Making Democracy Work

Action and Study Groups

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The League has been integral in shaping policy at the state level and continues to voice the views and positions of its membership regularly to the Senate, Assembly and Governor's office. Visit the League of Women Voters of New York Advocacy page for more information. And visit the national League's Take Action web page for issues of national significance.

Materials Management (Solid Waste) Study

Committee Minutes - January 2014
Committee Minutes - February 2014
Committee Minutes - May 2014
Committee Minutes - July 2015
Committee Minutes - August 2015
Committee Minutes - September 2015
Committee Minutes - October 2015
Committee Minutes - November 2015
Committee Minutes - December 2015
Committee Minutes - January 2016
Committee Minutes - February 2016
Committee Minutes - March 2016
Committee Minutes - April 2016
Committee Minutes - May 2016
Committee Minutes - June 2016
Committee Minutes - July 2016
Committee Minutes - August 2016
Committee Minutes - September 2016
Committee Minutes - October 2016
Committee Minutes - November 2016
December 6,2016 MEETING CANCELLED.
Committee Minutes - January 2017

Summary of Meeting with DC Deputy Commissioner of Solid Waste Management, Lindsay Carille

READ the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan

READ the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency Flow Control FAQ
READ the Dutchess County Solid Waste Management Plan 2013 and the Study Committee's comments

You may also want to take a look at how Lindsay Carille, Deputy Commissioner of Solid Waste Management for Dutchess County, explains the need to "Rethink Waste"

This legislation will enable the paint manufacturing industry to develop and implement a post-consumer paint management system for the reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of paint in New York. The industry supported legislation has already been passed in seven states and is currently being implemented in Oregon, California, and Connecticut.

Update: Both the Ulster County Legislature and the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency Board of Directors showed their support for bills S4690 and A6930 by passing resolutions supporting a paint stewardship program in New York. These identical bills will establish a convenient statewide paint collection and recycling program for all New York residents and businesses. It will save New York municipalities money, create recycling jobs and protect the environment.

Background: Each year, 10 percent of paint purchased by New Yorkers becomes unwanted, resulting in an estimated 3.1 million gallons of leftover paint per year. Unfortunately, most leftover paint is currently disposed of in the garbage despite the efforts of local governments. As stated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in its 2010 Beyond Waste Report, "Paint is a large component of the materials captured at most household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events and facilities...Managing paint through the HHW stream is expensive and not effective in capturing substantial volumes for recycling." If all leftover paint were captured and managed through the manufacturer-supported product stewardship program + as proposed by the bill + New York State would gain a total benefit of about $26 million annually.
1. Copy of Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency - Resolution No. 2290 passed April 15, 2013 Supporting Product Stewardship Program for Paint
2. Draft Resolution Supporting Paint Stewardship
3. Draft Resolution Supporting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Legislation in NY State
4. Letter of Support for Senate Bill 4690 from American Coatings Association
5. Ulster County Legislature- Resolution No. 135 passed May 14, 2013
6. Dutchess County Legislature Letter Supporting EPR Legislation

A presentation by Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority The Three R's and Why They Matter to the Environment by Anna Roppolo, Executive Director and Christopher St. Lawrence, Chairman
Jobs Factsheet graphics.pdf
New Yorkers for Zero Waste Platform.pdf
Waste Impacts Climate Change graphics.pdf

DEC Beyond Waste Materials:

Financing & Fees for Solid Waste & Recycling Management ALternatives2FlowControl.UCRRA2EnvComm.1998.pdf

NYS Assembly Commission on Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes Materials at, including its most recent newsletter, may also be of interest.

UCcomptrollerPRESSrelease.UCCRA.What's The Plan 02.24.11.pdf
UCcomtroller.2011-002 Future of UCRRA.02242011.pdf

DCRRA: Flow Control and Solid Waste Management Alternatives by Germano & Cahill, P.C and Gerhardt, LLC
Dutchess County: Independent Review of Solid Waste Management System and LSWMP, July 2011 by Mid-Atlantic Solid Waste Consultants, LLC
Solid Waste User Fee by Roger Ackeley. Acting Solid Waste Commissioner, November 13, 2009
The Independent Review was funded by the Dyson Foundation and reviews the Cahill study, among other reports. It and the Ackeley report have relevance for Ulster County and will be helpful to the proposed Commission on the Future of UCRRA

LWV Solid Waste Minutes April 2011.pdf
LWV stand on Waste Management.pdf



Beyond Solid Waste: The New Paradigm in Solid Waste Management in New York State What it means for Counties, Towns and Businesses
David Vitale - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Twenty years of UCRRA
Tim Rose, Executive Director, Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency

Twenty years of DCRRA
William Calogero, Executive Director, Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency


Flow Control and Pay as You Throw in Oneida and Herkimer Counties
William Rabbia, Executive Director, Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority

Funding Options for Integrated Solid Waste Management Systems
Steve Changaris, Regional Manager, Northeast Region: National Solid Wastes Management Association

Shared Services

Our League is conducting studies of the various ways in which Ulster County, Dutchess County, and it's local municipalities share and might further share some of the services provided to their citizens. You may find an excellent series of articles devoted to Shared Municipal Services published in the Government, Law and Policy Journal (NYSBA Winter, 2007;VOL. 9; #2) published by the New York State Bar Association Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, produced in cooperation with the Government Law Center at Albany Law School.

You should also visit Ulster County's Municipal Services pages to find what services are being shared and/or in the planning stages.

Ellie Charwat and her committee have prepared the following FAQ sheets you may find interesting as well.

Jail Fact Sheet Version 4-1
Fire Districts in Dutchess County
Justice Courts in Ulster County
Highway Departments in Ulster County
Purchasing in Dutchess County Municipalities
Bus Transportation

2010 Studies on the Future of Golden Hill

On October 19th the League presented its Consensus Report to the Ulster County Legislature.

Pros & Cons

Below are the 2010 and 2008 materials and resources used by the League in formulating its consensus. We recommend you study them.

1. Golden Hill Heath Care Center: A LWVMHR Study at

2. LWVMHR Study Group meeting on July 16, 2010 at

3. Interviews about GHHCC: Marshall Beckman, Deputy County Executive of Ulster County at

4. Golden Hill Health Care Center Demographic and Fiscal Issues Influencing Long-Term Planning prepared by Marshall Beckman, Deputy County Executive, presented to the League on September 21, 2010

1. Observer Corp: Golden Hill Task Force Committee Meetings 6/1/10-8/3/10 at

2. Long Term Care Financial Considerations: Golden Hill Health Care Center; David Bonk, CMA, CISA at

3. GOLDEN HILL SPECIAL TASK FORCE PRESENTATION TO THE LEGISLATURE: The presentation video and full report can be viewed at (the UC Legislature's "Webcast" page.) Select the November 30, 2010 entry from the menu. Also notice the "Documents" where you can view/download the full report.

Additional links of interest:

The national League of Women Voters has published a "Strategies for Best Practice" regarding privatization of government services. See its Executive Summary and the companion Appendix

Resolution No. 115 at adopted on April 20, 2010 creating the Golden Hill Task Force.

Resolution No. 214 at authorizing a sixty (60) day extension for reporting to the Ulster County Legislature the full findings of the Special Task Force on the Golden Hill Health Care Facility.

You can find information on the May 25th summit on county-run nursing homes convened by the New York State Association of Counties and hosted by Ulster County reported in the Daily Freeman May 13th issue at

Daily Freeman Story: Published: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 ; by PATRICIA DOXSEY - Golden Hill Health Care Center renovations put at $84M (with video) Click on or type the following URL:

NYS Department of Health - Nursing Homes in New York State - at

NYS Department of Health - Dear Commissioner: Evaluation of the 709.3 Nursing Home Bed Need Methodology and Recommendations for its Revision at

2008 Study on the Future of Golden Hill


Chapters 1- 10

Executive Summary
Intro & Methods
Bed Needs
Site Observations
Major Facility Problems
Financial Analysis
Long Term Care Continuum
Reimbursements for New Facilities
Conclusions & Recommendations

Appendices & Related Materials

Appendix 1- Vosburgh - Facility Evaluation, Needs Assessment And Identification Of Alternatives

Appendix 2 - SWBR Architects - Golden Hill Healthcare Center Cost Study
This document is the summary only; the full report was unavailable

Appendix 3 - CGR - 2007 - County Nursing Facilities In New York State
This document is the summary only; it contains a link to the full report

Health Commitee Minutes - 9-18-08 at which the GHHC report was presented and summarized.

April 26, 2008 League Meeting on the Future of Golden Hill

On April 26, 2008, the League held an informational meeting on the future of the Golden Hill Healthcare Facility at City Hall. About 70 people attended, and the meeting was reported in several local papers.

Richard Mathews was the moderator, and the panel consisted of Robert Parete, the chairman of the Health Services Committee of the Ulster County Legislature; Steve Kelley, who chairs the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on the Future of the County Nursing Home for the Legislature; Sheree Cross, Director of the Golden Hill Healthcare Facility; Bette Moscowitz, speaking for the Ombudsmen; Patrick Cucinelli, a financial analyst for the State Association of Nursing Homes; and Stan Wojeiechowski, also from the state association.

The Blue Ribbon Commission (also known as the Berger Commission) required a comprehensive review of healthcare facilities, including county-run nursing homes. As a result of the report, the Kingston and Benedictine Hospitals were merged, and the legislature appointed the Blue Ribbon Panel to look at the future of the county-owned Golden Hill Healthcare Facility.

Although there is a surplus of nursing home beds throughout New York State, Ulster County beds are at 98% of capacity. Elderly people prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible, so there may well be greater demand for home care and programs outside institutions as an alternative to more beds.

Like other county nursing homes, Golden Hill serves as a safety net for county residents, which means that it accepts people whom for-profit nursing homes might refuse because of the extra care they require.

There are serious financial issues facing the Golden Hill facility; the subsidy required from the county in 2007 was over $5 million, or about $20 thousand per resident. Furthermore, a site review showed that the physical plant needs serious renovation or replacement in the next few years. It is 35 years old and should be modernized for resident comfort and efficiency. Renovations were estimated at $44 million in 2006, and a new facility was estimated at $94 million.

Although there can be money for capital improvement from the state, the county would have to pay for the work up front and be reimbursed over the life of the improvement. Present county finances make that an unpalatable action.

Sheree Cross has been Director of Golden Hill for six years, and told the audience about the routine. There is a separate wing for Alzheimer patients. Short term care is available as well as long-term care. There are arrangements for residents at various levels of infirmity. Personal care is provided as needed, and residents eat in the dining room or in their rooms. There are choices of various activities (such as crafts) supplied by the staff. There are two beauty parlors and a gift shop, and physical and occupational therapy sessions. Visitors are welcome, and they can take residents out if they are well enough.

In addition to a staff of nearly 400 people in 11 departments, there are 70 volunteers who contribute some 9000 hours of work every year. Golden Hill has an excellent reputation and meets known requirements.

Bette Moskowitz described the role of the ombudsmen and spoke of how well Golden Hill staff works with the two ombudsmen there to resolve complaints and improve residents' lives.

The financial arrangements for funding nursing homes are extraordinarily complex and outdated. The basis for costs has been 1983 and is only now being revised to 2002. This should improve reimbursement from the state and federal governments when the changes are complete.

Currently, the amounts paid to nursing homes by the state are very difficult to calculate and there are too few financial analysts in the state Department of Health to determine and allocate the funds that have been budgeted but not yet distributed. State and federal money has been held up because of calculation problems and because some states have used federal money for purposes other than health care. With the change in the basis year, money should be greater, but the timing is not definite and counties have obligations to pay operating costs as they come due.

In response to a question, Steve Kelley said that the Blue Ribbon Panel hopes to have its report and recommendations out by early June. It is being worked on now. He noted that the committee members were all at the meeting and expected to use the public comments in their deliberations.

The League's local study group continues to meet in hopes that the situation will be clarified and that a solution can be found which is satisfactory to all interested parties and is within the financial constraints under which the county has to operate.

Criminal Justice Study

From the our local League's own findings based on its studies since 1999, and in accord with prior recommendations to the Ulster County Legislature, the League of Women Voters Mid-Hudson Region has recommended the formation of a Criminal Justice Council under the auspices of the present Criminal Justice / Safety Committee and has transmitted a proposed Resolution to the Legislature.

Click the following link to view the League's report & recommendations:

Resolution for a Criminal Justice Council

To read the Daily Freeman editorial regarding our proposals, click:



The LWV of the Mid-Hudson Region has promoted the formation of a Criminal Justice Council as a result of our study of the criminal justice system in Ulster County. The County Legislature adopted this idea and has now appointed 19 of the 21 members who will form this Justice Council.

The make-up of the council comprises decision makers from the following agencies: Public Defender, District Attorney, Corrections (Jail), Youth Bureau, Probation, County Court, Mental Health, Sheriff's Department, Department of Social Services, Drug Court, Community Corrections, and Alternative Sentencing.

In addition, there will be seven civilian representatives: Richard Barnhart, Catherine McCaffrey, Roger Rascoe, Eve Waltermaurer PhD., David Singer, Patrick Sheehan, Thomas P. Kadgen (an LWV member). The final appointments are awaiting nominations from the Magistrates Association and the Bar Association.