Poughkeepsie is a city in crisis. Yet, Mayor Rob Rolison says, “Believe in Poughkeepsie.”
Poughkeepsie is a city in crisis. Its city government is more than $60 million in debt. It has no fund balance to speak of – a critical credit rating indicator. The city has been borrowing against pension funds to make payroll. There are hundreds of vacant buildings; many of them on Main Street – the heart of the city’s business district. Its school system has been given a “failed” designation by the state and has one foot in receivership. The city experienced one of its worst summer’s for gun-related crimes. And city streets went unplowed during last winter’s storms.
Yet, newly elected Mayor Rob Rolison says, “Believe in Poughkeepsie.” And Mayor Rolison will tell you that during the campaign, walking Poughkeepsie’s streets, talking to residents and business owners, what fueled his determination to become mayor, and what continues to fuel him today, are the number of people who do believe in Poughkeepsie. They see its potential. They believe it can be a thriving river city. And they are ready to go to work to make it happen.
In the first of a two-part interview, Mayor Rolison sits down with HVNN’s Roger Connor to talk about what people expect of their mayor and how those expectations have helped develop a course of action for the first 100 days of his new administration.
Mayor Rob Rolison’s Transition Team:
- Anne Saylor – who heads the teams works in the Dutchess County Planning Department
- Scott Volkman – former Common Council member, counsel to the Dutchess County Legislature and municipal attorney
- Barbara Jeter-Jackson – Dutchess County Legislator and Minority Leader representing the city, former Common Council member and former School Board member
- Paul Ackermann – Corporation Counsel for the City of Poughkeepsie
- Chris Petsas – 1st Ward Common Council member and current Council Chairman
- Andrea Reynolds – President and CEO of the Dyson Foundation
- Ron Knapp – City of Poughkeepsie Police Chief who will take on the assignment as Acting City Administrator
Tomorrow in the 2nd half of HVNN’s interview with Mayor Rolison, the focus will be on the revitalization of Poughkeepsie.