Ulster County has an array of serious civic problems. People are leaving the county because of high taxes and too little affordable housing. Too many people need a second job to make ends meet and too many seniors on fixed incomes are having a hard time of it. There are pockets of poverty throughout the county that have existed for decades and NYC treats several of our towns as if they were its colonies. Which begs the question as to why our legislators are spending so little time on these issues and so much time on political trivialities.
Political legislation such as increasing the length of their terms while imposing term limits on others. Who should get to pick the members of the ethics board and whose name should appear on public announcements. Up next is a campaign finance law which as written will do little to prevent corruption but will allow them to use our taxes for their campaigns. As individuals most of our legislators are ethical, intelligent and committed; however, as a group they often get distracted by politics. It is time for the better legislators, from both parties, to shelve politics for a while and begin focusing on what they can do to improve the lives of their constituents.