Thursday, December 03, 2009


The Democratic Caucus of the UC Legislature met this Wednesday evening to discuss their final options for the 2010 County Budget. With their budget goals expected to hover around the 3.5% mark, the final tally of the caucus votes were measured. They meet Dec 7th at 6pm for the main event.

One issue that came up, as it always does, was the attempt to alter the method of funding the "Safety Net" within the county. Once again, the Caucus, with significant votes to keep the status quo, will again lay the bulk of the expense at the feet of the Kingston Taxpayer.

I expect most of the Republican caucus will have the same perspective on the "safety net" issue. With Ulster being the only county known to handle housing and supplies for the most needy, with the municipality handling what should be the County's duty, you'd think that eventually, the Legislators would like to do the right thing. Nope.

Once the meeting dates were hashed out and procedural VETO override protocol was settled, the Caucus like many of their counterpart ended up at Ugly Gus for a snack. Witnessing the cast of characters operate under these tough budgetary conditions is probably just as tense across the country. I know we have much to endure on the Common Council as we face the same fiscal issues heading into 2010.

What was striking, was during the exodus from the Sixth Floor, one of my future mates called me Rookie. I'm sure there have been fresh faces in these halls with little legislative experience many times before me, but with 8 years on the Council, I just had to laugh.

And to think, that was my only night free. Now back to City Hall.


Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that the Democrats acieved more of their agenda during the close minority status in the two years, before getting the majority and the leadership under Donaldson. These years have been a mess.

Anonymous said...

Hey RooK: What a new undertaking- Good luck- wishes and all of those other incredible and super superlatives for a job well done.

As for the 7 December meeting- I would hope someone advises the group that it was 68 years ago, that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor- commencing WWII.

Beyond that suggestion- good luck with our city budget- again- last comment- is that although the budget process is established with the actual legislation being approved in Dec, I would again seriously suggest that the program be revised so that it is run as a actual business and utilize computers so that the current expenses and revenues are shown to the CC as the year evolves. Sorry to the runon sentence- but by now, everyone knows that I write the way I talk. With that said- good luck and best wishes on your new endeavor
yesterday the common council,
today the County Legislature
tomorrow - oh well who knows,
Shelly Z

Anonymous said...

If I could ad something: the choice of Donaldson as chair was simply a liberal shift statement by the new leadership. It had little affect on where the committees went while they did their duty.
I would concur with the notion that just as much was enacted from the Democratic perspective back then as was done during the Dem leadership.
Had they not spent so much time on the ethics law debacle, they could have done so much more.
Best of luck to you mike.


Anonymous said...

TBR, had the focus of the ethics law not been "how do we get John Parete", the issue would have been settled very quickly.
As for Daves leadership, he helped usher in a charter revision that neutered the Legislature and diminished his own. I give him credet for keeping things together as long as he did.

Anonymous said...

Don't think this will be easy. When the Dems took control of the Legislature, they promissed to treat the Pubs better than they had been treated. It didn't happen.
When all is settled, you'll find the same closet of an office waiting for you and the rest of the minority.
It truly does come around doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

A rookie you will be. The county legislature makes the common council look like choir boys.

Anonymous said...

The reason the ethics issue turned into a mess had more to do with the Dems suddenly realizing the advantages of power then it did with trying to get Parete. Just ask Brian Shapiro, one of the biggest proponents of ethics reform. Once he landed his job with the animal shelter, he wasn't so loud about concerns of Legislators getting jobs that might receive county taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen the Majority Leaders office? No? Maybe because there is not one. There is a computer in a conference room, that's it.

The whole thing was a waste of energy and time. Donaldson is to blame. He should have been all over the transition and had the office situation settled before Hein took over and could control it. Instead, he, Bishcoff, Gregorious and Zimet were too busy trying to get rid of John Parete with a faulty ethics law.

How did that work out for you guys? Not too well I see.

In a nut shell you had a failure of a chairman, leading the charge to get rid of the most successful County Democratic Chairman ever, all while neglecting his duties as Chairman. Once they succeeded, the new Chairman proceeded to lose everything that Democrats had worked for the previous 6 years to accomplish.

Sound about right? It does to me!

Good Luck Madsen, Donaldson, Lomita, Provenzano, Loughran and Rodriguez are right where they always wanted to be, in the minority.

Anonymous said...

The blind leading the blind,, in my humble opinion,

you will be a breath of fresh air, Legislator - elect Madsen -

Anonymous said...

Relax Mike, you only won an election, you still have a lot to learn at the county level. You can't go helping the DSS employees process Medicare applications or the Health Department with inspections. Time to start acting like a Legislator and not a Boy Scout.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people in office are the same ones that voted to spend all our of tax money on a jail!
There is no chance for UC, we elect the people who dont have jobs or businesses and have no financial savy.
Sory Mike, you arent the answer either, you cant even keep you car clean. How are you going to reform social service and stop the might hein from acting like a dictator with an open check book?
So glad all my business has nothing to do with UC
the govt around here is a pack of uneducated wannabes with no vision
Thier big idea was to build a jail?