Ulster legislative committee cuts jobs, salaries from spending plan proposal
Patricia R. Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman the Ulster County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee adopted budget amendments this week that eliminated a number of positions created as part of County Executive Pat Ryan’s proposed 2022 budget. The amendments also rolled back proposed salary increases for others. All together the committee made nearly two dozen changes to the proposed spending plan before voting to send it to the full Legislature for consideration. While the resolution to eliminate the communications specialist position narrowly failed, the committee did agree to reduce that salary by roughly $20,000. Minority Leader Ken Ronk first argued to get rid of the position, claiming it is more “brand-building and self-promotion” for the executive than for communications with the public. “I don’t think this is a necessary position for county government,” said the Walkill Republican. The committee also voted to reduce the proposed salary increases for three newly created positions that oversee the administration of the American Rescue Plan funds. Legislature Chairman David Donaldson said he will propose eliminating those jobs from the budget if Ryan's office fails to provide the Legislature with the resumes of those who have been hired to fill the positions. Deputy Budget Director Chris Kelly said the Ryan administration is aware of Donaldson’s request and it is under review. The committee rejected a proposal by Ronk to eliminate the newly proposed commissioner of Mental Health position, as well as a proposal to increase to full-time an existing part-time position in the Human Rights Commission. The full Legislature will vote on the 2022 spending plan on December 2. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.