Tkazyik (file): “Only
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 Poughkeepsie Common Council.
The mayor, who has often been at sharp odds with the council during his seven years at the helm, began his message with a peace offering for his final year.
“Only by working together can we tackle the obstacles we face and keep Poughkeepsie moving in the right direction. I’m hopeful 2015 will bring a heightened level of civility and professionalism in these chambers, and with a more dignified atmosphere, we can enhance development and instill confidence for all those looking to do business here.”
That conciliatory mood didn’t last long.
“Your actions and inaction has a profound impact on our City’s financial stability,” Tkazyik said. “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 $1,000,000 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 mayor found signs of hope that he can leave office at the end of the year with the city in better economic shape than when he took office.
He also noted an overall safer climate in the city.
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, with similar declines in other serious crimes.
The term-limited mayor said his successor, who will take office next January 1, “… 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.