Key Biscayne Beach Club

Beach Club Bolt Cutter Ballot Box Break-In

These are my two cents about what happened at the Beach Club on Good Friday.

The Beach Club’s Bylaws dated October 2002 states in Article 5, Section 1 that ... “the ballots as received shall be opened, counted and canvassed by a majority of the Board of Directors which majority must include the secretary of the Club.”

This is not what happened a Friday afternoon when Donna Rice, President and Mark Fried, Esq., Secretary, were the only members of the Board of Directors present. Only one other BOD was available, one was out of town, one was going to Seder, one was at work, and one had been removed. The notice period was to short and people had made plans so there was not enough BOD available for a quorum. A Saturday morning meeting had been suggested but this was ignored. Bylaws must be followed or you cannot proceed. The rule of law is what we live by. Maybe an investigation by an appropriate authority should be made.

Eyewitness reports says massive bolt cutters were brought in by a business owner pillar of the community and other high-ranking pillars of the community were willing observers when the sealed ballot box was broken into with the bolt cutters behind a locked door at the Beach Club. What were they thinking? Did they think Key Biscayne residents would be okay with such heavy handed thug tactics. The participants had clearly decided to just throw their integrity out the window.

My first reaction when I read an eyewitness account written by a well known journalist was ... this can’t be true ... our small friendly, we’re one island, let’s work together, we’re so neighborly, we’re so friendly, we’re so caring of each other, we’re so laid back, Key Biscayne.

The President and Secretary of the Beach Club have recently publicly complained, accused and shamed the rest of the Board, namely Mack, Zambrano, Garcia, Erbel and Marron of not following the bylaws and that was the major reason why they wanted to replace them all. Ironically this is precisely what the President and Secretary did themselves Friday afternoon when they did not follow what is written in the bylaws.

For me it is also the heavy handed manner by the President and Secretary and other pillars of the community that is so shocking and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Eyewitness reports says that when the ballots were counted everyone involved was giddy with excitement. Now other pillars of the community are saying oh, let’s move on, let’s put this behind us, it’s a done deal, what’s the big deal, stop whining!

What! I am speechless at this reaction especially when I hear it from lawyers who never let anything questionable slide. Finally, this kind of behavior, breaking into a sealed ballot box with bolt cutters should never be condoned and accepted.

The end does not justify the means. Paradise Lost. Innocence Lost.

Annika Akerlund Tarajano