Monday, March 31, 2008

The Rumor Mill

Candidates are starting to line up for the County Executive and County Comptroller positions that will be on the ballot this November. It really should be interesting this year. A recent Blaber News poll showed that among the Dems, Hein is the strongest candidate. However, in a three way race he suffers the same fate as Mr. Sennett in the general election. The Comptroller race is up for grabs. A lot of rumblings but no announced candidate for the job thus far. See our current poll for more details.

Below is a list of people that have been rumored to of been interested for the two top county spots.

County Executive :
full disclosure : I am supporting Mike Hein for County Exec

Mike Hein (announced)

Pr0 : Is currently doing the job now and has an extremely impressive track record of cutting wasteful spending.

Con : New to the political scene

Sue Zimet ( all but has announced)

pro- Has already proved elect-ability county wide

Con- Will have trouble uniting the County

David Donaldson

Pro- Currently is the executive of Ulster County

Con - will have a difficult time campaigning county wide.

William Berardi (announced)

Pro - Extremely well educated individual with strong ties to the community.

Con - A harsh critic to the point where he turns people off.

County Comptroller :

Kingston Majority Leader Bill Reynolds (front runner)

Pro : Chair of the Kingston Finance Committee, has worked to develop multi-million dollar municipal budgets as a Kingston Alderman for the past 17 years. Currently works for the NYS Comptroller's office

Con -- None I can think of.

Eliot Auerbach

Pro- Do not know enough about the individual

Con - Do not know enough about the individual

Another candidate that would change the dynamic of this race may run but it's to soon to even float the idea out there.


Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Cliffy Miller is going to run for Comptroller and has Eliot Spitzer's full faith endorsement.

I got HO's in different area codes!


Anonymous said...

Reynolds has nothing outside of Kingston. No one knows who he is.

Eliot is a superior candidate with greater name recognition around the entire county.
In case you haven't noticed, a lot of people are pretty sick and tired of Kingston politicians thinking they have the "right" to all of these offices.

Anonymous said...

Stating the obvious, County Exec is an g'damn important job. The purpose and objective for this reform of county government was to improve county functionality. The successful candidate should have significant professional experience leading and managing a large complex organization and a multi-million dollar budget.

Citizens of Ulster County should resist the political impulse to make this election a mere popularity contest among familiar party names (the usual suspects) that will run for the office without the requisite experience.

By his experience, Mike Hein seems especially well-qualified to hold this position.

A former town supervisor who mis-managed a small municipal government (under 100 employees, under 7 million) for a short 4 years before she was defeated for re-election, Susan Zimet is unprepared to seek or accept this assignment. As New Paltz supervisor, in a spasm of municipal irresponsibility made up to look like fiscal conservativism, she actually tried to bust a police union - the New Paltz PBA. Her proposal to cut taxes with the loss of public safety by eliminating the town police force was roundly rejected by the community.

Dave Donaldson - a good legislator and experienced Chair- is also unqualified to be County Exec.

Brittany Turner said...

You said another candidate may change the dynamic entirely... were you talking about the County Exec race or the Comptroller?

Anonymous said...

Zimitt electability for state lawmaker not county executive. Remember fit the candidate for the job not as a popularity contest.

She would be a train wreck as county executive.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

You don't need a masters degree in political science to assess the dynamics of the county executive race:

1) Irregardless of who is the UCDC county executive nominee at the unofficial nominating convention: there will still be a primary in September.

2) It only takes 1000 democratic signatures on a nominating petition to get on the ballot. With an organization of 10 to 20 individuals circulating the petitions, this shouldn't be too difficult.

3) In a Democratic party primary that attracts mainly the liberal element of the party participating...a candidate with a conservative nomination in tandem has little chance of winning.

4) There are some out there who will disagree but Sue Zimet's chances of winning the democratic nomination for county executive are very good to excellent. Why?? She is the sole woman running in a crowed field of three men vying for the nomination.

5) Now you will see a repeat of last year's folly as there is much more at stake here and a power struggle will ensure.

Anonymous said...

7:48 AM You mean the same Eliot Aurebach that cost the village of Ellenville over 750k because of his fuck up. If he can't manage the village than he can't manage the County. Auerbach also was a huge Bradley supporter. The guy is bad news and unqualified for the job.

Bill is not some typical Kingston pol, he is a true Democrat that can do the job efficiently and effectively. If he runs he has my support.

Jeremy Blaber said...

Brittney :\

I meant for the Comptroller race.

- Jeremy

Mike Harkavy said...

There will be a Candidate's Forum for those seeking the office of County Executive, sponsored by the Saugerties Democratic Committee. The Forum will take place on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7pm at New World Home Cooking (Route 212, Saugerties).

All candidates, listed by Jeremy, have RSVP'd and will attend.
This is an excellent opportunity for the candidates to present their credentials and to have your questions answered. All are invited.

Anonymous said...

Eliot A. encouraged a last-minute Democratic vote for Bradley. Stay in Ellenville.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard Kevin Cahill say what he is going to do. If he decides to run, he is a lock, convention, primary and general. Does anyone think any announced candidate can touch him? If you do, you are living in a dream world.

He will exterminate Hein, Zimet, Donaldson or Berardi on the first ballot at the convention and beat any of them 2:1 in a primary.

Anonymous said...

Eliot Auerbach is an ass - he's pompous and arrogant, and you can't trust him. 10:46 is right - Eliot put $750K in the budget in anticipation of a sale of building. When it didn't sell and they fell short, they're now trying to sell valuable artwork to make up for the shortfall. If anyone remembers any local history, TR Gallo made Penny Radel (the then-Kingston Comptroller) do a similar thing with anticipated tax revenues. You can't put A/R as cash on hand and spend it - she got nailed in an audit by the then-State Comptroller, H. Carl McCall.

Kingston or not, Bill Reynolds will have my vote at the June convention. Eliot should stay home with his abacus.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

ANONYMOUS 1:31 pm,

You are correct in your assessment. But I don't believe Kevin Cahill is willing to sacrifice a safe assembly part-time seat for the aggravation and annoyance of an executive position in local government. It's a whole new different political scene going from passing laws to setting policy and formulating a budget. Think about the promises that are made to secure support, and the reactions when these are broken in the name of political expediency. A state or county legislator can't promise jobs or to intervene directly in state or county matters. Elected chief executive officers of political subdivisions generally do promise, however.

It is naive not to believe that the various candidates for county executive are making deals or promising individuals certain things to secure support. So it is business as usual in Ulster County. Only this time around the stakes are much higher-- it's one person, one party, winner takes all, controlling county government.

Anonymous said...

Eliot A. isn't well liked here either. He should just move to Fla and run for condo board. I wouldn't want him screwing up the entire county. I pick the most intelligent character,regardless of personality traits. I'll support whomever can shine the brightest under scrutiny. Even if they rub people the wrong way. Eliot's a shifty little weasel.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mike Harkavy --- that is helpful information.

I like Bill Berrardi simply based on what he has written on the blogs... and I miss his input here.

He may be critical... But maybe that is what this county needs right about now.

He certainly appears to be a man of high ethics and integrity - and we CERTAINLY NEED THAT.

Anonymous said...

David Donaldson is a forward thinking goverment reformer. He is not afraid to take on the political establishment. David has champiagned the cause of open and accountable goverment twice, and both times he was not the darling of the Democratic party( and that strength is a MUST for the County Ex Position). Once as an Alderman from the city of Kingston on the charter reform commision, and second as Chairman of the UC Legislature, doing away with the old Republican entilement form of goverment. The reforms that David Donaldson has given the people of Ulster County will open all branches of goverment to transparent accountability, and give stratigic leadership to the future of our county.

Anonymous said...

reynolds goes beyond kingston. he grew up in woodstock, didn't he? ..

Anonymous said...

What is the role and responsibilities of the County Executive anyway?

Anonymous said...

1)The county executive doesn't "control" the county. He (or she) makes recommendations to the legislature and the legislature votes yea or nay. Very simple--read the Charter. Therefore one person does not control the county.
2)High ethics is not what I would consider a certain candidate based upon my experience with that person in his younger days. I would also question why anyone would wish to go from the private sector in a fairly comfortable position to a political cauldron. Perhaps he just wants to "adjust the numbers" to comport with what the relationships he speaks of often are in Dutchess County. If you don't have guiding principles beyond that as to how to approach the job, I would additionally call that "mindless."
3)Announced candidates thus far for county exec all disappoint me. It may not improve. Sorry to be pessimistic on that point. I also do not agree that it is all about "qualifications". Lots of folks have great qualifications on paper but have little personality, ethics, approach, or temperament to do an excellent job. That's just a fact--both in and out of government.
Peace out.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

County Executive Overall description:

Fortunately or unfortunately depending upon one's point of view, the county executive position yields real power in county government. He or she has the ability to appoint departmental heads, which is of course, subject to legislative approval.

These heads of county departments are directly accountable to him, not the legislative committees, and serve at his pleasure. The only two departments in the executive branch except are social services and personnel- their heads are appointed to a fixed five year term prescribed by law. The offices of County Clerk, Sheriff and comptroller are independent heads of department [judicial officers] not subject to control by of the executive.

The executive branch is responsible for submitting an annual budget for the county to the legislature which includes state mandated expenses and operating expenses for the various county departments. Per the system of checks and balances, the legislative is quite free to modify the budget with reductions or add-ons. The executive may approve the budget with "line item veto" options.

The county legislature will continue to pass county laws as in the past subject to the veto powers of the county executive.

There is no set criteria for running for county executive other than the person residing in Ulster County and attaining the age of 21. The problem becomes getting on the ballot which New York State operates under quite archaic byzantine election laws.

Anonymous said...

5:08 Given your narrow view of the world and sharp criticism...why should anyone want to run for public office?

Anonymous said...

I assure you, 11:13, my view of the world is quite broad;I merely react to those whose view appears to be less so, which seems to include the vast majority of the manipulated electorate especially in Ulster County who choose to believe whatever "lie du jour" happens to be handed to them--especially by "qualified" people such as elected officials and the myopic media.

Bill Berardi said...

Jeremy - thanks for your work to keep this Blog up to date - but if you think that Mr. Hein has cut wasteful spending I am afraid of what you'll understand on the School Board.

The current administration in our County has added positions and increased spending every year. Do you think an insider will change the prospects for attracted PRIVATE sector investment?

If you are comfortable with the path we are on - vote Hein.