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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ignorance is bliss??!!

Today's Observer Dispatch headline says...Reed leaves N. Hartford with looming financial concerns.

Yet, according to the article, Reed in his infinite wisdom says...that he believes he’s leaving the town better off, overall, than it was when he took office.

Perhaps, what Reed meant to say is...the town is better off NOW that he is leaving. Need we say more?

On a brighter note, Friday, January 1, 2010, a swearing in ceremony will be held at noon in Butler Hall with the annual organizational meeting and a reception to follow.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Town Board Meeting tonight...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 6 p.m. in Butler Hall. Agenda now online!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Town Board Meeting tonight...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 6 p.m. in Butler Hall. Agenda now online!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FILM - a developer's point of view...

In today's Observer Dispatch there is a guest editorial written Dr. Palumbo regarding the recent decision by town officials to keep the FILM money that has been collected since the 1990s. Dr. Palumbo reportedly paid the town $62,600 of Fees In Lieu of Mitigation (FILM) to develop a medical building.

According to a November 20, 2009, Observer Dispatch article:
Since September, when officials learned the money might have to be returned, they have searched for ways to spend it.
That brings up an interesting question, if you have to search for ways to spend the money, why did you collect it in the first place? By the meaning of the words themselves, Fees In Lieu of Mitigation, it seems to imply that you are collecting monies because you need to mitigate a known adverse impact caused by the proposed development; so why didn't the town use the money that was collected long before the 'drop dead date' of the signed agreements? The town can't even find some of the agreements; what does that say about accountability in the Town of New Hartford?

The fact that, according to Heather Mowat at a recent town board meeting, the lawyer hired by the town advised the town board to not disclose the letter at this point leaves one to believe that the opinion is just that "one lawyer's opinion", open to interpretation. Could they fear that a possible lawsuit might be lurking in the wings? We have yet to see a court case in NYS clearly defining whether or not it is legal to collect these fees. The closest thing we have been able to find was a court case in Guilderland regarding the collection of Impact Fees; the Town of Guilderland lost the case.

If you are a developer looking to build in the Town of New Hartford, would you pay the FILM money without seeing a copy of the opinion that the town paid for?

Strikeslip has more on Dr. Palumbo's guest editorial, Fees In Lieu of Mitigation...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Private Police Deals...

We thought it might be interesting to once again visit the See Through New York website to obtain the salaries of police from other local towns and villages. We looked at Whitestown, New York Mills, Yorkville and Whitesboro and compared them to the Town of New Hartford Police. For New Hartford Police we listed both the total reported salaries [Actual column] on See Through New York and the base pay [determined by multiplying the hourly rate per town board minutes times 2,080 hours per the police contract].

Here is a pdf version of our spreadsheet. The salaries are listed highest to lowest for each department.

Strikeslip has more thoughts on the the New Hartford Police contract deals to provide taxpayer-funded police patrols and vehicles to select private entities, Private Police Deal in NH - A 3rd Angle...