I want to thank the UL Alumni Board for taking time to meet with me to explain your position on the ads supporting the original land swap proposal. You acted on the facts as presented and wished to express support of UL President Dr. Ray Authement. I can understand both points, though I am amazed that the board was not aware that so many of the people you are elected to represent are opposed to this deal and that you did not thoroughly investigate the matter. The community is very involved, well informed, and opposed to the proposal. Your mission is to represent us in our support of the university. Support of the university called for opposition to this ridiculous deal. Your personal support of Doc should not have been with $3,800 of our funds.
I think the board was sold a sorry bag of goods, but that will be for you to determine. I do know a couple of things. After your endorsement, you found out we were giving $2 for every $1 of benefit received, and I am confident an independent appraisal would indicate we were giving $5 for every $1 derived. This was not a drastic budget response to the hurricanes but an ill-conceived deal proposed in July that brought nothing in the way of economic relief and would cause additional operating expenditures.
The public perception is that the horses never smelled this bad and that is a public relations nightmare in what is a banner year for UL. I do not question Doc's ethics; I question his judgment. In the academic world this may be futuristic and visionary thinking. In the real world, seven figure mistakes get you fired.
To the community, it is time to get off the fence. UL has apparently not heard us. If you are in support of the swap, send a letter, an email, write a check. If opposed, send a letter, an email, and hold your check until this matter is resolved to your satisfaction. Either way, be heard.
In closing, I want to publicly thank the brave people leading our cause. Elizabeth Brooks, Danica Adams and Griff Blakewood, you may save the horse farm and, if successful, the community will be better for your efforts. You had the audacity to suggest a second appraisal and UL stands to at least double its money as a result; even Doc should appreciate that.