City IDA loses another member

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Just weeks after the chairperson of the City of Poughkeepsie Industrial Development Agency (IDA) resigned, the board has received another resignation. Vice-chair Norman Smith has submitted his resignation.

With the resignation of Smith, the IDA has only two remaining members; Nate Shook and Randy Johnson.

When Melanie Vetter resigned as Chairperson at the beginning of September, she reiterated to Council Chairperson Sarah Salem that the IDA needs new members.  Salem and the common council are responsible for appointments to the IDA and they have not filled any of the vacancies.

Sources have told Mid Hudson News that Vetter and Smith both approached Salem in January of 2021 advising the leader that the two would be resigning from the IDA.

Mayor Rob Rolison served on the IDA for two years prior to becoming mayor.  When Vetter resigned, he suggested that the council consider the dissolution of the IDA.  Rolison said that the duties could be handled by the Dutchess County IDA.

“At one time it made sense.  They (the IDA) had a full membership and also had a support staff.  The membership is at a minimum and they haven’t had a support staff for years,” he noted.  “I really think that this is an opportunity, if we’re not going to strengthen the IDA, that has no support staff, I think it is time to look and see if we need our own IDA,” he said. “Dutchess County already has an IDA with a professional staff that works on projects throughout the county.”

County Legislator Randy Johnson serves on the city IDA and only has one colleague left; Nate Shook.  “We don’t have a quorum right now,” said Johnson.  “The common council has not acted to appoint replacements to fill the IDA vacancies.”

A week after Vetter resigned, Salem posted on the city website, attempting to attract new members.  The information can be found here.