2019 Annual Report Highlights Work of Dutchess County Government

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has submitted the Annual Report for 2019 to the Dutchess County Legislature, pursuant to the requirements of the Dutchess County Charter. The annual report provides an overview of the County’s finances, as well as highlights of the work and activities of the Executive Branch of county government over the past year.

County Executive Molinaro said, “As we begin 2020 and lay out our newest goals in the upcoming State of the County, it is important to reflect on all we have already accomplished. The Annual Report details for the Legislature the broad array of services and programs County government offers. Each year, our dedicated County employees continue to provide critical services, while tackling new challenges and taking on new initiatives, always striving to provide better services for our residents. The foundation we have built enables us to keep setting bolder goals, continuing to enhance the community we call home.”

The annual report features a brief review of Dutchess County’s financial condition, including continued growth of the local economy, which has led to strong sales tax receipts. The strong economy, coupled with continued focus of efficiency and shared services, has been an important component in delivering the sixth consecutive county property tax levy reduction for 2020 and fifth straight year with a lower property tax rate for homeowners and businesses.

The report also features a summary of the activities of the Executive Branch departments of Dutchess County Government, demonstrating the continued hard work and dedication of Dutchess County Government employees. Among the work activity highlights:

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Office for the Aging (OFA) experienced a 34% increase in walk-in clientele following the opening of the new OFA offices and Senior Friendship Center in Poughkeepsie.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Public Transit logged nearly 850,000 passenger trips, an 18% increase over 2018.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Nearly 1,800 visits to Dutchess County’s 24/7 Stabilization Center.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]HELPLINE staff responded to more than 42,700 phone contacts and text conversations.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]9-1-1 Communication Center Public Safety Dispatchers handled 258,603 emergency calls.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Processed nearly 40,000 Medicaid transactions.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Administered 177 civil service exams and reviewed nearly 6,400 exam/appointment applications.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Certified as a Bronze Level Climate Smart Community by NYS DEC, one of only nine counties in the state.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Honored with the 2019 Government Experience Award for the redesigned dutchessny.gov, with more than 16.2 million pages served – a 9% increase over 2018.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Supervised approximately 2,800 individuals placed on probation, utilizing a variety of evidence-based interventions to reduce recidivism and promote community safety.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Performed more than 7,600 hours of Maternal Child Health case management to high risk families, including those dealing with substance use, domestic violence and/or mental health disorders.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]More than 1,600 site visits to public water supplies ensuring water quality.

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Provided more than 19,000 contact services to Dutchess County veterans and their families.

The full 2019 Annual Report can be viewed on the Dutchess County website.

County Executive Molinaro will present his 2020 State of the County address on Thursday, February 20th at 5:30 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion, Ecolab Auditorium. He will summarize his focus and priorities for Dutchess County Government in 2020. The State of the County address event is open to the public. To learn more about the event, and to RSVP, visit dutchessny.gov/rsvp.

Raphael Kosek Reappointed as Dutchess County Poet Laureate for 2020

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced he has re-appointed Hopewell Junction resident Raphael Kosek as the County’s Poet Laureate for 2020. Ms. Kosek will serve a second one-year term, sharing her poetry with the community through a series of readings and events, beginning with the County Executive’s 2020 State of the County Address on Thursday, February 20 at 5:30 p.m. at The Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion in Hyde Park.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Having a vibrant arts community is an important part of why so many people love to call Dutchess County home. Raphael’s contributions as Poet Laureate in 2019 are testament to how exposure to and involvement in the arts helps engage our youth and spreading awareness helps bring us all together, as neighbors, to celebrate our differences. We are grateful to Arts Mid-Hudson for their continued support of the Dutchess County Poet Laureate program and look forward to Raphael sharing her talent and achievements in 2020.”

During her first year as Poet Laureate, Ms. Kosek received numerous awards for her poetry, including the Bacopa Literary Review’s poetry prize, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Additionally, her book, American Mythology, was published in September, from which two poems were chosen to be read on The Writer’s Almanac podcast by host, Garrison Keillor.

Ms. Kosek said, “In my first year as Dutchess County Poet Laureate, I have done many readings all over the Hudson Valley, engaged with new poetry forms, and worked with community groups such as Unshattered Boutique and senior residents at the Fountains in Millbrook. It has been an incredible year and I look forward to another.”

Arts Mid-Hudson manages the Poet Laureate selection process, which includes inviting a panel of literary professionals and community members to review nominations and make their recommendation. Public nominations for the unpaid role of 2021 Dutchess County Poet Laureate will be accepted this summer.

“We appreciate County Executive Molinaro’s continued dedication to Dutchess County’s arts culture and support of the Poet Laureate. We congratulate Raphael Kosek on her achievements in 2019 and are proud to celebrate her continued success as our 2020 Poet Laureate,” said Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director for Arts Mid-Hudson.

County Executive Molinaro will present his 2020 State of the County Address at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion, Ecolab Auditorium, on Thursday, February 20th at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. To learn more about the event and to RSVP visit dutchessny.gov/rsvp.