County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: In lock step

Hugh Reynolds: In lock step

It occurs to me sometimes as I listen and record debate at public sessions of the county legislature and other elected bodies that the casual observer might actually believe minds and hearts are affected by what is said. Confounding observers is the debates’ timbre and tenor. Important public issues are being discussed, sometimes loudly! More...
Hugh Reynolds: Monday night politics

Hugh Reynolds: Monday night politics

This coming Monday’s mayoral debate may not decide the Sept. 10 Democratic mayoral primary between incumbent Shayne Gallo and challenger Steve Noble. But it could be the beginning of the end for whichever Democrat comes off badly. Maybe they both will, which could give long-shot Republican Ron Polacco some hope in November. Kudos to civic-minded...
Hugh Reynolds: The golden goose

Hugh Reynolds: The golden goose

From the annual state-of-the-county address to weekly press releases and press conferences, the Mike Hein administration rarely misses an opportunity to blow its own horn. Well, honk this! Last week the county comptroller touted the administration’s fiscal record. Even from fellow Democrat Elliott Auerbach, repeating what state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli had reported, this was unusual....
Hugh Reynolds: Questions and answers in Ulster town

Hugh Reynolds: Questions and answers in Ulster town

It could have been a town hall meeting just about any place in the region, or upstate, for that matter — leaders of a political party grilling candidates on their views and records. This event took place this week in the new senior center next door to Ulster’s town hall in Lake Katrine, hosted by...
Hugh Reynolds: Campaign cash

Hugh Reynolds: Campaign cash

Ulster County Legislature Chairman John Parete’s recently released think piece on campaign finance reform may read like a resolution, but according to its author it is at this point just a collection of ideas. That’s just as well. Any piece of legislation that limits the county executive’s ability to raise campaign funds will die a...
Hugh Reynolds: Water, water

Hugh Reynolds: Water, water

I expect Kingston voters will overwhelmingly approve a charter change in November that will give their elected officials authority over the sale of water outside city borders. Why stop there? The city gets its water piped from Cooper Lake in Woodstock via a treatment plant in Zena. As demonstrated by the Niagara Bottling battle last...
Hugh Reynolds: Fireworks and peacocks

Hugh Reynolds: Fireworks and peacocks

It would appear from a breathless press release last week from Ulster’s county legislature  that nobody got their fingers blown off, eyes put out or had their hair singed or buildings set afire by fireworks over the Independence Day weekend. That happy outcome came despite dire warnings from firefighters and EMTs against the legislation of...
Hugh Reynolds: Mountain high

Hugh Reynolds: Mountain high

Most things in life are bitter or sweet, this and that, pro and con. Politics is mostly black and white. Even ceremonial occasions, like the grand opening of the Maurice Hinchey Catskill Interpretative Center at Mount Tremper last week, can produce mixed emotions. There was of course, the event itself, long delayed and eagerly awaited....
Hugh Reynolds: Ancient wisdom

Hugh Reynolds: Ancient wisdom

Bill Carey was a New York City cop. He walked a beat in Hell’s Kitchen. One evening he was called to a neighborhood bar to deal with an unruly patron. The bar owner said the man had drunk up his pay. Afraid to face his wife and large brood, he had become disorderly and abusive....
Hugh Reynolds: Four-year hangover

Hugh Reynolds: Four-year hangover

It now appears that Mayor Shayne Gallo will be staking his political career on the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. And well he should. If history is a guide, he who wins that primary wins it all two months later. But history has a way of evolving, and this is no ordinary election year. The primary...
Hugh Reynolds: Interpretive Center inspiration

Hugh Reynolds: Interpretive Center inspiration

Long, long after the celestial event, it has been revealed that the original idea for the soon to be dedicated Maurice Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center at Mount Tremper came, literally, from on high. According to Ulster Publishing publisher Geddy Sveikauskas, he and then-assemblyman Maurice Hinchey were hiking in the majestic hills around Mount Tremper some...
Hugh Reynolds: What happened at The Chateau?

Hugh Reynolds: What happened at The Chateau?

“Do you have any idea what happened last night?” a befuddled Republican committeeman asked me the day after the county committee rejected one and possibly two candidates for Ulster County executive. I had some idea, of course. I was there last week for the carefully contrived finale where party chairman Roger Rascoe rejected nominations from...