Gosnold, Inc. and Barnstable County should mutually and amicably agree to terminate their lease of the County-owned property at 875 County Road in Pocasset.
Over the past week the public has learned of the County's problems with leases of its property that were executed in a manner contrary to state law. Yesterday's story revealed that Gosnold's lease of space at the former Barnstable County Hospital campus carries the additional impediment of having been signed by then-County Commissioner Mary LeClair while she at the same time chaired Gosnold's board of directors. This apparent conflict of interest casts a shadow of impropriety that Gosnold does not need.
According to the non-profit's most recent public filings on Guidestar.org, Gosnold enjoys gross revenue of over $22 million. In Fiscal 2014 Gosnold paid $1.3 million in occupancy costs for its various locations. Gosnold should be able to afford space at a market rate to replace the County space it presently rents for $1 a year.
The benefit to Gosnold in vacating the lease would be to shed any perception of wrongdoing in the way its County lease was consummated. The benefit to the County is that it sheds a lease that was improperly consummated and leaves it clear to follow the law in seeking a new lease for the space. In an open procurement, Gosnold might even end up staying in the space if it successfuly bids for a new lease.
Both Gosnold and the County Commissioners should do the decent thing and release each other from this toxic lease.