Friday, July 09, 2010


One of the many issues discussed at the UC Government Ops & Efficiency Committee was the initiation of a foreclosure lawsuit against the State of New York.

For years, long before I started attending Legislative meetings, the members were somewhat split on the issue of foreclosing on properties in the county. For the most part, the properties in question have always been landlocked unusable prospects or dilapidated structures. But the number of occupied homes on the list is increasing, causing more of a stir on the Legislature.

Frank Felicello and Susan Zimet expressed their disapproval at the last formal meeting and now, as a member of the Ops & Eff Committee, Susan is pushing the county to lead the effort in suing the state. It's an initiative that has merit and if other counties see the benefit, join in the suit.

The crux of the suit would be that the County has to make the school districts whole at the end of their fiscal year. Meaning we take designated funds and meet the needs of the districts across Ulster County. Doesnt that mean Kingston taxpayers are helping to fill the budget needs of Onteora, Saugerties and Rondout? Taxpayers in those districts are helping to pay off Kingston's? Is that right?

Do we have any say in their board and budget votes? No!

Should that be considered taxation without representation? Youbetcha!

So the committee is going to explore potential legal remedies against the state since the county must pay the costs of delinquent taxes. Unless we push to dissolve the individual districts and make the schools part of a county consolidation, the act of covering these debts should stop.

Zimet (talking to Hank Gross) was quoted in the MidHudson News: "At a certain point we have to stop saying we can’t afford this anymore and if the counties are willing to step up to the plate to do a lawsuit against the State of New York, so be it. That’s what we’re investigating”.

Also at task is the revision of the outdated Personnel & Ethics Guidelines and the addition of Nepotism language for all departments throughout the county employ. Updates on those as they develop.


Anonymous said...

Will cronyism be added as well, or will the county legislature continue to ignore and play deaf?

Jeanette said...

Hi Mike, the County does not pay deliquent property taxes to school districts for the City of Kingston, this only applies to the Towns in the county. Kingston has its own tax sales on property that has foreclosed. As I said at the last session take the State to court on all non-funded mandates not just one of them. Also, they are holding on 1mil+ owed to the UC Infirmery and still paying 1983 Medicaid rates. There is so much more and so little time.

Anonymous said...

Those are some scary pictures of the people making decisions for Ulster County. It all came home with those pictures. We are doomed.

Anonymous said...

@5:24...I couldn't agree more. Bernardo looks like she is trying to her best to look "important".

Anonymous said...

What's the matter 5:24, you got a problem with women?

Anonymous said...

Jeanette, So little time?

I don't know but it seem that you have been on the Legislature since 1983! Seriously, how long before you and people like you are more a part of the problem than a part of the solution?

If there is such a big problem why haven't you done something about it? What in the Hell are you waiting for?

Jeanette said...

9:03, Doesn't matter how long I have been a Legislator you need 17 Legislators to agree. That is not an easy feat. I don't know who you are Mr. anonymous or Mrs. but consider running for office, maybe you can achieve what I have been unable to do. Thanks for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Why would you chose to waste my money on taking the state to court for unfunded mandates. Lawyers are expensive. I swear our legisators have stock in law firms.

If it is unfunded DON'T DO IT!!!

I can cite example after example where municipalities over the years have chosen not to follow through with services mandated by the state, mainly due to the fact that the mandates were not adequately funded. And the state had to step in and provide the service themselves. Eventually if enough jurisdictions just stop offering the service, then the state will either have to put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

7:09, No I do not have a problem with women. For all you know, I might even be one. I do have of problem with people like Zimet and Bernardo who have ulterior motives and are using their positions for political purposes. What has Zimet ever done? What has Bernardo done so far except head up witch hunts against Hein?

Anonymous said...

Mike, you said "Also at task is the revision of the outdated Personnel & Ethics Guidelines"

I thought the county just passed a new ethics law? How could it possibly be outdated?

Anonymous said...

The whole ethics reform movement the Democrats were pushing as they were taking over the Legislature not too many years ago lost a lot of steam when they realized there were benefits to being in the majority such as jobs to be had.

One of the most vocal proponents of ethics reform was Brian Shapiro, but he has been rather quiet about that issue after getting the job at the animal shelter.

Anonymous said...

The county should consolidate the school districts and this would reduce the costs of administration, purchasing, busing, contracts, and much more. Look at what we are paying the superintendents Rondout 190K with blotted admin staff. The districts still could have local representation and get away from the school boards stacked with spouses of teachers (conflict of interest) We can no longer afford 27k per student.

Anonymous said...

You were Majority Leader, and Minority Leader more than once. You have some skin in the failure of the Legislature to get things done.
To use the excuse that it takes 17 is just a cop out! Why bother running at all? Why should people vote for you if you can not get anything done because it takes "17 Legislators to agree" ?

I am so tired of long term politicians who are in it just to get their family jobs.

Anonymous said...

Provenzano has been there far too long. She was for the jail, then complains about it. Supports Hein without question and he fires good employees. She pushed for Tony Gallo more than anyone and he was a thief. Now she complains because she can't get anything done. You get done what you want to get done. I think it's time to go Jeanette.

Mike Madsen said...

Regarding the Kingston forclosures, that I know well enough from the years I served on the council, what the committee is focused on is the burden placed on the taxpayers as a result of the county making other districts whole.
Additionally: The small cities are suing the state on the same grounds NYC did and won. If Kingston hasn't gotten onboard, then there's a problem there. Its called the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, CFE lawsuit.

Susan thinks it ties into what the committee is thinking. She has been given the key lawyers names that are handling that lawsuit.

It may be over a ear ago, but when Susan discussed the "making school districts whole" issue, the Assoc of counties were willing to take it on.

Having been there only six months, I'd like to learn more.

Anonymous said...


What you call a witch hunt, many of us call "standing up to a tyrant".

Anonymous said...

Some of us call it a witch hunt, others call it the Legislators doing their job, and a lot of them have not been doing it very well.

Hein wants to act as if there is no Legislature. He withholds information, tells people not to talk to Legislators, does things that are clearly the job of the Legislature, it's bullshit.

The Legislators need to start calling this guy Hein out on things. If that's a witch hunt then so be it.

And Hein needs to stop sending out press releases, hiring his friends and stop firing decent people.

Anonymous said...

@6:00 that is the most retarded comment that I have ever heard.

That's like saying you are trying to use your @ to make you look like you are a real "techie"

Maybe you should stay on twitter if that's where you learned that lingo

Anonymous said...

This is above my head - but I do want to put in a kudos to U.C. Legislature Jeanette Provenzano. Thank you for your many years of dedicated service to our community! NS

Anonymous said...

NS -- you are joking right? Provenzano is a do nothing if ever there was one. Please name one of the services you are praising her for.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to have been there a long time to be considered a "do nothing" you know.
Madsen, you've been there 6 months, what have you done? Enough time to grasp the enormity of the burden on the taxpayers and the misdirection of the legislature's past.

When the body goes to 23 next term, I expect you to lead in the majority. Now show us why that would be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Response to 10:21AM==Would not be surprised to learn that Tony Gallo is related to Provenzano..All the more reason for her to be passionate about hiring him. Perhaps a nephew? She has relatives on the county payroll though hard to track because they are not Provenzano/Yonta in name. Time to send her packing so she can spend more time teeing off on the golf course.