Friday, March 7, 2008

Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!

Back in January we received an anonymous tip asking if it was true the Police Dept. purchased a new Harley motorcycle for riding in parades.

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.

...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.
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:
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?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

At least the VIN checks out as an actual police bike (no shenanigans there, wow).

#1HD1FMM178Y4643048

1 - usa
HD - harley davidson
1 - heavyweight
FM - FLHTPI Police
M - 103 CI engine
1 - regular introduction model date
7 - check digit
8 - 2008
Y - York PA (factory)
643048 (Serial Number)

Strikeslip said...

What does the "anonymous benefactor" expect to receive in return for the motorcycle?

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

Strikeslip,

Good question, but it could be that the "benefactor" doesn't even know that they gave anything toward this lease and therefore expects nothing.

We have heard many rumors...the fact that the town will not disclose the "benefactor" makes it seem very likely that the rumors are true.

If there indeed was a "benefactor" and nothing to hide wouldn't you think that some mention would be made at a town board meeting, if only to say that an anonymous donor gave the Town Police a two year lease on a $25,000 Harley Police motorcycle? Wouldn't you think that they would want to somehow acknowledge this "generous donation"? After all, Earle Reed is head of the Town Rah! Rah! Rah! Committee.

If the talk around town is indeed true, then the money for this lease has come from many "benefactors" who had no idea that they were even contributing to this "cause". Wonder what they would think if they knew!!

Anonymous said...

I remember an episode of the Andy Griffiths Show were deputy Barney Fife gets a motorcycle for the Mayberry Dept.Maybe this is just a case of life imitating art.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess:

The "benefactor" is the one who stores and/or rides the bike around all year, but because its a "gift" for parades the Town pays the insurance for the bike, not the usual operator.

Its sort of a modified deal like they did with the vans they sold to the Sangertown Landscaper: The Townspeople pay the insurance on vehicles for "friends" of the town.

I wonder if E Reed and hi crowd realise what a bitch of a time they're about to have during next election cycle, as well as that no-good fake police chief Philo who participates in these scams with them!

I hope they realize this town is starting to look at them for the public leeches they are.

How's those bullet-proof vests Ray?s

Anonymous said...

The "Benefactor" is Doc Kowalski. Why does a person who does not live in the Town of New Hartford or work there give this gift ? It's because he gets a badge in exchange as the Department physcian. He uses this badge whenever he gets pulled over in his V-10 Viper. I know this for a fact. What a laughing stock that dept is. More worried about a harley for his brother to ride on=duty than ordering life saving vest. Get a life ray.