A decade after he was elected as Ulster County’s first county executive, Mike Hein will step down to take a post heading up a state social service agency. The surprise announcement came Friday, Jan. 4 in an afternoon press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing new appointments as he begins his third term in office. According to the release, Hein has been nominated to helm the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
In a statement, Hein said he’d accomplished the goals he set out to achieve.
“From the very beginning, I was hired by the extraordinary people of Ulster County to fix a severely broken government and I’m proud to say that we’ve done exactly that,” he stated. “Righting long-standing wrongs, delivering capital projects on time and under budget, creating unprecedented environmental and financial achievements, never shying away from the serious issues of social justice and every step of the way protecting our taxpayers like never before.”
There is no word on when the appointment will take effect. Under the terms of the County charter, Hein Chief of staff, attorney Adele B. Reiter, will take over the county executive’s office pending November’s election.
Two familiar faces from last year’s Democratic primary for the 19th congressional district have stepped forward to fill Hein’s shoes.
Gareth Rhodes said he will be, “considering a campaign for this important position…With Donald Trump shutting down the federal government, it is critical that our local and county governments continue do everything possible to serve the people each and every day.”
Pat Ryan went one step further.
“I am excited to declare my candidacy for Ulster County executive. I have a clear vision for how to lead Ulster County forward; we will accelerate economic growth and ensure it benefits all, we will implement a Green New Deal in Ulster County to create jobs and protect our environment, and we will ensure that the county remains a beacon of justice and equality during these turbulent times.”
Here’s Hein’s statement in full:
It’s an incredible honor to be nominated by Governor Cuomo to lead such a critical agency at this pivotal time in our history. I am deeply passionate about helping those among us most in need and moving Governor Cuomo’s highly progressive agenda forward.
Over the past decade I’ve had the privilege of serving the great people of Ulster County as our first County Executive. In the process, I’ve been fortunate to work with an amazingly talented team of people within my administration and with partners all across our community. Together we’ve accomplished what many thought of as impossible; ensuring more life altering services than ever before, completely restructuring County government and delivering the lowest county property taxes since before I first took office, over a decade ago.
From the very beginning, I was hired by the extraordinary people of Ulster County to fix a severely broken government and I’m proud to say that we’ve done exactly that. Righting long-standing wrongs, delivering capital projects on time and under budget, creating unprecedented environmental and financial achievements, never shying away from the serious issues of social justice and every step of the way protecting our taxpayers like never before. With all the changes we’ve collectively made, and all the challenges we’ve collectively met, Ulster County government is now more effective and efficient than at any point in its history and our community is far better positioned for a sustainable and brighter future for everyone with lower taxes for years to come.