Community Development District 5 has voted to end anonymous complaints with regard to deed compliance violations.
The board of supervisors voted 3-2 Friday morning to make the change to its rule to bring about deed compliance.
“This has been a concern for a long time,” said CDD 5 Chairman Gary Kadow.
Between 2018 and the first six months of this year, 1,034 complaints were filed with Community Standards in CDD 5. Of those, 989 complaints were anonymous and 45 complainants provided their name. In other words, 96 percent of complaints in CDD 5 have been filed anonymously.
“There are people who are making anonymous complaints their hobby,” Kadow said. “I don’t feel comfortable knowing that citizens are out there making themselves the ‘police force.’”
He also said the feedback he has gotten has been overwhelming in support of eliminating the anonymous complaint process.
Kadow said he “had dozens and dozens and dozens of calls” in which people said, “Good. Get rid of it.”
However, Supervisor Gerald Knoll stood up for the anonymous complaint process.
He compared it to a citizen alerting law enforcement to a problem with speeding in an area. The police may go and find there is, indeed, a speeding problem and begin issuing tickets, he said. He said there is a role for the citizenry to help keep order.
“If we eliminate the anonymous complaint process and the community begins to deteriorate, it could have an impact on property values,” Knoll warned.
Supervisor Jerry Ferlisi said he’s been speaking to residents at the local swimming pool. He said residents he has met with are in favor of doing away with anonymous complaints.
“If it doesn’t work, we can change it back,” he said.
Supervisor Walter Martin agreed that residents were ready for a change.
The vote was 3-2 with Kadow, Ferlisi and Martin voting for the elimination of anonymous complaints. Knoll and Supervisor Chuck Wildzunas voted against it.
The rule change will be effective Nov. 1.