Tuesday, November 3, 2015

So Where's The Rest Of The Money? -- II

On Saturday, I looked at the parish's financial situation before Citibank moved out of the commercial property. But I've started thinking about the financial situation since mid-September, when I assume the Bush squatters got their last rental check.

Of the $22,000 rental income, the Citibank payment was about $21,000. The only remaining rental income is $1000 monthly for rental of the parking lot after hours for valet parking at a local restaurant. Prior to the seizure, plate and pledge amounted to $6500 per month, but I doubt if it's anything like that now. They used to get several hundred bucks a month for hall rental, but they threw AA and a choral group out when they seized the place.

Let's see if they can even keep the doors open. Gas, water, and electricity alone amounted to $1300 per month prior to the seizure. This leaves out the phone, including AT&T internet, which were an additional $320. If they haven't trimmed that by now, they'd better, but they're already over the $1000 a month they can reliably expect. There are other base expenses they really can't cut: trash disposal, $85 a month; property tax on the commercial space, $60 a month; church casualty insurance $850 a month. If they cut any of these, there'll be a problem.

This assumes, of course, that when the rent money stopped coming in, "Bishop" Williams elected to work for nothing, not to mention the organist. But they'll still have to pay workers comp, $175 a month; unemployment $460 a month.

This means that exclusive of salary, they need to come up with something like $3250 a month just to keep someone from shutting them down or turning out the lights. But they may be committed to other items like copier lease, $110 a month, and candles, bread, wine, and incense, $150 a month.

How long will "Bishop" Williams hang around without a paycheck? The organist? Housekeepers, if any?

But this doesn't get to their legal problems. Without the rental income, they can't pay Lancaster & Anastasia LLP anything, which may already be reflected in that web site being down. How can they finance a potential appeal from the impending final decision from the September trial? "Maybe Mrs Brandt will forego her African safari next year," my wife suggested. "Oh, and Mrs Bush may be willing to cash in a CD," I added. We'll see. And as long as the property continues in litigation, the commercial space is not rentable. Mr Lancaster does not have a good appeals court record in any case.

There's an additional problem, in that the appeals court made a factual finding that the parish vestry is the one elected in February 2012. Mr Lancaster didn't even contest this in the September trial, insisting only that Mrs Bush continued to be a member of the elected vestry. This raises the question of whether the squatters associated with Mrs Bush even have standing to bring an appeal, if they can even finance one.