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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pictures don't lie...

At last night's town board meeting, the new Highway Superintendent asked the town board to introduce a couple of Local Laws.

Normally, once the Local Laws are introduced and a resolution is approved by the Town Board, a Public Hearing is scheduled to give the public a chance to state their opinion, pro or con, BEFORE the placing of the signs.

One STOP sign is to be on Woods Highway at the intersection of Hartford Park Drive. Trouble is the STOP sign is already there and has been for quite some time.

Another STOP sign is to be placed within the Business Park at the intersection of Woods Park Drive and Hartford Park Drive. Hmmm! Those STOP signs are also already there and have been for quite some time along with a bunch of other STOP signs and speed limit signs within the Business Park.

According to the Highway Superintendent, Richard Sherman, the Public Hearing on the Local Law for the rest of the STOP signs will have to wait. Mr. Sherman told the town board that 911 would not accept the names that were chosen for the other roads in the business park because the names were too similar to other streets in New Hartford. But they are already there!!

There are even STOP signs and speed limit signs on private property...The Hartford.

There was no mention of the speed limit signs; the Town Board likewise has to hold a Public Hearing and pass a Local Law before they can legally place speed limit signs on Town roads. But the speed limit signs are already there within the Business Park. Oops! We would bet that this mess was Roger Cleveland parting gift to the Town leaving the new Highway Superintendent to do the 'clean-up'.

Are you thinking deja vous? Does this seem sort of like the $2.9 million bond anticipation notes, spend the money first then ask for voter approval. It's a pattern of this town board folks...but the majority of residents voted "YES" on the $2.9 million bond thus allowing the town board to think they can continue in this fashion.

Anyway, last night the Town Board approved the resolution to hold a Public Hearing that is scheduled for the next Town Board meeting on February 25, 2009. Be sure to attend if you live or regularly travel in that area because the Town Board wants your opinion on the placement of these signs...NOT!

By the way, until the Public Hearing and the Local Laws are adopted by the Town Board, the signs are unenforceable. If there should be an accident at one of those STOP signs, the liability will rest with the Town of New Hartford.


Greens and Beans said...

I wonder if, taking into account these signs were placed illegally, what ramifications this may place on the taxpayers. What if there was an auto accident related to someone failing to stop for a stop sign that has been illegally placed?
• Would the illegal stop sign give way for the violator get out of any traffic summons?
• Could the auto insurance companies sue New Hartford to recoup their no-fault auto policy financial losses due to the fact that the signs were illegally placed?
• What if the auto accident resulted in a fatality? Would the Town taxpayers be on the hook for any insurance payouts?
• Think of the magnification of the law suit if one of the vehicles was a sixty passenger school bus.

Where was New Hartford’s Legal Counsel advise on the placement of this bogus signage?

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

Greens and Beans,

The NHPD has no authority to give out tickets for failure to obey an unauthorized stop sign and it is my understanding that the town would have a liability issue if there is an accident.

Bottom line, Earle Reed doesn't want to hear anyone who is against his "plans". I believe you will find that they decided to hold a Public Hearing because Concerned Citizens started asking questions about the signs. Otherwise, they would have just gone about their merry way and hoped that no one was the wiser.

Earle has shown time and time again that he doesn't care about the taxpayers...this is just another example. His term is up in November 2009.

Anonymous said...

approval or no approval....does it really matter. I've always thoght that signage was posted to keep our roadways safe and organized. Has anybody stopped to consider who payed for the sign placement? Probably not. We'd rather spend time assigning blame for every little thing than to ask the right questions. Perhaps the Hartford payed for the signs to be placed to keep their employees safe? In my opinion the developer should be responsible for all costs associated with the construction of the property, providing utilities even if that means rebuilding current infrastructure to enable the increaced capacity as well as outfitting properties with responsible signage or else the property shouldn't be developed.

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


Actually, it does's the law that a traffic sign (stop sign, speed limit, etc.) has to be adopted by local law which means a public hearing.

It's very doubtful that The Hartford paid for those signs; they merely lease the building from Ryan Companies out of Minnesota. And since the taxpayers are paying for the roads being built, do you really think the Hartford would want to spend money on traffic signs?

By the way, in case anyone was wondering, the roads within the business park are town roads, but the stop signs and speed limit signs on the property privately owned by Ryan Companies (The Hartford) are not enforceable. Town Police have no jurisdiction on private property. One exception is if the private property is routinely travelled by the public such as a mall parking lot.

So if you are in the parking lot of The Hartford stopping at the STOP signs and following the speed limit signs might be prudent, but you can't get a traffic ticket if you don't.

And we are curious, do you really want to pay town police to enforce signage that anyone can just put up in order to keep their employees safe? Think about it, under local law, you can't even put a garage sale sign on the town right of way. Do you think they would let you put up a no parking sign or speed limit sign on the town right of way?

Bottom is about following the LAW. LAWS are in place for a reason; however, this town board routinely puts themselves above the law. Where is the town attorney that gets paid $150 an hour to assist the town board?