Charlie Cornacchio

Charlie Cornacchio

News Anchor

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The division within the City of Poughkeepsie’s Democratic Party is personified by the two Democrats on Tuesday’s Primary Election ballot for the newly-created Council At Large seat: Ann Finney and Mike Young.

This is the first election for an At Large candidate on the city’s Common Council. Created with the city’s charter revision last year, the Council At Large seat will be the 9th member of the Poughkeepsie Common Council. While the other eight members of the council represent the city’s individual wards, the At Large member represents the entire city and controls the agenda of all council meetings.

Poughkeepsie’s Democratic Primary could very well determine the future direction of the Democratic party in city government. There is a slate of Democrats running for seats on the Common Council and the Dutchess County Legislature districts that represent the city who will fight tooth-and-nail to wrestle control of the city’s decision-making process away from the Republican administration.  The other slate is willing to work with Mayor Rob Rolison’s team and put aside party politics when it’s time to govern.

The two At Large candidates lead each slate. Here’s how it breaks down: (I) = Incumbent

City of Poughkeepsie Common Council

Ward 3: Nathaniel Almeida and Lorraine Johnson (I);

Ward 7: Jason Baker and Randall Johnson (I);

Ward 8: Matthew McNamara (I) and Josh Simons;

At-Large candidates: Ann Finney and Mike Young.

Dutchess County Legislature

District 9: Randy Johnson and Kari Rieser (I);

District 10: Barbara Jeter-Jackson (I) and Warren Jones.

HVNN interviewed the At Large candidates. And both Ann Finney and Mike Young used Social Media commentary to challenge each other’s statements:

 

Reaction from Ann Finney:

“I watched my opponent’s HVNN video and would like to make a few points.
1.He talks about his leadership skills, yet there has never been a more contentious city council, to my recollection of living in Poughkeepsie, than this one since he joined it.
2.He talks about endorsements. He neglects to mention that he did not receive the Working Families Party endorsement, nor the Women’s Equality Party endorsement. Both progressive lines. Both received by me. He has the endorsement of the Republican Party. And he further neglects to mention that the Democratic Committee first voted to table endorsing, but that vote was then forced to be retaken three times using three different methods until he got the desired result.
3.He talks about a forum for discussing issues. There was a forum. I turned up. He did not. He instead held a fundraiser for himself on the same night as the candidates’ forum.
4.He makes statements about what I support and do not support without a shred of evidence.

“My opponent does not convey all facts, and suggests falsehoods as if they were true. I find this frightening. Disagreement on issues is expected and should be discussed in full light of day with facts and figures to back them up. 

“Think carefully when you go to vote this Tuesday. This primary is between a true Democrat and a candidate also going for the Republican line. Protestations aside, he has not stated he would not accept that line. Please vote for the only true Democrat in this race.”

 

Reaction from Mike Young:

“To ensure the public is educated about the candidates on the ballot, I’m presenting my opponents interview with HVNN here, since it might be the only time she’s announced her positions. My opponent has made very few positive statements about what she stands for, instead resorting to negative attacks and vague claims about her qualifications with little evidence to back them up.

There are many problems with the plans she has in this video. Ignoring the “Tax Hike Mike” epithet, Let’s talk about the real policy problems presented here!

“1) The statement about the letter from the Comptroller is completely wrong and makes me wonder if she’s actually read it! See my page at facebook.com/MikeYoungNY for a full post (with sources!) about the truth behind our City’s budget.

“2) The County’s sales tax agreement doesn’t involve Albany at all. Only the Mayors of Beacon and Poughkeepsie and the County Executive negotiate the agreement. How does she propose to “bust up” the agreement? Does she know that the alternative where Poughkeepsie collects its own sales tax results in dramatically less revenue for the City? Clearly she either doesn’t understand how it works, or is intentionally trying to mislead the public.

“3) Ms. Finney’s statements on the buses are incredibly distressing for our City’s future. She claims to have a “professional opinion”, but there’s no evidence that she has any experience in this area of law at all. In fact, the vast majority of legal experts with real experience in the City and County have already weighed in that her interpretation is wrong. She can’t possibly believe that the County will pay to start the old City Bus service up again; and she can’t possibly believe that battling the Federal, State, and County governments is a good way to improve economic stability in this City — I ask you to seriously consider whether you believe dragged out lawsuits and serious federal fines is the best way forward for Poughkeepsie.

“After all this talk about “busting up” agreements, and fighting the government, and arbitrarily freezing taxes (which last year would have resulted in dozens of layoffs, and might again this year if we have to pay the Feds to keep buses parked in the garage), my opponent says she can work together and bring people to the table! Would there be any tables left after she’s done?

“In the end, let me just state for the record that I’m not interested in being the next County Executive. I like my day job as a manager at IBM just fine. I ran for office 2 years ago because snow covered streets weren’t getting plowed; I’m running now because I know Poughkeepsie needs a leader with a plan. Elect Mike Young on Tuesday September 12th.”

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