Local Propositions approved

Due in large part to a lot of activity in the Democratic-led state legislature, county voters had as many as eight different ballot referenda to consider during this year’s election. All state residents weighed in on the first five, which are for amendments to the state’s constitution; voters in several towns in the Hudson Valley One reading area also had local questions to decide. Here’s the unofficial results for some local questions — along with the language about them as posted to the county elections site.

Ulster County:

Shall the amendment to the Ulster County Charter approved as proposed local law #8 of 2020, prohibiting the transfer of payroll-related expenditures designated for Ulster County employment positions as itemized in the annual budget, to other budgetary lines during the course of a year be adopted and become part of the Ulster County Charter?

This relatively narrow change would prevent shift money from payroll to pay for anything else without legislative approval. County voters approved it, but just barely: 51.68% (19,724) were in favor, and 48.32% (18,442) were against.

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New Paltz:

Shall the annual contribution of the town of New Paltz for the operating budget of the Elting Memorial Library be increased by one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to the sum of six hundred and fifty six thousand dollars ($656,000) annually?

All town residents were asked to decide if this 15.2% increase the tax money given to fund library programs is worthwhile, and more than 70% said that it was: 1,383 in favor, and 530 rejecting the increase.

Should the village of New Paltz volunteer firefighter service award program be increased from $700 per qualified active volunteer firefighter to $1,200 per qualified active volunteer firefighter for each calendar year beginning after December 31, 2021, bringing the annual cost from a potential total of $24,500 if all current active volunteers earned a year of service credit under the point system to a potential total of $42,000 per year with no change to the current annual administrative costs incurred by the village?

Firefighters in New Paltz are volunteers, collecting neither pay nor pension; this cash award is available for long-serving members. While all town residents enjoy fire protection, only village residents could vote on this question because towns can’t have fire departments under state law. Those who came out gave this a strong thumb’s up of 558 votes in favor and just 44 against.

Ulster:

Shall local law no. 1 of 2021, entitled ‘a local law providing for the creation of an office of town comptroller,’ be approved?

Town residents chose in favor of creating this financial oversight position, voting 1,420-1,029 in support of the measure.

Woodstock:

Shall the bond resolution adopted by the town board on July 20, 2021, authorizing the town of Woodstock to (a) undertake the construction, reconstruction, renovation, and installation of various improvements to the town offices (the “project”), at a maximum estimated cost not to exceed $2,990,000, and (b) finance such project by the issuance of bonds and/or notes of the town in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $1,000,000, with the remaining $1,990,000 of the estimated maximum cost of the project to be paid from the town’s capital project fund, be approved?

This nearly $3,000,0000 renovation project would require borrowing to supplement money that’s been set aside for just this kind of municipal improvements. A majority of voters came out in favor of this spending plan, 1,119-796.

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