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January Press Release Print E-mail

POCONO SUMMIT, PA. – Residents of Stillwater Lakes Civic Association, a private community known for its picture-postcard tranquility and leisurely living, are seeing another side of life here not often captured in the ad spots and real estate brochures.

In December 2008, a lawsuit was filed by Stillwater Lakes Civic Association, Inc. (SLCA) against residents Michael Glassic and Noreen Gorka, who is also a board member, and an organization Glassic formed, Stillwater Lakes Community Activists, already 150 members strong.

The lawsuit alleges that Glassic’s two website domains, www.stillwaterlakes.net and www.stillwaterlakes.com constitute trademark infringement. The Association claims it has the exclusive rights to these names, and wants Glassic to:

  1. Transfer their registration of the domain names to the Association
  2. Disable the website operated at www.stillwaterlakes.net www.stillwaterlakes.com
  3. Stop using the acronym SLCA

Glassic and Gorka allege the lawsuit is a veiled attempt to quiet them, stop communication among residents, and shut down the website, interfering with their First Amendment Freedom of Speech rights.

Glassic and Gorka started the website after becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of communication and information from the Board of Directors and management. When the Association realized that they wanted the website to promote communication and transparency is when the Association wanted the site shut down. They kicked Noreen off the Communications Committee because she “refused to be censored.” The Association registered the domain Mystillwaterlakes.com on March 31, 2008 and opened the website to members in April, almost 2 years after Glassic registered stillwaterlakes.net.

Articles and links on the site now paint a different picture of Stillwater Lakes Civic Association. As they and other residents researched and reviewed documents and information they became increasingly concerned about the fiscal health of their community, and increasingly frustrated by the lack of information and answers coming from the board and management. Glassic alleges that the Association’s Board has mismanaged funds, concealed information from residents, and failed to conduct meetings fairly and properly, among other acts of misconduct. This site also features an online petition for other community residents to join the fight to clean-up the Board and the community.

“I believe we are the victims of a breach of fiduciary duty.” “Fiduciary duties” are held by people legally responsible for handling the money of others. A fiduciary is generally held to a high standard of ethics in order to ensure our money is not mismanaged. “We have legal rights, but no one to enforce them.”

Glassic suggests that their misconduct and gross negligence has resulted in a Community that is financially devastated, with the Board mortgaging common property to pay operating expenses, defunct water company that was sold, and a sewer system that is in such disrepair that it will take about 8 million dollars to fix. “The board and their lawyers are using our judicial system to try to bully and intimidate us into silence and take away our First Amendment Rights. Our judicial system is supposed to protect our rights, not take them away. The sad part is, if the board would just realize communication is a good thing, we could use our resources to rebuild our community, rather than just wasting the courts’ time and making the lawyers rich.”

SUBMITTED BY: Stillwater Lakes Community Activists