Friday, January 29, 2010

Cahill urges PSC not to approve latest Central Hudson rate hike request

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston), chairman of the Assembly’s Energy Committee, Friday called on the state Public Service Commission not to approve Central Hudson Gas and Electric corporation’s latest rate request.

Cahill said the utility is should be tightening its own belt to keep a lid on costs to consumers.

“I understand that Central Hudson has no control over the cost of the commodities that they deliver, but they sure are in a position to streamline, economize and make due like the rest of us are, with what they have in this economy,” he said. Cahill said he hopes the PSA rejects completely, the Central Hudson rate increase.

Cahill said the utility is looking to “once again clobber ratepayers with the third increase in the last five years.” And he said he doesn’t buy their argument that consumer conservation is, in part, causing the need to raise rates.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily freeman: Comptroller Auerbach, Change We Can Believe In

Change” long has been the buzzword in political campaigns. You know what we mean: “It’s time for a change” or some variation is what you hear virtually non-stop — including lately from the millions who already want a “change” from the “change” on which Barack Obama won the presidency.

It’s no different locally, where Ulster County voters opted to “change” their form of government in order to establish the offices of county executive and comptroller, thus producing a “change” in its culture and operation.

And “change” is what we’re getting, including the necessary and refreshing concept of independent investigations by the county comptroller, Ulster’s elected fiscal watchdog.

Predictably, Comptroller Elliott Auerbach has felt some pushback from those on whose toes his office’s investigations have stepped.

“We are the people’s independent watchdog,” Auerbach told the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce last week.

Yes, you are.

Democrat Auerbach narrowly won election over Republican James Quigley in November 2008 in a contest of two strong candidates. But that’s not to suggest the comptroller’s investigatory mission would have been different had the no-nonsense Quigley — who is now supervisor of the town of Ulster — won.

“Why shouldn’t we demand from government what we demand from businesses and ourselves?,” Auerbach said to Chamber.

We shouldn’t.

“The office of the comptroller is the fiscal and moral conscience of Ulster County,” said Auerbach. “We establish the standards by which Ulster government is to be managed.”

At a time when every penny counts, investigations like the comptroller’s that expose fully paid, no-show legislators are to be cheered. So, too, are those probes that reveal other inefficiencies in government.

Auerbach pledged his office will “continue to look behind the curtain of government, illuminate its doings and continue to ensure its transparency.”

That’s the kind of “change” to applaud.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Auerbach Speaks At UC Chamber Breakfast

This is a really great video of Comptroller Auerbach's presintation before the Ulster County Chamber last week check it out! Thanks to Roger Rosenbaum for putting it together.

Auerbach Audit Prompts Action From AG Cuomo

The New York State Attorney General’s office has recently contacted the Town of Lloyd asking what steps they will take to recover $270,000 in development fees that were never collected for a host of projects identified in a town commissioned audit covering the years 2004- 2008.

In a Dec. 30 letter, Town Attorney Sean Murphy informed the Town Board of the state’s interest in this issue. Murphy stated that he responded that Lloyd was in the process of determining what course of action they were going to take. The Attorney General’s Office indicated they will be contacting the town again by the middle of February for an answer on their plan of action.

Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach said he had reviewed the Vannacore, DiBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell audit report. Auerbach is the county’s chief official who monitors governmental accounts and expenditures.

“It certainly raised some concern and that is why I prompted the New York State Attorney
General’s office to take a closer look at this,” he said.

Auerbach said Lloyd should have collected their entitled fees during the planning procedure.“The town may have not charged and collected everything that was due to them through the process, and the report certainly speaks to that,” he said.

Auerbach said it appears the Attorney General’s Office is, “letting the town know there are some concerns here that were raised by the report and will most likely give the town the opportunity to remedy any of those issues.”

Auerbach said he is certain Lloyd has to reply to the state’s inquiry.
“I am sure the Attorney General is going to expect a response from the town,” he said. “More importantly I’m sure that the public would expect a response from the town. This is the type of issue, once brought to the forefront, will raise some public concern.”
Auerbach said the firm referred to their four-year analysis as an investigation. Auerbach highlighted the most significant sentence in the report.

“There were 21 instances out of 61 of maps being signed by the chairperson [Lou DuBois] of the Town Planning Board without the appropriate fees ever being collected,” Auerbach said. “Right there, that jumps out at you. I am sure that would raise issue with the Attorney General’s office.”

Auerbach said it is possible the Attorney General’s Office may “very well” force the collection of fees.

Auerbach again read from the report: [In] conclusion, our investigation uncovered that there was under-collection of subdivision, recreation, and drainage fees of $125,000 and $105,000 respectively.”Auerbach commented, “We are looking at a substantial amount of money, close to a quarter of a million dollars and that is just for this window of time.”

Auerbach urged the town to go beyond the time frame covered by the audit.
“It would be in the best interest of the current town administration to address these issues that were raised and possibly go back several more years to see if there were any other inequities,” he said. Auerbach said he thought the Attorney General’s Office will also re-examine the relationships between the town and the numerous developers who were cited in the audit.
“I am sure they will dig further into that as well,” he said. “They have a local government efficiency office that would probably look at this closely.”

Auerbach said his role in this issue is limited due to Ulster County codes.
“That’s why I felt it was incumbent upon me, once brought to the attention of my office, to bring the state’s Attorney General Office into it,” he said. “It’s going to be up to the AG to carry this further.”
By Mark Reynolds

Sheriff Van Blarcum's Office Volenteering in Assisting Haiti Relief

Three members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office have volunteered to assist in the humanitarian relief effort in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Group Leader Corrections Sgt. C.J. Polocco, Deputy Sheriff Kevin Richards, and Deputy Sheriff Donald Hughes will be assisting in the distribution of food and medication, providing communications and logistics support for mobile clinics, and working with other personnel in constructing shelters and hygiene facilities.

They are in Haiti under the auspices of Save the Children. The men were flown there on a private aircraft flight arranged by the organization. They arrived in Port-au-Prince in January 21 at 11:20 a.m. Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum accompanied the men to Haiti to assess the mission objectives and met with Save the Children managerial personnel. He was back in New York at 7 p.m. the same day.

The three volunteers were tasked with food distribution efforts and incident command structure assistance.

Their deployment is initially expected to last 21 days. They have been granted leave by the sheriff and avenues are being pursued for reimbursement for Ulster County. All three men volunteered for the mission and offered the use of their earned vacation time.

“They are training to help people,” said the sheriff. “For them, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to respond quickly and make an impact saving lives.

The sheriff’s office has had over 30 members volunteer to go to Haiti to assist in the effort with many others offering financial assistance

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cuomo Getting Money From Big Names

Andrew Cuomo's $16 million filing is online, and, presumably, being combed over by operatives and reporters throughout New York.

Here's a few tidbits I found:

Jerry Speyer donated $50,000; half on July 17, the other half on October 13.

Wendy Neu, a major Democratic donor, also gave $25,000.

Peter Kalikow gave $10,000.

Donald Trump donated a total of $6,000.

Harvey Weinstein gave $5,000.

Barbara Streisand gave $1,000.

Michael Regan, a spokesman for News Corp. confirmed that a July 16, 2009 donation for $4,000 in Andrew Cuomo's filing is from News Corp.

AUERBACH 2010 Gearing Up!!!!

The Democratic Executive Committee and
Friends of Elliott Auerbach

are pleased to invite YOU

to a Reception

Monday, January 25th, 2010
5 pm to 7 pm
Le Canard-Enchaine
276 Fair Street, Kingston

Finger Food and Cash Bar

Minimum Donation Requested $20.00/person

RSVP to:
Friends of Elliott Auerbach
PO Box 542
Ellenville, NY 12428-0542
Or email:

Guests are welcome to attend the Executive Committee Meeting at 7 pm across the Street at Democratic Headquarters.

Paid for by the Friends of Elliott Auerbach, produced in house.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


“Why shouldn’t we demand from our government what we demand from our businesses and ourselves?”

-Elliott Auerbach, Ulster County Comptroller


KINGSTON — County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach defended some of his most controversial audits to a packed room of businessmen Wednesday morning.

“Why shouldn’t we demand from our government what we demand from our businesses and ourselves?” Auerbach asked at a gathering of about 200 Ulster County Chamber of Commerce members.

Auerbach used the forum to highlight watchdog efforts during his first year as comptroller, but he also used it to defend some audits that garnered public attention and criticism.

The most recent was a report on Ulster legislators’ attendance of regular meetings, committee meetings and public hearings. The report showed less-than-stellar attendance for some lawmakers, several of whom were upset that Auerbach publicized their attendance without any context.

“How effective would your business be if five of your 33 employees only showed up 75 percent of the time,” Auerbach asked the businessmen, pointing to stats from his report. And when one audience member asked how to hold lawmakers accountable, Auerbach said, “Make sure they’re showing up to meetings.”

He defended his audit of the Ulster County Health Department and former director Dean Palen in the same manner. The audit found vast examples of mismanagement and poor financial controls.

“What impact would that have on your bottom line?” Auerback said.

The talk came five days before Auerbach planned to launch his re-election campaign. A formal announcement is planned for Jan. 25. An opponent has not yet emerged. Auerbach said an important part of the campaign will be reminding voters that he is not beholden to lawmakers or the county executive.

“We are the people’s independent watchdog of Ulster County government,” he said.

Here and There

Is the Democrat Sheriff running or not? Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum has been pretty mum on his reelection plans making some people wonder whether or not he will seek another term. Obviously, we hope he does, he's a good sheriff and will easily win reelection.

Robin Yess to challenge Auerbach? We hear Dennis Pitcock and Robin Yess are both considering a run for Comptroller against popular incumbent Elliott Auerbach. Robin Yess, though, really?!
Robin Yess has a better chance of being Sheriff than our next Comptroller.

THE CAHILL KILLER? Jim Maloney, the self proclaimed Cahill Killer is rumored to be thinking of taking on Kevin Cahill in the 101st this November. While Jim Maloney defeated Kevin's brother last year, it's a little cocky of the Ulster Lawmaker to think he has a prayer against Assemblyman Cahill. Cahill who remains very popular and powerful in Ulster and Albany, need not fear if the best Catalano and the GOP can put up, is Jim Maloney.

Congratulations to the new junior Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown. While I don't agree with the results, Senator Brown won fair and square and lets hope he does the right thing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Help Send Martha Coakly To the US Senate

We need to send this fine public servant to the US Senate to help President Barack Obama, this is a tight race and the GOP is in full force with their lies and propaganda! I'm heading to Mass tonight to help in this historic election to replace Senator Edward Kennedy, you can help by making phone calls on her the below link and you will be directed to Attorney General Coakly's campaign website to make calls on her behalf. Just 30 minutes of your day would mean so much to this country, we can't afford to lose this seat while health care reform and other important legislation is on the table. President Obama needs your help!


Massachusetts Senate - Special Election

Polling Data

PollDateSampleBrown (R)Coakley (D)Spread
ARG1/15 - 1/17600 LV5245Brown +7
Daily Kos/R20001/15 - 1/17500 LV4848Tie
PJM/CrossTarget (R)1/17 - 1/17574 LV5242Brown +10
PPP (D)1/16 - 1/171231 LV5146Brown +5
InsideMedford/MRG1/15 - 1/15565 LV5141Brown +10
PJM/CrossTarget (R)1/14 - 1/14946 LV5439Brown +15
ARG1/12 - 1/14600 LV4845Brown +3
Blue Mass Group/R2000 (D)1/12 - 1/13500 LV4149Coakley +8
Suffolk/7News1/11 - 1/13500 LV5046Brown +4
Rasmussen Reports1/11 - 1/111000 LV4749Coakley +2
PPP (D)1/7 - 1/9744 LV4847Brown +1
Rasmussen Reports1/4 - 1/4500 LV4150Coakley +9
Boston Globe1/2 - 1/6554 LV3653Coakley +17
Suffolk11/4 - 11/8600 RV2758Coakley +31
Western NE College10/18 - 10/22342 LV3258Coakley +26
Suffolk9/12 - 9/15500 RV2454Coakley +30

Polacco Gets Screwed

Tony Sinagra, the city GOP boss, broke a tie last week making freshman lawmaker Andi Turco Levin the Minority Leader of the Common Council over two term Alderman Ron Polacco.

Really Sinagra?! Ron Polacco was the only GOP voice the council had for the previous two years when all then Minority Leader Al Teetsil did was side with the Dems.

Rumor has it, Sinagra and Cahill cooked up the deal because they know Polacco wants to be the 2011 GOP nominee and they know he would destroy Cahill in a primary.

While I could care less the inner workings of the Republican party, Ron Polacco should be the Minority Leader, he earned it, to give it to Alderwoman Turco-Levin, who has paid no dues and has literally been in office for 10 minutes is insulting and embarrassing to Alderman Polacco and is meant to look that way on purpose. The Cahill/Sinagra deal is so obvious and I think it will backfire miserably.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Harold Ford Jr.

This is the guy to the be the next junior Senator from New York. A really bright articulate guy that will do wonders for NYS. Expect to hear a lot more from Ford in the coming months as he introduces himself to voters.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pray for my boy Artie Lang...sad sad sad

As Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lang remains in the hospital after stabbing himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt, according to the New York Post, Stern has taken to the airwaves defending his friend and bashing the press.

Photo: Radio host Howard Stern.

"I'm pissed off at the sh*thead who got paid $10 bucks to talk to Page Six," Stern said of the Post, who first published details of Lang's alleged medical condition.

Stern said that he was actually hoping the news "wouldn't come out" and that the story would "go away."

Photo: Artie Lange.

"I don't know what to think. I'm angry about it. I'm sad about it. I'm all over the place emotionally," Stern said Thursday on his radio show.

"I work with Artie, I love Artie. Everyone has their demons, including myself, but he's wrestling with some serious stuff. When I heard the news it was too much to bear."

The 42-year-old Lange has been absent from Stern's Sirius radio program for a month. On Monday's show, Stern said Lange isn't leaving the program and called him "a tremendous contributor."

Lange's publicist confirmed that the radio sidekick was hospitalized. The Post says surgeons were able to save him despite heavy bleeding.

Lange's mother called police Saturday morning after entering his Hoboken, N.J. apartment and found the bloodied comedian, a law enforcement source told the New York paper. "Lange sustained six 'hesitation wounds' and three deep plunges," the paper wrote.

"This is a family matter. I don't know what to do," Stern said. "I don't know what to say...just remember who Artie is and what a wonderful guy he is...he's wrestling with some serious stuff...I only wish him well."

Stern attempted to read the Page Six item, but stopped almost immediately. "I just feel sick about this. I don't even wanna read it," he said.

Lange is a New Jersey native who lives in Hoboken and has battled drug addiction. In September, a New Jersey judge revoked his driving privileges for seven months after he admitted he was under the influence of prescribed sleeping pills in a minor traffic accident.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crime Rate Up in Kingston?!?!

Serious crime in Kingston is up 6 percent in Kingston, oh my! While everyone is ready to attack the police chief and talk about him "giving excuses" as one person put it, Chief Keller is a stand up guy and his department is doing a great job getting the skells off the street and cleaning up midtown Kingston.

The FBI statistics, this report that comes out once a year that the Freeman reports on is not really an accurate way to look at the crime rate. For one, it does not take into account drug crimes or quality of life crimes, it also puts petty larceny in the same category as a homicide or a rape. Which really was the attributing factor in why the numbers went up, you had a kid that committed a slew of robberies in early 2009. Rape went down by about 400% as opposed to last year btw.

And lets look at the numbers:

• 122 burglaries, up from 116 in 2008.

• Two rapes, down from five.

• 26 assaults, up from 17.

• 510 larcenies, the same number as in 2008.

• 30 motor vehicle thefts, up from 22.

These are not big increases and while we can always do better, Kingston still remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. I applaud Chief Keller and the entire Kingston Police Department for their handwork in keeping everyone safe.

Coming Tuesday

Enough is enough, Blaber News unmasks the author behind Ulster MoJo.....

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Comptroller Auerbach Releases Legislator's attendence Audit

Where does your Legislator Rank? This is an important audit done done by Comptroller Auerbach and we applaud him and his top notch staff for doing it. Public officials should be held to a higher pay their salaries and congrats to Hector Rodriguez for a perfect attendance record!





Hector Rodriguez




Glenn Noonan




Roy Hochberg




David Donaldson




Richard Gerentine




Donald Gregorius




Brian Cahill




Alan Lomita




Gary Bischoff




Robert Parete




Paul Hansut




KennethRonk, Jr.




Catherine Terrizzi




Jeanette Provenzano




Sue Cummings




Kevin Roberts




Dean Fabiano




Wayne Harris




Laura Petit




Mary Sheeley




James Maloney




Frank Dart




Richard Parete




Jon Decker




*Philip Terpening




Peter Loughran




T J Briggs




Susan Zimet




Frank Felicello, Jr.




Joe Roberti, Jr.




Brian Shapiro




Joe Stoeckeler, Jr.




Robert Aiello
(Ill much of the year)



None assigned

Monday, January 04, 2010

Supervisor Jim Quigley
Ulster County Court Judge Don Williams

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Congrats to Kingston's New Common Council

Back row: Charles Landi (D-3), Tom Hoffay (D-2), Robert Senor(D-8), my boy: Bill Reynolds (D-7), Ron Pollocco (R-6), Hayes Clement (D-9), Shirley Whitlock (D-4),

Front Row: Andi Turco Levin (R-1), Council President James Noble, and Jen Fuentes (WF-5)

Congrats, Good Luck, a lot of challenges lie ahead and two more years of Mayor Sottile

A lot of Man Crushing Over Hein

What is with the GOP's obsession with Mike Hein? I mean it's almost embarrasing to watch, it's like certain Dems and Republicans have a middle school type crush on hiz honor. Jump off the guys back and let him do his job. In this past week he has been accused of killing a former political foe and the new legislature is about to launch into dozens of investigations on Hein's business dealings.

Give me a break it's just ridiculous and a note to the new legislature: if you really care about the people of Ulster County and want to make a difference work with Mike Hein not against him.

The GOP has a choice to make bust Mike's chops for the next two years and gridlock county government, accomplishing nothing. Or sit down with County Executive Hein and County Comptroller Auerbach and look for ways to make Ulster County the finest place ever to live, work and raise a family. Bottom line it's time for the GOP and Mike to leave politics at the door and man up for the people that put their trust in you this past November.