Friday, October 9, 2020
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The Villages

Stopping the trolls from manipulating Community Standards

To the Editor:

Friends, neighbors and Villages-News Editor, I would like to speak about a matter that pertains to unhappy Villages homeowners and damage to our community’s image. This matter is the mischievous “sporting event” of seeking and anonymously reporting harmless and largely unnoticed violations of our Community Standards.
Some of these reported violations are within sight of similar violations which go unattended resulting in a “selected enforcement” policy that is very unfair.  Frivolous anonymous reports based on some minor technicality should be discouraged! That being a widely agreed upon annoyance, the District 5 Board of Supervisors has initiated a means of diminishing this nuisance. That Board has proposed an amendment of the rule pertaining to standards enforcement.
They passed a motion at their August meeting to amend the rule governing violation reports stipulating that standards violation reports must be accompanied by the reporter’s name and contact information.
This endeavor is intended to make the enforcement factor apply where needed, not to simply accommodate someone’s secret and malicious “hobby” of finding minor technical faults within The Villages. The hobby appears to be nothing more than an effort to bring discomfort and harm to Villages homeowners and damage to the image of our community.
The District 5 amendment will be a TRIAL within that district only, and the amendment can later be reversed if found problematic or taken up in other districts if found to be helpful. I am NOT referring to legitimate, visible and harmful violations. Those violations should and will be reported by proud homeowners or others who are willing to provide their name and contact info enabling the Department of Standards to follow up and utilize their enforcement power appropriately and effectively.
Unworthy and anonymous reports from a hobbyist should be set aside to await an authentic report of the same violation submitted by a person willing to be contacted about the violation.  I anticipate many Villages homeowners will support District 5 on this endeavor.

Lee Gilpin
Village of Liberty Park

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