Motion to Compel Filing of Master Deed

In this motion, the School Committee is asking the court to compel the Feoffees to file the Master Deed that was, according to the Agreement for Judgment, supposed to be filed by May 1st.  The filing of the Master Deed is the trigger for the restructuring of the Feoffees outlined in the Trust Administration Order.  A hearing on this motion is currently scheduled for June 1st at 9AM in Salem.

Probate – SC – 120508 – Motion to Compel

Final Trust Administration Order

This is the final version of the Trust Administration Order, the document that would control the operation of the Feoffees going forward, as agreed to by the School Committee, Feoffees and the AG.

Probate – SC – 120503 – Final Trust Administration Order

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.

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

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.

Latest Trust Administration Order

This is apparently the most recent version of the Trust Administration Order, the document that would control the operation of the Feoffees going forward if the Probate Court Judgment is upheld.

Probate – SC – 120323 – Trust Administration Order

It makes clearer (in 5c & d) that the $2.4M in back rent will not be considered part of the Trust assets for purposes of defining what used to be called the “Historical Value” and is now called the “Principal” of the Trust.  Put another way, as far as future generations are concerned, this is the same deal that the School Committee turned down in October of 2010.  Future income can therefore be fairly calculated on the same net of approximately $22M that we have used in our financial analysis all along, and that was used by the School Committee in this part of their Summary Judgment Opposition to calculate an annual return of $110,000.  We believe this was overly pessimistic and that the number will likely be more like $350,000, but in any case there is no reason to believe that the income will be sufficient to offset the additional costs of a year-round Little Neck, let alone fund any “enhancements” to the schools.


Ken Swenson’s Question and Loeb Deposition Extract

Unfortunately we have only obtained a section of the deposition of Jeff Loeb taken by the Feoffees.  It includes this quote:

“the concept of a sale is not in the best interest of the Town of Ipswich…I think that changing that community from a summer community …to a year-round condominium complex was not going to be good for the town… from a drain on services standpoint.”

Probate – Feoffees – 111212 – Loeb Deposition

Compare this with his answer (or more accurately non-answer) to Ken Swenson’s question on this topic at the January 5, 2012 School Committee meeting.