Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rewriting History?

Unfortunately, residents of New Hartford now have another reason to distrust their town government. According to today's O-D a recount of last week's vote has been taken, and the storm-water management bonding has passed by "at least" 60 votes with the "final" vote tally available on Tuesday. From the Town Clerk:
"It bothered me over the weekend that it was such a close defeat," Young said. "We added the figures again, and we discovered errors in the tally sheets."
Yes, it would bother anyone for a vote to be that close (originally reported as only a 6 vote difference). . . and a recount should have been expected.

But no recount was announced.

From the article, the public is led to believe that the Town Clerk decided to do the recount on her own ... and apparently without notice to those who would want to observe. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday newspapers go to print, but nary a word about a recount being considered.

Interestingly, some people were given notice of the recount. A person who called him/herself "Democracyinnewhartford" on "Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:23 pm" on the OD's Story Chat was the first to break the news that a recount had already taken place, saying that:
"It sounds like the folks who have been against the bonding (and just about everything else the town board has proposed) better check their facts.....

It is my understanding that after a re-count the tides have turned...

Confounding reporting by the Observer-Dispatch only further clouds the issue. On 3/31 the OD reported that:
"The move of the police station fell short by 52 votes."
But today it reported that:
"Proposition No. 5, which proposed moving the police department to 1 Oxford Crossing and releasing space at the Kellogg Road facility for the town court use, had failed by just six votes. But after the recount, Young said it was defeated by about 150."
It was the stormwater issue that originally failed by 6 votes, not the police station. Regardless, had the recount been announced immediately -- and an opportunity given to observe -- there would be no question now about the change in outcome.

The manner in which this recount came about and the apparent secrecy in which it was conducted gives residents a reason to suspect that fraud might be involved ... Or is it desperation by town officials spending money faster than it is coming in?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is REALLY outrageous. Who is overseeing the count of the votes?!?! In a system where every vote is supposed to count, it seems someone here has adopted the Stalin philosophy: "He who votes is nothing - the one who counts the votes is everything."

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY interesting take, Strike. I wonder what REALLY went on. I don't think there was any wrong doing because if so, why wouldn't they have passed the much sought after Oxford Crossing proposition? I don't know though, you. You never know with these people.

Strikeslip said...

I don't want to speculate more than I already have. However, no matter who is present at "recounts" now, NO "recount" can be trusted as being reliable if the machines were not impounded on election night and placed in the custody of a neutral party. One would have expected that the results would have been double or even triple checked on the night of the election (when others were present) before results were announced, especially given the closeness of some of the votes. If there was any lingering doubt, the Clerk should have announced that the machines were being impounded and when and where the recount would take place so the petitioners who got these things on the ballot could observe ... but that did not happen. Instead, we are asked to believe that in a fit of concern the Town Clerk thought she had better double check, and "eureka," the vote the Town Fathers wanted on the most valuable of the propositions magically appeared -- the proposition that could easily provide a big "slush fund" because with no defined plan there is no accountability. The whole situation is UNBELIEVABLE.

KnightRyder said...

BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

Upon very reliable information, it has been learned there were voting "irregularities" concerning the March 29, 2007 Town vote, however, town officials did not mention this nor want it published in the papers. Why?

Waiting five days based on one's feelings, "it was close..." begs the question, "who is in charge at the New Hartford Town Hall."

Equally interesting..."how did a certain individual become [aware] of a RECOUNT going on - Monday, April 2, 2007?"

Yes, something smells rotten and it is not in Denmark!

It would seem to me that these events can be challenged, if not, altogether VOIDED!