Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Tryall charges unfounded

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I have decided to write this letter because I am a journalist and it is indeed a sad day when a newspaper of long-standing reputation such as The Gleaner would stoop to print unchecked, unfounded allegations instead of facts.

That the article 'Tryall battle', published on Sunday, December 14, 2014, would warrant the front page when the paper is not even able to name its sources and confirm the allegations smacks of yellow journalism and irresponsible reporting.

It is true that the last board election was halted by the injunction filed by Phillip Gore (a homeowner at Tryall and former member of the board), however, the insinuation that the 'Concerned Members' at Tryall would want to "hijack" the board and determine that there should NOT be a Jamaican board member at Tryall is pure fiction, unsubstantiated by real facts.

The former president of the board, Mr Jerry Healey, resigned recently, not of his own accord, but because he was asked to do so by four-fifth of the members of the club amid controversy over his style of running the club.

The general manager selected by the Search Committee of the board of directors cannot certainly be described as being "less-qualified", and he is a Jamaican.

He has long-standing experience in dealing with upscale resorts and villa management, qualifications that Mr Healey's previous choice did not possess.

The process, as described in the bylaws of the club for the election of its board members, is a democratic one where any member (in good standing and whose house is not for sale) can run for office. Therefore, the allegation that Tryall might not want a Jamaican board member is ridiculous and impossible.

Jamaicans on board

Tryall counts several homeowners who are Jamaican (some of them such as Mr Gore and Mr Mark Hart have served on the board), whomever wants to serve on the board only has to run for office and get the votes of fellow homeowners.

The Gleaner also claims that Tryall president ad interim, Julia Merck Utsch, did not respond to their email queries. As far as I know, Mrs Utsch has never received such an email, only a phone call and, since she has personally been sued by Mr Gore, she cannot obviously make any comments until the suit has been settled and resolved.

It is truly sad to see that some unnamed "sources" would take it upon themselves to spread lies and allegations in a place where most homeowners have bought residences because they love Jamaica and its people.

Tryall boasts among its homeowners a board member of American Friends of Jamaica and board members of Hanover charities, together with unwavering supporters of many other charities in Jamaica such as Food for the Poor, Rose Town, S.O.S. Village, Mobay Hope Hospital, Cornwall Regional Hospital and others. The Tryall community also has its own charity, The Tryall Fund, that operates in Hanover in the fields of health and education.

All Tryall homeowners (Jamaicans and non) have profound respect for Jamaica and its people and to suggest otherwise is petty, ridiculous and downright false.

Manuela Cerri Goren

Editors Note: The Gleaner's news desk has sent Julia Merck Utsch more than one email request for answers to questions.