Editorial – Conflicted Interests
Kommentaarid on kirjutatud EWR lugejate poolt. Nende sisu ei pruugi ühtida EWR toimetuse seisukohtadega.
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What is the point?04 Apr 2017 10:40
Not sure what Meiusi's point is, other than to be a you know what disturber.
He seems to be saying that there has been a conspiratorial plot among the three organizations to consolidate at Tartu all along. Even if this "conspiracy" theory is true, which is not clear, is this the absolutely worst thing for our community at this time? I'm not sure what that 2 storey to 6 storey comparison is supposed to mean. Is Meiusi saying he is putting up the money to build 6 storeys of community space at 958 Broadview to replace the existing building that everyone agrees is on life support? If so I am all ears and would like to hear the details of this plan.
to vanemad - shareholder04 Apr 2017 14:52
Just to clarify, I believe that the comparison bt. 2 and 6 storey is as follows: with the TC proposal - they currently are only allowed 2 storeys with this U shaped building. Anything outside that, incl. at 11 madison will require committee of adjustment approval, but more likely OMB due to heritage issue. The 6 storeys is in reference to EH being able to build up to 6 storeys all around without the expense of going into any approvals because the approval is already given by the City in the Official Plan. Here is my question to you: would you pay 18 mil into a site that restricts you to 2 storeys (due to the subway - you will never be able to build upon that area) and has a public park that you are responsible for? How many people do you think will be interested in buying that from you later? Just asking.
Someone with a memory ...04 Apr 2017 18:45
I remember that Allan Meiusi had a keen interest in Ehatare/Abistamiskomitee affairs a few years ago. Good to see his enthusiasm running high with this initiative!
rahamees04 Apr 2017 11:23
unfortunately, EH is cash poor and has to do what other boards tell it to do. If the bank and ESK are not interests in financing the sick patient, the only thing left is suicide.
Suspicious04 Apr 2017 14:44
Allan Meiusi is nothing, if not energetic! To his great discredit, however, he's destructive.
With a relentless campaign of harassment spanning two years, he impaired operations, at Ehatare.
There's no guessing at his motives, this time around, but we better be cautious.
Community vigilance05 Apr 2017 06:27
Hold on there, buddy! You may not have liked the fallout from the Ehatare saga, but Ehatare is a better place today because of community activism, which is what A. Meiusi participated in. He had concerns and he voiced them. I for one am glad that he did. I think Ehatare is a better place for it. When the community is not vigilant, boards get comfortable, sloppy and lazy. I am aware of one board viewing the community as lambs, easy to manipulate. I have seen it with my own eyes. Yes, I know, board members are volunteer members, but they are human too and it is in their interest that community members keep them on their toes. If we do not, then it is shame on us.
:05 Apr 2017 08:03
The current push to Madison has all the signs of 'shut up and let me tell you what's best for you' approach.

It may end up being the only solution to EH problems, but nobody likes to say 'please' when it gets rammed down your throat like this.
push to madison-young sharehld05 Apr 2017 09:00
You are right, it is being pushed on us - why? because the LOI (this is an offer, not an agreement of purchase) with the City expires Nov 1st, 2017 after which it becomes public bid. They are not interested in what we think...they HAVE made the decision for US and are simply going through the motions to cover their back quaters. As a young shareholder I am not appreciating the "bullying" tactics. Many of the small clubs get direct funding support from the E3 and out of fear of losing their funding are supporting this proposal.
I am very concerned over the comments that are flying back and forth with respect to this new development. The E3 claim to have “an ear to the ground”, well as a young shareholder, I am tired of hearing how irrelevant/obsolete and embarrassed they are of the current EH. Why are you putting down the estonian house - you were brought up in this place, a house that currently plays host to your own children? The disrespect shown to the shareholders is HUGE….it is clear that E3 & EHB have already made the decision to SELL the EH. I guess ETHICS was not part of E3/EHB education.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to vanemad - shareholder (14:52), to- let me get this straight (16:29), to selective memory (18:44)
Dreams05 Apr 2017 09:53
"Pushed....bullying....disrespect....(lack of) ETHICS..."? Quit being a drama queen.

These organizations have worked on a proposal which they now recommend. (Yes, more time should have been allotted to Q & A at the town hall)

The Madison parking lot property offers an intriguing opportunity and the opportunity is time sensitive.

I personally don't like the proposal as a replacement for Eesti Maja, but bashing these organizations for exploring solutions, because our community has offered none is petty and destructive.

Are you willing to undermine/destroy these properly- functioning organizations to prop up the crumbling EM ?

Are these organizations not a part of the solution you envision?
I support yng shrhldr05 Apr 2017 11:09
Here, here, young shareholder! It’s time for us, the people, to take back our house. Let’s not be the lemmings that they want us to be.

Be wary. The school board and parents were told by ETCU in a meeting yesterday that the Estonian House will fold in a year if we don’t go ahead with Madison. That is B.S.! It is cheaper to revamp our present house than to pour millions into the Madison disaster-waiting-to-happen. The only fiscally responsible thing for the bank to do is to get behind saving 958 Broadview Avenue and make it happen.

Tonight is the ETCU meeting. We will likely be told the same tonight as well. ETCU shareholders, now is your chance to make your voice heard. Especially for those who are locked out of owning shares of EH. The bank holds a third of the shares for EH, let’s not aid them in making it a slam-dunk railroading project. The community needs each and every one of you.
2 Rahamees Väino V. Keelmann04 Apr 2017 14:52
Kui palju uus unistus maksab?
rahamees05 Apr 2017 07:52
Ma ei ole kindel mida sa küsid, aga unistus Madisoni peal maksab umbes 18 miljonit. Unistus Broadview peal maksab ehk 4-5 miljonit, vastavalt EM tehtud uurimustele 1-2 miljonit, et teha juhtmed, küte, katus jne ja siis veel 2-3 miljonit uuendusteks. 3 organisatsiooni on nõus investeerima vähemalt sama palju, kui mitte rohkem Madisoni peale (18 minus EM müügihind), aga mitte Broadview peale. Lõpptulemuseks oleks palju rohkem maja Broadview peal.

Ma ei tea miks see nii on. Võibolla on Broadview müügihind palju suurem kui meile on öeldud, võibolla on Meiusi arvamusel tõsi taga?
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: rahamees (11:23)
:04 Apr 2017 15:11
So let me get this straight. The bank bought 11 Madison property, hoping that they can use it for office during EH renovations. https://www.estoniancu.com/pre...

Looks like the bank did not do their due diligence, they should have known the zoning issues before the purchase. Are they now trying to save face, by spinning it as a foresighted decision for new Estonian center? Or is it all smoke and mirrors?
to- let me get this straight04 Apr 2017 16:29
With respect to your due diligence comment - the shareholders and EHB were told back in 2009 that a highrise at 958 Broadview Ave., would never happen, but no one listened. Three attempts later...as a shareholder, what can I say. People hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe, even when the facts are looking right at them.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to vanemad - shareholder (14:52)
:04 Apr 2017 16:34
Who told the EHB and shareholders that the highrise at 958 would never happen? I do not recalll this at all, maybe I do have selective memory?
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: : (15:11)
to selective memory04 Apr 2017 18:44
As I understand it, the Official Plan made it very clear with respect to height restriction. Anything outside that would require OMB. Further the Local Residential Groups made it very clear that they would fight any high rise development and finally there were some shareholders with development experience that clearly stated "this will not fly". It reminds me of this one joke: this guy is driving down the street complaining to God about how he is not giving him any signs as to what he should be doing with his life. As he's driving along, sign after sign is saying "don't proceed/danger ahead/caution". Well he drives off the bridge...up in heaven he says "God, why didn't you show me any signs". God replies..I did, you just decided to ignore them.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to vanemad - shareholder (14:52), to- let me get this straight (16:29)
Silvi05 Apr 2017 10:30
Hasti kirjutatud Allan!
Kas oled tana ohtul panga koosolekul?
Allan Meiusi05 Apr 2017 11:21
Kindlasti
to Dreams - young shareholder05 Apr 2017 11:20
Respectfully, I am not a drama queen but rather a concerned eesti maja voter. As for 'bashing' the organizations and community never offering a solution - this is incorrect. They have never asked people to provide ALTERNATIVE solutions. All they want to hear are ideas relating to their decision. There are other lands owned by these organizations/ other means of obtaining funds, yet none of this has been explored. Please do not reply back with a comment like "if you have a solution then provide it", because I do and I will. Thnx
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to vanemad - shareholder (14:52), to- let me get this straight (16:29), to selective memory (18:44), push to madison-young sharehld (09:00)
Another Young Shareholder05 Apr 2017 17:27
Maybe the other organizations can sell off the other properties to refurbish the EM?

It was reported that the consultants stated that EM is outdated and awkward. So how about unload the Dalai Lama's house and use the profit for refurbishing the EM?

Also, we don't fix the 'awkward space' issue with the new EM2 proposal. It is totally awkward to have the Esto school both in the basement and the 2nd floor.

Also there are so many frat houses in the neighbourhood there. Friday nights can create mess in public spaces. Saturday morning Lasteaed people would have to walk by urine and vomit in the public square in EM2's front on occasion.
to support yng shareholder05 Apr 2017 12:07
Thank you!
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to vanemad - shareholder (14:52), to- let me get this straight (16:29), to selective memory (18:44), push to madison-young sharehld (09:00), to Dreams - young shareholder (11:20)
to the other yng sharerholder06 Apr 2017 07:26
From one youngester to another - I'm with you. Last nite I went to my first bank AGM....it will be my last. After last nite I decidec two things: one - vote NO; two - pull my money. Here's why - I know the people who have worked hard to paint/re-carpet EH. Yet the bank tried to take credit for this by stating that it was part of their maintenance costs. Then the real reason for selling EH came forth....the bank needs a new branch on 11 madison and EH will be paying for it. Why a new branch - because they need to implement new technology - the bank needs to get modernized - get ATM cards; on line banking and mobile banking and get all of us students to deposit money- get credit cards. So instead of reburbishing the EH, we will be paying to reburbish the 11 madison house which is has been untouched since 1969. So just to summarize: why are we paying to reburbish a 1969 house vs. EH which may be 1960, but already had two renovations?
to -- Community vigilance05 Apr 2017 16:56
How did Meiusi's activism make Ehatare a better place?
First, he tried to topple the Board and have it replaced by one that would re-hire a dismissed employee.
When that failed, he lead a campaign of revenge and sabotage.
What good did that do?
It's also fair to ask, what good is he doing now?
Q&A05 Apr 2017 21:57
You ask some good questions. Here are some other angles:

Q. What if Estonian House Limited shareholders were told to buy 11 Madison from ETCU? Monetary benefit?

A. The ETCU would make money. But wouldn't the ETCU would get the same monetary benefit from selling 11 Madison whether from another non-Esto seller? So it’s hardly a conflict of interest. They don’t need Eesti Maja to make money off that house. Same with ESK. They will make money off their properties regardless of whether the Esto House is sold or not.

Q. Tartu College - Since museum revenues are next to nil, how does the debt get serviced?

A. Pretty sure Tartu services its debt by renting the 400 odd student residents suites it manages. It has a way better cash flow than a 100+ year old building with a leaky hall. I have heard zero news that they are in any type of financial trouble.

Q. The boards of three Estonian organizations apparently agree that a move to Madison is critically needed, the fourth board seems to be following its real leaders. But who’s interest is best being served?

A. It appears all players get something. Esto House a solution to its house poor situation and major capital repair backlog, the bank gets a shiny new branch, the charity doesn’t have to sink funds into keeping a 100+ year old building afloat, and Tartu gets the same benefit it gets by building a museum, breathing life into our community. Finally, and most importantly the community gets a centre that will serve it well for the long term and is supported by it's major institutions.

Q. Who’s financial house has the most financial obligations and potential risk?

A. Esto house. It makes almost no money and has a huge capital repair backlog. Tartu has long term and sustainable business model. It may have more debt, but that’s because it has more revenue. I wouldn’t give a McDonalds cashier the same type of loan I would give a teacher with a job for life. It also makes sense that Tartu would seek a loan from our community bank. Same reason I would get a mortgage from ETCU. Its our community bank.

Q. Why is assuming greater debt downtown, on a smaller piece of land, that is restricted to fewer floors, situated on top of two subway lines, in a neighbourhood where the residents are more organized and vocal than upper Riverdale, considered more attractive and less risky?

A. Because there aren't really any other obvious options. Renovating esto house is just a lot of bake sales and half-baked schemes. There is no money on the table to fix the place up. There is also the big risk at 958 Broadview that at the end of the day the bank could say, screw it we are done with operating out of third floor branch with a leaky roof that's cold in the winter and hot in the summer and decides to build itself a brand new highly visible branch on busy Bloor with lots of nearby students looking to open their first bank accounts. It's probably the right business decision for the bank to move and the Esto House loses it's biggest tenant and it's cooked.

How do you get a fixed up esto house, modern facilities up to code, sparkling new bank branch without a developer or some major source of revenue like the sale of an asset?

Overall the fact that the community organizations may benefit from the project doesn't mean that there are nefarious conflicts of interests. What there is, is an option on the table that strengthens our organizations which at the end of the day strengths our community. That should be embraced.
Saddend06 Apr 2017 06:23
For years.. and I mean years the Estonian House has been mismanaged.
Either by incompetent managers OR most likely by a board that did not want to upgrade the facility as required.

I am certain they all knew it needed a new roof. And anyone who has any knowledge in Asset Management knows that you can get funding if the work done increases the value of the asset.

Yet, I will say it again.. there has never been proper marketing of the Estonian House. Even now.. the coffee shop can be rented out for intimate venue.. but is not on the list of rentable space.

The caterer who managed it before has shut down but still uses the facility for FREE... where there are mulitple kitchens, washers and dryers... and when the Estonian House does a fund raiser bake sale.. she sets up shop and sells her own goods ... which affects the bake sale.

Now we all love the caterer... and the food is delicious.. but the Estonian house is a BUSINESS ... and such should have tenants OR in this case, PAST tenant... to stop using the facilities if she is not paying... and really the oldest fridges..
they say that a new fridge will pay for it self in lower energy costs right within a short period of time.

The Crystal hall now has 2 sinks in it.. seems that space will be rented shortly for again.... not sure if our community will continue to have access.. but hearsay is that the rent is way to low.

The reality is the Allan Meiusi have given us facts.

And I for one am happy for that.. and to bring up Ehatare is insane.

Years after Rosi was gone.. the residents still cried due to missing her.

To say when 4 people put their names in as new board members... that they would ruin Ehatare, is insane.. the 4 would NOT have had majority vote. So please.. do not be a drama queen.

This just shows that many of our Estonian organizations are incestuous.

One leaves a board position and the rest of the board already picks the next board member... no real vote..

look at Ehatare proxy... you have not choice but who they recommend. Please.. our community organizations have shown they are not for democracy but protectionism...

Sadly, this really means they all believe they "know best".

And it is clear they do not.

The issue was not Rosi being terminated.. but the arrogance of the board who put out a notice when shock of the termination was announced...

It was their arrogance in saying.. "we know best"

Thus, Ehatare has a board who decides who the next board members are and ONLY presents them. I belive one has to get over 25 signatures (or more) from exsisting members to be able to get your name on the nominating list.

Can you say protectionism!

Also.. back when all the Rosi termination stuff happened... 3 millon dollars were transferred from Ehatare books to a new charitable organization I think call Ehatare Foundation...

I might go look to see if the funds are still there or gone missing... this was supposed to be the funds to a NEW Ehatare... Again... seems that this too did not happen... but the 3 millon dollars... and only 2 people listed on the filing.. the past president and the past treasurer

To me.. is seems that our society is out for themselves and not really for the community ... and this is super sad.

And I for one believe we keep the asset we have because if we get the right people on the board we can straighten this all out.... but then... who can out vote the combined group?
Listen to yourself06 Apr 2017 08:15
You are saying the board is a disaster because it did not spend all of our community's money on building a new roof... for a building that was planned to be torn down soon for the condo project. Even today why build a new roof if we are moving to Tartu? Which developer is paying more for the site because of a new roof. If we decide to stay then yes let's talk about this new roof.
lugeja06 Apr 2017 08:37
"Now we all love the caterer... and the food is delicious.. but the Estonian house is a BUSINESS ... and such should have tenants OR in this case, PAST tenant... to stop using the facilities if she is not paying..."
As far as I know, the caterer for some reason was given a sweetheart deal whereby whe never paid for use of the facilities. Would be curious to know if this is really true and if so, how this happened.


"This just shows that many of our Estonian organizations are incestuous."
I've felt this way for a very long time as well.
to Saddened06 Apr 2017 16:32
Meiusi is unwilling to participate!
Instead, he snipes from the sidelines, as if he was an expert and well-intentioned to boot.
Anyone who cares about our old folks is welcome to join the Board at Ehatare.
By contrast, Meiusi and his gang wanted to turn Ehatare into a sheltered workshop for a failed cocktail lounge lizard who couldn't make it in the competitive real world.
For that, he put forward an "alternative slate" for the Board.
Friends and family of Ehatare's residents, overwhelmingly, voted against it.
What's Meiusi up to now? We don't know, but; we should be worried.
To Saddened!11 Apr 2017 17:22
Don't believe everything that Meiusi says!
If you're foolish enough to believe that $3 million of Ehatare's money has mysteriously disappeared, then alert the police! Go ahead! Make a fool of yourself.
Also, if you're genuinely curious about the management of Ehatare, then show up at their Annual General Meeting.
Better still, stand for election to the Board. If the welfare of our old folks is your priority, you're certain to be elected. Then you can tell us what happened to the $3 million; and be certain give us a report, instead of insinuating malfeasance.
Outsider06 Apr 2017 07:41
I am not involved in the Esto community at all, but am a proud Estonian. For anyone on the outside of this weird and crazy dialogue of "what ifs" happening here, TC, EM, ESK and ECU in fact ARE the most integral and visible parts of the community. They support absolutely everything else in a huge way. If this proposal is endorsed by them, and it's in their interest, it's in OUR interest as Canadian Estonians. I am in favour.
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