Executive-elect Pat Ryan announced a “transition team” of 14 notables last week, but like just about everything else in this oh-so-special election just passed, it will be something of a rush job.
Ryan, who took 75 percent of the vote among the few who showed up in April’s special election, will take office on or about June 1, 30 days after his victory over Jack Hayes is certified. That left him about three weeks after the transition team was announced to take charge of county government. By comparison, governors and presidents have between seven weeks and two months, respectively, to get their administrations together. So do executives-elect, but this was a special election.
Nonetheless, a broadly-based transition team, however cumbersome in number, speaks to Ryan’s campaign pledges of inclusiveness and outreach. How much influence they’ll have during this brief period before the real job of governing begins is problematical, but I like the way this guy thinks.
It might be noted that the first “transitional” Ryan sat down with – even before announcing the team – was acting executive Adele Reiter. Ryan, after taking a day off after the election, met with Reiter for several hours in her office at the county office building. Reiter, in that sing-song style of press releases popular with the former Hein administration, said she was “honored” to be included on the transition team. Her absence on that hand-selected list would have been almost as glaring as Mike Hein’s non-endorsement in the last election. Alas, that’s all ancient history now.
Moving on, Ryan’s naming of two county legislators – newly-minted finance committee chair Lynn Archer of Accord and the man she replaced, the retiring Rich Gerentine of Marlborough – speaks to the future exec’s focus on fiscal affairs. It’s 2020 budget time and all roads lead through the county executive.
I’m not familiar with some of the names of on the list, but I’ve always been a big fan of Ellenville Regional Hospital director Steve Kelley for what he has achieved for that troubled community. Good call there. Including former challenger Pat Courtney Strong to the list – crushed by the Ryan express at the Democratic convention in February. But did the exec-elect proffer an olive (branch) in the martini?
Some of the rest, holdovers from the campaign, will no doubt pop up in key posts going forward.
OUT THE DOOR – My last (almost) contact with Hein frontman Ken Crannell was via phone shortly after he left to join his master in Albany government. “Mr. Crannell is in a meeting,” I was politely informed. She didn’t mention the moving van parked outside the back door of the county office building.
The Hein administration liked to play good guy-bad guy, like the cops at interrogations. Reiter was the good one; a summons from deputy executive Crannell sent shivers down spines. Crannell also acted as Hein’s attack dog whenever the administration was threatened. Like during the ongoing disputes between the executive and comptroller.
Retiring comptroller Elliott Auerbach rarely got the best of either Hein or Crannell and it would appear he’s still stewing over it.
“They say,” he said, upon confirmation of Crannell’s joining Hein in Albany, “that when a man moves, he takes his dog with him.”
Ouch. But then again, the ever-loyal Crannell might have taken that for a compliment. I’d call for a retort, but I’m sure Crannell will be in a meeting somewhere, probably in Albany.