By Paul Goldfinger, MD. Editor TropicanaForum.com Published Jan 1, 2021, Ft. Myers, Florida:
My editorial of Dec. 30 resulted in a flurry of emails on Dec 30 and 31 among three Co-Op officials winding up in the lap of Co-Op lawyer Brian Chase on Dec 31.
I have those emails—-see below.
A board member, Sandy Balboni, on Dec. 30, said this in an email to Clarice Campbell regarding my editorial: “You have to read this! Dan thinks we need Brian to answer, but I am not sure, it was a real nasty attack.”
Campbell then emailed Brian Chase and said on Dec 31 in an email, “This is on a Blog that a resident has for Tropicana. I do not know how widely followed it is? But is is certainly full of misinformation and untruths. What are your thoughts regarding a response?” (She also provided the names of me and my wife to the lawyer.)
Then Chase, wanting to accommodate Clarice and the Board, agreed to respond himself to my editorial so that the Co-Op board and Campbell didn’t have to account for their actions to we the people (ie shareholders.)
Chase said, in an email to Campbell, “I’ll be sure to put it on my letterhead so everyone knows it is from me and not you or the board.”
And all of you shareholders received the Chase letter, on his letterhead, on Dec 31, 2020. It contained a lot more facts than were available to us when Clarice emailed all of us on Dec. 30, 2020. That is when I published my editorial.
My essay was based totally on what Campbell said in her 12/30 email to the shareholders when she provided the contents of the unsolicited MHM proposal. So if there was any “misinformation” in my post, it is because the Campbell letter left out important facts such as that Chase advised the Board about what to do with the offer and that he authored the 12/30 letter which Campbell sent to us signed by her.
My editorial opinions were offered on Dec 30 because it was my understanding that the Co-Op had agreed to proceed with Murex and with no other suitors at this time–until Feb. So, based on that understanding, it seemed to me that the Co-Op board was violating our agreed-upon procedure by introducing the new offer now, and although it is no crime, I saw it as an ethical lapse being committed in my name (as a shareholder).
So if you believe that it is OK to threaten the Jan 5 election result by disclosing that unexpected offer, then there is no complaint, but put yourself in Murex’s place.
And while you are at it, put yourself in my place when you read those emails. It is ironic that our Co-Op lawyer was being misused by our board to find a way to malign the free speech of a shareholder.
At least Brian Chase did not take that bait. His letter was thorough and informative and should have been the first to go out to us after the new offer was announced.
Editor’s note: You will notice that Clarice Campbell was concerned when communicating with Chase as to how many people actually look at our site. You all should know that yesterday, Dec. 31, on a holiday, there were 763 hits on Tropicana Forum—and that was all because of the Co-Opgate mess.
It is the beauty of the internet that people can get access to news without depending on the mainstream media which would never ever cover this sort of story, even though freedom of speech and abuse of power may be an issue, and all politics are ultimately local.
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