Grattan sets course for supervisors

HUDSON–Pat Grattan (R-Kinderhook), newly elected chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, spoke to the board earlier this month about the challenge of a stagnant economy and rising costs, declining state aid, and the need to stretch every dollar.

He told his fellow supervisors that he does not believe the recession is over yet. The biggest challenge, he said, would be to contain property taxes while continuing to provide services to the community, adding, “We need to do more with less by employing creativity and strong fiscal management.”

Mr. Grattan said he won’t use the vehicle provided by the county, a perk that goes with his office, or take reimbursement for mileage. He expects his abstemious conduct will save the county $25,000. He plans to use a pool car instead.

He urged everyone to renew their vehicle registrations at the county clerk’s office instead of sending that money out of the county, and praised the clerk’s office for bringing in $1.2 million in annual revenue. Mr. Grattan also praised Pine Haven, saying that the healthcare facility in Philmont no longer needs a subsidy and now contributes between $500,000 and $1.5 million to the county.

He cited one significant change that promises more transparency in county operations:  Resolutions will now be posted on the county website both before and after passage by the Board of Supervisors. That type of openness is required under a new state law that takes effect in February.

Also, new fiscal oversight committee composing of all supervisors and financial managers will meet twice a month.

Mr. Grattan expressed thanks to departing Chairman Roy Brown for his courtesy during the two week transition.

Taghkanic Supervisor Elizabeth Young was chosen as majority leader by the Republican Supervisors.

Democratic Supervisors did not select a minority leader because they could not agree on whether to use a one-man-one-vote rule previously agreed on by the group or the weighted vote system followed by the Board of Supervisors that it has used in the past.

Contenders for the post included William “Billy” Hughes of Hudson, and Ray Staats of Clermont.

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