Monday, August 31, 2009

Fiddler's Creek Foundation-Member's Forum


You will shortly receive an e-mail from the Club & Spa announcing a new Member's Forum which can be accessed from the homepage for the Club & Spa. I, as well as others, participated in the development of this feature to be used as a means for you to pose questions of any nature, provide compliments or register complaints about any aspect of the services or amenities provided by Fiddler's Creek, whether it be the Club & Spa, the Tarpon or Golf Club or in fact, the Developer as well. Additionally, you can put up items for sale or interesting news regarding your Village. I am assured that these posts will not be censored in any way unles they violate the reasonable terms and conditions which apply. Basically, the Forum will not permit a post to remain where it uses swear words, defames an individual's character or things of that sort. The posts will go up immediately. They will be reviewed subsequently for compliance and if removed, you will receive a phone call providing you the reasons and asking you to please resubmit in a different form.

I fully understand that some of you may seriously doubt that your posts and complaints and observations about all the current difficulties will be published, or in fact responded to. There is one way to find out...start using it and give it a chance.

I, for one, have found it frustrating at times to deal with all the anons which post or comment and hide their identity. If you have a point of view, you are certainly entitled, but be man or woman enough to put your name on it. The Member's Forum will always have your name on the bottom of the post. It will come from your log on and password and the name associated with it.

I plan on participating heavily on the Member's Forum and responding to legitimate questions and comments posted on it, at least as far as I am able within the constraints of the Florida Sunshine Laws governing CDD Board members. I would encourage you to do the same.

Phil Brougham


  1. Mr. Brougham,

    Please do not tell us to be man or woman enough to put our name on a comment. You can tell us that's what you would do, but that's about it. I quote:

    "Protections for anynomous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views...Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority...It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and the First Admendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation at the hand of an intolerant society."

    --1995 Supreme Court ruling McIntyre v. Ohio Election Commission

  2. OK, I'm game. I sign my name anyhow, so no big deal. if GB is really trying to change its tone, let's see how this works. Phil has worked tirelessly on our behalf, and he deserves our support here at least until it looks like it's not working.

  3. Phil, please don't run away from this Blog by starting another blog thingy, the people here are just about onto your A$$. Hang around just a bit longer and they will have you right where they want you. Hang around with GB powers that be and Chuck and the boy's and they will have you right where they want you also. Please Phil don't abandon ship now. Hang in there tough guy.

  4. This is the announcement email from the Foundation:

    Foundation Launches
    "Member's Forum" on Sept. 1st
    A new "Member's Forum" has been developed at Fiddler's Creek. The Forum was created as a tool for members to communicate with each other, hence the following mission statement was developed:

    "To create and support a Member's Forum that facilitates interaction and the exchange of information within the Fiddler's Creek community."

    The Forum can be accessed through the Foundation member website at Upon entering the site, the Forum is located under the "Club Info" drop down menu. All postings and comments will go live immediately and will include the individual's name. Comments and postings must follow the Terms of Use guidelines, otherwise it is subject to removal. The Terms of Use guidelines can be found on the Member's Forum homepage.

    The Advisory Group played an important role in developing the Member's Forum include the following individuals:
    Phil Brougham, CDD1 Board Member
    Eileen Robertson, Foundation Advisory Board Member
    Gregory Scherer, The Golf Club of Fiddler's Creek Advisory Board Member
    Peggy Schmitt, CDD2 Board Member
    Fred Verinder, Foundation Advisory Board Member
    Ken Whitehead, The Tarpon Club Advisory Board Member
    Several categories have been established to assist members when submitting a new post. Additional categories can be added in the future.

    Items For Sale
    Kid's Corner
    Membership Services
    Outside Entertainment
    Rental Information
    The Golf Club at Fiddler's Creek
    The Tarpon Club
    Vendor Recommendations

    For additional information on the Member's Forum, please contact Mary Jane Chappy, Director of Membership and Communications at (239) 417-6800 or

  5. I bet it will be about as exciting as the developer's FC blog that Gulf Bay started (yawn)!

    I see it is supported by the usual homeowner suspects who like to suck up to the developer for reasons best known to themselves!

  6. phil
    Constructive communication by members who are interested in bettering their community and learning other points of view.Using our "real"
    names will offer the opportunity to get to "meet"others who share similar interests and concerns.
    Fran & Jon

  7. Hey Joe (yawn) why is it if someone doesn't share your views you refer to them as a "homeowner suspect who likes to suck up to the developer"? Are you referring to me? I for one welcome the creation of the Member Forum and hope it provides accurate information and helps make our community better. Your whining is tiresome.

  8. Phil is right. This blog, which was a noble effort at community communication, has been rendered virtually worthless b/c of anonymous messages. They range from truths, half-truths, rumors, to lies. We cannot even carry on a conversation b/c we cannot distinguish one Anonymous from another.

    Take Anonymous 1 in this thread who tells Phil he has a constitutional right to anonymously pollute this forum, citing McIntyre v Ohio Election Com'n.

    That is just BS. McIntyre was a First Amendment case, which prohibits the GOVERNMENT from restricting speech. It held the State of Ohio could not criminalize anonymous leaflets in a political campaign.

    This is a community blog. The government is not involved. It is like we are neighbors sitting around a table at the Gator Grille. If you do not want to listen to Anonymous 1 without knowing who he is, you do not have to. If he does not want to identify himself, he can just move on.

    I am glad Phil and some others organized the Members Forum and I hope it is a success. I welcome the opportunity to talk to my neighbors face to face about Fiddler's Creek.

    Virgil Beeler

  9. Joe:

    Ad hominem attacks are the last resort of the coward. I just say what I believe. I don't see things in black & white, since things are almost always in shades of gray.

  10. I think it should be quite interesting, as we saw Kathleen shut down over the gate issue. Phil, per the comment, changed voting, and there cannot even be an agreement reached on manning or unmanning. That is; folks who are sitting around the Gator Grille dwelling on the thing old retired folks do, who should, and I am one, who chooses the larger picture; extinguishing the priorities of dictatorship and restoring Fiddlers Creek with well intentioned, honest, trustworthy, focused advocates for its future. Hopefully it will reveal the true friction and disagreement over the small picture, it will absolutely be entertaining to read "how one had to wait to long for the check at Gator Grille", or the "ingredients in the salad just aren't what they used to be"
    The crux of the matter is the income which is diverted from Fiddlers to support GB's other interests and their priorities. So what?, GB goes off to do other projects, keeps everyone waiting in the wings hopeful promises will be fullfilled; with the expectation that GB, Aubrey Ferrao will return with his profits and finish Fiddlers? Joe did put it most simply..Occam's Razor, Joe!

  11. I have taken some time to read the comments of posters over the past few weeks and I am distressed by the hostility and viciousness of so many of them. Posters hiding behind the mask of anonymity say things that they would never say if they were held accountable. Even those who use first names or nicknames are essentially anonymous. There are ad hominem attacks and all manner of inappropriate and unacceptable slurs posted. The failure of civility, too common in the culture in general, has really infiltrated the blog and is becoming more pervasive.

    I have no love of Gulf Bay. I have seen their ugly side "up close and personal" to borrow a phrase from ABC-TV. I do like the product they built, with all its flaws. I am prepared to engage in a civil discussion about the manifold issues with which we, as homeowners, are confronted. But I believe that the dramatic increase in vituperative discourse is making the blog difficult to use effectively.

    I will start using the Forum channel opened by GB, in a rare moment of enlightenment, because there is full accountability. I will contribute to the blog from time to time, but if the Forum is useful, those times will be fewer and farther between. I again request that the blog maintain its relevance by refusing to publish anonymous comments.

    Roger Berkley

  12. Roger,

    Your points are well taken, but it is central to the concept of this Blog, and to blogging generally, that posters should be allowed to remain anonymous. We have answered this point many times.

    The posts/comments on this Blog are mild in the context of blogging. We don't see a problem with people stating their views forcefully - it makes for a more interesting and colorful experience. Bloggers need to have thick skins certainly. Like you, we'd prefer that all contributors be courteous.

    We think it is a very positive step that GB has established a members' online forum, especially given Phil's input and endorsement of it. If that leads to this Blog becoming redundant then so be it. We somehow doubt that it will, but let's see.

  13. Virgil, I respect your opinion; I disagree that it should be directed without stating what is half-truth or lie. Please site a situation and feel free to correct it, back up your blanket statement. That would be most helpful rather that making a general statement. Feel free to correct anyone whom you feel has erred in fact. I, for one, have only stated public record and true actions taken by GB, stated facts based upon statements made by Legal or GB execs concerning many issues which were important when shown in effect of GB policy to the detriment of Fiddler's Creek income and growth; manipulation. I believe you will be much happier blogging concerning mosquitos, or service at the Gator Grille.
    These are not attacks upon character, they are real actions and attitude which affect Fiddler's.
    How well do you or Roger know Aubrey Ferrao, or know Tony DiNardo? What do you know of their attitude toward survival and dedication to Fiddler's? Some folks, who must remain ad hominem are close enough to the situation to know. There is no one posting with ill intent, any so called "slurs", comments made are backed with an action or a statement by Gulf Bay Group of Companies or Fiddler's Creek, LLC, Gulf Bay Development; whoever the entity who claims the power. There have been many important issues brought to light through questions and answers.
    Some do feel they have been dealt with unjustly and without consideration for their investment. Many of the folks are part-timers, many are wealthy enough not to care, many have walked away, but the GB process still continues and should if residents choose to ignore the system. I don't believe anyone respects arrogance however interpreted.

  14. Honestly, this forum has become a diatribe against whatever the writer has "up his craw" (thanks grandpa). Kat, you tell Virgil to be more specific ("site a situation"). Who would you like him to be more specific to; Anon #1, #2, #3 etc. etc. etc. Once you read two or three posts beyond the first anonymous, you have no idea who is talking to whom. Maybe this blog had the best intentions to begin with, but it has delved way beyond the intelligent. Most of my friends scoff at the idea of this blog. They have this idea that it is nothing buy naysayers that write in it and that nothing good would ever come of it. It is a little self-serving because they believe that this blog does nothing but help our resales go into the tank. I have no idea whether they are right or not. But, there really is a limited amount of people that post to this blog. Of course, we cannot count them because 90% are ANONYMOUS. So creators of this blog, you have no ground to stand on when you state "this helps create a more colorful experience". I grew up in the 60's and LSD led to a colorful experience I am told. So I will bid farewell to this blog. Maybe the Fiddlers blog will work and maybe it won't but this one definitely doesn't work any longer.
    Ardra Todd

  15. You got to love this - "Your comment will be visible after approval". Who approves this?
    Am I living in Nazi Germany or under Mao in the 70's? Very, very sick.

  16. Comment moderation is a standard precautionary feature employed by sensible Blog managers to avoid spam and abuse.

  17. Wow Adra and to think Roger believes it is only the anon posters who resort to intemperate, unreasonable language!

    To my mind, the strength of this Blog is its total independence from the developer. That said I will watch the foundation forum and reserve judgment.

    I would point out that some of the most important breaking news for homeowners has been put on this blog by anon posters.

  18. It is difficult for most of us to be dispassionate when discussing subject matter that affects us closely. Unfortunately, the tone in Fiddler’s has been largely determined by the developer. Unfulfilled promises, arrogance toward residents, firing of respected and admired employees, preferential treatment of selected buyers has aroused the ire of many of the residents. The blog has provided an outlet for their frustrations that have not been resolved by the developer. Has he resolved any, you ask? That many posters prefer to remain anonymous is not surprising considering that some residents have said that they had been threatened with lawsuits. While it would be lovely if we could all join in chorus singing, “Everything is beautiful,” the fact of the matter is that is not the case. “If you do not challenge the wrongs in society, if gives the impression that the majority approves of them.” (author unknown). Yes, the community is attractive, we all have neighbors that we like, let us enjoy that, but not close our eyes or minds to the “wrongs in society.” Correcting them will make Fiddler’s an even better place to live. We cannot correct the wrongs unless they are identified. The blog provides that opportunity. I have yet to hear the developer say, “I erred there, let me make it right.” Lastly, when people become too extravagant with their language, their message is often discredited even though it may be correct. Winston Churchill was once admonished for calling a fellow member of parliament “a liar”. He apologized and thereafter referred to that member as a “purveyor of terminological inexactitudes”. Let’s be more like Winston.
    Jim Schutt

  19. You actually make my case stronger Ardra! He has no one anon or specific person to answer, I, ask the question, he may answer me! He made a statement with no reference to cite, no fact; a misleading generalization which is directed to the blog "in general". It is an untrue statement that there are lies with regard to facts corroborated by records and GB statements and actions. I simply challenged Virgil to reply "in general" as his statement was ambiguous" as to any corrections or examples of half-truths or lies which have been blogged. It is really not that complicated, he does not have to choose anyone person to answer, just simply state his facts to correct the falsehood(s). I believe this blog has uncovered more information regarding the attitude and actions of GB, they are also free to correct any misstatements. If someone has a better interpretation of facts
    then it is surely welcome. Good luck advancing the future of Fiddlers on a forum which is run by GB. I prefer the intellect; unbiased communication with broad thinkers. No one has ever attacked the good intentions of the residents in whatever they believe. As I said if the majority of residents continue to accept and allow the current philosophy and system of Gulf Bay, Fiddler's Ceek LLC, then they will be happy with any outcome. Take the time to research before making judgement on a statement(s), just as you would get a second opinion of a major surgery. It is those who do not defend their comments which lead to rumors and half-truths, or lies being spread.

  20. Usual suspects created the NEW BLOG...All talk no action types....

    Good Luck!

  21. Kat your comments paint you as a strong warrior looking to rally the troops around you for battle.
    My personal belief is there is a ton of BS presented on this blog. However, there is just enough information I find interesting that I check the blog daily. I base my belief on my own life experiences not on what you or any other blogger states. Living here has been wonderful for me. GB, FCLLC, AF et al are no more the devil than I am. We all process information, make our decisions, come to our own conclusions and the like by exercising our free will with the best of intentions. We may not all agree but we all may be right about our positions.
    By the way I cannot imagine the FC blog will be as entertaining as this one but I do believe it will be more constructive in the end.

  22. Occam's razor or Ockham's razor[1], attributed to 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham is the principle that "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" or, popularly applied, "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."[2] The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae ("law of parsimony", "law of economy", or "law of succinctness"): entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." An alternative version Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate translates "plurality should not be posited without necessity."[3]

    When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood. To quote Isaac Newton: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes."[4]

    To summarize the common understanding of the principle, "Of several acceptable explanations for a phenomenon, the explanation containing just the facts will do."

    Wow I wish we all practiced this>

  23. Gulf Bay's (intranet) site is a closed FORUM, it is not a blog. So far it's about as interesting as watching paint dry!

    Do read the rules you're signed up to when you use it. They go a lot further than Phil B suggests above in regard to the reasons posts will be removed. For example, you're not allowed to post anything that is critical of the forum rules, community or its moderation; nor about any poster's "commenting styles"!

    I can't wait to see what happens when something is posted that is critical of management! Well i guess I won't see. They'll have to tell us about it on here!!

    And what will it cost us homeowners to run this Forum. I can tell you there's a lot of support time involved and someone's going to have to read all the inmates letters very carefully to weed out dissident comments! Then apparently dissidents will be phoned personally by the GB secret police, etc. It all takes time which we have to pay for.

  24. Anon referencing rally, thank you. I hope to inspire strength rather than acceptance of defeat. Your beliefs and experiences are valuable to the totality of progress. And it is that free thinking and self-actualization which contributes to everyone's strength. There is not one way to view a situation, but facts are facts. You may feel they are relative or you may dismiss; but they are still an influence. I appreciate your unique evaluation.
    Anon, occam's razor, it is the only way to simplify and justify the means to an end. This is Joe's blunt analysis of facts of cause which explain an end. The fewest assumptions while still answering the question. We have two predicaments, the simplest explanation containing just the facts will do.
    Thank you for the clarity and lengthy explanation for those unfamiliar with this theory. It is the simplest of scientific sense.

  25. I have posted a couple of comments in the past, but used "anonymus" because the Blog would not accept my post any other way. I'll see what happens now.

  26. What occurred when you tried to use your name before? Sometimes the software gives an error message but if you hit POST COMMENT again normally it will go through. Let us know of any further difficulty please.

  27. HELP PLEASE: Can someone (other than the administrator who is not helpful) please explain to us HOW we might access the MEMBERS SITE when in fact using two different browsers (mozilla/Explorer), two diff computers, different E-mail (G-Mail and AOL)AND one gets rejection every time as follows: The web site you are accessing has experienced an unexpected error.
    Please contact the website administrator.

    The following information is meant for the website developer for debugging purposes.

    Not good to post in FC communication access is on line now (a month ago) and cannot do so.

    Error Occurred While Processing Request
    File not found: /Clubs/fiddlerscreek/uploaded/FacilityPics/login/login.cfm


  28. Chuck

    I know that the web site was up and down yesterday and perhaps that is why you got the error. They are making or trying to make some changes.