Wednesday, April 08, 2009


This past Tuesday, our new County Executive Mike Hein, laid out his accomplishments for the first 100 days. Unlike our President, Mike got to start work officially on January 1st.

Having missed the event due to the Common Council meeting I get to read the article in the Freeman and chat it up with Legislators who joined us at Ugly Gus after that evenings meeting.

I'd say most of us who are paying attention, about 20% of the electorate, are pleased with the handling of the newly formed office. Mike has done the job well and continues to impress many of us who manage the workings of municipalities at any level.

One of the many facets of the Executive position is hands-on contract negotiations. Mike claims to have saved the county taxpayers almost $900K through this capacity. I don't doubt it and applaud him for it. We chose this form of government for this purpose and it has already shown us our reward.

The subject of municipal shared services and diminished personnel costs were sighted as virtues of his leadership. Lets be cautiously optimistic that we can continue to find avenues to lower the cost of operations in the county. Mike has a dynamic staff that's second to no other county. But these economic times are testing us all.

Let me say that we are all in this together, looking for any means to lessen the burden on the taxpayer. In the City, County or State...everyone has their focus on "doing more with less". The Ulster County Legislature is no different than the City Council in this effort. I have to point out, this is one of the most fiscally conservative councils I've experienced so far.

Whether the Council and Mayor are embracing waterfront development or Hein and the Leggies are promoting the IBM complex and Solar Consortium...every township is doing their part. As for the first 100 days in office? [with that title anyway] Congratulations on a job well done!

A select few of us worked very hard to make this a reality. We like what we see.


Anonymous said...

What did Mike have to say about your fund raiser co-host Len Bernado?

I am sure you spoke about that!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can disagree with you more.

He puts raises for himself and his top aides in the budget when he is still County Aministrator, attempts to get the budget buried until after the election and then tries to play it off as if it was up to the Legislature. He adds positions, including a year around, taxpayer funded campaign manager that he calls his chief of staff, all with good salaries. After he gets his money and his people get theirs, he decides it is time to tighten the county belt. He makes the absolutely absurd comment of how he needs to lead by example in freezing the salaries of county managers when he already gave himself two years worth of raises, before he was even sworn in.

He exaggerates his own role in any number of activities and accomplishments. I mean, for Pete's sake, how many other County Executives also said they led the charge in lobbying the state on tax issues, home heating oil and such.

I generally enjoy your blog, even when I disagree with you. But in this case I worry that you are blinded by party affiliation.
I suspect I could change one word in relation to Mr. Hein and your blog would read very differently. All it would take is that he still be a Republican and you would likely be much less happy with the first 100 Days.

Anonymous said...

Mike, it looks like you are falling into the trap. These are the people (Hein and his crew) who I thought, you of all people, would take to task instead of suck up to.

I am a little disappointed in you and a lot disappointed in Hein.

Mike Madsen said...

First; Len has made it clear that he and the rest of the Independence Party caucus will be independent of the two major parties and resist the strong arm tactics of both, thus lending their support plainly by the record of, or vision of the candidate.

Second; Mike Hein has got to know that I, like many other of his "worker bees", still support his efforts as our first County Exec and that we don't second guess the need for his office to be successful. Our region needs it.

Third: Even if their are exaggerations, not unlike what we see here in Kingston, there are accomplishments.
He had to have an affect on how the budget modifications, staffing, and the overall slashing of spending came about. The Legislature seems to work well with Hein at the job and with all the hooplah about the salaries; having not been there, I cant say what is right other than reading the press.

Considering what I just went through with the Kingston Times, I have to assume they print what they want.

But thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, it looks like you struck a nerve with the Cahill followers.
I don't think any County Exec is having a good time these days and this being the first run at it here in Ulster, there are sure to be complaints on the ready.
Bernardo knows his place as watchdog for both parties now. I don't think he has the desire to be linked to either anymore. Hein would be wise to not take issue with anyone's support. There have been some lessons learned on all sides since last November and unless they all grasp the bigger picture soon, we'll all suffer.

Anonymous said...

It never fails that those on the outside think of all government employees in this light. We do our jobs. They are tough jobs. You base your opinion on so little and then yell about issues you know nothing about.
Mike, the Council, the Mayor and all city employees know just what we are dealing with. So I commend all of you for the thankless jobs you do.
To go wild on Hein for his first hundred days as if he were the cause of all the County's woes, is ridiculous. We know how we got here and sure to climb out. Let the mobs yell, thats all they are.


Anonymous said...

Ashdown is supporting your Republican opponent. What are friends for?

Anonymous said...

Geez Mike,

It is sure getting deep in here with your comments!

Anonymous said...

To 12:29AM:

If we shouldn't "go wild" on Hein's first 100 days, why did Hein waste his valuable time doing a press conference to publicize it? How many staff hours were used to prepare for his presentation on his first 100 days? Doesn't it bother you at all that he is using taxpayer paid resources to promote himself?

A strong critical look at his first 100 days is very much warranted. Just look at his campaign and how he said he could hit the ground running. The fact that financially he took care of himself and his cronies frist before tackling the County's budget displays a degree of selfishness and a lack of shame.

Anonymous said...

I intended to write something along the lines of 10:32, but that person put it so eloquently and accurately, that I have nothing to add.

Well put 10:32!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike: good answer- well on target and true to Madsen philosophy. The weather will ger warmer and some will attack any of your specific stance.
Sad that the CC didn't pass or establish a Bataan Death March Memorialization Resolution- But hopefully we all pay tribute to these great American heroes for their sacrifice and courage. Did a 30 minute interview with Family Radio and discussed this vital ommission of the CC. But we will have another chance as the summer turns to Fall and the former POWs from Mukden return to our great city. Primary aspect of the interview was to discuss Undaunted Valor and their impact on Americana as well as to Kingston. Remember, one of our city veterans dropped food and supplies from his B29 during after their liberation in Aug 45. Another died from radiation poison althugh never admitted by our VA- He was one of those who armed the bomb prior to employment of the bomb and worked at Los Alamos during July 1944. Oh well- enough of a history lesson- Lets get back on TV- \
"I Like My 23"
soon to return and ya heard it here foist- enough ramnblings from this old guy
take care all and best for
Passover & Easter to all
Shelly Z

Anonymous said...

At this point it remains too early to tell about this exec and the new form of county government.
The things mentioned are positives and at the same time not outstandings that anyone else could not do. The real test is are there any of those from this exec and what is the result over the long term, questions that cannot be evaluated so early.