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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Open Meetings Law is a laughing matter in the Town of New Hartford…

Something needed to be discussed behind closed doors at last night’s town board meeting, but just what it was seemed to be elusive according to the back and forth exchange between the supervisor and town clerk.

The town supervisor tried to use “personnel issue”, but that is not a valid reason for calling an executive session. The town clerk tried to get clarification from the supervisor, but Supervisor Tyksinski seemed to think the whole thing was a joke.  He ended the conversation by telling the town clerk to just pick one!

Then Town Attorney Cully appeared to try to cover up the Supervisor’s apparent lack of a “real” reason for an executive session by saying he needed an executive session to discuss the recently received Notice Of Claim.

Unfortunately, the Notice of Claim he was referring to was the same Notice of Claim that had already been discussed in open session. The town attorney stated in open session that a Notice of Claim was received, however, it was untimely filed. The incident in question supposedly occurred in April; there is a 90-day window in which to file a Notice of Claim.

Come on, Attorney Cully, executive sessions are only for litigation strategy. What litigation strategy could have possibly been discussed regarding a Notice of Claim for a yet to be filed lawsuit particularly when you have already disclosed the fact that the Notice of Claim was untimely filed?

What or should I say whom did they want to discuss without the camera rolling? Judging from the laughter that could be heard coming from the meeting room, even though I was standing behind two doors with a hall in between, I would guess they were having a grand time discussing a personnel matter and litigation strategy!

Here’s the supervisor and town attorney in action…watch all the bobble heads agree to a closed door meeting that quite apparently should have never taken place.

This is almost as bad as a town councilman’s attempt to purchase for a mere $50 a piece of town property that was donated to the town in 2008 to alleviate stormwater problems.

Guess they don’t take stormwater control or donations very seriously either! Oops…I haven’t told you about that yet…stay tuned!