Chairman Donaldson Announces Vice Chair and Standing Committee Appointments for 2020

Posted January 15, 2020

Kingston, NY – David Donaldson, Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, announced the 2020 Standing Committee assignments.  “We are fortunate to have such a wealth of knowledge and experience in the members of this Legislature,” said Donaldson. “I think we have the right people on each committee to ensure responsible oversight and policy development to meet the challenges Ulster County will face this year.”  Donaldson made the appointments after careful review of each Legislator’s request and the recommendations of Majority Leader Jonathan Heppner, Minority Leader Kenneth Ronk and newly appointed Vice Chair Tracey Bartels.

Vice Chair Bartels says the balance of seasoned and new legislators on each committee will be beneficial to the committee process.  “We made great strides last year with environmental initiatives, public safety and financial oversight and I look forward to the work ahead.” said Bartels.  “The 2020 Legislature brings new and returning talent that will further focus and inform our work.  Chairman Donaldson’s appointments show a commitment to a bipartisan approach.”

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, “I’m excited and optimistic about our new direction in 2020, and am looking forward to working with Chairman Donaldson and every member of the Legislature to ensure we deliver the best services, to the most residents, at the best value. This slate of committee chairs and members draws on the strengths and experiences of each of our talented Legislators, and prioritizes a service-focused, bipartisan approach to running our county government - which is absolutely critical to our shared success as Team Ulster County.”


Minority Leader Ronk noted the committee appointments show a renewed sense of bipartisanship.  “I look forward to working with Chairman Donaldson to continue to make Ulster County a model for New York State as the committees develop policies for sustainable environmental, fiscal and social initiatives,” said Ronk.


Donaldson noted that each committee has an important role.  “We will address a variety of issues this year which will require the commitment of each committee to work with department heads and staff to ensure our programs and projects fulfill the needs of Ulster County residents, ensure our health and safety and protect taxpayer’s interests.”


The Standing Committees for 2020 are as follows:






To set legislative policy and review contracts for all aspects of Economic Development, Tourism, and Planning. Responsible for issues pertaining to: Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, Ulster County Planning Department, Economic Development Department, Revolving Loan Fund Committee, Shovel Ready Committee, Employment and Training, Ulster County Area Transit, Technology and the Department of Information Services. To foster relations with the County and local Chambers of Commerce.


Brian Cahill, Chair                                                                           

Herbert Litts, III, Deputy Chair                 

Lynn Archer                                       

Thomas Corcoran                         

James Delaune

Mary Beth Maio

Abe Uchitelle



To set policy and review contracts pertaining to the Department of the Environment, Environmental Management Council, Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Forest Practice Board, and Soil and Water Conservation District, including the protection of water ways and the County’s recycling efforts. To set policy and review contracts pertaining to but not limited to the activities of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency.


Manna Jo Greene, Chair

Mary Wawro, Deputy Chair

Albert Bruno

Peter Criswell

Laura Petit



To set policy and review contracts pertaining to the following County Departments and Divisions: Ulster County Sheriff and the Law Enforcement Center, Probation, Restorative Justice, Emergency Communications/Emergency Management, Arson Task Force, Fire Coordinator, EMS Coordinator, STOP DWI, District Attorney, Consumer Fraud Bureau, Safety and Public Defender.


Eve Walter, Chair

Heidi Haynes, Deputy Chair

Dean Fabiano

Jonathan Heppner

John Parete                                    



To set policy and review contracts pertaining to the following County Departments and Divisions: Board of Elections, County Attorney, County Comptroller, Weights and Measures, Human Rights, Insurance, and Board of Ethics. To oversee Legislative policy and revisions the Legislature wants to see implemented in the Ulster County Charter and the Administrative Code. To review and maintain the Rules of the Legislature and to review and approve all local laws for legal sufficiency only, unless Laws and Rules, Governmental Services is the committee of original jurisdiction.  To approve all late resolutions, considering lateness and content prior to submittal to the full Legislature. To approve resolutions required to be referred to it under the Rules of the Legislature.


Tracey Bartels, Chair

Kevin Roberts, Deputy Chair

John Gavaris

Jonathan Heppner

Kenneth Ronk, Jr.



To set policy and review contracts pertaining and related to the following: Arts, Ulster County Community College, Historian, Libraries, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Community Action, Office for the Aging, Youth Bureau, and Veterans Affairs.


James Delaune, Chair

Thomas Corcoran, Deputy Chair

John Parete

Mary Wawro

Peter Criswell



To set policy for and review contracts pertaining to the following County Departments and Divisions: Health, Mental Health, and Social Services.


Craig Lopez, Chair                         

Peter Criswell, Deputy Chair             

Albert Bruno

Laura Petit

Abe Uchitelle



To set policy for and review contracts pertaining to the following County Departments and Divisions: Public Works (including Parks, Highways, and Buildings and Grounds), Fleet Management and Capital Projects.


Dean Fabiano, Chair                                                                                                                      

Manna Jo Greene, Deputy Chair                                        

Brian Cahill          

 Jonathan Heppner  

 Herbert Litts, III



To recommend the Legislature’s position on all budgetary and financial matters of the County. To review contracts pertaining to the following departments: County Clerk, Finance, Innovation Division, Personnel, Purchasing, and Real Property Tax Services. To approve all resolutions with financial impacts to the County, excluding those financial impacts limited solely to legislative advertising expenses.


Lynn Archer, Chair

Kenneth Ronk, Jr., Deputy Chair

Tracey Bartels                                   

John Gavaris

Heidi Haynes

Mary Beth Maio

Eve Walter


Chairman Donaldson also made the following appointments to the Audit Committee:


John Parete (Chair)

Herbert Litts (Deputy)

Lynn Archer

John Gavaris

Kenneth Ronk