A VISION FOR THE FUTURE - WHILE HONORING THE PAST
Regarding legal fees and the League's added $6 million.
December 1, 2015
Dear Mr. Roth,
We believe that on previous occasions we had answered all the issues you raise in your E-mail. Nonetheless, as there seems to be some confusion, we will respond once again.
1. ASL Unite and ASL 2025 are two separate entities set up by two different sets of people. ASL Unite was set up by a diverse group of people who opposed the Cantilever transaction for dissimilar reasons, including safety issues, inadequate compensation, lack of information and flat out opposition to the cantilever.
ASL 2025's mission has nothing to do with the Cantilever transaction. It seeks to elect a Board that is transparent, accountable to membership, accessible, and values membership input. While we question the relevance of any financial disclosure by ASL 2025, we will respond to your inquiry. ASL 2025 funding comes from League members' donations -- less than $7,000 to date. The work has been performed by volunteers, some of whom also have donated materials for free.
As to the lawsuit, the bulk of all the legal work, including the initial litigation, has been done on a pro bono basis -- for free. The legal expenses were less than $6,000 in total and came from League member contributions.
Mr. Barbieri originally executed a contract to sell the development rights for $25.8 in October 2013. As the court record confirms, it was only due to efforts by the League members who raised the due diligence issues - including Mr. RJC -- that the League gained an additional $6 million from the transaction.
The appeal was taken due to the adverse effect that the trial court's ruling is likely to have the next time a real estate developer makes an offer to the Board to buy the League's 57th Street property. The Membership's authority in such a major decision and its rights to be fully and truthfully apprised by the Board must be protected.
2. The general rule regarding pro bono work is that if an attorney believes a case is meritorious and takes it on without cost to a client, that case is considered to fall within the definition of pro bono work. This case will have broader public impact because it will define the restrictions on not-for-profit Boards in interpreting their own By-laws.
3. The work of ASL 2025 is the work of a broadly supported, dedicated group of volunteers who believe that the League is headed in the wrong direction. We aren't the ones who propose reducing the Membership's voting power by 75% and giving virtually unsupervised authority over the League to one individual.
The current Board is not transparent, accountable or responsive to the membership. ASL 2025 is the group that stands for protecting the Membership's rights, open books, as well as early and often membership involvement in League governance and all major decisions.
ASL 2025 - The Reform Team
Marne Rizika, President
Susan Brauser, Vice President
Roberto Franzone, Board Member