Auerbach to Albany

Elliott Auerbach is going to Albany.

Following in the footsteps of frequent arch-rival Mike Hein, the county’s three-term fiscal watchdog has been appointed a deputy state comptroller by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Auerbach, a former Ellenville village mayor, and village manager will begin working as deputy comptroller in charge of local government audits on May 15, he said. He will lead a staff of some 330 workers in 16 regional offices around the state. Salary will be $150,000 a year; his current salary is $103,000.

The office audits and advises over 1,000 local municipalities from counties to villages and the state’s 730 school districts.

“I thank Comptroller DiNapoli for offering me this challenge and look forward to the opportunity,” Auerbach said. DiNapoli formally announced the appointment on Monday.

A Democrat and a life-long resident of Ellenville, Auerbach, 62, was elected the county’s first comptroller in 2008. As a fiscal watchdog, he frequently clashed with Hein, a fellow Democrat elected the first executive that year. Auerbach said he has no plans to carpool with Hein.

Under the county charter, the legislature has 30 days to name a replacement from the time the comptroller submits his resignation. That person will serve until the end of the year. The remaining two years of Auerbach’s term will be filled at the election in November.

Auerbach has recommended his chief deputy, Evan Gallo, for the position. Gallo, an attorney, is the son of former Kingston mayor Shane Gallo. The Democratically-controlled legislature, which has also clashed with the comptroller, is not bound by that recommendation.