Ulster County Executive Michael Hein

Michael Hein
Hank Gross

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein says he will not run for Congress in 2018. The Democrat had been urged to run for New York’s 19th Congressional district seat — currently held by Republican John Faso — by supporters including Senator Charles Schumer. Hein says in a statement Thursday the decision has been one of the most difficult of his professional life. At least nine Democrats have emerged as candidates for the seat so far.

Despite all of the speculation that Ulster County Executive Michael Hein would run for Congress next fall, he announced Friday that he will not be a candidate.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein’s proposed 2016 county budget carries a 1.1 percent property tax cut, cuts county spending by $4.5 million over last year and includes no reduction in services or layoffs.

Doug Tone, flickr

The New York State Department of Health has not scheduled any public hearings since releasing in August a draft document that would continue to allow upstate water headed for New York City faucets to avoid filtration. A group of Ulster County legislators says it will hold its own public hearing, to compile comments on the controversial subject.

The Ulster County executive is behind a statewide tour to learn how municipalities in New York are best coping with fiscal challenges. This comes during an era of unfunded mandates and a two-percent property tax cap. He says the idea is to prevent communities from becoming distressed or on the brink of bankruptcy.

The initiative is called PAYGo NY. Ulster County Executive Michael Hein says it harkens back to a philosophy of pay as you go. Hein is also president of the New York State County Executives Association.

WAMC/Allison Dunne

In New York today, in Kingston, a new anti-fracking group announced its formation. A number of environmentalists and elected officials are on board with the initiative that stems from the Hudson Valley.