The Lake Oswego Corporation reports that it has spent $86,000 since July 2006 defending the 2005 election fraud claims brought by Messrs. Oliphant, Reiter and Stubblefield. (In fact, most of this expense was covered by their directors and officers' insurance, not by shareholder funds).
The LOC Board could have avoided this entire legal expense simply by sharing with LOC shareholders the information that proved the 2005 elections were conducted fairly and that the vote tally supported the announced results. Alternatively, the LOC could have accepted the city's offer to pay for a mediator to resolve the dispute. Rather than share this information or mediate the issues, however, the LOC Board has spent tens of thousands of shareholder dollars to avoid doing so. Why would the board do this if the 2005 elections were conducted fairly?
The LOC Board also has announced that it is their duty to try to recover from these gentlemen the legal fees it has spent unnecessarily. Once again, the LOC has a convoluted view of its duties to LOC shareholders and the appropriate use of shareholder funds. Instead, the LOC Board is spending more shareholder money on legal fees in an attempt to recoup fees it didn't have to spend in the first place - all from the three men who led the charge against an entrenched and complacent lake management whose operations were conducted behind closed doors. Due to pressure brought to bear on the LOC Board by its shareholders, the LOC has changed the way it does business in significant ways and adopted the following recommendations made by the Concerned Shareholders:
1. The lake was drawn down this year;
2.The LOC is conducting a search for a professional lake manager;
3. Votes at the last annual meeting were counted by a neutral party;
4. There now are term limits for board members;
5. All areas of the lake have representation on the board;
6. Minutes of board meetings now are kept and published;
7. Information is being provided by regular newsletters to the shareholders;
8. More shareholders are involved in LOC committees;
9. Water quality and sedimentation issues identified by the Concerned Shareholders slowly are being addressed; and
10. Efforts to clean up surface debris have increased.
Instead of acknowledging the enormous contribution these men have made to the LOC, the board seeks to punish them for speaking up on behalf of all shareholders. The LOC Board further is proposing a by-law amendment that would stifle future shareholder action against inappropriate board action. Instead of continuing to move forward toward a more open and better managed LOC, the board is at risk of falling back into its old ways.
We simply cannot tolerate unfair elections, lake management still shrouded in secrecy and retaliation against shareholders who are willing to stand up and seek change for the benefit of all. The LOC essentially is a homeowners' association and should be run as one for the benefit of all its members.
Shelley A. Lorenzen
Ede Schmidt and Tom Weber
Richard and Linda Barksdale
Herb and Joyce Lee