Poughkeepsie… Questioning the political motives behind it, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus refused to support a legislative resolution asking a state budget office to conduct compliance reviews on five County public agencies including the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC), the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (DCIDA), the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency (DCRRA), the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority (DCWWA) and the Dutchess County Tobacco Securitization Corporation (DCTSC).
“It’s clear we are all witnessing opportunistic politics by Legislature Democrats in a fast-approaching election that they are desperate to win,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “So let’s stop pretending and call it like it is – for the Democrats in the County Legislature it’s all politics, all the time.”
“Legislature Democrats, pointing fingers at the hard-working, dedicated citizen volunteers who serve on these community boards simply to divert the public’s attention away from the failure of certain Democrat elected officials to perform their own job responsibilities, are truly playing politics at its worst,” continued Steinhaus. “What is truly hysterical is Chairman Higgins and his fellow Democrats seem to think state government, rated the most dysfunctional government in the nation, should even be doing a job that is the local responsibility of Legislator Higgins and Comptroller Jablonski. Why is that?”
Steinhaus noted Democrat Chairman Higgins and Legislator Dan Kuffner sit on several of the boards proposed for review to provide active oversight of management and bring any concerns about the boards’ duties back to fellow legislators, but in a year and a half have raised no concerns or questioned compliance issues to these board citizen volunteers face to face. Democrat Legislator Kuffner, liaison both to the DCWWA and member of the IDA for the past year and a half, has never once brought a single compliance concern to the attention of the County Legislature. “So either Legislature Kuffner is admitting he has ignored problems on these agency boards of which he is a member, or he is choosing to support a witch hunt on volunteer citizen board members just to go along with the Democrat Majority,” Steinhaus said. As Legislature Chairman, Roger Higgins also serves on the DCEDC Board of Directors, but has failed to attend a single EDC board meeting since being seated 19 months ago.
Steinhaus challenged Chairman Higgins, “Rather than asking the dysfunctional state government to come in and do your job, why not show up at a board meeting once in a while and find out for yourself?” Steinhaus continued, “This is an insult by Higgins to these volunteer citizen representatives who donate thousands of hours of their time to help administer these agencies. Higgins is paid by the taxpayers, and doesn’t even show up.”
“If County legislators want a compliance review and audit performed on any entity, they should require Comptroller Jablonski to do the job she was elected and is paid to do and hold the Democrat appointees to these boards accountable for failing in their oversight responsibilities for the past year and half,” concluded Steinhaus.
- July 27, 2009 memo (.pdf) to Dutchess County Legislators