to vote on eight (8) bond resolutions because Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government took a stand. You may not agree with us, and that's o.k., but we have made sure that you are able to have your say tomorrow, March 29, 2007.
Last October, the town board tried to take that right away. If we did not take the initiative to collect signatures to force a vote, these bonds would have already been sold and each and every resident would have been saddled with debt for up to 24 years whether you agreed or not.
The bond resolutions this town board has unanimously approved have varying maturities of any where from 14 to 24 years. We asked at several meetings what the maturities were on each of the bonds, not that we needed the information because we already obtained it from another source, but because we felt residents deserve to know how long this debt will be on our backs. Twenty-one (21) years for $45,000 to renovate the highway garage, fourteen (14) years for $92,000 for lighting that will pay for itself in a little over 3 years if you figure that the purported cost savings is $30,000 per year. Fifteen years for trucks that the town is currently declaring as salvage after 11 years and selling below book value. Fourteen (14) years for $150,000 for sidewalks that will probably need repair long before the bond is paid in full. No wonder they didn't want residents to know the maturities.
Once these bonds are sold, we will, in some cases, be leaving debt for our children to pay. Extended debt for the purchase of a building--makes sense, but the town has failed to let residents in on the plans, and the purchase of an additional building is NOT consolidation. To create a 14-year debt for lighting that will pay for itself in a 3 year period, 1 mile of sidewalks, and $45,000 of renovations seems rather ridiculous. And what happens next year and the year after? Do we keep bonding until the cost of living in the Town of New Hartford is not worth the benefits?
We have written several blogs that should scream "CAUTION" at every resident in this town. These "problems" have nothing to do with the previous administration as Supervisor Reed keeps alluding to. These are problems created solely by the present administration.
The Standard & Poor's letter that contradicts what the town board has been telling residents. The town never put the entire letter on the town website; they left out the part where Mr. Reed stated that the town is only bonding for $3 million and that he plans on adding $2 million to the Reserve Fund. Where do you think the $2 million for the Reserve Fund will be coming from?
The year-end transfers that total over $550,000 and some money had to be transferred from employee benefit accounts to offset deficits in other accounts and close out the books by December 31.
The 1995 Gradall that was sold at auction last October/November for below book value and now the town "needs" a new Gradall (Bond Resolution #6). The lease purchase agreement that was entered into by the Highway Superintendent without board authorization and without money in the Highway Department 2007 Budget to cover the expense.
The unavailable plans, cost estimates, and other information we requested in a Freedom of Information request in regards to 1 Oxford Crossing.
The illegal agreement between the town attorney's law firm and the town for stormwater management legal services.
The unavailability of the December 31, 2006 financial information until March 30, 2007, one day after the bond vote.
The information is all here on his blog along with copies of documents that you can view. We hope that you will avail yourself of the information we have posted over the past few weeks. After that, the decision is up to each and every resident in the Town of New Hartford.
Be sure to vote on tomorrow, March 29, 2007 from noon to 8 p.m. To find out where to vote, either use our Where Do I Vote? program or call the town clerk's office.