Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So what are the chances that today's primary elections will be close enough to require the nerve-racking week long count of absentee ballots? Anyone have a guess?
I think enough time and effort has been spent this year in Kingston and towns across Ulster County that voters will come out in higher numbers than previously expected. Is that good or bad for any of the candidates, myself included, or does it just simply mean more people are coming out to vote?

Either way, this city, surrounding towns and the county will continue to function 
(or disfunction) as it has before. 
Below is a picture of all of us running for office today. 
Make the best choice.  

Thursday, September 08, 2011



I have reposted an interesting article I found below. 
Links to sources included.
How Small Business Doesn't Hate Regulation
by Stuart Shapiro
Last week Andy Bolin posted an article with several small businesses quoted as saying that regulation wasn’t a major cost for them. 
(link at bottom) While that anecdotal data was interesting, it turns out that the sentiment is much broader.  The National Association for Business Economics did a broader survey.  The results were the same.
Regulatory activity has gained a lot of attention, with many groups suggesting that American businesses are overregulated by the current administration. With that said, 80 percent of survey respondents felt that the current regulatory environment was “good” for American businesses and the overall economy.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, when the Chamber of Commerce or a Washington politician voices concern for small businesses, you should automatically substitute the word “big” for the word “small.”

Heath care, banking and labor laws affect big corporations, not small businesses

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


As I touched on previously, Ulster County's DSS is very good at getting clients and running programs that help locals and new people who need help the most.  I understand that as a result, they need more space.

The obvious choice for the county would be to allow DSS to grow into what is now the UCCC Business Resource Center. It is part of the same plaza as the rest of the Department and would only seem natural to keep all of their operation at one location.

But what to do with the College Business Center?

Might I suggest using some of the vacant buildings at TechCity?
Imagine having a secure, designated parking area at a location closer to Rt 209 in a space that's easily modified to accommodate such a learning facility.
Students might even be inspired to study solar technology in a business application through one of their programs.

Perhaps the best reason to move the  resource Center would be to separate the two very different operations that the County and College manage. It always seemed odd to me to have an annex to UCCC who's mission is to get people working, right next to the Department that specializes in issuing checks to landlords across the county.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Because we are in such a financial dilemma in Ulster County, I felt the need to address something that many of you may not think about on a daily basis. The county's Safety Net program.

Since this past April, there have been two important bills lingering in the Judiciary Committees of the Assembly and state Senate. Bills that would have a direct effect on the amount of tax dollars we set aside for all the programs that shelter, feed and medicate those who are in most need. 

New Yorkers are notorious for making the best effort to help those in need. Ulster County residents are among the most noble. But there is a shift toward the dark side heading our way as of this January.

Of the States that actually have any form of Safety Net service, New York and California have the most to offer. Clients come to Ulster County from across the country because we are the best at giving away Federal, State and local tax dollars. If you were in a desperate situation, wouldn't you come to where they treat you the best? Of course. Problem is, we cant afford it anymore.

So rather than just close the doors on the rising tide of new New Yorkers in such need, I am asking the following: 
That the County Legislature and Executive pass MY resolution, urging the state Judiciary Committee to revive the tabled Bills and allow the counties across the state to dictate a residency requirement of their liking to stem the tide of nomadic tribes of clients that criss-cross the eastern seaboard.

Senate Bill No: S2494
Sponsors: Ranzenhofer, Alesi, Johnson, Larkin, Libous
Assembly Bill No: A2281
Sponsor: Schimminger (MS)

  The concurrent resolution in the Senate and Assembly proposes an amendment to the Constitution in relation to a residency period prior to receipt of certain social services.  New York has one of the most generous Medicare and social services programs in the U.S.  

Current New York laws hold no requirement regarding length of residency for benefit recipients.  Applicants must only reside in New York and show intent to remain in the state for the foreseeable future.  This is proven through documents such as a driver’s license. 
The proposed legislation would protect "true" New York residents who need these services by authorizing the NYS Legislature to enact a period of residency as a requirement for social services applicants.

The paragraph above is attached to the legislation and merely reiterates what I am looking for from the Legislature. A unanimous vote in favor of this resolution may help our state leadership realize their delay in action is costing New Yorkers precious tax dollars as well as added burden on our infrastructure.

When I talk about the shift in January, I mean when the state arbitrarily decreases their share of Safety Net funding from 50% to 23%. That's right, we will be responsible for 77% here in Ulster County. For those who don't know, we are the only county in the country where the municipality that's housing the client pays the County's share. The City of Kingston better get ready for a significant increase in taxes/cuts this budget season because my fellow Legislators are still showing no signs of accepting their fiscal responsibility on this issue.


City Police in Kingston Wednesday evening arrested a Bronx man who was standing in the middle of Broadway disrupting traffic.
Officers took Paul Smith-Weeks, 24, a member of the Bloods street gang, into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct and a search later found him in possession of two plastic bags, one with powder cocaine and the other with 16 individual knotted twists.
He was also in possession of a quantity of cash that police suspect was drug money.
Smith-Weeks was charged with felony drug possession, loitering and disorderly conduct.
Police said he was visiting Kingston at the time of his arrest.

Lifted from the police blotter.