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Hatzenbuhler steps aside as co-chair of codes committee

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To the Residents of the 4th Ward and the City of Amsterdam,

For the past several days now I have listened to the orchestrated opposition go after me tirelessly for not obtaining a building permit.  I sure would hate to do something really, really criminally wrong, or worse yet, have used the city vehicle for 7 years as my personal vehicle, when it clearly states in the Employee Manual, that city vehicles may be used for “City business only”. It seems that only certain elected officials are held to a higher standard.

I have previously apologized (numerous times) after obtaining a permit and paying the assigned fee and fine.  I would like to apologize once again to all those that I have let down.  It has been my greatest honor to serve the residents of the 4th Ward.  I listened to your complaints and concerns over the years and I will continue to work to bring forth positive change for the City of Amsterdam and our Neighborhoods.

Many have also been saying that this council has done nothing for the past year, yet this is where we have made our biggest strides.  We have budgeted only that for which we have revenue coming in.  In the meantime, needed/required projects will be covered by grants, as they have been in the past.  This would include the sanitary sewer and water separation projects throughout the city that have been mandated by the DEC.  We are doing what has to be done and holding a steady course until our financial issues are resolved.  Only then, will this council move forward financially.  We did not make this mess, but you did charge us with cleaning it up, and that is what we are doing.

In closing, I would also like for you to know, that while Rich Leggiero and I have been co chairs of the Codes Committee for the past year, Alderman Leggiero will be taking this responsibility on by himself.  However, as the 4th Ward Alderwoman I still have a responsibility to handle any codes complaints that you may call in to me.  That is still part of my job.  I am here to serve you the residents of the 4th Ward in a manner that you deem acceptable.  If you wish to contact me concerning any of these issues feel free to do so.  Your positive support in this entire situation has been rewarding and much appreciated.

Thank you so very much,

Diane Hatzenbuhler
Amsterdam, NY

The author is the Fourth Ward Alderwoman of the Amsterdam Common Council

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6 Responses to Hatzenbuhler steps aside as co-chair of codes committee

  1. For what I hope is the last time that I must address this: the car had been given to me as a benefit. When I was given the keys, I asked for written policy regarding the Mayor’s car and was told it did not exist – the car was mine to use unless I was driving great distances for personal reasons, for example out of state on vacation. I declare it as a benefit on my income tax returns and put my own money into the car for gas, windshield wipers, mats, car washing and light maintenance. I am not required to do so. I just think it’s the right thing to do.

    No other employee is on call 24/7.
    No other employee declares vehicle usage on their income tax returns.
    No other employee puts their own money into a vehicle.

    This is nothing more than a personal vendetta that takes our eyes off of issues that truly impact our community. It’s terrible publicity and poor form.

  2. Alayne says:

    One word, ostentation!

  3. Rob Millan says:

    I’m not sure how that’s ‘ostentatious’, but I bet even that explanation still won’t be enough for some.

    I cannot fault someone for working tirelessly to put Amsterdam on the map with NEW ideas, finally foregoing the old ideas that simply do not work today in competition with other communities.

    How some people refuse to see that is dumbfounding.

    I’m not surprised, though, that the mouths that scream ‘move forward with the issues’ continue to bring these much, much smaller issues up. Is that because there are no bigger issues? Not at all. It’s because the other issues like ideas on how to move the city forward don’t garner the same drama as the car valued at $850.

  4. Tim Becker says:

    Another word, obfuscation!

  5. diane says:

    Rob Millan, the big issue is we stopped the spending and borrowing until we know where we stand financially. That is the most important issue of all. I was not the state auditor that came in and said they could not reconcile 9.3 million worth of expenses against revenue 🙂 We must know where we stand, if we need to return bond funds and see if there is somebody else we owe that is not paid up to date. We cannot just keep going along like nothing is wrong.

    Diane

    • Tim Becker says:

      Not quite accurate, the state audit says this…
      “The City had $16.6 million of outstaning BANs at March 31, 2013. Due to the state of the City’s accounting records, we were only able to verify the use of $7.3 million of these BANs and were unable to verify the use of the remaining $9.3 million.”

      For those who don’t know, BAN’s are like short term bonds (loans).

      In the year that I’ve been attending council meetings, I’ve never heard any of the council members ask a question specifically about this. So what exactly is the council contributing to solving this problem?