Since we have attended all town board meetings, and never heard of a Harley motorcycle being purchased by the town, we decided to not react.
A month or so later, we get a second anonymous tip on our tip line asking the same thing. We started wondering, but again we didn't do anything. A week later, we get yet a third anonymous tip...so this time we emailed the Town Clerk and asked if she knew anything about it. We received a reply from the town clerk:
I checked w/the Police Chief who said a benefactor donated a motorcyle in the Fall. Peg notified our insurance carrier and it's on the Town's insurance as of last Fall.So to get the whole story, we ask:
...to FOIL the name and address of the benefactor that donated a motorcycle to the New Hartford Police Department and the date the donation was received by the town.The town clerk acknowledged our request and emailed the insurance card back to us confirming that indeed the town is insuring a 2008 Harley VIN #1HD1FMM1784643048 effective November 16, 2007...value $25,000. We also receive a copy of the email sent to the insurance company. In part the email says:
...to FOIL a description of the motorcycle, to include any identification such as VIN number, make, model, year and the declared value for insurance purposes.
...to FOIL any written correspondence or emails between any town board member and/or any member of the Police Department and the benefactor.
This is in response to our telephone conversation regarding the above motorcycle, which is a gift to the Police Department. The vehicle is a lease and the lease is being paid for over the next twenty-four (24) months by the giver of the gift. The value is $25,000 and the weight is approximately 750 pounds. IT IS MY FURTHER UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL LIST HARLEY DAVIDSON AS LOST PAYEE.In response to any written correspondence between the town and the benefactor, the town clerk replied:
There is no written correspondence or e-mails between any town board member and/or any member of the Police Department and the benefactor.However, as of today, though we have written a couple of follow-up emails to the town clerk reminding her that our FOIL request is still open because the question of the name of the "benefactor" remains unanswered, we have yet to receive any information.
So without any publicity or mention in a town board meeting, no correspondence or written thank you from the Town Board to the "benefactor", the Town of New Hartford Police Department is in possession of and the town is insuring a $25,000 Harley motorcycle that has been leased as a gift for the New Hartford Police Dept. for two (2) years...donor unknown. It would appear that the town would rather be in non-compliance of the Freedom of Information Law than to reveal the source of this generosity...makes it looks very questionable indeed!
If it is true that this 2008 Harley motorcycle is to ride in parades, how stupid do they think we are? Doesn't anybody think that someone would ask a question the first time the Police come rolling down Pearl Street on a new Harley motorcycle?