On several occasions, Concerned Citizens has photographed this van. Why were we interested in this van, you might ask? Because it seemed rather odd that a van sold by the Town of New Hartford in November 2006 would still have 'official' license plates on it as recently as Monday, October 29, 2007.
On Thursday, October 25th we hand-delivered a letter with all the particulars to Mr. Earle Reed, Town Supervisor. We not only questioned the license plates which we had traced back to the Town of New Hartford using DMV records, but we also questioned whether or not the vehicle was still being insured by the Town of New Hartford.
Saturday, October 27, 20007, we received a letter in the mail from the Town Clerk's office saying that the vehicle is longer being insured by the Town, but no mention of the reason why Town of New Hartford license plates were still on a vehicle that was sold almost a year ago.
Interestingly enough, Monday, October 29th, the vehicle was still spotted in Sangertown Square with a town license plate (By the way, Sangertown Square is owned by Pyramid Management Group). So even after our alerting the town supervisor to the situation last Thursday, October 25th, nothing was done about retrieving the town license plate. So we sent an email to the Town Clerk on October 29th asking why are the plates still on the vehicle and requesting a copy of the DMV license surrender receipt and Bill of Sale for the van in question.
Today in response to our email FOIL request for the DMV license surrender receipt along with a copy of the Bill of Sale, we received the following email from the Town Clerk's office:
Your Oct 29 FOIL for DMV license surrender receipts or its equivalent along with the Bill of Sale for the 1990 Chevrolet G10 Van will be referred to the appropriate department for response; I anticipate an answer not later than November 14, 2007.That's funny...we thought we had the right department. In checking town board minutes regarding the sale of another town vehicle, we noted that in the April 5, 2006 town board minutes:
After the license plate for the 1995 Jeep (‘646389) has been turned in to the State Department of Motor Vehicles, the Highway Superintendent will deliver the DMV receipt to the Town Clerk’s Office so that this vehicle (‘646389) can be removed from the Town’s insurance policy.So isn't it the town clerk's office that keeps these records? How did anyone know to take the van off of the town insurance if the town clerk's office doesn't have the DMV license surrender receipt? Just what is the procedure regarding the sale of town vehicles and turning in Town of New Hartford license plates...do we even have a procedure? Perhaps the town should start by obeying the LAW...
It has been reported to us that the person who purchased the van in question with the town license plates still attached is related to a town board member. Wonder if that is the reason for the 'oversight' and lack of concern by town officials? Guess the law really doesn't mean much in the Town of New Hartford...at least, not if you are 'connected'.
Stay tuned! There is more to follow... You won't believe some of what has been uncovered...