Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hank Gross of MidHudson News reports that Legislator Terry Bernardo has submitted a resolution to the Legislature asking for a change in how we appoint members to the RRA board. As it stands, the leadership of the Legislature decides who will serve on that board. 

Executive Hein touched on that subject for a few minutes during a meeting I attended the other night. 

I admit, giving his office the power to appoint agency members is titillating. When I heard of the proposal, I contacted his office to get a better feel for how he felt regarding Terry's resolution. I expect that return call Today.

According to the report printed in the Freeman, our esteemed Chairman Frederick Wadnola, said he was open to discussing the issue but the matter should wait until after the investigation. Fair enough. I think we'd all like to dive into that report.
I think it says plenty about Bernardo, that she would trust a first term Executive of the opposite party with the sole responsibility of placing the board members. Considering the banter leading up to the Leadership appointment process, I guess it lends itself to open trust on her part.

Hank got a quote from Terry: “The taxpayers have a man who is willing to lead. I’m really glad we have a full-time executive out there who has the time to dedicate to this sort of matter.” That is why we went to the current charter is it not?
In an additional twist, Legislator Susan Zimet (D-New Paltz) has signed on as co-sponsor of this resolution. Showing once again that whatever issues some members of the Legislature may have had with each other or the Executive branch can be put aside for the greater good of the county taxpayer. 

The article is right to point out that it needs Legislature approval before it can be sent to Albany. It would have to be carried by Senator Bonacic and one of the Assembly members representing any part of Ulster County to see any action by the state Legislature and the Governor.
On another note, when asked if the Environment and Efficiency Committee should be split into two, Brian Shapiro, the current Chair of that combined committee said he would review the resolution before signing on. More on that later.


Anonymous said...

I think it is a bad idea. Any time you take power away from the Legislature, you weaken that important level of Government. The ability for the Legislature to have some control over Government is crucial, abdicating that control is nothing short of asinine.

If the Legislature wants to roll over and let the Executive take over 100% then at least have the courage to say so publicly. I see nothing but a bunch of squabbling pantywaists these days. Buck up and fight back!

Anonymous said...

Do we really need this agency? It has been one headache after another not to mention the monies allocated for it.

Anonymous said...

Here's a better idea.
Eliminate the RRA. Get government out of the garbage business (no pun intended) and let professionals operate the transfer station instead of wannabe Tony Sopranos.
And while you are at it how about nursing homes too.

Mike Madsen said...

The proposal dictates that the Legislature would have to approve any appointments made by the Executive.

It also staggers the periods of service so that future appointments would be one placement at a time.

I ran into Mike at Cuomo's SOTS Tour stop at Marist today. He didn't seem excited by the proposal. Suggested I come in soon to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Hein will not be Executive forever. Wadnola will not be Chairman beyond this year.

All of this moaning about Hein and Wadnola is a moot point and completely irrelevant.

There are no more RRA appointments this year.

Going forward, there is no check and no balance when any Chairman appoints and the Legislature confirms. The Legislative majority elects the Chairman. The majority will never go against their self elected Chairman.

At least with an Executive appointment and Legislative confirmation, there is some check and balance.

Even when the Exec and Legislature are from the same party (think Dutchess County) there is more check and balance than the Chairman and the Legislature who are in lock step 100%. said...

Nothing new here. It was mentioned in September 2010. said...

From the Daily Freeman

County legislative leaders have effectively taken a powder on the laundry list of allegations leveled against Mike Bemis, who was fired as executive director by the governing board of the trash agency.

Turning investigation of the allegations over to the district attorney, as the Legislature has done, is more the abdication of political responsibility for what may or may not have happened at the agency, than it is an exercise of prudence.

Ulster residents have seen this movie before. The botched construction of the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center was turned over to the Ulster County district attorney.

The resulting unsuccessful prosecution of the former director of Buildings and Grounds on minor criminal charges ultimately accomplished a neat whitewash of political accountability by misdirection.

Further, the recent replacing of the very agency board members responsible for firing Bemis sent a very odd message to the community, especially given the entanglements of Legislature Chairman Fred Wadnola, R-Ulster, and Kevin Roberts, R-Wallkill.

Former board members, Wadnola and Roberts claim to have neither seen nor heard of evil while Bemis was executive director.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike:

What flavor is that Kool-Aid you and your fellow legislators are drinking--Grape or Cherry?

P.T. Barnum would have welcome the likes of you into his circus tent.