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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Official proposes radical change to anonymous complaint system

Cary Sternberg

An official in The Villages has proposed a radical change to the anonymous complaint system.

Community Development District 4 Supervisor Cary Stern has suggested that those lodging deed compliance complaints about other residents’ property would need to take the following steps:

• The complainant must make the complaint in person at a District Office.

• The complainant must show a Villages ID.

• The complainant would have to prove they are an owner of property and must establish their address.

• The complainant must reside in the community development district, the village or the street of the subject of the complaint.

Sternberg suggested the identity of the complainer could be kept secret. However, District officials said that the moment a document was created with the name and address of the complainant, it would be considered a public document and open to a public records request.

The anonymous complaint system has been extremely divisive in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Last week, residents of the Village of Rio Grande appeared before the Community Development District 1 Board of Supervisors after they were swept up in a wave of 40 complaints submitted by a troll with an apparently fictitious email address. The anonymous complaint system allows anyone, even those living outside The Villages, to lodge complaints which are then investigated by Community Standards.

Do you agree with Supervisor Sternberg’s idea? Share your thoughts at letters@villages-news.com.

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