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.