Stoneybrook, Stoneybrook, Stoneybrook.
Look what you’ve done.
Well, more specifically, look what your lying leadership has done.
For years we’ve warned you about the actions of Margaret Fineberg, Joe Mikulka, JT Thomas, George Flaherty, Andy Roosa, Paul Kielmeyer and others when it came to the illegal enforcement of street parking in your community. We said there would eventually be consequences.
That day has come.
And it will be more than just Stoneybrook that suffers the consequences. Indeed, the effects will be felt by dozens or even hundreds of communities all across Lee County. All so Margaret Fineberg and her little crew could make Stoneybrook residents think you cannot street park in the community.
So what happened?
Gateway Greens HOA president (and Gateway Supervisor) Ed Tinkle reported at the Board of Supervisors meeting today that his association received a call from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on February 5 informing him that all agreements that the LCSO has with private communities to enforce traffic laws have been canceled. Tinkle was on the call and received the information first hand.
This applies only to things like speeding, parking, running stop signs, and only in private communities that have special agreements with the LCSO.
The LCSO will still provide its full level of service for property and other crimes such as DUI enforcement. Also, nothing changes on the county’s public roads where full enforcement remains.
Communities can re-enter in to new agreements with Lee County and the LCSO as long as they provide a certificate from a private engineering firm that their community is MUTCD compliant. Oh, and from now on you need to prove that your HOA actually owns the roads in your community. Imagine that.
After doing a bit of digging, it appears the order to cancel traffic enforcement agreements county-wide came straight from the top: Sheriff Carmine Marceno himself. (I only have indirect confirmation of that, but I believe the information is solid enough to report it here.)
I have strong reason to believe the LCSO has been following our coverage of the events in Stoneybrook. About a month ago, after I wrote on Facebook that a records request I submitted had taken 4 weeks with no reply … the request was processed with the document I had asked for, like right away. Maybe even within the hour.
Then on January 13, 2020 when I wrote the “hey where’s that parking ticket?” article, the ticket was filed very same day with the Lee County court.
So if I’m Sheriff Marceno reading all this, I’m thinking to myself that if Lee County’s legal department was so careless that they entered in to the 2006 Stoneybrook agreement where the HOA doesn’t even own the roads … then what other agreements made 5, 10 or 20 years ago could also have serious legal issues?
Sheriff Marceno cannot have his officers going around writing invalid speeding tickets or invalid parking tickets. Not even if Fineberg asks them to.
Additionally, I was speaking to an engineer on Facebook Messenger and told him about the ‘new’ requirement for MUTCD compliance, and he responded: “The county has always required MUTCD compliance before an agreement can be executed with the community. My firm does those studies. Not as much anymore due to the craziness of dealing with HOA’s. If the signs aren’t compliant, the ticket could be disputed and overturned.”
That alone makes this move from the LCSO to cancel every agreement and make communities re-apply the right thing to do. The only thing to do, really.
The problem, of course, is that having a community become MUTCD compliant is extremely costly. Communities the size of Gateway Greens and Stoneybrook would have costs that go in to six figures.
But if you want the LCSO to enforce traffic laws, that’s your only option. If even a few dozen communities decide to do it the costs will be in the millions of dollars.
Nice job, Margaret.
So, that’s that.
No more LCSO in Stoneybrook to catch speeders. Hope it was worth it.
And now many other communities will suffer for the selfish acts of Stoneybrook’s leadership. Way to go, gang.
On the positive side, this drastic move by the LCSO should at least shut Joe Mikulka up about this topic. Still waiting on that copy of the “Gateway Services rule”, Joe.
And in case you forgot … you may park on the streets of Stoneybrook 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.