Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 10th, 2014

Sullivan County Legislature Reorganizes

The Sullivan County Legislature held their reorganizational meeting last week as Democrat Scott Samuelson remained its chairman and Republican Kitty Vetter was selected as the vice chair.

One would think that moving Vetter into the non effective vice chair position was an act of bipartisanship between Democrats and Republicans, but in reality it is furthest from the truth.

There was a strong bipartisan coalition already established between three Democrats and Republicans that accomplished a great deal during the past two years.

In fact, Vetter was part of that coalition that delivered on a new County Manager, brought sweeping change to the Department of Family Services to cleanup welfare fraud, brought an upgrade to 911 emergency services, and fought for high speed Internet throughout Sullivan County.

Vetter appeared at times to be opposed to much of the way Samuelson had been conducting government. Of late, she was an advocate to replace County Attorney Sam Yasgur.

So – Why the about face?

Some insiders feel that when Benson wavered on Yasgur that might have been the turning point.
Samuelson in his desire to hold on to his leadership position knew that he needed to woo over whomever he determined to be the weakest link to retain his position as chairman, and obviously that was Vetter.

Reports were flying rampant that Samuelson during the past few months used his dynamic entertainment personality to become friendly with Vetter.

Vetter even rejected the possibility of fellow Republican Alan Sorensen becoming chairman over Samuelson.

Politics and backroom maneuvering for leadership positions is nothing new to politics – especially in Sullivan County.

Four years ago a coup schemed by Kathleen LaBuda to remove Jonathan Rouis as Chairman in favor of Ron Hiatt failed when a coalition was formed between Democrat Rouis and several Republicans. LaBuda was punished and removed as chair of Public Works. LaBuda is now a close Rouis ally and back as Public Works chair.

Before that there was the time when Leni Binder and Bob Kunis left the Democratic Party after a blowout with LaBuda and others, they joined forces with the Republicans, switched enrollment, and Binder became the chair.

The list of stories and backroom wheeling and dealings are truly endless.

One just has to look at the New York State Senate and the deal Republicans made with the Independent Democratic Coalition to prevent Democrats from taking control. In nearby counties deals were made this week between Democrats and Republicans to retain leadership positions. All in the name of bipartisanship!

Along with retaining the chairmanship Samuelson will be deciding who remains or is removed from committees and who will head them. He has a few more days to make his decisions.

What remains to be seen is if Samuelson will be punishing certain legislators for not agreeing with him during the past two years and stack committees with votes he thinks he can control.

There is always hope he will be objective and select the people whom are the hardest working and put the interests of Sullivan County first and foremost.

What is even worse is that Sullivan County voters have no say in who leads our government and that is one of the reasons I have always been an avid proponent of creating the position of County Executive.

Hopefully Samuelson has learned a great deal during the past two years, and will spend the next two years leading this county in the right direction.

Once elected and a government begins, politics should be removed. Elected officials need to unite and do what is best for all the people they represent.

In the world of politics there is always tomorrow to fight another battle.

In the world of government one must be proactive and look to do the best job possible for all the people. Hopefully this legislature will recognize that.

Sullivan County Legislature, NY • Reorganizational Meeting • January 2nd, 2014

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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