The struggle over Smuggler
Credit for the negotiations to FINALLY purchase Smuggler after 15 years of negotiations with the late Wilk Wilkinson should go real estate broker Debra Goldstein, Judge Ray Wall (Wilkinson’s attorney and one of numerous creditors), John Ely (County Attorney) John Worcester (City Attorney) and Dale Will (Open Space Board director).
Before I was elected as a county commissioner, I had my Real Estate License and had worked as head escrow officer for Transamerica title and as a loan processor for Vic Chilson. Because of that knowledge, Leslie Lamont (planning expertise) and I became the lead negotiators with Wilk Wilkinson to try to negotiate a deal on Smuggler 11 years ago. That deal crumpled when Wilk’s price jumped from $9.5 million (county’s offer) to $25 million to include the harassment he felt he had suffered from the commissioners.
My part in the recent purchase was primarily based in the relationships of trust I had between Wilk, the county and the city. I was able to demonstrate through comparable sales to all the parties that $15 million was a fair value. I was clear with all the parties that none should be trying to take advantage of the other party but a fair price had to be given and a fair price accepted.
I continue to be very proud that I was part of finally putting to rest the long battle over Smuggler Mountain and only wish Wilk Wilkinson had lived to enjoy the end of years of conflict and stress to him.
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