Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Knock three times....

There will be a "special" town board meeting Thursday, August 24, 2017 starting at 5:00 p.m. in Butler Hall.

The possibility of a special meeting was mentioned at the August 9, 2017 town board meeting, but I hadn't seen it advertised anywhere including the town's wonderful website, but we placed a call to the town clerk's office this morning and were advised that signs for the meeting are posted on the front and back doors of Butler Hall.

Wonderful! Like town residents normally visit Butler Hall each day and would see the signs typed on a letter-size sheet of paper that is taped to the front and back doors! What are these people thinking?

Just in case Butler Hall is not one of your regularly scheduled stops each day, I posted the information here!

One item to be discussed is the bids for the Repair Work, Equipment & Operator Rental - 1 Year Contract bid notice in the August 13, 2017 Observer Dispatch.

This special meeting is open to the public and is slated to be held in the downstairs room of Butler Hall.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"

--a line from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.

--An officer of the palace guard says this after the ghost of the dead king appears,walking over the palace walls.

--A phrase often used to describe a situation in which something is wrong.

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, I sent a FOIL request to the town clerk asking to view an original, spiral-bound Final 2016 Financial Statements & Audit performed by D'Arcangelo.

Technically, I didn't need to send a FOIL request because by law financial records must be available for public view in the town clerk's office during regular business hours.

To my surprise, it would appear that the town clerk does not have an original; she is asking any board member who has a copy to make it available in her office.

I already have spoken to two (2) board members who told me they have tried to get a copy, but have basically been ignored. Any town board member would include Supervisor Tyksinski, yet it would appear that either he doesn't have one or he is not making it available. That in itself seems strange!

I have already stated in a previous blog that some of the pages in the 2016 final audit performed by D'Arcangelo would, to a reasonable person, seem to be either altered or sloppily put together by D'Arcangelo. Not good!

At the August 9, 2017 town board meeting, Councilman Woodland mentioned the fact that he would like to go out to bid to hire an auditor for 2018. To the surprise of everyone, Supervisor Tyksinski said that Dan Dreimiller, the town's Finance Officer, had already put out Requests for Proposals (RFP) with a return date of September 1.

This in itself seems quite odd, since I have already blogged, Note to New Hartford Town Councilmen, about the fact that each year the town board brings up their desire to RFP and each year, until now, Tyksinski has used some excuse to continue on with D'Arcangelo. So it is quite obvious that something is up!

Did D'Arcangelo finally begin to realize that they have been duped all these years?

Were they one of the firms sent an RFP or did they tell Tyksinski to stick it where the sun don't shine?

Anyway, getting back to my subject. I will be filing a FOIL appeal next week regarding the "missing" original copy of the 2016 audit and on one other FOIL request that has been unanswered since July 14, 2017.

Stay tuned...this should be interesting! One way or another, I will be letting everyone know what appears to be out of order in the copy of the 2016 audit I was sent and Supervisor Tyksinski certified is a true copy of the original audit.

Sure it is, Tyk! How come you still have not uploaded a copy for your Continuing Disclosure as required under the Securities & Exchange Commission rules?



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

O Sole Mio with English translation...

What a wonderful thing a sunny day
The serene air after a thunderstorm
The fresh air, and a party is already going on…
What a wonderful thing a sunny day.

Subtitle of the blog...if you think it's going to be easy getting solar energy while Tyksinski is in office, THINK AGAIN!


At the August 9, 2017 town board meeting, Councilman Reynolds finally brought forth the recommended changes to the solar energy code for the Town of New Hartford. If you remember, Councilman Reynolds asked to form a committee to review the current solar energy code.

As I have written many times, people are desirous of using solar energy, but New Hartford's code only allows 10 kw of solar energy which is not enough to make it cost effective for the average homeowner.

Tyksinski said he has no problem with solar energy (watch his mannerisms on the video below) and the board voted to hold a public hearing at the September 13, 2017 town board meeting. September 13 would be the day after the Republican Primary and Supervisor Tyksinski is hoping to get your vote to stay in office for a third term. Saying he is against updating the town's solar energy code wold not be wise and he knows it!

Here's the problem, folks...


Before a public hearing can be held regarding a local law, town code states:
Report of Planning Board.

A. All proposed amendments, supplements or changes originating by petition or by motion of the Town Board shall be referred to the Planning Board for a report and recommendation thereon. In undertaking such review, the Planning Board shall make inquiry and provide recommendation concerning the items specified below:

(1) Whether such change is consistent with the purposes embodied in this chapter as applied to the particular districts concerned.
(2) Whether adequate public services and other support facilities exist or can be created to serve the needs of any additional development that may occur as a result of such change.
(3) The indirect implications of such change in its effect on other regulations.
(4) Whether such proposed amendment is consistent with the underlying objectives of the Town Comprehensive Plan.
(5) Whether such proposed amendment is consistent with the character of the community.

B. The Planning Board shall submit its report within 45 days after receiving such referral. Failure of the Planning Board to report within the required time shall be deemed to be a recommendation of approval of the proposed amendment.
That's right, all changes to town code have to be presented to the Planning Board for their recommendation before the town can proceed.  No mention of that fact at the town board meeting!

I attended last night's Planning Board; discussion of the proposed changes could have been part of the agenda, but apparently there was no effort to make it happen. One would think if Tyksinski was truly in favor of changing the code, last night was his chance to prove it. But, there was no mention of the proposed solar energy code changes.

At the end of the Planning Board meeting, the town attorney did question "what about the 3rd item for the agenda?"

He was told there is no third item. Was the town attorney under the impression that the local law was going to be presented to the Planning Board last night? I don't know.

Do I believe that Tyksinski is going to do everything in his power to stall Councilman Reynolds proposed changes? You bet I do!

According to the Planning Board secretary, so far there are no items filed that would require a September Planning Board meeting to be scheduled, but it is still early. Will there be a Planning Board meeting prior to the September 13th town board meeting? It's doubtful!

With careful planning on Tyksinski's part, he could play "delay games" until after the November election when he might feel safe to vote "no". If you have watched town board meeting movies, you will see that he is definitely not in favor, but he was "forced" to say "he has no problem with it" at the town board meeting because he knows he was being recorded.

Anyway, good job Councilman Reynolds! The people want these changes...Tyksinski can delay the adoption of the law, but he is only 1 of 5 votes so he can't stop it from happening.

Here is a copy of the proposed local law that I FOILed from the town clerk this morning.

Here's the portion of the meeting regarding the proposed solar energy town code changes:



I will venture a guess that the cause of the delay Tyksinski recites at the next town board meeting is because the town's contracted engineers, Barton & Loguidice, did not get back to Tyksinski in time (wink, wink) so Tyksinski couldn't get the local law to the Planning Board for review. Therefore, there will not be a September 13, 2017 Public Hearing.

I will keep everyone informed of the public hearing date, if and when it is scheduled.




Friday, August 11, 2017

Say What, Tyk?


At the July 12, 2017 town board meeting, Tyksinski led the town board down a dark road and left the residents affected by flooding in the Grange Hill Road area under water!

Tyksinski talked the board into rejecting the one legitimate bid for the project; convinced them there was no time to re-bid the project and presented his "Plan" for how the work could be completed.

Councilman Richard Woodland asked Tyksinski why Spinella did not bid for the work; Tyksinski replied he didn't know about the bidding until it was too late to submit a bid.

Councilman Reynolds interjected...Twice?

Tyksinski replied, "Twice, what?" Councilman Reynolds said, "Twice he had the opportunity to bid it and he didn't?" Tyksinski shrugged his shoulders.

Finally, the board caved in to Tyksinski's bully tactics used to convince them to hire Spinella by "piggy-backing" off the county list; the "plan" was adopted.

Problem is, as reported in the Observer Dispatch, the town cannot "piggy-back" off the county for the job.

Here is the snippet of the town board interaction on July 12, 2017 with Tyksinski saying Spinella didn't know about the bid until it was too late:



Truth is, Mr. Spinella did pick up a bid packet on July 3, 2017; a week before the bid opening on July 10, 2017 and the same day as the one legitimate bidder picked up his bid packet! Spinella had more than enough time to submit his bid; but he didn't.

Instead, according to the Observer Dispatch article, Spinella supposedly sent an email to Tyksinski and behind the scenes a plan was developed to reject the one bid and sign a contract for Mr. Spinella to do the work.

They have a name for that where I grew up...

The town board was duped by the two people they should have been able to trust and the Grange Hill Project is now on hold until who knows when!

When the town attorney and town supervisor sit at the head of the table and give assurances to town councilmen that what the councilmen are being asked to adopt is legal, the councilmen have little choice but to accept their recommendation. If the councilmen can't trust the two most experienced people at the board table to give them sound advice, who can they trust? This is not the first time that town board members have been given misinformation in order to sway a vote the way Tyksinski wants it to go.

Below is the entire video of the Grange Hill Road project bid. I have already posted it once; if you haven't viewed it yet, I urge you should to take the time to listen to how Tyksinski pushes the board to do his bidding even if it is not in keeping with law.



Perhaps they do not realize that I have been attending board meetings for many years. I know that the town clerk requires all contractors who pick up bid packets to fill out a form so she can keep track of who has picked up a bid vs. who submits one. It took a simple FOIL request to get the information I needed.  Who picked up a bid packet?

If you are a Republican voter in the Town of New Hartford, I would advise that you make sure to vote at the September 12, 2017 Republican Primary and send a message to Tyksinski.

Change is needed at the head of the table! Get out and vote!



Thursday, August 10, 2017

To market, to market...

Subtitle...How many bid openings does it take to get just the "right" bid?




Let's face it...the Aug. 8 stormwater informational meeting was merely a "dog and pony" show during an election year.

Over the past several years, the town board has had three (3) separate bid openings for the Grange Hill Road Project; a project that has been promised, but not delivered on.

Supervisor Tyksinski assured everyone at the August 8, 2017 Stormwater Informational Meeting that he feels their pain. Sure he does! How do you explain that the last bid on the Grange Hill Road project was once again rejected on July 12, 2017; eleven days after the July 1 stormwater devastation that left some residents homeless!

But, this time on July 12, 2017, Tyksinski had "a plan"...he received an email from Mr. Spinella with an offer Tyksinski just couldn't refuse!

After assurances from the town attorney and town supervisor that it is proper to "piggyback" on the county bids for the job, town board members voted to go with a yet to be prepared contract with Spinella for about half the price quoted by the lone bidder; a contract that to-date has never appeared before the town board for approval.

By now, I am sure you have read two articles in the Observer Dispatch that pretty much sums up the situation regarding the Spinella contract. The project can't be done that way! It has to go out to bid! Of course, unless Tyksinski comes up with another "plan".

So, no one will probably be surprised when I tell you that another bid for stormwater clean-up, this time “Emergency Response Contract - July 2017 Storm Damage”, was opened; accepted and before the night ended was rejected at the August 9, 2017 town board meeting! Why?

First, they accepted the low bidder which was recommended by Supervisor Tyksinski which is quite unusual that Tyksinski makes that recommendation when his favorite bidder is not the low bid. The vote was unanimous to accept the low bidder.

The board meeting continued with several other pieces of town business being discussed.

Several minutes later, the topic turned to the auditing of the town bills for payment and the town councilmen were questioning the lack of the town supervisor's signature to pay some bills for other emergency work.

I guess the town attorney was scrutinizing the bid sheets while other town business was being discussed because, the town attorney, Herb Cully, started questioning Councilman Paul Miscione regarding the fact that he believed the low bid which was already accepted did not comply with the bid sheet.

I am surprised that a July 24, 2017 bid opening was not scrutinized prior to the low bid being accepted at an August 9, 2017 town board meeting, but apparently it wasn't.

The questioning continued with the highway superintendent being called to the front of the room. For a few minutes, I thought I was sitting in a court gallery watching the proceeding of a court case involving town bidding procedures.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion at the table as to how to proceed; Tyksinski didn't really have much to say.

However, it did appear that the other three bidder's paperwork apparently did meet the town attorney's approval and were in line with the bid specs.

Councilman Messa asked, if the low bidder really didn’t fill out the bid sheets properly, but the other bidders did, why can’t we reject that bid and take the next low bid. The next low bid would have been...you guessed it...Spinella.

After much discussion back and forth, the board decided to reject all the bids because it was determined that the bid specs were “lacking; wanting; and not clear”. I would have guessed that a firm like Barton & Loguidice would have the ability to write a proper bid spec given that the highway superintendent gave them direction, but I guess not. The bid spec which was used for the initial bidding was not available at the town board meeting; only a copy of the new bid specs.

Anyway, the board decided to reject the first bids and go back out to bid again with the new, more concise bid specs. Tyksinski tentatively scheduled an August 24th “special” meeting to vote on the new bid; said meeting will either be in the board room or in Tyksinski's office. I wonder if holding a board meeting in the supervisor's office is in line with the Opening Meetings Law? It always amazes me when Tyksinski and Cully decide to be picky about seeing that town business is conducted in compliance with laws.

The bids were not totally disclosed to the public, but Councilman Miscione was concerned that once again the bids are known to the bidders which could skew the next bidding. Right you are, Councilman Miscione!

How many times do bids have to be requested, rejected and re-bid before no one bids on projects in New Hartford except Mr. Spinella? This is getting to be the normal way bids are conducted in the Town of New Hartford and it is disturbing. Bidding in our town has become a comedy routine, except that it isn’t funny. Just by watching the town supervisor's demeanor as these discussions take place, there is little doubt that there is something going on. What a clusterduck!

Here's the video of that portion of the August 9, 2017 board meeting. You be the judge, if you can follow their reasoning!





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Play It Again, Tyksinski!!

Compared to the number of residents who were affected by the July 1, 2017 rain storm, it was a rather small crowd who attended last night's informational stormwater meeting held at the Willowvale Fire Company. Those that attended were there to get answers as to how the town plans to proceed in solving several stormwater flooding problems.

Supervisor Tyksinski said he has a "plan"; he always has a "plan". He had a plan in 2011 when everyone was gathered at the Donovan Building to hear his spiel. The video of the 2011 informational meeting is at the bottom of this blog.

It's now 2017, we have had more flooding events and the rainstorms aren't getting any less severe; the same people are still getting flooded.

All this reminds me of the letter the former highway superintendent, Roger Cleveland, sent to Robert Maciol who was then the Mayor of New York Mills. Dated July 25, 2007, it says in part:
"You should be aware that starting with the Sangertown Square project in the 1970's, each and every economic development project has undergone scrutiny by the Planning Board as regards stormwater management. In each case, state of the art stormwater management design was required of the developers. Individually, each project conforms to those designs yet collectively something else has happened to at least make it appear that the designs don't function, or at least don't function sufficiently to attenuate downstream flooding."
You don't say, Roger! Here's is Roger Cleveland's 2007 letter in its entirety.

Perhaps someone should make this letter available to the Planning Board before they vote to allow Larry Adler to build a Jiffy Lube in a floodplain across the street from Panera's!

I hate to say it, but it is obvious that the fixes in all parts of New Hartford aren't working and haphazardly throwing more money at it does not appear to be the answer. The town apparently needs better leadership who can tackle the problems without trying to get jobs and favors for their friends.

I'll get off my soapbox for now so you can listen to last night's informational meeting.

Here is Supervisor Tyksinski and other politicians discussing "duh plan":




For those that might have missed the May 18, 2011 discussion held at the Donovan Community Center after the April 2011 flooding, here it is:




Need I say more?



Monday, August 7, 2017

Public presentations at the July 12, 2017 town board meeting...

For those interested, I have posted the beginning part of the July 12, 2017 town board meeting starting with the public portion of the meeting.

Once again, on July 1, 2017, town residents suffered severe stormwater damage. The room in Butler Hall was packed with homeowners, mainly from the Chadwicks area of town, and they were there to ask what the town plans to do to alleviate their problems.

I previously posted the last part of the July 12th meeting (after most of the residents left) with the town supervisor bullying the town board to adopt a resolution to use "piggy-backing" on the Oneida County bid list instead of re-bidding for the Grange Hill Project as required by law.

Unfortunately, (it's hard to believe that the town supervisor and attorney didn't know) the county bids cannot be used and the project is once again under review. Had the town supervisor done what he should have done instead of trying to send work to his buddy; the project could have gone out for another bid which could have been opened in time for acceptance at the August 9, 2017 meeting. But that's another story...you can read about it in my previous two blogs.

At any rate, the town website has an announcement that one (1) appointed and two (2) elected representatives are holding an informational meeting at the Willowvale Fire Dept. tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. to "discuss stormwater issues in the Town of New Hartford".

Who knows what plans await everyone this time; but the town supervisor did sell a $900,000 bond anticipation note to be used for the Grange Hill Project...when the bidding is finally done properly.

The meeting is open to the public.

For further information; please contact Town Supervisor Patrick Tyksinski at 315.733.7500 EXT. 2332

Here is the video:



Town residents should vote for Supervisor Tyksinski on September 12th, WHY???



Friday, July 28, 2017

Today's article in the Observer Dispatch...

reminded me of an old joke...

How can you tell if a politician is lying?

--Their lips are moving!

Anyone that follows this blog knows that the $3 million dollar fund balance reported in the Observer Dispatch article is tomfoolery!

Of course, if you are trying to make people believe that you are an accounting genius as part of your re-election campaign, as Tyksinski is trying to do, you would combine three (3) funds, as Tyksinski requested the auditors do for the 2016 audit, so that it gives the appearance that the town is doing well under Tyksinski's watch.

However, the three (3) fund balances are not normally combined when speaking of general fund balance because two of the funds represent assigned monies.

According to the audit:
"Assigned- Includes amounts that are constrained by the Town's intent to be used for specific purposes, but are neither restricted nor committed. Intent is expressed by (a) the Town Board or (b) the designated official, such as the Town's Purchasing Agent, to which the Board has delegated the authority to assign amounts to be used for specific purposes. The remaining fund balances in the Police, Highway Part Town, Sewer, and Non-Major funds are assigned fund balances."
The funds are considered assigned because the dollars are collected from different tax bases; in this case Tyksinski combined Police and Part town with the General Wholetown. The fund balance is generally regarded as the balance in the General Wholetown only; however, that would give an entirely different picture of the town's finances.

The audit actually shows that the General Wholetown fund balance that is Unassigned or spendable for any town expense totals $1,897,699.

From that balance, one needs to subtract the amount due to the Sewer Fund of $764,530; leaving a fund balance of $1,133,169; NOT $3,000,000. AND, that is dependent upon all other numbers in the audit being correct! (I doubt it!)

The million dollar surplus is also a combination of all funds including funds that are assigned so it really is not a surplus that can be spent for any purpose. The town actually spent more than it received in revenues for 2016 according to the audit.

Now let's look at Tyksinski's and Town Attorney Cully statements to the Observer Dispatch regarding the non-bid spending:
"The draft includes a finding that a collection of stormwater drainage improvements and other small jobs — totaling $500,850 as handled by a single contractor — did not adhere to the town’s bidding policy and did not have proper emergency approval."

"Tyksinski, however, said the finding was “wrong.” The town, according to Town Attorney Herbert Cully, then used a process called job order contracting to hire a contractor for a period of time to handle jobs as needed at a fixed price."

“When we had the final exit conference (with the auditors), that was my opportunity to provide the information to them to show why it was not a correct finding, and that’s what we did,” Tyksinski said."
Tyksinski & Cully must be referring to a resolution passed by the town board in April 2014 because there has not been any other adopted resolution on the subject since 2014.
(RESOLUTION NO. 92 OF 2014)

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford does hereby retain the services of the following excavators for storm drainage work in fiscal year 2014 at the hourly rate of One Hundred Thirty-five Dollars ($135) per hour:

• John Spinella Excavating Co., 3274 Martin Road, Clinton, NY 13323
• L.P. Trucking & Excavation, Inc., 8290 Gore Road, Rome, NY 13440
• Roberts Construction of Upstate New York, Inc., 115 Genesee Street, New Hartford, NY 13413
The resolution is quite specific that the excavators named are to be used for 2014; according to General Municipal Law, non-bid contracts can only be for a twelve month period and can only be used if the sum total of the work to be paid in a twelve month period is NOT over the $35,000 threshold for public works or the work must be formally bid.

According to the draft audit, Spinella was paid $500,850 for non-bid work in 2016 which is well over the $35,000 threshold; the 2016 audit would not include the amount paid in 2015.

Attorney Cully and Tyksinski know very well that there was a whole discussion at the board table which ended in the town's procurement policy being clarified and updated.  That was when they tried to get the town board to approve Spinella's invoices that according to Tyksinski were FEMA-related even though there was no storm damage reported in 2015 or 2016.  It's all on the blog including videos.

I wonder what b/s they used to convince D'Arcangelo to omit this finding from their final 2016 audit. The town board needs to immediately put out bid requests for a different auditing firm for 2018!

By the way, it's funny that the final 2016 audit still has not been provided to the Securities & Exchange Commission as required.  Wonder if they will submit it after they sell the $900,000 bond anticipation notes on August 1, 2017?




Sunday, July 23, 2017

If it Walks like a Duck...

Yep, the work on Grange Hill needs to be done...has needed to be done for many, many years.

In fact, since at least 2013, the New Hartford Town Board has been discussing the work that needs to be done; its gone from talking about it...designing...bidding...re-designing...re-bidding...talking some more...re-biding; you get the picture -- we have seen and heard it all ad nauseam!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the people in the Oneida Street area of Chadwicks are suffering loss of personal property after every storm.

On June 30, 2017, the "new and improved design" went back out to bid with a bid opening date of July 10, 2017; two days before the July town board meeting. The bid opening discussion was held after the departure of most of the people who were furious with the town's lack of stormwater fixes that caused yet another major loss of property on July 1, 2017.

Tyksinski started the discussion by stating that this time he believed there was only one (1) bid received in the amount of $651,063.10., but he already had a "plan" that he discussed with Councilman Messa prior to the meeting.

Now, for the Tyksinski Plan B...


Tyksinski told the board that he had been in talks with Mr. Spinella who agreed to do the first part of the job for no more than $350,000. The town attorney assured the town councilmen that they could legally "piggy-back" on the county bids for Construction Materials, Groups 6, 7, 8 & 11.

Oneida County has their bids online; for the May 2017 through April 2018 timeframe, there was only one (1) bid for Construction Materials, which Attorney Cully stated was the bids he was relying on. The contract, identified by Attorney Cully as being the one Mr. Spinella was supposedly listed on, was for crushed stone, bituminous concrete, abrasives, rental of Equipment and Production Cold Milling.

I just have to ask a couple questions about Plan B:
(1) Wasn't Mr. Spinella involved in the $700,000 projects that were never bid out in 2015 & 2016 and were noted as a finding in the 2016 DRAFT Financial Statements?

(2) How was Mr. Spinella able to submit a quote to Supervisor Tyksinski if he didn't already have the bid package to know what he was quoting on?

Actually, I spoke to the town clerk the day after the town board meeting. She advised me that four (4) contractors picked up a bid spec package, and that Mr. Spinella was actually one of the contractors who picked up a packet for the Grange Hill Project. She also stated that Mr. Spinella didn't bother to submit a bid for the public bid opening on July 10th.

Sounds fishy because on the tape you will hear Supervisor Tyksinski say that Mr. Spinella was not aware of the call for bids. Also sounds fishy that Mr. Spinella wouldn't submit a bid when he claims to be able to do the job for almost half of the cost of the contractor who submitted a bid. He must know that $350,000 is going to be a low bid. Perhaps Mr. Spinella didn't want to sign a non-collusion statement that is required for a bid to be complete.

(3) Who was going to sign the "contract" with Mr. Spinella after Attorney Cully drafted it? There was no contract presented to the board for approval the night of the meeting. Attorney Cully said he would draw up a contract after the meeting. Tyksinski can't sign any contract without board approval PRIOR to the work being done.

(4) Who will be signing the payment vouchers? The highway superintendent; the town supervisor; Councilman Messa; or the town supervisor's secretary? Or should we say, who was going to be bullied into signing, Supervisor?
The day after the town board meeting, I FOILed the papers that Attorney Cully was referring to at the meeting. My FOIL request was supposed to be answered by last Friday, but Attorney Cully seems to be delaying a response to my FOIL request. I can't imagine why!

If you haven't read the Observer Dispatch article, Was New Hartford Board Vote Legal, written by Greg Mason, I suggest you do for insight as to how this town supervisor operates. Watch Tyksinski's demeanor in the video. He has b/s written all over his face! The audacity of pulling these stunts when they are being videotaped!



The video below pretty much tells the story. One thing I want to point out is that Attorney Cully obviously knew he was on shaky ground, because when it came time to adopt a resolution, Attorney Cully wanted to make sure that the phrase emergency situation was included in the verbiage of the "official" board minutes. Listen to his b/s resolution!

Emergency? LOL...a four-year emergency just looking for the right bidder to come along! ROFLMAO!








Connect the dots, my friends...it's a FU DUCK, all right!












Monday, July 17, 2017

Which Tyksinski-isms are correct...


...the statements made in the June 28, 2017 report that Tyksinski filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission for SEC Rule 15c2-12

...OR...

the ones posted in Tyksinski's political ad in the July Town Crier?

Tyksinski wants you to believe that he has worked for YOU for the past seven (7) years and he has the statistics to prove it.

However, those statistics just don't seem to jive with the ones he officially reported to S.E.C. on June 28, 2017.

Let's take a look:


Tyksinski says...he has lowered taxes each year since taking office in 2010.
Fact is, Tyksinski AND the town board did lower the tax rate in the 2011 budget, but that was a result of consolidating 911.
The only other time the tax rate was lowered was in 2013 for the 2014 budget. Tyksinski lowered the tax rate a couple of pennies per thousand in his 2011 Tentative Budget, but the town board lowered the taxes even further to the present tax rates of $1.00 General Wholetown that everyone pays and $1.77 for Police which is paid by the town proper and the Village of NYM.

Since the 2014 budget, the tax rates have remained the same according to the June 28, 2017 filing with the S.E.C. and according to town records in my files.

Tyksinski says...Increased general fund balance from a deficit of $(500,000) to a surplus of over $3,000,000.
According to the 2009 Financial Audit prepared by D'Arcangelo & Co., the General Wholetown Fund deficit was $(10,921) when Tyksinski took office in 2010, NOT $(500,000). As far as the current general fund balance being $3 million, that is very misleading because the 2016 Financial Audit, specifically states that Tyksinski has combined three funds that really have nothing to do with each other into what he is now calling a General Fund. However, two of the three combined funds are assigned meaning they can only be used for certain related expenses; General Part Town & Police...not General Wholetown taxes.

If you remove the fund balance of two assigned funds and redistribute the general town money owed to other funds, and subtract the amount of overage reported for sales tax projected for the first quarter of 2017, you would see a much different picture. The REAL amount of fund balance that is spendable and actually attributed to the General Wholetown fund is somewhere around $1 million, if that! We would have to believe that the "FINAL" audit that I received is factual!

Think about it for a moment...if the town is in such great shape as Tyksinski says, there shouldn't have been a problem with the release of the 2016 Financial Audit. Plus, as of today, the 2016 Audited Financial Statement which is required to be filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission has yet to be filed.

Tyksinski says...Improved the Town's infrastructure - $4,200,000 in road paving and over $2,000,000 in rehabbing our sewer system. Updated highway and police equipment.
Might be true, but your children's grandchildren will be paying back the bonded debt incurred under the Tyksinski regime. How does that make you feel?

Tyksinski says...Spent $2,500,000 in storm water remediation.
How was that stormwater remediation working for everyone during the July 1 storm?

Again, it is debt that everyone is paying and will be paying back for some time to come plus some of the money spent by Tyksinski was borrowed during the Reed administration.

I'll be back to talk about the bidding process utilized by Tyksinski for the Grange Hill Project. That is a story all of its own!

Tyksinski says...Rejuvenated development in the Town, adding $60,000,000 to the taxable assessment.
Odd, because the June 28, 2017 S.E.C. filing claims that only $35,000,000 has been added to the assessment since 2010.  Must be Tyksinski's campaign ad forget to subtract the assessments that have been rolled back because of tax certiorari battles that were lost in court!
I also have to wonder if $60 million in assessments were added as Tyksinski claims, how come there has not been a reduction of the tax rate since 2014? Huh?

Tyksinski says...Reduced budget appropriations by over $1,000,000.
Well, that's easy because Tyksinski also reduced the number of Highway and Parks employees plus he didn't renew their contracts that expired in 2010 until recently. Therefore, the remaining workers never received a pay raise during the past seven years. He also consolidated 911 with the County which took about $500,000 out of the budget.

Here is a copy of the June 28, 2017 report the town submitted to the S.E.C. I have highlighted each of the items above that I pointed out.

I also highlighted the statement that the Town Comptroller is appointed for a one year term. What town comptroller would Tyksinski be referencing...we don't have one, although Tyksinski manages the finances as if we did by circumventing the town board regarding the transfer of funds.

Friends, if things are so rosy in the Town of New Hartford, how come Tyksinski included $150,000 of park fees ("phony revenue") to balance the 2016 budget before the town board even voted to adopt a local law to assess park fees to non-residents? Problem was, the town board rejected the idea and Tyksinski had to scramble looking for ways to make up the $150,000.

You, my friends are suppose to believe Tyksinski's "pie-in-the-sky" accomplishments because he says so; after all he is the Emperor!





Sunday, July 9, 2017

Two days after the initial filing, and the same day as...

...the June 28, 2017 blog I wrote, Apparently for Some People..., about the town's lack of compliance with the Securities & Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) rule regarding Continuing Disclosure requirements, an additional document was added for the Town of New Hartford.

Under "Annual Financial Information and Operating Data", a document supposedly written with the help of Fiscal Advisors dated June 28, 2017 was added to the State Comptrollers AUD report that was previously reported to the S.E.C.

An interesting document to say the least as it seems to contradict some of Supervisor Tyksinski's campaign ad in the Town Crier. I'll get back to that later in the week.

At any rate, what is more important is the fact that, as part of the June 28th update to the Continuing Disclosure, no 2016 Financial Statement was added as required by the S.E.C. Rule 15c2-12.

Instead the unaudited report to the Comptroller was still listed under "Audited Financial Statements or CAFR" and the June 28, 2017 document prepared with the help of Fiscal Advisors states that, "The independent audit covering the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016 is not available as of the date of this Continuing Disclosure Statement."

Today, July 9th, the 2016 Financial Statements prepared by D'Arcangelo have still not been provided to the S.E.C.

What makes the lack of reporting the 2016 Financial Statement to the S.E.C. more intriguing is the fact that on July 5th I was contacted by the town clerk to let me know that she has a copy of the FINAL 2016 Financial Audit and would be sending it to me in response to my FOIL request of June 29, 2017.

The "FINAL" 2016 audit report she sent me was dated May 30, 2017, the day of my FOIL appeal for the DRAFT audit!

After looking over the "supposed" final copy of the 2016 Financial Audit prepared by D'Arcangelo, I found some rather curious pages; pages that might lead a reasonable person to believe that the audit was not the work of D'Arcangelo, but might have been altered by someone else so I requested "certification that the document I received is a correct copy of the FINAL 2016 Financial Statements" performed by D'Arcangelo.

On July 7, 2017, I received an email from the town clerk with an attached signed and dated copy of the certification I requested:
I, Patrick M. Tyksinski, as Supervisor of the Town of New Hartford, herewith certify that I have compared the attached copy of the original 2016 Final Financial Statement prepared by D' Arcangelo & Associates and that it is true and accurate.
If that is the case, and the copy I received is the "real" final copy of the 206 Financial Statement prepared by D'Arcangelo, then the town board needs to ask some serious questions at the next town board meeting!

Stay tuned as I run through some of the highlights of the newly submitted document prepared with the help of Fiscal Advisors!

Someone is trying to "fool" a lot of people! Is it Tyksinski; D'Arcangelo; or Fiscal Advisors?



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"...rendered at the conclusion..."

You have to release those financials at some point prior to the November election, Supervisor!

On June 20, 2017, I again sent a FOIL request to the town clerk asking for:
"...the 2016 Final Town Financial Statements performed by D’Arcangelo to include the management letter and the responses to the management letter. I would also like a copy of the Engagement letter for 2016."
On June 26, 2017, I received the following email from the town clerk:
Dear Cathy:

Attached is the Engagement Letter for the 2016 Audit. I have been informed that, as of today, the FINAL financial statement(s) have not been received.

Gail Wolanin Young
Hmmm...FINAL financial statements not received as of June 26, 2017??

Funny, to say the least, because page 6 the 2016 Engagement Letter, dated November 30, 2016, says:
"Leonard P. Carissimo, CPA, is the engagement partner and is responsible for supervising the engagement and signing the reports or authorizing another individual to sign them."

"Our fee for these services, excluding the New Hartford Public Library, will be based on the actual time spent at our standard, hourly rates. Our standard hourly rates vary according to the degree of responsibility involved and the experience level of the personnel assigned to your audit. Our invoices for these fees will be rendered at the conclusion of our interim and year end procedures and are payable on presentation."
So after reading that paragraph, I naturally FOILed, the D'Arcangelo invoice whether it was paid or still waiting for payment.

To my surprise, on June 29, 2017, I received a copy of the D'Arcangelo invoice dated June 2, 2017. Accoding to the invoice "Balance is due upon receipt. Please remit."  However, it has yet to be paid...we will see if it is included in the July bills to be paid.  It should be very clear to the public as to whether or not it is included for payment since the town board will need to approve a budget transfer for the overrun prior to paying the bill.

According to the invoice submitted by D'Arcangelo, one of the reasons that the invoice total is more than was budgeted is because:
"Additional time required for: 1) change in fund reporting, 2) Trust and Agency reconciliation issues; 3) accounting for BAN activity".
Interesting...could that possibly be a clue as to what is being hidden from taxpayers?

At any rate, between the 2016 Engagement Letter and the unpaid D'Arcangelo invoice dated June 2nd, we can conclude that as far as D'Arcangelo is concerned, the audit is FINAL and was probably final before my FOIL appeal hearing on May 30, 2017.

A 2016 Financial Statement was also clearly available before the Supervisor chose to submit an unaudited state comptroller's report (AUD) on June 26, 2017 in place of the submission of the town's audited financial statements as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Continuing Disclosure Rule 15c2-12.

Even though I sent another FOIL appeal on June 29, 2017, I have yet to receive a copy of the FINAL 2016 Financial Statements. I did hear from the town clerk on June 30, 2017 when she copied me on a letter to Tyksinski and Dreimiller:
Good morning, Cathy:

Receipt is hereby acknowledged of your FOIL request below for the 2016 Final Town Financial Statements performed by D’Arcangelo to include the management letter and the responses to the management letter.

By copy of this e-mail to the Town Supervisor/Finance Offices, I am apprising them of your request.

Pat and Dan, If neither office has such document, Ms. Lawrence has requested a certification to this effect.

Gail
The fact that the town councilman have not been given a copy of the final audit should be troubling to every New Hartford resident.  Whatever Tyksinski is hiding will eventually be made public either by this blog or the state comptroller; or both!

In the meantime, stay tuned as I write a couple of blogs with a little "fact checking" of Tyksinski's campaign mantra in the Town Crier.

Everything is NOT as he tries to make it appear. Let's just say he appears to be a person stuck in "I am wonderful" mode. We all know what eventually happened to the last town supervisor who constantly said "everything is wonderful". Just sayin...



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Apparently for some people...

...desperate times calls for desperate measures!

As I have been blogging, Supervisor Tyksinski has repeatedly stated that the 2016 Financial Statements are not finished; even indicating that the document is still the property of D'Arcangelo.

So...being an inquisitive person, I began to why it might be that Tyksinski thought it would be proper to submit a resolution to the town board for approval of $1.2 million of bonding particularly when apparently he has no clue as to when he might have a copy of the final 2016 audited financial statements. Last night I found out...

Let me backtrack a bit...I'll try to give you the short version.

Under the Securities & Exchange Commission rules, Rule 15c2-12 Disclosure, the town is required to file a disclosure each year. This disclosure is used by municipal bond investors who want information regarding the financial status of a municipality.

There are two categories of financials that are required to be filed...Annual Financial Information and Operating Data; and Audited Financial Statements or Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Below, for clarification, are the definitions of each:
ANNUAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Financial information or operating data of the type included in the final official statement with respect to the issuer or an obligated person. Rule 15c2-12 obligates underwriters for primary offerings of municipal securities to ensure that the issuer or other obligated person has undertaken to provide such information or data on an annual basis.

AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENT
A financial statement that has been examined by an auditor and upon which the auditor has expressed or disclaimed an opinion.

COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT (CAFR)
A report issued by a governmental entity that includes the entity’s audited statements for the fiscal year as well as other information about the entity. Such report must meet specific standards established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in order to be considered a comprehensive annual financial report.
Until this year, New Hartford has always correctly filed financial information that is prepared with the assistance of Fiscal Advisors (Annual Financial Information) along with a copy of the town's most current audited financial statements (Audited Financial Statement) prepared by D'Arcangelo.

However, for some reason, two (2) days ago, on June 26, 2017, the financial information filed by the Town of New Hartford consisted of a copy of the 2016 Annual Updated Document (AUD) for both the Annual Financial Information and the Audited Financial Statement.

The AUD, which has to be filed with the NYS Comptroller's office each year, is NOT an audited document; it is NOT prepared by Fiscal Advisers or D'Arcangelo; and there is no assurance that any of the information contained in the document is correct. It is a document prepared by Dan Dreimiller.

In addition, once again for some reason, the report preparer signature line is left blank and Dan Dreimiller has signed the report certifying that he is the town's Chief Fiscal Officer.

Mr. Dreimiller was appointed by Tyksinski as Finance Director at the January 26, 2011 town board meeting.

Under Town Law 52, a town supervisor may "Appoint, and at pleasure remove, a director of finance who shall assist the supervisor in the preparation of the preliminary budget and the capital budget, if any, and in the administration of other fiscal operations of the town for which the supervisor is responsible".

Mr. Dreimiller can assist in preparing the report, however, General Municipal Law 30 and Town Law 52 read together make it very clear that the Chief Fiscal Officer of the town is the Supervisor and it is his duty to certify the state comptroller's report (AUD) "is TRUE and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief".

While Mr. Dreimiller may be a CPA in his private life, as the town's finance director, he has no business certifying that he is the Chief Fiscal Officer of the town.

It's quite funny actually because Dreimiller and Tyksinski got it right in 2012 when Dreimiller signed as the preparer and Tyksinski signed as Chief Fiscal Officer. However, every year since 2012, Tyksinski has not signed the annual report to the State Comptroller and Dreimiller has certified that he is the Chief Fiscal Officer...I wonder why that might be. Guess they can't proclaim they didn't know who was supposed to certify the report!

Reporting misleading financial information to the S.E.C. is serious stuff and not something that I would expect from an experienced town official and CPA such as Supervisor Tyksinski proclaims to be...unless he is getting desperate.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This one might hurt...

According to today's legal notices, Special Metals is looking for a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT)
"...which the Agency will assist in office renovations and upgrades within a complex of industrial buildings totaling 351,700± square feet in the aggregate (The "Improvements"), all situated on a 124.5± acre parcel of land located at 2317 Middle Settlement Road, Town of New Hartford, Oneida County, New York (the "Land"), and acquisition and installation of equipment in the Improvements..."
The legal notice continues:
"The Agency contemplates it will provide financial assistance to the Company in the form of abatement of real property taxes for a period of ten years during which time the Company will pay fixed PILOT Payments, exemptions from mortgage recording taxes and exemptions from sales tax on materials and equipment acquired and installed in connection with the Project, which financial assistance represents a deviation from the Agency's Uniform Tax Exemption Policy to be more particularly described in a Final Authorizing Resolution to be adopted by the Agency prior to the closing of the transactions described herein."
In true Oneida County Industrial Development tradition, their meeting minutes have not been updated on their website since October 2016 so there is no further information available other than what is in the legal notice.

According to the Town of New Hartford assessment database, Special Metals is currently assessed for $11,276,200 and at the moment it is fully taxable. Depending on the terms of the PILOT, it would not only affect the property taxes, but it will have an impact on sales tax for the Town of New Hartford because exempt properties are not included in the total assessed value when figuring sales tax distribution.

One other thing, the town's database lists the Special Metals property as 4317 Middlesettlement not 2317 Middle Settlement as listed in the legal notice.

For anyone who might be interested or who might be planning to attend the Public Hearing which is being held on July 11 at 9:00 a.m. in Butler Hall, here is the complete legal notice.



.

Monday, June 26, 2017

News Flash!

I received an email from the town clerk today regarding my FOIL request of last week:
Dear Cathy:

Attached is the Engagement Letter for the 2016 Audit. I have been informed that, as of today, the FINAL financial statement(s) have not been received.

Gail Wolanin Young


Wow...2016 financials still haven't been received...the "DRAFT" was dated April 21, 2017 and the final statements still haven't been received? Why not?

D'Arcangelo has been auditing the Town of New Hartford since 2009...so they are not the new kids on the block. Certainly, they must have a pretty good understanding of the town records; I can't imagine a delay on their part.

Actually, it is quite obvious at this point that there is a problem with the town's financial statements and it is beginning to look like a BIG problem. What more could be wrong than the two (2) findings that I have already blogged about?

Tyksinski, being such an experienced town official and CPA as he claims to be, should have had all the kinks worked out by now...unless, of course, his record keeping technique is the source of the problem!

Gosh, I wonder if this has anything to do with the upcoming state comptroller's report.



Friday, June 23, 2017

You're losing Credibility, Supervisor!

On May 30, 2017, at my FOIL appeal Special Town Board meeting, Supervisor Tyksinski convinced Councilman Reynolds to vote "nay" for the release of the "DRAFT" audit based on the fact that Tyksinski convinced him that the final audit would be ready in "one week...two two tops".

By my calculation, it has now been almost four (4) weeks since my FOIL appeal for the "DRAFT" audit and apparently the supervisor is still are not making the final version of the 2016 audit available to town residents, or for that matter, to the town board.

At the June 14 town board meeting, Tyksinski thought it would be ready "soon" and stated there are some additions and deletions to the "DRAFT" audit.

So...on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, I sent a FOIL request to the town clerk for a copy of the Final 2016 Audit, the Management Letter, Management's Response to the audit and the Engagement letter. I was told that the town clerk would get back to me no later than Friday, June 23, 2017; that's today.

This afternoon, the town clerk called and stated that nothing contained in my FOIL request has been made available to her in response to her email to the supervisor. My FOIL request asked for certification if the documents are not available; I will follow up with the town clerk next week to either obtain the documents or Tyksinski's signature certifying that the 2016 financial information is not available.

Why would it be that almost a month after leading Councilman Reynolds to believe that the final audit was just about ready, Tyksinski is still avoiding it's release? What is it that D'Arcangelo's audit reveals that the supervisor doesn't want to disclose? It must be pretty damaging!

More disturbing is the fact that it does not appear that town councilmen have a copy or are even involved in the discussions with D'Arcangelo. Half of 2017 has passed and the town council has no idea of where the town was financially at the close of 2016. The town board is "flying blind" while the only ones who know what is going on are Tyksinski and Dreimiller, both CPAs. The fact that Tyksinski is trying to withhold financial data should be troubling to all town residents!

What are you hiding supervisor and how long do you think you can keep it hidden? I suspect that the State Comptroller's report is not far behind; one can only imagine what tidbits of information will be contained in that document.

Guess it is a safe bet that open government will not be one of the "talking points" in Supervisor Tyksinski's re-election campaign!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Finding #2016-1



There were two (2) findings listed in the 2016 "DRAFT" audit; I already blogged about one...the missing Fixed Asset records which is a material weakness.


Here is the second one copied directly from page 3 of the "DRAFT" 2016 audit letter to the town board:
A significant deficiency is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.

We consider the deficiency described in the accompany schedule of findings and recommendations as item 2016-1 to be significant deficiency.

According to page 5 of the 2016 "DRAFT" audit, or whatever it is called at the moment:

Findings~ Financial Statements Audit

2016-1 Procurement

Criteria: The Town's procurement policy under the New York State General Municipal Law 103 and 104(b) requires the following:
  • Purchases for $1,000 and $19,999 ($34,999 for public works projects) will require at least three (3) informal price quotes, unless it is determined that formal price quotes are required.
  • Purchases for public works contracts at $35,000 or more require formal competitive bidding.
  • In determining the necessity for competitive bidding, the aggregate (accumulative) cost of an item or commodity being purchased in a fiscal year must be considered. It is prohibited to artificially divide purchases to satisfy threshold amounts.
Condition: Contractor working on storm-water drains and also doing small jobs for the Town that accumulated to $500,850. The work that was done did not adhere to the Town's quote and bidding purchasing policy. The contractor worked on storm-water drains throughout the entire city. Some of the streets were done on an emergency bid. However, these did not have proper emergency approval. After the streets needing emergence repairs were done, the contractor continued work on other storm drains for the Town without quotes or bids.

Cause: Unknown Effect or potential effect: Non-compliance.

Recommendation: The Town should institute systems and procedures to insure compliance with its procurement policy.


Oh, yes...how many times did I write about this?

Just so everyone understands, the $500,850 mentioned in the audit finding is only the amount spent on "no bid" work for 2016. The actual total of "no bid" work is far more!

At last night's town board meeting, one of the councilmen inquired as to the status of the 2016 Final Audit. Tyksinski assured them that is was just about done and will be ready soon. (He said it would be ready within a week...two weeks top at the May 30, 2017 appeal meeting). He also said that there are some changes and additions to the audit.

Funny that the four (4) councilmen don't know anything about the audit at this point. Since they are the overseers of the audit, shouldn't they be aware of any changes or additions before Tyksinski signs off on the audit?

Yeah, sure, any day now, oh Exalted One! Is it because you were able to convince D'Arcangelo that the no bid contracts were really FEMA-related? I highly doubt it! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!



Saturday, June 10, 2017

A file folder called "GASB"...

My last blog made it clear that over the last nine (9) years the Town of New Hartford has been experiencing declining Net Assets which may spell trouble for the town.

Putting it in general terms, how can the Town of New Hartford be considered "bankrupt" on paper?


There may be many explanations, but without having a look at the books, I would only be guessing.

One item in the 2016 "DRAFT" audit that might shed some light on the situation is Finding 2009-1:
2009-1 Fixed Assets

At the present time, a complete fixed asset inventory is not maintained by the Town. Our audit report has been qualified because we were unable to audit fixed assets. \Ve recommend that the Town maintain detailed fixed asset records and reconcile these records to the general ledger on a timely basis to ensure accurate accounting for fixed assets.
The 2016 "DRAFT" audit letter to the town board says:
A deficiency in internal control exists when the design or operation of a control does not allow management or employees, in the normal course of performing their assigned functions, to prevent, or detect and correct misstatements on a timely basis. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity's financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected on a timely basis. We consider the deficiency described in the accompanying schedule of findings and recommendations as item 2009~l to be a material weakness.
The reason that the finding is referred to as 2009-1 is because the finding has been in every FINAL audit prepared by D'Arcangelo since 2009 and has been the reason given by D'Arcangleo for the Town of New Hartford receiving a qualified audit.

I find the fact that Finding 2009-1 has been a material weakness since 2009 is extremely puzzling because it does not match my records.

I'll explain with a brief outline of facts.
  • Prior to 2002 - Patrick Tyksinski was the Town of New Hartford Comptroller.

  • 2002 - Ralph Humphreys became the Town Supervisor and immediately abolished the Town Comptroller position but kept Tyksinski on as Financial Advisor until he finished out his appointed term (ask some of the old-timers for the reason)

  • Jan. 2, 2003 - according to town board minutes..."The Town Supervisor had talked with Patrick Tyksinski, contracted in 2002 as the Town’s Financial Advisor, and the Supervisor is not inclined to renew this contract. There are hours remaining to be work by Mr. Tyksinski under the 2002 contract and the Town Supervisor is looking into rolling over those hours; Mr. Tyksinski has expressed a willingness to work on the Fixed Assets program for the "rollover" hours."

  • At the August 13, 2008 town board meeting..."Frank Basile explained GASB 34, which requires a municipality to record the historical cost of vehicles, land and land improvements, easements, buildings and other infrastructure."

  • December 3, 2008 according to town board minutes, the report was finished and the Town of New Hartford was now in compliance with GASB 34 for fixed assets.

  • 2008 FINAL Financial Statement Management letter dated October 9, 2009 from BARONE, HOWARD & Co., CPAs, PC states:
    "Due to the fact that the Town now accounts for its infrastructure pursuant to GASB 34, each year beginning in 2009, the Town needs to update the depreciation schedule for new acquisitions and deletions. We suggest that the Town consult with the company that developed the depreciation schedule and inquire of them the process and cost of updating these records each year."
  • May 22, 2013 -  At my urging, Councilman Backman asked Tyksinski about the firm that had been retained under the Earle Reed administration and why the town was still receiving a qualified opinion due to the Finding 2009-1 Fixed Assets. According to the minute of the meeting, "Supervisor Tyksinski clarified that was an inventory for insurance purposes, not the historical information that the Town would need."
Now here is where I get confused...in a file folder called "GASB", I have a copy of the signed Appraisal Agreement "to provide an appraisal for the Town of New Hartford for fixed asset accounting control and insurance valuation purposes." The contract was signed by Earle C. Reed and Todd W. Sampsell, Regional Sales Manager for Industrial Appraisal Company, 222 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.

The signed contract clearly states that the appraisal was to:
  • Provide research necessary to include Land Data at $125.00 per parcel

  • Provide the recording and valuation of Infrastructure Assets at $3,450

  • A separate contract was included for inventory and appraisal services to include an on-site inspection and appraisal of the buildings, site improvements, fixed equipment, machinery and movable equipment associated with the property locations identified in Addendum No. 1 of the agreement for a total of $5,205.

That is close to $10,000 paid by taxpayers and Supervisor Tyksinski chooses to misrepresent the scope of the contract with Industrial Appraisal Company instead saying it was done for insurance purposes only! Why?

Each year, according to the FINAL audits, the town is supposedly working to update the fixed assets, but each year, the town receives a qualified opinion based on the fact that Finding 2009-1 has not been corrected. The last time that fixed assets were brought up at the town board table, Supervisor Tyksinski said the fixed assets haven't been done for the last 15-20 years. How can that be possible? Is he implying that it hasn't been done since he was paid to do it in 2002?

Here's my question, if the fixed assets could impact the Total Net Asset position of the town, why is Supervisor Tyksinski acting as if the data has not been updated for years?

Could it mean if he were to admit that the fixed assets were current up to the time he became the Town Supervisor in 2010, the town's net position might look far worse than it does now?

What's the game you're playing, Supervisor?



Friday, June 9, 2017

Smoke & Mirrors...



Have you heard about the $2 million in fund balance that Supervisor has been boasting about? Chances are you might see some campaign literature telling you how he lowered taxes and increased the fund balance, among other things.

Really? My, my Supervisor, why not tell the rest of the story. I am surprised that the discussion hasn't already taken place at the town board table, in the view of the public.

An audit is divided into parts...for today's blog, I will focus on the Town-wide Financial Statements; the Statement of Net Position. According to the 2016 DRAFT financial report:
The Town~wide financial statements are organized to provide an understanding of the fiscal performance of the Town as a whole in a manner similar to a private sector business. There are two Town-wide financial statements - the Statement of Net Position and the Statement of Activities. These statements provide both an aggregate and long-term view of the Town's finances.

These statements utilize the accrual basis of accounting. This basis of accounting recognizes the financial effects of events when they occur, without regard to the timing of cash flows related to the events.
According to the Statement of Net Position, the Town of New Hartford's net position is in the negative at ($663,944). That's right, we have more liabilities than we have assets!

The audit continues by giving the reader an understanding of what that number represents:
The Statement of Net Position

The Statement of Net Position presents information on all of the Town's assets, deferred outflows, liabilities and deferred inflows, with the difference between the two reported as net position. Increases or decreases in net position may serve as a useful indicator of whether the financial position of the Town is improving or deteriorating, respectively.
Knowing that one year doesn't really tell the whole story, I went to my files and gathered up FINAL audits prepared by D'Arcangelo & Co. to see if there was any indication of what may have occurred in the previous years.

The FINAL audit reports I used were prepared by D'Arcangleo from 2009, with 2008 numbers available as part of the 2009 audit, up to the "DRAFT" 2016 Financial Statements.

Below is what I found when comparing the Financial Analysis of the Town As A Whole over several years:



Let me reiterate the quote from D'Arcangelo's 2016 DRAFT audit:
Increases or decreases in net position may serve as a useful indicator of whether the financial position of the Town is improving or deteriorating, respectively.
One year in the negative, maybe does not indicate a problem depending on the cause; several years of declining net assets plus a current negative is clearly an indication that the Town of New Hartford is headed for some real problems. The Total Net Assets position of the Town of New Hartford has been steadily declining over the last nine (9) years; a pretty darn good indication that we are heading for trouble.  Please keep in mind that Tyksinski is planning to bond for another $1.25 million in the next few weeks.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have many more things to show you in this "Draft" audit and I will do so over the next week or two.

Since my time is somewhat limited by my business, if you can't wait until my next blog, perhaps when Tyksinski knocks on your door looking for your support for another four years as Emperor Supervisor, ask him to honestly explain where the town finances stand!

Here's a pdf copy of the above chart in case you want to show it to him while you ask for answers.

Stay tuned!



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The attorney has made his changes...

...too funny! I received an email from the town clerk this morning with an attached certification. Included with the certification was another disclaimer and a copy of the document that is being certified to; I haven't compared the attached document to what I first received yet so, at this point, I don't know whether it is the same or not.

As a past member of the business world, I am aware that usually it is not what an attorney says that you need to pay close attention to when he is trying to shield his client, it is what he leaves out!

Missing from the certification is the name of the document that is being certified to or what it represents...it just says that he is certifying to the attached document. What is it that is attached, Supervisor?

Here is the statement the town attorney provided to the town clerk for Supervisor Tyksinski's signature:

Click here for a pdf copy of the certification


The only thing Attorney Cully eliminated, according to the town clerk, was the name of the document "DRAFT" 2016 Financial Statements. So what is he certifying? That this is not the draft but really the copy that was provided by D'Arcangelo for signature and Supervisor Tyksinski refuses to sign? Or are the financial parts for real, but the rest of the document is still in draft form which would explain why some of the explanatory pages of this document are exact duplicates of the pages included in the 2015 FINAL Financial Statement and clearly contain outdated information?

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that the financial parts are correct and Supervisor Tyksinski just does not want to accept the truth.

To give a picture of where more than likely the town finances are, I went into the "Lawrence vault" and retrieved FINAL financial statements from previous years. I have them back into the early 2000s, but for this purpose I will use FINAL financial statements from 2008 through this "draft" 2016 financial. When comparing numbers, it is not too difficult to see the direction the town is heading; not to mention the two findings. One is a Material Finding and one is a Significant Finding.

Some of the information should leave you scratching your head and asking "Why is this the first time we have been told this?"

Stay tuned...



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Apparently, it takes a town attorney....

...to write a certification that the pdf document I was sent by the town clerk in answer to my FOIL request and appeal is a true and correct copy of the "DRAFT" 2016 Financial Statements.

I know my rights, supervisor; it's my right to request a certification under the FOI Law! That way, we all know what we are looking at, but apparently YOU, Supervisor Tyksinski, don't want anyone to know anything!

The document in question was sent to me a week ago which seems to be enough time to sign a piece of paper with a standard certification statement that the town clerk always provides without input from the town attorney.

However, when I called the town clerk this afternoon to ask about my certification request, I was told that the town attorney re-wrote her certification letter; removed the name of the document and added his own wording. Lord only knows what other language was added and how much we paid the town attorney per word to write some mumbo jumbo b/s in an effort to cover the supervisor's a$$!

Supervisor, I just don't understand why signing your name to a certification stating that I was sent a true and correct "draft" 2016 Financial Statement is such a difficult task, unless you are trying to cover your tushie against what is coming at you down the road when the state comptroller's report is made public.

At any rate, my friends, if I don't have the certification by Friday, June 8th, in a format that complies with the NYS Freedom of Information Law, I will start detailing on this blog the information that is contained in the document I do have and it isn't pretty folks!

Come on...realistically, does any one in town believe that the town supervisor would be going to such lengths if all was well? What does it say that the town attorney needs to write a standard certification letter stating that I have been given a true and correct copy of the "draft" 2016 Financial Statements prepared by D'Arcangelo & Co., LLP, Certified Public Accountants & Consultants? Seriously?

I hear that Tyksinski is the New Hartford Republican Committee's choice to support this Fall for town supervisor for the next four (4) years!

Stay tuned! This can only get better...or worse! Hahahahaha!



Sunday, June 4, 2017

...And so the "draft" audit begins...

IMPORTANT

Please read the following


The accompanying is not complete and may contain errors and/or omissions. Our auditors have not consented to the release of this document nor do I, (Patrick M. Tyksinski, Town Supervisor) consent to its release. Remittance of this document is made due to the vote by the New Hartford Town Board to release it, I and one councilman voted against release. It is in my opinion that these members possessed no justification in voting release of the document, and did in violation of conditions established between auditor and the Town.

This document was intended for "Internal Use Only" and meant for management's review and input only. This document has not been accepted by Town Management as being final nor as being correct, and therefore the management of the Town takes no responsibility as to its accuracy or completeness.

This disclaimer should be provided to any individual to whom information contained in this report is given.





I asserted my rights under the Freedom of Information Law right after the FOIL appeal meeting on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 and asked the town clerk to have the Supervisor sign a certification that the document I was given is a true and correct copy of the draft audit.

So far, I have not received the certification. Following up with the town clerk on Friday, June 2, she stated that she prepared the certification for Tyksinski's signature on Thursday, June 1, 2017 and will supposedly try to get it signed tomorrow, Monday, June 5, 2017. How long does it take to get a signature?

For the time being, I will not be making any statements regarding the audit other than what I have does not look good and I am curious to see the impact of the NYS Comptroller's report which may make the town's financial status even worse, but time will tell.

Supervisor Tyksinski stated at the FOIL appeal meeting that the final audit would definitely be available within one week; two weeks top which is why Councilman Reynolds said he voted to not release the drafts.

My friends, two weeks would be the day of the next town board meeting on June 14. There are several public hearings that evening on proposed local laws and the possible demolition of two (2) houses for alleged codes violations.

You can sit at home and wait for the final audit to make its way to the public or attend the town board meeting and start asking questions. Your choice!



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Open Government v. Yellow Book

My, oh my! Last night was so good, I just have to open my blog up for all to see!

Every taxpayer and voter in the Town of New Hartford needs to see Tyksinski at his finest! He is the Republican candidate hoping to rule run this town for another four (4) years by winning in the November election. (That's if he wins the Republican Primary!)

Supervisor Tyksinski and Attorney Cully tried to use the "Yellow Book" as a reason why a draft of the 2016 financials prepared by D'Arcangelo could not be disclosed.

What is the Yellow Book, you might ask?


"The Yellow Book includes audit standards and guidance for both financial and performance audits." According to previous audits, D'Arcangelo performs a financial audit so, according to my contacts, not everything in the "Yellow Book" applies and it sure doesn't replace state law.

However, I guess Supervisor Tyksinski and Attorney Cully thought the "Yellow Book" would be enough to intimidate convince the councilmen to not release the audit.

Sounds good on the surface as long as you are wearing hip boots as the b/s is flowing, but apparently the "bully" tactics no longer work; the majority of the board was not convinced that a guidance book would trump state law!

Last night, three members of the town board; Councilmen Miscione, Councilmen Messa and Councilman Woodland voted to release the draft audit to me. Thank you, gentlemen for standing up for the residents of the Town of New Hartford, N.Y.!

Two voted nay...that would be Councilman Reynolds and Supervisor Tyksinski. However, three (3) yeahs and (2) nays means that the majority of the town board wants the audit to be released so that taxpayers can see what the Supervisor appears to be going to great lengths to hide. Doesn't mean that I will get it...I fully expect that Tyksinski will invent another "rule" to prevent giving it to me, but maybe he will surprise me and cave to the wishes of the majority of the town board.

There is so much I can write about last night's meeting...like how Tyksinski said I could not speak because this was a "special" meeting of the town board. I even wrote to the town clerk prior to the meeting stating that I would be addressing the board during the public presentations. That was the previous rule set by Emperor Tyksinski for public presentations, but I guess the rules changed since last board meeting. I have searchable town board minutes going back to the 1990s...Supervisor, you have let some people speak at "special" meetings so I guess it is a matter of who is asking and what they have to say!

Anyway, I did get to speak toward the end thanks to Councilman Messa and the other board members. Along with reciting parts of the Freedom of Information Law, I also pointed out that Town Law 123 requires that an audit by a CPA be completed within 60 days of the end of the fiscal year which is December 31 in towns. That would mean that the town board, who is by town law the body that oversees the town audit, is in non-compliance with Town Law 123 at this point since it is now about 150 days beyond the end of the fiscal year.

You will hear my prepared statement toward the end of the video or you can download a pdf copy.

I'll share highlights of the meeting as time permits...there are just so many "remarkable" moments that I am glad I caught on video; a wonderful insight into the mindset of a person who wants to continue ruling leading our town for another four years! You just cannot make this stuff up!

Here is the video of last night's "special" board meeting. There was a problem with my camera; I missed about 20 seconds of video. However, there is more than enough video that anyone can easily figure out that Attorney Cully had his marching orders from Supervisor Tyksinski, but he failed to convince the town board that his argument was valid because it wasn't!