Dear Braintree Community Friends,
After an additional 30-day extension, Mayor Charles Kokoros finally terminated on June 17, 2021 the town’s contract with failed developer, E Street LLC, concerning the construction of the Braintree Athletic Facility at the Braintree High School campus. According to the Town’s notice, the contract was terminated because E Street LLC did not produce full design plans, obtain the necessary building permits, and never secured full funding for the project, all of which were required by the parties’ contract. In response, on June 29, 2021, E Street LLC filed suit in Norfolk Superior Court against the Town of Braintree, Mayor Kokoros, individually, and Mayor Kokoros, as Trustee of the Petersen Pool. E Street claimed that the Town breached the parties’ contract, along with other counts, including a claim for a declaratory injunction to determine the parties “rights and responsibilities” to the Petersen Trust. On July 19, 2021, E Street sought a preliminary injunction against the Town and the Mayor. As of this writing, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Mark Hallal’s has not yet issued a decision concerning E Street’s preliminary injunction motion. If granted, E Street’s motion would result in the developer being allowed to resume work on the project. We have put select court filings onto this website in order to give the people of Braintree an unvarnished view of the “real” story.
Obviously, the Petersen Pool Advocates—who are a Braintree-based citizens group—were not pleased to see the E Street lawsuit filed against the Braintree. Anytime “the Town” is sued, the 36,000 citizens of Braintree are sued. E Street’s lawsuit is not a private matter for just the Mayor or the administrators at Town Hall. E Street’s lawsuit is against the people of Braintree and our wallets. Moreover, E Street’s suit is a thinly veiled effort to leverage the much depleted Petersen Trust. As you know, the mayors of Braintree have improperly spent over $1 Million of Petersen Trust monies and improperly given Trust funds to runaway developers and third parties, without appropriate accountings to the Trust’s beneficiaries and the Norfolk Probate Court. Importantly, the only beneficiaries of the Captain Petersen’s Trust are the people of Braintree—our seniors, our children, our families—for whom the construction of a swimming pool was intended. Instead of a swimming pool at Braintree High School, we have an open field with watery ditches. The only thing that got drained was the Petersen Trust.
The people of Braintree, however, can be grateful to E Street LLC and its lawsuit for one critical occurrence. Finally, Braintree’s town leadership was forced to produce affidavits (which are statements signed under the pains and penalties of perjury), along with actual documents and correspondence about the failed Braintree Athletic Facility project. Like its two predecessors, developer E Street LLC:
(For a more detailed description of E Street’s inability to produce adequate plans or obtain permits, read the Affidavit of Russell Forsberg who is Braintree’s Building Inspector.) E Street’s “proof” of sufficient financing was described in a letter from RFBoston, which states that the finance company had approved a line of credit to purchase the property at 128 Town Road, Braintree. (See Affidavit of Nicole Taub, Exhibit M) Since when is the Braintree High School campus for sale? At the Court hearing, E Street’s counsel finally admitted that the developer had not obtained actual financing for the project.
For those fans of the television show Shark Tank, one is only reminded of financier Kevin O’Leary’s frequent lament to incompetent contestants looking for money, “Will someone stop the madness?” After reading all the court documents, it is sadly clear that the original Legislature’s Special Act authorizing Braintree’s mayors to enter into no-bid “public/private partnerships” to build Braintree’s town swimming pool and ice rink, with unreviewable authority, is a broken model. We, as a community, should re-engage and commit to a new approach for building the Petersen Pool, consistent with the Trust’s requirement that full financing must be secured and be operated by the Town’s Recreation Department. Efforts to re-issue a new request for proposals(“RFP”) based upon the Special Act should be soundly rejected. Lack of transparency and public accountability got us into this mess. It is time to stop the madness.
Dear Braintree Community Friends,
The latest update concerns Braintree Mayor Kokoros' decision to give 30-days notice of contract termination to E Street LLC, the current developer of the Braintree Athletic Facility. After 6 years+ of failed promises, 3 developers, and over $1 Million of Petersen Pool Trust fund monies misspent, Mayor Chuck Kokoros has made the decision to set the stage for pulling the plug on the contractor who was supposed to build a competitive grade Petersen Memorial Pool, 2 ice rinks and an indoor turf field. The Advocates see the Mayor’s decision as a strong affirmative step to stop the distraction and get serious about building the Petersen Pool right!
The Petersen Pool Advocates—swimmers, divers, their families and friends—congratulate the Mayor for his commitment to building a MIAA/NFHS-quality competitive swim/dive pool. We also salute the Town Council Members for speaking up on behalf of our community and insisting that the facts concerning this misguided project be discussed respectfully in an open forum with questions posed by the Council and answers provided by the Mayor. We look forward to the Town Council’s upcoming Thursday, 4/27/21 meeting at 7:30 p.m. when the Mayor will again report to the Council on the project’s status.
Dear Petersen Pool Advocates Supporters,
Thank you so much for taking the time to complete our Petition to Build the Petersen Pool Right! Captain Petersen and his wife, Sadie, deserve better than renegade developers draining the Petersen Pool Trust and the creation of mud puddles at the swimming pool's construction site at Braintree High School.
The Petersen Pool Advocates are just starting! On Wednesday February 17, 2021, representatives of the Petersen Pool Advocates met with Mayor Charles Kokoros. We informed the Mayor that almost 900 people had signed our petition in support of preparing full design and financing plans for the Petersen Memorial Pool and our opposition to further expenditures from the Petersen Trust. While expressing his willingness to work with us for the construction of a competitive swim and dive pool, the Mayor indicated that he wanted to pour a foundation, even though no plans for the pool's interior structure exist. Also, the Mayor was non-committal about stopping future withdrawals from the Trust.
At our meeting, the Petersen Pool Advocates also gave the Mayor a copy of our Complaint that was filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Public Charities' Division. In our Complaint, we informed the Attorney General of the Town's mismanagement of the Petersen Trust and improper distributions which violated the Trust's terms. The Advocates have asked the Attorney General to seek Court relief and replace the Mayor with an independent trustee to control the Petersen Trust. A copy of our Complaint with the Attorney General's Office is on our site at: www.petersenpooladvocates.org.
The Petersen Pool Advocates remain absolutely committed to Captain Petersen's dream--a community swimming pool for the people of Braintree. With your help, we can get the Petersen Pool Built Right!