residents of the Town of New Hartford finally got to view a public recount, which is exactly how it should have been in the first place. For the town board to have assumed that the Town Clerk's "Epiphany" over the weekend would have gone unchallenged is ludicrous.
The stormwater bond did pass with this recount; however, the whole process should leave questions in the mind of everyone. Does this confusion occur with every election and was it brought to light only because we challenged the town board? The inspectors used for this "special" bond vote were the same ones the Town has used in previous elections so how could they have not known the "drill"? Why is the town clerk not using a computer spreadsheet to do the computations instead of relying on hand calculations?
To be fair, mistakes can and do happen, but the town board needs to learn how to communicate with town residents. It took over 2 weeks for the town board to admit to errors and hold a public recount and then only because we spoke up. Moreover, the whole thing could have been avoided if the town clerk had allowed us to view the voting records in her office as she first told us we could. What does that say for our elected officials? It would have been interesting to see if there would have been an "epiphany" if the stormwater bond vote passed by 6 votes on March 29th.
The most disturbing part of this recount is that Councilman David Reynolds, Ward 3, Village of New Hartford, spent most of the time before and during the recount making faces, sneering and making rude comments to a town committee person regarding the ridiculousness of the public recount. The committee person he was speaking to also had the unmitigated gull to suggest to a member of our group that 15% of the signatures we collected for the permissive referendum were bogus. According to this person, the signatures should have been thrown out and we should apologize to the town board. By the way, this person is on the Police Commission so maybe it was a case of "sour grapes". Or maybe it is a matter of getting some "new blood" into town government.
On behalf of the Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government, I confronted Councilman Reynolds with his "attitude" problem and suggested that since he is attending as a representative of the town, it might be best if he considers how his facial expressions and snide remarks might be perceived. His reply was that he disagreed with me. Unfortunately, I have to say that his reply is exactly what I would have expected because snide remarks and facial contortions seem to be a "trademark" of the new members of our Town Board. How sad!
On behalf of the Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government, I want New Hartford residents to know that we are not going away. We will be watching very closely and blogging to let residents know what is going on. By the way, we are almost ready to launch our email sign-up so that you can receive email updates to happenings in the Town of New Hartford. The email list program should be available by this Sunday. Please stop by and sign up.