Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunday Freeman's Endorsement A Little Early.....


I'm pulling the wind out of the sails of the Freeman and publishing this early becasue this endorsement shows how out of touch the Daily Freeman is with it's readers and with Ulster County. Their endorsement of Jim Quigley is based on the fact that they are endorsing Mike Hein. This is right up there with why they pulled their endorsement from Sennett because they were scared they would not have access to the DA's office under his administration.

You endorse a candidate based on their qualifications for the job, plain and simple. To not endorse Auerbach because they endorsed a Democrat for Executive is just stupid and short sided. Jim Quigley has 0 experience overseeing government and is simply unqualified and too partisan to be the watchdog of Ulster County.

No wonder why The Freeman is on the verge of bankruptcy and their circulation continues to decline. Is it true it is cheaper to buy their stock than it is to buy the actual paper??

Hein and Quigley

ULSTER COUNTY voters already have ratified the theory of charter government as a more efficient and accountable form of governance. On Nov. 4, they will elect two candidates who, more than anyone else, will put the theory to the test.

Citizens will choose their first county executive and comptroller, each to be elected by a countywide ballot and directly accountable to the voters. This is a change of no small import.
To this point, Ulster County governance has depended on a part-time Legislature and a county administrator it appoints. In practice, this has meant a government dominated by the legislative leaders elected by the majority party.

For such a large and complex undertaking as county governance, that form of political organization probably never made sense. It established a legislative government without executive counterweight, since the executive branch was simply the handmaiden to legislative leaders. Moreover, it raised up leaders who were not directly beholden to all of the voters. Accountability was, at best, diffuse.

In practice, it was a prescription for disaster, as the planning and construction of the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center - years late and tens of millions of dollars over budget - so sadly illustrated. No single official had nor took responsibility for the project.

Out of that outrage came the reformulation of county government under a charter.

THE TOP person in this new government will be the county executive, vested with a range of powers and charged with the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations of the executive branch. Among the powers and responsibilities of an elected executive are long-term planning, keeping a tight handle on spending, nominating the heads of departments and holding the power to veto county legislation.

But there's also a lot of potential responsibility that falls between the formal lines of the charter and that's one reason this first election is so important.

First and foremost, the residents of Ulster County will be looking to the new county executive to provide the economic leadership that has been so sorely lacking. While surrounding counties such as Greene, Dutchess and Orange have been busy remaking themselves in this new century,

Ulster has languished as an economic backwater.

We believe Michael Hein, the county administrator since 2006 and deputy treasurer for three years before that, is the best candidate for the job. Hein, a Democrat who comes with a banking background, has made a convincing start at putting effective institutional safeguards into place that will make unlikely a recurrence of the Law Enforcement Center fiasco.
Hein, 43, says the Ulster County Development Corp. has failed in its mission to attract jobs and proposes to link the agency with the county's Tourism Department and Small Business Development Center to reduce county costs, but amplify and unify the county's voice to the business world.

Len Bernardo, a registered member of the Independence Party, is a town of Rochester resident and owner of Skate Time 209, a roller rink in Accord. He previously was in private business in New York City, founding and owning a small business form printing and distribution company.
Bernardo, 53, also is critical of the performance of the Ulster County Development Corp., but is less persuasive that he has a plan to refocus the county's efforts.

Furthermore, a candidate who challenges his opponent, as Bernardo did, to reduce the county property tax levy by 33 percent, but who is then unable to say with any specificity how he would accomplish such a thing, seriously undermines his own campaign. Knowing what you're talking about when it comes to the county budget is no small part of the job.
VOTERS will also select a comptroller, who will be the county's chief financial watchdog, with accounting responsibilities and the power to audit county departments and agencies that contract with the county.

Two solid candidates are vying for the position of comptroller.

Democrat Elliott Auerbach, 56, is a former mayor of Ellenville and the current village manager. He holds a business degree in economics from Hofstra University. He knows about both the politics of getting things done and the nitty-gritty of keeping things running.

Republican James Quigley, 51, is a Kingston resident and a certified public accountant with a master's degree in accounting from SUNY Albany. He is a partner and chief financial officer for Rothschild Realty Managers LLC of New York City. He may be summarized as "a numbers guy."
In our view, Quigley gets the nod. Not only are his technical skills superbly suited for the job, but we like the prospect of Republican oversight of the finances of a county whose electorate and, therefore, its slate of elected officials have been steadily trending Democratic. All the more so because we are endorsing a Democrat for county executive.


Anonymous said...

Not only is their endorsement what might be techically categorized as "baloney", it is also wrong.

To say Bernardo has not presented his tax cut plan is absurd. In fact, the Freeman itself reported the tax cut plan"

The story, which appeared October 16 is titled "Bernardo says County tax levy can be cut $24 million".

Just go to the Freeman Website (the address is - I only post that because so few people read the Freeman they might not know where to find the address) and type "Bernardo" in the search mechanism on the upper right hand side.

As to the Quigley endorsement, you are correct Jeremy. They hardly stated their case for him. Their endorsement was a vote for balanced government, not a statement of support for the guy they are supporting.

Anonymous said...

JB I can't believe I am say this. I agree with you. This same paper endorsed Sottile last year and look at what he's done.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised?

Just look at the advertising revenue and you will see that for Exec it was Hein who spent the most and for Comptroller, it was Quigley.

Let them say otherwise, but the accountants are running that paper.

Quid pro quo, plain and simple. Buy ad's and we will endorse you. That is how the Freeman rolls these days.

Anonymous said...

Blaber, you're a fool. You can't have it both ways. Is the Freeman stupid or not? If they're stupid, then they picked the wrong guy for executive, your guy.

Anonymous said...

There are key questions that political parties ask before supporting a candidate.

Democrats ask, "What are your qualifications for the job".

Republicans ask "Can you finance the campaign with you own funds".

Not to worry Blabs, we have Elliott's back.

Anonymous said...

Check the Freeman today.

So far Bernardo has had the following claims with respect to his failed job creation at Skate Time:

1) I never promised, it was "just" a goal.

2) Its unfair that their raising this issue--we shouldn't talk about it.

3) I didn't understand what full-time equivalent meant.

Bernardo still has YET to disclose his W-2s, or some other documentary evidence. Why? Because he CAN'T. Why? Because when he said he had 15 FTE, he didn't.

You can SAY this is dirty politics, but why would taxpayers want someone like this running the county??????

Anonymous said...

11:29 - are you an idiot? Who the hell wants their W-2's disclosed.

If I'm an employee at Skate Time now everyone in the world knows what I make. Give it up.

If Bernardo created 1 job, it's 1 more than Hein did.

11:29 won't even give us his/her name yet all Skate Time employees now have to have their incomes displated because they work for a candidate.

That sounds like a big government, socialist philosophy. Pat Doxsey at the Freeman has been promised a job as Hein's press secretary. NOTHING she says has credibility about this race.

Anonymous said...

Freeman pretty much said it all...Repub Chair knew they could not win after ripping off taxpayers yet again after the failed jail project.

Bring in an "independent" candidate. While Bernie may say he is independent he is spending a lot of time with Goonan and Catalano.

Freeman exposed Bernie as an under qualified smoke and mirrors kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

"Jim Quigley has 0 experience overseeing government and is simply unqualified and too partisan to be the watchdog of Ulster County."

Look at Washington, DC. Tell me how many people there have experience!! Tell me how many there fucked up the government of the United States. Its not who has more experience with government, Its about who has more experience with money. I clearly can tell you don't know anything because everything in today's world is MONEY MONEY AND MORE MONEY!!

If we do not have someone who knows how to handle money, then Ulster County is going to become the good ol shit hole of New York State.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Republicans remember how Bernardo threw them under the bus with his "the republicans are the bad guys so they needed an independence guy to win" crap. If I were Catalano, I would send him packing right now.

Anonymous said...

TO: Town Chairman & Friends
FROM: William West, Town of Woodstock

While the election is just around the corner it is not to late to learn a few things about the Democrat candidate for County Executive – Mike Hein. Hopefully, you will be able to share this information with your committee & others so they can pass it on.

1. Mike Hein’s appointment as County Administrator expired in June of this year. The word is that he did not have enough support from members of his own Democrat County Legislators to get reappointed!! And this guy wants to be County Executive?

2. Hein boasts about his experience in business and as a banker – the facts are that he was a clerk in a small retail store and held a bank job that was half a step up from a bank teller. Not a very impressive resume – a real stretch of the facts. Not the experience required to run a $325,000,000.00 + County Budget with 2,000 employees.

3. The County Budget which Mike Hein just presented to the Legislature is weeks late. This was a calculated political move so the public would not have an opportunity to analyze, digest and comment on the budget prior to November 4th. The Hein 2009 budget is total fiction which will cause the taxpayers of Ulster County serious pain in 2010. Hein doesn’t care – he will do anything to get elected - “Mike the Taxman“ is once again trying to fool the people of Ulster County and thumbing his nose at the taxpayers of Ulster County as he has done so many times in the past.

It is very well established that we are heading into some very serious economic times. Governor Paterson has announced that NYS will be facing a major multi-billion dollar budget shortfall and major cutbacks will be necessary – some of these state cutbacks will surely be downloaded on the counties. While NYS and surrounding counties are making serious cuts in their current and future budgets Mike Hein has not made any meaningful cuts this year and his 2009 Budget shows very few changes from the current year! Hein is unable and unwilling to face reality and make the hard choices that are obvious and necessary. Unfortunately, the slowing economy will make the choices for the County - the results will not be pretty and will be very painful for the taxpayer in 2010.

Here are just a few of the mistakes that Hein has made:

1. He is budgeting the same amount of sales tax for 2009 as was budgeted in 2008 ($85.million) - common sense - and all knowledgeable observers - say that this will not happen. Sales tax revenues will be down in 2009. Thus, the 2009 budget will have a serious shortfall – to be made up by the property taxpayers - after the election!!

2. He has proposed purchasing $2. million of new vehicles in 2009.

3. He has effectively added to the employee head count in 2008 & 2009 – not following the hiring freeze legislation.

4. All the budget cover-ups made by Hein in 2008 and 2009 will come home to roost in the 2010 budget – unless the Legislature makes the necessary painful budgetary adjustments this year. Unfortunately, the Legislature will not review the 2009 Budget until after the Election - I seriously doubt that the Democrat Legislature has the will to make the necessary changes. If one were very cynical you might think that the Democrats are colluding – Hein puts out a flawed budget to look good - then the Democrat Legislators ride to the rescue after November 4th with the real budget. A nasty trick – but very possible.

Once again the property tax payer will foot the bill – Ulster County cannot afford Mike Hein as our County Executive. We need an experienced manager like Len Bernardo who has the courage and the will to make the necessary budget adjustments and cuts in these very serious economic times.

Anonymous said...

Why should the press endorse anyone? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an unbiased, "fair and balanced", view on the issues? Can someone please educate me on why this is so. Does it all boil down to money? It doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

To: Mr. West

You are full of crap. Hein was backed by Dems in Legislature for exec and there is no logical reason for them not to do so for administrator this year.

Hein has worked to lower bond rating

saved millions in restructuring county departments

created model cost saving programs

developed home heating summit.

Also blew the whistle on LERW where a convicted felon used Ulster County as an ATM to the tune of 800,000.

just a few things showing how Hein gets things done.

Bernardo claims he is independent...but Catalano brought him to the dance. Bernardo even said so in Sundays Freeman.

Catalano and his good old boys brought us the 30 million jail debacle.

When you pull back the curtain it is Catalano as the Wizard of Oz trying to give Bernado heart, courage and brains.

Anonymous said...

There are 30,000 registered Republicans in Ulster County and the Republican Party can't find one to run for county executive. They have no talent pool. Many rank and file Republicans are disgusted with the Bernardo endorsement.

Anonymous said...

I for one am totally disappointed with the Republican party.As a lifetime enrolled republican (40 yrs.) I have never seen our party in such a mess. It is sad when we have to go outside the party for a candidate to run and then ,use smear tactics to try and get him in.I believe real change will only take place when we make changes within our own party. Then we can attempt to change the way things should be. *6

Anonymous said...

Who wants to join a Republican Party whereas you have an aldermatic candidate taking punches at his fellow Republicans? You have inadequate people both in charge/or trying to take charge of an already lifeless party. What happened to the good ole days? I guess the one to ask is the true good ole boy club-they're the only ones still trying to run things from their Florida vacation homes/or part time -it sounds like their the ones who need life support and some new blood...but their always great when it comes to taking the low road and making a campaign NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE,NEGATIVE. You'd think they would have learned by now-it only loses them the Elections. Keep it up-we have alot more Democrats who would like to seek office in the next few years.