23 minutes---That is how long tonight's town board meeting was---
It was apparent by the people in attendance that something was going to be discussed. Some of the people in attendance at tonight's town board meeting were New Hartford Central School Superintendent Dan Gilligan, Town Attorney Gerald Green, Assessor Paul Smith and Robert Nole, New Hartford Central School Asst. Superintendent for Business.
Come to find out, it was because of an executive meeting they were all going to attend after tonight's town board meeting. Earle Reed rushed through the "public" portion of the town board meeting, cutting his normal 35 minute "public" session to 23 minutes, and then called for an executive session saying that they have a very important and lengthy executive meeting regarding Preswick Glen, then he excused everyone, including the press.
According to today's Observer Dispatch and we quote, "Town attorney Gerald Green said one of the issues that would be discussed in the session is whether an outside counsel should be hired to offer advice and information about Preswick Glen's tax exemption issue." Well now that is strange, they already unanimously voted to contact outside counsel at the November 15, 2006 town board meeting.
According to the Open Meetings Law, the only reasons that a town board can go into executive session is:
- matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
- any matter which may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
- information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense which would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
- discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
- collective negotiations pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law;
- the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
- the preparation, grading or administration of examinations; and
- the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by such public body, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.
Let's see, the only one that might fit is "discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation". So is there a lawsuit on the horizon, either proposed or pending, because I haven't heard anything about a current lawsuit yet? Either that, or this meeting was not supposed to be behind closed doors! Have tax exempt papers been filed with the Town Assessor's office? How soon before we find out what this one is about?