THURMAN — The Thurman Town Board will make a third try to hold a meeting in September on Tuesday after it did not have a quorum at its first meeting and board member Gail Seaman left the second after Supervisor Cynthia Hyde did not answer her questions about the town’s finances.
The board was unable to conduct business on Sept. 11 as only Seaman and Hyde showed up. Board member Joan Harris was camping, Brenda Ackley was not able to attend and Doug Needham did not provide a reason for his absence.
The board had a full slate of resolutions including to rehire Susan Baker as a deputy clerk and clerk to the assessor and to rehire cleaner Carol Baker, maintenance employee Steve Baker and transfer station Ernie Smith. These employees had been let go as part of a cost-saving measure by a three-member majority of the board. Board members at the time expressed concern about the town’s finances in light of its $300,000 outstanding debt to Glens Falls National Bank.
The board met again on Sept. 18 with Hyde, Seaman and Harris in attendance. Seaman had wanted an update on the outstanding bond anticipation note, which the town had taken out to pay for a water system project. However, the town had failed to obtain approval from the state Comptroller’s Office, which was required because 37 percent of the town’s assessed value is made up of state-owned land. Town officials had thought they were under the 30 percent threshold. A bill in the Legislature would grant a retroactive exemption to the town. However, it has not passed yet. The town’s accounts are frozen.
“Where are we on the defaulted bank note? How much interest are we accruing?” Seaman asked, according to the video recording of the meeting.
“I’m not answering your questions right now,” Hyde responded.
Hyde had met with bank officials in late August. Seaman wanted to know what came out of those discussions.
Rather than answering, Hyde starting pounding the table with some blocks.
“That’s my homemade gavel,” Hyde said.
Seaman also alleged that Hyde took about $57,000 out of the highway fund and put it into the general fund without board resolution. The money was used to pay the town’s outstanding bill with Warrensburg EMS.
Harris then starting rapping the table with the blocks.
“Joan, could you please stop banging?” Seaman asked.
Seaman asked again what was happening with the debt.
“I’ve been advised by the attorney not to speak of it publicly” Hyde said.
“You’ve been advised by the attorney not to speak of public debt?” Seaman asked.
Seaman continued to push for answers and Hyde resisted.
“Were not discussing accusations. We’re discussing business,” Hyde said.
Seaman then abruptly left the meeting, which left it without a quorum.
Hyde said she is upset that the bills could not be approved, especially highway bills that need to be submitted to the state for reimbursement.
“This is ridiculous,” she said.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m.