Reynolds: Golden Hill showdown

The Ulster County Legislature must be getting close to a decision on staffing the local development corporation (LDC) board that will attempt to sell the nursing home on Golden Hill. How do we know? They’re beginning to bicker.

Scrappy Dave Donaldson threw down the gauntlet when he accused majority Republicans of attempting to stifle Democratic input, to wit, muffling a resolution recommending former minority leader Jeanette Provenzano as one of three legislative choices for the LDC governing board. Presumably, Republicans will name Majority Leader Ken Ronk as their rep and one other worthy. Republicans hold a 12-11 majority.

Donaldson, in one of his Ramblin’ Dave missives so familiar to the media after more than 16 years in office, also advises that real-estate agents and hospital administrators should not be considered. Whoever has the votes can appoint whomever they want.


Provenzano, a leading opponent of privatization — the wonder is she didn’t chain herself to one of the gurneys at Golden Hill — took great pains to assure the public that despite her personal feelings she would abide by all the dictates required of LDC commissioners. How quaint. A lawmaker pledging to uphold the law.

Republicans at this point are holding their cards close to the vest. County Exec Mike Hein is playing his somewhere inside his T-shirt. He has made no public pronouncement whatsoever on whom his three LDC board picks might be.

Thirteen people, including Provenzano, have submitted applications for consideration. It isn’t clear whether that list is the only source of candidates. The six — three from the legislature and three from the executive — will then choose a seventh and get down to work.

Among the LDC’s first tasks will be floating some $10 million worth of bonds — with Golden Hill as collateral — so Hein can plug in $8 million to balance his 2012 budget.

Formal action is expected at next Tuesday’s regular legislature meeting, but not, as evidenced by the Donaldson broadside, without extensive partisan debate.

Damage control

“I went out with 150 days of sick time,” a  former Kingston city worker told me over the weekend. “The difference was, mine was legit.”