Posted for tonight, September 5th, at 7:30PM in Room C of Town Hall. The agenda seems to imply that the interesting parts of the meeting will likely be in executive session. Presumably this is related to their recent request for extension filed with the Supreme Judicial Court.
Apparently following in the footsteps of the Feoffees, now come the Attorney General and (most inexplicably) the School Committee asking for more time to reply to the petition for Direct Appellate Review.
This is a request from the Feoffees for more time to reply to the petition for Direct Appellate Review.
At the links below you will find the interveners formal request to the Supreme Judicial Court to hear all the appeals that had been consolidated earlier. We expect to hear the court’s decision on whether they will take the case in a matter of weeks. Also included are two supportive letters from prominent individuals in the field of charitable trust law and donor intent.
Salem News article.
There are a couple of questionable statements in the very first paragraph. First is the notion that the selling price was $31.4M. Actually, $2.4M of that was back rent which was not compensation for the land and which is not required to be considered part of the corpus of the Trust. Second is this persistent notion in the media that the controversy has “divided the town”. A Town Meeting vote of 500-89 to oppose the sale is not exactly indicative of a wide gulf in public opinion.
It is also not true that $40.6M is the assessed value. $40.5M is the value of the land if kept as a rentable asset according to an average of the four appraisals that were done. The Trust also had about $6M in debt, leaving it with net assets of about $34.5M on August 8th. So given that the value of the corpus of the Trust is now about $22.5M, that means that the Trust assets took a $12M haircut on August 9th, or a little more than 1/3 of its value.
So if anyone doubts whether the effort and expense we are putting in is “worth it”, we would say that recovering that $12M, not to mention recovering the landowner’s legal right to control seasonal use, should be understood to be very good incentives.
Up to this point, there was an appeal of two decisions of the Probate Court and the decision of the Single Justice. With this motion, we ask the appeals court to consolidate all our appeals into a single proceeding. This motion has since been allowed.