Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan believes that public access to county government should be made easier and to achieve that goal he will be bringing county government to local town halls across the county in 2020; first stop is Marlborough.
On Monday, February 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ryan will have a host of department representatives at the Marlborough town hall for a day-long outreach to town residents.
“I’m super excited that we’re rolling this out and the first one is in Marlborough and we’re happy to do that,” he said
Ryan said when he was elected one of his priorities was, “having a more responsible and responsive government.” He said last year he attended many town hall meetings, especially in the southern end of the county, where people told him, “that they felt disconnected from county government and that coming to Kingston for services was very difficult or impossible. The whole goal here is to bring government to the people directly through this Mobile County Government Initiative.”
On the 24th Ryan will have county representatives from the Department of Social Services, the Office of the Aging, the Veterans Service Agency, the Probation Department, the Office of Employment and Training, Ulster County Area Transit, the Department of Economic Development and the Office of Health and Mental Health.
“The idea is this is a one stop shop for any issues and even if we don’t have the representative there, we will be able to follow up quickly with that service or a link up with a federal agency,” he said.
Ryan said he will be holding 20 of these kinds of events in the county during 2020 and in southern Ulster at least one in each quarter of the year.
“Some people said we’ve literally never had a County Executive come to our town. We didn’t even know half the things that you provide in services to residents,” Ryan said.
Ryan thanked Supervisor Al Lanzetta for, “getting this set up for success,” and for coordinating this with the county.
Ryan said Ulster County is geographically the size of Rhode Island and some towns like Denning are very isolated and can only be reached by driving through Sullivan County, “because of the way the roads are set up. That gives you a sense of how remote they are out there.”
Ryan is hoping this program catches on with the public.
“The goal here is to make ourselves accessible and to make people understand that we’re here to help. Hopefully people can walk out if not with an immediate solution [but] at least feeling that they’ve been heard and that government cares and that we’re making the effort to come to them.”
Supervisor Lanzetta said some people may not know what kinds of services are available to them in Kingston, in part because of the town’s southernmost location in the county.
Lanzetta said County Executive Pat Ryan, “is a breath of fresh air.”
“He is trying to bring Kingston a little closer to Marlborough,” Lanzetta said. “This is the first one and I am very supportive. It will be nice to get some of the social services to us. It’s a good start.”