Saturday, June 13, 2009


Since the early prospects of creating a new form of government, and the years it took to bring us the current charter, I have been interested in the County Legislature.

There was the promise of efficiency, singular responsibility and openness when we enacted the new charter that separated the powers of lawmaking and executive duties. Yet we hear some of the same old songs from the same representatives, engaged in the same old bickering. It's getting tired.

Every election term since, we've heard from several of the senior members that each of the following terms would be their last, that they would retire and make room for the next generation of public servants. That day never comes.

What we do know, is that change is sometimes difficult to embrace. After almost 20 years in the Legislature, it's expected that the old ways of doing business, as comfortable as it is, must come to an end. I also know that you cant blame the long term incumbents for continuing as they always have. It's what they know. But they are no longer the executive branch.

After 7 years, I too have gotten comfortable in my role as Alderman in the Ninth Ward. It wasn't until I was challenged for my party's nomination that I realized that this is an opportunity to refocus where I want to be and when.

To quote one person in the committee, “Primaries are good for the party, and you'll do just fine”. Well, I took her up on that and have since entered the race for Ulster County Legislator in the 6th District. She says she doesn't mind and that we all have the right to do so. Thank you Jeanette.

There will be three Democrats to chose from in September. Two have been there since the mid eighties, and me. Still in my 40's, I hope to bring some new perspective to economic development and tourism issues that plague our county in these tough times. The county's infrastructure has been an issue and the Real Estate collapse has added to the fiscal crunch that threatens our quality of life.

While on the Common Council, I helped to cut the budget annually, voted against a few that I felt weren't trimmed enough and have sought new ways to generate revenue in hopes to increase taxes less than expected. Not an easy task. This next city budget is going to hurt many more people. So get ready for some serious program and service cuts in 2010 as well as another tax increase.

I have no hard feelings toward my running mates, just as I had no hard feelings toward those who challenged me for Alderman. This is democracy in action and so long as it is a clean campaign and I provide a clear choice in 2009, then all is good and we will have a terrific go at it. If I didn't think I could build on the success of those before me, I wouldn't be running.

If the Democratic voters in the 6th District are looking for a change in the County Legislature or more of the same, the opportunity is theirs at September's primary.


Mike Madsen said...

There was one unfortunate combination of quotes in the Freeman regarding the orchestration of my denial at the convention.

Andy Zweben, Ed Palladino and our City Chair Bob Gulnick wanted me out. Jeanette actually asked Halwick to drop out and petitioned Palladino to stop it unsuccessfully. As for Frank...It's easy to assume he just went with their agenda without a fuss.

Anonymous said...

As you did in the title of this post, I think you should start referring to yourself in the 3rd person. Mike Madsen believes in open government. Mike Madsen believes in progressive policies. Mike Madsen....

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that you are running Mike. We need some new blood. The other night at the Legislative session Jeanette and Frank Felicello were carrying on about how l-o-n-g they have both been Legislators.

I think that if you are hiring a doctor or a lawyer or an electrician that 20 years of experience is a good thing. When it comes to politicians, I'm not that sure.

Long time politicians have too many battles and they get used to the status quo. They become too entrenched in the us versus them Democrat versus Republican mentality.

I think we need more people of your generation who want to fix things.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I wish i lived in Kingston so i could vote for you,,, & i am a republican.

you are everything that is good about Public Service !

Screw the machine, Mike RUN & WIN !!!

Anonymous said...

The politics of this time and place are demanding a grasp of new technology, a wllingness to embrace new / innovative ideas, a willingness to take some lumps... and keep pressing forward... and a true desire to be an advocate for the general population...

Mike Madsen has all of that going for him and more...

Where Mike is concerned - when the "rubber hits the road" - you have a winner (in terms of activism, ethics and a willingness to not just speak up, but SHOW UP) - on your hands!

Where are we now? Not so good...

Where might we be in the future?

It would seem that "hope" lives in the land (openness, authenticity, accountability...) of "change."

Good luck Mike!


Anonymous said...

This is another example of the old guard holding on too long. We saw it within the County Democratic Committee and we're seeing it in Kingston. As they say, "when one door closes, another opens". Sometimes it takes forces beyond our control to close the door. Good luck Mike, you'll do fine.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck. The Jeanette and Frank show has run it's course. Jeanette has turned into a cranky old lady and Frank thinks if he yells loud enough, people will take his side. I only wish you had a running mate to send them both packing.

Anonymous said...

Instead of Jeanette complaining that she wished that you waited until 2 years from now to run, when SHE wants to retire, maybe she should consider stepping aside now.

Anonymous said...

I have confidence that Mike will run a strong campaign but should he not prevail he is set up beautifully for the next election. With single member districts and a reduction to 23 legislators, incumbents are on shakier ground.

Making himself know to a wider range of voters can only benefit him.

I give Jeanette credit for speaking up at the Kingston caucus.

Anonymous said...

Hiring a doctor that was educated twenty years ago, means your care is outdated. Even an electrician's knowledge is lacking after twenty years. Fresh is better.

Anonymous said...

Nee How:
Democrats continue to devour their young. Guess it's the nature of the animal.

Some see the glass half full. Others half empty. Maybe it isn't even on the shelf.

Good luck - this will commence the beginning of an incredibly exciting and interesting electoral process as we move forward.

take care,
Shelly Z

Anonymous said...

Darts in Florida most of the time now and Provenzano says she'll retire after this term. Why not have both of them quit and get new blood.

Anonymous said...

If you are not the 9th Wards next Alderman I hope atleast the new will take care of us just as well.
Ide hate to see our neighborhoods destroyed by lack of experience on how to deal with the "local" riff.

Either way, you have my vote Mike.