Sunday, February 18, 2007

Preswick - The Saga Continues

Did you read the article in the February 14, 2007 Observer Dispatch regarding the Preswick Glen meeting?

According to the article, on February 6, 2007 the town, school and county passed a resolution, and I quote from the Observer Dispatch article:


"The three taxing authorities — the county, town and New Hartford Central School District — passed a resolution Feb. 6 to approve a cost-sharing agreement to pay for outside legal counsel to help them understand the issue better."

Well isn't that special! I wonder how they did that. You see, according to the Open Meetings Law:


§105. Conduct of executive sessions. 1. Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the general area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, a public body may conduct an executive session for the below enumerated purposes only, provided, however, that no action by formal vote shall be taken to appropriate public moneys..."

I do believe that passing a resolution on a cost-sharing agreement is "appropriating public moneys". Was this meeting posted and/or published so that the public could attend? Executive meetings must be voted on by the majority of board members in an open meeting. What was the urgency that they had to call a Special Meeting in the first place? The regular town board meeting was scheduled for the following day, February 7, 2006. In fact, they supposedly went into executive session that evening to discuss Preswick. So what were they discussing in the executive session on February 7th?

Did the Town Clerk attend the February 6th meeting and were minutes taken at the February 6th meeting? What amount of money has been allocated to pay this attorney? Can we see a copy of the resolution that was passed on February 6th?

And in the same article our Town Supervisor Earle Reed said, "We are optimistic" "We can work things out in good spirit." Well, Mr. Reed, how about just doing what the law says to do. Either they are tax exempt or they are not--no deals behind closed doors! How about holding a public meeting or two regarding Preswick like was promised to New Hartford residents over a year ago?

It seems to me that since we are paying our town attorney $150 an hour he should spend some of his time informing the town board how to conduct a legal meeting! This town board is continually setting their own ground rules and going against the Open Meetings Law. Town of New Hartford residents should be outraged!

And where is the Observer Dispatch--why aren't they reporting on some of these shenanigans?

1 comment:

Arkangel said...

When Vincent Rossi,Esq. was the Town Attorney; he was paid an hourly rate of $100. Why now, do we have to pay Jerry Green, Esq. an hourly rate of $150 with an annually budgeted amount of $90,000?

Incidentally, this is exclusive of monies being paid to Bond Counsel and third-party attorneys. Simply FOIL the documents from the Town Clerk (Gail Wolanin Young) and see for yourself.

On top of this, the Town has been illegally contracting out with other legal practitioners? Why is Jerry Green not doing his job and/or his civic duty to the Town.

I wonder if these people sleep at night - knowing that their billed hours should be reduced considerably or even waived. What became of volunteering one's time to the Town instead of "milking" it for everything you can get?

Once again, there are those "connected" to the town's elected officials who are on the "dole." Yes, this means they are money grabbing individuals who purport to know the law then are heard that, "the subject matter is beyond their understanding..." Why practice law if you do not know it?

I do agree that the Town's SECRET meetings are in violation of the OPEN MEETINGS LAW and may form the basis to file legal action against the Town Officials and hold them liable for damages - on numerous fronts.

Earle Reed and his cohorts have been so, so, secretive that the people of New Hartford will undoubtedly see new faces - well before their current term expires.

You are on point too, when discussing the Town's EXECUTIVE MEETINS. Earle Reed is NOT following Town Law, Jerry Green, Esq., knows this, however, turns a "blind" eye in these matters. Perhaps, the 5th Judicial District should investigate his actions in these matters. Suspensions are a reality in New York State of attorneys. (See Order of Suspension - Vice: Robert Calli, dated February 2, 2007, [Source: GOOGLE])

Upon information and belief, Mr. Calli is a senior member of the New Hartford School Board of Education.
Some example of one exhibiting a fiduciary role!

I encourage any Town of New Hartford resident to write a letter to Governor Elliot Spitzer requesting an investigation of the propriety of these elected officials and too, to have the NYS Comptroller audit the town's expenditures and the lack of resolutions supporting payment(s).