City Of Poughkeepsie » Press Release » John Penney Named Director of Community Engagement

John Penney Named Director of Community Engagement

John Penney Named Director of Community Engagement

Assumes a Shared Services Role with City and County

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that John Penney has been named as Director of Community Engagement for the City.  The new role is a shared services partnership between the City of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County.

As Director of Community Engagement, Mr. Penney will serve as liaison between various City departments and the local community, improving transparency and bolstering public participation in local governmental decision-making through increased community interaction.   He will participate in community meetings and other functions as well as assist in coordinating community events hosted by city government.   Additionally, he will assist in the development and publication of materials to inform residents about the various services and programs available to them.

Mayor Rolison said: “Rebuilding city government began and will continue with the stabilization of our finances, but also vital to our continued success is the need to strengthen government’s connection to our residents, our local businesses, our non-profits and our faith-based organizations. John joins the team at the perfect time as we face more choices, are presented with more options, and are rapidly recapturing our capacity to take on meaningful projects that will have long term impacts on our community.”

As a shared service partnership with Dutchess County, Mr. Penney will also serve the County part-time, focusing on various initiatives, many of which were mentioned in County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro’s recent State of the County Address, including the Path to Promise youth services plan; the Community Development Program and the redesign and reinvigoration of how homelessness services are delivered as the County seeks to bring homelessness and housing-service providers together with local government to more successfully address the complex needs of our homeless population.

County Executive Molinaro said, “In Dutchess County, we know the work we do has far greater meaning and achieves greater success when many people come to the table to be a part of the conversation.   John Penney has been at the heart of many of our most important community conversations over the years and is a natural fit for this new role. He has a unique ability to draw out new ideas and perspectives from many viewpoints with in our community.”

Mr. Penney previously served as Opinion Engagement Editor at the Poughkeepsie Journal for two decades, writing editorials often focused on local planning and development issues. He also edited and published letters to the editor from the community, attended community events and spearheaded numerous public forums. He is the recipient of dozens of editorial writing and community leadership awards from the Associated Press, the USA Today Network and other news organizations. He co-chaired the Poughkeepsie Journal’s “Greater Good Committee” organizing community-minded events and led the newspaper’s Multicultural Committee, meeting with the public to enhance Journal coverage of diversity issues.

“I am excited to begin my new role, continuing community engagement and outreach but in a whole new capacity,” Penney said. “Having covered government for more than three decades, I welcome this opportunity to work with City and County stakeholders on so many impactful issues we face today.”

Mr. Penney will begin serving on Monday, March 18th and will be based in City Hall.