Confidential Information Breach?

Somersett UnitedThe following is in response to a Country Club Member (i.e., see recent comment “Barry on $2.75 Million …”) threatening legal action against this website if we publish any future SGCC member confidential communications.  In this regard we offer the following:

  1. The published communication (i.e., see previous post entitled “$2.75 Million – What to do with it?”) was not distributed as confidential. However, most confidential email disclaimers are not legally binding anyway, especially if the recipient is not a signee to a confidentiality agreement. Also, a claim for breach of confidence typically requires the information to be of a confidential nature, which was communicated in confidence, and was disclosed to the detriment of the claimant. Perhaps the Country Club could explain what was so confidential in the communication, and if published harmed them in any way.
  2. But all the above is beside the point, what in the Country Club President’s communication should one be afraid of sharing with Somerset residents? It simply provides information to a question frequently raised, but unanswered, as to what will the Country Club do with the $2.75M.
  3. With regard to previous assertions that Country Club financials are nobody else’s business and confidential is simply not true. Being a non-profit, the SGCC is subject to IRS disclosure regulations. This is accomplished via annual submittal of IRS Form 990, which must be made available for public inspection. Analysis of these forms for years past reveal the following:
    1. 2010 – The SGCC showed an operating loss (i.e., Revenue less Expenses) of $560K. This is the year the Developer accomplished early turnover to the SGCC Equity Members.
    2. 2011 – The SGCC showed an operating loss of $628K. First year the SGCC was run entirely by Equity Members
    3. 2012 – The SGCC showed an operating profit of $32K. This represents the year the SGCC starting receiving approximately $440K/year in subsidy from Somersett Owner assessments (i.e., $15/month/unit owner). Without the SOA funding, one could assume the SGCC would have incurred an operating loss approaching $408K.
    4. 2013 – The SGCC showed an operating profit of $104K. Without the $440K/year SOA funding, one could assume an operating loss approaching $336K.
    5. 2014 – Financials not yet available. However, the SGCC continued to receive the annual subsidy from the SOA. In the published communication, the SGCC President stated that “For most of the last year the SOA contributions have NOT been included in our budget. Therefore, this Club operated in the black based on a sound budgeting and independent of SOA funds”. Good news moving forward but, as of yet, unsubstantiated.
  4. The published SGCC communication focuses on use of funds to build a clubhouse, something that is direly needed. However, Somersett owners need to be reminded that, under the terms of the proposed purchase agreement, in the event of SGCC default, the SGCC clubhouse and the land on which it stands does not revert to the SOA. That is, the SGCC equity members retain ownership and water rights to this property.

SU will not be intimidated by the likes of “Barry” (who we doubt is a formal spokesman for the SGCC) and will continue to post editorials and articles we believe to be of interest to our readers.