Wednesday, January 28, 2009

U C HEALTH COMMISIONER: CHARTER CASUALTY



Because of the drastic changes to the Ulster County Charter back in 2006, Longtime Ulster County Health Commissioner Dean Palen is out of a job.

County Exec. Mike Hein announced Tuesday that under the charter, the commissioner must be a licensed physician with public health experience.

Dean Palen, a long time resident of Ward Seven here in the City of Kingston, is not a medical doctor.

Hein told the press he was considering a new position of public health engineer for Palen, adding that if the position were created it would be “budget neutral”. I don't know what that means when you consider $100K as an expense for an additional position.

Mike, I hate to pick on you, and I hate to waste the experience Dean has, but I'm sure you can either place Palen in an existing post, or use your ties to send him to Albany. Whipping up a new job position for Dean might not be wise during these economic times.

Perhaps he would like to run for Alderman. People think we are well paid, and hell, without benefits, he'll survive on the Health Care parachute package I'm sure the county will give him.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like Dean's work ethic, he has served Ulster County well for a long time and under different leadership. However, I have to agree that as a tax payer, I wouldn't want an additional post created for the County or the city.
Our leadership should reconsider the two pending positions we've heard so much about.
Noone is creating a new job for my daughter who is in college and in debt up to OUR eyeballs. So, think about the taxpayers when whipping up new positions.

Anonymous said...

Ain't gonna happen. Dean is bye bye.

Anonymous said...

madsen,why does hein have to find him a job? taxpayers do not need to help dean or debbie. you are new to the political scene, and maybe you should look into some of deans deals during danny alfonsos years as chairman, and talk to the union employees of uc health to find out about dean, and debbie. It is time for hein and all taxpayers to say thank you dean and debbie, theres the door. dean knew this was in the works for the past ten years. hein owes dean and debbie nothing. the gop protected dean and debbie for many years. dean get your golf clubs and go back to the club. Happy retirement

Anonymous said...

Dean Palen is not out of a job. He has civil service protection under his prior position. Check out the facts or ask before you send this stuff off to readers. He can bump to another position at his present salary or serve under the pleasure of the New Commissioner (physician).

Anonymous said...

One other item readers should be aware of. All the changes being made by the Executive have been made by moving money around in an already adopted budget for 2009. He has the authority under the charter to do so. Give the guy an chance. this is all new to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I don't have an opinion on Palen, I don't know him. But, why is the charter requiring that the head of the County Health Dept. be an M.D. Is this standard in other counties now?

Anonymous said...

It makes sense to me that the head of the County Health Department should be an MD...

In fact, I think that is long overdue...

As to creating a new position? Not fair play...

If there is an open position where this guy's (I'm not familiar with him either) knowlege and experience can be put to good use...

Great!

If not, union or no, sometimes ya' just get what ya' get...

Why me? Why not?

A LOT of people are pondering that right about now.

NS

Anonymous said...

Physicians are and should be the standard to run public health agencies.

Legislator said...

A new position is not being created. There is a vacant funded position in the budget. (that is where Dean Palen will go once the Executive and committee members complete the interview process for a physician to replace him as commissioner of Health.) The Physician will be paid with the funded line Dean was paid from.

Anonymous said...

Why would a doctor take a cut in pay.

Anonymous said...

That - if really a fact posted by a Legislator - makes sense.

NS