It is difficult to explain to a stranger how this dispute has shaped up. And it’s even harder to explain the issue without being biased. We would ask the reader to keep three points in mind:
- We didn’t create this dispute.
- We didn’t file an affidavit in court claiming someone else’s land.
- The Waldorf School of Atlanta can end this matter at any time by simply retracting their July 1, 2008 affidavit.
The position of the Waldorf School of Atlanta, as relayed by Waldorf counsel, Rosemarie McConnell to our attorney on August 20, 2008, and again in December of 2008, is that the neighbors along Conway road affected by Waldorf’s bullying should accept a new property boundary as depicted on Waldorf’s 2008 closing survey (contrary to over 100 years of prior legal, written deed history).
Ms McConnell has since been replaced by two legal teams – one team representing the school and Mr Philip Verre personally, regarding the suit that we the home owners were forced to file in order to remove Waldorf’s original affidavit and one legal team filing a counter suit.
For those who are inclined to ask about “fair compensation,” “settling,” or “selling,” we ask that you try to understand the main point about this dispute – we will not reward this kind of action by “negotiating” or “mediating” for land which is rightfully ours. There is nothing to negotiate.
If your car is stolen, you don’t negotiate for use of your car on even numbered days. You seek justice for the theft of your car. Making an invalid claim to our land does not require us to negotiate to retain ownership. We cannot think of a better way to state this to the average reader.
When we were invited to the June 28, 2008 meeting we were told we would be meeting with “real estate experts”. Waldorf failed to disclose that we would be meeting with their legal counsel.
When we arrived at the meeting on June 28th, introductions were made but Ms. McConnell failed to reveal that she was acting as Waldorf’s legal counsel (on retainer). The meeting continued for over 90 minutes, lead by Ms. McConnell. Her relationship with the Waldorf School was revealed only after one of the homeowners repeatedly questioned Acting Administrator Stacey Alston into admitting that Ms. McConnell was indeed Waldorf’s legal counsel on retainer.
Waldorf brought attorneys to the table first, not the homeowners. As demonstrated in our letters of Jun. 30, 2008: 1185 to WSA (no reply), Jul. 2, 2008: 1169 to WSA (& reply), and Jul. 2, 2008: 1185 to WSA (& reply), none of these communications mentioned anything about hiring an attorney. Only after learning on July 7, 2008 that Waldorf had made a formal claim to our property did we obtain counsel on July 9, 2008.
Waldorf made statements to its members in January of 2009, that the school was working to resolve the underlying issues in this dispute. There was no evidence for this claim and it was not the case that the school was attempting to resolve the matter. There is only one issue to resolve in any case – the July 1 affidavit. Retract it. Pay fees and damages. Walk away. Done.
On December 15, 2011, neighbors agreed to an expensive and lengthy mediation process outside of the courts in a sincere effort to convince WSA to retract its affidavit and settle this matter easily and quickly, but WSA has since offered no indication of doing so and has gone silent again, as is their usual course of action. In short, the school is not interested in solving this matter.
A second mediation is scheduled for late August, 2013.
As we discuss in the time line of events, the actions of the school have been duplicitous, to say the least.