Meadville Tribune

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June 16, 2014

Public meeting Tuesday for new Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park

The first meeting of the new Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park board is scheduled for this morning.

The new Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park — William Bragg, Joseph Ledford, Paul Huber and Denny Watson — holds its first public meeting today at 8 a.m. at the Donald E. Dillon Gallery and Center, 18360 Technology Dr., at the Crawford Business Park in Vernon Township.

Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is the nonprofit corporation that oversees the public trust that owns the amusement park.

The four new Trustees members are all board members of the Economic Progress Alliance, Crawford County’s lead economic development agency.

They were appointed Thursday as part of a consent decree between the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and the former seven-member Trustees approved by President Judge Anthony Vardaro of Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.

The new Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park board is expected to organize this morning and take steps to add to its board — up to as many as 15 people — with additional members drawn from the Conneaut Lake community, according to Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County.

Last week, Turner said EPACC board members on the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park board won’t comprise a majority of the new board’s membership and the Trustees’ meetings would be open to the public.

Under the consent decree approved Thursday in county court, the seven members on Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park — Jack Moyers, Carol West, Roy Brant, Kenneth B. McEwen, Jeffrey Mona, Lisa Rawson and James Roha — resigned from the board with no admission of negligence or wrongdoing on their part and the four new members were appointed.

In October 2013, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane petitioned Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to dismiss the now previous Trustees, claiming that board of Trustees had failed to properly care for the 122-year-old amusement park.

The state’s petition had alleged the then-Trustees failed to take advantage of business opportunities that would have generated more revenue; that Trustees steered business away from Hotel Conneaut; and that these incidents and failure to insure Dreamland Ballroom and The Beach Club represent “serious breaches of their (Trustees) fiduciary duty.”

The Dreamland Ballroom was destroyed by arson on Feb. 1, 2008, while the Beach Club was destroyed by a fire of undetermined origin on Aug. 1, 2013. In both cases, the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park didn’t have fire insurance on the building.

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