The Ulster County Charter After Five Years: A Conference

NEW PALTZ –The State University of New York at New Paltz’s Center for Research, Regional Education, and Outreach (CRREO) and the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region will hold a conference, “The Ulster County Charter After Five Years” on Tuesday, December 13th, at the Terrace Restaurant on the New Paltz campus, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Ulster County leaders will examine the first five years of the Ulster County Charter to explore how results compare with original expectations while discussing current strengths, weaknesses, and future best practices. This meeting is designed to inform the deliberation of the commission now considering proposals to change the charter, in accord with amendment processes it included when it was adopted.

The conference will open with an overview delivered by Mike Hein, the county’s first elected County Executive. The first panel, “The Ulster County Charter After Five Years,” will be moderated by Gerald Benjamin, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Director of CRREO, and former chairman for the commission that drafted the county’s first charter.

The second panel, “Strengths & Weaknesses of the Ulster County Charter,” will be moderated by Hugh Reynolds, a journalist and long-time Ulster County political observer. Professor Benjamin will also moderate the third panel on “The Importance of Fair Local Redistricting.”

The luncheon speaker, Attorney Mike Catalinotto, also a member of the original charter commission and also a member of the county’s redistricting and charter review commissions, will present on the subject, “Three Commissions–Working on Making the Charter, and Making the Charter Work.”

Other panel participants include: Louis Klein and Thomas Roach (Former Charter Commission Members), Bea Havranek (Ulster County Attorney), Elliott Auerbach (Ulster County Comptroller), Dave Donaldson (Current Legislator and Former Chair), Wayne Harris (Ulster County Legislator), Marianne Collins (Former Charter Commission Member and Transition Committee Member), former members of the Ulster County Commission on Reapportionment Vernon Benjamin, Paul Benkert, Richard Messina, and Dare Thompson.

The registration fee is $26, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. To register, visit or call 845-257-2901.