POUGHKEEPSIE – Republican Mayor John
Tkazyik’s eighth State of the City address ran the gamut from praise
for police, a pat on the back for himself for keeping tax increases to single
digits, and scorn for the Democrat-dominated Common Council.
“I am in constant awe of the performance and effectiveness of our police
department,” Tkazyik said. From 2013 to 2014; homicides were down
from eight to three, shooting victims were down from 28 to 13, robberies
were down from 103 to 94, rapes were down from 17 to seven, aggravated
assaults were down from 172 to 160, burglaries were down from 183 to 158,
and vehicle thefts were down from 27 to 15.”
Drawing scorn was the Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, although not by name.
“Delivering these core services while keeping tax increases in
the single digits and restoring the fund balance has been a major hurdle
for any administration complicated by a partisan state comptroller choosing
to kick us while we are putting the city’s finances back together after
years of imbalance.”
The harshest criticism, however, was reserved for the common council.
“Moreover, a message to the legislative branch, your actions and
in-action has a profound impact on our city’s financial stability. Your
inaction for five months and manipulation of the original proposal on
parking meters cost the city a significant amount of revenue. Your action
on the sale of city owned properties and building in fictitious revenue
of over $1 million to balance your budget is precisely the type of budget
practices that weakened our fiscal position. This action coupled with
the purchase of historic property we can’t afford will cause a significant
cash flow shortage in 2015.”
The term-limited mayor said his successor “… will not be
starting that journey from ground zero as I did.”
Tkazyik called on the common council to “… set the mayor’s
salary to be commensurate with the high demands of the job …”
and make the mayor’s position fulltime.