Waterfront Integration

Posted on Posted in My Platform
  • Encourage smart, open, water- and transit- oriented development
  • Improve our Parks and sanitation enforcement
  • Restart police foot and bike patrols

Smart Development

Poughkeepsie has a unique blend of available resources: a waterfront, Main Street, regional and national rail transit, an extraordinary pedestrian park and more. We can and should use these features to our best ability. This means rehabbing and developing our waterfront and vacant properties in the most beneficial ways possible. It also means turning down developments that squander opportunity or take Poughkeepsie’s charm away from its citizens.

Ward 2 contains Poughkeepsie’s entire southern waterfront. As Councilmember for the ward, I ensured that we developed our waterfront using sane, open, and modern development strategies. It is completely unacceptable to reserve acres of usable land as asphalt parking by the river, just like it is unacceptable to cut off our waterfront from the residents and visitors of the City.

I envision a waterfront with a diversity of water-oriented uses, where everyone can enjoy the beauty our City affords. I also expect that parks like Waryas and Kaal Rock remain available for the general public and — going even further — I expect them to be clean, safe, and maintained far better than they are today.

Whether it is on our waterfront, near our train station, within our Main Street Central Business District, or part of the other areas of our City, I intend to push for intelligent development as part of a comprehensive plan for Poughkeepsie. We cannot afford to continue treating each individual development in its own bubble. If a proposal doesn’t integrate with its surroundings or make sense for Poughkeepsie as a whole, it cannot go forward. When development proposals encourage growth, jobs, and public access, they must move forward unencumbered by bureaucracy, which is why I championed the Uniform Tax Policy and overhaul of our City’s defunct Industrial Development Agency.

Parks and Sanitation

Our City Parks are gems scattered throughout Poughkeepsie that need to be beautified, maintained and used. I worked to ensure a coordinated Earth Day cleanup was funded and operational throughout all of our parks, and I’ve helped organize cleanup and painting in Eastman, Lincoln, Hulme, Kaal Rock and Spratt parks.

But volunteering only works as well as the organization, and the City needs a true “Friends of the Parks” organization to coordinate and plan for our City as a whole. I’m looking forward to working with Councilmember McNamara to make this organization a reality. The first step is the addition of a new part-time Rec Director for Youth and Park Services; We added this position in the proposed 2018 budget.

We also need a concerted effort on sanitation and code enforcement in this City to keep the streets and properties clean for our residents. In the 2018 Budget, we’ve expanded the number of code enforcement officers and added another shift for downtown sanitation. These are small parts of a larger effort that needs to continue for us to succeed as a city.

Police Patrols

We’ve all read the news and seen the problems plaguing policing in our country. Poughkeepsie has a real opportunity to be an example to other cities throughout the country by adopting integrated community policing into its procedures.

Our City used to have community policing and foot patrols, but the previous administration stopped them in the interests of balancing the budget. I believe that a city like Poughkeepsie cannot afford to cut and scrimp on programs that make the City a safer place to live, visit, and do business.

We have begun to restore the City’s police foot and bike patrols, and to encourage community engagement with the police at every opportunity. We need to remember that the officers and employees of our police force are with us and not against us. Allowing our police to get out of their vehicles and into the community will make amazing strides in reinforcing that fact.