. (Actually, the security company can’t issue the fine themselves. It has to go through the HOA. There’s a committee and the whole thing. For more info on how an HOA fine works please contact George Flaherty for a full explanation. He’s tons of fun at parties.)

And as if the hundred bucks wasn’t bad enough – the HOA’s fine committee also decided to disable the homeowners’ transponders for 30 days as a show of force for breaking the HOA’s rules and then not appearing before the fine committee when summoned.

That’s when the homeowners had enough.

In this case, one of the homeowners is a law enforcement officer. So he knew to start asking for the guard reports, other documents, surveillance footage, whatever the HOA had in regards to his infraction in order to find something that could help him get access restored.

Apparently the Stoneybrook staff weren’t pleased they were being challenged, and every request for information was stalled or denied. The Sun has learned that it in some cases it was Stoneybrook HOA President Paul Kielmeyer who personally directed the HOA staff to delay or deny handing over pieces of evidence of the incident to the homeowner.

As an HOA President, your primary duty is to HELP the homeowners in situations like this, not hinder them.

Instead, Kielmeyer wanted to send a personal message to this particular homeowner that he was the big dog in Stoneybrook.

When you’re in Stoneybrook, you’re in Kielmeyer’s precinct, boy. You got that?

But unfortunately for Kielmeyer…. he miscalculated the level of authority he holds over the community and even the HOA board itself.

At last night’s HOA board meeting, the homeowner asked to be heard and the board obliged.

One source told the Sun that upon seeing this homeowner’s situation would be addressed at the meeting, Kielmeyer had a – quote – “shit-eating grin” on his face.

After-all, rules are rules, and the homeowner tailgated. Kielmeyer felt his case was iron-clad and was obviously confident he had control over his board and they’d back him against the homeowner.

Yeah, not so much.

Out of the five board members who were involved in this particular vote, four board members voted to overturn the fine and immediately re-instate transponder access.

The fifth board member present, Kielmeyer himself, scrunched up his face and abstained from voting.

Okay… HOLD ON.

Either you agree with the homeowner and vote to overturn, or you disagree with the homeowner and vote to maintain the discipline imposed. But what you don’t do is be a coward and refuse to vote because you’re not getting your way.

What kind of leadership does it show as the President of the board to protest by crossing your arms and refusing to participate in the process just because you’re not going to “win” for lack of a better term?

Stoneybrook residents should be proud that those four board members did the right thing by standing up for the homeowner when the security guard, Stoneybrook staff, and HOA board President all refused to.

Well done, you four.

I’m told the homeowners’ transponder access should be restored this morning.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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