We could not let the day close without commenting about this latest bit of nonsense from New Hartford. Worried about some residents circulating petitions to place some of the $5 million in bonding resolutions up for a public referendum, Supervisor Reed and hiscohorts are doing damage control at the OD, offering up "specifics."
Unfortunately "specifics" are still in short supply . . . and even if specifics do get identified, the specifics did not find their way into the Board's actual resolutions. Among the resolutions are these: $150,000 for sidewalks "throughout and in and for the Town of New Hartford"; $500,000 for streets "throughout and in and for the Town of New Hartford"; $92,000 for lighting improvements "throughout and in and for the Town of New Hartford"; $2,000,000 for stormwater management improvements "in and for the Town of New Hartford"; $375,000 for a Generic Environmental Impact Statement Analysis "in and for the Town of New Hartford" with no mention of what is being analyzed. What are they trying to hide?
The lack of specifics gives one the impression that a lot of little slush funds are being created through taxpayer borrowing so the Supervisor and his friends can confer special benefits on their friends.
Lack of specifics aside, why not "pay as you go?" New Hartford is not exactly poor. After all, it has encouraged all sorts of development along Commercial Drive and elsewhere to bring in more tax dollars. All of Utica shops in New Hartford. Tons of money are being made. Why force the taxpayers to pay for financing on top of the various projects proposed? The banks do not need taxpayer support.
Lastly, Village residents have a special beef. They already pay taxes for things such as lighting and sidewalks and government buildings within their jurisdictions . . . and now a portion of their Town taxes will go toward providing these services for someone else. It's Taxation Without Representation among the projects which are located outside the Villages. Ask any New York Mills resident what they get from the Town, and they will tell you nothing, because the Village already provides ALL services. Ask a Town Councilman and basically what Villagers get is: Town Government. . . . But a Town Government that provides no services within a Village is of no benefit to the Village.
Inspite of the explosive commercial development on Commercial Drive, New Hartford's population is dwindling. Government should be contracting rather than expanding. The greater tax income from the commercial areas gives NH government the opportunity to contract gracefully. Instead, it wants to expand, benefitting the individuals involved.
The taxpayers have the unique right to decide things for themselves on a lot of these resolutions. Information has been posted on (the unofficial) Town of New Hartford Online. Download petitions, circulate petitions, sign petitions and demand referenda.
Show the Town Board who they work for!