Sunday, August 28, 2016

Here we go again...cough, cough, cough!

The City of New Hartford, New York...has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Apparently, it has once again caught the attention of the Observer Dispatch because as a follow-up story they wrote another article in today's paper, "Tyksinski: City of New Hartford still possible".

However, has Supervisor Tyksinski really done his homework on this one or is he just blowing more smoke?

According to the article:
"To move forward, the measure would have to be put to vote by the state Assembly and Senate. After that, it would be subject to local public hearings and a referendum, the process taking a couple of years to complete."
Just that easy, Supervisor? I don't think so...I do believe that you are putting the cart before the horse! I think you better go back to the drawing board...this is a decision that has to be made by more than a couple of people sitting behind closed doors like the comprehensive plan was done. The "there are too many changes to explain to you" excuse will not suffice this time, sir!

The last city formed in New York State was the city of Rye in 1942 when the village of Rye decided to form a city. That is one village deciding to change its form of government.

The New Hartford scenario is quite different...we are a town that contains two villages. Villages are their own government and the town cannot pass legislation that affects a village unless the village agrees.

First thing that would be needed is to create a city charter outlining how the city would be run; what type of city government (there are several) what powers would be granted to each level of the city government, who would lead the "new" government, etc. Done correctly, that is no easy task as evidenced by the years other towns/villages have taken to put together their charter only in the end to decide to not go ahead with their plan to become a city.

It is the charter in its final form that would then be voted on by the taxpayers of each village and the town proper and only IF 51% of the taxpayers in each municipality voted to become a city, the charter would be sent to the state legislature for approval. In other words, it would first take both villages desiring to dissolve to join the town to form the city or it cannot happen.

What in heaven's name makes Supervisor Tyksinski think that 51% of the taxpayers in the Village of New Hartford; 51% of taxpayers in the village of New York Mills; and 51% of the taxpayers in the town proper would vote to become one as a city? Especially when everyone finds out just what being a city means and the differences between a city and a town or village!

What would become of the remaining village of New York Mills residents that live in Whitestown?

Bottom line, becoming a city is not an overnight project, my friends, and if you have been following along on my blog, you will realize that short of a miracle, this town is headed for a tax hike...we are running out of special districts to "borrow" money from to pay the bills.

When a sewer district has to start paying bills for stormwater remediation that is done by a contractor hired by the supervisor without going to bid, you better believe we are in trouble.

When a fire district is billed over $130,000 more over a four year period than the total of the bills that are being paid on their behalf and yet the fire district fund balance is less than $5,000, we are in trouble.

Tyksinski's "get rich quick" plan is a joke! Again, according to today's article:
How much sales tax could New Hartford (the city) net?

“About four times as much as we get now,” Tyksinski estimated. “It’s something that needs to be looked at.”
The 2017 town budget is being worked on right now and will be released to the public by October 4th. I find it interesting to note that will all the borrowing from the special districts, one of the taxpayers that does not contribute one single penny to these special districts is Supervisor Tyksinki because he lives in the village.

I guess it is easy to spend OTHER people's money without regard to town law!

Oh, and by the way, Tyksinski's remarks are in contrast to an Observer Dispatch article written on the same subject a few years back when he said:
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” Tyksinski said of incorporating as a city. “You’re looking at some big numbers here. … I don’t think it’s going to come about.”


Saturday, August 13, 2016


At the last town board meeting on August 10, 2016, Councilman Miscione brought up the $5,000 application fee being charged if a person wants to appear before the town board for a zoning amendment. This discussion was sparked by the solar energy requests that have been made and denied. I have already written blogs detailing how the comprehensive plan and zoning code do not match even though Town Law requires that they do.

Both Town Attorney Cully and Supervisor Tyksinski said the $5,000 fee was not a mistake and it would serve to keep the average person from coming to the board with their wish list of changes that they would like made for their property. However, they also thought that the large developer would easily be able to afford the $5,000 fee. They also said no one has complained about the fee...well, there's a damn good reason to charge such an exorbitant amount! The little taxpaying peons must be happy because they are quiet! Sheesh!

You have to listen to the video clip and hear the reasons behind the $5,000 is laughable. They make themselves look like total jackasses! They tried to blame River Street, the company that helped with the plan; then they tried to blame the five resident committee members that worked on the plan. Blame...blame...blame; that's the name of the game!

However, before you watch the video clip, I want to share with everyone the fee page from the updated zoning law that was provided to the public prior to the April 2014 informational meeting (which I also have videotaped) and also for the July 2014 Public Hearing when the new zoning code was adopted by the town board.

The same DRAFT copy remained on the town's website until at least February 14, 2015 according to the wayback machine internet archive. That is seven months after the adoption of the new zoning fees, the public was still led to believe that the zoning code was as contained in that document.

Here is the fee schedule presented to the public for their input:

March 12, 2014

(a) Request for amendment to Zoning Law, Text or Map amendment, excluding planned developments: $100.

(b) Request for amendment to Zoning Law and planned development district (over five (5) acres): $500.
Click here for a full-size pdf of the actual page downloaded from the town's website in April of 2014.

So the public was led to believe that the average person could appear before the town board to request a zoning amendment for a mere $100; NOT the $5,000 fee that now appears in the town code. You will note that at the bottom of the page it says "This document represents an internal WORKING DRAFT of the Town of New Hartford and is subject to change."

Really? One small problem boys, the change needed to take place PRIOR to the town board vote to adopt the plan...NOT after!

After Wednesday's meeting it should be quite clear who changed the fees, but why and what made them think that no one would know the truth?

Word to the town files are extensive and probably better organized than any filing system contained within the Town of New Hartford and what I don't have, I know how to get either off the internet or through FOIL.

Now without further ado, here is the video clip of the Exalted One and his town attorney (paid for by taxpayer dollars!):