Thursday, December 20, 2012


STATE COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI & COUNTY COMPTROLLER AUERBACH'S AUDITS ALIGN! County Beat: Opinion by Hugh Reynolds on Dec 18, 2012 County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach didn’t exactly jump up and yell “I told you so!” when state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli boinked the RRA for questionable operational practices in an audit released last week. But he could have. It was Auerbach, recall, in the first of two highly critical audits more than two years ago, who took the RRA to task for excessive debt — currently $23 million — and operational deficiencies. In typical fashion, RRA administration claimed it was aware of most problems cited and had corrected almost all. This is known in the auditing business as the “nobody-here-but-us-chickens” defense. And this is the outfit to which we’re prepared to give all of the county’s garbage business?

Monday, December 3, 2012

SEPARATION PAY:The Hidden Cost of Downsizing Government

SEPARATION PAY..the Hidden Cost of Downsizing 12.03.12 Separation Pay Report.12.03.12

Friday, November 2, 2012


Fiscal Stress Test Press Release
The complete report can be found at

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

DIGGING OUT OF THE GARGAGE PILE...Hein Answers the UCRRA Question What's the Plan

Monday, October 1, 2012


Briefing Document Urgent Report 10.01.12 The full report can be found at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ulster comptroller issues URGENT plea to county lawmakers KINGSTON – The Ulster County Legislature will consider a new memorandum of understanding for the county’s URGENT task force and County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach issued a warning Monday night that lawmakers should go slowly before they adopt it, tentatively on Wednesday. Auerbach has concerns about the document suggesting the legislature consult with the county attorneys before approving it. “We see a memorandum of understand that’s retroactive which we are really uncomfortable about, which raises issues of its enforceability and we see a memorandum of understanding that is unclear as to how these funds are distributed and the memorandum of understanding has no provision for the rights of all parties if any other member leaves,” Auerbach said. Last year, the City of Kingston, which had been a member of the Ulster Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team since its inception in 2007, withdrew from the program. This past June, the city sought disposition of outstanding expenses and assets of the program, a reference to the memorandum of understanding’s governing the operation of the program contemplating a sharing of seized assets after processing by the federal government. (Copyright © 2012 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Auerbach suggests Ulster explore county-wide assessments KINGSTON – Each of the 22 assessing units in Ulster County computes its own rates for property owners. County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach suggested that perhaps a more equitable way of doing it would be on a county-wide basis. There were 87,000 parcels on the books according to statistics from one year ago and Auerbach said some communities haven’t done anything to update assessments in a very long time. “It is amazing to realize that we have some municipalities that haven’t done a reevaluation since back to the 1950s and there are a half dozen communities that are pre-21st century in their assessing, so there is opportunity for change, opportunity to restore confidence in the system, and bring it in at a cost saving effort,” Auereback said on Monday. The comptroller’s office has drafted a report offering several options, with a county administered program being one of them. The report can be found at .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Our RECOGNIZING SUCCESS program is in its third year and during its history the Office of the Ulster County Comptroller has acknowledged the accomplishments of nearly thirty local high school students. This year we are proud to be joined by the RONDOUT SAVING BANK in honoring ten outstanding seniors. With the changing landscape both socially and economically we went on a search for that special student who sees opportunity in new and different ways. We set out to find that social, environmental, educational or economic entrepreneur who was not only willing to embark on a creative new venture or enterprise but also willing to accept responsibility for its outcome. Please let me present our recipients, nominated by their respective schools, all of whom possess a high propensity for risk, innovation and achievement. COLEMAN-EVAN DUCKER….Author, Athlete and the face of 40,000 bags of Doritos. Who has used his personal experiences to literally change the world. His children’s book BUDDY BOOBY’S BIRTHMARK has gained international acclaim. ELLENVILLE-BILQEES RAHMAN….An artist and academic that has influenced her community with her creativity. She will begin a seven year program in medicine this fall. When asked how she decided to chose between being an artist or a doctor she responded that she could always be a doctor who loves to draw but she could never be and artist who practices medicine. HIGHLAND-NICK SIGNORELLI…Merged his love of media to create and produce local content for Madison Square Garden Varsity Network and is literally a one man production company. Nick does it all sound, lighting and video. KINGSTON-PAUL ALLEY…Another media genius who enlisted fellow students to star in an anti-bullying video that has gained national prominence with thousands of views on YOU TUBE. Paul’s social entrepreneurship has called attention to a dangerous social problem in all of our schools. MARLBORO-HEAVEN SHOULARS…A Habitat for Humanity and Students Against Drunk Driving Volunteer who has improved the quality of life for others while maintaining her studies and holding down a job. Heather gives back to her school and community through her volunteer efforts. NEW PALTZ-VICTORIA FREEBORN…Her passion for marine biology and zoology led her to do participate in the Intel Science Competition and do museum volunteer work. She has learned how to make science understandable to both kids and adults. RONDOUT VALLEY-JONATHEN SEILS…Businessman, entrepreneur, athlete and environmentalist has led Jon to merge his love for the outdoors not only into a senior project but into a career path as he heads to Paul Smith’s College of Forestry. Jonny believes that great things can be accomplished if you set your mind to it. SAUGERTIES-ETHAN STANLEY…Scholar, athlete, Boy Scout , state ranked wrestler and produce farm worker are just a few of the adjectives that describe this Annapolis bound leader who is never to busy to help a struggling classmate. He leaves a legacy through both his actions and attitude. WALLKILL- KATIE DINEEN…National Honor Society member, volley ball captain and waitress and impetus behind raising $30,000 for RELAY FOR LIFE…did I forget to mention #2 in her class with a 99.7 average? WOODSTOCK DAY-HARRISON BRUHN… Ingenuity and leadership are the first two words that pop into your mind when you meet Harrison. Add to that creativity because Harrison developed, designed and marketed his own clothing line called MILK N COOKIES using the resources of many area businesses. These students are our greatest resource. Let’s hope that they return to Ulster County to sit among us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And Now For A Little Good News........

Home sales up in Ulster County KINGSTON – It may be a sign of better days for the Ulster County economy. Home sales rose during the first five months of the year. Economists have said that until home sales regain their strength, the economy will not see a robust recovery. From January to May, home sales rose by 17 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ulster County Board of Realtors. The number of homes sold in the first five months of 2011 totaled 316 as compared to 369 during the same period this year. The average selling price fell, though, from $256,794 in 2011 to $213,758 during the same five months in 2012. In May, Ulster home sales rose from 65 last year to 97 this year, an increase of 49 percent. The average selling price also rose, going from $214,957 in May 2011 to $240,705 during the same month this year. (Copyright © 2012 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Auction numbers shrink as properties are removed from sale.

The 195 parcels scheduled for Wednesday’s Ulster County Public Auction has been dramatically reduced as sixty-nine (69) properties have been removed after being redeemed or withheld as a result of court orders.

The sale begins at 9:30AM on the campus at SUNY ULSTER in Vanderlyn Hall.

Find the listing at

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


APRIL 11th Ulster County Public Auction
Foreclosure 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012


17,000 minutes racked up on unaccounted for Ulster government cell phone

(Copyright © 2011 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

KINGSTON – An audit of Ulster County government cell phone use has uncovered a missing phone assigned to the county Probation Department’s Crime Victim’s Assistance Program that someone ran up 17,000 minutes of calling time over a two-month period.

County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach said the bill totaled $1,843.

Investigation reveals the chain of custody was broken “and it looks as if the county has suffered as a result of this abuse of taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Auerbach has turned over his information to District Attorney Holley Carnright’s office to determine if there are possible criminal charges.

Auerbach was very critical of county cell phone use and policy in a June 2009 report and he called on county policy makers to “revisit county cell phone use, reduce the hundreds of devices that are county issued, and provide a monthly allowance for those employees who use their personal cell phone for county business.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


KINGSTON, NY (February 22, 2012)…. Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach alerted dozens of local governments, school and fire districts, little leagues, ambulance corps, local courts and police departments in the county that there is money waiting for them as part of the Office of the State Comptroller’s (OSC) unclaimed funds account. The total being held by the State is close to $11 billion dollars for over twenty-six million accounts.

As part of an intern project, Auerbach’s staff combed records that identified monies being held by the State as a result of unclaimed funds from dormant bank accounts, insurance benefits, trust funds, estate proceedings and other idle holdings that have been surrendered after two to five years of account inactivity. “We have identified and contacted numerous organizations and governments in the County, including entities like the Woodstock Fire Department, the Marlborough School District, the Town of Shandaken and the Rondout Valley Little League informing them that there is money waiting to be claimed on their behalf,” Comptroller Auerbach said. “New York State holds these unclaimed funds in a trust, and OSC has processed more than 600,000 claims and has paid out approximately $296 million dollars,” according to Auerbach.

Comptroller Auerbach stated “this is not only an opportunity for local governments, not for profits and community based organizations, but for individuals as well. OSC boasts that the largest personal account paid was for $4 million dollars and is currently holding an unclaimed individual account of $1.7 million dollars. Before you get your hopes up to high I would just like to point out however, that 63% of the claims have been less than $100.00.”

To find out more go to

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My View...Trust the Process.....02.14

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DRAWN & QUARTERED...4 Senate Districts Would Hurt

Wonder where Ulster County's current Senators stand about carving up the county into four senate districts and how concerned they are for their "constituents" to be adequately and properly represented. Hats off to NP School Board member Dan Torres for expressing the frustration of us all in Ulster County

New Paltz School Board Opposes LATFOR Lines (Updated)

New Paltz School Board Opposes LATFOR Lines (Updated)

(Reprinted from

A reader forwarded this resolution in opposition to LATFOR passed unanimously by the New Paltz School Board last night.

I found it interesting, not only because New Paltz happens to be my hometown, but also because I believe this is the first resolution of its kind to be passed since the legislative committee released its controversial Senate and (somewhat less controversial) Assembly lines last week. UPDATE: Just to be clear, the school district used to be largely represented by Sen. John Bonacic with a little piece in Sen. Bill Larkin’s district. Now it, under LATFOR’s proposal, it has four – count ‘em, FOUR – different senators.

LATFOR members are now on an accelerated timetable, thanks to US District Court Judge Gary Sharpe’s decision to move the US Senate and House primary date up to June 26.

Legislative leaders are still trying, as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver puts it, get Gov. Andrew Cuomo “comfortable” with their redistricting plan. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

Here’s the full text of the NP resolution:

WHEREAS, our representation in New York State Government is essential in receiving funding and best serving the citizens of the New Paltz Central School District; and

WHEREAS, every ten years New York State’s Congressional, Senate, and Assembly districts are re-drawn to represent the changing population of the State of New York, with the input and assistance of the Legislative Action Task Force on
Demographic Research and Reapportionment (“LATFOR”) as established by Chapter 45 of the Laws of 1978; and

WHEREAS, in the most current Senate map proposed by LATFOR, the New Paltz Central School District is broken up and divided between the following four State Senate Districts: 51st, 46th, 42nd, and 39th; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Education believes that this configuration is inconsistent with the effective representation of the New Paltz Central School District in the State Senate;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education hereby records its opposition to the most recent Senate lines established by LATFOR and directs the District Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to the New York State Governor, Assembly and Senate representatives and the Legislative Action Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012


Auerbach urges Ulster officials to appoint independent directors to Golden Hill LDC

(Copyright © 2011 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc)

KINGSTON – Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach Monday urged the county legislature and county executive to appoint members to the board of the Golden Hill Local Development Corporation who are free of governmental control and political influence.

“It is vital to the success of this enterprise that its board of directors be free of real or perceived conflicts of interest,” Auerbach said.

In a letter to Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo and County Executive Michael Hein, the comptroller said that the appointment of elected legislators or staff members to the board of directors creates complications. “Consider the dilemma of allegiance when the sworn obligation of a legislator is to act in the best interests of Ulster County comes into conflict with the mission and the authority of the GHLDC,” Auerbach said. “The legislator has a fiduciary duty to both organizations. Which duty should prevail?”

He said the same problem of independence applies to appointments by the county executive of members of his staff. “When the professional career and personal livelihood of the staff member comes into conflict with the best interests of the GHLDC whose trust does the staff member favor?” he asked.

Auerbach noted the state Authorities Budget Office recommends local development board members should be free of direct governmental control and political influence.

He said when appointing members to the LDC board, the process used when selecting members to the county Commission on Reapportionment should be followed. In that case, eligible appointees were not public officials or employees and were not confronted with a duality of purpose and confidence, he noted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012