Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bernardo Watch: Nice Work if You Can Get It

How'd you like to have a job that pays you more than a quarter million dollars per year? If you're Sandy Mathes, that's what Greene County was paying you as head of its IDA. To put that in perspective, Mathes' outrageous salary is almost twice what a United States congressman is paid, and it's approaching the level of salary reserved for executive-branch officials. The President of the United States makes $400,000, just 25% more than Mathes was making.

Anyone with half a brain would look at numbers like these and wonder what the hell is going on in Greene County. With just 50,000 residents, Greene County has a little over a quarter the population of Ulster (approx 180,000 residents as of 2010). What could Mathes have been doing that could possibly justify such a salary?

And it gets worse. Mathes left under a cloud regarding his salary, and rightly so. But he continued to receive salary and benefits well after his resignation, according to Patricia Doxsey at the Freeman:
Mathes is a former member of the Greene County Legislature who became the head of the county’s Industrial Development Agency in 2002. He left the agency in 2011 amid significant criticism over his salary and bonus structure. Mathes’ salary rose from $75,000 in 2002 to $130,000 in 2010, and he also received bonuses of as much as $175,000.

Under a “separation agreement” with Greene County, Mathes drew a $2,525.48 weekly salary through Feb. 28.

His first day as an Ulster County employee was March 5.
Mathes also received a nice benefits package with his golden parachute, according to Doron Tyler Antrim at the Daily Mail:
He was also given 45 vacation days and continued health insurance for the remainder of 2011.
I'm sure we'd all like to know how such a small county can justify all of this. And I'm sure all of us would like to know how WE can get a job that pays $6,000 per week -- and then an additional $131,000 per year for doing...nothing!

WTF? It makes you wonder whether some of this money was making its way into the pockets of someone other than Mathes. I would also think a FOIL request for this "separation agreement" would be in order. How long was Greene County willing to keep paying him?

And does our attorney general know about all of this? If not, he should.


  1. He might have a good lawyer from Orange County!!!LOL Maybe some help or donations to a state Senator??? I think the people of Green are probably just glad to get rid of him. The people of Ulster (Bernardo) are stupid enough to take him off their hands

  2. Remember looking for a job and being told that you're overqualified?

    Obviously, this infamous Greene County resident Mathes is overqualified for the part-time position Terry Bernardo recruited him. Definitely there are hidden reasons for him to be involved with Ulster County Legislature. Why renounce hundreds of thousands of dollars just to slave for Terry Bernardo' peanuts?

  3. Who could be the next Bernardo appointment? We have Tantillo the former republican loser, Chapman Bonacics boy fro out of county, Matthes Chapmans boy from out of county? Hey how about a job for the dog Sundae its as qualified as any of the above and smartier than most of the Legislature(all the Republicans) at least it lives in Ulster County. It qualified for an IDA loan Thank you Dave O'Halloran

  4. Cut and pasted from Liberty Coalition blog.

    "Word on the inside is that those terrific Bernardo-following Republicans in the Ulster County Legislature are getting ready to pull a fast one and keep Bernardo’s man Chapman on the payroll after all. I hear they are planning to amend the list of contracts to be voted on, removing the Chapman/Bonacic Krahulik et al payment from the list entirely since it’s under $50k. I mean, come on – there’s always a way around everything and if anyone can find the way around it, this crew can!

    And to all the people who say speaking out doesn’t make a difference, you’re wrong! Tell everyone you know – copy and paste this post into an email and send it to all your Ulster County contacts. Tell them all that they have only a few days left to send an email (which is traceable and FOILable – phone messages can get lost!) to and simply say: NO TO CHAPMAN AND MATHES!"

  5. O'Halloran should be taking care of his own business. I am told that there have been a number complaints made to the SPCA regading starving and dead horses on his ranch. Maybe he can ask Terry Bernardo for some of his fund raising-donation money back so he can afford to feed his herd.

  6. fawn could watch the dog as part of her duty as Chief of Staff. Chief of dog She could do this while Terry and Langdon have sex in her office or at least try to decice who to screw next. Can the round guy even do it?

  7. For obvious reasons, starting in April all legislative meetings will take place in Accord, at Len Bernardo's kitchen table.

    The change of venue will facilitate the participation of Sundae and Devil O'Halloran, even if only from under the table.

    The sessions will take place during the Parete, Parete, Parete & Bernardo poker games on Tuesday nights, as to save taxpayers' money for future sessions in Cancun.

    Did any of the Ulster County voters stop to think how idiotic it is to vote three members of the same family to legislature?

  8. Seriously, you are sounding more and more like and idiot, and less and less like someone who has a valid point. Stay on topic (The Bernardo's are power hungry creeps) and you will win friends. Keep up the nonsense and no one will pay attention.

    The Paretes are in the Minority and have no influence over the Majority Republicans.

  9. 12:25 You're absolutely right: "The Bernardos are power hungry creeps."
    Now, of course, they succeeded by themselves.
    No Parete sold this vote for the Independence line.
    No O'Halloran refused to take an open vote on Terry's Republican nomination ("I'm going to tally your vote over the phone. You trust me, don't you?")
    No Chipman kissed Bernardos' collective asses for the Independent line.
    No firemen sold their votes for a few kegs of beer sent by Bernardo the Fire Commissioner together with a promise for shinier toys.
    And all this just in the Town of Rochester, as I hear it.

    Want to move to County and State level? Do your own research. I'm tired of hearing about Bonacic, and Chapman, and Mathes, and Turco, and Jacobsen.

    Your "Paretes in the Minority" are not better than anybody listed. They talk with one voice, and they talk for Bernardos. In Ulster Country the Republican Party is dead, and the Democratic Party is not far behind.

    The 08:25 seems to be on topic, and I hope he is winning lots of friends.
    AS for you, dawg, with your stunted vocabulary, I'm not that sure.

  10. And the best part is the 'Godfather" Bonacic is behind all of this. Is he finally gonne from Ulste County and please take all your minoins with you

  11. By the way Bernardo had Blaber get back on his blog that was shut down. But you are not allowed to post anything negative a the queen la terry

    1. Blaber to the rescue. With her regal status, can't she find a better mouthpiece?

  12. 01:09 is right. The Parete Brothers sold out to Bernardos in exchange for lines on the ballot. Independence, Republican, you name it, Bernardo sells it to you. For a price, of course. Like being the only democrats left shilling for Bernardos.

    This is from an article in Shawangunk Journal:

    In other county news, Tuesday night's Ways and Means Committee exposed the simmering hostility between Republicans and Democrats when Legislator Provenzano, D-Kingston, criticized resolutions containing contracts, specifically that with the law office of Bonacic, Krahulik, Cuddeback, McMahon & Brady, LLP for legislative counsel in the form of law firm employee Langdon Chapman.

    Provenzano argued that hiring a law firm as opposed to an individual as counsel to the legislature goes against the intent of the charter.

    "We were told we were hiring an attorney, not a law firm," the former Minority Leader said.

    Hector Rodriguez, D-New Paltz, called the fact that the contract falls only $275 below the $50,000 threshold that would subject the contract to a full legislative vote, "curious." And Tracey Bartels, D-Gardiner, said the effort represents "a deliberate attempt to circumvent the issue" while citing the possible indications of engaging a firm that can subcontract and potentially cost the county more.

    During a subsequent Democratic caucus, Minority Counsel Chris Ragucci said the county Charter is ambiguous on whether hiring a law firm is allowable, but noted that its language refers to counsel as he or she, which would imply an individual, and not a firm.

    Not all Democrats support Provenzano's position.

    Rich Parete, D-Accord, said the argument was moot.

    "Good, bad or indifferent, the chair gets to choose counsel," he said.

    Robert Parete, D-Stone Ridge, agreed, as did John Parete, D-Boiceville.

    "We're looking bad here," the elder Parete said. "If there's an ethical question or conflict of interest, Mr. Chapman will have to decide at that time whether to recuse himself."

  13. Six degrees of John Bonacic.

  14. The Parete's are right, the Chair does get to appoint the attorney. However, that does not mean this is the ethical choice. It is not. There are several issues that would not be on the table if the attorney was a local attorney who was not affiliated with the Bernardo's personally, not affiliated with a Political Party executive committee, not on the payroll of a sitting NY Senator and not on the payroll of a NY Senate sub committee.

    It is entirely avoidable. The Legislature should be doing the right thing. Just because it is legal, does not make it right. The entire Legislature should be screaming about this one. There are literally hundreds of attorneys in Ulster County who would not have to consider recusing themselves for any reason.

    This is not the Bernardo's money it is the mine and everyone else who pays taxes, I do not like them handing it out to their rich friends who happen to be politically connected.

  15. Wait -- help me understand. Madam Chair appointed fawning Fawn Tantillo as her personal secretary for $51k, but her "best bang for the buck" lawyer will only earn $49k? Newly hired Mathes, who was earning $2,525 a week in Greene Cty, will now earn $29k. And the grand madam herself only receives $20k.
    What's wrong with this picture? Setting up the chess board is my guess.