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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Residents pack meeting calling for end of anonymous complaint system

Community Development District 6 residents showed up en masse Friday calling for an end to anonymous complaints after a troll went on a reporting rampage.

Several residents in CDD 6 were targeted by the troll who lodged roughly 40 complaints in a single email to Community Standards. Last week, a District official said the email address used to send in the complaints appeared to be fictitious.

“This has got to end,” said Terry Nottage of the Village of Mallory Square.

Patrick Henry, also of the Village of Mallory Square, said the anonymous complaint system has fueled a “vigilante mentality” that has needlessly upset the lives of residents. He also said that someone recently went on social media and “bragged,” claiming a fresh list of complaints was being prepared to be sent to Community Standards. The troll claimed on social media that people “of a difficult political persuasion” were to be targeted with the next batch of complaints.

Residents also said that would like to see CDD 6 follow the lead of Community Development Districts 2 and 5, which no longer accept anonymous complaints.

Another resident quoted Community Development District 4 Supervisor Cary Sternberg who recently suggested that the anonymity of a complainant could be protected if that person was willing to go to a District office, show a Villages ID, and prove that he or she lives in the CDD, village or on the street where the alleged offender lives.

CDD 5 Supervisor Gary Kadow, who attended the CDD 6 meeting, said ending anonymous complaints led to a 92 percent drop in complaints in CDD 5.

“It eliminated frivolous complaints. We’re happy with it. It works,” said Kadow, winning a round of applause from the CDD 6 crowd.

CDD 6 supervisors will have the topic of anonymous complaints on their June agenda.

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