The good news for Ulster County government is that the current squabble over the location of a fire training facility will probably end happily. A year or two from now, beaming officials and fire chiefs will be cutting a ribbon at a relatively isolated location. But not, I predict, on Cottekill Road, the county’s first choice, but near the residences of visibly surprised owners.
An amendment to the Republican health care touted by U.S. Rep John Faso as saving taxpayers through Medicaid reforms could trigger another round of sales tax battles as the state seeks a new source of local dollars to plug the hole in its budget. Make no mistake: The stakes are huge.
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.
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.
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.
The Ulster County exec held a health care forum, in which he rallied an already indignant crowd against “heartless” Republicans, while our congressman risked an unpopular vote.