Saturday, March 13, 2010

Aye-Yi-Yi...

Councilman Reynolds, former Deputy Supervisor and an "aye" man during the Earle Reed administration, was quoted in the March 10, 2010, Observer Dispatch article, New Hartford backs county 911 grant application, in response to questions about his "nay" vote:
...David Reynolds opposed the measure on the grounds that it could commit the town to the consolidation process before officials had enough information to make an educated decision about whether to support the move.

“I think there are an awful lot of unanswered questions,” Reynolds said after the vote. “What are the costs? What will it do to the county tax rate? What about the level of service?”
Oh, pray tell Councilman Reynolds, why weren't you asking those kind of questions in 2008 when the town board was secretly making plans to purchase 19 Campion Road?

On February 8, 2010, after finally learning that in 2007 Alesia & Crewell was asked by Deputy Supervisor Reynolds to perform a limited evaluation of the Kellogg Road Community Center, and to the best of our knowledge the subject never was entertained at a town board meeting prior to February 2010, Concerned Citizens decided to FOIL all invoices received from Alesia & Crewell for payment of services rendered together with the total dollars paid to this firm.

Among the documents we received was a signed agreement for architectural/engineering services in connection with:
...the interior alteration and addition project which will convert an empty 10,000 square foot shell building located at 19 Campion Road in the Village of New Hartford into Town Court facilities and Town Departmental Office space.
According to the agreement, Phase I services was for a fixed fee of $22,500; Phase II services for a fixed fee of $48,250; plus, reimbursable expenses for actual cost of printing, long distance telephone and travel at 50.5 per mile. The agreement was signed by David Reynolds, Deputy Supervisor on 5-27-08.

However, the agreement was never brought before the town board even though the town board was scheduled to meet on May 28, 2009, one day after the agreement was signed by Councilman Reynolds. Besides the fact that the agreement was never approved by the town board, by town law a deputy supervisor is only authorized to sign in the absence of the supervisor. Mr. Reed was at the May 28, 2008 town board meeting and could have very well signed the agreement after a proper vote of the town board; therefore, Deputy Supervisor Dave Reynolds didn't even have authority to sign the agreement!

Funny thing is that according to Police Commission minutes, the building plans and hiring of Alesia & Crewell was openly discussed by members of the police commission with Councilman Reynolds in attendance at those meetings; but not a word in the Town Board meetings.

We actually received an anonymous tip that the town board was trying to keep this information out of the view of the public...particularly those damn Concerned Citizens. According to the tip we received, the town board wasn't the only one trying to keep us at bay; a town justice was also trying to make sure that the we could not stop the acquisition of 19 Campion Road, but in the end they all got fooled...the Wicks Law did them in! Unfortunately by the time the town figured out that the Wicks Law was a problem (not sure where Attorney Green was during the intervening time), they had already paid over $30,000 of unbudgeted monies to Alesia & Crewell.

According to invoices and vouchers we received from the town clerk, Councilman Reynolds approved payments to Alesia & Crewell on..June 6, 2008 for $4,245; two (2) invoices on July 3, 2008, one (1) invoice for $16,980 plus one (1) invoice for $2,000; and the last one on August 1, 2008 for $7,000. That's a grand total of $30,225 from account AA1010.4 - Town Board Contractual.

Problem was, that account only had a 2008 budget of $5,500. Town law does not allow a town board to spend unbudgeted money; a transfer of funds should have been made to cover the invoices prior to payment.

No problem though...Councilman (Deputy Supervisor) Reynolds has everything under control...there's no need to worry about a little town law...pay the invoices anyway; we'll worry about the shortfall at the end of the year.

However, it wouldn't be fair to just blame Councilman Reynolds. It is customary for each councilperson to visit the supervisor's office prior to each board meeting to review the bills and initial them authorizing payment. Guess no one on the town board bothered to look to see if there was sufficient money in the budget line identified on the voucher before they signed off. Hell, most of them probably didn't even know what the payments to Alesia & Crewell were for and never bothered to ask.

Come year-end, when all accounts have to be at brought to a zero balance, Earle Reed sent an email to Carol Fairbrother:
The attached budget transfers are requested to balance overdrawn accounts for 2008.
Five (5) pages of transfers to cover overdrawn accounts; the first transfer being $27,742.23 from Account AA1440.44 - Engineering Services/Sauquoit Creek Basin to Account AA1010.4 - Town Board Contractual, the account the Alesia & Crewell invoices were paid from.

Councilman Reynolds is right on one point in his March 10, 2010 statement to the press...there are an awful lot of unanswered questions; the first one being...who do you think you are fooling? You spent taxpayer dollars like a drunken sailor during the Reed administration with no regard for town law or town taxpayers. You certainly weren't worried about spending over $30,000 that wasn't budgeted and now all of sudden you are worried about the costs of consolidation and the impact it will have on county taxes?

If we were you, we'd be more worried about that unethical vote that you cast even though you vowed in an October 24, 2009 Observer Dispatch article, Possible conflict of interest looms for Reynolds:
When asked why he had participated in the meeting if he meant to recuse himself, Reynolds would only say, “I support the review and study of the possible consolidation. When that process starts, I will recuse myself.”
Councilman Reynolds, the consolidation process IS underway...it's definitely time to recuse yourself! You're way too close to the situation to be objective, if you know what we mean!

15 comments:

Your Fired said...

I think Councilman David Reynolds should be brought up on Ethics Violations and too, be forced to pay back the illegal obligation and expenditure of town taxpayer dollars.

This man is either grossly incompetent or just greedy like the rest of his compatriots, (i.e. Fire, Police and Dispatch Units.)

By the way: I just read the Utica O.D. Editorial regarding Supevisor Pat Tyksinski. Great article on Leadership.

I guess town residents have some "weeding-out" to do on the Town Board, (i.e. Woodland and Reynolds?)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone noticed but watching the body language of Renyolds and his little buddy Woodland during the last few meetings is very telling. They're both slumped in their chairs, heads down and speaking just above a whisper. The only thing missing is the chocolate on their face from hanging around the cookie jar too long.

Thanks again for bringing to light another telling story about what has been going on behind the backs of us taxpayers. Also I'd like to acknowledge Pat, Herb, Don and Christine for turning New Hartford on it's end exposing the root of the problem. See ya later old guard!

Anonymous said...

D' ya think Dave is really gonna stand by while his daughters husband stands to lose his job here?

Anonymous said...

Unbeleivable. Can we recall Deputy Dave Reynolds? This is the kind of stuff that lead to the 46 % tax increase. Where is the OD with this story?

Anonymous said...

so based on the above posters comments all the town pub safety services are greedy?

Whats next? Give some volunteer fireman pinkslips?

haha you people make me laugh

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

Anonymous #2 said: D' ya think Dave is really gonna stand by while his daughters husband stands to lose his job here?


YES, we do expect it because it's the law...the Public Officers' Law. He doesn't have to like it, but he has to do what is right for the residents he was elected to serve. If he can't or chooses not to recuse himself, he should resign.

Anonymous said...

More typical NH spend and worry about it later. Unbelievable.

Where's old Billy Virkler on the 19 Campion Road issue. Wasnt he also "involved" in trying to shove it down the taxpayers throats? He was related somehow or another with the seller, right?

When the movie comes out about Dave and Earle's fall from grace to become the discrace of NH, wonder who will play them? You sure couldnt make all this stuff up

Anonymous said...

And YOU WONDER WHERE THE MONEY WENT!!!! This is only the beginning! What did the taxpayers get for this money? Better yet what did Reynolds GET??????I Wonder

Anonymous said...

This is nothing less than a criminal act by Reynolds. He essentially stole money that he had NO AUTHORITY to pay out. If this isn't prosecutable then I'm completely dumbfounded. Maybe this is just the tip of the 2.8 million that is missing. I did notice another thing about the police commission minutes; the whole meetings seemed to be directed by ray ray. The "commissioners" were mere puppets and did what he told them. Maybe I am biased but that's what it appears to me. Good thing they are just a memory now. I would like to know if virkler stood to gain anything if the campion rd bldg. was purchased. Sounds funny to me that a real estate egant is involved in the purchase of property with town money.

Anonymous said...

Do you have all the police commission minutes archived from years past ? I would like to read through them. Thanks Cathy and keep up the hard work, it is GREATLY appreciated. I have to admit for years I thought you were wasting your time and that nothing would change here. We really needed a man like Pat in control. I am very impressed with his actions thus far and look forward to leading the Town back on track.

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

We have police commission minutes from 2001 to 2010. We will be posting them in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Alesia That is a village trustee? If so we now know the relationship or incest! that is going on!

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

Anonymous said...Is this the same Alesia That is a village trustee? If so we now know the relationship or incest! that is going on!

Yes, he is a village trustee.

BJM said...

I sent these "accusations" to Dave Reynolds. To his credit, when I have had a concern (he is my councilman) he is one of TWO council reps who will phone ME! His son-in-law is a supervisor for the 911 system (that is the connection) Voting on a grant application that basically consolidates the 911 system of UTICA and NH into the county without knowing if it will save NH money (as Dave told me) is wrong and I agree with that statement. I would be in favor of consolidation ONLY if it saves ME as a taxpayer money, but from what Dave has told me (and I am paraphrasing) is the County may want more money from NH (above and beyond what we already pay in surcharges and taxes) to consolidate...if thats the case I vote NO....I work in the private sector and consult with Government bodies all the time (not here...other states) The key to all this is getting an ACURATE set of numbers on this.....this is what should be pushed for..Am I correct?

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

We are well aware that Dave Reynolds' son-in-law is the Supervisor of the Dispatch Center. That is why Dave should have recused himself from the vote; there is an ethics issue (the Public Officer's Law). Read the Observer Dispatch article link in our blog.

As Pat Tyksinski pointed out at the last board meeting, the vote was only for a grant application to get money to cover the cost of the consolidation; it did not commit the town in any way shape or form. Even if it did, Dave has an obligation to recuse himself...as a relative of a Dispatcher and as a current member of the NH fire department.

Would you rather that the town board missed the deadline and lost the $600,000 consolidation grant from the State toward the consolidation?

Many government officials have signed on to the consolidation plan...are they all wrong? We will be posting some of the letters from local politicians in our next blog.

Please, when we post the police and dispatch minutes, take time to read them to see how Dave and his son-in-law were planning their strategy in case anyone tried to consolidate the Dispatch with the County.

Did you read the two Whitestown studies that we posted? Both concurred that consolidation is necessary and cost effective. The two companies are in the business of government consolidation studies. They wouldn't be in business very long if they misrepresented the facts.

By the way, curious what Dave's excuse was for the illegal spending of over $30,000 of taxpayer dollars...or didn't he get around to discussing that with you? Or how about the privately owned trucks one of his relatives was driving to plow Sangertown Mall; the trucks were being driven with the town license plates that had to be confiscated by the State Police.

Consolidation and other cuts that will be necessary to bring the town back to some form of solvency is definitely a hot topic. Many people do not realize just how bad the financial situation is in New Hartford.

That said, you are free to have any opinion you like, but we would rather not believe someone who is illegally and frivolously spending taxpayer dollars on their "pet projects" and then when a relative's job is involved he cries about the possible costs to taxpayers if we consolidate.