February 5, 2023

Saluti Law Medi

Rule it with System

Watertown’s lawyer voiced legal fears ahead of lawmakers did golf study course offer

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – Two months just before city lawmakers voted in favor of an asset invest in agreement with the Watertown Golf Club, Metropolis Attorney Bob Slye told them he had lawful fears about the deal.

7 Information attained a November 28 letter from Slye to Watertown City Manager Ken Mix. In it, Slye lays out his authorized opinion with supporting documents.

“I am lawfully anxious that the City has not commissioned an appraisal (or appraisals) of the real assets to be conveyed and of the own assets which accompanies the sale,” Slye wrote. “Given the order price, I respectfully advise that the City acquire at the very least two unbiased authentic estate appraisals prior to continuing.”

Slye writes that town and town of Watertown tax information display the assessed “full industry value” of the golfing course assets is $476,200.

Metropolis council voted 3 to 2 on Monday to enter an arrangement to acquire the Watertown Golfing Club for $3.4 million. Council authorised its intent to purchase the land on November 7.

Metropolis council voted to get a 3rd-bash appraisal accomplished, but only following it entered a binding asset invest in arrangement to do the $3.4 million offer.

Slye cited a area of the state Structure and an excerpt from a New York Convention of Mayors publication, which states: “When buying real residence, a municipal legislative body has a fiduciary responsibility to acquire the assets by bona fide buy arrangement. Upon the most valuable conditions, which includes price tag, in the public desire. A invest in price tag grossly in surplus of a recent appraised value or a recent sale selling price may well be an unconstitutional present.”

Slye also cited this 1989 opinion from the point out Comptroller’s Office:

“It is our opinion that a municipality, when getting serious house, has a fiduciary duty to obtain the house by bona fide obtain on the most advantageous conditions and situations, like cost, in the general public curiosity and not in an arbitrary or capricious manner.”

“You have to be cautious that you are not substantially overpaying. That it could be perceived or looked at as a present, in violation of the New York Condition Structure. You should to consider that guidance and adhere to by way of and make guaranteed that your i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed, and you’re accomplishing the acceptable matter with taxpayers’ money,” reported Mayor Jeff Smith, who voted towards the purchase agreement.

Sarah Compo Pierce, the other council member opposed to the deal, stated, “With an expenditure of public funds this sizeable, there should have been an appraisal ahead of everything was agreed to to be certain we are getting a truthful offer for the taxpayer.

Council Member Cliff Olney, who supported the offer, phone calls Slye’s memo “a very poor authorized impression.”

“I did pay attention to the town legal professional. I did not concur with him on lots of matters. Which is why I asked to have him depart two moments this 12 months since I really do not believe in his lawful suggestions and I never rely on it in this condition,” he reported.

And Council Member Lisa Ruggiero, who also supported the deal, claims Slye’s suggestion arrived months too late.

“Bob Slye despatched us a memo dated November 28 and it was a few weeks immediately after we experienced our assembly exactly where we approved relocating ahead with the order,” she claimed.

Council Member Pat Hickey voted to do the deal and also thinks an appraisal should really be completed. He states it will deliver a lot more transparency.

He goes on to get in touch with the deal a golden option for the city to get much more land and says it will advantage the metropolis in the prolonged time period.

You can see Slye’s comprehensive letter and supporting documents right here