Middlefield Resident: Oral Presentation of Financial Analysis "Garbage" [VIDEO]

There were differences of opinion at Wednesday night's Board of Finance meeting, where Sean Hayes presented board members with his plan to restore Powder Ridge ski area.


Sean Hayes, owner of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland, was invited to the Aug. 1 Middlefield Board of Finance meeting, where he presented the board with his plan to buy and restore Middlefield's ski area.

Wednesday's meeting was also attended by several residents who've openly opposed the $700,000 deal between Hayes and the town, as well as supporters. The following are direct quotes from town officials, the buyer and residents:


"The reality is, this is going to cost us for phase one, just to turn it back on and get the first skier coming down the hill, $3.6 million."

- Sean Hayes, owner Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort LLC

"They were satisfied that based on the evidence they'd seen that once Powder Ridge becomes operational, their income should exceed their expenses."

Kenneth Antin, Middlefield town attorney, on the analysis of Sean Hayes' finances completed and orally presented to town officials by the accounting firm Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski of Middletown.

"I still feel that a written report is straight from the source. It puts aside any type of ambiguity, misinterpretation, it raises the level of confidence."

- Lucy Petrella, Middlefield Board of Finance Chairman

"My personal opinion, the risk is not that great given the other pieces and parts of the indemnification; the investment that has to be made up front, the fact that we've had Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski render an opinion that a business plan, in their opinion, is sound and the finances are in place."

- Bob Yamartino, Middlefield Board of Finance member, on the risk the town faces in having to pay back a $500,000 grant if Hayes fails to meet the grant's requirements.

"The property is being sold for $700,000. You take away $225,000 which is what Middlefield owes to Middlefield Holdings. That payment, if we go past November 30, 2012, does not have to be made. That was a deal, or part of a contract. I wonder why, as a citizen, you as a Board of Finance, don't make a reccomendation not only to the Board of Selectmen but to the town to delay selling the property."

- Marianne Corona, Middlefield resident

"I can tell you, in doing due diligence on a transaction of this magnitude for the town, okay, which is what's relavent, is that the oral presentation by the CPA is garbage. I'm not saying what they said is garbage, I'm saying it's inadequate, totally inadequate. It's totally Mickey Mouse."

- Carl Zanoni, Middlefield resident

"The fact is, okay, in Brownstone you've got a hole in the ground which you have a lease on and you can do a limited number of things there. Here, you're getting 200 plus acres, lots of room for lots of ideas, which you have, a lot of which sound like fun. It's a much bigger palate and you'll have to spend more money but also your profits should be much larger and you're getting that for a very minimal investment."

- James Brown, Middlefield resident

"I haven't heard any kind of reassurances or reaching out to the neighborhood about things like, noise. We were happy with Powder Ridge as it was, it was fine to live there with Powder Ridge, the lights on at night, all night skiing, that was fine. It worked out very well for the neighborhood. But now I'm hearing about paintball wars going into the activities."

- Pat Brown, Middlefield resident

"If something doesn't happen soon the buildings won't make another winter. They're not going to make it. That's why I would encourage anybody in here who doesn't believe me to go up there."

Rob Poturnicki, Middlefield resident

Mickey August 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM
That is correct that only one skier down the hill satisfies the state requirement, but you must understand the context of the comment- Over the concerns of townspeople who were afraid the town would have to return the $500,000 DECD grant- it was said over and over again that will not be a problem because there are only two conditions from the state- 1) That $2 Million in infrastructure be installed-The town will only be doling out the funds based on receipts and proof of expenditures already done- so that is easy. and 2) that there will be downhill skiing- With regard to satisfying the state so they do not demand the town return the money there need ONLY BE ONE SKIER- That is how the comment was made- Please stop twisting everything around and pay actual attention. This was part of the assurance for the town not having to return the DECD money. It is my belief that Sean Hayes intends to actually be successful-and just as with other successful businesses in town, such as Lyman, Zygo, and others, it will benefit the town. And again, and again and again I will ask that we all look at the ONE option before us- Take it or Leave it, and hope all those imaginary investors with millions finally come forward.
Sunshine August 09, 2012 at 04:28 AM
With regard to all of the problems we have with the deal on the table, I hope that the voters will chose to "leave it" so that the town will be able to negotiate with other companies out there who have the money to invest and who will negotiate fairly and openly with town officials. And this next time, I hope that our town officials will reconvene the former ad hoc committee of experienced business people.......men and women.....to assist with the negotiations in order to get the best deal for our town. People living in the Powder Ridge neighborhood do want a reputable business operating up there because they are tired of not knowing the future of the nearby land. It is simply not true that Powder Ridge neighbors want nothing but open space. You will recall that the referendum in 2007 and the Alpine deal were both supported by Powder Ridge neighbors and by many of the same groups in town that are now against this deal on the table with Brownstone. The opposition now is about people in town feeling exploited now and for many years to come. Our land is a treasure; I hope that it will be used wisely and intelligently for the benefit of all. It is only with the collaboration of many of our talented and experienced town citizens that a good deal will be accomplished. We almost had it with Alpine. It's time to stop secret dealing involving just one or two people, and it's time to stop giving away our land for just a fraction of what we paid for it .
Fed Up August 09, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Sunshine, you're rude. Your comments do nothing more than take a poke at Brownstone and Jon Brayshaw. For your information Brownstone is a "reputable business". There were people on that ad hoc that were responsible for some of the interested parties running as fast as they could, people with cash to invest and proven businesses. You all complain about what it has cost the town so far, are you looking to cost us more money? I'm not exactly sure, but I believe by town charter, the ad hoc committee is dissolved after one year automatically, and from what I know about it, someone would have to be an idiot to reinstate them. I Can't wait until Brownstone is up there running Powder Ridge! I wonder what all of you will do with your spare time. I'm sure you will find something that Jon Brayshaw is doing wrong to focus on.
Fed Up August 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM
You're absolutely right Rebecca. And as she clearly stated during her childish tantrum, she is an elected official. How embarrassing this video is for the entire town of Middlefield. Ellen, you are the TREASURER...NOT QUEEN!! She must have been fun to be around as a child, her team starts to lose, she takes her ball and goes home.
Mickey August 09, 2012 at 02:15 PM
OMG... I want to scream WHAT OTHER COMPANIES??? What in god's name are you talking about? Just once, at one meeting, bring a live human being who has more than $50,000 in assets to a meeting and indicate their interest in buying this. JUST ONE- Oh, wait, there is ONLY one- Sean Hayes- as far as I can see. As far as anyone can see except that handful. This contract was negotiated completely within the legal confines of state statute and our charter. People living in that neighborhood want NOTHING- This IS a reputable business- go ask Portland about their reputation- Of course you will NOT listen to that either. Those residents on Powder Hill drove Leavitt out of business when he tried to make a year-round enterprise in order to keep the business alive, and now they want nothing up there- You are not fooling anyone. Once again you will not hear this, but it is essentially the same deal as Alpine, MINUS that parcel and, and we paid for development rights- that is why we can't sell it for what we paid for it. How many times can someone say that to you before you will hear it? Secret Dealing- inflammatory, irrelevant, untrue and stupid comment being repeated by the same closed minded handful with their own agenda.


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