Letter: Historic property should be sold via public auction

Dear Editor,   

The following is an Open Letter to the Village of Owego Mayor and Board of Trustees.

I am writing you today as a Taxpayer of the Village, to encourage you, that if the former Clerk Treasurer Office Building is to be sold, that it be done so via Public Auction. My interest in this stems not from my 63 years experience in the Auction Profession, but because simply put, the Auction Method offers the most transparent and comprehensive manner by which to garner the highest return for this historic property. 

There are very good reasons why much Governmental law requires open and unfettered Public Auction sales of both real and personal property when dealing with Estates, foreclosures, abandoned property, real estate tax forfeitures, drug impounds and the like. The reason is that the Auction Method provides complete transparency, the ability for wide advertisement, control of the bidding by a Professional, universal bidder opportunity and undisputable, instant completion of the sale upon the fall of the hammer.

As I myself do not hold a Real Estate Salesman’s License, again I stress that my interest is in seeing to it that the taxpayer receives the greatest income from the sale, not that I, or any other qualified Auctioneer be given the task. It could be argued, however, that any competent person, even the Mayor himself, could act as Auctioneer in this case as it is Public Property offered for sale by a constituted municipality on behalf of its citizens.

But perhaps the staunchest argument for a Public Sale is that your Board would not be caught up in the intrigue of failed “sealed bids” or a drawn out Brokerage offering at a guessed at price or any other method that could lead to another fiasco such as the sale of the former Elm Street Middle School.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Very truly yours,

Col. James G. Mead

Principal Auctioneer and Owner

Mead & Sons 

“Everybody’s Auctioneers”

Owego, N.Y.

Since 1948

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