Here is a summary ouline of the past 5 years of Village of Earlville governement. Choose the topic paragrah for facts. They are in no particular order but are summed up by topic. And by no means is this all-inclusive information, as that would require volumes.
Simply and graciously summed up as
LIES and MISMANAGEMENT.
mayor fires village police officer after presenting officer with award. Claims too expensive.
After over 2 years of saying in newspaper and meetings "30 more days," ie. lying, and shifting her story in coverage from Sheriff to State Police, to Sherburne, a contract is signed with Sheriff costing more than twice as much as the local officer but for fewer hours coverage. mayor invites Jessica Lewis from the Norwich Evening Sun to a public meeting telling her that a decision would be made about the police coverage. Executive session was held announcing only the generic topic of "a contract" jargon - after the executive session said a decision was made to enter into a contract but immediately called for motion to close the meeting. mayor spoke details to Lewis after saying to attendees that night that they could not disclose what was discussed in the meeting. Called on this the next public meeting, she was greatly annoyed when asked "Why did you lie to me?" so much that she had it placed in the minutes of the next board meeting with lame defense of her lies.
Clerk fired, er... "not reappointed." New clerk appointed, quit within days. Office in chaos.
Another new clerk appointed. Considered a legal expert. Pseudo-lawyer-clerk drafts law banning animals. Doeberl backs new law banning all animals except horses, dogs, and cats because of "sue-happy" society. (How many times has he mentioned liability issues???)
New clerk constantly and openly involved in board meetings without being properly addressed as required. Gives legal advice. New clerk drafts new laws after planning board recommendations - alcohol, dogs, teens, junk, fire/codes. Board immediately passes laws (waiting for public hearing still) and agrees on exceptions for public consumption of alcohol. And questionable: New clerk Vischi paid for mayor's hotel bill with Village funds without board approval, with only one trustee objecting to it.
Codes Enforcement Officer
The previous Codes Enforcement Officer resigns because the Board won't pay him. Village without CEO for months. Mayor claims falsely that other towns and counties are covering (verified by phone calls to everyone she names in the meetings). Hires new CEO. Unfair, inconsistent, and overly agressive. New CEO approved to work every other week out of home office instead of Village office. CEO fails to return calls, messages left at Village office and home and cell phones. Complaints increase, even from the board, which does nothing to remedy the issues.
Changed official newspaper from local free Mid York Weekly to paid subscription Norwich Evening Sun. Public comment and questions quickly stopped, but relaxed later. When called upon, public constantly interrupted, berated, or cut off by a loud and embarassing mayor.
Invites press to meeting for certain topics that are not announced to the public. Hiding information from the residents. Not answering questions directly or at all. Secretive "executive sessions" - an unprecidented number of executive sessions in 5 years, likely more than all the history of the Village of Earlville. Difficulty getting information, even under Freedom of Information Act FOIL requests. Adopted optional maximum restrictive rules for FOIL requests, charging residents for information that belongs to them.
As stated so often in meetings, especially by Doeberl, the Village is afraid of lawsuits. But, legal actions have been initiated by the mayor, board, clerk, and codes enforcement officer.
Threat of legal action against private Earlville.net - said to look like "official" Village website that does not exist at the time, and refuses to respond to letters or questions in public meetings. Village takes animal owner to courts using codes enforcement officer. Judge ignores board permission to have the animals and finds party guilty of new law. Party appeals. Codes officer harasses by serving another court appearance ticket for same issue, claiming no appeal has been filed. Case won at County and resident ticketed again with same charges.
Village petitioned by the people to keep their promise for a public referendum but takes petitioners to New York Supreme Court. Judge rules against ALL, yes ALL, objections of Village and in favor of petitioners. (Note: As far as known, all legal actions taken by the mayor and village has resulted in losses.) BUT, THE BOARD REFUSED TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION for recovery of $1,600 from 2 former DPW employees who moved out-of-state.
Raised taxes. Doesn't follow spending for budgeted items: Constantly transferring money from budgeted items to pay for unbudgeted items. Spent "surplus," newly discovered money (as the clerk said) - $200,000 on unbudgeted items, all in one meeting! Transferred $19,000 for a new police car to dump truck fund. Voted to pay for softball league personnel when it was formed as all-volunteer. And questionable: Clerk paid for mayor's hotel bill with Village funds without board vote.
Water: supposedly a Top Priority - for both Mayor Toni Campbell and Trustee Kim Boomhower. Did NOTHING their first year, 2005. Budgeted NOTHING even when they had control of the budget in 2006. Did NOTHING until a few months before 2007 election, and only after defunding a budgeted item THAT THEY BUDGETED!
Mayor and board members promise that a project WILL NOT GO FORWARD without a people's referendum - stated in newspapers and meetings with dozens of witnesses. Toni Campbell promises a vote to the people. Kim Boomhower promises vote to the people.
Boomhower says in Mid York Weekly that project will cost $1.5 million. Mark Doeberl promises vote to the people. Water study done. Tests water pressure only, no data on mapping homes with dirty water. Project estimate $3 million. Board approves $3.5 million project by permissive referendum. Residents properly submit petition. Village delays 2 months before taking to NY Supreme Court. Village attorney mentions in court about a letter from the Health Department about the water - first public mention of this mystery letter. Court rules in favor of the people's petition. Mayor vocally and audibly upset during public meeting (she was loud and appeared mad), says she will drag trustees to every house to promote the project and will personally drag every voter to the polls. She didn't follow through with her "threats" or "promises" - whatever they were. Project details still not decided - never has the Village been told where the money will come from, other than "taxes, water revenue, or both." They still don't have a plan, other than "affordably" increasing taxes and water bills, charging more for commercial and renters' water services and usage, and charging more for water in the not yet formed "GREATER EARLVILLE WATER DISTRICT." Constantly changing numbers given at meetings and the "official" Village of Earlville website indicate through simple math to expect between 20%-30% tax increases and 200%-400% increase in water bills. As of February 10, 2010,
Mayor and Village Board STILL HAVE NOT TOLD THE RESIDENTS, TAXPAYERS, AND WATER CUSTOMERS WHERE THE MONEY WILL COME FROM AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST PAYERS!