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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Villager accused of being a ‘troll’ after lodging complaint with Community Standards

Kim Ruppert and her neighbors in the Sweetgum Villas in the Village of Fenney were fed up with a neighbor who wouldn’t pick up the poop in his yard left behind by his two large dogs.

However, the villa residents were fearful of making a complaint to Community Standards. They live in Community Development District 12, which abandoned the anonymous complaint process and now requires that names be given at the time a complaint is lodged.

Ruppert decided she would step forward and accept the potential risk.

“I am not a chicken,” she said.

She made the complaint, which included photos of the offending excrement, as well as her name and phone number.

This sign showed up in Villager Kim Ruppert's yard after she made a complaint to Communit Standards
This sign showed up in Villager Kim Ruppert’s yard after she made a complaint to Community Standards.

After the complaint was lodged, Ruppert was surprised to receive a text from her neighbor.

“He said, ‘Thank you for turning me in. Why didn’t you come talk to me personally?’” Ruppert said Thursday morning in an appearance before the Community Development District 12 Board of Supervisors at Everglades Recreation Center.

Shortly thereafter, a cardboard sign with the word “Troll,” showed up in her yard. She brought the sign to the meeting and held it up before the CDD 12 board.

She used the prop to implore the supervisors to return to the anonymous complaint system.

“People come to The Villages for the rules and the cleanliness and the safety,” Ruppert said.

She warned that the abandonment of the anonymous complaint system will make residents too fearful to lodge complaints. She used her own situation as a prime example.

“I’m a big girl. I can handle it, but not everyone could,” she said.

Ruppert said that if fewer complaints are made, the appearance of neighborhoods in CDD 12 could go into decline, leading to the erosion of property values.

“It’s like a domino effect,” she said.

While supervisors seemed open to the idea of a discussion about returning to the anonymous complaint process, they pointed out they had not reached the decision lightly.

Supervisor Phil Montalvo reminded Ruppert a public hearing had been conducted to receive input from the public, prior to the vote by the board.

“We heard about one anonymous complainer who filed 83 complaints all at once,” Montalvo said.

Do you support the anonymous complaint system? Share your thoughts at letters@villages-news.com

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