Post Office survey or lack of it.

The following letter was mailed out to Hartford's citizens that do NOT live in the 12838 zip code.
Dear Hartford Citizen. Oct 2012
Recently, the United States Postal Service (USPS) sent the enclosed survey form to those
citizens living in the 12838 Hartford zip code area regarding reducing the operation of the Hartford Post
However. there are 5 zip codes that serve the citizens of Hartford. Many of Hartford's
citizens, who rely upon the Hartford Post Office to mail packages, buy stamps, etc. do not live
within the 12838 zip code area.
The 5 zip codes that serve Hartford's citizens are; Hartford 12838, Argyle 12809,
Granville 12832, Fort Ann 12827, and Salem 12865.
I spoke to Ms. Nadine Tremblay, Post Office Review Coordinator and requested that the
USPS expand the survey mailing to include those Hartford citizens that live outside the 12838 zip code.
The USPS refuses to do this as it does not fit within the Nationally set guidelines.
So I decided to do it for them and inform you of what is occurring.
Please take the time to fill out the enclosed survey form, or pick one up at the Postal counter and mail it to:
PO BOX 14950
ALBANY, NY 12212-4950
. .
Also, please attend the meeting the USPS has scheduled at the Hartford School Thursday
11/1/12 at 5 pm and speak up in order to allow your opinion to be heard.
Attached to this letter you will find a Resolution of the Hartford Town Board that I will
present to the USPS. You will also find the survey letter.
Regards, Dana

School athletic field project to benefit Hartford’s Youth Commission

For at least the past four decades, Hartford’s youth have been faced with the continuous problem of insufficient availability of Youth Commission recreational field space. This has been a problem for so long that many have rendered it to be a permanent problem without any practical solution. In fact, there are many Hartford grandparents of Youth Commission aged children that faced the very same problem when they were young children.

This is all about to change. The Town of Hartford plans to collaborate with the Hartford Central School District to solve this problem.

The late Barbara Allen was instrumental in Youth Commission fund raising many years ago with the goal set to raise enough money to purchase a field somewhere in town that could be converted into Youth Commission fields. This has never happened. Funds still remain to this day within the Town’s coffers, waiting for a field to appear that can be purchased and developed.

In 2006 the School District purchased 5.46 acres of field from the adjacent Eastman Dairy Farm in order to expand the school’s athletic grounds. This field is to the west of the existing Varsity/JV Soccer field, Baseball Diamond, and Softball Diamond. This field currently has a large flat topped hill constructed upon it that is left over from the School’s recent building expansions. Tight budgets have prevented the school’s creation of athletic fields where the hill now stands. As the School District tries to prevent layoffs it is impractical to expect that they would spend upwards of the estimated cost of $60,000 to create additional athletic fields.

The Town has recently entered into a legal agreement with the School whereby the Town will use volunteer workers and donated services to flatten out the hill and attempt to create fields which will benefit the Youth Commission programs. The Town has allocated $10,000 ($5,000 from the Town’ General Fund plus $5,000 from the Youth Commission fund) in order to accomplish this. We have named Ron Smith and Russell Wade as project leaders. The goal is to get at least $60,000 worth of work done for just $10,000 using volunteers and donated services.

The legal agreement with the school will allow the Youth Commission to use these newly constructed athletic fields in addition to all of the other exterior athletic fields including the Varsity and JV fields for the next 20 years. The newly created fields will be maintained by the School.

In the opinion of the Hartford Town Board and Hartford Youth Commission, the best possible scenario in regard to Youth Commission programs is to have one centrally located campus with one parking lot and all you have to do is walk from one athletic field or event to another. This way if you have more than one child participating on different fields, you do not have to drive from one end of town to the other, all can be located at one spot which ideally is the school.

There will be criticism that the Town should not spend any funds to do what the School should do on its own. However, this is an imperfect world and most of the same citizens that pay School taxes also pay Town taxes. We are all in the same boat together paying taxes and if the Town can accomplish this goal by using a lot of sweat equity for a frugal $10,000 what the School would have to tax and spend $60,000 to do, then in my opinion we are all better off. If we wait for the School to be able to afford to do this, it most likely will not happen for a very long time, if ever. The Town has already waited a very long time to increase Youth Commission field availability with no success.

The future of our community is our Youth and with this collaboration we all win.

Dana Haff
Hartford Town Supervisor

Groundbreaking ceremony for the School Athletic Field Project

Recently, I sent out a mass mailing to Hartford’s citizens detailing the upcoming School Athletic Field Project.  The Groundbreaking ceremony is now scheduled for 10am Saturday July 28th. This will take place atop the hill now located on the property next to the Varsity Baseball diamond.  Please attend if you are interested in this. Please park at the school parking lot and walk over to the site.  Dana

2012 Hartford Memorial Day Parade

Welcome to Hartford’s 2012 Memorial Day Parade.

Memorial Day is the day that we remember and honor those Veterans that gave the ultimate sacrifice to their County and died as a result of battle.

Today we are honored by the presence of President Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln saw us through the gut wrenching Civil War years. Without his leadership and the ultimate sacrifices offered up by Hartford’s citizens, the nation as we know it might well be different today.

Mr. President, as you know, the men of Hartford answered your call to arms and served in Company E of the 123rd Regiment of the New York Volunteers. Hartford men also served in the 22nd Regiment, the 93rd Regiment, the 2nd Cavalry, the 44th Regiment, and the 96th Regiment.

By the end of the Civil War, 17 Hartford men had lost their lives. These men shall not be forgotten, and what better way to honor their sacrifices than to call out their names today.

Frank Archambault – killed at Culp’s Farm
John Bell – killed at Gettysburg
Byron Biggs – Killed at Chancellorsvill
Thomas Clark – Killed at Albany, Ga
Charles Covell – Killed aboard the USS Colorado
Lt. John Daicy – Killed at Peach Tree Creek
Thomas Dickinson – Killed at Whitehouse Landing
Adolphus Jeffway – Killed at Atlanta, Ga
John Minor – Killed at 2nd Bull Run
James Norton – Killed at Chancellorsville
John Patrick – Killed at Savannah
Hiram Thomas – Killed at Harper’s Ferry
Clark Waite – Killed at Jeffersonville
Capt. Norman Weer – Killed at Gettysburg
John Wright – Killed at Atlanta, Ga.
James Wythe – Killed at 1st Bull Run.

May God Bless these men and all of our heros who have fallen in battle for we must remember that Freedom is not Free. Dana

Government scientist discover new element


The Department of Science has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.
The new element is Governmentium(Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.  Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.
In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.
When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. All of the money is consumed in the exchange, and no other by-products are produced.

Let’s meet at night

There is not a single Town in Washington County that would think of holding its regular monthly Town Board meeting at 10am. But that is exactly what we do for the regular monthy Washington County Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

I propose that the Washington County Board of Supervisors change the time of the Monthly regular full Board meeting to 7pm.

In my opinion, having the County meeting at 10am disenfranchises the working class. If you are not retired or are self employed, the deck is stacked against you being able to observe or participate in these County meetings unless you use up a sick day.  You may consider using a sick day if an issue coming before the Board was super important to you but do we really only want people to attend if an issue is SUPER IMPORTANT?

At a recent Feb 17th Board of Supervisor’s meeting I turned around in my chair and did a head count of the audience. There was only about 15 persons present and many of them were County Department Heads who were on the clock.

I have been told that night time meetings were tried once before and the attendance level did not change so they moved the time back to 10am. My question is if the attendance remained the same, why bother to move it back to 10am? The logical answer is that a daytime meeting is more convenient to the Supervisors and Department Heads.   I have also been told that if the meetings are not held while Department Heads are on the clock that attendance might actually go down since they would be less inclined to attend.  Well…… this begs the question do the Supervisors and Dept Heads work for the public or is it the other way around?  Department Heads are salary positions so no extra OT would be incurred to attend an after hours meeting.

Even if attendance does not improve, I for one would feel better knowing that a much wider population segment at least has the opportunity to observe their local government in action. This is what open government is supposed to be all about.

If you are with me, please contact your local Supervisor. If I am your Supervisor, comment here.  In order to make this happen, a 2/3 weighted County Supervisor vote is required to change the standing rules of the Washington County Board of Supervisors.     Dana

Board of Supervisor’s Prayers

This year will mark the 3rd year that I serve as the Chaplain for the Washington County Board of Supervisors. All that really means is that I give the opening prayer for the Monthly full board meetings.  I will update this blog monthly to share my prayer, but in the meantime here are some prayers that I have recently given.   Dana

6/15/12 Our heavenly father,
The month of June, which follows right on the heels of Memorial Day is a rather patriotic month for our nation.
June 6th saw the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy France, which was the turning point of WWII and eventually lead to allied victory.
This coming Monday, June 18th will mark the 200th anniverary of the War of 1812 also know as the War of Second Independence.
Yesterday was Flag Day, the 235th anniversary of what is know as the “Flag Resolution of 1777” in which the stars and stripes was recognized as the flag for our country.
Yesterday was also the 237th Birthday of the U.S. Army. During times of war and armed conflict our nation rallies around our flag which we have come to know as the symbol of our great nation.
Our troops proudly wear a USA flag shoulder patch on their uniforms to set themselves apart from soldiers of other nations.
Many of our small towns have American flags lining telephone poles along their Main Streets and many private citizens have flag poles in their front yards. I have visited many nations around the world during my sea going career and I can tell you that I know of no one that proudly displays their flag the way Americans do.
Some of us present today for this meeting will be wearing a USA flag pin. This flag pin is our symbol of allegiance as we pledge allegiance to the flag as one nation under God.


4/20/12 BOS Prayer     Dear God,  the month of April is full of events worthy of a prayer, whether it be Christian Holy Week, Jewish Passover, Buddhist Theravadin New Year, Sikh Baisakhi New Year, the 237th anniversary of when the Revolutionary War began, National Volunteer Week, or the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  The Sea Captain in me wants to discuss the Titanic and how that event changed the Maritime Industry.  But the Supervisor in me won out and the topic for today’s prayer instead will be National Volunteer Week.  One thing that makes the United States of America stand out as an exceptional country made up of exceptional citizens is our propensity to volunteer.  I have been to very many countries around the globe during my 26 year career at sea and I can tell you that no one volunteers as much as Americans do. That is one thing, among many others that helps to set Americans apart from other nations.  The US Dept of Labor estimates that in the past year, at least 64 million Americans volunteered through or for an organization at least once. The volunteer rate amongst women continues to be at a higher rate than men across all age groups, education levels and demographic characteristics.  The volunteer rate among women is around 30% compared to 24% for men. People in their early 20s are the least likely to volunteer.  Religious volunteers account for most of all the volunteers. They make up a total of 33% of all volunteers followed by Educational or Youth Service volunteers followed by Social or Community volunteerism.  Our communities are made up of many small towns which would not be what they are without volunteerism. Volunteerism and caring for community is what makes our small towns unique and special whether it be food panty work, sitting with the elderly or anything in between.  Most of our Fire Companies and EMS workers are Volunteers, men and women who race out of a warm bed in the middle of the night risking their own lives to help save us and our property.  So lord, we offer this prayer as a prayer of gratitude for all of the volunteers, who are often overlooked and who’s sole reward is to give back to the community. Let us take the opportunity and make a point of acknowledging and thanking our volunteers.  In your name we pray, Amen


4/4/12 BOS Prayer

Our Father, this past Palm Sunday also happened to be April Fools Day.  In the time of the early Roman and Hindu calendars, they celebrated New Years Day on April 1st. This was because April 1st closely followed the path of the sun at a point known as the Vernal Equinox.  But in the year 1582, Pope Gregory the 13th ordered a new calendar to replace the old Julian Calendar. This calendar is still used today and is known as the Gregorian Calendar.  Communication traveled slowly in those days and some people were only informed about the change several years later. Some were rebellious, they wanted to keep to the old traditions  and refused to acknowledge the change. They continued to celebrate New Years on April 1st.

These people were labeled as fools and were subject to ridicule. They would receive invitations to non existant parties and have practical jokes played upon them. Just as how “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”, who the fool is is also very subjective and lies in the eye of the beholder.  As far as religion and politics goes, is the fool the Secularist who cares more about the Politically Correct exclusion of all religious reference, or is the fool instead the politician the person who weighs all political thought asking “what would Jesus do?”.  For me, I feel that the political religious fool is the person that feels that in order to become tolerant of other religions, we must become intolerant of the religion that founded this nation. These people would rather have a short opening speech called an “affirmation” instead of something called a “prayer”. Or am I the fool because I resist political peer pressure to make my prayers so secular and non denominational that I would have to include references to Mother Earth and Sister Butterfly?  The first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution are know as the Bill of Rights. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution says in part “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This Amendment does not say that the State cannot make historical reference to religion. Instead it says that the State shall not establish a religion.  When I make references in my prayers to certain religions, I am not promoting or trying to establish those religions, instead I am giving a historic religious reference to some well known event that we should be aware of whether it be Christian, Islamic, Hinduistic, Agnostic, or tree hugger.  So, Lord in closing, Please protect us from fools. If we are the fools, then please protect us from ourselves.       Amen


3/16/12 BOS Prayer

Our Heavenly Father,    We are now a little more than half way thru the Christian season of Lent.  Even though Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, it is one of the oldest Christian traditions and is a period of preparation for Easter.  Lent represents the retreat that Jesus took into the wilderness for 40 days of fasting to console with God and prepare himself for the coming crucifiction.  During Lent, observing Christians are supposed to fast for 40 days, but today fasting does not actually mean to give up all food and water, it usually means abstaining from something that we really enjoy, like red meat, dairy, candy, alcohol or swearing.  Lent started this past Ash Wednesday where Christians around the world focused on their sins and mortality.  The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week and commemorates the final week of Christ’s life.  Maundy Thursday observes the Last Supper, and Good Friday represents the trial and crucifiction of Christ.  Lent finally ends with Easter Sunday which signifies the Resurrection of Christ.  Normally, individual Chritians are the ones that participate in Lent, but I would like my fellow Supervisors to consider what would happen if local Municipal Gov’t abstained from something for 40 days? What could we give up to act as a form of discipline and penance?  Could it be overtime? Fringe benefits? County License plate? A prefered parking spot for the Chairman of the Board? As for myself, my wife has requested for lent that I shorten up these long winded prayers. When I ask her to proof read them she complains that they sound like sermons instead of prayers. So Lord, in closing I would like to say… Amen and have a Happy Saint Patricks Day!


BOS Prayer Spcl Meeting to discuss potential sale of PVI and HHC   2/29/12

Our Heavenly Father,  We gather today to discuss and render a decision on which direction Washington County will take regarding the ownership and operation of the County Owned Pleasant Valley Infirmary Nursing Home and the Home Health Care portions of Washington County’s Public Health.  The subject today of this meeting will be Government provided Health Care. Some feel that what is provided by the County is wonderful and well worth the cost while others feel that the public would be better served if Government were not the provider. Government provided health care, as we know it today, has evolved tremendously since it was first offered. Moses is widely credited with handing down the laws of God, many of which involve aspects that affect your personal health, but Government provided health care most likely started during the dark days of the middle 1300’s. This is the Medievel era when the Black Plague ravaged Europe and the British Isles. At that early time, the best service that Government Public Health could provide was to collect and dispose of the epidemic of dead bodies. Whole villages and towns ceased to exist from the very high fatality rate and inundation of dead bodies. Researchers believe that up to 60% of Europe’s population perished during the Black Death Plague.  The Government provided Public Health service at that time was best depicted by the Monty Python skit where a wagon loaded with corpses patrols the streets and a bell ringing hawker cries out “bring out your dead”.  In the skit, when one individual carries out a loved one that was very sick but had not yet died, they knock him unconscious so that he would be eligible for the Health Care service provided by the Government.  When asked when the wagon would return, the wagon master says that he is scheduled to return to that particular route on Thursday.  On the surface, this may sound like an off color heartless depiction of Government provided Public Health but put yourself in their shoes for a moment and transport yourself back to the 1300’s. You were absolutely helpless against the onslaught of disease. You would have no idea of germs, sanitation or infection control. Real medicine at that time consisted mainly cutting the skin to make you bleed away the disease, or herbs designed to make you vomit away the sickness.  It was felt that if the Church, with all of its power could not protect you, then what good was God?  Organized Religion, in its form at that time took a severe hit in faith as the masses became disillusioned. Half the population died and the remaing half doubted the very existence of God.  At that time in the Middle Ages, Local Government Public Health was providing a very important service of taking away the dead and actually doing it on time too.  Fast forward and contrast that to what we have grown to expect  from Government provided Health Care today. On one side of the spectum there are those that think Government should provide care from cradle to grave while on the other side of the spectrum some feel that this service should be provided as much as possible by Free Enterprise.  In between both of these extremes, are a lot of shades of grey.  This is what brings us here for this meeting today. Should the County Government continue to provide these publically funded services or should we transfer ownership and operation to non municipal entities?  No matter which way we decide, or which side of the fence your opinion should happen to fall, there will be those that feel we will have made the wrong decision.  If today’s decision, what ever that may be, offends and upsets you, then I am sure that you will take to heart the following quote attributed to Mark Twain.  Mark Twain said “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it”.  What ever decision is made here today, we cannot possibly expect to make a clear cut black and white 100% right decision that will not be challenged by those that disagree. There will be those that are greatly upset but we must remember that our citizens have elected us to ponder, consider and weigh all of the facts about issues so that we can represent their interests while making the best informed decisions possible.  So in closing, Let us pray that the decision we do make today will be the best decision.   Best for all of the 62,000 citizens of our county.  In your name we pray,  Amen


BOS Prayer 2/17/12

Our Heaven Father,  This past Tuesday we celebrated Valentine’s Day.   Cupid, the Hallmark of Valentines Day is most often depicted as a naked fat cherubic baby angel with golden hair and small wings armed with a bow and quiver of arrows.  As we all know, the angel Cupid is poised to strike romance into unsuspecting hearts. Lore says that if you are struck by an arrow, you will instantly fall in love with the very next person you will see. If you have ever experienced “Love at first sight”, chances are you had an arrow sticking out of you.  Angels are recognized as heavenly beings in Christian, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastic religions.  In Christianity, as other religions, there is a heirarchy for angels which breaks them down into 9 seperate orders.  Seraphim is the highest order of angels followed by Cherubim, followed by Thrones, Rulers, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and finally Guardian Angels.  Lucifer belonged to the second highest order of Cherubim, that is of course until he was cast out of heaven.  Archangels include the well known Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  Gabriel is the Archangel credited with visiting Mary to explain the immaculate conception and also visiting the Islamic prophet Muhammad to deliver the message of God.  Guardian angels, being the lowest order of angels are the ones whos duties include everyday interaction with man.  In researching this prayer, I was interested to see what order of angels Cupid belongs too. I was surprised to learn that Cupid is not actually an angel.  Instead, Cupid is the Roman Mythological God of Sex who’s mother was thought to be Venus.  Cupid is usually depicted as a mischievous sprite with a sense of humor when it comes to making romantic matches. This may help to explain how Cupid’s arrow is often indiscriminant in its target with no forethought given as to who the lovestruck person might see next, nor the potential disasterous consequences.  Love is blind and sometimes, so is Cupid’s aim. This is why the lowest order of angels, the Guardian Angels will be the focus of this prayer.  Within Washington County’s Government, the Department of Social Services and Department of Public Health would probably be the ones that most directly see the effect of Cupid’s poor aim.   This effect upon these two Departments can best be described by a derivation of a quote made by Shelley in 1840 that goes something like “The rich get rich and the poor get babies”.  Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, the principal cause of child poverty is the absence of married fathers in the home. According to the U.S. Census, the 2008 poverty rate for unwed mothers with children in the United States was about 36 percent. The poverty rate for married couples with children was only about 6 percent. Being raised in a married family reduces a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent.  So lord, in closing let us pray that our Guardian Angels will protect us and shield us with their wings so that Cupid’s arrows of poor romantic judgement may harmlessly be deflected and bounce off.  In your name we pray,  Amen

BOS Spcl meeting 2/9/12

Our Heavenly Father,  Since this special meeting has to do with the Sewers of Washington County, I thought a bible reference about sewers would be of interest.  In the book of Matthew, chapter 15 Jesus has a conversation with a group of Pharisees about sanitation and what is clean and unclean.  Jesus called out to the crowd of Pharisees and said “listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean. But what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.”  When asked to explain, Jesus said “Are you still so dull? Dont you see that what ever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body and into the drain.  But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean.  For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.  These are what make a man unclean, but eating with unwashed hands and eliminating into the ditch does not make him unclean.”   Amen


Board of Supervisor’s Prayer 1/20/12

Our Heavenly Father, in this new year, every day is a special day and a testament to your miracles.  However, some view each day as a hardship and they pray to just get thru it.  Their burdens can be crushing and they often loose sight of your divine grace and wonderous creations.  Our job as Legislators of the County should be geared towards easing the burdens of our citizens, one way or another.  By doing so, perhaps we can help them to catch their breath instead of a sigh, and at least see a little bit of specialness in each day.  For example, I doubt if anyone in this room knows that today is National Butter Crunch Toffee day, but it is. There are also many citizens of this County that do not know that today we will work to ease their burdens and spend their tax dollars wisely, but we will try.  I am sure that today’s sunrise was greeted by many a cancer survivor as the most special sunrise they ever saw, that is of course until they see their very next one and revel in its beauty.  So let us not fall under the spell of pessimism, but instead proclaim that today is special and that our glass is half full instead of half empty as we give thanks to you God, for all of our blessings.    Amen.


12/16/11 Board of Supervisor’s Christmas Prayer

Our Heavenly Father, the Holiday Season is upon us.   But what is the Holiday Season? It is not some politically correct secular holiday where we gather around the Festivus Pole made famous by the Jerry Sienfeld comedy TV show.  But rather it is the December 21st celebration of the Jewish Holiday Hannukah and the December 25th celebration of the christian holiday Christmas. Both of these holidays are historically significant religious celebrations.  Hannukah celebrates the miracle of how 1 night’s worth of lamp oil lasted for 8 days and is symbolized by the Menorah.  Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ after the miracle of the immaculate conception and is most often symbolized by the Christmas Tree.  In 1893 the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously declared that we are a Christian Nation, where Christians are free to pray for peace in Jesus name, so let us do that in all humility, with confidence to Almighty God our everlasting Father and greet each other with Happy Hannukah or Merry Christmas.    Amen


11/18/11   Board of Supervisor’s Prayer

Our Heavenly Fater, this past Weds, November 16, 2011 – New York Governor Cuomo has directed flags on state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset in honor of Fort Drum Soldier Private First Class Theodore B. Rushing who died on Veteran’s Day November 11, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.  Veteran’s Day was celebrated last week and Father Denis Edward O’Brien of the United States Marine Corps. would have us remember that it was the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.  It was the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.  It was the Veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.  It was the Veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.  It is the Veteran, who salutes the flag, who served under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag.  We pray to you also for the day no one needs to serve in any military to maintain world peace.     Amen


Too much Spam!

My Blogging New Year’s Resolution is to not let all the Spam I get discourage me from Posting info relevant to the Town of Hartford.

You may have noticed that my Postings have declined dramatically the last 6 months. That is because 99.9% of all the comments I get back are junk spam. Some do not even make grammatical sense and makes me wonder if they are a computer written substitution for a human.

I just deleted 104 Spam comments to this blog. There were 104 comments waiting to be reviewed and every single one of them was spam.

Hopefully real constituents read these posts even if they do not choose to comment., but a real comment from a real human every once in awhile, even if it is negative would be nice.  


2012 Town of Hartford Budget Letter

Dear Hartford Taxpayer,


                By this point all taxpayers should have received the 2012 Town and County Tax bill showing the three separate tax levies listed for County, Town, and Fire Protection.


                The Levy is the amount of money to be collected through Real Property taxes.  When you pay your taxes, it is divided and dispersed to three separate entities. These entities are; County, Town, and Hartford Volunteer Fire Co.


This letter will address the taxes that you pay towards the Town only. 


Last year the Town Tax Levy was decreased by 15% from the year before.  This year’s Town Tax Levy has increased by 0.7% which is well below the new 2% Tax Cap.  All in all, we are still down 14.3% from the levy of 2010. 


It is my drive to make the 2010 Town Tax Levy the highest Town taxes that you will have paid for many years into the future.  My goal is to be fiscally conservative and remain below that 2010 amount for as long as we can.  The 2010 Town Tax Levy was $885,025.  This year’s 2012 Town Tax Levy is $757,458 which is $127,567 less than the amount of Town Taxes collected in 2010.  In fact, if you refer to the reverse side of this page, you will see that the 2012 Town Tax Levy is very close to the 2008 Town Tax Levy.  


This year’s Town Budget saw a 9% increase in the Health Care Insurance provided to the Town’s full time employees, an 18% mandated increase into the NYS Retirement fund, and a 100% increase in the fee that the Town pays into the Worker’s Compensation Pool Fund to cover injuries to Town Workers.  Even with all of these increases, we were able to keep the increase in Town Taxes to just 0.7%.


One change in this year’s budget is that the Town has created three separate bank accounts for; Vehicle Replacement Fund, Building Capital Improvement Fund, and Museum/Civil War Enlistment Center Capital Improvement Fund.  By making these separate dedicated accounts, money put into them will be harder to sweep up and spend elsewhere.  This is like a savings account for specific items and will allow the money to accumulate incrementally each budget year so that next time the town needs to replace a snowplow truck or make an improvement to the building we will not have to borrow the entire amount. The Vehicle Replacement Fund so far has $35,000 in it, the Building Capital Improvement Fund has $5,000, and the Museum Fund has $15,500.


The money placed into the Museum Enlistment Center account will allow the Hartford Historical Society to leverage that money and qualify for grants to help preserve the last remaining Civil War Enlistment Center in New York State.  The Town of Hartford owns the property and buildings of the Museum/Enlistment Center while the Hartford Historical Society acts as Stewards of the property.  Not only does the Hartford Historical Society act as Stewards of the property but they also fundraise and spend their own money to help maintain the Town’s property which is much appreciated by the Town.   


The Town of Hartford Government will work hard this year to keep spending down.  The worse thing to see in the Town is the increasing amount of vacant homes where the owners had to just walk away because they could no longer afford to live in the Town, County or State.  It is important that your Town Government work to keep expenses down and your Town tax burden as low as possible.

Regards,  Dana Haff – Town of Hartford Supervisor

Landfill permit for Eldridge Lane has expired

Even though the DEC landfill permit for Eldridge Lane expired this past January, it is a good idea to keep this expired permit “expired” and prevent any ideas of attempting to renew it.

On Sept. 16, 2011 the Washington County Board of Supervisors adopted the following resolution. I would have prefered something a little more iron clad but it is at least a move in the right direction.

Resolution #213:  Title: To declare intent to not renew permit 5-5338-0004/00004 for construction and operation of a landfill on County owned property in the Town of Hartford.                                                                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, Washington County had a DEC permit # 5-5338-0004/00004 for the “construction and operation of a 147 ton/day solid waste management facility (landfill)” subject to certain conditions which expired January 1, 2011, and                                                                      

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors has discussed the desirability of constructing and operating a landfill on this site in light of the developments in the solid waste marketplace and the impending expiration of the Adirondack Resource Recovery facility, and

WHEREAS, it appears imprudent at this time, in light of the disposal options available in the area for the County to construct and operate a solid waste management facility; now therefore be it                                                                                                                                                            

RESOLVED, that the Washington County Board of Supervisors hereby indicates its intent to abandon pursuit of renewal of a permit for operation of a solid waste management facility on County owned land in the Town of Hartford.