Kingston, N.Y. – GOVERNING magazine, the nation’s premier publication covering politics, policy and management for state and local government leaders, today named Ulster County Executive Mike Hein one of the nation’s top state and local public officials of the year. Hein was among nine government officials nationwide recognized as GOVERNING magazines “2014 Public Officials of the Year” honored for leadership and excellence and was the only county executive named across the United States. The compilation of those honored will be published in the magazine’s December issue.
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This year GOVERNING honored nine officials from different states who hold positions such as the Governor of Michigan, Georgia House Minority Leader and Mayor of Philadelphia. County Executive Hein was the only county executive selected from across the country and the first public official to be recognized from Ulster County ever. GOVERNING magazine noted many of Hein’s accomplishments but highlighted the common sense Municipal Innovation Exchange, a statewide database filled with more than 2,000 innovations; the life altering potential of the Ulster County Patriots Project, the County Executive’s ambitious initiative to help end the tragedy of homeless Veterans in Ulster County that has created a national model; the S.T.R.I.V.E. Project to bring higher education opportunities to inner city youth by re-purposing a vacant elementary school; and the SPEAK App, a suicide prevention smartphone app that was developed and made available to everyone, including other municipalities for free.
“This is a tremendous honor and I am truly humbled to be in the company of other public servants from across our great nation who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of others,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “My entire Administration is constantly focused on putting people before politics and developing innovative solutions to serious challenges that allow us to provide high quality services to the great citizens of Ulster County. We are deeply committed to fulfilling both our social responsibility and fiscal responsibility; and so, we have worked to reinvent government, embrace reform and innovation, in order to ensure more services than ever before, while protecting property taxpayers in the process. I am proud to share this honor with everyone who has been so supportive in our community and the hardworking men and women who make up Ulster County government.”
According to GOVERNING, Government leaders at all levels right now are under constant pressure to innovate; and innovation is about leadership -- and it’s the driving force for each of these nine Public Officials of the Year. GOVERNING Executive Editor Zach Patton added, “These nine men and women are outstanding examples of the tremendous achievement that’s happening in state and local government right now… these dedicated individuals have shown that real change is possible. We’re honored to recognize their contributions to public service.”
United States Senator Charles Schumer
"Ulster County Executive Mike Hein has proven to be an innovative, forward-thinking leader for Ulster County and is a shining example for all of New York,” said United States Senator Charles Schumer. “County Executive Hein and I have worked on several policy proposals over the past few years, a collaboration that has led to tremendous progress across the county. Mike has been a true visionary leader in the Hudson Valley and is a rising star who will continue to create new policy proposals to help Ulster County and New York State move forward."
United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
“This is a well-deserved honor in recognition of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein’s accomplishments,” said United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “He is a successful leader who brings together diverse interests to meet the needs of his constituents. Whether it is his tremendous success in support of veterans with the Patriots Project, his hands on assistance during major floods, or his experienced financial management, he is a proven leader and I am proud to have him as a partner in government.”
Matt Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties (NACO)
"County Executive Hein has proven to be an inspirational and innovative leader. He is a solution-oriented executive who drives for efficiency and results yet also has tremendous compassion and a strong sense of public service. Despite operating in a state with stringent mandates and even tighter funding constraints on counties, Mike Hein has still achieved great results through collaboration and focus. His work in Ulster County and across the state merits the esteemed national recognition by Governing magazine,” said Matt Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties.
Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC)
“With PayGoNY, County Executive Michael Hein was a leader in re-defining how local governments share services and maximize efficiencies. His efforts paved the way for the Four NYS Local Government Associations (NYS Association of Counties, NYS Conference of Mayors, Association of Towns of the state of New York, NYS School Boards Association) to develop the Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX), which has saved millions in local tax dollars. NYSAC congratulations Michael Hein for his commitment to improve local government operations and service delivery in Ulster County and across the state,” said Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties.
GOVERNING’s 2014 Public Officials of the Year are profiled in the December issue as well as at http://www.governing.com/poy. The recipients will be honored at a dinner at the Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC on December 4, hosted by GOVERNING magazine.