Robert G. Rolison was elected to his second, four-year term as Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie in November 2019.
During his tenure, the city has stabilized its finances and is witnessing an economic resurgence. A massive budget deficit has been drastically reduced, and the Mayor has worked with Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser to form a "Children's Cabinet" to create a shared vision and cradle-to-career agenda for child and youth development in the city. Poughkeepsie is the only city outside of New York City to have a Children’s Cabinet. He was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials and serves that organization's Community Revitalization Committee.
Rob has been a leading voice for public safety and has been a tireless advocate on behalf of families and children in the city - and throughout Dutchess County. Prior to becoming Mayor, Rob was a member of the Dutchess County Legislature for 13 years, from 2003-2015, representing the City and Town of Poughkeepsie. In 2010, he was elected by his colleagues in the County Legislature to serve as Chairman, a position he held for six consecutive years. Throughout his tenure as Chairman and as an elected official, Rob has championed fiscal discipline, transparency and bipartisan.
Rob began his public safety career at 18 years old with the Croft Corners Fire Company. He continued his service as an active volunteer firefighter for the next 14 years. He worked part time for the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office and the Town of Hyde Park Police Department while pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at Marist College.
In 1982, he joined the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department where he served 12 years in the Patrol Division. He worked up the ranks and was promoted to Detective, a post he held for 14 years.
Serving the Community
Rob was elected PBA President for two-consecutive 5-year terms before retiring in February 2008. Upon his retirement, Rob-concluded a 26-year career protecting the residents of the Town of Poughkeepsie.
He recently concluded several terms on the Board of Directors at St. Simeon's which operates affordable senior apartments in the city.
Previously, Rob served as Chairman of the Hudson Valley Regional Council and was a State Advisory Board Member of the Office of Children and Family Services, as well as a member of the Cider Mill Friends. He also served as a member of the following:
- Board of Trustees of Dutchess Community College
- Board of Directors of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation
- Salvation Army Advisory Board
- Catharine Street Community Center's Board of Directors
- American Red Cross Dutchess County Chapter Board of Directors
- Purple Heart Hall of Honor Board of Directors
Rob is the son of the late State Senator Jay P. Rolison Jr. He is a lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie where he has proudly raised his son Christopher and lives with his wife, Lori, and their dog, Madison.