County Beat
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...
Hugh Reynolds: Face to face

Hugh Reynolds: Face to face

Candidate debates, as they’re commonly called, usually only decide an election when one of the candidates does something memorably stupid. But it’s good to see candidates in action, to watch how they perform under pressure, to note their mastery of factual detail. Lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, for instance, caught grief at a recent event...
Hugh Reynolds: How do you spell Torres?

Hugh Reynolds: How do you spell Torres?

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill staffer and New Paltz Town Councilman Dan Torres returned from a brief trip last month to discover to his dismay that he had “signed” a nominating petition for Cahill Assembly opponent Kevin Roberts. “At first I thought it was some kind of joke,” Torres told me when I finally caught up with...
Hugh Reynolds: The crisis which keeps on irking

Hugh Reynolds: The crisis which keeps on irking

For those who didn’t get enough of the Cahill sales-tax crisis last year, connected to the Ulster County Safety Net takeover, there’s a sequel currently in production. The follow-up installment dealing with the county government’s possible assumption of election costs should be in the news in a few weeks. All the props are in place,...
Hugh Reynolds: Choosing a judge

Hugh Reynolds: Choosing a judge

The Democratic primary for Family Court judge in Ulster County this year features two lawyers experienced at Family Court and a newcomer who says his life experience and community involvement will provide fresh perspective. Kevin Bryant and John Beisel of Kingston and Gilda Riccardi of Saugerties presented themselves to party faithful at a forum hosted...
Hugh Reynolds: Train in vain?

Hugh Reynolds: Train in vain?

Next Tuesday’s monthly Ulster legislature session could be the last roundup for Catskill Mountain Railroad supporters who hope to retain the possibility of a tourist train ride from Kingston to Hurley. On the agenda is a resolution that would permit County Executive Mike Hein’s long-standing plan to rip up the tracks from Midtown Kingston to...
Hugh Reynolds: Money talks. Sometimes it yells ...

Hugh Reynolds: Money talks. Sometimes it yells …

Just when we thought the campaign for Assembly between New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet and incumbent Kevin Cahill was all over but for the shouting, they’re back knocking heads again, this time about campaign contributions. Zimet’s nearly $7,000 raised over the summer hardly measures up to Cahill’s six figures over a longer period, but...
Hugh Reynolds: A lack of sufficient ink

Hugh Reynolds: A lack of sufficient ink

There’s already much hand-wringing, finger-pointing and abject denials in the wake of Susan Zimet’s nominating petitions for state Assembly being rejected by the state Board of Elections last Friday. Losing is never easy. Let’s examine the petition process. For all the declarations, announcements, nominations and acceptance speeches that lead up to it, a candidacy is...
Hugh Reynolds: All aboard

Hugh Reynolds: All aboard

A special committee of the Ulster County Legislature has called on the Catskill Mountain Railroad to drop its suit against the county in exchange for the county abandoning its effort to immediately terminate its lease with the railroad. The 25-year lease expires in May 2016. Kingston’s Dave Donaldson chairs the five-member legislative committee, which after...
Hugh Reynolds: The good side

Hugh Reynolds: The good side

The opposite faces of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, the good and the bad, were on display last week. Since Hein thinks I pick on him too much, let’s begin on a positive note. The formal dedication of the homeless veterans’ facility on Wurts Street in Kingston was a Mike Hein event in the best...
Hugh Reynolds: A rush to judgeship

Hugh Reynolds: A rush to judgeship

With all the speculation over who’s running for the newly created Family Court judgeship in Ulster County, little attention has been given to the fact that even for Albany, this was one helluva rush job. Up until about three weeks ago, nobody except some capital insiders and a few well-connected locals knew there was a...
Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

Last week, Ulster County’s executive branch launched another blitz on the Catskill Mountain Railroad, apparently aimed at convincing the legislative branch of the merits of the county’s increasingly expensive legal battle to break its lease with the CMRR. Sources from inside the rare closed-door session where lawmakers were briefed indicated the effort might have been...