Single-minded Board

To the editor:
The Board of Directors of Southbridge Towers finally exposed itself by revealing its single-minded focus: to push forward its agenda to privatize this development that has thrived as a Mitchell-Lama co-op for 40 years. On October 6th the board passed a motion to have the shareholders vote on a resolution seeking to amend the term limit provisions of the By-Laws from two 3-year terms to three 3-year terms. Their rationale: “The board was hopeful that [the privatization plan] would be accepted in time for a final vote on reconstitution this fall. However, since we have not yet heard from the Attorney General… a vote this spring is more likely.” (S.B.T. President’s Report, October 2011.)

In a personal letter (10/7/11) from the President of the board to the shareholders, the President urged us to vote “yes” for the amendment, stating: “we are finally nearing the finish line. It is urgent that we maintain continuity on the board at this time.” The President’s Report and the President’s personal letter to the shareholders name the only three officers of the board to whom this change of by-laws would apply.

We may not be as close to the finish line as the board hopes. Unless and until it provides full and complete disclosure of all risks involved in privatizing and bases its financial forecasts on real life, present-day scenarios—as directed by law and by the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the Attorney General’s office—the plan will not be accepted for filing by the A.G. Thus far the Plan has been revised twice and will need at least one more revision because of the board’s continuing failure to provide the information and documentation requested by the A.G.’s office.

Maintaining continuity solely to shepherd the privatization plan through to a vote by the shareholders reveals the single-minded focus of this Board of Directors; they offer no other explanation or rationale for changing the By-Laws. It will cost shareholders approximately $6,000 for printing and distributing notices and to contract Honest Ballot Association to conduct the election. The shareholders should not have to pay one cent to indulge the self serving interests of those who want to privatize S.B.T.
Roberta Singer

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