Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

POUGHKEEPSIE – Four new members will join the Common Council in January, 2018, as the Council expands from eight members to nine as the result of a Charter change approved by voters in 2016.

Mayor Rob Rolison announced that Council Chair Natasha Cherry will oversee the transition and serve as liaison with the administration during the next two months.

“It is important that the new council hit the ground running in January. With so many pressing items to address, I am grateful that Chairwoman Cherry has agreed to lead this transition and I look forward to working with her and the new council,” Mayor Rolison said.

The Mayor’s recommended budget for 2018, which lowers sewer rates and stays under the NYS tax cap, awaits approval of the current council. Chairwoman Cherry said, “Preparation is the backbone of success. A successful transition period which embraces our new colleagues will lay the groundwork for collaboration among us.”

The outgoing Council has three more meetings, Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 18, and faces a looming deadline from the Federal Transit Authority to transfer its transit assets to Dutchess County or face a $2 Million Federal grant recapture penalty.

The FTA sent the City a strongly-worded letter dated Nov. 3, warning the City that it had thirty days to comply with the approved disposition plan. Chairwoman Cherry said, “I’ve voted several times to transfer these assets. Obviously the current Council owns this problem, and I hope it acts to resolve it now, rather than leaving the incoming Council to face the consequences – enough is enough – and I certainly will not support putting this burden on our taxpayers.”

A public hearing on the Mayor’s 2018 budget is expected to be scheduled for Dec. 4.

The Mayor’s annual budget message is available at http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/archives/7115

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