Did you happen to notice the Special Town Board Meeting called for 12 noon on Monday, August 4, 2008? We were wondering what the meeting was for so we emailed the town clerk and she sent us an email back that said:
This is the notice that was sent.Hmm! The Invitation to Bid for the Town of New Hartford Office Park, NYS Route 5 Highway Improvement Plan already appeared in the paper on Friday, August 1, 2008, just two days after the memo went out to the Town Board calling for the "Special" meeting to authorize the Highway Superintendent to advertise for the very same bids. So what are we to believe?
From: Young, Gail
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 11:51 AM
To: Dave, Reynolds; Krupa, Christine; New Hartford Supervisor; Payne, Robert; Richard B. Woodland Jr. (E-mail)
Cc: Gerald J. Green (E-mail); Cleveland, Roger; Tammy Mishalanie (E-mail); Observer Dispatch (E-mail)
Subject: Special Meeting - Aug 4, 2008
Board members, et al:
The Town Supervisor has called for a special meeting to commence at 12 N on Monday, August 4, 2008 for the purpose of authorizing competitive bids for the New Hartford Office Park - NYS Route 5 Highway Improvement Plans.
Gail Wolanin Young
a. The August 4, 2008 Special meeting was just for show. A meeting of the town board (quorum present) actually was already held in private prior to Wednesday, July 31, for the purpose of authorizing the bid to appear in the paper on August 1, 2008, clearly against Town Law and the Open Meetings Law.We FOILed a copy of the DRAFT minutes of the August 4, 2008 Special Town Board meeting. Present were Earle Reed, Dave Reynolds and Bob Payne...(All of whom are up for re-election in 2009) and Town Attorney Gerald Green! Nice to see that Attorney Green could make it...he is never at any town board meetings. Guess he must have been at this meeting to cover their A$$ in case anyone asked any questions. Sorry Attorney Green, Concerned Citizens was unable to attend to ask questions, we had other business to attend to...if you know what we mean. Besides we already knew that the bid invitation was put in the paper without proper town board authorization.
b. Someone on the town board gave the authorization to put a legal notice in the paper for an Invitation to Bid without a town board meeting; clearly against Town Law and the Open Meetings Law.
c. Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland took it upon himself to ask the town clerk to put the notice in the paper without consulting the town board and getting their authorization and the town clerk obliged; clearly against Town Law and the Open Meetings Law.
d. Any combination of the above.
We emailed the town clerk after the meeting and asked:
wasn't the Invitation to Bid already in the Friday, August 1, 2008 Observer Dispatch stating that the bids are to be opened on August 12, 2008?To which she replied:
Yes, the Invitation was authorized retroactively.Retroactively...Related terms:
ex post facto - (law) Formulated or enacted after some event, and then retroactively applied to it.
We couldn't find any place in Town Law that excuses and allows for town board authorization after the fact; but then again, it must be o.k. because the town board keeps doing it with Attorney Green right by their side and it appears to be the same elected official that creates the problem every time. Concerned Citizens likes to call it "closing the barn door after the horses get out"!
One other thing was discussed, but did not appear on the Notice of this Special Meeting:
Authorization for Competitive Bid – Culvert Lining and Outlet Modifications, Brantwood RoadYes, this would be the area of town Roger Cleveland and Bob Payne briefly mentioned at the Oxford/Kellogg/Tibbitts Road stormwater meeting as being an "emergency" stormwater repair. Funny, this topic wasn't listed on the Notice of Special Meeting that was sent out to the town board and the Observer Dispatch nor was it mentioned on the Special Meeting Notice on the "official" town website.
Nice...an emergency situation! Of course, probably the fact that Councilman Payne lives on Forest Road downstream from Brantwood and Councilman Payne claims he has experienced stormwater problems in the last couple of years has nothing to do with it being an "emergency"...right Councilman Payne?