Tuesday, January 10, 2017



Cherry to chair Poughkeepsie council, no agreement on vice-chair


POUGHKEEPSIE – Last year’s vice-chairperson of the Poughkeepsie Common Council is this year’s chairperson.  Natasha Cherry was the unanimous choice.

The eight-member council could not agree on a vice-chair.  Democrats Mike Young and Randall Johnson each received four votes for and four against. 

Ann Perry, Matthew McNamara and the one Republican, Lee David Klein, supported Young, who voted for himself.  Cherry, Randall Johnson, Lorraine Johnson, and last year’s chair, Christopher Petsas were opposed.  The voting order reversed on Johnson’s nomination. 

Corporation Counsel Paul Ackerman said the position will remain vacant for now.

“The position of vice-chair will remain open until some time this council can elect, from a majority of its members, a vice-chair,” Ackerman said.

Lorraine Johnson is the new majority leader.  Klein remains the minority leader.

There were no resolutions on Monday night’s agenda.  The balance of the meeting consisted of new or unfinished business items from council members.  For each, it was just an opportunity to wish “Happy New Year” and say they are looking forward to working with the new chairperson.

Cherry said she is looking forward to a productive year.

“It’s no secret that we have a divide on the council and dissention and I believe this was one step in mending that divide. I’m confident that when we meet and we all sit down and talk, we will come out here again united.  I believe that everyone here is focused on the bigger picture and the greater good.”

Cherry said there will be stricter enforcement of some decorum rules regarding public comment, including no singling out of council members for direct criticism. 

She also said the three-minute time limit for each public speaker will be rigidly enforced.  That led to a brief shouting match with one regular speaker who routinely speaks for much longer than three minutes and tried to do so last night. 


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