As if Ulster County taxpayers doling out $77.8 million a year in county property taxes weren’t enough, County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach revealed last week that some $2.2 million goes to line-item vacancies.
Moving forward on plans to construct a fire training center but responding to protests by neighbors in the Cottekill area where it was originally planned, the Ulster County Legislature has voted to appropriate $82,000 for a study of that county-owned site and several others. Other potential locations mentioned were near the old town hall in New Paltz, on vacant land in Marbletown, and in the Town of Ulster.
Congressman John Faso knows all the rules. Over a 30-year career, he may have invented some. But he has repeatedly defied and/or ignored the cardinal rule. Faso has allowed opponents to define him as a lily-livered wimp afraid to confront his constituents face to face.
Like the cobra and the mongoose, these guys need each other. Put another way, what fun is politics if there’s nobody to hate?
What politician in his or her right mind wants to take on the county’s volunteer fire establishment?
Not to take the side of Congressman John Faso — Boo! Hiss! Impeach! — but I wonder why his proposal for the state taking over the local share of Medicaid hasn’t gotten more traction. The short answer could be politics.
In the past, the Legislature has passed resolutions that weighed in on state and national issues. From now on they’ll have to stick to more narrow and local matters.
The history of the troopers originates with a spectacular crime, a 1913 robbery/murder in Westchester County of a construction foreman delivering a payroll. The victim was able to identify his three assailants before dying from multiple gunshot wounds, but owing to the lack of a local police force, they escaped, never to be apprehended.
How much should a town supervisor make?
Judicial discretion can take some curious turns. I wasn’t surprised when state Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott opted for the low-hanging fruit in the case of Elliott Auerbach versus Michael Hein and the Ulster County Legislature.