Everyone has their price?
From today's Palm Beach Post-
PALM BEACH GARDENS — The residents of the Bent Tree community in Palm Beach Gardens were loud and clear when the new Southampton townhouse community, just to their south, came to city council members for approval:TFM is certain there are other examples, some of which were done under the table and have a good chance of never being discovered.
We want it to be two stories, not three, they said, with some pointing to developer greed as the only justification for the extra story.
But finally, an agreement was struck.
Some, but not most, of the buildings were reduced to two stories, and some changes were made to the architecture.
Another part of the deal was cash.
The Bent Tree Property Owners Association was pledged $25,000 by developer Hovstone Properties Florida, money that was later divided among 11 homeowners who were free to spend it however they liked.
Residents dropped their opposition. And the gift, made last year, wasn't publicly discussed.
Bent Tree couple Joel and Barbara Buschek, aghast at the payment that was hashed out between the developer and a few residents, recently moved out of the area, calling the city corrupt.
They were particularly disturbed by the silent acquiescence of their elected officials.
"The whole thing stunk," Joel Buschek said. "What they did was teach the homeowner's association you can operate in secret and get away with it."
Developers have routinely enhanced their projects in various ways to appease residents or elective bodies. Sometimes they add trees or bushes. Sometimes they include another patch of lawn. Sometimes, they make design changes. And sometimes, they make a payment in cash.
Bent Tree is just one example.
HOA boards are no different than elected politicians. If someone wanted to buy board member's votes, it can be done. Money plus power leads to corruption.
Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bright & Early, Is it Just me? ,