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LFT

Jamesville, NY

#1 Jan 9, 2013
Little Falls, N.Y.—
The assessor who spearheaded an investigation into the use of three properties owned by the Little Falls Family YMCA and was recently laid off from the Herkimer County Real Property Tax Service has been appointed as the assessor for the city of Little Falls.
Mayor Robert Peters voted to break a 4 - 4 tie Tuesday evening on a resolution to cancel an agreement with the county for assessor services and hire Joy Presta as part-time city assessor.
Alderpersons Jeffrey Gressler, Patricia Long, Ronald Petrie and Mark Ruffing cast the no votes.
Some of the 90 people who turned out for Tuesday evening’s Common Council meeting, including at least 40 people who spilled out of the council chambers, called Presta’s appointment into question.
“The city’s actions come at a time when the YMCA is in desperate need of every dollar it can raise to continue to function. All of the YMCA’s programs are done on a shoestring. The YMCA for many years has been forced to layoff, consolidate, merge services, share management and to be resourceful in maintaining its equipment and facilities. We rely on volunteers. The financial hit on the YMCA if it is forced to pay property taxes would threaten its ability to continue to operate,” said Bart Carrig, a member of the YMCA Board of Directors.“There is no more logical justification for the city to tax the YMCA’s properties than there is for the city to tax itself for the municipal golf course. The YMCA has served the city of Little Falls for more than 100 years. If the taxes are assessed, the YMCA’s ability to offer programs and services to the city and its residents will be seriously harmed.”
LFT

Jamesville, NY

#2 Jan 9, 2013
The YMCA owned properties in question are emergency and low-income housing at 43 Furnace and 544 Garden streets, and the Community Co-op which provides natural and specialty foods at discount prices at 589 Albany St. Presta determined the properties should be returned to the tax roll because they are not being used solely for charitable use. In November 2012, Oneida County Supreme Court Judge Norman Seigel determined a lawsuit over Presta’s determination should proceed.
“This appointment is bad policy and could potentially set a dangerous precedent when it comes time to fill other positions,” said Gressler, who argued if the city wanted to appoint an assessor it should advertise the position, collect resumes and interview candidates in an effort to hire the most qualified person for the job.“Standard hiring practices did not take place here. Instead the council is being asked to steamroll this through and to rubber stamp an appointment. It’s simply bad policy.”
A petition was circulated Friday though Tuesday, collecting 554 signatures, including 336 with Little Falls addresses, in support of the city terminating the lawsuit against the YMCA immediately.
The Friends of the Little Falls Family YMCA also paid for a full-page advertisement that appeared in Monday’s edition of The Times urging city residents to contact City Hall about the matter.
LFT

Jamesville, NY

#3 Jan 9, 2013
Like more than 900 YMCA associations nationwide, the Little Falls Family YMCA is recognized by the IRS as a charitable, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization. This same status has been accorded to YMCAs for more than 160 years by local courts, taxing agencies, state legislatures, the U.S. Congress and generations of donors. The Little Falls Family YMCA completely disagrees with the city assessor’s interpretation of our organization’s purpose and programs, and will continue to fight for the tax exemption we earn every day in service to the community,” Little Falls Family YMCA Executive Director Anthony DeLuca said in a statement that accompanied the petitions.
Peters said the appointment of a city assessor and the lawsuit are separate matters.
“The litigation the city is involved in with the YMCA is separate from this. It’s a separate matter. This appointment is about filling a position with a person who has served this city well for nine years and has the support of many residents who have nothing but positives to say about her,” he said.“This appointment is about hiring someone ourselves who is familiar with the city of Little Falls and has built relationships with our city residents, especially with our senior citizens, rather than having Herkimer County appoint or name someone to serve as the Little Falls city assessor.”
Presta was hired to provide assessment and data collection services to the city for 14 hours a week.
The city’s contract with the county Real Property Tax Service for assessment services cost about $22,000 annually. The hiring of a city assessor is expected to save $6,000 per year, said Peters.
“I have to vote how the people tell me, and the majority of the people who called me said they were in favor of the city hiring an assessor,” said Second Ward Alderperson Betty Deming.“Ever since that ad has been in the paper my phone has been ringing, and the people I talked to, especially the seniors I talked to, said Joy Presta did an outstanding job as assessor. That’s why I had to vote to hire her.”
City Attorney Edward Rose said the next court date for the lawsuit between the city of Little Falls and the Little Falls Family YMCA is Feb. 28.
LFT

Jamesville, NY

#4 Jan 9, 2013
exactly

Herkimer, NY

#5 Jan 9, 2013
Bart is correct.
Too bad the mayor ignored him and the crowd and did as he pleased. His behavior was totally appalling, no matter the outcome.
It is only January

Jamesville, NY

#6 Jan 9, 2013
So.....
the city will be purchasing an additional ambulance which brings our total to 3 for a city of 5000 or 4 until one is sold.
they are hiring an additional person who is responsible for bringing more revenue to the city by taxing the property owners and nonprofits.
they have lost a lawsuit with Little Falls Hospital
they are in lawsuits with the YMCA and others.
disgusted in LF

Herkimer, NY

#7 Jan 9, 2013
Shame on you, Mayor Peters.
Stand Up

Little Falls, NY

#8 Jan 10, 2013
It is only January wrote:
So.....
the city will be purchasing an additional ambulance which brings our total to 3 for a city of 5000 or 4 until one is sold.
they are hiring an additional person who is responsible for bringing more revenue to the city by taxing the property owners and nonprofits.
they have lost a lawsuit with Little Falls Hospital
they are in lawsuits with the YMCA and others.
Little Falls is becoming a laughingstock. We are mocked openly as the capital of municipal incompetence and cronyism in Herkimer County, and people shake their heads over the naked contempt and disrespect that Peters shows to the people of the city. The State and the Feds are already sniffing around for charges to file, and we the people must TOTALLY STOP participating in this corrupt and failed municipal government. Take back Little Falls NOW! The YMCA cannot lead on this because they are a non-profit, but they need to come clean with the whole story of how the city has been persecuting them for over a year now, so we can mobilize the people against Peters for his arbitrary and divisive cronyism that is literally destroying this city.
Prince Velveeta

Fort Plain, NY

#9 Jan 10, 2013
exactly wrote:
Bart is correct.
Too bad the mayor ignored him and the crowd and did as he pleased. His behavior was totally appalling, no matter the outcome.
What do you expect, Dems have been ignoring the people and the constitution. Welcome to fascism.
Again

Little Falls, NY

#10 Jan 10, 2013
It is only January wrote:
So.....
the city will be purchasing an additional ambulance which brings our total to 3 for a city of 5000 or 4 until one is sold.
they are hiring an additional person who is responsible for bringing more revenue to the city by taxing the property owners and nonprofits.
they have lost a lawsuit with Little Falls Hospital
they are in lawsuits with the YMCA and others.
What happen in the lawsuit we lost to LF Hospital?How much did it cost the city?
do not ask

Herkimer, NY

#11 Jan 10, 2013
Again wrote:
<quoted text>What happen in the lawsuit we lost to LF Hospital?How much did it cost the city?
Do not ask. Nobody in City Hall will or can give you an answer, the books are a mess.
Peters will keep on doing whatever he pleases until we stop him.
Wake up people!!!!!
Be Real

Little Falls, NY

#12 Jan 10, 2013
Again wrote:
<quoted text>What happen in the lawsuit we lost to LF Hospital?How much did it cost the city?
Nobody knows. Because Peters is incompetent and stubborn and corrupt, and he point-blank will not tell us what that charade cost the city. Did you see the way he is parceling out only itty bitty bits of information to the Common Council about the costs, and only if he needs them to sign the check that very night?

Are we paying court costs for the hospital? What did we pay for our own court costs? How about all those man-hours the city employees wasted in their so-called "research" of the non-profits?

What a JOKE. Except it isn't funny, because that is real money -- OUR MONEY -- that Peters and his city hall clown show are wasting.
a little birdie told me

Little Falls, NY

#13 Jan 10, 2013
Again wrote:
<quoted text>What happen in the lawsuit we lost to LF Hospital?How much did it cost the city?
who cares what it cost? revenge is priceless.
Friends of the Y

Brooklyn, NY

#14 Jan 10, 2013
I see that the petition was made by the "Friends of the Y." Is this an actual group? I mean, do they hold meetings? If so, when? The public support for the Y was obvious at the council meeting. Maybe we could organize a bit and really work to end this fight and bring Peters down to earth?
I Agree

Little Falls, NY

#15 Jan 10, 2013
Friends of the Y wrote:
I see that the petition was made by the "Friends of the Y." Is this an actual group? I mean, do they hold meetings? If so, when? The public support for the Y was obvious at the council meeting. Maybe we could organize a bit and really work to end this fight and bring Peters down to earth?
Bart, would you call a public meeting, maybe at the library? If you cannot do it for some reason, please ask someone else to spearhead this.
great idea

Herkimer, NY

#16 Jan 10, 2013
I Agree wrote:
<quoted text>
Bart, would you call a public meeting, maybe at the library? If you cannot do it for some reason, please ask someone else to spearhead this.
Great idea.

Dont get mad, get organized!

“Care Enough To Take Action”

Since: Jan 08

Indian Trail, NC

#17 Jan 10, 2013
Turn this energy into a membership drive.
fact

Herkimer, NY

#18 Jan 10, 2013
Is the LF municipal golf course a not-for-profit? If the mayor argues that the co-op is just a grocery store, why isn't the clubhouse just a bar?
Again

Little Falls, NY

#19 Jan 10, 2013
Be Real wrote:
<quoted text>
Nobody knows. Because Peters is incompetent and stubborn and corrupt, and he point-blank will not tell us what that charade cost the city. Did you see the way he is parceling out only itty bitty bits of information to the Common Council about the costs, and only if he needs them to sign the check that very night?
Are we paying court costs for the hospital? What did we pay for our own court costs? How about all those man-hours the city employees wasted in their so-called "research" of the non-profits?
What a JOKE. Except it isn't funny, because that is real money -- OUR MONEY -- that Peters and his city hall clown show are wasting.
Just saying people are mentioning we lost a lawsuit as if was a consequence to the city, what did it cost us.Now ,also the YMCA.What will it cost us if the city is proven wrong on The Y being tax exempt.I know if the city is right thast will bring in additional revenue,but if the city is found to be wrong Many people want to know what is going to happen.The obvious is the Y will continue to have those holdings tax exempt but outside of court costs will the city be penalized in any way?That is a legit question because we keep hearing lawsuit,lawsuit.But nobody seems to know what happen with hospital so what will happen if city loses to the Y.That I mean in addition to what you say about cut in services and programs,etc.Not taking a side here rather wanting to know the monetary loss if the Y wins.People seem to call this a lawsuit of sorts but it seems there can be no lawsuit until a determination is given.I mean if I argued against a tax increase on my property and lose then I just have to pay the taxes as set forth.What would be different here?
Trying to Answer

Little Falls, NY

#20 Jan 10, 2013
Well, the hospital and the Y have both sued the city. I do not mean going before the assessor appeals board or whatever it is called (they did that too), but I mean suing with lawyers and judges and a courtroom. The judge already ruled for the hospital. I do not know if the city has to pay court costs for the hospital or not, and Peters either doesn't know himself or isn't saying.

Does that help?
Again wrote:
<quoted text>Just saying people are mentioning we lost a lawsuit as if was a consequence to the city, what did it cost us.Now ,also the YMCA.What will it cost us if the city is proven wrong on The Y being tax exempt.I know if the city is right thast will bring in additional revenue,but if the city is found to be wrong Many people want to know what is going to happen.The obvious is the Y will continue to have those holdings tax exempt but outside of court costs will the city be penalized in any way?That is a legit question because we keep hearing lawsuit,lawsuit.But nobody seems to know what happen with hospital so what will happen if city loses to the Y.That I mean in addition to what you say about cut in services and programs,etc.Not taking a side here rather wanting to know the monetary loss if the Y wins.People seem to call this a lawsuit of sorts but it seems there can be no lawsuit until a determination is given.I mean if I argued against a tax increase on my property and lose then I just have to pay the taxes as set forth.What would be different here?

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