At the August 29th monthly meeting of the Upper Ridge Community Council it was announced the Desable Guild had received a demand for the keys by noon the following day from an attorney representing the State Grange and the Desable Grange #762. With no insurance to cover a lengthy lawsuit and Guild members affected by the Camp Fire-the president of the Guild lost her home to the fire-
it was decided by the Executive Board, they would hand the keys to State Treasurer, LIllian Booth, the following day. David Broderick, Executive member of the Bennett Valley Guild in Fort Bragg concurs with their decision.
Broderick stated, "There is no reason people who have gone through what they have should have to look at being sued over doing good works." In 2017 the Bennett Valley Guild had been served a similar notice. The board decided to ignore the request, the following day the Bennett Valley Guild along with each board member individually were served legal papers-they were being sued. In their situation, the Guild was financially in a position to take it on, in that they had insurance. The case has not been settled some two years later. They are not along.
David Zink of the Guild Legal Co-op mentioned since 2012, "the California superior court shows 1,957 filings, hundreds of hearings and lot of interested parties." Verifiable on the services.saccourt.ca.gov website under case number 2012-00130439. What is the bottom line on this battle? Zink summarizes, "Grangers like Lillian (Lillian Boothe, State Grange Secretary) believe the Grange always had control over local chaper properties, and that those properties were meant by Grangers to stay in the Grange-not in the community-forever. On our side, we don't see it in our own hall's meeting minutes and resolutions, and it is a shock to discover that the deal was changed long ago and far away in Washington, DC."
Politics, Personality and Power? Perhaps a mixture of all. While the war between the Guild and the Grange will not be settled for a very long time, there are community members undeterred and quite dedicated to see the goals of a locat community center for everyone. As Donna Yutzy stated on the night of the announcement, "we are resilient."
The following time line is not inclusive of all events. Information courtesy of sources such as, National Grange, CA Secretary of State, Caselaw.findlaw and the frankpatron blog websites, copies of correspondence-National, State Grange, California State Guild and the DeSabla Guild.