October 11th, 2017
HARTSVILLE, NY – The town of Hartsville finally passed appointing a temporary clerk to conduct its first official meeting in months. Deputy Town Clerk Carol Bowles, wife of supervisor John Bowles, filled in until a permanent clerk is elected in November.
Although the meeting seemed to be off to a good start with a full agenda ahead of them, the friction between Bowles, Tom Dobell, and Mattie Parini (Parini will be running for a vacant seat in the upcoming election) was apparent from the start when they were unable to approve the August monthly meeting minutes. In question was whether there even were minutes taken, and if there were, no other board member had been notified and was able to review them.
Parini frequently spoke out during the meeting. According to Bowles, under a new set of rules drawn up fresh for this meeting, no one is allowed to speak during a meeting without his approval. There were to be no exceptions to this, even if permission to speak was granted by a fellow board member.
After Parini spoke out several times, Bowles demanded she leave the meeting. After Parini refused, Bowles proceeded to call the authorities to try and have her removed. By the time the Sherriff’s Deputy arrived, things had settled to a point where Parini was allowed to stay.
There were seven resolutions up for approval, and with only three board members it only took one nay for a resolution to fail. Of the seven resolutions, three were approved, three were denied, and one was tabled. One major disagreement between Bowles and Dobell were how funds were being distributed into line items. According to Bowles, things have not been done correctly in the past and that has to change for the upcoming budget year in compliance with the comptrollers office.
And finally, a brief discussion on next year’s budget was discussed and from the looks of things if the town cannot cut back expenses significantly, residents will be looking at a 4% to 5% tax increase. Supervisor Bowles said that one major factor driving this is the increase in cost of fire and ambulance service from the village of Canisteo. Bowles states that the village is raising their premium over 25% from $40,000 to $54,000 and the town plans on getting a third party involved to fight this. “It’s not right that the village goes out and purchases a new $300,000 fire truck, finances it over a two year period, then turns around and puts a major financial burden on everyone under their district.”