Three on a match

Three on a match

It is said “the stars fell” on the West Point class of 1915, so many became generals. Eisenhower and Bradley rose to the highest ranks, but what about the Kingston High School class of 2000?

Maybe not stars yet, but three of the first KHS millennials will take oaths of office this week. County executive Pat Ryan leads the way, with Kingston mayor Steve Noble, and sitting right behind him (literally) common council president Andrea Shaut. Shaut represented her alma mater as alderwoman. 

Noble begins his second four-year term this month. Ryan was first elected at a special election last April and reelected in November. Shaut served a term as Ninth Ward alderwoman. She is the first woman to hold the office.

Ryan will deliver his first state of the county address at Kingston High School next week where he is expected to speak to the opportunities his administration hopes to provide for local youth. I think the kids, if Ryan, with ringing rhetoric and believable prose, can lure them off smart phones, will respond. Even if too many recent KHS grads are waiting on tables, working in box stores or gone to faraway places.

The trio, all now 38, will be reunited at their high school for the first time since graduation. Ryan was overseas in the army on their 10th anniversary. Only 20 years ago all were high school kids. Remarkable.

Petit squabble – It is the bane of all newshounds that sources don’t respond to messages for comment. I usually track them down in diners, gas stations or supermarkets. It’s a conspiratorial business, politics. What most don’t get (or don’t care) is the decisions they make behind closed doors can and will have impact on the people who put them in office.  

Which brings me to an update on the ongoing machinations for county legislature chair, to be formally voted upon on Jan. 7.

Democrat Laura Petit of Esopus has surfaced as a candidate in opposition to current chairwoman Tracey Bartels of Gardiner. Democrats hold a 12-11 majority. Some speculation is necessary since neither candidate returned phone calls, SOP at this stage of the game.

Petit, in a letter to fellow Democrats, laments the “loss of the executive” last year, whatever that means. Democrats have held that office since former executive Mike Hein was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2009.

A counting of noses suggests that Petit has but one vote – her own – going in but in a house so sharply divided, it could be enough. Republicans would embrace one dissenter. That’s all they need, really.

In the final stages now playing out, offers of committee chairmanships or even jobs for cronies or relatives may be in play. We’ll see. But not now.

Inside baseball – I can’t be too specific about this, but it sounds like a former legislator may be lobbying for a job in county government. But he or she may have to wait until next January. To wit:  Under a local law passed in December of 2004, no “current or former” legislator may be appointed “by the legislature” to a paid position for a year after leaving office, except as a “commissioner of the board of elections.”

There’s enough loopholes in that one to drive a pack of hungry pigs through.

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