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Regulations for City-Sponsored Holiday Displays on City-Owned Property

The City of Poughkeepsie will sponsor a holiday display on the City-owned vacant lot located at 253 Main Street to celebrate the winter holiday season.  The display planned by the City of Poughkeepsie is a secular celebration of the winter holiday season and a recognition of the diversity of the community.  City of Poughkeepsie area religious and secular groups may participate in the display.

The display begins the first Wednesday of December and ends the second Friday of January.  The attached application is for the upcoming season only and the approval by the City of this application shall not entitle your display to be accepted by the City of Poughkeepsie during future holiday seasons.

Groups wishing to participate in the holiday display must complete the attached application and return it to the office of the City Administrator by November 30, 2016.  The City Administrator will then communicate the City’s acceptance or rejection of your display to you.


The following regulations have been enacted by the City Administrator for the City-sponsored holiday display:

  1. Any City of Poughkeepsie area-based religious or secular group may participate in the holiday display on the City parcel by displaying one symbol or object. (The attached diagram indicates that the area designated has been divided into equal sections).  A group will have a choice of which section it wishes to display its symbol or object, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Space at this location is limited.
  2. The display or object must be of such dimensions as to fit on its intended space.
  3. The group displaying the symbol is responsible for the delivery of the display to the display site and pick-up from the site.  City personnel shall be available to assist in the erection and dismantling of the display.  Dates for the erection and dismantling of the display will be set by the City Administrator.  The City shall provide electrical service for lighting, but the group must provide necessary extension cords, etc.  The City is not responsible for the display while on City property, including, but not limited to, damage from vandalism.
  4. The display should be maintained in such a manner that is consistent with public safety and health.  After erection, the maintenance of the display shall be inspected by employees of the City of Poughkeepsie to ensure the safety of the display.  The group must take whatever action the City deems necessary to rectify any problems in the maintenance of the display so as to ensure public safety to the satisfaction of the City.
  5. The City does not favor or sponsor any particular religion.  Therefore, a religious ceremony may not accompany the erection or disassembly of the display or during any period in which the display is maintained.
  6. Upon submission of the attached application, a determination will be made by the City Administrator whether there is a requirement for insurance covering the display.  If insurance is required, the group must provide it prior to assembly of the display.  Proof of insurance must be provided to the City of Poughkeepsie in the form of a certificate of liability insurance covering the display and naming the City, its officers, employees, and agents as additional named insured.  Said policy of insurance must be written by an insurance company licensed to transact business in the State of New York and must be acceptable to the City of Poughkeepsie.  Said coverage shall be for the entire period of time that the display is on the city-owned property.  The necessity and amounts of said coverage will be determined by the City of Poughkeepsie upon review of the attached application.


Review of Poughkeepsie Public Transit Services

The City of Poughkeepsie, who is a recipient of federal funding for its Public Transit Services is required to conduct issue a transit development plan every (5) five years. Because of this requirement, the City of Poughkeepsie in conjunction with Dutchess County will be holding a meeting on public transit services in the City of Poughkeepsie on Saturday, November 19th.

The purpose of this meeting is to allow the public to ask questions and provide feedback about how to improve public transit services in the City of Poughkeepsie

Meeting: Public Transit Services in the City of Poughkeepsie

When: Saturday, November 19th, 2016 from 10:00 am  – 1:00 pm

Where: Family Partnership Center, 29 N Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Dutchess County Public Transit will provide free courtesy shuttle transportation to and from the meeting from various locations throughout the City of Poughkeepsie.
The schedule can be found here:

Seats are limited for this meeting. Reservations are required.

For more information and to make a reservation, please contact:
Diane Houghtaling at or call (845) 486-2121

City Receives $1 Million in Fire Apparatus Funding from Assemblyman Skartados

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that the City of Poughkeepsie will receive $1 million in grant monies from State Assemblyman Frank Skartados, which will be utilized in funding the replacement of City Fire apparatus.


(left to right) Fire Chief Mark Johnson, State Assemblyman Frank Skartados, Mayor Rob Rolison

The first piece of the equipment to be replaced will be Engine 2, which is located at the Public Safety Building at 505 Main Street.

“This much needed financial assistance by Assemblyman Skartatos will allow us to replace a 20 year old piece of Fire equipment. In 2015, Engine 2 responded to 1,988 calls and already 1,594 calls as of today in 2016,” stated Fire Chief Mark Johnson. “Engine 2 is also our FAST engine. FAST is an acronym for Firefighter- Assist- Search Team. This Engine is used to perform those duties at Mutual Aid calls for our neighboring towns during structure fires.”

The engine also serves as the City’s Rescue Engine meaning it carries ‘Jaws of Life’ for automobile accidents as well technical rescue equipment, stated Chief Johnson.

“The support that our City has received from Assemblyman Skartados on critical parts of our public safety response has been instrumental in assuring the protection of our residents,” stated Mayor Rob Rolison.

“Public safety is the first priority of government. These are major capital costs affecting public safety that our City cannot afford at this time. However, with this this aid and continued support from Assemblyman Skartados we can address the public safety demands and challenges that this City must respond to,” stated Rolison.

City of Poughkeepsie Closes Budget Gap from $6 to $4 Million

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that the City has reduced the potential $6 million budget gap for 2017 to approximately $4 million.

The $4 million projected budget gap in 2017, which is still being worked on by the administration is a fluid number, according to Mayor Rolison.

“Prior year’s budgets simply overstated anticipated revenues, causing accumulated deficits which we must begin to address in the current budget cycle”, said Mayor Robert G. Rolison. “The use of one-time revenues, or revenue estimates that do not materialize at all, has been a primary driver of our fiscal troubles.”

Some of the principal contributors to the remaining gap include:

  • $1.5 million in one-time revenue related to the expansion project at Vassar Brother’s Medical Center, which is not a recurring revenue in 2017
  • $250,000 in increased pension costs
  • $500,000 for the sale of City property which did not occur in 2016
  • More than $400,000 in unrealized parking revenues
  • An anticipated $1 million in increased health insurance costs

Rolison has asked all city department heads to deliver to the administration additional recommended cuts of up to 6% of their general fund operating expenses.

Mayor Rolison Appoints City Administrator

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today the appointment of Deborah McDonnell as the City Administrator for the City of Poughkeepsie.

After an extensive national search that included 35 applicants who had applied for the Administrator’s position, the Mayor’s transition team, which Rolison was a part of, recommended Deborah McDonnell. Ms. McDonnell has been the City Administrator in Fairborn, Ohio for the past 10 years and prior to that, was the Director of Community Development for the Village of Saranac Lake, New York for 10 years.

Ms. McDonnell will be Poughkeepsie’s first female City Administrator. Continue reading Mayor Rolison Appoints City Administrator

Flag Controversy in the Town of Poughkeepsie

Statement from Mayor Rob Rolison regarding the Flag Controversy in the Town of Poughkeepsie:

“We have received numerous phone calls and emails regarding this issue, which is outside the jurisdiction of the City of Poughkeepsie. While I understand all concerns, this action was made by the Arlington Fire District in the Town of Poughkeepsie, a separate municipality from our City. As the Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, I can confirm that we are proudly displaying the American flag on our fire apparatus. The Arlington Fire Department can be reached at (845) 486-6300”

Hours of Operation Resume at City Pools

Beginning on Thursday, August 18th, the hours of operation at Spratt Park Pool and Pulaski Park Pool will return to the regular schedule, closing each evening at 7:00 pm.


Garden Street Mural Dedication – August 18, 2016


Hours of Operation Extended at City Pools


20160813_111505Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison declares that City pools will extend hours to provide residents relief from the current heat and humidity conditions.

City pools normally close at 7:00 pm, but starting tonight (Saturday, August 13th) the operating hours at Spratt Pool will be extended to 8:00 pm (Pulaski Pool will close at its normal time, 7:00 pm).

On Sunday, August 14th, both pools will remain open until 8:00 pm. The pools will continue to operate on this extended schedule during the current heat wave. City Staff will monitor the weather outlook and work with the pool staff to facilitate these hours.

The Mayor extends his thanks to the operators of the pools, Kimberly and Thomas Bell, for their dedication to providing this invaluable resource to the residents of our community. They have committed to ensuring that staff is in place in order to facilitate this task. The pools are one of those assets we take for granted until we have a heat wave such as we are currently in.

Poughkeepsie to Hire Member of Hartford, CT Finance Team

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that after in depth consideration and a national search by the Fiscal Advisory Team, the City will be hiring Marc Nelson for the position of Finance Commissioner.

At a special meeting held last night, a majority of the Common Council supported the resolution to adjust the salary for Finance Commissioner.

Marc Nelson previously served as tax collector in the City of Hartford, Connecticut. Nelson, who has held a variety of fiscal positions for Hartford since 2008, will assume the responsibilities of Finance Commissioner for the City of Poughkeepsie starting in early September.

The City’s Fiscal Advisory Team, which was headed by former Dutchess County Budget Director Valerie Sommerville, had interviewed numerous candidates for this position. In her letter to the acting City Administrator Ronald Knapp, she wrote:

“Mr. Nelson clearly understands the fiscal challenges the city faces having dealt with similar issues at the City of Hartford.  His unique experience working in a diverse urban environment as well as his strong background in finance, tax, budgeting, collective bargaining and labor relations make him the ideal candidate for this position.”
William Brady, the City’s interim Finance Commissioner, also finds Nelson to be highly qualified.

“Marc’s resume is most impressive. He has also served Hartford on the Committee on Restructuring City Government and holds additional experience which includes deficit management.” stated Brady. “Marc is both engaging and enthusiastic.  I am confident that his personality and his experience will make him an asset to Poughkeepsie’s management team.”

“In my work with Poughkeepsie’s Fiscal Advisory Team, we’ve found a serious need for increased and additional revenue sources,” stated Council Member Mike Young. “Mr. Nelson was instrumental in improving Hartford’s revenue stream and I’m optimistic he can make real improvements here using that experience. I look forward to working with him as we enter a tough budget season for 2017.”

“The Finance position is critical to the future of our City,” stated Ronald Knapp, Acting City Administrator. “I am delighted that a candidate with the background and qualities of Marc Nelson was recommended by the Fiscal Advisory Team.

Mayor Rob Rolison stated, “At no time in the City’s recent history has the position of Finance Commissioner been so critical to Poughkeepsie’s future. Marc Nelson’s background in municipal finance and his work in the City of Hartford is exactly what our City needs at this time. I want to thank the members of the Common Council who voted in favor of the resolution last night and look forward to having Marc as a part of our team as we work with the Common Council and other stakeholders to help move this City towards fiscal stability.”