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Friday, March 23, 2007

What's New in Town Government....

Nothing...absolutely nothing!

Did you get your "new" brochure in the mail yesterday or today. I got mine and thought I would share in case you didn't get the last 3 or 4 copies the town board has presented. They have not added one new piece of information since they presented the bond resolutions on November 1, 2006. In fact, they are no longer telling you what each of the bonds amounts are. We mentioned to them at each of the informational meetings that the bond amounts are missing. I guess at this point, we can safely assume they don't care.

They are still doing their negative accounting--not that we should be surprised--they seemed to do a lot of that at year end. See our blog Missing from the March 1, 2007 OD article (cont'd).

Oh, and they changed the layout of the last page so that there is a space for the address. Yes, indeed, our tax dollars at work!

Let me give you a couple of new revelations:

1. The building the town wants to purchase at 1 Oxford Crossing is currently assessed for $563,000. When asked at the November 1, 2006 budget hearing, the assessor said commercial assessments haven't been redone since 2001 because we are no longer in the State Reassessment Program and therefore they are not up to market value.

Au contrare! The assessment is $563,000 because in 2001 when they were reassessing commercial properties, the assessment was lowered by $117,000 instead of raised. Why would that be you might ask? Well, I know for a fact that there wasn't a fire at 1 Oxford Crossing because I would have seen it.

Let's see why would you lower a commercial property---hmm! One reason comes to mind is that maybe not all the space was rented out---commercial property is figured on an income basis. However, since we were in the State Reassessment program until 2004 and all properties were supposed to have been looked at each year, you would have thought the assessor would have checked the next year to see if anything changed. So either the assessor didn't do his job or the rents weren't the reason. Also in early 2003, Mr. Schuurman was willing to pay $900,000 to purchase the building. Doesn't sound like not all the suites were rented out to me.

So what else could have caused a decrease in assessed value in a year when commercial properties were being reassessed. Could be the fact that the town owns the lower parking lot and the access road and in the 1990s the town board gave a lifetime lease to the people who owned the building back in 2001. Gee, I am surprised if that is the reason, because once again one of our members, Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government, was able to ascertain that when Mr. Schuurman bought the building, the appraisal firm did not take that as a negative. In fact, since the town granted the original owners a lifetime use of the property, the appraiser we talked to said it is as good as the land being part of 1 Oxford Crossing. So if that is the reason that Maxwell decreased the value of 1 Oxford Crossing, it is a pretty poor reason.

However, I suspect if we told you who owned that building in 2001, you might be able to figure out why the building "really" had a decrease in assessed value. It is probably for the same reason that 2 & 4 Oxford Crossing did not receive an increase in assessment in 2001. Unless, of course, all three of the buildings were not fully rented out---NOT!

2. These are not the only commercial properties in the Town of New Hartford that either didn't have an assessment increase in 2001 or were actually lowered instead of raised. I guess 2001 just wasn't a good year for increased value of commercial property in the Town of New Hartford. Amazing!

3. Assessments and Maxwell's change sheets are a matter of public information and are subject to a Freedom of Information request.

By the way, according to Attorney Gerald Green, the town attorney and head of the Town Republican Committee, the town plans on paying $998,000 for 1 Oxford Crossing if Bond Proposition #5 is passed by the voters on March 29, 2007. How sweet it is!

Incidentally, both 2 & 4 Oxford Crossing are currently assessed for $394,200 in case anyone is wondering. And I have heard that plans may already be in the works to purchase at least one of them for town offices if the vote is passed for the purchase of 1 Oxford Crossing. Wonder what price the town would be willing to pay for one or both of them?

Like I have said before, rumors they are flying! Watch this blog for the "truth"--as we receive documents from the Freedom of Information requests we submit, we will post them so that all taxpayers can be informed! And if we can't get copies of any documents that we request, we will also let you know that.

Democracy--government by the people for the people!


Edmund J. Wiatr, Jr. said...

Earle Reed, "WHERE'S THE MONEY?"

This town resident did not receive his copy of the latest Town mailing. I wonder why?

This Town administration is by far the most secretive group of individuals I have ever come across in my life. Communication skills...they ALL lack!

Everything that I have read on this blog has been independently verified through painstaking research and request for Town documents.

What I have read lately, especially, how Roger Cleveland, Town Highway Superintendent buys and sells Town equipment, ALLEGED arms length transactions... is beyond me.

Town residents are encouraged to review the facts for themselves.

Lastly, the outright distortions told Standards & Poors, a credit reporting/rating Agency by Town Officials NOT the bookkeeper should be grounds for prosecution under Federal Law.

Once reviewed, your individual decision to VOTE NO on March 29, 2007 will be fully supported by the facts, not gossip and/or innuendo.

Educator said...

I guess we have some Earle Reed supporters who have NOT read these blogs and the Town's finance problems...

This appeared in today's Observer Dispatch - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR!

Letters to the Editor

March 24, 2007

New Hartford bonding a good investment

After reviewing the eight propositions ranging from new plows to a new police building to sidewalks and trail system improvements, it is certainly quite a "bang for the buck" at $18 per $100,000 property assessment.

Hopefully residents will review the benefits which involve all within the township. We are proud to live in the town of New Hartford and realize what a good thing these proposals will do to improve and protect the quality of life which we all enjoy.


Town of New Hartford


Dear Tom & Judy:

Fool me once, shame on me...Fool me twice...shame on YOU!

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

We will always have some people who are willing to support a bad thing. Actually, some of the bond proposals aren't necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that there is no plan and this administration has no regard for the law. Their only plan is to put some of the money in reserves.

And people need to face the fact that when a town has to use employee benefit budget lines to offset other budget lines at year end, the town is in trouble and there will eventually only be one way out---higher taxes. Let's see what these "supporters" think then.

The same people who are willing to support Earle Reed will probably be the first ones in line at the Board of Assessment Review "bitching" that their assessment is too high when in reality they just don't like the total taxes due on the property they own. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering who owned the Oxford Crossing in 2001 - and why that would impact the assessment?