Another Rocky Night for the Hartsville Town Board

February 8, 2017

HARTSVILLE, NY – It was another packed house and a lot of finger pointing at Hartville’s monthly town board meeting Wednesday night. The first problem area was shortfalls in the current budget. According to Bowles, there was $20,000 taken out of the general fund for and excavator and $33,828 for a truck that wasn’t anticipated. Board member Jim Perry countered that the final report is not in and that these payments will be reimbursed by the state in the form of CHIPS and Pave New York programs in the future. Bowles wasn’t so sure.

Another budget question brought up by Bowles was why money was left out that was needed to pay unemployment insurance tax, workman’s comp and overtime pay? Perry responded that it would be addressed later in the meeting. Then things got touchy when Bowles said he planned on hiring someone for the highway position and paying them out of pocket. The board thought that the highway dept. could get by with one employee when Bowles insisted it’s a two man job. Attorney Dave Pullen reminded everyone that any new hire has to go through the Steuben County Civil Service process.

Then things started to get heated when Bowles questioned Perry about hiring attorney Dave Pullen (who was in attendance) after last meeting. Bowles claims it wasn’t right or necessary and Perry should be responsible for the $1200 lawyer bill. Perry countered that it all stems from last January’s meeting on trying to table resolutions that were clearly legal and binding. Also he stated that a major error was made at the beginning of this meeting by not approving the January minutes (which ended up getting vetoed 3-2).

At this point Perry made a motion to have Pullen try and explain to Bowles what is legal and binding and what is not when resolutions are brought before the board. Pullen’s response below:

After Pullen’s explanations the board proceeded to re-visit the three resolutions from January and make them official. As expected they all passed 3 to 2 with Woodworth and Bowles objecting. The meeting concluded with a discussion on personal and the elimination of a highway position. Again Bowles was not happy with the decision wanting to see past documents that could not be readily produced.

Also, Hartsville Supervisor John Bowles was confronted by board member Jim Perry, about Bowles telling a person who had made Freedom of Information requests, and Bowles had allegedly said that there were missing documents from the supervisor’s computer, because the computer was hacked.