August 28, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 351

Takeover Move At St. Marie

Group Of Owners Declares Themselves The Majority

After being rebuffed in their attempt to vote a candidate onto the board of the St. Marie Village Association, a group of owners have declared themselves a majority of the property owners, voted to abolish covenants amended in 1992, terminated the current board and created a new temporary board pending an election.

The group was denied participation rights at the annual meeting because according to the association records, they were in arrears with their fees. One of the group, Merrill Frantz, told The Courier that the association had told them they were up to date.

The covenant was amended in 1992 to require that owners be current in order to vote or be on the board.

At an organizing meeting on Aug. 23, a group of people controlling 664 votes (one for each unit owned) declared they were a majority of owners and voted to revert to the original 1988 covenant to govern St. Marie.

Donna Bruschi, Anthony Hebert and Diana Frantz were named temporary board members of the Village Association, with Dwayne Knapp as an alternate.

In a press release, the group stated, “The winds of change are blowing in St. Marie. Due to some irregularities at the annual meeting of the St. Marie Village Association, the Owners of St. Marie held a meeting and determined that a new association board was necessary to properly facilitate the changes needed in St. Marie.”

A declaration by the group, which calls itself the Owners of the Village of St. Marie, was signed by nine people, including two members of a development enterprise called DTM that arrived at St. Marie last year. They are Merrill Frantz and Terry Lee. Frantz’s wife, Diana, the third member of DTM, signed the declaration as a witness.

At press time, the Village Association had not received a copy of the papers filed with the Clerk and Recorder on Monday.

The Owners group claims Article X of the Protective Covenants, found in both the 1988 and 1992 versions, as the legal basis for their actions. It says that the covenants may be changed or terminated at any time by a majority vote of the property owners.

The Owners have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m.

A source at St. Marie told The Courier that the Owners announced the venue as the Town Hall but failed to call the Village Association and reserve it, so they received permission from Pat Kelly to use the post chapel.

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