As a longtime public servant and community advocate, March is ready to step into the role of Comptroller for Ulster County. Her experiences serving our community across governmental, non-profit and for-profit leadership makes her a great fit for this essential public office.
She has spent her life trying to make the world a better place. After growing up in Woodstock, she attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she worked to divest her college from South Africa to end Apartheid.
March’s first job out of college was working as the committee clerk for then-Assemblyman Maurice Hinchey for several years. She moved on in the Assembly to work as a budget analyst for the Ways and Means Committee.
March Gallagher with Maurice Hinchey
After graduating, she earned master’s degrees from Bard College and SUNY Albany, as well as a law degree from Boston University’s School of Law, going on to work in environmental law.
In 2001, she returned to the Hudson Valley, and in 2006, became the first-ever chairwoman of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, eventually heading up Ulster County’s Office of Economic Development. In both roles, she worked tirelessly to keep businesses afloat in our community in the face of a national economic crisis while holding businesses accountable on tax break deals.
At the Women's March
Supporters of March Gallagher
In 2013, she joined Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress as its chief strategy officer, where she conducted strategic planning for the organization’s research, fundraising and operations. A big part of the job was taking high-level findings and communicating them to different communities and stakeholder groups.
March Gallagher with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
March Gallagher moderating a panel of County Executives
In 2015, March joined Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, which manages over $75 million in assets across 500 different funds, awarding over $3 million annually in grants to non-profit organizations and students throughout the Hudson Valley.
March Gallagher at the Community Foundations Garden Party
March served on the Dutchess County Community Development Advisory Board and heads up the Local Government Committee for the Dutchess County Economic Development Advisory Council. In 2013 March was recognized as a Hudson Valley Women in Business Awardee. March has also served on the boards of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Hudson Valley Regional Council, Ulster County Development Corporation, Ulster County Workforce Investment Board, Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Middletown, Foxhall Ambulatory Surgery Center Board Member, Saugerties Art Lab and Esopus Creek Conservancy.
As a board member and executive of both public authorities and non-profits March has served on audit committees, worked through the audit process, served as a signatory to many audits and facilitated implementation of internal controls and best practices at multiple organizations.
Currently, March and her family reside in Rosendale. As she said in a recent Hudson Valley One article, she enjoys spending evenings at home reading financial records, saying, “If you want to know what’s going on, you always look at the money.”
What does the Ulster County Comptroller Do?
Ulster County has over 183,000 residents and an annual budget of around $330M, raised through:
Sales Tax: $122M
Real Property Tax: $76M
State Aid: $47M
Federal Aid: $35M
Other Sources: $34M
Appropriated Fund Balance: $8M
The annual budget is used to fund a wide array of critical programs, ranging from transportation and infrastructure, public health, public safety, economic assistance and development, tourism, and general government operations.
It’s the Comptroller’s job to be an internal best practices consultant across all of these areas, making sure that every dollar is spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. That includes looking at successful programs from around the country, monitoring receipts, budgets and activities, and rooting out corruption or waste.
The Comptroller’s office also serves an important role in communicating to the public about how the government is serving them. That means giving credit where credit is due, but it also means calling attention to problematic practices, bringing together stakeholders and affected parties, and proposing effective solutions.