Monday, February 1, 2010



The month of February is filled with promise to both finish up and begin several reviews that point an arrow at efficiency and effectiveness.

1) A review and recap of payroll certification for 2009. A quick “look back” indicates that our office has reviewed over $95, 742,956.00 in annual payroll affecting over 2000 employees.
2) A review of the process that the Commissioner of Finance performs when reconciling close to thirty accounts with an average combined balance in excess of $70,000,000.00.
3) A look at all of the millions of dollars of debt of taxing entities in Ulster County, including school districts, fire districts, villages, towns, special districts and the County itself.
4) The use and assignment of EZ PASS by the various county departments.
5) A payroll practice assessment of Public Works and a payroll audit of the Infirmary.

Last month’s legislative attendance report clearly demonstrated the need for the Chairman to institute a mechanism that explains legislators’ absences. In some cases missing a meeting, public hearing or vote could be attributed to “circumstances beyond control” due to family or health challenges, but without a method to duly note “for the record” the reason behind the absence, legislators are simply marked “present” or “absent”.

I am happy to see that the Chairman, as well as the Executive, took notice of our November 2009 report of the Ulster County Department Health specific to SEGREGATION OF DUTIES AND NEPOTISM. We could not be clearer when we stated that employees in familial relationships ought not to work within the same department and division, especially in a supervisor/staff relationship.

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