Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Auerbach “demystifies” comptroller’s role

Auerbach “demystifies” comptroller’s role

KINGSTON – Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach is responsible for how the county spends its money, and Tuesday he told members of the Chamber of Commerce of Ulster County how government is a responsible partner with the private sector.

“What we tried to do is demystify the office of comptroller, and explain to them how we do things,” he said, after the monthly chamber breakfast. “And just like them, we feel government should be run and be accountable as they do in their businesses every day.”

And like businesses, government provides goods and services. Unlike the private sector; however, there is no competition to provide a better product. Yet there is trust in government to do so.

Ulster County government works with businesses that provide goods and services to taxpayers, and those businesses must be paid. And it’s not always so easy to submit a bill and then get paid on a timely and preferable schedule.

“The biggest thing we hear from businesses is the slow payment time,” said Auerbach.

So Auerbach’s office has created a system to help provide those payments and increase government’s efficiency.

“We’ve created a vendor efficiency payment report to track that. By tracking that, we can see where the gaps are. And by seeing where the gaps are, we can speed the process along.”

Ulster County also provides funding for non-profits, and Auerbach said government, being the leading non-profit, shares lessons about survival and accountability by training them about the process of obtaining funding.

“With the non-profits it’s about making them better stewards with their money,” he said. “One thing I see with non-profits is that they don’t see how the process works. And by not knowing how it works, it frustrates them.”

Copyright © 2009 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.)


Anonymous said...

Mystified? Now that's pretty sad! Education has failed miserably for those who haven't learned what a comptroller is. If someone believes that a comptroller is a mystical figure, I can't imagine what damage they've done to their community.

UC Client #11 andf Elliott's Advisor said...


There is no mystery about that!

Anonymous said...

Re-elect Auerbach because critical analysis of how our tax money is spent isn't a mystery, it's a necessity.

Anonymous said...

How much is the county paying Roemer Wallens & Mineaux, LLP to defend the sheriff's office with their nunerous lawsuits?

Anonymous said...

The sherrif's department itself is an unnecessary expense. Time to expose just how much that department is costing us. They already fleeced us with that new jail. Can't we sell it and cut our losses?

Anonymous said...

Who would buy it? another county? can't move it. Its here to stay for the next 30 years until rendered obsolete. Not so new anymore, its 3 years since its opening.

Anonymous said...

I think it's already obsolete isn't it? Private corporations run other failed jail buildings. Couldn't it become the Fox news hotel Republicana?

Anonymous said...

7:09, do you believe a private corporation should operate corrections on a county level? why?

Anonymous said...

Because there's an inherent conflict of interest between law enforcement and incarceration. They should not benefit each other. If all enforcement and judicial jurisdictions were above the county level, this wouldn't be a conflict. It's just easier to put up a wall by making a prison a separate entity. Eliminating the county police would help. Elected police are just wrong.

Anonymous said...

You raised some interesting issues, 8;16. According to the NYS Constitution, the Office of County Sheriff is mandated to operate a jail and civil functions. It does not state that a police division is needed or necessary.

However, as a courtesy of the executive/legislature branch; this aspect of the Sheriff's Office has been funded over the past 35 years in Ulster County. There was some discussion of the county forming a county-wide police agency back in 1981 but that concept never got off the ground.

Correction Officers who work in the county jail are not police officers. The minimum number of positions to operate the jail 24/7 is mandated by the State Commission On Corrections.

Out of 59 counties outside of NYC, only TWO counties has a separate Department of Corrections- Westchester and Onondaga Counties.These agencies fall under the jurisdiction of the executive branch of county government.

At the turn of the 20th century, all law enforcement activities in rural New York was the scope of the elected county sheriff and the town's constabularies. The New York State Police was formed in 1917 as a direct result of the inability of the Westchester County Sheriff to arrest a murder suspect for political connection reasons.

Anonymous said...

Quite clearly the issue of political favoritism in the judicial and law enforcement areas of county governance conflicts with our constitutional right to equal protection under the law. We should do better to adhere to core constitutional values. Elected judges fall outside these values as well.