Since the transfer of the property upon which the magnolia tree stands was a violation of the Pack family will/wishes, how can it be a valid contract? Who are the attorneys that supposedly did their “due diligence” that resulted in what seems to be something less than a clear title?
David Gantt said: “We screwed up.” But it stops there! Why aren’t the county commissioners first of all apologizing to their constituents, and then more importantly, rectifying their mistake? For all those who voted for this, the honorable thing for them to do is to resign, if they can’t correct it.
And as for Stewart Coleman, he clearly is lacking in sensitivity and has a total disregard for what it means to be a good corporate citizen. He’s not supposed to own the magnolia-tree property, as it was obtained illegally. I find it incredible that all individuals involved in this deal simply overlooked the Pack will. The alternative is that “they” did know and were hoping to get away with it.
Coleman can plead ignorance to the Pack will if he wants, but he sure shouldn’t be rewarded for his gamble with a buyout [worth] many times what he paid for it. The fact that he’s spent time and money on the project is almost beside the point. Developers win some and lose some. If he had a modicum of ethical and community sensitivity and responsibility he would return the land for what he paid for it. Problem solved. He would then be admired, rather than vilified. If he continues to choose the latter, then there are at least 6,000 of us (those who signed the eminent-domain petition) who will never forget, nor probably forgive, his hard line and selfish action.
— Patrick L. O’Connor, M.D.