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.

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