This week; a letter was released that was written by Miller, Mannix, Schachner & Hafner, LLC. on the first of June and sent to Dan Stec’s office revealed that a procedural error had occurred wherein since the Town has more than 30% of its land owned by the State, it first needed to obtain permission from the State Comptroller’s office in order to incur the $313,000 debt that Supervisor Hyde took out in May of 2017. This is required by Section 104.10 of New York’s Local Finance Law, subject to the conditions specified therein. According to the letter; the Bond counsel had allegedly been told by the Town that it did not meet the 30% threshold, however, within the last few weeks the Town Assessor issued a statement certifying that the Town had in fact 37% of its land owned by the State, thereby revealing the illegality of the debt.
There’s no evidence to suggest that the law firm took any action to determine the percentage of State owned land in the Town at the time of the Bond resolutions’ passing and there is no evidence to demonstrate, other than the firm’s word, that the previous Supervisor made any such statement about the quantity of land in Town owned by the State. Contrary to Supervisor Hyde’s statement published yesterday in the Post Star’s article entitled “Technical error may mean Thurman must pay back $300,000 soon” wherein Hyde alleged that Supervisor Wood falsely informed the Bond counsel ; the only known statement from the Town prior to the Assessor’s reveal of the actual percentage came from Supervisor Hyde herself. When Hyde took out the BAN in May of last year, she signed an Issuer’s Certificate wherein in section 10 of that document, Hyde certified that the Town did not meet the 30% State owned threshold; in other words Hyde certified on May 31st, 2017 that the Town did not need the State Comptroller’s permission before taking out the BAN.
In the Post Star article; Hyde alleged that the matter originated from a false statement by her predecessor Supervisor Wood, however, the only known statement in existence on the matter came from Hyde; certified by the Town Clerk, Susan Staples. Additionally; because the old Bond counsel’s letter to Dan Stec was written on the 1
st of this month; this implies that Supervisor Hyde was aware of this issue prior to June 1st and prior to the May 31st maturation date of the BAN, but decided not to inform Councilwomen Seaman and Ackley or Councilman Needham until now. Supervisor Hyde needs to own her mistake since it is her name on the only paperwork known to exist instead of trying to blame her predecessor and rivals yet again and she needs to explain why she concealed this highly important matter.
The consequence of this issue is that the Town now has very few options concerning the debt and is in very real danger of having to repay the $313,000 in its entirety; something that the Town cannot do due to a lack of funds in the Town’s accounts. The high levels of spending engaged in by Hyde and her cohorts last year has been a constant concern of Councilwoman Seaman’s when it comes to the Town’s debt; something that the attorney’s letter confirms in no uncertain terms. It would appear that the decisions made by Hyde and her cohorts last year that have been haunting the Town have finally returned to claim their dues.