In a unanimous vote on Resolution No. 29, the Ulster County Legislature made clear its belief that the Social Security Administration was making a tremendous error in removing the Federal office from Ulster County. With an estimated 34% of the Ulster County population receiving Social Security Income and an additional 5% receiving Supplemental Security Income in 2012, the expectation that this population travel to Poughkeepsie or Hudson for the completion of required Federal documentation is deemed unrealistic by the Ulster County Legislature. With over 48% of Ulster County workers remaining in County for their employment and those on limited or no incomes relying on public transportation, it is not likely that these individuals would be conveniently able to travel north or across the river to get their needs met at this Federal agency.
Legislation sponsor, Legislator Jeanette Provenzano has taken this issue to heart and initiated action through all local, State, and Federal Representatives. “My constituents started to call me, concerned that they would not be able to work face-to-face with Social Security. They know, as I know firsthand, that not everything can be done over the phone. To remove the ability for Ulster County’s residents to have that personal, one-on-one communication is unconscionable.”
“We are offering a convenient, low-cost option for the Social Security Administration to keep open a service center in Ulster County”, stated Majority Leader Donald Gregorius. “Ulster County residents deserve face-to-face communication with the Social Security officials. At one time, we not only knew the Director of the Ulster County Office, he was a regular on our local radio.”
Legislator Hector Rodriguez commented, “My constituents are located equidistant to both Kingston and Poughkeepsie but if they had to pick, they would rather stay in Ulster County. The staff there was able to respond quickly to the needs of our residents. For all of Ulster County keeping this vital office open is a top priority.”