Five years ago, Ulster County voted in favor of a charter form of government. Instead of being run solely by the legislature, the county is now managed by an elected executive who is responsible for the budget and for appointing department heads.
Ulster County's government, with its elected executive, is politically a very different animal than a legislature with a part-time chair, or a board of supervisors. Since being elected the county's first executive in 2009, Mike Hein has emerged as a powerful, popular, and at times controversial figure.
Is the charter good for Ulster County? A conference at SUNY New Paltz on Tuesday, December 13 seeks to answer that question: to find out what's working, what isn't, and whether the charter is good for voters and taxpayers. For surrounding counties that don't have a charter form of government, Ulster County is a test case, and perhaps a vision of what the future might hold for them if they move to go down that road one day.
Our reporter Anne Pyburn will be liveblogging the conference on Tuesday from 8:30am til around 2pm. Have thoughts on the Ulster County charter? Feel free to jump into the discussion below.