That shudder I feel when opening the door is getting stronger every day, but I was sorta waiting for this one. The recent flyer from Jesse Mandel goes to great lengths to attack people, like Paul Hovitz and the Southbridge Shareholders Association, that disagree with his viewpoint. This flyer comes in tandem with reports of heated confrontations at SBT between shareholders. Mandel is still pushing how great the Pace “Informational Meeting” was – as if the many retractions of statements made at that meeting, demanded by the Attorney General’s office, never happened. In light of this what are we to make of this line from Mandel’s flyer: “It was refreshing to hear genuine experts with real-world experience in matters of Mitchell-Lama privatization explain the risks and rewards.” Mandel’s mode of operation appears to be, “Who are you going to believe me your lying eyes [ears].”
I guess we should forget that all these “experts” work for the sponsor of the privatization plan and how, not surprisingly, the Pace meeting quickly degraded from explaining things in the Black Book to the sponsors and hired hands telling us their opinion on matters, while in many instances dismissed or minimizied risks within the plan? No bias there, right? Those of us at the meeting remember that the pat answer to a few risk questions was that a meteor was more likely to hit Southbridge Towers. That’s a very professional response from “experts”. Indeed, lawyer Stuart Saft was reprimanded by the Attorney General’s office for a lot of what he said at the Pace meeting, including his “Meteor” remark.
Btw, Mr. Mandel, the SB Board of Directors does not “support the [privatization] plan” – as sponsors they are the plan. And a majority of shareholders have not elected them – only a majority of shareholders that voted at each election (the total voter turn-out at these elections is usually around 40% to 50% of all shareholders). Lets not also forget that the BoD has won the last few elections mainly by proxy votes. (We will get to the abuse of proxy votes in a whole other post soon.) The Board does not have a mandate at SBT but they do have a political approach that uses proxy vote gerrymandering that rams through policies that serve their interests, in spite of the desires of people at SBT – like getting rid of term limits for the president of the BoD for instance.