County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Amedore vs. Tkaczyk Part 2

Hugh Reynolds: Amedore vs. Tkaczyk Part 2

The widely expected rematch between Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore for state senate was officially launched at a pizza parlor in midtown Catskill Monday morning. The race is not official until the incumbent officially announces. She will, probably right after the legislature adjourns in mid-June. Attack-dog surrogates will serve up the politics for...
Hugh Reynolds: Absolute suits

Hugh Reynolds: Absolute suits

Ulster’s county comptroller says his authority to audit the finances of any department is, as per the county charter, absolute. In a separate case, the county legislature is claiming its absolute right to hire a county auditor over the county executive’s objections. Other than their claims of absolute authority, these separate situations have something else...
Hugh Reynolds: The beat goes on

Hugh Reynolds: The beat goes on

Sometimes role reversal can be revealing. Take the case of County Executive Mike Hein and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill. Please. Hein, a former Republican turned Democrat, has set himself up as the taxpayer’s champion, a guy who holds spending and taxes to a minimum. The county’s property tax levy has been almost flat in Hein’s last three...
Hugh Reynolds: Where's George?

Hugh Reynolds: Where’s George?

After “agonizing” for 15 months and concluding he hadn’t quite been ready for prime time, failed Republican State Senate candidate George Amedore says now that losing by just 18 votes to Democratic unknown Cecilia Tkaczyk in 2012 “really opened my eyes.” Did he mean he was glad he didn’t lose by one fewer vote, which...
Hugh Reynolds: Rules of engagement

Hugh Reynolds: Rules of engagement

Can a county legislator be forced to serve on assigned committees? The short answer is no. But that won’t stop some solons from continuing to gnaw on this bone of contention. The controversy, so-called, arose in January when Ulster legislature Chairman John Parete announced his committee assignments. A few legislators protested they hadn’t requested those...

Hugh Reynolds: Breaker breaker

To hear our emergency forces — cops, firefighters and EMTs — tell it, Ulster County’s communication systems are in very serious need of upgrading. The county’s e-911 emergency communications system on Golden Hill in Kingston is not only antiquated, charged members of the volunteer Fire Safety Advisory Board at a meeting of the county legislature’s...
Hugh Reynolds: Stuck in neutral

Hugh Reynolds: Stuck in neutral

I read with some interest published reports on County Executive Mike Hein explaining his acceptance of $11,500 in campaign donations from a Rochester-based developer seeking to build a $56 million student and faculty housing project in New Paltz. The executive told a reporter he was “neutral” on the subject of Park Point. It was a “home...
Hugh Reynolds: They like Mike

Hugh Reynolds: They like Mike

Revelations that Ulster County Executive Mike Hein received $11,500 in campaign donations over the last two years from the developers of the proposed Park Point student housing project in New Paltz, with an additional $5,000 in contributions from their Albany-based, county-connected law firm, have further roiled the muddy waters gurgling around this controversial project. The...
Hugh Reynolds: State of the county

Hugh Reynolds: State of the county

Barack Obama and Mike Hein have some things in common. Both came in as reformers. Obama was going to fix the economy; Hein went about inventing a new form of government — the Ulster County executive branch. Hein had the good fortune to ride Obama’s coattails to victory in 2008, though with a 10,000-vote plurality...
Hugh Reynolds: Should Hein primary Cahill?

Hugh Reynolds: Should Hein primary Cahill?

Had enough of charming exchanges between County Executive Mike Hein and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill? Hold on. Wouldn’t it sell some newspapers if this very odd couple could face off in a Democratic primary later this year? Hein and Cahill didn’t much like each other even before the Hein-described “Cahill sales tax crisis” blew up last June....
Hugh Reynolds: H-Rod ain’t got it yet, everybody

Hugh Reynolds: H-Rod ain’t got it yet, everybody

It’s that wonderful time of the year in the National Football League when if Team A beats Team B and Team C loses to Team D, Team E — if it snows in the first half of its Monday night game with Team F — gets the wild card. Thus it ever is in a...
Hugh Reynolds: Sixth-floor ACE

Hugh Reynolds: Sixth-floor ACE

When he’s in a nostalgic mood, recently re-elected County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach likes to talk about the time some 20-odd years ago that a guy in a business suit carrying a briefcase walked into the Ace Hardware store he and his father operated in Ellenville. “He identified himself as representing the Ace Hardware Corporation in...