4/14/12

Cape Vincent Town Attorney Mark Gebo discusses water district #2 problems with town board and citizens.


The following is a transcript I prepared of a discussion that occurred at a recent special meeting between Cape Vincent water district customer Frank Giaquinto and Town of Cape Vincent Attorney Mark Gebo. Earlier in the meeting, Mr. Giaquinto had told the board that he was receiving a water bill. However, that water bill was not from the Town or from DANC, but from some other water seller.

Frank Giaquinto:   Mr. Gebo, where does the water (#2) district end?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  The water district has geographic boundaries. There's a map that shows what the geographic boundaries of the district are. And typically, again, just for everybody's benefit, I don't think there's any ill intent by anybody here, OK? But, generally speaking when we deal with districts in a lot of towns, not just here, there's a concept of people who are inside the district and people who are outside the district. Like your farm is outside of the geographic boundaries of the district.

Generally speaking the regulatory agencies, when I've had to deal with them on these issues, don't like the concept of outside users. If you are going to add somebody from the district, that's fine. But, expand the geographic boundary and bring them in. For a variety of reasons.

That way you have shut-offs in place for each of the users so if there is a problem just for one user you haven't got to shut off three to deal with one person's problem. You do things like that. And it gives the town a better handle on what to expect in terms of  use, a better handle on handling something like a large break that might be affecting the usage of the system, it also makes it a little easier perhaps even to just monitor where leaks may be taking place based on meter usage and so on.

So, to answer your question, there are geographic boundaries to this district. The problem is that we have users who are drawing water through this district that are not within the geographic boundaries. I think one of the outcomes of this likely is that we will expand the boundaries so that everybody's inside of them.

Frank Giaquinto:  It would have been done if this was acknowledged.

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Right, right. Again, no ill intent. But now that we're aware of it, respect it, that's  all.

Frank Giaquinto:  I guess my question really is, where does the town liability end?  Does it end at the meter pit?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  The town has liability throughout its entire geographic district.

Frank Giaquinto:  No, but regards to water.

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Well, We deliver potable water to what we call the point of connection which is, as you say, is at that meter pit. And, within the individual property that that pit serves, the owner has responsibility within their own property boundary. What's happening here is a little different because, for example, the water you're getting the town doesn't actually sell to you. It's being sold to you by somebody else. And, so who has the responsibility at your boundary? You could argue that it's the town because it's coming from a town district. And, If you had a problem with the quality of the water, might call the town and say, do something about it. I would expect you would. And, it wouldn't necessarily be wrong to do that. But, technically, we are not your water supplier. Your water supplier is your neighbor. Yes, Marty.

Marty Mason:  Alright. I agree with you Mark. OK, take David Docteur's trailer park. The water goes through a meter pit. Then it goes out through a distribution system. Right? It feeds every trailer. Someone gets sick in one of them trailers, whose responsibility is it?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  They're going to have to prove where the water went bad. If it went bad inside his property line, he's going to be responsible for it. If it was bad at the meter, it's our problem. But, am I not incorrect in not thinking, too, that the department of health has regulations on trailer park users of the water they distribute? I don't know if that's true when they are on a municipal system. I know If they have their own system there's a lot of regulations.

Marty Mason:  But what's the difference between the trailer park and what water district two has?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Because everything is within the geographic boundaries of the district.

Marty Mason: And, so isn't the...

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Well, Frank isn't within the district.

Frank Giaquinto:  No, but my meter pit is in the boundaries.

Attorney Mark Gebo explains necessity for
water district audits and a ground survey of
Cape Vincent's water district #2.
Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Well, why not extend it out to Clayton. The reason we have geographic boundaries is so we have a way to plan an know what we are doing and be able to have adequate supply. To know whether to increase or lessen the allocation. We are probably thinking about lessening allocations in district three because they are not drawing like they were from the DANC line. If we are going to be responsible for the district, people that are drawing water from the district need to be within the district. That's all. And, again, I don't think it's a difficult fix. But. we need to know what's there to fix it.

Hester Chase:  Is there a map?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Yes, there's a map. When the district was created, part of the district creation process, and this is true for every district. Town law requires that there be a map plan and report. And, a map plan and report was prepared when district two was created which showed those few properties, and there is a map that had dark lines that outline the geographic boundaries of the district. It was amended a year or two later to include another property and that, too, had that.

Councilman Clif Schneider:  And in that agreement there also the parcels that were actually listed.

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  They were listed. They were identified by tax parcel number, I think. But there was also a map that physically drew the boundaries around them. And, at the pit. It included the entire boundaries of the tax parcels that were included. And, that's typically how every district is created.

Hester Chase:  Is that available?

Town Attorney Mark Gebo:  Oh Yeah. Somebody has it, I'm sure. It's here at the town office.I don't have it in the pile I brought. I've seen it here in the last couple of weeks, though somewhere here around the town. Yeah, it's available.

Janet Radley:  I've got one question. Why didn't the board contact district two and ask them these questions instead of letting it go to this extent. These guys would have given you your answers. But, you chose not to call or...

Supervisor Urban Hirschey:  Well, we're not experts in surveys.

Janet Radley:  You're saying you're the water commissioner so you're questioning and now you're doing this. Why didn't you call up Donny and say, who is, is there somebody hooked onto your line, and who is it? And blah, blah, blah. Why didn't you ask him that instead of turning it into a circus.

Supervisor Urban Hirschey:  Donnie told me that he was..

Donald Mason:  No, I did not. I never said either way.

Supervisor Urban Hirschey:  Really?

Donald Mason:  Really.

Supervisor Urban Hirschey:  OK, we'll get together a little later. 



33 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's quite clear that there are 3 users that are not within the boundary of district 2. The solution is rather simple. Expand the district, charge the person that is selling them the water, a fee to cover the Town's cost (legal services, the survey, etc.). If the outlaws would have been forthcoming Urban would not have had to beg for information. This whole mess is just another example of a few good-ole-boys ignoring the law. Also, there are many users of Village water located outside the Village water district and their home-made water lines are in poor shape. If district 2 is expanded, then there is no excuse for the Town not forming districts to make those outside the Village play by the same rules as those outside district 2. NO EXCUSE!!!!

Anonymous said...

For Marty Mason and Donny Mason, two long-term Town Board members, to need instruction by the town attorney on the operation and responsibility of water districts is remarkable.

Anonymous said...

The water business being run by whomever in District #2 should become a registered business of record. There are rules, regulations and IRS concerns whenever one runs a business. Especially if that business has implications to the customers' health and safety.

Anonymous said...

7:54 Better yet fine all the illegal distributors,and deny them future use of municipal water.

"No ill intent" that's bullshit Mr. Gebo. Nobody believes that. Especially when you hear them all crying "we didn't do anyting wrong"

I seem to recall Marty saying this very same thing when asked about his conflict of interest with wind development.

Its pretty clear now what he meant when he said, We wouldn't have a water district in Cape Vincent if we followed rules of ethics.

Anonymous said...

how does this town even function?

Anonymous said...

What is disturbing is that Marty does not understand the severe implications of this problem and yet defends the unusual actions. Yet, he is in a "responsible" position as village head of maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Gebo said." Well, why not extend it out to Clayton?"

Well that is exactly what they did with Rienbeck's waterline to nowhere. It looks like it was added to serve the proposed Wood farm Acciona batch plant.

They got a Clayton guy to take on Cape water, just like
mark said.

Anonymous said...

Attacking David Docteur does not make Marty's and Don's problems go away.

Attacking the blogs does not make the information go away. It only gives cause to wonder more.

I now fully understand why it was so important to revolve these guy from office. Keep them out by demanding that our Dem party gives us a primary system and open selection of candidates. Bring respect back to my party and tell Kings corrupt party to take a walk.

Anonymous said...

In the video Janet Radley said they weren't doing anything wrong. Just head hunting going on.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR THREE YEARS NOW.... IT'S TIME FOR A NEW TOWN ATTORNEY !!!!!!!!! I DIDN'T TRUST MARK, NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT HE SAID AT ALL THE TOWN BOARD MEETING, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DIDN'T SAY !!! I THINK MARK LIKE TO PLAY BOTH SIDES TO THE MIDDLE.DON'T THINK MARK DIDN'T HAVE A SENCE THAT SOME OF THE OLD TOWN BOARD SREW-UPS WERE PLAYING FAST AND LOOSE, HE'S NOT STUPID.
DON'T THINK THE MASON TWINS DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING, IT'S JUST THAT THEY WERE PULLING ANOTHER FAST ONE ON THE CITIZENS OF CAPE VINCENT. I'M SURE THE TOWN/VILLAGE WILL BE DEALING WITH OTHER MESSES THESE BOOT JACK WIND THUG CARTEL MEMBERS HAVE CREATED OVER THE YEARS, BUT WE JUST HAVEN'T UNCOVERED THEM YET !!!!!!
AGAIN....... IT'S TIME TO KICK MARK GEBO TO THE CURD AND GET A REAL ATTORNEY IN HERE TO HELP CLEAN UP THE MESS LEFT OVER BY THE FORMER TOWN BOARD MEMBERS, THE MASON TWINS AND MICKEY ORVIS !!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

SORRY, I SHOULD HAVE SAID THE SOON TO BE GONE MICKEY THE ORVICE BOOT LICKING MASON BUDDIE !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

In the video a woman accused them of head hunting.

Talk about head hunting. H. Wiley and G. King were throwing spears in the dark when they sent letters to all of the assessors of people who registered to vote here. I was to their other residence. This act by Wiley and King was nothing more that pure harassment. They did not send the same to some of their friends, family and supporters and relatives at other places. Only those who they thought were not going to vote for their corrupted candidates. Assessors thought they were representing the town.

Now that is a good example of head hunting. Don't let King and Wiley intimidate you.

Register to vote in Cape Vincent.

Anonymous said...

I FULLY AGREE! HIRSHEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING TWO YEARS AGO AND OBVIOUSLY STILL DOESN'T. ALL SPECIAL DISTRICTS MUST BE SUPPORTED SOLEY BY THOSE INCLUDED IN EACH DISTRICT. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN BE EQUAL IS THE COST OF WATER, NOT THE DEBT RETIREMENT, SINCE THIS VARRIES BASED ON THE GRANT MONEY AND INTEREST RATES AT THE TIME OF CONSTRUCTION. WATER DISTRICT #2 IS DIFFERENT SINCE THE USERS INSTALLED THEIR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE AND THEY USE WATER FROM THE DANC LINE. THEY MUST PAY WHATEVER DANC CHARGES. I AGREE THESE DISTRICTS SHOULD BE AUDITED, AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL WATER USERS TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN CHARGED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. TOM RIENBECK

Decibell Meter said...

The first rule of any investigation or audit is to sit back and see who objects and squeals the loudest.

Anonymous said...

TR said up above

ALL SPECIAL DISTRICTS MUST BE SUPPORTED SOLEY BY THOSE INCLUDED IN EACH DISTRICT. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN BE EQUAL IS THE COST OF WATER,

Do you think TR can tell us how many illegal users have tapped into #2, who is doing the billing and collecting the money? Is it a cash under the table deal or do they have a water districts bank account. And, how is the the Ag commish involved in the operation of this district?

Anonymous said...

are any laws being broken? does Gebo just act as if this is no big deal? must be because of who is on the pipe.

Anonymous said...

According to the WDT Darrell Aubertine is involved with this district. Is he the one selling the water to others?

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day water district will get sorted out.

The real issue is the IRS.

Anonymous said...

You mean running an unreported income and business?
Do you suppose?
Frank said he paid someone. Who?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever stop to think that they may have registered their water business and every thing is up and up? I bet the joke will be on you. Ha Ha

Anonymous said...

Stay tuned folks. This is another case of people thinking they are above the law. We all know who the kingpin is in this deal but will wait for the official disclosure. It ain't the first time he has dumped on his former supporters.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I did stop and think that most reasonable people would file their income taxes including any water revenue they received. But then I remembered who we are dealing with here.

The IRS has been informed of possible tax fraud, so we'll see who is laughing in the end.

For their sake, I hope you are right and the did everything including their taxes above board.

Anonymous said...

Another SCAM uncovered!What's next?
If the masons are in on it,it definitely SMELLS!What did happen to the Old Water tower?

Anonymous said...

Hey Hester get a life and clean up your junk yard before some torches it.

Anonymous said...

Be careful Urban what Don Mason tells you. Remember, he lied to the citizens of Cape Vincent about no town business being discussed at the secret meeting.

Anonymous said...

"In on of THEM trailers''? Really Marty? Try to prove a point that doesn't even make sense AND speak poor English in publec? It's "in one of THOSE trailers". You 'good ole boys' need an education in the English language! Good try.

Anonymous said...

'one of them trailers' I meant. And I meant public, of course. I was writing so fast because I cannot believe you guys bring up such worthless topics to try to prove your points...that will never get proven!

Anonymous said...

9:40 it's called a diversion .you know get the heat off of me .

Anonymous said...

Well, the diversion did not work.

The attack on the trailers solidifies doubt that Marty should be in a responsible position with the village.

It is much like their attack on the Chase property when there are pro wind properties of hard working farmers all over the town in the same condition.

Keep your heads down, town board. The water district investigation is legitimate town business, the kind of payback that Paul Mason and voters for wind would seek.

Anonymous said...

Yes a diversion...

They know full well that 3 will be next and others. Mickey and Darrell are in 3.

Anonymous said...

After checking around. Marty is right. All of the districts should be surveyed. There are illegal extensions in district 3. That is why Mickey wisely changed his NO vote to recusal. Same players might be involved.

Anonymous said...

#5 should be done also .that districts has a bad smell too.

Anonymous said...

Like Marty said you have to do them all. There might be more than one selling water to neighbors.