Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....(cont'd)

So is it a matter of the town "leaders" not knowing the law....let's look at the town board minutes from last year...easy to do with our "searchable" town board minutes:

REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
October 4, 2006
Page 9


Town Clerk:
2007 Tentative Budget

Town Clerk Gail Wolanin Young acknowledged that the 2007 Tentative Budget had been filed with her office on Friday, September 29, 2006 and that the Bookkeeper had furnished the Town Board with copies.
Public Hearing – 2007 Preliminary Budget
Supervisor Reed inquired about calling for a Public Hearing; the Town Clerk responded that she’d initially placed this matter on the Agenda but removed it because she thought it might be premature. Supervisor Reed believed it would be okay to proceed with scheduling the Public Hearing and introduced the following Resolution for adoption; seconded by Councilman Reynolds:

(RESOLUTION NO. 292 OF 2006)

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford will conduct Public Hearings to commence at 6:00 P.M., or as soon thereafter as reached in the regular course of business, on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 in Butler Memorial Hall, 48 Genesee Street, in said Town, to consider the following matters:

- the adoption of the 2007 Preliminary Budget as the 2007 Annual Budget; and

- the establishment of the ad valorem charges for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2007 for the following special districts/improvement areas:

Higby Road Water District
Water Fund
Fire Protection Districts No. 1 through No. 5, Inclusive
Various Street Lighting Districts; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that the said Town Board does hereby authorize and direct the Town Clerk to publish the legal requisite Notices of Public Hearing in The Observer Dispatch.

The Resolution was then voted upon as follows:

Councilman Waszkiewicz - Aye
Councilman Reynolds - Aye
Councilman Woodland - Aye
Councilman Payne- Aye
Supervisor Reed - Aye.

Thereafter, the Supervisor declared the Resolution unanimously carried and duly ADOPTED.
Guess, the town board knew that the tentative budget had to be accepted before October 5th last year...they even did it during a regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the evening. They had even set the date for the Public Hearing at the 2006 October 4th board meeting...so I guess they knew the law last year...or...was it a stroke of luck that they were in compliance with the law last year??!! We know that Concerned Citizens didn't have to 'remind' them of the law last year like it was necessary for us to do this year.

And by suddenly calling a 7 a.m. meeting on October 5, 2007, they broke their own rules. Here is an excerpt from the 2007 town board 'organizational' meeting held last December.
SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING
December 28, 2006
Page 20


II. SPECIAL MEETINGS:

The Supervisor may, and upon written request of two (2) members of the Board, call a special meeting of the Town Board at any time by giving at least two (2) days’ notice in writing to the other members of the Board of the time when and the place where the meeting is to be held.
Either a notice of the 7 a.m. Special Town Board meeting didn't go out to the board members two (2) days in advance...or the Town Clerk was left 'out of the loop'...or the Town Clerk was not being truthful when we called each day to ask if a meeting had been set. Concerned Citizens believes that the meeting was not set two (2) days in advance! We were finally notified of the time and place of the 'Special' meeting in an email that we received from the Town Clerk at 3:35 p.m. on October 4, 2007...less than 24 hours before the meeting took place! That is hardly two days notice!

So, just what is the problem this year?

To be continued...

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