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After breakfast with Hochul, county executives hail new era of communication

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro with NYSAC after meeting Governor Kathy Hochul
Ashley Hupfl
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro with NYSAC after meeting Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul met privately with members of the New York State Association of Counties Tuesday, which county executives from around the state called a stark change from her predecessor.

Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Democratic Albany County Executive Dan McCoy both say over the past decade, they never met or spoke directly with former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now running for Congress, Molinaro had a rocky relationship with the Cuomo administration after losing to the governor in 2018.

“And what we felt today was, we would know, we'd be a part of, at least, informing the decision - if not assisting in developing the decision.” Molinaro said. “And then we'd be a part of its launch and its implementation or have the ability to say, ‘We think it's a bad call,’ rather than reading about it after the fact and reacting to a briefing.”

While they were mostly vague about the private breakfast meeting at the governor’s mansion in Albany, the county executives say Hochul was open to sales tax and property tax reforms.

Republican Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus says they are hoping for a closer working relationship with the administration in combating COVID-19.

“I think one of the best parts of the conversation today is, unlike the prior administration, where we found out what the policy is when we watch the press conference, as well as the staff, we agreed to have a dialogue before major things come out,” Neuhaus said. “Where she would work with us as either a sounding board on how we move forward with policies, because in the past, it was either the staff had no answers for us and we had to wait, like I said, to hear a press conference where the state was going.”