Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fairhope Single Tax Colony June 9th Special Meeting



     The Fairhope Single Tax Colony held a special meeting June 9, at 6:30pm in Centennial Hall on the Faulkner State Campus. The meeting was called due to a petition filed by a small portion of the membership to remove two members. The members in question allegedly violated the spirit of the corporation by referring lessees to legal counsel, writing about their understanding of the rules of the corporation, writing about Alabama Supreme Court rulings concerning the Colony, violating the constitution, and spreading misinformation about the corporation and its members.
     Immediately after the meeting was called to order by President Lee Turner, Trustee George Gilmore was called to speak. After a few moments of wordy rhetoric about Georgist philosophy, he was interrupted by a member asking what the meeting was all about. He tried to tie everything together but handed the meeting back to Pres. Turner who then required everyone who wasn't a member to leave. The Colony is a special circumstance 501c4 non-profit organization in Alabama and as such its meetings are open to the public by proxy. When several audience members vocalized their opposition to leaving, Pres. Turner said they would be forced to call the police. Those not wanting to leave then offered to be arrested at which point a legal debate began amongst the attorneys present. After approximately 45 minutes, Pres. Turner adjourned the meeting with instruction that it would resume in the Colony office library with members and their attorneys only present. Anyone else wishing to stay must remain outside the building on the sidewalk.
     Once the meeting resumed in the Colony library, about seven participants waited outside the offices. After approximately an hour, the Fairhope Police responded to a call from someone inside the building worried about the safety of the occupants as they thought the calm, small crowd was there to presumably inflict harm on an unknown person inside the building for unknown reasons. The people outside had been asked to be there and were well within the law and were not being loud or disruptive. The act of calling the police was presumably a bully tactic to intimidate the witnesses gathered outside. The police then left due to a "shots fired" emergency call somewhere else in the city. After the meeting adjourned, the members filed into the street airing their grievances to those still present. The executive counsel voted 4-1 to remove the two members from the organization. Many members started a petition to bring the memberships in question to a membership wide vote, not dependent on the five executive directors.
     A www.TheFairhopeCourier.com  public opinion poll of those present at the meeting resulted in three votes to remove the members and 35 to keep the members in good standing and to enforce the public's opportunity for attendance at the monthly meetings.
     The next meeting of the Fairhope Single Tax Colony is Tuesday 10th at 6:30pm in the Colony office library.
     To read all of www.TheFairhopeCourier.com articles concerning the Fairhope Single Tax Colony, click here.

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