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.


Anonymous said...

Let the County Executive set the example since he has already selected his appointees, which are his direct staff, Deputy County Executives. Tell me they are solely concerned with the will of the people over the influence of their Boss Michael Hein. Let’s see if Michael Hein is man enough to take your recommendation. My bet is he won’t because it’s within the law to appoint whoever he wants.

Donn Avallone said...

You are spot on Elliott. This issue has already divided County residents and Legislators. It is very important that GHLDC members be seen as indepedent rather than shills for vested interests.

Anonymous said...

The problem is no one outside of "Politics" wants to serve on the voluntary boards. Don't fool yourself into thinking people who are not elected are not political.

Anonymous said...

The rules for the LDC should have been established before the Legislature voted on creating it. Ready? Shoot! Aim!