Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rotten in New Hartford ...

Something is rotten in Denmark ... er, New Hartford, when the Town Board dissolves the citizens budget review panel on the heels of denying the Observer-Dispatch copies of preliminary budget drafts.

""My philosophy is, citizens don't have all the information we have," Reed said. "

You're darn right, Mr. Reed, you've done a great job keeping public information secret.

Mr. Reed's tenure seems to be bringing more citizen exclusion from public information: The town's assessment roles have been removed from the town website (all the harder to see which residents are getting "favored treatment" from their town).
The current and past Town Budgets have been removed from the website. The Town's controversial agreement with Prestwick Glen has also been removed. (The elite who run our community apparently don't want their tax-free-retirement-at-everyone-else's-expense status to shine in the light of public scrutiny).

Mr. Reed seems to have learned this lesson well: If you can control the information available to the public, you can control the public.

A trend is emerging, and it's not a good one.

[5:15 update:
Super Sleuth Mrs. Mecomber at Mohawk Valley View has tracked down an "unofficial" Town of New Hartford Website that has a wealth of information, including a lot of what is no longer available at the "official" site. Looks like hours of reading enjoyment! She gives an interesting story about the alternative site, too.


Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of signing up for BetaBlogger, and now leaving comments on certain blogs does not always work... looks like I'll have to post anonymously to get this up-- but it is Mrs Mecomber from Mohawk Valley View here.

About your post:

Very good information. I don't read the OD newspaper, but this online story was a bit buried.

Asessment rolls for NH are indeed online-- by a website that was dumped by the Town Board for being too nosy. I have more about it here:


Strikeslip said...

I just got around to moderating today's comments -- as you can see, I've already linked to your story! Nice job.