Easton deal too difficult - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Easton deal too difficult

McCandless: Discussion ended on mutual terms

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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 12:00 am

Discovery Land Company was first to concede that continued negotiations on the Camp Easton land swap were fruitless, Boy Scout officials said Thursday.

But the Inland Northwest Council Boy Scouts of America agreed with the luxury developer this week that details of the proposal were too complicated to pan out.

"We ended the discussion on mutual terms," said Tim McCandless, INC scout executive and CEO. "We knew it was a long shot to pull all this together at the outset, and we didn't know what the outcome would be when the discussions began."

INC boards gave the green light last spring to investigate if a purchase and sale agreement was possible, to finalize that Discovery would take over the Camp Easton property after it built a new scout camp at Sunup Bay.

Research revealed an expensive knot of problems to untangle to accomplish all that was desired, McCandless said. The property at Sunup included multiple private properties, projected construction costs kept rising, and the INC faced myriad issues to install infrastructure like a shooting range, he said.

"Once we got into the details, we both realized the complexity of the deal," McCandless said. "The reality was it's perhaps too difficult to pull it all together."

Both sides decided to continue investing in their current properties, he added, Discovery into Gozzer Ranch and the INC into Camp Easton.

Andy Holloran with Discovery could not be reached on Thursday.

Focusing now on a capital campaign to reinvest in the 82-year-old camp, McCandless said he doesn't expect to see another pitch to sell or trade Camp Easton.

"We want to pursue making Camp Easton as good as we can make it," he said, adding that the next step is to reprioritize the camp's needs and the cost to address them. "That's where our focus and efforts are going to be."

Asked if the INC would sign any kind of document ensuring the camp would always remain a camp, McCandless said he doesn't think it's necessary.

He couldn't estimate how much INC invested in the land swap proposal, including putting out literature, a video and survey.

The INC's defense against the lawsuit over the camp, filed by nonprofit Camp Easton Forever, Inc., is covered by an insurance liability program, he added.

Camp Easton Forever, Inc. will likely proceed with its litigation against INC, said nonprofit board chair Earl Lunceford.

The nonprofit is seeking a court ruling confirming that the initial donation of the camp property conditioned that it remain a boys' camp forever.

After a district judge ruled against the nonprofit, the group has appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court.

"I'm all for moving ahead positively. I think this has ripped the community apart," said Lunceford, an Eagle Scout who has contributed financially to Camp Easton.

But of INC, he said, "they've given me a reason to not really trust them."

Lunceford would love to see improvements like a tunnel under the highway, he said, and better infrastructure at the camp that five generations of his family have enjoyed.

But he wants documented certainty that dollars won't go into the site, just to have it traded or sold down the road, he said.

"Why ask the state (for money) to put in a safety tunnel, just for Discovery or Gozzer to run golf carts under?" Lunceford said.

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  • spudman1 posted at 10:18 am on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 494

    Scoot, the lawsuit to block the sale the Camp is on going. Saving Camp Easton Forever Inc. will pursue blocking the sale of Camp Easton in the Idaho Supreme court until that verdict comes in it is hardly over. You are crowing a little early. Again perhaps you should read the court depositions regarding the Tim McCandless testamony. Obviously you haven't which leads me to conclude you have an agenda in this fight. If you truly had the interest of the boy's and not defending what all know to be a stacked opinion survey and promotional video you would know this deal with a developer of questional ethics was flawed from the beginning. The council has shown at every turn as evidenced in the court room under oath to have been disengenious at best. Sorry but your line just doesn't met the smell test!

  • Scooter3 posted at 10:29 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Scooter3 Posts: 13

    Let me clarify about the whole "opinion" thing real quick. The boys don't have to agree with my opinion but the fact that the council has indisputably sought input and even criticism from others on the proposal should be what comforts them.

    Sorry for the additional post, I just didn't want you to misunderstand what I'm saying.

  • Scooter3 posted at 10:21 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Scooter3 Posts: 13

    Spudman1: I already covered the practical reasons against signing such a document so I won't bother rehashing them in this post (though if you'd like to continue not reading what I said about this below I would be happy to repeat myself as many times as necessary).

    "In my view" means in my opinion. In my opinion the council has been transparent and open during this entire process. What should that mean to the boys? Quite a bit actually since it shows the council cares enough about their future and the future of scouting in the Northwest that they were willing to open themselves and the proposal up to debate, criticism, and general input before making a final decision.

    With regards to what I do, you obviously care otherwise you wouldn't be accusing me of working for the council, Discovery, or being a "shill" for them. If you didn't care why level accusations?

    I did not say the council's consideration of this proposal entertained me, I said your accusations about who I work for or don't work for entertained me. Again, this shows you haven't been reading my posts very accurately. You honestly still think the lawsuit had something to do with the proposal being dropped? I would love to hear about the victories it's won in court, oh wait, that's right, IT HASN'T WON ANY VICTORIES. Funny, I thought a lawsuit was successful based on whether or not it succeeded in winning its desired ruling. By this metric, the Camp Easton Forever lawsuit has failed spectacularly (and, I might add, will fare no better in the Idaho Supreme Court, in my view). Indeed, believing in the value of a failing lawsuit that is and has cost way too much money and time is what some would say is the very definition of foolish. Ironic isn't it?

  • spudman1 posted at 11:04 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 494

    Scooter, just what are the practical reasons the council shouldn't be forced to sign a agreement to not to sell the camp? Is it because they would have a document that would not allow them to sell and perhaps have to abide by it?
    Quite a piece of logic that is?
    In your view? What does that mean to the boy's faced with losing their camp? I'm sure they are very impressed with your view and of course can depend on your sound judgement as a shill for the council and most likely discovery land company.
    We do not need any exuse for pointing out Tim McCandless lack of integrity it's all in the depositions which obviously you refuse to read.
    In regards to what you do? Who cares? Probably not much of any consequence as evidenced by your lack of judgement regarding this issue. I'm glad the inland northwest councils attempt at selling the premier Scout camp in the Country entertains you. Doesn't seem too funny to those who put up their time and money to stop it. Of course the lawsuit that stopped the sale had nothing to do with it? Your the one that is entertaining. Some would say, and foolish too!

  • Scooter3 posted at 4:26 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Scooter3 Posts: 13

    I said I didn't think it was necessary to procure a written agreement because for practical reasons the likelihood of another proposal being considered by the council is slim to none. And yes, the money and time spent suing the council was wasted because this article makes clear that the lawsuit played absolutely no part in ending the discussions and the proposal itself. You might say the deposition showed the council was being untrustworthy but let's face it. Camp Easton Forever, you, and other opponents of the deal were looking for excuses to accuse the council or Mr. McCandless of lying.

    In my view, the council was nothing but transparent in handling the proposal. They held numerous town hall meetings allowing the public to find out information about the proposal and ask questions about it. They posted several letters and other updates on their website outlining any major events in the process (such as approving a committee to negotiate a purchase & sale agreement) and even paid for and conducted a survey of council constituents allowing them to give their opinion on the entire proposal. You're right. In NO WAY is that being trustworthy at all. There's nothing like a transparent decision-making process to indicate that those involved are LIARS AND FRAUDS.

    By the way, keep guessing at who I work for (if I work for anyone at all). So far you're striking out spectacularly but I find it entertaining!

  • spudman1 posted at 9:54 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 494

    Scooter, You really think it was a waste of time and money putting Tim McCandless under oath? How else were we to determine he was not telling the truth regarding the time line and plans for the proposed trade? How about finding out under oath there was no "proof of funds" and that Discovery had made nothing but promises they could perform on such a deal? My suggestion to is read the depositions posted on "Saving Camp Easton Forevers web site. You think it is not necessay to get a written agreement from folks who have been proven to be untrustworthy? I would say either you are very naive, working for the developer or maybe the Scout council? You certainly don't have the best interest of the boy's that would lose their camp.

  • Scooter3 posted at 4:12 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Scooter3 Posts: 13

    Spudman1: Hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars (and time I might add). Read the article. It states the deal fell apart because both sides realized it would be too complicated to complete what with having to purchase private lots from current owners, develop premium infrastructure and buildings (which have apparently been rising in cost according to the article) to the council's specifications, and get all the legal permits necessary for areas like gun ranges. The deal ended of natural causes. In NO WAY did the Camp Easton Forever lawsuit impact the outcome of the proposal. It wasted time and money losing it's case (on all counts) twice, and is apparently willing to do so a third time, all to secure a written guarantee that is unnecessary.

    Why would a written agreement (of the kind described by the Camp Easton Forever representatives and others) be necessary? It wouldn't and here is why: Where else besides Sunup Bay is there a property that could conceivably be turned into some kind of functional boy scout camp? Nowhere because almost all the other property on the lake is already owned by citizens or developers. What are the odds that Discovery comes back with another proposal that the council would consider? Slim to zero (and I'd place my bet on zero). The recently ended proposal was the only one the council has considered out of the many times Discovery and Gozzer have undoubtedly tried to offer a deal for the current camp. If it was too difficult and complicated to make all the pieces fit together this time, what evidence is there to show that it would be any easier in the future? None. So, a written agreement of the kind desired by Camp Easton Forever and others is ultimately unnecessary for very practical reasons.

  • Ziggy posted at 8:17 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1286

    If I were the CdA area scouts, I would get IN WRITING a document signed by the council that this property will remain a Boy Scout Camp. This whole thing smelled to high heaven from the beginning.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 4:47 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    McCandless is BY FAR the worst thing that has happened to the scouts in this area.

    Soon as he's gone, my donation will go in.

    And Discovery, well, they'll keep shutting out the locals, charging insane prices for gas, (it's MORE at the pump on the road than it is at the pump at the LAKE, THINK about that...) in order to discourage the locals from buying anythign form the place....we MIGHT just embarass the gozzerites with our 4WD pickups & guns on our hips...YEEHAAWWWWW!!!

  • jmowreader posted at 10:16 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    jmowreader Posts: 1482

    I would think both sides would be losers in this deal.

    The Scouts finally realized building an "equivalent" camp, even in a good economy, would be far more expensive than upgrading Easton.

    Discovery finally realized the market for million-dollar homes 30 miles from the grocery store has dried up.

  • spudman1 posted at 9:49 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 494

    McCandless doesn't think an agreement in writing is necessary? Read the court transcripts on the Saving Camp Easton forever site and see if you agree with his statement. He has by his own words shown himself to be "NOT TRUSTWORTHY!" Also, quite naive. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to stop this sale. Fool us once!

  • Wapita posted at 7:49 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    Wapita Posts: 6

    If McCandless wants to mend bridges and work towards building trust with the North Idaho Scouting Community then he needs to get the document saying they are not going to sell the camp and sign it!

  • local res posted at 7:22 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    If INC wants the community to trust them again they need to sign legal documentation that states the property will remain a scout camp forever. This would bring the community support back it would also save money on the legal cost.

    Unless Mr. Super One foods is going to support the camp on his own.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 6:41 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    "Asked if the INC would sign any kind of document ensuring the camp would always remain a camp, McCandless said he doesn't think it's necessary."

    Apparently McCandless has no sense of self preservation, or real care that anyone donates to the camp. :(

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:07 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Discovery probably promised mccandless a prime lot if he did the deal and then tried to shaft him. Im just saying. ;-)

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