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Monday, November 19, 2018

Oneida County Tax Cap Override Public Hearing...

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the County Executive of the County of Oneida will conduct a public hearing in the COUNTY EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE ROOM, 9th Floor, Oneida County Office Building, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York at 10:10 a.m. on the 6th day of December, 2018, regarding the proposed LOCAL LAW INTRODUCTORY H OF 2018, A LOCAL LAW TO OVERRIDE THE TAX LEVY LIMIT ESTABLISHED IN GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW 3-c .

TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that copies of the proposed Local Law and pertinent material relative thereto is available at the office of the Clerk of the Board of County Legislators, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York.

By: S/MIKALE BILLARD
MIKALE BILLARD, CLERK
DATED: November 15, 2018
OD: 11/19/2018

Also:



NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the County Executive of the County of Oneida will conduct a public hearing in the COUNTY EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE ROOM , 9th Floor, Oneida County Office Building, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York at 10:05 a.m. on the 6th day of December, 2018 , regarding the proposed LOCAL LAW INTRODUCTORY G OF 2018, A LOCAL LAW AMENDING THE ONEIDA COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE .

TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that copies of the proposed Local Law and pertinent material relative thereto is available at the office of the Clerk of the Board of County Legislators, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York.

By: S/MIKALE BILLARD
MIKALE BILLARD, CLERK
DATED: November 15, 2018
OD: 11/19/2018




And:



NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the County Executive of the County of Oneida will conduct a public hearing in the COUNTY EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE ROOM , 9th Floor, Oneida County Office Building, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York at 10:00 a.m. on the 6th day of December, 2018 , regarding the proposed LOCAL LAW INTRODUCTORY F OF 2018, A LOCAL LAW AMENDING THE ONEIDA COUNTY CHARTER .

TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that copies of the proposed Local Law and pertinent material relative thereto is available at the office of the Clerk of the Board of County Legislators, 800 Park Avenue, Utica, New York.

By: S/MIKALE BILLARD
MIKALE BILLARD, CLERK
DATED: November 15, 2018
OD: 11/19/2018




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

There's been some question as to who voted what...

...regarding the 2019 Preliminary Budget that has now been adopted pending the decision on whether or not to charge New York Mills residents for police protection.

In reviewing my video of the November 5th town board meeting, Councilman Messa and Supervisor Miscione both voted "nay" as reported in the Observer Dispatch, while Councilman Reynolds, Woodland and Cittadino all voted "yeah".

Therefore, we now have a 2019 adopted budget with the one exception regarding the police charges to NYM that will be determined at the Monday, November 19, 2019 Town Board meeting which is scheduled to be in Butler Hall starting at 6:30 p.m.

My question is...which town members would have voted in favor if they were told that the budget increase was not the 0.9% increase that Supervisor Miscione was quoted as saying more than once, but instead was 6.9% in General Wholetown plus another 6.9% in Police?

As Chief Fiscal Officer for the Town of New Hartford, Supervisor Miscione had an obligation to give adequate information to the board so they could make an informed decision. Instead Supervisor Miscione just kept adding "wish list" items to the budget as they were requested (along with some items added out of the view of the public so it cannot be confirmed who added them) and then he voted "nay" along with Councilman Messa.

Miscione then erroneously stated in the Observer Dispatch that the increase for the 2019 budget is 3.7% as opposed to his 0.9% initial budget as a reason why he voted no.

Except that, if you know anything about town budgeting, you would know that Miscione's Tentative budget never was a 0.9% increase from the get-go. His 2019 Tentative Budget that was presented to the board on October 5th included a 2.278% increase in appropriations which amounted to a 5% increase in the Police tax rate per thousand; not 0.9% that Miscione kept touting.

Supervisor Miscione is well aware of my position on finances in New Hartford; on November 8th I sent him a no-b/s email. After the next town board meeting, I may very well post my email message to him in its entirety or it can be FOILed if you are inclined to do so. However, here are my last few lines:
"I’ll end by saying that I openly supported you last year both by putting your sign on my lawn and blogging about how wonderful all your ideas and energy would be for New Hartford which I believed was in sharp contrast to the things Tyksinski was trying to get away with.

Sadly, I now regret having done that. I have worked for 15 years to shed a light on the b/s in New Hartford; I have purposely stayed quiet for most of this year because I believed that you also wanted to change the modus operandi in New Hartford. I made myself available whenever you called; researched to find answers to your questions and offered advice that was well-researched and backed up with documentation to try to get New Hartford on the right track. However, it has become quite apparent that you only want my opinion when it favors your “agenda” and could care less when I tell you that something cannot be done because the law doesn’t allow it.

To be honest, you have put me in a position where in order to protect the reputation I have built for my blog over the years, I either need to start telling it like it is or shut my blog down. I don’t intend to shut my blog down."
Indeed, Supervisor Miscione has brought some great things to New Hartford, but none of them will come without a price tag. To believe that all the "extras" could be achieved with a 0.9% increase in taxes is absurd.

So how much extra are you willing to pay? And how much mismanagement of finances by previous administrations are you wiling to overlook and continue rather than change so that everyone is fairly taxed? That is the question that each taxpayer will need to answer on their own.

I have no ill-will against Supervisor Miscione; he didn't really have a very good teacher during his previous time on the town board as councilman. However, for my own piece of mind, it was time to draw the proverbial "line in the sand".

Here is a short clip of the November 5, 2018 vote for the 2019 Adopted Budget with Supervisor Miscione and Councilman Messa voting "no".:





Friday, November 9, 2018

Town Board Meeting video - November 5, 2018...

and the legal notice in today's paper:



Below is the complete video of the November 5, 2018 town board meeting including an executive session to discuss "a particular person".

After the meeting was reconvened the town board adopted resolutions to:
  • Name Supervisor Miscione as Parks Director
  • Set the next meeting date
  • Accept the retirement of Amy Topor from the Police Dept.






Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I just love numbers...they usually always tell a story!

Just a quick add-on to my last blog...

Last night or should I say, in the wee hours of the morning, I based my numbers in my last blog on the Summary Pages of the two (2) different 2019 Preliminary Budgets that were available to attendees at each of the two Public Hearings for the 2019 Preliminary Budget.

It appears that the total appropriations on the 2019 Preliminary Budget summary page given out at the October 24, 2018 Public Hearing of $14,511,233 was different than the total appropriations on the summary sheet given out for the 2019 Preliminary Budget at last night's Public Hearing which was noticed in the Observer Dispatch legals as a continuation of the October 24, 2018 Public Hearing.

Last night's summary sheet total was $14,559,207 (see attached). Apparently, additional expenses were included in last night's 2019 Preliminary Budget; although I don't know how you can hold a continuation of a Public Hearing on a budget that is different than the one given out to the public during the first public hearing when no changes were made on October 24th.

Anyway, in reading today's Observer Dispatch, I notice that they are reporting that the adopted budget totals $14,610,033. That is $50,826 higher than the total on the summary sheet that was available and supposedly adopted at last night's Public Hearing pending a decision on whether or not to tax the residents in the Village of New York Mills portion of the town for police services. The next town board meeting has been changed to Monday, November 19th so they can discuss the NYM/police issue prior to the November 20th deadline for completed town budgets. No word yet if this will be another continuation of the previous two (2) Public Hearings for further discussion on that matter or if this is just a regular town board meeting.

I didn't hear any changes being made during the public hearing or town board meeting last night other than some confusion as to what and who is being taxed an additional 2% for fire protection in 2019 (that's another story for another day), although I must say town board meetings these days are sometimes hard to follow.

However, I did notice that the Observer Dispatch reporter was talking to some members of the town board after the meeting; did he write down the wrong total appropriations number or was he given the wrong number by the town supervisor? Or were there further changes that were not made available to the public last night and will magically appear in the 2019 Adopted Budget?

I am so confused frustrated and disgusted at this point! I think I will just go make myself a nice hot cup of chamomile tea with just a little honey and then go "play" in my studio for a while!

Hmmm, what possibly could be the story being told by the inconsistent numbers in the Town of New Hartford 2019 Budget?



Tax Levy vs. Tax Rate...there is a difference!

It was announced on the Observer Dispatch website that as of right now, the 2019 projected tax rate increase for Town of New Hartford's taxpayers will be 3.7 per cent.
"The new budget represents a 3.7 percent tax increase, Miscione said. Had the board adopted Miscione’s proposed budget – which was submitted in early October – the tax increase would have been 0.9 per cent."

Au contraire, mon frere!


It merely means that you are spending more than was appropriated in the 2018 budget! I have no idea where the 0.9% tax rate increase came from; it certainly didn't show up in any of my calculations. I tried to explain it to the town supervisor a couple of weeks ago, but he obviously didn't understand or else he didn't believe me. However, when calling the aforementioned 3.7% the tax rate increase, he is wrong...

The budget increase that the town supervisor speaks of is actually an increase in appropriations, in other words, he is spending more than the 2018 adopted budget...and more than the Tentative Budget (the supervisor's budget) which the town board received on October 5, 2018 and even more than the Preliminary Budget that was adopted for the October 24, 2018 Public Hearing. And in all honesty, the Preliminary Budget that was presented at tonight's Public Hearing was even higher than the Preliminary budget that was handed out at the Public Hearing on October 24, 2018. Don't know how and when the additional items were added, but it was not done in view of the public at tonight's public hearing.

I made a spreadsheet to show each of the increases in projected appropriations (expenses) that have occurred since the 2018 adopted budget:
Here's a larger pdf to view the spreadsheet


As you can readily see, the increase the town supervisor is stating is 3.37% actually represents the amount of additional expense over the adopted 2018 budget that the town board anticipates will be needed to operate in 2019. The spending (appropriations) minus estimated revenue and/or fund balance equals the tax levy or the amount of your tax dollars that have to be collected to meet those expenses. Divide by the total assessed value of each fund and you have the tax rate per thousand.

Now, let's look at the actual increase in the 2019 tax rate:

Here's a larger pdf to view the spreadsheet


The tax rate is the dollar rate per thousand of assessed value of your property used to calculate your yearly tax bill. So taxpayers living in both the Village of New York Mills and the Village of New Hartford as well as residents in the town outside both villages (basically everyone) will see a 6.91% increase in the tax rate per thousand of assessed value in the General Wholetown tax.

Taxpayers living in the Village of New Hartford and those living in the town outside the villages will see an additional 6.91% increase in the Police tax rate making it almost a 14% total increase in the tax rate for those residents on the 2019 Town Tax bill that will be received at the end of December.

As discussed at tonight's meeting, this could all change if the town board decides to tax residents living in the portion of the Village of New York Mills that is in the Town of New Hartford for police protection.

And they haven't even started paying for the new building yet!

I will have the video of the meeting and executive session up later this week as my time permits.



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Town of New Hartford Town Board Meeting - October 24, 2018



Part 1 of the Public Hearing for the 2019 Town Budget was held on October 24, 2018.

Part 2 of the Public Hearing for the 2019 Town Budget will be held on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in Butler Hall.

Agenda for the October 24, 2018