On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the Emery Go Round Board held a regular meeting at 9:00am, followed by the annual meeting at 9:30pm. The Board discussed the budget, and reached a conclusion they need more money. A motion was made by Geoff Sears of Wareham development to increase the assessment by 5%. The Emery Go Round Staff and City Clerk said, the recommended increase needed to be adopted right away in time to make the next assessment roll.
The EPOA objected to the increase. There was no advanced notice to affected property owners. There was no mention of this proposed increase at a City Council study session, just last week. The unjust composition of the governing Board results in continuous rising assessment, with no consideration of the impact or any prior notification to affected parties. The Board consists mostly of employees who work for large corporations, who don’t personally pay the assessment. The EPOA cautioned the Board, a sudden new 5% increase in assessments could trigger a lawsuit.
Some property owners believe the assessment does not provide the required special benefit, under the law, and if challenged a court could potentially invalidate all the PBID assessments. This could cause the service to shut down. It is important to listen to the 3rd video in the next post where the vote for the 2006 PBID was approved.
On hand for the Board meeting was the attorney for the Emery Go Round, Michael Conneran. The Board asked him for a legal opinion regarding the assessments. His long winded response was captured in the audio recording of the meeting below. We will transcribe his response in a future posting. The Board decided to table the vote on the increase until their next meeting. Below please find the audio recording of the meeting.051613_EGR.mp3
It should be noted, The attorney for the Emery Go Round is the same law firm the City uses to handle its personnel matters. They are used to investigate city employees, and handle employee grievances. The EPOA believes the Emery Go Round, as an independent organization it should be entitled to objective legal advice outside of the control of the City Attorney.
TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS WERE SEATED, FRANCIS COLLINS WAS ELECTED TO SERVE, AND CHRIS FRIESE REPLACED DENISE PINKSTON
Collins election to the Board is the first time in its history someone was elected to serve who was not approved by the Board.
Francis Collins replaced Andy Allen on the Board. Allen was able to keep the assessments lower. He wqasc also the only person psaying the assessment on the Board. The Board wanted to raise the assessmenty by 10%, but Allen successfully argued to keep it at 2-1/2%.
Chris Friese of LBA Realty, replaced Denise Pinkston. LBA recently bought the Marketplace Property. As one of the largest contributors they have a guaranteed seat on the Board. Denise Pinkston received a gift for her service as shown in the photo.
The present composition of the Board is grossly unfair to the all the people paying the assessment. The new Board claims they will give serious consideration to making changes to the By-laws, but that remains to be seen.
The EPOA believes all the Board Members should be elected and serve the interests of everyone paying the assessment. In a private conversation with Ken Bukowski, the Emery Go Round attorney does not agree. He says it runs smoother the way it is. We believe the PBID will only be in existance until 2016, when it expires. The Emery Go Round has grown to be a public bus system and should be funded by a general tax.