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Ulster Co. comptroller and executive battling over $708 bill

Jul 16, 2018 5:15 am
Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman the Ulster County Comptroller and Executive are at odds over a bill submitted for payment by a local business. Comptroller Elliott Auerbach recently declined to pay a $708 invoice submitted by ColorPage, a Kingston company, for the printing of 7,500 cards for the county Department of Health and Mental Health, because they include name of County Executive Michael Hein. Auerbach claims that having Hein’s name on the cards violates a policy adopted by the county Legislature prohibiting elected officials from attaching their name to any public service announcement paid for with public money. The administration denied any wrongdoing and accused Auerbach of “petty politics.” The dispute stems from a policy adopted on a vote of 18 to 4 by the Legislature in February. Hein returned the measure unsigned, allowing it to go into effect, but signaling his disapproval. County lawmakers found themselves in the middle of the quarrel last week, when a series of memos between the comptroller and the county attorney landed in front of the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee. In one of the memos to the committee, Deputy County Executive Ken Crannell pointed out four instances in which he said the comptroller paid for similar pamphlets ordered by the county clerk. At the meeting, most legislators sided with the comptroller, but also said the comptroller should pay the bill. At the same time, officials conceded they have no authority to compel him to do so. Hein and Auerbach, both Democrats, have had a frosty relationship for several years, according to Doxsey. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.