Opposition to Motion to Strike Interveners Notice of Appeal

This is the interveners opposition to the Feoffees motion to strike our appeal of the judgment.  The hearing has now been scheduled for May 11, 2012 at 9AM in the Salem Probate Court.

Probate – Interveners – 120425 – Opposition to Motion to Strike

We do not consider this a particularly important hearing so there is no particular need to attend.


Town Meeting Article 15 Public Information Session

We have reserved Room C of the Town Hall on May 2nd at 7:30PM for a public information session regarding Article 15 of the Annual Town Meeting warrant.  Town Meeting itself will take place on May 8th at 7:30PM.  This article will be a non-binding referendum on the agreement between the Feoffees and the School Committee that would allow the proposed sale of Little Neck.

Interesting History from the Attorney General

We just happened to notice that the Attorney General recently posted a quarterly report from the year 2002 in which she states “the allegation is basically that the feoffees operate for the benefit of the renters rather than for the benefit of the schools, and this appears to be the case.”

History – 20021001 – AG Quarterly Report

Given that this took almost 10 years to get posted on the Attorney General’s site, it should be very interesting to see what gets uncovered over the next 10 years.

Feoffees Motion to Strike Portion of Appeal

In this motion the Feoffees are back asking the Probate Court to deny our appeal of the judgment.  There is a hearing currently scheduled for April 27th at 9AM in Salem.  This latest move seems unlikely to have any impact on the trajectory of our appeal which has still yet to be heard by a higher court.

Probate – Feoffees – 120417 – Motion to Strike Appeal

Backfilling Some History

Finally got around to posting a number of meeting minutes for the Feoffees and School Committee that were extracted from the Probate Court records.  They are in new categories.  Email updates were turned off temporarily so that followers would not get dozens of emails.  A couple favorites are this one from the Feoffees and this one from the School Committee.

Was settlement the only way to extract the Feoffees?

At the now infamous January 5, 2012 School Committee meeting, Chairman Loeb made two main representations to the public.

The first was that the Probate Court judge had made clear to School Committee counsel that she saw no reason why she shouldn’t order a sale, that the only question in her mind was the price and that as a result she pressured the parties to have discussions about settling the case. This public representation, which the citizen interveners relied upon as fact when spending their own personal resources filing their appeal, was later refuted by the School Committee’s own counsel at the appeal hearing.

The second representation was that the judge felt that if there was a sale there was no reason to change governance.  This was reported to have been a determining factor in at least Laura Dietz’s decision to support the sale.  This leads one to wonder if the School Committee’s counsel had provided the School Committee with this motion, filed by the Feoffees in Probate Court, which states in part “in the event this court grants the relief sought by the Plaintiffs in their complaint and permits the sale of Little Neck…the Plaintiffs will have no objection to the endowment fund, to be created from the sales proceeds, being managed by persons other than the present life feoffees.”  In other words, the risk of an ordered sale leading to a cash endowment being managed by the current feoffees (an admittedly scary prospect) was not real.

Which leaves us eager to hear from the Chairman Loeb and members Dietz, O’Flynn & Gresh what the true urgency really was for settling the case and selling Little Neck before all the evidence was heard.  Maybe we will hear at Town Meeting.