In that blog we reported:
Councilman Backman questioned whether or not the voucher/invoices for work on Woods Highway should be paid by taxpayers or Larry Adler. It was Councilman Backman's belief, after reviewing signed agreements between the town and Larry Adler, that Mr. Adler is responsible for all "incidentals".In the end, the invoice was not approved for payment at the February 9, 2011 town board meeting, but instead was handed over to Town Attorney Herb Cully to figure out who should pay.
Well, the topic was once again on the table for last Wednesday's [February 23, 2011] town board meeting. Town Attorney Cully reported on his findings and presented a resolution that was approved at a May 13, 2008 town board meeting.
According to Attorney Cully, the resolution and town board minutes were rather vague as to the intentions of the board. No kidding! That is exactly why we started videotaping...we noticed a long time ago that the minutes don't seem to always reflect what actually happened. There's nothing like an actual recording of events...if nothing else, it makes it a little more difficult for anyone to "pull the wool over someone's eyes".
We just happen to have the video of the May 13, 2008 town board meeting referenced by Town Attorney Cully...here is the portion of that meeting where the discussion lead to the adoption of Resolution No. 128 of 2008 that was referred to by Town Attorney Cully:
That's former Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland talking and he answered "yes" when then Town Supervisor Earle Reed asked, not once, but twice, whether the money is to be paid out of the PILOT as an expense of the business park. Dave Reynolds, Christine Krupa and Rich Woodland, you were all there...what did you think you were voting on when you adopted that resolution? Sounds to us like the contract was in furtherance of the New Hartford Business Park project and was intended to be paid from the $2.3 million bond.
The agreements signed by Larry Adler obligated him to make good on all cost overruns...due to poor budgeting there were cost overruns and the fact that there were insufficient monies from the bond associated with the PILOT is a problem for Larry Adler; NOT town residents!
Which brings us to our next story...
In 2009, when Heather Mowat was hired as Budget Officer to find the missing $2.8 million, she identified several invoices that were paid by town monies that she felt should be paid by the developer. They totalled about $188,000...or more. At the last town board meeting, the question was asked by Councilman Woodland as to whether or not Larry Adler had ever paid back the town for those expenses. The answer from Town Attorney Herb Cully was "No" further stating that he believes that they [Mr. Adler et al] are disputing the charges."
Supervisor Tyksinski, unable to control his frustration and appearing to let his personal feelings regarding Ms. Mowat show in his voice and body language, stated that it was merely numbers put together by the Budget Director...a "wish list".
Personal feelings aside Supervisor Tyksinski, Ms. Mowat is well qualified to make those determinations and she spent a lot of time talking to town employees and sifting through documents. Publicly calling her work a "wish list" is uncalled for no matter what differences you may have with her.
Our question is to Supervisor Tyksinski...At this point, town taxpayers have paid for expenses from a private developer that, according to signed documents, are really the responsiblity of that private developer; that private developer feels no obligation to make good on the agreement he signed with the town; however, for some reason you seem to be defending his failure to keep his side of the bargain and, to top it all off, shortly you plan to introduce another bond resolution to finance another portion of that same private developer's business park. What are you thinking? Who are you working for...town residents or "friends" who make political contributions?
Here is the portion of the February 23, 2011 town board meeting regarding the 2008 unpaid Shumaker invoice, and the failure of Mr. Adler to pay the money that is owed to town taxpayers.
For those that are interested, here is Ms. Mowat at the December 9, 2009 town board meeting discussing the monies she feels are due from Mr. Adler to the town taxpayers: