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The following are 2 items we received regarding the Four Seasons DRRA Settlement Agreement that was signed by 3 of the County Commissioners (Cupani, Niedomanski, Cassell).  As you know from news articles we have distributed, Commissioner Koval has filed to intervene in this case, stating that his intention is to clarify if the settlement document is a legal document. 

The first is a list of 4 questions to the Commissioners.  We definitely feel Mr. Holland is asking the right questions!  We’ll let you know if we are sent any responses.



QUESTIONS FOR THE COMMISSIONERS REGARDING THE DRRA SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:

1)  How can a legal document contain a gag order against a government official?  Is this not only a violation of free speech, but also a direct threat to our basic system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people?  The reason I ask this question is because to me, paragraph 11 seems to violate public policy.

2)  Did the commissioners review any documents which support the $350,000.00 claimed in damages which you agreed to pay?  If so, what documents, and please make them public for all to see.  If not, what basis did you use to verify that the amount claimed was legitimate?

3)  Did you ask for a legal opinion on the enforceability of paragraph 11 of the DRRA settlement agreement?

4)  Hypothetically speaking, does paragraph 11 mean that you could not "oppose or interfere with" proposed approvals which you knew to be the result of criminal or otherwise illegal acts in relation to the development of Four Seasons?  The reason I ask this question is I want to know under what conditions, if any, you would challenge the validity of paragraph 11.

Thank you for answering these questions.

Peter Holland
Stevensville, MD

NOTE from KIDL web guy.  Mr. Holland is an attorney residing in Stevensville.


Public Testimony to the QAC Commissioners – Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Good evening.  My name is Jim Campbell, I reside on Wright’s Neck near Centreville, and I am a volunteer with the Save Our County citizens group.

The issue I want to raise this evening is your position on the Four Seasons project and, specifically, the County’s legal obligations to K. Hovnanian, the developer of Four Seasons. 

Your predecessors entered into a DRRA with Hovnanian, which imposes legal obligations on the County.  A majority of you entered into a Settlement Agreement with Hovnanian, which also imposes legal obligations on the County.

So long as the DRRA and the Settlement Agreement are in force, you should of course comply with your legal obligations under those agreements. 

But why would you take steps to assist Hovnanian that you are not obligated to take?  Why would you go out of your way to advance Four Seasons?

Most of you, I believe, would never have entered into the DRRA for Four Seasons in the first place.  Indeed, you once took action to repudiate the DRRA, believing it to be an illegal agreement.  Your action prompted Hovnanian to sue the County, which of course resulted in a majority of you deciding to enter into the Settlement Agreement.

But now, look at what you are doing.  Apparently – and I hope I am wrong -- you have hired, with County funds, the best legal talent available to you to work against the citizens who are carrying on the fight against Four Seasons, a fight you once led, but from which you have now withdrawn. 

Citizen leaders like Rick Moser, and public interest organizations like Queen Anne’s Conservation Association, have not given up.  They are still in court, fighting the Four Seasons deal.  And Hovnanian’s lawyers are in court against them, spending unlimited sums to defend the deal. 

So why would you be spending taxpayers’ money to augment Hovnanian’s enormous legal fire-power?

I would hope your answer would be:  you are spending our money to help Hovnanian because you think you are obligated to do so under the DRRA or the Settlement Agreement.  But, so far as I can find, there is nothing in either the DRRA or the Settlement Agreement that obligates you to do what you’re doing. 

Don’t take my word for what those agreements say  – get advice from your own lawyers.  Be clear in your own minds, and with us, about what you are doing.

The issue of what you have to do, and what you don’t have to do, to advance Four Seasons is going to keep coming up.

Let the citizens know, in this situation and in all others relating to Four Seasons, whether you are helping Hovnanian because you have to, legally, or you are helping Hovnanian because you have changed your minds and have adopted Four Seasons as your own project. 

Is Four Seasons now becoming your project?  I hope not, but we will see.

Thank you.


KIDL Web Guy Says:  Write our Commissioners!

 bcassell@qac.orggransom@qac.org  | mkoval@qac.org
jcupani@qac.org  |  rsmith@qac.org


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