County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Niagara falls?

Hugh Reynolds: Niagara falls?

As of this writing, nobody outside its corporate offices knows for sure whether Niagara Bottling will locate a new plant in Lake Katrine after being turned down last week for state funding. According to sources close to the scene, the deal between Niagara and the Town of Ulster was one of those XYZ arrangements, as...
Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

With apologies to Johnny Cash‘s “Folsom Prison Blues,” did Ulster County Exec Mike Hein hear the train a’ comin? How else to explain why Hein suddenly switched gears late Monday afternoon and agreed to allow tourist trains to continue to run from Kingston Plaza to Hurley Mountain Road? For more than two years Hein has...
Hugh Reynolds: They liked Mike

Hugh Reynolds: They liked Mike

One of the questions following Ulster County Exec Mike Hein’s designation last month as one of the nine top public officials in the country by Washington-based Governing Magazine was whether he nominated himself. How else, wags wondered, would a national publication with a circulation of about 80,000 find an official to honor in a place...
Hugh Reynolds: Pay raise, anyone?

Hugh Reynolds: Pay raise, anyone?

Pundits are agog over the possibility of state legislators voting themselves a raise in special session next month. Paid a base salary of $79,500 for sessions that typically last six months a year, our state-level solons have not had a raise since 1999. There are some who believe the legislature should offer taxpayers a refund,...
Hugh Reynolds: And they're off

Hugh Reynolds: And they’re off

“Comptroller Expenses Scrutinized.” That was the lead headline in last Sunday’s Daily Echo. As we used to say in the business, they should have saved that type from the last story about Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach’s budget. And the one before that. The beat goes on. Those expenses in question have to do with...
Hugh Reynolds: Things are looking up

Hugh Reynolds: Things are looking up

By now, former Democratic Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge should be starting to figure out what he’s going to do with the next part of his young life. Taking a miserable 35 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Chris Gibson on Nov. 4 must have been a shattering outcome for him. How bad was it?...
Hugh Reynolds: Where's the fizz?

Hugh Reynolds: Where’s the fizz?

The barnburner campaign I had hoped for in the 103rd Ulster-Dutchess Assembly district, Kevin Cahill versus Kevin Roberts, has been something of a fizzle. It seemed as though all the elements were in place, Cahill as villain, Roberts as accuser. Cahill set the stage last year, said his detractors, by holding up the 1 percent...
Hugh Reynolds: The mood of the electorate

Hugh Reynolds: The mood of the electorate

“People have been traumatized [by the Great Recession]. They’re still struggling, worried, and anxious. Even though they’re working, they don’t believe their jobs are stable, they fear layoffs, and there’s a sense of impermanence.” So writes Carl Horn, author of Working Scared or Not at All, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, as...
Hugh Reynolds: Good idea, but …

Hugh Reynolds: Good idea, but …

Good-government groups are divided on a redistricting proposition on this year’s ballot purported to bring more fairness and transparency to a partisan process that has traditionally offered neither. Under a constitutional amendment approved in separate sessions by both houses of the state legislature, Senate and Assembly redistricting based on the 2020 census would be conducted...
Hugh Reynolds: Gibson and Eldridge, face to face

Hugh Reynolds: Gibson and Eldridge, face to face

Raucous groups of partisans emitted whoops, yells and hisses at the first public face-off between Congressional candidates Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge at overheated Miller Middle School in Lake Katrine the evening of Monday, Oct. 6. The rowdies numbered only about a third of the more than 600 in attendance. The majority came to look,...
Hugh Reynolds: He’s the bomb

Hugh Reynolds: He’s the bomb

Give Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor currently floundering and polling in the mid-20s, credit for taking on a job nobody else wanted. But comparing Andrew Cuomo with Mario Cuomo’s last run indicates the poor man is not only suicidal but delusional as well. Astorino was in Kingston for a few hours last Wednesday,...
Hugh Reynolds: Here comes the judges

Hugh Reynolds: Here comes the judges

Ulster County Democrats have decided on their candidate for Family Court judge, though about 85 percent of their numbers stayed home in this three-way contest won by Saugertiesian Gilda Riccardi. Now it’s time to tie up some loose ends. When the smoke cleared from the Sept. 9 party primary, Riccardi had scored a decisive victory...