The HV News Magazine is famous for featuring 'guest columnists' that coincide with Jim Langan's opinion (though it can be said that every article and column of his paper is his reflects his opinion). The previous Town Supervisor wrote a column damning the current Town Board for eliminating the position of the bookkeeper that acorrding to reliable sources, the former bookkeeper kept the wool pulled over his eyes. The following is the column that was published:

The only legitimate reason for any

special/quickly called town board meeting

is to approve resolutions that expedite

issues that cannot wait for a regularly

scheduled meeting or workshop. All other

resolutions should be approved only after

public discussion in a scheduled public

workshop, and obtaining such public

input as appropriate: either at a public

hearing, a public forum, or during a public

comment session at a regularly scheduled

town board meeting. Any other method of

passing resolutions can only be interpreted

as a way of getting them passed without

properly informing the public of the

implications of the board’s actions.

This board has greatly abused the use

of special meetings. The only plausible

resolution for the meeting of June 16 is

possibly to approve the extension of time

in the case of the employee if that was

required to be done in a timely fashion

and missed at the last regularly scheduled

meeting as an oversight.

The other items on that agenda needed

forum discussion and public input before

any action was taken. Of particular note

is the seemingly innocuous resolution to

change the bookkeeper to comptroller.

• Why is this action brought up (and

passed) in a week when the bookkeeper is

out of town attending to her ailing father?

Has she been involved in the decision?

• Has the board discussed the implications

of this decision, and if so, when? (This

is not a matter for executive session and

the sunshine laws would require that the

discussion be public). I have not heard any

relevant discussion, so how did this board

get ready to vote on this issue?

• Is the board consciously getting rid

of Ms. Lown? She is protected under the

civil service laws as bookkeeper, but is

not eligible for the position of comptroller.

Therefore, this amounts to the only

legitimate way to fi re her. I will personally

vouch for the present bookkeeper’s

integrity and thoroughness in performing

her duties for decades of service and I

question the advisability of dispensing

with that knowledge and stability at this


Really Pompey? So why is it that she erroneously sent a check in the amount of $750,000 to a company that pretty much was bogus?
Oh, and she neglected to pay the ambulance contract fees for the Quaker Road district for three years putting the lives of those residents at risk. Or that the books she kept don't add up and are under going an extensive audit because she didn't do bank reconciliations for eleven (11) years? Allegeldly she ran the town on a cash basis and not on an accrual basis.  Speculation is that she also released confidential information and knowinlgy witheld documents. Integrity and thoroughness are certainly not definitions that describe someone who makes hundred of thousands of dollars in errors and don't know Accounting 101 of keeping a two sided book.

Seems like you weren't paying attention to what Ms. Lown was actually doing.  Did you ever check and verify her work?

• What are the advantages of hiring a

new comptroller? What is the need?

Well Pompey, if you had any idea of what a Comptroller does, you would know that rather than the Town Board having to approve every single expenditure,  than having the checks go to the Supervisor to sign, the Comptroller has the ability to  make the approvals themselves without the Town Board having to rubber stamp everything. For your information Mr. Delafield, every large town located in the area which includes Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill has a Comptroller rather than a bookkeeper. Or have you forgotten that Hyde Park is the fourth largest town in the county?

• What is the cost? I have always

understood that a comptroller would add

increased expenses into the budget.

Well the cost is certainly less in the long run than having to hire an auditing firm to go through the books and try to make sense out of what the previous bookkeeper did and didn't do. Oh, and about that $750,000 error again, which occured under your watch?

• Is it wise to make this position a

political appointment (remember Enron

and their auditors)? This allows any board

to hire or fi re the bookkeeping arm of

the town on a political whim. Is that the


Finally, it is my understanding that the

supervisor is trying to say that the lack of

an archeological study for the police/court

facility is somehow the fault of the last

administration. Ridiculous! Not only was

the present supervisor a part of all meetings

on the facility during my administration,

but he also agreed to work for a scheduled

bid date of April/May for the project.

Is this an Obama move trying to blame Bush for all the woes of the country? YOU were the supervisor at the time so be a man and own up.

My board, in less than two months,

accomplished more than I have seen in six

months by this town board.

Oh, does this include the years it took Stop & Shop to get approval to go into the Ames plaza (by the way, which wasn't done while you were in office) ?

This board has its own advisors (i.e. Morris Associates),

who fully understand the need for working

with the state on all the many elements of

this project, including this archeological

study. Supervisor Tom Martino has not

brought this problem up in a timely fashion.

Really? Because at this time, the police station is a reality and being built without you sitting in on meetings.

While you were in office, the police worked out of a 'temporary' station that was temporary for how long?

He also indicated by his statements that the

study could have been accomplished easily

within the fi rst four months of his term to

reach the goal of the scheduled April/May

bid of the work. He has not publically (in a

workshop) invited his consultants to advise

the board on what was needed to meet the

schedule, nor publicly committed to any

change in that schedule.

Come on, Mr. Supervisor, this sounds

like an excuse. Where is the town board

going on this project? 

Again, it's uh, in the final stages of contruction.

 You’ve spent your time finding ways to discredit the Water

Protection Resource Law, opening up

the Bellefi eld district to unregulated

development, rezoning against the stated

goals of the town’s Comprehensive Plan

and removing the Planning Board from

their mission to insure that all development

meets the laws and the intent of the

adopted Hyde Park Town Comprehensive

Plan and zoning laws.

Huh. So that explains that monstrosity of a buildingthat was built on the 'footsteps' of Wilbert Vault. It's that church, St. James of Antioch, that somehow got approved without having a proper and legal sprinkler system installed?  So this church has to spend almost another $200 K to install the water tanks necessary to obtain approval and if a fire ever did occur, it would pull all the water from surrounding residences ,leaving those homes without available water.
So this got approved, but a Stop & Shop sign didn't...

And these are just the priorities that have been

expressed to the public.

Please, town board members, as a citizen

of this town, I request that you start doing

the work you were elected to do.

Well, there is a blog listing what the Town Board accomplished in their first 18 months...getting back to that leaking roof on Town Hall Pompey...

Quit abusing the use of special meetings to get

around your duty to involve the public in

your decision-making agenda. Quit trying

to find ways to publicly discredit the last

administration and disparage the work of

our dedicated town employees.

 How about the leaking Town Hall roof and the carbon monoxide levels in the building that you and your Town Board neglected to address which potentially put at risk, the health of town employees and citizens on business at town hall. I do recall there are OSHA regulation. 
 That does not accomplish anything.

Let’s start working together on a more

positive approach to sound legislation,

better public communication

 Does this include your use of the mute button that you were fond of pressing at Town Board meetings while you were in office?

 and involvement, and building, with vision, a

better town, a stronger town center and a

strong economic base that builds on our

strength as a tourist community to bring

money and tax dollars to our town from

outside, not on destroying those resources

through unregulated and uncontrolled

growth. This should be your goal and if

it is, you are not communicating it to the

town in a method that can be understood

or appreciated by your constituents. Let’s

start now to communicate honestly with

each other.

Pompey Delafi eld is the former

supervisor of the Town of Hyde Park.

Respond to this column at editorial@


In conclusion:
1) I think Pompey likes to practice the 'Do what I say and not as I do'

2)If he still think Ms. Lown is thorough and possesses integrity, she sure played him for a chump.
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    August 2011