The executive power of the County government shall be vested in a County Executive who, as chief executive, shall be responsible for the proper administration of all County affairs placed in the County Executive's charge by any and all provisions of this Charter and/or by law.
The County Executive shall be elected from the County at large, shall be a qualified elector of Ulster County at the time of his or her nomination and election and shall remain a qualified elector of Ulster County throughout his or her term of office. The County Executive shall hold no other elected public office or compensated employment and shall devote full time to the duties of the office.
The County Executive shall be elected for a three-year term at the regularly scheduled election in the first even-numbered year following the adoption of this Charter, and thereafter every fourth year for a four-year term. The County Executive's term of office shall begin with the first day of January following his or her election.
The County Executive shall be the chief executive of the County. Except as may be otherwise provided in this Charter, he or she shall have and exercise all the executive powers and duties conferred by this Charter and/or in law upon a County executive officer or the executive branch of a County government, and all powers and duties necessarily implied or incidental thereto:
Appoint department heads and other officers and employees as provided in this Charter. Should the County Executive fail to make such appointment in writing, signed and filed in the offices of the Clerk and the County Clerk within a period of 120 days from a vacancy in such department or administrative unit, except in the case of the departments of health and social services, in which case such appointment shall be made within 180 days, the County Legislature may appoint such department head or administrative unit head. In no event shall, unless a default occurs in the confirmation process by the County Legislature, any person appointed by the County Executive enter upon his or her office unless confirmation by the County Legislature shall have been filed by the Clerk in the offices of both the County Clerk and the Clerk;
Supervise, direct and control the administration of all departments;
Appoint, without confirmation by the County Legislature, such assistants, officers, and employees of the County Executive's office as may be authorized by the County Legislature;
Conduct or supervise the conduct of collective bargaining negotiations with legally designated bargaining agents of County employees;
Supervise and direct the internal structure and organization of every unit of the executive branch of the County government;
Reorganize the duties of, create, combine, separate, or eliminate executive departments of the County with the confirmation of the Legislature;
Except as otherwise provided in the Charter or applicable law, supervise the appointment and dismissal of employees;
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, serve as an ex officio member of and appoint, supervise and terminate all executive committees, commissions and boards needed to assist him or her in the exercise of his or her executive functions and in the planning, formulation and administration of executive policies and programs;
Serve as the chief budgetary officer of the County, and as such, prepare and submit to the County Legislature the annual budget, capital program, and accompanying message, all as provided for in Article IV of this Charter, and execute the County budget and capital program in accordance with the resolutions and appropriations made by the County Legislature;
Designate one or more official depositories located within the County for the deposit of County funds;
Himself or herself or through a designee require the submission of regular reports of all County-funded agencies, assuring that publicly provided funds are used by said funded agencies in accord with overall County plans and agreed annually specified goals and objectives for said agencies;
Approve or disapprove the sufficiency of sureties on official bonds and undertakings required to be posted of officers within the Office of the County Executive;
Execute all contracts under the sum of $50,000 and, with the approval of the County Legislature, all contracts in excess of $50,000;
Approve or disapprove in writing every proposed local law and resolution and the County Budget by specified items, subject to the provisions of § C-12 of this Charter; and
Make such recommendations to the County Legislature with respect to the affairs of the County and its government as he or she may deem appropriate.
To conduct studies and investigations in furtherance of his or her executive functions and, in connection therewith, to obtain and employ professional and technical advice, appoint citizens' committees, commissions and boards.
[Added 8-14-2012 by L.L. No. 9-2012]
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the County Executive shall appoint, to serve at his or her pleasure during his or her term of service, or for such term as may be specified in this Charter, the head of every department or other administrative unit not administered by an elective official.
The appointment by the County Executive of the head of each department or other administrative unit shall, unless otherwise specified in this Charter, be subject to the confirmation by the County Legislature by vote of a majority of the whole number of members elected to that body, taken at a regular or special meeting pursuant to § C-15 of this Charter.
All appointments, whether or not subject to confirmation of the County Legislature, shall be in writing, signed by the County Executive, and filed in the office of the Clerk of the County Legislature within 10 days after the date of appointment. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, no such appointee shall hold office beyond the term of the County Executive by whom the appointment was made. Unless removed, an appointee shall continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified, or until an interim appointment is made.
Upon confirmation by the County Legislature and qualifying for the office, an appointee to a position of head of a department or other administrative unit shall enter upon the duties of that position.
The County Executive may designate a qualified person to serve temporarily or on an interim basis as the head of a department or administrative unit until an appointment is made pursuant to this Charter.
[Amended 8-14-2012 by L.L. No. 9-2012]
All other officers and employees of each department or other administrative unit shall be appointed by the head of that department or administrative unit, unless otherwise provided by the Charter.
The County Executive may appoint one person as head of two or more departments or other administrative units or may serve himself or herself as the head of one or more administrative units or departments, subject to all requirements in this Charter and/or law as to qualifications.
The County Executive may appoint or designate one or more Deputy County Executive(s), within the limits of appropriation set by the County Legislature, who shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. The Deputy County Executive(s) shall have the authority to act generally for and in place of the County Executive.
Members of all committees, commissions and boards appointed pursuant to § C-25H of this Charter shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive without compensation other than for actual and necessary expenses within appropriations made therefor, unless otherwise provided by resolution of the County Legislature; provided, however, that in the case of individuals appointed hereunder for definite terms, no removal shall be made until the person to be removed has been served with notice of the reasons for such removal and given an opportunity to be heard publicly if he or she desires thereon by the County Executive. The decision of the County Executive shall be final.
The County Executive shall designate in writing, and in order of succession, the person or persons who shall serve as Acting County Executive in the event that he or she resigns, dies or certifies in writing and files with the County Clerk a statement that he or she is unable to perform and/or exercise the powers and duties of the office of County Executive, or in the event that, upon advice sought by a majority of the whole number of members elected to the Ulster County Legislature by formal action not subject to veto by the County Executive, his or her inability to serve is certified by qualified and competent medical authority.
Only persons incumbent in County government may be designated to any list of succession for possible service as Acting County Executive.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of County Executive other than by regular expiration of the term, the person designated under § C-29A as the first successor shall become Acting County Executive until the vacancy is filled in accordance with subsections D, E and F of this section. Should the person designated as the first successor be unable to perform and/or exercise the duties of the office, then the person next designated under § C-29A shall become the Acting County Executive.
If the vacancy in the office of the County Executive occurs more than 180 days before the next general election, it shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a special election to be held no later than 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs. The person so elected shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term commencing 30 days from the date of the certification by the Board of Elections. The Acting County Executive shall continue to serve until such time as the person so elected takes office. Notice of a special election called hereunder shall be in a manner set forth in election law for notice of a general election. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elections to prepare ballots, voting machines and other matters so that such election may be properly held and conducted. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the expenses of a special election conducted pursuant to this section shall be borne by the County, except where the special election will be held on the date of a primary election or the next general election.
If said vacancy may be filled by a general election to be held no more than 180 days after the vacancy occurs, then no special election shall be held, and the vacancy shall be filled by a general election. The person so elected at the general election shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term and shall take office on the first day of January next succeeding the vacancy.
At any time during the remainder of the term for which a County Executive was elected after he or she was found unable to perform and/or exercise the duties of the office by competent medical authority, that authority may file a retraction in writing with the County Clerk, and thereafter the County Executive may immediately resume service in that office so long as he or she has not been replaced at a special or general election.
Commencing with the enactment of these provisions, the County Executive shall, on or before December 1, 2012, and for every new County Executive entering into a term thereafter on the first day of such term, be authorized to file the name of two persons to serve as Acting County Executive to take effect immediately. Within 10 days thereafter, the County Executive shall file a list with the County Clerk and Clerk of the County Legislature consisting of a list of one or more names to serve as Acting County Executive. Such list shall take precedence over the first persons initially designated 45 days after the filing of such list. Such list may be modified from time to time, but shall not take effect until the expiration of 45 days the entire duration of which the County Executive who filed such list shall have had to remain in office, or such list shall not otherwise take effect. During such forty-five-day period, the prior list shall remain in effect. In the absence of such written designation of order of succession and in the event of the County Executive's inability to perform and exercise the powers and duties of his or her office, the County Legislature shall appoint a person then serving in County government to serve as Acting County Executive.
The Acting County Executive shall have all the powers and perform all the duties of the County Executive.
The County Executive may be removed from office only in accord with provisions and in the manner provided in the New York State Constitution and the Public Officers Law.