Hartford Veterans’ Monument relocation comes to a close

Since my original posting 6/22/10 “Where angels fear to tread” much has happened and information learned in regards to my plan to relocate the Veterans’ monument currently located at the school.

My idea of relocating the monument to the area near the Old Hartford Cemetery fence, across the street from the Civil War Enlistment Center was recently supported by the Hartford Baptist Church Board of Trustees. There is a 15′ wide strip running along the length of the cemetery fence between the County Route 23 right of way and the fence. This land, along with the burial ground belongs to the Baptist Church so I sought their approval. They voted yes unanimously.

I figured before I proposed this plan to the Town Board that I should get all other permissions first. The School Board of Education gave permission and now the Baptist Church gave permission.

But a wrinkle appeared as I did more research.  A not for profit corporation called “The Hartford Area Veterans Memorial Delegation” was created in July 2005 regarding this monument.

For a fee of $5.00 I was able to get a copy of the papers from the NYS Dept of State, Division of Corporations that were drawn up for this corp.

The paper work shows that the Corporation was created with the purpose to raise funding for the design, creation, engraving, erection and maintaining of the monument. 

All of these things have been completed by the corporation but the part where is says “maintaining” leads me to think that that insinuates action into the future which also lends to the argument that the Corporation still controls the monument even though the school is in possession of it.

This Corporation is listed by the State as being current. The Board of Directors for this Corporation are listed as Doris Aubrey, Willard Aubrey, and Roger Smith. Of these three, only Doris survives. 

The town received a letter last month from Wallace Swezey stating that he is opposed to relocating the monument. He signed his letter “Director”. His brother Mike claims not to know anything of Wally’s role in the monument, but this indicates that besides Doris, Wally is another director and he is opposed to it. That makes 2 out of 3 possible directors opposed to the plan.

I feel that in order to go any farther and try to force the issue would mean legal and court expenses that I am not willing to subject the tax payers to.

My original plan, with ample volunteers, meant that this could be moved with minimal expense. As it looks now, the expense of legal action would not be palatable to the town. I also feel that in court, it would be easier for the Corporation to show that they have control of the monument as opposed to the town taking control. I do not want to spend tax dollars on a case I feel is weak, especially when the economy is down. This also was the general sentiment expressed by the Town Board and public at last night’s Town Board meeting

In my opinion, it is a shame that the potential benefit to the community, veteran’s, and monument was lost to the Corporation digging in its heels basically saying “hell no!”. Repeated calls by me to Doris go unanswered to see if she has changed her mind. Her original comment to me way back when I started this was that the idea of moving it made her sick to her stomach. She may have caller ID because the phone just rings and rings.

So, long story short, I think it is time to stop beating this dead horse and dismount. I’d like to thank all those that supported this idea and pledged to help.


4 Responses to “Hartford Veterans’ Monument relocation comes to a close”

  1. Julie Pike

    Thank you for trying to relocate the monument. It was a very good idea to have the monument in a spot close to the museum, enlistment center, historic cemetery, center of town, and a place where people could view it during the school day without alarming school security. Unfortunately sometimes even the best ideas supported by the wishes of many fall victim to a few who fear change. Thank you for your attempt.