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Notice of special information session regarding the below letter from Lion Everett Peterson. It will be held on November 19th beginning at 6 PM.  Everybody is invited to join the discussion and ask questions.

This session will be moderated by PDG Phil Whitaker. Each of the boards will be providing three board members to act as panelists to answer questions.

 
From: "Everett Peterson" <epeterson2009@gmail.com>

To: "Barbara Daily" <bebopp2002@yahoo.com>, "Charles Matthews" <chuck1936@msn.com>, "keith@gokeithaz.com" <keith@gokeithaz.com>

Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2020 at 12:13 AM
 
Subject: Letter to Arizona Lions MD21 Council Re: Camp Tatiyee & LFA
 
Dear MD 21 Council,
 
For 22 years the Lions of Arizona raised funds for the Tatiyee Land Campaign in order to protect their Camp. The whole intention was to preserve our Camp so that it could continue service forever. Camp Tatiyee is a legacy of the Lions in Arizona. Camp Tatiyee has been a shining example of what Lionism is all about.
 
Camp Tatiyee is also a member of our local White Mountain community, from Tatiyee Lights festivals, Christmas craft events, Open House events, housing first responders in both the Rodeo-Chediski and the Cedar Creek Fire, donating the food that was left to feed first responders, housing out-of-state nurses for Summit Hospital because of Covid, all without charging a fee. The Camp is supportive and active in our community which is why as members of the Pinetop Lions Club we want them right where they are.
 
However, the Lions Foundation has come into Pinetop-Lakeside in a different way, bringing in a developer with the exchange and allowing themselves to become an intermediary with the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside to assist the developer in any way they can. They have attended and participated in our Pinetop-Lakeside Town Council meetings and have acted like they speak for all Lions. You can view the meetings live on the town Facebook page. Members of the LFA Board spoke in support of a proposed family RV Park on property owned by their Land Exchange partner Brett Cote this summer which at full capacity would have had over 300 RV spaces. This RV Park would have been located a few hundred feet from the Camp pond and within 300 feet from neighbors with homes behind the camp. This caused great concern for the Camp because of the possibility of trespassers (possible sexual predators and lots of kids), noise issues and overall security. The RV Park zoning was passed unanimously by the Town Council even though 24 people showed up and fought against it in the middle of our Covid pandemic. After the Town Council passed this RV Park development a community group filed for a referendum petition to stop it. This group, Citizens for Quality Development, gathering signatures from well over two times the required number to put it to a vote of the Town’s citizens. As a result, the developer withdrew his request for RV Park zoning. The Camp has sided with the community to both protect the community and the Camp. They have routinely been told by the Foundation to not use the Camp land for petition signing or assistance and told that they will violate their lease with the Lions Foundation by interfering with the sale of the surrounding land owned by their Land Exchange partner. So in other words, they are being told by the Foundation to not protect Camp. Why is the Foundation endangering our Camp? Why are they acting like they own the Camp? That was not our understanding of the Tatiyee Land Campaign.
 
All this support from the LFA for their partner developer was done without involving input from the Camp Tatiyee Board. The LFA has not shared information regarding development surrounding the Camp with the Camp Director or members of the Tatiyee Board. So basically if the LFA had it’s way, the land around Camp Tatiyee would have been developed without the knowledge or input from the Tatiyee Board. 
 
When will the land be transferred into Camp Tatiyee’s name? The Camp was supposed to be put into the Camp’s name and held in a trust for the ACTIVE LIONS of Arizona, not the Foundation, but the ACTIVE LIONS of ARIZONA so that no lien or sale could happen without at least 85% of Lions in agreement according to the agreement that the Camp and the Foundation made with Lion Marc Parquette as mediator in 2012. An article on this agreement with most of the details ran in the Canyon State Lion, volume 16, number 10 in April 2012, included below. PDG Marc Parquette can attest that both boards agreed to this mediation and voted on the agreement.  The LFA even has this information printed on a slide on their website which says, over a photo of a Camp Tatiyee dorm cabin in reference to the impending completion of the Land Exchange, “Papers will be signed, titles will be transferred and within two years, the land will be placed into a ‘Land Trust’ for the Lions of AZ”.  So again, when will the land be transferred into a “Land Trust” for the Lions of AZ?  In talking to the Camp, we have learned that the Foundation will not give them title until they “make them whole”. In essence, the Foundation believes they lost money on this exchange. The Camp Tatiyee Board has been asking since the spring of 2019 for a price and has yet to receive one. In the meantime, critical things are happening that should include the Camp’s input as they are the ones who will be living with the results, but our Foundation does not involve them or ask for their input.
 
Rumors of Camp Tatiyee closing or moving have been circulating in town and we are working with the Camp to clarify that the Camp is here to stay and will remain in our community. That however is hard to do with the Foundation focusing on working with the developer they brought into the exchange and interacting with the town manager, city planner and council members as the face of Lions and owner of the land. This has been most recently apparent when the LFA requested Commercial 1 zoning for the Camp Tatiyee parcel over the objections of the Camp Director and Board at the Town Council meeting on October 15. The Town Council granted this request on a 6-1 vote at that meeting, voting in favor of the “landlord” (LFA) over the “tenant”, (the Camp Tatiyee Board).  Many articles have run in our local White Mountain Independent newspaper regarding the controversial issues raised by the LFA and the developer over these zoning requests through the summer and in the October 23 edition. These articles can be read online at www.wmicentral.com.
 
We ask that you intercede with this before we have no Camp. We would request that the MD21 Council direct the Foundation to give the Camp a purchase dollar figure to acquire their land if this is what needs to happen. Routinely the Camp Tatiyee Director and Board has expressed a desire to work in a manner to protect Lionism, but we are curious about what the Lions understanding of the Tatiyee Land Campaign was and who they trust with their Camp? Because for us, fighting this battle on behalf of our Camp in our own town, the only entity representing Camp is LIONS CAMP TATIYEE, as they have for the last 63 years. The Camp has to raise over half a million dollars every year to keep Camp free to all campers, and they do this every year; sadly 70% of their income is from donors outside of Lions.  The Foundation owning the land as they do right now could profoundly change Camp, because without Camp Tatiyee’s name on the title they can no longer receive grants for buildings, repairs and maintenance, because their funders know that the Foundation could put a lien on the property or even sell the property at any time. 
 
Let’s make sure that Lions Camp Tatiyee remains independent and strong. Direct the Foundation to give the Camp Tatiyee Board a number (perhaps an audited number) and let’s separate them from the Foundation for good. The Foundation has only held title to the land for a little over a year and they have shown that their intent is cashing out and acquiring as much money as they can through assisting the developer in selling the land around the Camp for as much profit as possible, evidenced by their support of the RV Park zoning and the successful effort to get the Town to rezone Camp Tatiyee to Commercial 1 zoning. The Camp and the LFA need to be separate entities or the Camp will not be able to serve at the capacity they have been. Under the current arrangement, funding will go away and the Foundation will use the camp and its marketability of campers to raise funding for themselves because they own the land. In addition, the Camp is currently operating on a 5 year lease which has 4 more years left. This arrangement leaves the future of Camp Tatiyee ultimately in the hands of the LFA, not the Camp Tatiyee Board. The possibility that the land could be sold requiring Camp Tatiyee to relocate is within the realm of future possibilities. A portion of the Tatiyee parcel could also be sold to a commercial venture, adversely impacting the Camp. We believe the intent of the last 22 years has been for the Lions to protect the Camp. We believe that the Lions of Arizona, if asked, would say the same. Help resolve this issue, get a number from the Foundation of what they lost, not what it is worth, and let’s move on and let our projects and boards run what they know is best on behalf of their own organizations. So we ask you to help in facilitating the spirit of the 2012 agreement stated very well in the final words of the Canyon State Lion article,  
“Furthermore, we agree that if any issues arise we will resolve them quickly so that no animosity will grow and we end up at odds. We are all Lions and this exchange will ensure that the Lions and Camp Tatiyee can provide services for generations to come.”
Sincerely,
Lion Everett Peterson
Pinetop Lions Club Secretary and MD21 North Zone 3 Chair
 
Lion Theresa Callaway
Pinetop Lions Club President 
 
Lion Tim Jackson
Pinetop Lions Club Vice President 
 
Lion Suzanne Jackson
Pinetop Lions Club Treasurer
 


CANYON-STATE LION WE SERVE ARIZONA-CALIFORNIA
Volume 16, Number 10
April 2012


Joint Statement for Camp Tatiyee and LFA Land Exchange

Lions of Arizona, we are happy to announce that the troubling period between the two boards and the land exchange that has occurred over the past couple years has been resolved. On or about January 27, 2012 both boards came together to resolve the outstanding issues that have caused problems since the SAVE OUR CAMP campaign. At subsequent board meetings both boards have voted to resolve the issues and move forward with completing the exchange. The following were a list of issues that were raised and we are now ready to announce that they have been resolved. The resolutions of those issues are listed after the issue of concern.
1) Who will own the camp once the exchange is complete: Both boards by almost unanimous agreement agreed that the camp should be put into a land trust and ownership should be held by all the active Lions of Arizona. The details of the Land Trust will be discussed and hammered out over the next few months so that the Camp and the Lions will be able to move forward with the knowledge that the Camp will continue to be protected well into the future.
2) No liens or mortgages put on the property once the exchange is complete: It has been agreed upon by both boards that the property will be put into the above said land trust and that no lien will be placed on the property barring extreme circumstances. Further, if a lien is needed, it will be put to a vote to the Lions of Arizona and a pre determined majority will have to vote in favor of it.
3) Both Boards to work together to obtain remaining funds for exchange. The board members have agreed to work together to create new ideas to raise the funds, both outside of Lions and with help from the clubs in MD 21, funds that are needed for the completion of the exchange. As Lions we are aware that you have heard this statement before and, while the cost of completing the exchange has risen to above what it should have been, it was determined not to be the fault of the Lions or the Camp Tatiyee or LFA Boards. Due to dramatic changes in personnel at the forestry service as well as politics on behalf of one individual in the Forestry Service, the exchange took longer than necessary; however, that has all changed. The new manager for the forestry service when hearing of what has happened has begun to champion for the exchange to be completed as soon as possible. With this change we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
4) Ensure that the Lions Foundation is in a position of being debt free once the exchange has been completed. The Parties concerned to the exchange are doing what they can to ensure that LFA will be debt free once the exchange is complete. There is a condition of the exchange agreement with the joint venture partner that will be able to make us whole. There are contingencies that this relies on based on the appraisal of the land. All parties are now working to ensure this will happen.
5) What will the Camp land consist of once the exchange is complete: This issue requires further investigation to ensure that the camp maintains its accreditation which is instrumental in fund raising for the camp. The parties are doing the research and working on ensuring this issue is resolved.
6) Stop the dissention between both boards and project a united front for the successful completion of the camp: As like most problems they arise as a result of lack of communication. Both boards have agreed to work together and maintain open lines of communication with the help of 2nd VDG Marc Paquette. The boards will hold monthly meetings, plan out combined strategies for fundraising and work toward a united effort for a successful exchange.
7) There are two loans that are currently past due, the Camp Tatiyee Loan and the signature for the security agreement for the Sierra Vista Salida Del Sol Lions Club: These two issues have been resolved; both boards have come to an agreement with respect to the promissory notes and the parties are willing to move forward with an understanding of open communications.
The Board members of Camp Tatiyee and the Lions Foundation of Arizona want to express how grateful they are for the help of all the Lions who have worked tirelessly to make this exchange happen. We want to assure you that moving forward we will work together to ensure that both boards are kept up to date about the exchange and about what is happening in the exchange. Furthermore, we agree that if any issues arise we will resolve them quickly so that no animosity will grow and we end up at odds. We are all Lions and this exchange will ensure that the Lions and Camp Tatiyee can provide services for generations to come.

 
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