Thursday, March 23, 2017

By Order of the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc.

Notice of Public Hearing


that the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc. located in the Town of New Hartford, County of Oneida and State of New York, will meet on ApriI 13, 2017 at 7 o'clock p.m., at the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc...

Click on the graphic for a larger print pdf

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The measure of a man...

A town resident and the trustee who spoke on behalf of the resident, came forward during the public portion of the Wednesday, March 8, 2017 town board meeting to discuss a persistent problem with water seeping into their basement from the town’s sewer line in the street during rain storms.

I must admit that I never met either person that appeared before the board that night in person, although I did have phone conversations with both of them because they called me prior to the town board meeting. Since I don't know them, I can only report on what they said and what transpired at the town board meeting.

Both people seemed very reasonable when I spoke to them on the phone and when they appeared at the board meeting; they just wanted a solution to their situation.

Let me start by acknowledging that for some reason there is obviously animosity between the resident and certain town "leaders" that extends beyond the current situation. However, there is no excuse for the town "leaders" to act with indignation towards a town resident particularly when the town had already acknowledged they are at fault in this situation.

From what I gather, the resident tried on several previous occasions to have discussions with town officials on this subject.

According to the resident, after he first contacted the town about the problem, two town employees came to the home to assess the situation; they left agreeing that it was indeed a town problem. I believe this to be true since it was repeated by the resident at the town board meeting and no one on the town board denied the statement.

After that initial visit to the home, according to the resident, there was nothing but silence from the town…calls to the resident’s councilman went unanswered even though Tyksinski’s secretary assured the resident that the message had been delivered. So the town resident had no choice but to file a Notice of Claim to protect his rights. Again, I believe this to be true since there were no denials by the town board.

At that point, Attorney Cully advised everyone on the town board to remain silent claiming the resident had filed a lawsuit against the town.

A Notice of Claim is not a lawsuit, it is merely to inform the municipality that there has been personal injury, wrongful death or damage to real or personal property alleged by reason of the negligence or wrongful act of the municipal entity or of any officer, agent or employee. It must be filed within 90 days of an incident in order to pass the muster to be heard in a court of law. The town still at that point has the ability to resolve an issue. Within the ninety days from the date of filing of the notice of claim, the claimant CANNOT file a lawsuit, but the town can request a 50-h hearing to gather more information from the claimant(s).

According to Attorney Cully, he just chose to send both the resident and the trustee a multi-page response to the claim which I am going to guess was an effort to intimidate them.

The town's "if you don't like it, sue me" policy is an arrogant attempt to "control" and usually ends ups costing the taxpayers.

Before the conversation ended that evening, it was acknowledged that the highway superintendent thought he could fix the problem sometime in April or when the weather permits. Attorney Cully stated that he would be sending an email to the property trustee soon.

I believe the highway superintendent to be an honorable man so unless the town's self-appointed “Grand Poobah” orders the highway superintendent to do otherwise, I believe the water leaking into the basement of the residence problem will be fixed soon.

Whether or not, the property damage issue will be resolved is the question, but I suspect it won't be unless a lawsuit is finally filed.

Here is the video: