Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Ulster Legislature has a meeting! That is news in itself! With all the crazy show storms we've had in the last few weeks, the Legislature finally got around to having February's meeting March 1st. Nice.

Starting the evening we were introduced to the three Sheriff Deputies Polacco, Richards and Hughs. They volunteered in Haiti on our behalf. With an opening statement from Sheriff Van Blarcum, they each received a commendation for their efforts from Legislator Jack Hayes. Thunderous applause ensued.

Legislative Chairman Fred Wadnola addressed the body with his state of the County speech and hit on all the expected points as we followed along at our desks. Laying out the plans and duties of the legislature as we head into year two of the new charter. Much of what was brought up was the structure of the committees and the two generations of leadership that helped the process come to fruition.

We had the pleasure of a large audience made up primarily of CSEA members who work in the County DPW division. Their speakers emphasized how important the quality of life in the county is connected to how well the county is managed on the sixth floor as well as on the streets. They did an outstanding job clearing the roads throughout the county.

As far as legislation goes: we filled a number of appointments, gave our blessing to the Tourism department, set a bond request of over $1million to repair some bridges and set the rules of the Legislature into place.

What was interesting, was the muted objection to the $170K requested to borrow for the Sheriff Department car/bus request. I expected a fuss over the additional spending after such a punchy budget debate last December. After all, it is the Executive's requested budget that we are working with here. You would think he had the purchase of cars spelled out properly in his 2010 budget when he offered it. Guess it's up to the Legislature to clean everything up.

What struck me was the last minute distribution of info describing the bond in better detail only reached the Democratic caucus, leaving the Republicans with the original document to discuss from. This left Terry Bernardo unaware of the details as she expressed her issues with the bond. We had several hesitant members in the Democratic caucus before that memo arrived ourselves. Those concerns were satisfied during caucus. The bond passed with only two negatives, but we are still trying to find out how the communication line failed in the last hour. Not good.

This is starting to sound more like a report, so I'll stop there. I'll end with the good news that no-one was dragged out by an officers for disregarding protocol or attempting assault this month. I guess the public flogging that occurred in January scared off the Tea Crazies in the area.


Paul Rakov said...

Good recap Mike. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The mystery Memo turned out to be a copy of an inquiry made by Walter Frey regarding the Bond. The memo was delivered to Walter in the presence of Jeanette Provenzano who asked for a copy. She then dispersed additional copies to the Democratic Caucus, where Walter could have done the same for his caucus, but didnt.