Poughkeepsie’s new city administrator puts in busy first day


McDonnell: “take me, make me
great again”

POUGHKEEPSIE – Deborah McDonnell attended two official functions during her first two hours on the job as Poughkeepsie City Administrator Tuesday.  One was a swearing in ceremony in the city council chambers.  The other, a briefing on a state grant in the firehouse attached to the city’s emergency center.
It was during the latter that we caught up with McDonnell and asked her to define her mission in the City of Poughkeepsie.
“To help revitalize it and stabilize its budget and bring some economic vitality back to the city,” McDonnell said.  “There are so many assets here that just, are just crying out saying, ‘take me, make me great’ and I think that if we build a team internally and work very, very strongly with the mayor and the city council, that there is a strategy that we can put together on how we can make the city strong again.”
McDonnell left a similar position she held for 10 years in a Midwest city that is not all that similar to Poughkeepsie, in terms of cultural and economic diversity.
“I view the cultural diversity as the strength of the city and I am excited to learn about the different cultures that are here,” she said.  “I do not think that it’s going to be a challenge at all because I think that people in and of themselves are basically the same.  They all have a story to tell, they all care about where they are and they all have families that they care about and a life and there’s a reason that they have chosen to live here.”
That is an outlook that put her at the top of the list among many applicants and prompted Mayor Robert Rolison to appoint her a month ago.   

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