Once again Councilman Messa took the lead on introducing a motion; this time at the July 9, 2014 Town Board Meeting. There was very little discussion that would alert the attendees at the meeting as to just what was being proposed and certainly no mention of a letter being sent to Oneida County 911 by Supervisor Tyksinski asking that Edwards Ambulance be the primary provider of services in the Town Of New Hartford.
Here is the portion of the July 9, 2014 town board meeting relating to Councilman Messa's motion:
According to the July 9, 2014 Town Board meeting minutes, the resolution that was adopted was:
Edwards Ambulance – Primary Provider of Town of New HartfordBoth the motion made by Councilman Messa and the resolution in the July 9th town board minutes name Edwards as the primary provider for the Town of New Hartford; however, the letter from Supervisor Tyksinski to Oneida County 911 seems to conflict with the resolution by saying referring to service in the area of Seneca Turnpike. Is the town board designating Edwards Ambulance as primary provider to the whole town or just the Seneca Turnpike area as Supervisor Tyksinski’s letter indicates? Are they targeting Central Oneida County Ambulance in particular?
Councilman Messa offered the following resolution for adoption and was seconded by Councilman Miscione:
(RESOLUTION NO. 155 OF 2014)
WHEREAS, it is desirous to acknowledge Edwards Ambulance as a long‐standing company in the Town of New Hartford who has offered its service 24/7, twenty‐four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Hartford Town Board does hereby designate Edwards Ambulance as a primary provider for the Town of New Hartford, NY, based upon the contingency of their presence in the Seneca Turnpike area, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week, and that they be made the preferred provider of the Town of New Hartford.
Upon roll call, the Board members voted as follows:
Councilman Miscione ‐ Aye
Councilman Woodland ‐ Aye
Councilman Reynolds ‐ Aye
Councilman Messa ‐ Aye
Supervisor Tyksinski ‐ Aye
The Resolution was declared unanimously carried and duly ADOPTED.
Two problems…a town cannot pass a resolution mandating anything for the two villages that are situated within the Town of New Hartford…that’s the law. Also, a town cannot just willy-nilly pass a resolution for a primary provider of ambulance services! Nothing against Edwards Ambulance, but laws are there for a reason.
Pinsky Law Group addressed the town board. Listen to the town board and town attorney playing their “semantics game” trying to justify their position even though Town Law is quite clear…the town has not taken the necessary steps prescribed by law! They claim that their resolution is only a "suggestion" to Oneida County 911 Dispatch. Does a "suggestion" require passing a town board resolution?
Here is Attorney Pinsky addressing the town board at the November 5, 2014 Town Board Meeting:
By searching online, I found a report written by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), A Review of Options for Ambulance Services in the Town of North Hempstead. While this report does not specifically address the situation in the Town of New Hartford, it is a very thorough discussion of the laws governing ambulance service.
On page 9 of the report it says:
…a municipality may choose from two options in order to provide general ambulance services. These options include (1) contracting with one or more individuals, municipal corporations, associations or other organizations for general ambulance services or (2) establishing one or more ambulance districts to provide these services.Each option has laws governing how the town board should accomplish their goal; the Town of New Hartford has not followed laws dictating how to accomplish either of the options.
Most importantly, the town board has not informed the general public that Edwards Ambulance is the primary provider in the Town of New Hartford and apparently Oneida County 911 has been using Edwards for all transport regardless of which ambulance company is closest to the medical call.
Whose interests is the town board serving…Edwards Ambulance or the residents?
Everyone o.k. with the game of Semantics that is being played by the New Hartford town board to skirt town law by quietly passing a resolution that could possibly affect the response time to your next 911 medical emergency?