Eesti Maja – Estonian House - a Business: Eesti Majandus Klubi Esimees. Est/Eng. Eesti Elu
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VanemadUuemad
oh dear19 Apr 2017 19:50
This must be mortifying for the business club. How would you even go about answering the spew? Public braying by those unaccustomed to finance and business, sure, but the business club esimees? Where you'd expect the complexities of negotiations and their various stages including the nascent stage, where this project is, to be understood. Instead, indulging another ego, bruised because he was not invited to be part of creating a solution to the Estonian House's descent to bankruptcy problem.
shareholder20 Apr 2017 09:40
What is really insulting is the fact that these organizations believe they know it all…instead of listening to the years of experience/wisdom of others. It’s not about being invited to the table; it’s about not being included in the process at all. At no point have any of the organizations asked the shareholders to submit ideas or have a shareholder take part in the closed door decision making process. The arrogance is so forceful that they feel entitled to make the decisions for us and everything presented to date validates this very point.
To shareholder20 Apr 2017 16:44
Really? Gotta call the BS on this one. At every EM shareholder meeting the board asked for proposals.
no share - doubly excluded04 May 2017 14:34
"It’s not about being invited to the table; it’s about not being included in the process at all."

and

"The arrogance is so forceful that they feel entitled to make the decisions for us and everything presented to date validates this very point."

I'm tired of these "token" meetings where apparently individual shareholder votes count. All the pre-chosen candidates had 2000+ votes (aka ECU predetermined votes ... no indication that the bank had any intention of considering people nominated at meeting) and then a drastic drop for the candidates nominated at the meeting 600+ for Väino Keelmann and 300+ for Piret Komi, Ingrid Tanner and Rob Vessmann. These last group of nominees should be put in place as the oversight committee for the 4Orgs, since they need oversight -- based on their actions to date, I don't feel that I can trust them.

Our 4Orgs "leaders" don't get it. They are the ones who are destroying our community. Build by inclusion! This is not your private club.
voter20 Apr 2017 12:51
excellent article, well thought out.
Tiiu Roiser21 Apr 2017 19:15
Thank you for the experienced advice and sound thinking. These are common sense questions that need to be answered.
Ilo Puhm01 May 2017 15:54
Vaino, your list of suggestions on how to analyze the situation from a business perspective is nice, but the implication that it has not been the case is wrong. It has always been part of the process in the past and most certainly will be this time as part of the due diligence process. You are also aware that a business must make decisions with less than perfect or complete data. In addition to assessing the viability of the Madison location, the business case for remaining or leaving 958 Broadview also needs consideration.

I was on the Eesti Maja board for 11 years and for those 11 years had the dubious honour of being responsible for over seeing the maintenance of the House. There are a few realities that I came to accept from the experience.

1. The old school house is now just a few years short of 130 years old, and even the additions are over 50 years old; nothing lasts forever.
2. Building plans do not exist that can help assess what problems may lurk behind the walls.
3. The House has major inefficiencies in space utilization, floor layouts, heating systems and others that have no easy solutions even if major renovations are done.
4. No maintenance action is possible that will ensure longer term stability or sustainability, only major renovation will accomplish that.
5. It is not possible to 'upgrade' in stages. We are either all in, we gut or tear down and rebuild; or all out, we sell and move on.

Here is my best guess at a business case.

1. No amount of maintenance expense can guarantee that the House remains sustainable. The next crisis can still, if not permanently close the doors, close them for months as the repairs are done and/or more money is raised. I am doubtful that the present revenues even cover operating expenses, never mind the need for an ever increasing maintenance fund and even larger contingency. The gap between revenues and maintenance expenditures will only grow larger with each passing year. Can the Estonian community sustain such a drain on our financial resources and human energy?
2. If the doors are suddenly closed, it will be a significant problem for all the users and tenants; for ETCU, it will be more serious as their ability to respond to a crisis will be much more difficult and their need to continue operations critical.
3. If the ETCU board decides the risk is too great and moves, Eesti Maja will collapse.
4. Who are we keeping the House for anyway? The active Estonian community is no longer the size it was 50 years ago. My guess is that 90% of the community needs can now be satisfied by multiple small class size rooms; a need that can be met with the purchase and retro fit of 11 Madison; and for most of the remaining 10% there is the Tartu College basement. Plus there is still the additional development on 9 Madison. The situation for the Pistol Club is more difficult, but if they can get the needed permissions from the City, I am sure the community would be happy if they could also be accommodate in the new location. So who are we keeping the House for anyway; a better solution potentially exists to meet the needs of the Estonian community's use of the House.

That is my best guess at a business case; feel free to come up with your own. My vote goes to moving on.
David Hogg01 May 2017 16:11
Well written, I agree!
Building new at Broadview03 May 2017 08:04
Why won't you address the option of gutting a good chunk of the old House at Broadview and building new and modern? People prefer the old location for practical reasons (parking, commuting from afar, it's in a more calm neighbourhood). The people will financially support this.

The 3orgs have alienated a good portion of the population by forcing a poor location (a limited build option on a subway system) on the community and it will be very, very difficult to get capital campaign support from a good number of them.
To Ilo Puhm03 May 2017 01:06
Your comment on the analysis from the Eesti Majandus Klubi is disingenuous and demonstrates the Estonian House’s need for new leaders. You write: "In addition to assessing the viability of the Madison location, the business case for remaining or leaving 958 Broadview also needs consideration". You go on to list, as a business case, some personal anecdotes and conjectures.

Below, to your point, are a news report of the meeting in 2012, when the resolution to extract maximum value from Estonian House was presented to shareholders, and reaction to the 2017 "town hall" talks by Puhm and Remmel, who asked shareholders to sell it off. Plus ça change. The Greek concept of idicocy explains the failure of the EM Tulevik Committee to respond to questions.


"Mujale kolimise puhul tuleb mängu rohkem kui ainult uue sobiva asukoha leidmine, mis pole kaugeltki lihtne... Südame häält ei tohiks alahinnata. Olemasolev maja soetati mitte ainult rahakottide toel, vaid ka südamete sunnil.

[Einola: “How ready is our community to support a fund-raising effort, a new share offering, for the construction of the Madison Property”?]

Võimalikke kompromisse on välja pakutud kaks. Arhitekt Guido Laikve kava teostada olemasoleva maja ümberehitamine järk-järgult, nii et tegevuses ei tekiks katkestust, on leidnud palju positiivset vastukaja. Miks tulevikukomitee seda võimalust arvestatavaks ei pea, sellest võib olla kõneldud, KUID KÕNELUSTE TULEMUSI POLE AVALIKUSTATUD. ..

Ei suuda ka aru saada, miks on nii kergekäeliselt hüljatud Läti Kultuurikeskusega ühinemise mõte....

Koosoleku juurde tagasi tulles mõjus mõnigal määral häirivalt, et kuigi ESITATI HULGALISELT ASJALIKKE KÜSIMUSI, olid need suunatud VALEDELE ISIKUTELE. C&W esindajad olid sunnitud korduvalt seletama, et NENDE EKSPERTIIS PIIRDUB KINNISVARATURU TUNDMISEGA. Enamusele küsimustest PIDANUKS vastused andma EM Tuleviku Komitee, mille liikmeskond tunneb eesti rahva soove ja vajadusi".


"to Puhm and Remmel -AGM04 Apr 2017 10:56

Kia Puhm faced shareholders who came to find out what had happened to the last deal they had agreed to, and she said only "the numbers did not support our going forward", while projecting on screen the same "Progress to Date" visual used in 2014...

What should have been on a slide are the exact reasons, given by what authorities, their relevant qualifications, and on what basis, for deciding as far back as 2009 to treat the EM as "obsolete"....

Zoning height and use restrictions, neighbourhood opposition, and heritage designations have been issues for “development” at the Estonian House and Tartu College/VEMU locations. They are a regular part of the cost and the time frame (part of the huge cost of financial management), built into the projects of developers. Estonian House has been embroiled. To embroil is to involve deeply in an argument, conflict, or difficult situation; to bring into a state of confusion or disorder. Was it necessary? Is there a better way out?"


Your question, "Who are we keeping the [Estonian] House for anyway?", and your example of the Pistol Club, are puzzling. If it were as easy to make possible their accomodation at Madison as you say, why did David Kalm suggest they travel to Seedrioru? What does your "guess" as to how other community needs could be met in the "potential solution" of the Madison project communicate about the "we" of your question and the “dubious honour”, as you put it, of your experience at Estonian House?

The Greek concept of “idiot” refers to a “private person”. An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs. Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born and citizens were made through education. Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonourable. Over time the term "idiot" shifted away from its original connotation of selfishness and came to refer to individuals with overall bad judgment.

In a topsy-turvy turn of events, with the last resolution, the shareholders of the Estonian House non-profit corporation were asked to surrender all decision-making, and so they have now been denied the honour, or in modern terms the right, to participate in public life, by idiots.

ESTONIAN HOUSE NEEDS A NEW LEADERSHIP.
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