Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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Hein named to state commissioner’s post

Hein, delivering his last State of the County message last February

KINGSTON – Governor Andrew Cuomo has nominated Ulster County Executive Michael Hein to be the commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

He was the appointed county administrator for a few years until the county charter was change paving the way for an elected county executive.

The State Senate must confirm his appointment, but that will not be an issue given that Cuomo and Hein are Democrats and the Senate is Democrat-controlled.

Hein said it is “an incredible honor” to be nominated by the governor to head up “such a critical agency at this pivotal time in our history.” He said working with the county administration they have accomplished what many thought of as impossible.

“When we took over things were really bad; on the heels of the old jail and a series of things and to find ourselves now a decade later in a place where it has been completely transformed. When I took over it was the worst national economy since the Great Depression and to now find ourselves where there is great progress here in Ulster County, I am really proud of it. So, I feel like we are leaving on very good footing.”  

County Legislature Chairman Kenneth Ronk, a Republican, is “disappointed” for the county, but said Hein will be an exceptional resource for the people of New York. The chairman said working collaboratively, the legislature and Hein have made many accomplishments for the county and its residents.

“Everything from building a brand new family court in the Town of Ulster, building a brand new annex to the community college; the Ashokan Rail Trail, what we have done with trails all over the county. The list goes on and on,” Ronk said.

Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Cardinale called Hein’s nomination “bittersweet,” but he said it was “inevitable the things he has done in the county would be recognized outside the county. I am sure he will do a fantastic job.”

Cardinale said it will be “a big loss” for the county, but the government will get through it. “It was inevitable that the things that he has done in the county would be recognized outside of the county and I am sure he is going to do a fantastic job, he would do regardless of what new position he took; he’s an extremely competent person.”

Across the Hudson River, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, a Republican, congratulated Hein. “Our shared love for the Hudson Valley has fostered a collaborative, bipartisan relationship that I am grateful for – a relationship that will now benefit residents statewide.”

As far as a successor to Hein on the local level, an acting county executive will be named as per the county charter once Hein assumes his new post.  Aspecial election must be held within 90 days of the vacancy. 

 


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