Ulster’s Department of Environment gets a director

Current Department of Environment Coordinator Amanda LaValle

The Ulster County Department of the Environment is seeing some updates after a resolution was adopted (18 to 4) during the County Legislator’s December 15 session. The amendment creates a shift from having a coordinator of the environment to a director instead. The coordinator and soon-to-be director is Amanda LaValle of Kingston.

No one signed up for the public hearing on this matter that was held on December 8.

The local law that was just passed amends a local law from 2007. The Ulster County Department of the Environment coordinates environmental policy and resource planning within the government. They are included in involvement concerning “natural resource planning, natural resource inventory data management and creation, stormwater regulation compliance, support of the county energy efficiency and green building infrastructure initiatives, and involvement in watershed planning issues.”

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“I think the current coordinator who I believe is going to become the director does a great job in her current position and will continue to do a great job in her position when she becomes director,” said Minority Leader Kenneth Ronk. “I am going to be a no because I feel this resolution is dishonest.”

He stated that it was introduced in a time when the county executive’s proposed budget included a raise for the position, which was removed during the legislature’s review of the budget.

“In the future, I believe the [pay for the] position will be increased and I do not believe saying there is no financial impact is honest to the taxpayers and residents of the county,” said Ronk. “I believe we should put a reasonable financial impact, or a possible financial impact.”