Sunday, April 11, 2010


Alderwoman MaryAnn Parker has been saying it for years! Take the County to task for laying the brunt of the SafetyNet costs on the City of Kingston. She has been right all along.

As it turns out, the taxpayers in the City of Kingston have been paying for the county's responsibility not only for the residents
in need of services within out borders, but pretty far outside as well. Seemingly for decades.

The papers have reported that Mayor Sottile has discovered additional payments since the issue first showed it's ugly head. But he's right to ask for every penny that's ever been drained of city taxpayers for the time the county's DSS officials were ignorant of their duties.

Would someone please tell me why I am responsible for the lodging costs of someone in Lawrence County? It's coming out of my pocket correct? I think we are all looking at our tax paperwork a little closer than ever and asking some more pertinent questions regarding what our responsibilities are.

So now it's the story of the "lists" and how the county and city comptrollers are reviewing the past payments for the program. I admit, I didn't look at the lists of clients either. What list? I never knew of such a list until this whole issue blew up last month. For that people, I apologize.

I had to laugh when I read Jimmy's quote in the Freeman:
"It appears that the city of Kingston is paying for people in Ellenville, Saugerties and Kerhonkson who are not in the ZIP code, but those addresses where they are staying appear to be permanent addresses, in my opinion. I will be following up with the county, and I will make personal site visits."

I want to ride with him to see these locations as well. He's right to say that if a person locates to another community, that person should be that community’s responsibility. It's how the county's SafetyNet system is set up. Fair is Fair...Right?

If you think I have any faith in the a
bilities of DSS Commissioner Rodriguez, you'd be mistaken. He said; "If the mayor finds anything wrong with the list of clients, the department will move to rectify the situation." Good grief, you'd have to want to do the right thing from the beginning for us to believe youre interested in making things right today. Incompetent or intentionally malicious? You decide.

And this business about enrolling in out-of-town programs but still beating Kingston's he serious? What does Roberto have over our Executive that we'd continue to ignore the fact that he really doesn't live on W O'reilly St. in Kingston? Ulster residency is a requirement for the position you know! Can't we get any qualified local help these days?

MaryAnn Parker continues to point out the unjust practices for administering the costs of the SafetyNet here in Ulster County. Long after her tenure as Alderwoman from the old Fourth Ward, her words still ring true.

Right from the paper; Sottile said the confusion could have been avoided if Ulster County — like every other county in the state — assumed full financial responsibility for the Safety Net program.

I have been discussing this with other members of the Legislature to the point that sometimes the banter gets a bit heated, but I feel I am chipping away at this issue. There have been years of prior attempts made by my colleagues that have fallen short during the budget hearings late in each fall, but the sudden interest by many influential parties this early in the year could make the issue a rallying call to make Ulster follow the procedures enacted in ALL the other 61 Counties in New York State.

Ulster County is the only one of 62 counties in the state that collects a share of the program cost from individual municipalities. The City of Kingston has hinted at the possibility of suing the county to force the case into court. The mismanagement in recent years and the imminent revelation of incompetence on the part of the DSS could be just what the City needs to gain a just verdict.

On a related note: Mayor Sottile has indicated that he would like those who are soaking up our taxdollars should be out there doing something for it. Isn't that a program instituted by President Clinton back in the 90's? Since it's expected that local unions will take issue with people doing jobs that employees would otherwise be doing had they not been laid off, lets find jobs that are outside the purview of the DPW.

Everyone knows I'd like some help cleaning the old tracks behind the Broadway branch of Rondout Savings. We could start there.


Anonymous said...


As is the case most of the time (from what I've seen) you are right on target...

Please stay on this. It is (in my opinion) huge!

I've admired MaryAnn Parker's gusto and courage on this topic from the first time I heard her speak on it - and I am sooo glad that it is getting some serious scruitiny, examination and press now.

It was good to see you at the City Council meeting! You never cease to amaze!

That and the multitude of other things that you do - out of your own initiative (KEY) - is whay you are included in the list of "Thank Yous" on my blog... which is moving along (I'm feeling a bit better) again...

Check it out if you get a chance. I also have the video (the only one that came out with audio) of my comments at the last Council meeting...

Along with a photo (lol) of the "Big Man" walking on water and playing "Wizard" for Chips...


Anonymous said...

Look,, all of DSS is rife with thievery & incomptence @ ALL LEVELS !

clean it all up,, not just this zipcode controversy.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Mr Mayor heard about this issue when Mary Ann Parker spoke at the Council meeting in February where he was in attendence to give the State of the City address. He made a note and followed up on it. A good thing, yes indeed and hopefully it will create a new way in how we support the lazy...I mean disadvantaged individuals in our city. However it took how many years? When the amounts more than double in 5 years wouldn't you hope your leader paid attention?
Mary Ann Parker has been a regular at Council, Planning, and any other meetings. She deserves a shout out for sure.

Anonymous said...


My wife and I have to commend Jan Fuentes and others in the city for working on cleaning up the YMCA park on Summer and Susan Street this last Sat. 4/11. THANKS YOU FOLKS.

What amazes most of us in the neighborhood is how little attention is paid to the Park by the YMCA and why some of the in shape users and members of the Y who benefit from it services wouldn't challenge themselves to do some work around there.

Exercise is exercise, whether it's walking or jogging, working or raking leafs....smitty

Anonymous said...

Don't make the rest of the County pay for the incompetence of the Mayor. Apparently he has been paying bills without requesting any proof of these expenses. I know for a fact, other Towns in the County have questioned charges and had them resolved. I understand as a Legislator your duty is to serve those who elected you, but the idea of establishing this program as a cost to be added completely onto County taxes is unacceptable. Let each town pay their correct charges for those who live in their borders. I think the City Council should be asking the Mayor or whomever authorized the payments all these years for an explanation.

Anonymous said...

The program that had people working for the benefits they received was born out of the Contract with America. Clinton and Newt Gingrich's Republican Congress worked together to get this done. The left howled when it was enacted and it has been greatly weakened over the years. Clinton and Gingrich wanted to work together on other ideas, but politics on both sides of the aisle(both were hated by the opposing party) derailed any possibility of their getting more work done.

Anonymous said...

Mike, see you are giving Hein and Auerbach a pass on this one. Hein has worked in an administrative or executive role for Ulster County for at least 6 years. Never mentioned a word as Co. Administrator, and has been ignoring this for 15 mos. as Executive. I am sure he will appreciate the "free pass'. Auerbach, on the other hand is incompetant. Taking attendance of legislators, did an audit of Social services, and has nothing to show for his 100K salary. Should we expect the county executive, or county comptroller to perhaps ask ONE SIMPLE QUESTION?
Like, how do you verify residency in the town. Bingo, one question, and problem solved. Mike, I think you are a good legislator, but you have to start asking the tough questions, because this government is soooo sick, we can no longer let these clowns off the hook.

Anonymous said...

Might want to ask for proof of residency from county property tax exemptions as well. My town defrauded the county for over twenty years before I bought my house. I'm sure they're still at it everywhere. It was an easy little bribery scam and probably still is.

Anonymous said...

To help things Hein is moving crony to health Department?