Michael P. Hein
|Michael P. Hein|
|1st County Executive of Ulster County|
2006 – December, 2008
July 20, 1965 |
Esopus, New York
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Residence||Hurley, New York|
|Alma mater||Eckerd College B.A. (1987)|
Michael P. Hein (born July 20, 1965) is the 1st and current County Executive of Ulster County, having been elected on November 4, 2008. Prior to the creation of this position, the 2008 ratification by referendum of the Ulster County Charter, he was the Ulster County Administrator.
Early life, education and career
Hein was reared by his parents on their farm in Esopus, New York and attended school in the New Paltz. In 1987, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a special emphasis in Management from Eckerd College.
Hein became the deputy treasurer of Ulster County in 2003, and was appointed as county administrator in 2006. The duties of that position have since been shifted to the purview of the county executive, a position which came into being in 2006 due to the passage of the first county charter. Hein was elected to the position and assumed office in January, 2009.
Clash with New York City officials
In the fall of 2010, the New York City Department of Environment Protection began releasing turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir via a waste channel which feeds into Ulster County’s Esopus Creek. The Esopus Creek became contaminated with turbid water causing major problems to local farmers and residents as well as potentially damaging the aquatic ecosystem. This action by the agency which oversees the watershed feeding New York City’s drinking water drew the attention of environmental groups and Ulster County residents, as well as that of County Executive Hein and many other local leaders.
On Tuesday January 12, 2010, after 97 days of contaminated releases into the Esopus Creek, County Executive Hein announced Ulster County’s intentions to file a lawsuit against New York City DEP. After enlisting the help of the New York State Department of Conservation and the New York State Attorney General’s office, Hein brought an end to these releases and forced New York City DEP to pay for an independent damage assessment in order to evaluate the impact of their actions.
Catskill Mountain Railroad
In October 2013, Hein included in his budget an amount totaling $642,000 that was to be earned by taking up tracks in an unused section of an almost 40-mile long corridor leased to a local tourist train company, the Catskill Mountain Railroad. Later, Hein suggested that much of the corridor be converted to a rail trail while preserving segments for continued tourist train operations  In response, the railroad created a plan calling for both rail and trail throughout in the former Ulster and Delaware Railroad. In 2013, Ulster County issued the tourism train a "Notice to Cure" citing lease violations. The lease with the tourism train ends in May 2016, and Mr. Hein has been working with the Ulster County Legislature and other entities to prepare for future uses of the corridor.
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- "Donaldson welcomes Ulster Legislature's new role". DailyFreeman.com. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Hein hits the ground running". DailyFreeman.com. 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Brooks, Paul (November 5, 2008). "Hein wins big as first Ulster County executive". Times-Herald Record. Ottaway Community Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- "Ulster County has $18M fund balance, down from $24M". recordonline.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Ulster revenue, spending short of projections in 2009". DailyFreeman.com. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "No tax hike in 2011 Ulster County budget proposal". Midhudsonnews.com. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Hein ends first year as county exec with list of accomplishments". Midhudsonnews.com. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- WILLIAM J. KEMBLECorrespondent (2010-12-30). "Worried about muddy water, towns along Esopus Creek keep up pressure". DailyFreeman.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- WILLIAM J. KEMBLECorrespondent (2011-01-21). "Watchdog group eyes lawsuit over mud in Esopus Creek". DailyFreeman.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Ulster County threatens to sue New York City DEP". Midhudsonnews.com. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "NYC ends release of turbid water into lower Esopus Creek (video)". DailyFreeman.com. 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- WILLIAM J. KEMBLECorrespondent (2011-02-18). "Hein awaits answers from state on turbid water releases". DailyFreeman.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.