Vote for change

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2001

I am not a candidate for Goldbelt Board of Directors, although I have been nominated. I do not want to be a candidate. Two years ago in my campaign material I said that three things were necessary for Goldbelt to be financially secure. And I said if I was elected these were the three things I would do: 1) Push for an immediate moratorium on new active investments (other than prudent development of ANCSA land into real estate), and earmark any proceeds from the sale of real estate and other ventures for a permanent balanced securities portfolio. 2) Try to determine how much shareholders were willing to sacrifice in dividends in exchange of the jobs from active investments, in case these investments turn out to generate lots of jobs but low profits. 3) Take a hard look at the $3.2 million general and administrative expenses, including board fees (they make a salary of $1,050 a month for just being on the board - pay $50 a meeting and do away with the board pay). After all the board cut out our dividends!

I was not elected and, sadly, the board has not, in my opinion, done any of these things. And look where we are: As I stated in 1997 from Goldbelt's Annual Report (p. 10) timber flow would end in 1999 or 2000 and this is where our dividends were coming from. With no flow of timber a major shock has resulted to Goldbelt. We are going on two years without dividends. And none in sight because the board moved aggressively to acquire active operating assets: Cruise ships, tramway and real estate. Shareholders for Shareholders strongly objected to the out-of-control spending and extravagant general and administrative expenses and board fees. It was common knowledge among Native Corporations that active investments (hotels, cruise, tourism, etc.) lost money at the rate of 55 per year per year (Prof. Steve Colt, U of A 1973-93), yet was experiencing the Great Stock Market Boom 1994-98. Goldbelt owned no substantial stocks or bonds during this peak period. Look at the Alaska Permanent Fund. Do you see them buying up active investments? No! And Goldbelt shouldn't have either. Stocks and bonds would have been wise to buy as said longterm components of future asset base. The board didn't do this, now we have no dividends in sight. Goldbelt is short and debt high. Terrible combination for any business.

I am encouraging shareholders to put a stop to this type of management. I am concerned about our corporation. Get out and vote and make a change!

Ike Cropley,

Goldbelt Shareholders for Shareholders


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