Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The keeper(s) of the keys...

Wiatr New Hartford library appointment in question according to an article on the Observer Dispatch website and in tomorrow's paper!

We have decided to remain somewhat 'quiet' on this subject particularly after Ms. DuRoss made accusations at the last library meeting regarding what she termed as "numerous negative blogs" we have written [all of which according to her are untrue].

In keeping with our promise to not write any more "negative" blogs about the library, we have decided:
  • we won't blog about the Building Fund Account, supposedly a restricted fund, that has been used for everything under the sun including to pay for a private party, candy for sale, flowers for a private individual, etc...even though Education Law and opinions of the State Comptroller clearly state that public library moneys may be expended only for a proper public library purpose...flowers and parties would not be included in the definition of proper library purpose...
  • we won't be blogging about the fact that the Friends of the New Hartford Public Library is NOT a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit so any monies donated to them are NOT tax-deductible and because they have not 'bothered' to file for non-profit status, they are required to pay income tax on any donations received...
  • we won't blog about the fact that Library Director Plambeck does not recognize the NYS Freedom of Information Law even though public libraries are required to comply with it...or the fact that Mr. Plambeck stated that he deletes all emails sent to him [without reading] unless the email is in response to an email he sent to someone...
  • nor will we blog about their meetings that are not posted or noticed to the public in accordance with the Open Meetings Law...
  • or for that matter, you won't hear any more from us about the fact that they have never filed the annual report to the State Comptroller as required in General Municipal Law Section 30. This report is required and not only is a report of public monies received, but also private monies...
  • we also promise not to mention the fact that their 990 and financial statements both refer to leasehold improvements; that is a term that normally implies that someone is making improvements to property they do not own and are merely leasing. Nope you won't hear that from us...besides according to some of the "trustees" we talked to, the person that did their 990 and financials said it was just a "mistake" that needs to be corrected at some point...
  • And we certainly will not make a big deal out of wondering where they are getting the money to hire a big name law firm out of Albany in an effort to keep Mr. Wiatr from sitting on the board of trustees. Although we certainly do wonder about that particularly when they claimed quite indignantly last October during the Budget Workshop conducted by Councilwoman Krupa that $475,000 of our tax money was not sufficient to run a library of their stature...
  • Then there was the meeting held behind closed doors during Earle Reed's administration. The meeting where Earle Reed, Rich Woodland, Dave Reynolds, Bob Payne and the late J.C. Waszkiewicz told members of the Library Board to go ahead with the addition to the library; the town board at that meeting agreed to fully fund the operating expenses of the library by budgeting taxpayer dollars each year. But you don't need us to blog about that again...you can watch the Budget Workshop video for yourself to hear Earle Cunningham as he questioned how the town could break the agreement that was hatched in the secret meeting held in violation of the Open Meetings Law.
What we will tell everyone is that no matter how much they push to remove Mr. Wiatr, no matter how successful they think they will be...we will push back. Taxpayers deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent and our mission is to see that is exactly what happens. Not to mention the fact that the town board also is obligated to see to it that tax dollars are spent wisely even if it means reducing the library's yearly budgeted amount to $0!!!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

They better not be using my tax dollars to hire a law firm while crying poverty during budget discussions. This "knitting group" needs to be invalidated and the incompetent Director fired.

I understood why Tyksinski didn't want to push this matter initially but now the gloves must come off. The Town should force a change in leadership that will correct all deficiencies if the Library is to continue operating on public funds. C'mon, after all these years they just received a Certificate of Occupancy?!?! Sorry, the "I dropped the ball" excuse is taken.

Anonymous said...

AS a frequent library visitor I am amazed at the private for pay tutoring that takes place there each day. Are the tutors that use the library as a place of business required to pay a fee to the library for use or is space provided gratis? Since the tutors are being paid they are in effect conducting a business in the library.

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

The rooms are provided for free.

Anonymous said...

Yes, these tutors are receiving the benefit of free space, probably do not pay town taxes but reap these benefits...free of charge.

It does not get any better than this.

Anonymous said...

I have a small business that I would like to set up in the library(products for kids)on a regular basis. Given that the tutors can set up shop there ,don't see how I could be denied the same permission.

Acksi Dent said...

If there is any one common thread running through the library board's attitude, it is that nothing is their fault. They point the finger everywhere but themselves.

:: The state said they needed 21000 square feet, not them (!) so of course, they HAD to build it. (2500 feet to 20,000 in a new Taj Mahal ... but of course, the taxpayers DIDN'T PAY A DIME OF IT !)

:: The town agreed to fund operations (!!!) so they built it (used that one twice, once during the initial building and then the expansion)

:: It's not their fault that no board members have been legally appointed since 2004; it's the TOWNS FAULT.

:: State Ed says they are a legally constituted board. But they forgot to mention a few pertinent facts in the story, like the 6 year gap (5 year terms, do the math!)

:: They built the addition because the town promised to fund it (in an illegal meeting, which invalidates any business transacted therein) and then they blame the town board for 'breaking their promise' ... when the reality of it is, there are certain senior board members that wished to see the expansion before they die and voila, there it is. (Complete with a $600k + annual budget, of which the town forked over half a millon for a few years while Earle the Pearl layed waste to the town's reserves and tax rate).

Now we have this huge addendum to our tax bill every year. I don't mind NH having a library and I don't mind NH residents using the library. What I do mind is NH footing the bill for half of what goes on in the county, and this falls smack in that category when 17000 visits in a month from a town of less than 21000 residents tells you the vast majority of the users AREN'T NH RESIDENTS but we get to pay for them.

Finally, there are some good board members and there are some rather snobby high-falootin' board members with an attitude out of touch with reality. The library board has just gone and done what they want for 12 years or so without even bothering to see if they are following all the rules and doing it right (see lack of comptrollers filings). The town board has been trying to correct the problems over there and they are meeting resistance, the likes of which nobody understands. The attitude of the librarian is poor (he will not recognize the only town board appointment member in the last 6 years!). Illegal meetings, no minutes, incomplete or erroneous 990 filings (oh, that was a mistake), no comptrollers filings, smoke and fog about whether or not the towns annual contribution is paying off debt (or paying somebody's loan back) ... And the library board has the chutzpah to wonder why the town board wants to change their direction and get a handle on things?

If some things don't change over there (first and foremost the attitude of the librarian and board), look for an interesting budget discussion when they come shuffling in asking for a half million dollars for 2011.

I suggest you (that's John Q. NH taxpayer) take time out to attend the library budget workshop this fall so you can see the process for yourself.

Anonymous said...

The taxpayers of New Hartford should withhold their property taxes as an act of civil disobedience until town government starts operating in an ethical and responsible manner. Let them make bricks without straw!

Anonymous said...

I can't agree with your argument about the tutors. My son is tutored - sometimes at the library, sometimes at the town park, sometimes at my home, sometimes at Barnes and Noble. Are you suggesting that the tutor should offer each of these locations a portion of her pay? Or just the town park and library? What if my babysitter takes my child to the park? Or the library? Should she also pay a portion of her pay to them?

I think you fail to consider that the library is also providing a service to me and my child - both of whom are New Hartford residents. I agree that the library clearly needs to be brought into compliance with the law, but this attack on tutors is ridiculous.

You are suggesting that anyone who uses any public property to earn a little extra income ought to essentially pay a tax on that. How far do propose to extend that reasoning?

Anonymous said...

Tutoring IS a BUSINESS.The tutor should be declaring the money earned as untaxed income when filing their income tax.No matter how you cut it the tutors are conducting business at the library.

Anonymous said...

Tutoring is a business - but babysitting isn't? How do you determine that? What about the artist who paints in a publicly funded park - and then sells those paintings? You can't just make a generalization and not justify it.

Anonymous said...

And how do you know they're not filing it as additional income? Are you suggesting we request their tax returns? That has nothing to do with them using the library.