Meet Our Staff: Brian Laffin, Superintendent of Parks & Recreation
This is definitely a busy time for Brian Laffin, our Superintendent of Parks & Recreation at the City of Poughkeepsie.
The good weather means people and organizations are utilizing the parks, and the city provides some excellent opportunities to get outside and walk around or to participate in an organized event.
We asked Brian, who was recently honored by the Boys & Girls Club of Poughkeepsie for outstanding leadership in athletics, to share some insights by answering these questions.
How many parks does the city have?
The city currently has 16 parks (Barlett, College Hill, Eastman, Kaal Rock, King St., Lincoln, Hulme, Mansion Square, Pulaski, Reservoir Square, Soldier’s Memorial Fountain, Spratt, Waryas, Wheaton, Skate Park, J. Tracey Hermann Dog Park.)
What are the most popular activities that people enjoy at our parks?
Many of the organized activities are athletic in nature. Our parks support many athletic opportunities, including adult softball leagues, youth baseball/softball, adult baseball, adult kickball, soccer, summer basketball, youth football. We also have multiple playground areas and picnic areas that many of our families use seasonally. However, I have had great conversations with residents and non-residents that are relaxing and reading.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are many! The most challenging part of the job is dealing with the impact of weather on our fields. I am extremely grateful that we have the best DPW crew in all of New York State. (I don’t have stats to prove that, but I believe it to be true.)
We are really trying to accommodate as much usage of fields and facilities as we can, but the weather does throw a wrench in things. The city is making a huge commitment to improving our structures and facilities as a whole.
Pools are a challenge as well. We are fortunate to have a pool manager Dom Aquafredda who has done it the last couple summers, so he handles a lot of the seasonal efforts.
Overall, the biggest challenge is trying to please everyone. We want to provide the best park experience we can, but unfortunately the wear of weather and tear of time makes it difficult. We have a lot of updating to do!
What can city residents expect in terms of upgrades and renovations to the parks over time?
Mayor Rolison has given me an opportunity give my honest opinions and recommendations. I am very much taking information given to me by Public Works Commissioner Chris Gent, the DPW crew and our residents.
I truly believe that a broad stroke of improvement is needed. Whether it is playground equipment replacement, pool area improvements, repairing basketball courts, and cosmetic improvements, such as landscaping. I believe we can drastically upgrade facilities and provide modern amenities.
I have researched and proposed things based on traveling to other municipalities to see what they are doing and feedback from residents. I have recommended new more inclusive playground equipment, new dugouts and water spray pads near our pools. I also have met with individuals interested in the arts/theater. I would love to see more usage in the areas of music and theater. I would like to collaborate more with educationally based groups to really promote our parks for wellness and as outdoor classrooms. In my brain I see a turf sports complex and more facilities that provide opportunities for people with disabilities.
The tough thing is that we have a huge amount to accomplish but the great thing is that we have a wonderful canvas to create something great!
Where can people find out more information about the parks?
They can call the Parks and Recreation Information Desk at (845) 451-4100 or visit