Hugh Reynolds Commentary

New candidates emerge for UC Comptroller position

Since last we wrote on the saga of replacing former Ulster County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach, the political scene has shifted dramatically. As of last week, there were three known contenders. Now, there are five. The emergence of acting county executive Adele Reiter and SUNY New Paltz accounting professor Rief Kanan as candidates for interim appointment as county comptroller now brings […]

Comptroller to be named


Tracey Bartels, chairwoman of the Ulster County Legislature, has called a special session for June 11 at 7:15 p.m. at SUNY-Ulster to appoint an interim county comptroller. The vacancy occurred when former comptroller Elliott Auerbach resigned on May 16 to take a job as a deputy state comptroller. By charter, the legislature had between 20 and 30 days to name […]

Captain courageous

Former army captain Pat Ryan will take charge of county government as its second elected executive on or about June 15. As such he has that once-in-a-career opportunity to make positive first impressions, to hit the road running, to take the county to new heights. Will he dare? He’ll have had six weeks of fairly intensive closeup, hands-on orientation by […]

“Race” for Comptroller seat to be a short one

“So, did you have a big party, you know, sex, drugs and rock and roll?” I asked former Ulster Comptroller Elliott Auerbach the day before he resigned for a job with the state comptroller. “We did that every Friday,” he replied, speaking of his decade in the office. Funny guy. Less hilarious is the mish-mash left in the wake Auerbach’s […]

Comptroller contest

Channeling her former boss and political mentor, March (don’t call me Marge!) Gallagher stole a march on rival Lisa Cutten in announcing first for county comptroller in early May. The ink had hardly dried on Comptroller Elliot Auerbach’s “see-ya!” press release before Gallagher’s formal announcement two days later. Gallagher’s preemptive strike got top of the page billing on the Daily […]

Taking care of business


Coming off a landslide victory over a mismatched challenger, county executive-elect Pat Ryan has about six weeks before he officially occupies the corner suite in the county office building. But he won’t wait that long. Bright and early Thursday morning Ryan has an appointment with acting county exec Adele Reiter for some serious OJT. If anybody can act as mentor […]

Not so special election

With Democrat executive candidate Pat Ryan holding what may be an historic advantage in fundraising over Republican Jack Hayes and a scorched earth ground game, Democrats will be looking for a clean sweep at the polls this November. In some ways this brief sprint to a preliminary decision was disappointing. (The verdict on a full, four-year term will be rendered […]

Going, going…

County legislators like to talk about the “profound transitions” we’re going through now, what with the certainty of three county executives in less than as many months. Under the radar, there’s machination going on in the legislature itself over another succession saga, albeit still in the speculation stage. Recall, a few weeks ago when comptroller Elliott Auerbach was rumored to […]

Dante’s GOP

Ulster County’s rapidly-dwindling Republican Party has not engraved the words “Despair. All ye who enter here” over their Kingston headquarters, but they might after counting last week’s candidate petition filings. It’s been a helluva year for the GOP and it seems to be getting worse. With a minimum of 750 signatures required on county-wide nominating petitions, Democrats filed a total […]

Smoke gets in their eyes

I love a happy ending, but sometimes the sausage making can get ugly. Case in point, the county’s decades-long delayed but suddenly fast-tracked fire training center in the town of Ulster. The saga goes back some 40 years, say firefighters, but gained momentum when former county executive Mike Hein took on the project for his signature reelection theme Campaign-19 a […]

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