An article in the Observer Dispatch, New Hartford to fill 2 planning board spots, first identified two (2) residents who were desirous of being appointed to the New Hartford Planning Board...Heather Mowat and William Morris.
According to the article, Carol Ryan, secretary to Supervisor Tyksinski, told the reporter that as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, January 4, 2013 [the deadline for submitting letters of interest according to the town's website], there were only two (2) resumes received.
On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, in a follow-on article in the Observer Dispatch, New Hartford considering 5 planning board candidates Wed., we are told that there were actually five (5) interested candidates.
Supervisor Tyksinski explained in the January 8, 2013 OD article:
Town Board Supervisor Pat Tyksinski said though some of the applications came after the deadline or in an alternative format – the original posting on the town’s website said resumes and letters of interest were to be sent to the town supervisor’s office – that the Town Board still might consider those applying.We can't speak for all who submitted a letter of interest, but we can vouch for the fact that that at least one (1) other letter had been sent to all town board members; the town clerk and the town supervisor shortly after 6:00 a.m. on January 4th...the morning of the deadline, because we also received a copy. We can't help but wonder why that name was not included in the original OD article. Didn't Supervisor Tyksinski check his emails that day or did he just "forget" to forward that particular email on to his secretary?
The picture started to become a little clearer at Wednesday night's town board meeting...
After Heather Mowat's reappointment was voted on and unanimously passed, Councilman Backman nominated Carleton Corey and Councilman Reynolds seconded the motion. Then, without taking a vote on the motion, Supervisor Tyksinski nominated William Morris, head of the New Hartford Democratic Committee, to fill the vacancy on the Planning Board. Councilman Backman said there is a motion on the table, but Supervisor Tyskinski said they were only taking nominations. That's a new one...don't think that is in keeping with Robert's Rules of Order! Yet, the town attorney just sits there...silent.
According to Supervisor Tyksinski, Mr. Morris had left his resume some time ago and said he would like to participate in town government or possibly be considered for a spot on the Planning Board if one becomes available.
Our question is...how long ago is "sometime ago"? Jerome Donovan resigned just before Christmas so until just recently, the only slot that would have been open for at least another year would have been that of Heather Mowat. She was the only one whose term expired at the end of 2012.
Why would Mr. Morris give his resume to Tyksinski in advance? Why not wait until there is another opening and apply at that point just like everyone else?
Obviously, Ms. Mowat's spot was guaranteed. The town board usually does reappoint members who want to remain on the board. OR...would Ms. Mowat have been a sacrificial lamb, but for Mr. Donovan's resignation from the Planning Board?
What possible reasons could there be for Supervisor Tyksinski to be so insistent on putting the Chairman of the New Hartford Democratic Committee on the Planning Board?
One of the five (5) candidates was also a long-time resident and business owner who has attended town board meetings and has even provided the town board and town attorney with considerable information regarding hydrofracking. He has spoken at many town board meetings sharing the knowledge he has gained through attending various meetings on the subject of hydrofracking. He obvious has an interest on issues of importance to New Hartford town residents.
Then, another of the candidates is also a long-time town resident who has been at just about every town board and planning board meeting for the last six (6) years and is very familiar with the issues facing New Hartford.
But Supervisor Tyksinski clearly wasn't interested...his goal was to get Mr. Morris appointed to the Planning Board. It doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to see through this one! There are two Democrats on the town board and the town supervisor wants to appoint the Chairman of the New Hartford Democratic Party. Duh!
Question is...what's in it for Tyksinski? Rumors are flying and we suspect that the answers will more and more obvious as time goes on.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting political season in the Town of New Hartford.
Keep those comments and Anonymous Tips, coming friends...we follow up on every one of them!
Meanwhile, here is the snippet of the January 9, 2013 town board meeting regarding the nominations for the Planning Board: