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Letter to the Editor

Rainsford claims report "Inaccurate" and "Biased"

web posted February 4, 2011

Dear Editor:
As usual we can count on Edgefield Daily for highly inaccurate and biased reporting, as well as for doing great damage to Edgefield County at every opportunity.

With respect to Monday night’s meeting, you did not report in any way the substance of my letter which had been distributed prior to the meeting and which provided comprehensive background and an alternative plan for addressing the issues at Mount Vintage.  It described in detail the totally illegal actions taken by a group composed of my fellow shareholder, Talmadge Knight, Mount Vintage resident, Mike Hooker, and others in their attempt to take over the Homeowners Association and force the members of the golf club and residents of the plantation to finance for them with “special assessments” and other fees the acquisition of the amenities of the Plantation at 25 cents on the dollar.

Their unauthorized and illegal actions have resulted in the loss of more than 100 members of the golf club and severely damaged the financial viability of that business.  Litigation on this issue has now begun, and I am highly confident that they will come to deeply regret their unauthorized and obviously illegal actions.

Last summer ninety-two property owners at Mount Vintage joined together and contributed financially to a lawsuit to stop the special assessments at the Homeowners Association.  Separately, I brought a suit for Declaratory Judgment to stop their efforts to take over the Homeowners Association.  Both suits were heard in early October and on November 4, 2010, the Court ruled in my favor, nullifying the efforts to take over the Association and to impose the special assessments.

In advance of the Annual Meeting on Monday night, this same group orchestrated an effort to try to get us to turn over the Association to them to enable them to continue their illegal and ill-conceived plan.  On Monday morning I sent a comprehensive letter to the members addressing the issues, making clear that I would not step aside to allow the group to take over and continue their plan, but offering a counter-proposal which was both fair and legal.  In connection with this proposal, I included a provision which would insure that I could not profit from the plan and therefore had no conflict of interest.

At the meeting, the Knight/Hooker group had orchestrated a pep-rally to suggest broad support for their plan and to attempt to embarrass me.  An e-mail had gone out encouraging their supporters to be a boisterous and contentious to me as possible.  As can be seen by anyone who views this video, these people were clearly uninterested in offering anything constructive, and their principal achievement was in demonstrating extraordinary rudeness.

As for me, I continue to be available to discuss with any property owners possible solutions for the problems which face Mount Vintage, and I can assure all property owners that I will continue to do all that is necessary to insure that the unfair and illegal actions of this group do not prevail.

Bettis C. Rainsford

(Co-owner MV Developement)

Editor's note: The report accurately reflected the spoken content of the meeting. The handout was not explained nor provided for the report. The proposal submitted to the homeowners was rejected by all those present with some claiming they would have to be "insane" to accept Mr. Rainsford's plan. The link to the webcast meeting was provided for other details of the meeting that were discussed and for a full understanding of the events and comments made. Not one single person stood to defend or support Mr. Rainsford or his plan. Readers are encouraged to view the webcast and make your own decision.

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