KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Michael Hein signed legislation on Monday approved by the county legislature that codifies the county’s intention to absorb the cost of the state-mandated Safety Net social services program over a three-year period.
That hinges on the State Assembly passing the extension on one percent of the county’s sales tax and that does not seem likely until next year. That could cost the county $5 million in revenue not collected in the last quarter of this year.
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D, Kingston) insisted on the Safety Net codification, but said last week it is not likely that the Assembly will meet before the end of this year.
Hein continued his criticism of fellow Democrat Cahill.
“His failure to act in Albany and the blockage has actually put property taxpayers at risk and it disgraceful,” the county executive said.
Without suggesting that Cahill’s days in Albany could be numbered, Hein said constituents could register their dismay at the polls.
“We live in a wonderful democracy and people have an opportunity to hold people accountable,” Hein said.
Municipal officials from the county to local level, and of all political parties, have expressed their displeasure with Cahill.
“The massive loss in revenue will certainly result in layoffs, reductions to contracts, and hits to essential services,” said Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, another fellow Democrat.