This statement may be disputed due to the presence of Section 16 of the Town’s December 26th 2016 Bond Resolution wherein it is also stated that the percentage of State owned land in Town is less than 30%; however, the existence of this section in the Bond Resolution should not be understood as a statement coming from a Town official or officials and instead should be understood as a statement originating with the Town’s Bond counsel, the Law Offices of Miller, Mannix, Schachner, and Hafner; furthermore, the significance of the existence of this clause is small relative to Supervisor Hyde’s Issuer’s Certificate.
In regards to Section 16 of the Town’s Bond Resolution being more a statement of the Town’s Bond counsel; the Bond Resolution was written by the law offices of Miller, Mannix, Schachner, and Hafner and subsequently adopted in December of 2016 on their advice. Serving as Bond counsel, the Town’s legal counsel was responsible for determining whether the Town did or did not need the State Comptroller’s permission to execute the $313,000 BAN; a determination that the Town’s legal counsel appears to have made twice, once in 2016 while drafting the Bond Resolution and again in May of 2017 by issuing an opinion stating the all relevant laws were complied with, without ever contacting the appropriate Town office, the Town Assessor, to obtain the necessary information. This is made evident by the letter sent to Assemblyman Stec’s office by the law firm stating on June 1st of this year stating that upon hearing that the Town may exceed the 30% percent threshold the Town’s legal counsel immediately contacted the Assessor to determine the actual percentage of land owned by the State.
Insofar as the 2016 Town Board is concerned, the Board in 2016 adopted the Bond Resolution as written by the Town’s legal counsel on attorneys’ advice; believing that the information therein was accurate. This means two things; first, the Town’s Bond counsel failed to adequately carry out their duties as the Town’s legal counsel at least twice, once in 2016 and once more in May of 2017; second, the incorrect statement made in Section 16 of the Resolution was not very significant.
After a Bond Resolution has been passed; it may, like any other resolution, be changed or repealed up until the therein authorized debt is first incurred. After December of 2016, five months passed in 2017 wherein the problem could have been spotted and corrected had anyone on the Town Board, including the Supervisor, been double checking. After Supervisor Hyde singed the Issuer’s Certificate and executed the BAN and the Town’s Bond counsel issued an opinion stating that they checked everything for compliance, the error was locked in. The proverbial ‘buck’, 313,000 of them in fact, stops with Supervisor Hyde and the law offices of Miller, Mannix, Schachner, and Hafner. Supervisor Hyde took the last and most relevant action on the Town’s BAN by certifying that the State owned less than 30% of the land in Thurman.