Letters: Way to go, Mike; Baul vs. Landi

ktx hudsonfultonstampWay to go, Mike

Congratulations to County Executive Mike Hein on his re-election and thank you to the voters of Ulster County for returning to office this great public servant! County Executive Hein’s leadership on big environmental issues like fracking and oil and gas pipelines has been stellar, and he has also given his attention to the details of taking care of our more vulnerable populations, such as elders and veterans. By careful budgeting and skillful financial management, he has saved us money, which he has then reinvested in our community, from paving our roads and repairing our bridges to making sure that everyone needing meals delivered at home receives them.

From bold actions to thoughtful and diligent attention to the needs of each constituent, County Executive Hein brings commitment, caring and creative problem solving to his work every day. Under Mike Hein’s leadership, and with a few exciting additions to the legislature (like Jonathan Heppner from Woodstock), Ulster County is poised to take sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship, and strong, stable, compassionate governance to new levels.

Kathy Nolan, Shandaken

Take a hike, Landi

Over the years, Charles Landi has shown how he can inflame a volatile situation and make the situation far worse. He behaved this way when he was an alderman for the City of Kingston and his childish behavior has obviously carried over with him as a board member for the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA).


After reading his eminent domain comments (Daily Freeman, Oct. 29) regarding possible sites for a countywide landfill, it just further reinforces what I have written above. The site for a countywide landfill will likely be the most volatile and controversial issue to face our county in the last several decades. Although Landi knows the controversy surrounding this, he goes on to state, “any site of which the owner does not want to co-operate could be taken by eminent domain.” Adding dynamite and gasoline to a raging fire — way to go, Charlie! Yeah, whoever doesn’t like, we’ll just take it; you tell ’em Charlie.

The UCRRA monopoly, created by the Flow Control Law, has already cost us ten-fold more than the few dollars in property taxes it allegedly saved. Kudos to those of us opposed to flow control and shame on those who supported it. Knowing that Landi has some control over this monopoly is scary to say the least. However, as a resident and taxpayer in Ulster County, knowing Landi will have any input into the discussion regarding a possible countywide landfill should make us all disgusted; I know I am. The UCRRA board should at least request Landi stop speaking publicly; he’s got the ability to start an inferno every time he opens his mouth.

It is quite obvious there will be some discussions, and perhaps even some decisions, regarding a county-wide landfill in the future. Regardless of where any of us stand on the issue, if these discussions and decisions are to intelligently occur without the potential violence surrounding such a volatile issue, there is one thing that must occur first: Charles Landi must immediately resign from the UCRRA!

How about it Charlie, will you resign for the good of us all?

Howard Baul, Kerhonkson

Landi: Here’s some facts, Howard

It would be easy to get into Howard Baul’s character-assassination game if only he had the facts, which clearly he doesn’t. So I will take the high road and present the facts and let the court of public opinion decide:

Fact 1: The UCRRA was created in 1987 by an act of the state legislature to protect the county taxpayers from the ravages of a waste hauling and disposal industry controlled by organized crime. The original county/agency agreement called for the siting of a landfill in Ulster County. That was 28 years ago. Currently the cost of trash hauling and disposal is $8 million a year.  So 28 years times $8 million a year equals $224 million — $224 million which has been spent thus far, with nothing to show for it except the highest tipping fees ($103 per ton) in the region.

Fact 2: Ulster County has the highest tipping fees in the region ($103 per ton) mostly to pay the $8 million annually to ship our trash 250 miles to Seneca Meadows. If we had our own landfill, that tipping fee could easily be reduced to $50 or $58 a ton, thus helping attract industry and jobs to our county, something Howard Baul should be very much interested in. Oneida/Herkimer with its own landfill has been able to lower its tipping fees from over $100 to $58 per ton, one of the reasons it’s much more attractive to industry and jobs than Ulster County is.

There are 4 comments

  1. Pete Baker

    Mr. Hein’s re-election is perceived by Ms. Nolan as a win for her lobbying for a trail only. Although Terry Bernardo didn’t win the election she did garner 42% of the votes. That 42% should be sending a strong message to Mr. Hein, Ms, Nolan and their select few “trail only” supporters. Mr. Hein’s re-election does not represent the “bright future for our entire community” as Ms. Nolan writes.

    In reality the citizens behind that 42% are indicating that there is more than a trail only at stake. These folks do support the creation of a trail but not at the expense of the Historic Ulster & Delaware Rails or future expansion of rail service. A new trail could parallel the rails for most of the U & D corridor. There are a few areas where terrain would require a deviation from the idea. That is quite normal when rails and trails share the resources available to them

    Continuous rails with an adjacent trail provide more options along the U & D corridor than a trail only. The trail satisfies the needs of the hikers and bikers. An expanded rail service would also accommodate their needs by providing rides from or to the western terminus. A biker could ride the trail west and return by train or ride the train west and return by bike. One of the trail lobbyists has already mention that he used this service in a bike ride in Maryland. The same goes for a walker. In addition a train would service toddlers, seniors and the physically & emotionally disabled. A much broader spectrum of citizen & tourists would be serviced by the combined efforts of rails & a trail. Combined they would have a greater economic impact on Ulster County and the resident businesses.

    Ms. Nolan, you need to look at the big picture. Is it better to be SELFLESS or SELFISH?

  2. afriend

    I think that in spite of misinformation and a huge budget, the incumbent, Mr. Hein won with a bare plurality. That speaks volumes about the situation in Ulster.

  3. dewy crow

    People are asking the railroad company to stop being so SELFISH. How can they ask to continue to occupy the U&D Corridor 24/7, 365 days a year for the entirety of the corridor, when they have not been able to bring it into full service in 25 plus years!?! Rail with trail??? A desperate dream with no engineering studies or reasonable financial estimates…time for Ulster County to wake up and leave the Rip Van Winkle railroad behind before their next nap.

  4. gerald berke

    re RRA: a reasoned and timely response from Mr Landi… and the siting of a landfill has big repercussions: the devaluing of many properties needs to be considered and included in the cost equation: if you take my property by eminent domain, I am still compensated. But not included in the costs are the lower values of neighboring property for which there is no compensation, and that may also lower the community income from property tax that funds services and schools. Beyond that it can disrupt lifelong plans of some people in that area.
    What then would be the true costs of the landfill…
    Perhaps, in anticipation of that need, several places ought to be acquired and held for the purpose of a future landfill and the details of a modern landfill and recycling center examined over some years to ameliorate the problems that intense waste management can bring.
    When people say “not in my back yard” they are saying “This will cost me, personally, dearly… but the damage this does to me, my family, my neighborhood is ignored, no compensation of any kind, no “thanks”, nothing…”
    Of course!
    Who are the people who are really paying for that dump site and how are they compensated? Seek to compensate them, and a lot of the problem of placement will go away at the same time costs will go up and properly borne more equitably by all the people in the county.

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