POUGHKEEPSIE – Marc Nelson was sworn in as mayor of Poughkeepsie on Tuesday evening by Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin. The new mayor’s wife Lisa, stood at his side. Nelson served as the city administrator under former Mayor Rob Rolison and became mayor when Rolison was sworn in as a New York State Senator.
Nelson, noted for his budgeting background served as the Finance Commissioner for the city prior to being appointed City Administrator by Rolison. Throughout his roles in those positions, Nelson was able to assist Rolison in reducing an inherited budget deficit of $13 million down to approximately $2 million at the end of 2022.
The new mayor came to Poughkeepsie from Hartford, Connecticut where he had served as the city’s tax collector for eight years under three different mayors. In his Hartford role, Nelson was responsible for the collection and enforcement of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in annual real property taxes.
Nelson’s financial acumen was further honed in Hartford where he served as an elected commissioner on the city’s pension commission, responsible for the management of the defined pension plan with more than $1 billion in assets. Nelson, a Democrat, was also involved in labor relations in Connecticut, where he served as President of the 200-member Hartford Municipal Employees Association.
Nelson’s predecessor, Senator Rolison introduces Nelson to a crowd of more than 100 people after the new mayor took his oath. Rolison credited the man he hired with playing an integral role in every accomplishment that occurred during Rolison’s tenure as mayor.
Senator Rolison credited Nelson with coining the term “Imagine if we hadn’t done that,” when speaking of the administration’s successes. “More importantly,” Rolison said, “Imagine if we hadn’t hired you.”
Nelson said he plans to continue to build on the foundation set forth by Rolison and his team including a continued focus on parks while also pledging to continue to help the city’s police department stay at the forefront of progressive law enforcement.
Nelson grew up in London, England, and was educated in the British grammar school system before attending college in the United States. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University at Albany. Nelson continued his education at Marist College by earning a Master’s in Public Administration. For his Master’s thesis, Nelson said he used the City of Poughkeepsie as a model to discuss “collaborative methods of combatting urban blight in cash-strapped cities.”
The Poughkeepsie City Charter calls for Nelson to serve as both the City Administrator and Mayor for 2023. The city voters will choose their next mayor. Beginning in January of 2024, at the November polls.
Video of Judge McLoughlin administering the oath of office to Marc Nelson: