An interview with Dean Fabiano

Dean Fabiano is seeking his fourth term on the Ulster County Legislature, representing District 3. Fabiano is employed by the Saugerties Highway Department as a motorized equipment operator.

He has two daughters. Fabiano, a Republican, is endorsed by the Independence and Conservative parties.

“I’m disappointed that no one is running against me. It makes it easier for me, but I think democracy depends on people taking a position and running on it. We need that competition,” he said of his unopposed run.

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What do you believe should be done with Golden Hill, the county-owned health facility?

I think Golden Hill should be left as is. It should be county-owned and operated. There’s a lot of misinformation, and unfortunately much of that misinformation is coming out of the executive’s office. Our capital projects program is done in five-year spans. Last year the 2011 to 2016 projection showed changes over five years for Golden Hill. On the present plan, that’s not shown even though the legislature approved it. [Hein] keeps saying the Legislature has failed. We did fail to come up with a plan, but anything we come up with, he will veto. I don’t feel we’re dead in the water yet, I think the legislators who want to keep Golden Hill will come up with a plan. We could bring in outside patients. We had people from Albany and Columbia Counties came to see Golden Hill. They blasted the executive for even considering closing Golden Hill. After touring our facility they told the Legislature we had the finest facility in New York State. They are fighting to keep their nursing homes. There are 12 of us who want to keep Golden Hill from both sides of the aisle.

The town of Saugerties is working with the county to share snow-removal services. Do you think more services should be shared between the town and the county? If so, which?

I think it’s a good idea. I don’t like the term shared services in relation to the contracting of road maintenance. This is contract services; the county is paying the town a fee to remove snow. I have been in the highway business 32 years. True shared services is use of each others’ equipment; money doesn’t change hands. We have 412 miles of county road, but very little of it is maintained by the towns. A lot of highway supers did not buy into this. It appears to be a way to push county workers out and have the towns pick up some of the work. I think the underlying reason was reducing the county workforce. With 412 miles of road, we were only able to share about 14 miles of it. I think there’s a scope for shared services, but it should be done in a true shared services way. This is contract services, you pay one way or the other, and it seems he is just trying to show he is reducing cost.

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