Fewer than two dozen property owners had leverage over more than 8,000 others in the city. Those ratios need to be adjusted, in my view.
As new candidates enter the already crowded field for the Democratic congressional nomination next year, the odds for bottom-feeders can only improve.
For better or worse, people like their government close, even if it costs more. Will the county’s application pass final muster? Could be. After that would come the heavy lifting.
Two years ago, Ulster County executive Mike Hein delayed a decision on whether to run for Congress until almost the eleventh hour. With Hein the party-supported front-runner, other Democrats held fire on Hein’s announcement. That delay cost eventual Democratic candidates time and money. This time around, no one’s waiting.
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?