Friday, February 17, 2017

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Molinaro: Dutchess prosperity styled on family togetherness model


Molinaro: "Are we doing all we can ...?"

HYDE PARK – Strength through family was the overall theme of Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro's 2017 State of the County Address, delivered Thursday evening at Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. He touched upon issues of compassion and togetherness, while discussing important projects and initiatives.

”The state of Dutchess County is strong,” Molinaro said. “The state of the Dutchess County family, however, can be healthier, safer, and even stronger.  Every family deals with struggle – yours, mine, ours. Families have much to endure. Are we doing all we can, for those we love? There is more to be done.”

Molinaro maintained that while New York government is not business and consumer friendly, Dutchess is doing its part to reverse that.

“In New York State, too many work too hard to make ends meet. Too many small business owners confront too many hurdles to make payroll or stay open. Too many are simply working for the day they can move to a more affordable part of the country. New York just doesn’t make it easy to own a business or create new job opportunities.”

“We, though, are doing all we can. In Dutchess we have reorganized and redefined our economic development efforts consolidating under one brand with a more flexible, more agile, more aggressive operation, to strength existing businesses while making our county a magnet for new ones.”

Expansions in the health and education sectors, plus a rebranding of the Hudson Valley Regional (Dutchess) Airport – and a new aviation program at the community college – are among the development highlights for 2017.

The new Justice and Transition Center is expected to break ground this summer, along with developing sensible alternatives to incarceration, called the Path to Promise, and a new Youth Services Center. The effort features outreach to stakeholders in the non-profit sector.

Intervention programs to reduce drug addiction are a key ingredient in Molinaro's vision of a new model for approaching complex social problems. Acute pain management certification reform and pharmacy drop boxes, are among the innovations being proposed moving forward.

Molinaro thanked Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and State Senator Sue Serino for their assistance funding the Stabilization Center, handling intake of drug and other mental health cases. Improved veterans services and a proposed Senior Services Center, are also in the works, he indicated.

Public parks throughout the county are being developed and upgraded, including much-needed access for differently-abled. ”We don’t have a universally accessible park,” Molinaro said.  “I would like to change that.” Nearby accessible housing is part of that plan, he added.

”This new park will be unique in New York and will expand our park system, improving the quality of life of every one of every ability, while making a bold statement that in Dutchess County, we Think differently,” Molinaro said.  ”We don’t just call this place home; we work together to make it stronger.  We don’t turn our backs on those in need; we extend a hand to help.  We have our debates, but we don’t allow anyone from any place to tear us apart.”

The county executive will hold town hall forums across Dutchess – on March 9th, 6 p.m., Beekman Town Hall; March 14th, 1 p.m., Town of Poughkeepsie Senior Center; March 22, 6 p.m., Tivoli Village Hall; and April 5th, 6 p.m., American Legion #178, Millerton.

 


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