"A flower planted on Earth, blooming in Heaven..."
Karen Jane...Mommy's Princess
January 1, 1971 - March 29, 1996
"As I indicated might be the case, the sale of the MOEN faucet was from seized property by the Town Police Department; therefore, there is no Purchase Order and no Invoice."Anyway, it took several follow-up emails to the Town Clerk asking when we could expect to receive the information...the town clerk answered our last inquiry by saying that Chief Philo said they are waiting to get information from PayPal. Then a couple of days ago we suddenly received an email from her saying that she had our FOILed documents.
"A copy of Pay-Pal check number 723961 is also included to reflect the transfer of E-Bay sales revenue from this sale (and others) to the Town from Patrolman Herman.O.K., we have a few questions. The Pay Pal check is made out to Officer Herman for $81.89 and the receipt made out to Officer Herman by Carol Fairbrother, the town bookkeeper, is also for $81.89. So we guess we should assume that just like the "only used for testing" Troy-bilt snowthrower that the town police seized and sold on eBay, Officer Herman's personal PayPal account was used to accept the money from the winning bidder.
Feel free to contact me with any questions."
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Hartford Town Board does hereby retain the services of Frank J. Basile, CPA’s, P.C., 4305 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, New York 13413, for the sixteen- (16) month period beginning September 10, 2007 and ending December 31, 2008 for the following consultation services:Didn't anyone check any of the town contracts that are currently in place to make sure that the revenues reported by each department were accurate and that contracts were signed and up-to-date?
- Assistance with the annual budget process
This is to acknowledge your FOIL request of December 13, 2007,We also FOILed the 2008 Parks Department Budget Worksheets. Mike Jeffrey, Parks Department Head, actually stated on his Estimate of Revenues worksheet that the revenue for Summer Rec Programs & Sponsors would increase from $13,200 in 2007 to $13,500 for 2008. However, look at the 2008 Adopted Budget...there is no revenue projected in 2008 for account AA-2089.0 Fees/Summer Programs. Why?
regarding the signed 9-11 dispatch agreements for 2005, 2006, & 2007.
We are researching your request and will contact you soon.
January to May @ 2006 contract = 3,438For 2008, we would have to figure the 2007 contract price since no 2008 contract has been signed; therefore, the budgeted amount should be $10,725.
May to June @ 2007 contract = 6,256
Total 2007 budget = 9,694
The 2008 contracts for dispatch have not been presented to the Town Board yet for their approval.Amazing, two (2) of the contracts should have been signed by May 1, 2007 and the third should have been signed by December 1, 2007. Why have no contracts been signed? Are these villages even paying the Town of New Hartford for Dispatch Services without a contract at this point? Why are the budgeted revenues for Dispatch less than the contracts...contractual revenue should be a "no-brainer" at budget time.
The failure by two Herkimer County towns to follow state Open Meetings Law proved costly when a judge cited that as one factor in voiding their approvals of a wind-turbine project, court records show.AND
In addition, shutting out the public from key discussions on the project helped prompt state Supreme Court Justice Donald Greenwood to order the towns to pay the legal fees of the wind-turbine opponents who brought the lawsuit.Concerned Citizens does believe that closing of the Storm Water Advisory Group to the public is not in compliance with the Open Meetings Law. Ms. Krupa said shortly after her election that she would work with the town board to try to open the meetings to the public. Well, Ms. Krupa...we haven't heard from you yet.
With regard to the sufficiency of a motion to discuss litigation, it has been held that:"It is insufficient to merely regurgitate the statutory language; to wit, 'discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation'. This boilerplate recitation does not comply with the intent of the statute. To validly convene an executive session for discussion of proposed, pending or current litigation, the public body must identify with particularity the pending, proposed or current litigation to be discussed during the executive session" [Daily Gazette Co. , Inc. v. Town Board, Town of Cobleskill, 44 NYS 2d 44, 46 (1981), emphasis added by court].Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government wrote an Opinion on the disclosure of executive session discussions:
"...the public body must identify the subject matter to be discussed (See, Public Officers Law § 105 ), and it is apparent that this must be accomplished with some degree of particularity, i.e., merely reciting the statutory language is insufficient (see, Daily Gazette Co. v Town Bd., Town of Cobleskill, 111 Misc 2d 303, 304-305).No one is above the law and being right isn't merely a matter of "because we said so". Attorney Green had some mumble-jumble reason that the Stormwater Advisory Group should be closed and Attorney Green was present at the Town Board Meeting on December 12th, but he said nothing regarding the reasons being given for executive session.
1. A copy of the purchase order, i.e., what town department originally purchased the faucet or how did we obtain the faucet.The first question was answered by the Town Clerk on November 26, 2007:
2. If purchased, a copy of the invoice for the Moen faucet showing how much the town paid, where it was purchased and the date of the purchase.
3. A copy of the Bill of Sale for the ebay transaction, i.e., the name and address of the person who purchased the Moen faucet sold on ebay and the total amount paid by the eBay bid winner.
4. A copy of the Town receipt for the monies received for the ebay sale and what account was used for the monies received.
As I indicated might be the case, the sale of the MOEN faucet was from seized property by the Town Police Department; therefore, there is no Purchase Order and no Invoice.We are still waiting for answers on the rest of the questions...almost a month later. Obviously, there is a problem here because the bookkeeper has no record of the transaction and the sale closed on July 26, 2007.
I'm awaiting the documentation on the sale and a copy of the receipt for the purchase price.
checking the book value of all vehicles
create a Town of New Hartford account so that any future property to be sold can be advertised through this account
set a minimum bid by calling a dealerThey also intended that someone from the accounting department be put in charge of this function. This sounds like a more prudent way to handle the sale of town property, particularly since under Town Law 64, the Town Board is charged with:
2-a. Acquisition and sale of personal property. May take, purchase, lease, sell and dispose of personal property as the purposes of the town may require, except as otherwise provided by law.There have been several items sold by newhartfordpd on eBay. The bookkeeper could only recall receiving information on a couple of them...perhaps, someone should gather the information on each sale and a full report should appear in the town board minutes sometime within the next couple of meetings. The taxpayers in New Hartford have a right to know what is sold and how much it is sold for. It is time to stop running this town like a private enterprise and start being accountable to the people who are paying the bills. HELL, private enterprises wouldn't last if they ran their business as lackadaisical as business is run in the Town of New Hartford.
3. Management, custody and control of town property. Shall have the management, custody and control of all town lands, buildings and property of the town and keep them in good repair and may cause the same to be insured against loss or damage by fire or other hazard.
Invoice, voucher and purchase order for the 1st "rental" period (10-5-06 to 11-1-06)Let's back up...According to the first lease/purchase agreement we received, the Town of New Hartford had a 2006 Gradall S/N 0210017817. After we received this document, we asked for more information because this first one seemed to be incomplete. That is when we received the second lease/purchase agreement; however, the second one doesn't have the S/N on it. There is also a Shop/Field Service Report included with the 11-2-06 to 11-29-06 paperwork that eludes to the fact that the town has a Gradall with a S/N of 0210017817.
Invoice, voucher and purchase order for the 2nd "rental" period (11-2-06 to 11-29-06)
Invoice, voucher and purchase order for the 3rd "rental" period (11-30-06 to12-27-06)
Invoice, voucher and purchase order for the 4th "rental" period (12-28-06 to 1-24-07)
Hardworking Committed Vol. FF said...Why is it that some people just don't seem to get the point of this blog?
This is not wasteful. These volunteers work very hard for the citizens they serve. The volunteer Fire Dept.'s in our town save countless tax dollars over having to pay for paid fire protection services. This is not open for conjecture, it is fact.
Some people on here are against anything and everything just for spite with an added twist of venom to boot.
It's a shame some are so hell bent on getting the powers that be out, that nothing is worthy of support even if it is for a good cause.
December 5, 2007 1:56:00 PM EST
New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...Below are links to every blog that we have written about the vote for the Willowvale Fire Company Benefit Plan this Tuesday, December 11, 2007. Please let us know where we told anyone how to vote. We welcome your comments and criticism. We will post all comments sent to us as long as they are "printable".
Hardworking committed vol. ff,
It would appear that you are the one with venom. Not one word on this blog has said don't vote for the plan. Unlike the "official" town website, we do not advise anyone how to vote. That is up to every individual in the Willowvale Fire Dept. We merely brought information regarding the vote to the public.
The only thing we said was it is a shame that according to Councilman Payne at the last town board meeting the fire chief did not want to let people know about the vote.
The information we posted should have been brought to the taxpayer's attention by the Willowvale Fire Company; it should not have been news that needed to be 'broke' by us. If the Fire Company feel so strongly about the plan, give the people the information they need to make their own 'informed' decision.
December 6, 2007 8:11:00 AM EST
REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETINGDon't remember exactly what Councilman Reynolds question was, but he was obviously talking about Vantage Equipment because that is who the Highway Superintendent signed a lease/purchase with. We also don't know why the Highway Superintendent said we should look into buying this piece of equipment; it was part of the bonding...the town board was looking into buying the equipment. Looks like some back-pedalling once the Highway Superintendent realized that we FOILed the lease/purchase agreement. Most importantly, how can the vendor apply some of the lease to the purchase price unless said vendor wins the bid??
February 7, 2007
Authorization for Competitive Bid – Gradall
The Highway Superintendent stated that he would like to go out for bids on a Gradall, explaining that the Town could continue to lease, but should look into the cost of acquiring this piece of equipment. In response to Councilman Reynold’s question, the Highway Superintendent responded that the vendor would apply some of the lease to the cost of a Gradall. Thereafter, Councilman Woodland presented the following Resolution and moved its adoption, which was seconded by Councilman Reynolds:
(RESOLUTION NO. 28 OF 2007)
RESOLVED that the New Hartford Town Board shall receive sealed bids for the purchase of one (1) Used Multi-purpose Excavator, in accordance with Town specifications; all bids are to be received by the Town Clerk’s Office no later than 10:45 A.M. on Monday, March 5, 2007 and then shall be publicly opened and read aloud at 11:00 A.M. on said date and in said Office; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that the said Town Board hereby authorize and direct the Town Clerk to publish the legal requisite Advertisement-Invitation to Bid in The Observer Dispatch.
Page 6After some research??? Town Attorney Green, don't you think that you should have done the research long before April 2007 since the lease/purchase agreement was signed in September 2006? Isn't that what you are being paid to do? By the way, Attorney Green, is it ethical for you to keep "covering up" the misdeeds of Department Heads and elected town officials?
Lease Agreement – Grad-all
After research, Town Attorney Gerald Green determined that a Highway Superintendent has the right to enter into a Lease Agreement but the Town Board must approve the amount. In September 2006 Highway Superintendent Cleveland had entered into a Lease Agreement, the amount of which needs Town Board approval, and would like the Board to authorize the Bookkeeper to transfer existing funds to cover this expense. Thereafter, Councilman Reynolds presented the following Resolution for adoption; seconded by Councilman Waszkiewicz:
(RESOLUTION NO. 57 OF 2007)
RESOLVED that the New Hartford Town Board does hereby approve the Lease Agreement entered into between Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland and Vantage Equipment, LLC for the lease of a Grad-all at the rate of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) per month and does further authorize Bookkeeper Carol Fairbrother to make the following budgetary transfers:
2006 Budget Transfer
From DB5130.4 to DB5130.44 - $15,000.00
2007 Budget Transfer
From DB5130.2 to DB 5130.44 - $ 5,000.00
Heavy Equipment - $797,179 – for purchase of:Interesting to note that some of that equipment looks like equipment that was purchased by Mr. Al Roberts. Did the Highway Superintendent sell the equipment before he knew whether or not the bonding would be approved by the voters? Was the Bobcat (front-end loader) included in the equipment that Mr. Roberts "bought" for $9,200? Certainly, there is nothing in the minutes to indicate that the Bobcat was sold to anyone. Did the Highway Superintendent get "caught with his pants down" because the bonding was turned down by the voters and he had already "disposed" of the equipment? We know for a fact that the Town had to take out a Bond Anticipation Note for the Gradall to replace the Badger that was sold without board approval. The Highway Superintendent actually sold the Badger in anticipation of the bonding going through even though he admitted at a town board meeting that he "needs" a multi-purpose excavator. Doesn't make a lot of sense...
One (1) excavating machine (Grad-all)
Three (3) dump/plow trucks
One (1) front-end loader
One (1) leaf machine
One (1) brush truck
One (2) small dump truck
REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETINGFunny that Roger Cleveland turned down two (2) bids for the dump truck because he said the bid was below book value, but he had no problem selling the 1995 Badger (Gradall) well below book value. What a joke!
October 4, 2006
Surplus Vehicle Sale – Rejection of Bids
The Highway Superintendent reported that two (2) Bids had been received Tuesday, October 3, 2006 for the Surplus Vehicle Sale:
Michael Santillo - Bid $2,006 for the 1980 Mack Truck
Harvey Material Corp. - Bid $1,700 for the 1980 Mack Truck.
No bids were received for the remaining four (4) surplus vehicles, i.e., 1995 Badger, 1990 G10 Van, 1996 Crown Victoria, 1999 Crown Victoria.
Highway Superintendent Cleveland then reported that after the 12 Noon Bid Opening had closed on Tuesday, October 3, 2006 he received a Bid for all five (5) surplus vehicles, totaling Ninety-two Hundred Dollars ($9200) and he acknowledged receiving a check in this amount. [The name of the bidder had not been disclosed.] Thereafter, upon recommendation of the Highway Superintendent, Councilman Payne offered the following Resolution for adoption and Councilman Reynolds seconded same:Concerned Citizens finds it interesting that some of the vehicles purchased by Mr. Al Roberts are no longer in his possession. In fact, Concerned Citizens has confirmed that Mr. Roberts never did register vehicles...probably never paid sales tax either because the Town of New Hartford doesn't collect sales tax on their sales. He merely turned around and "sold" them to a third party, who shall for the moment be left "unnamed".
(RESOLUTION NO. 285 OF 2006)
RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford does hereby reject the bids submitted by Michael Santillo and Harvey Material Corp. for surplus vehicles due to the bid amounts being below the current book value of the vehicles, according to the Highway Superintendent.
Hatch Act for State and Local Employees
The Hatch Act applies to executive branch state and local employees who are principally employed in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency....An employee’s conduct is also subject to the laws of the state and the regulations of the employing agency. Additionally, employees should be aware that the prohibitions of the Hatch Act are not affected by state or local laws.
Prohibited ActivitiesThe "Official" town website...and the operative words are "official town"...SHOULD NOT be used to tell residents to vote "YES" on any issue. We appreciate the fact that finally, a little over a week before the vote, the town board in conjunction with the fire company has decided to give the taxpayers a chance to ask questions; however, anything posted on the "official" town website should be for "official" town business and information dissemination ONLY...not political campaigning. What will we see next...political signs on the town website for the re-election of Earle Reed, Dave Reynolds, Robert Payne and Roger Cleveland in 2009?
Covered state and local employees may not
- be candidates for public office in a partisan election
- use official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination
- directly or indirectly coerce contributions from subordinates in support of a political party or candidate