Molinaro Steamrolls Local Objections to Planned Shelter 

Molinaro Steamrolls Local Objections to Planned Shelter

 Common Council prepares for legal action 

Poughkeepsie, New York, April 20, 2022— Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro (R-C) is ignoring the opposition of the Poughkeepsie Common Council and concerns raised by City of Poughkeepsie legislators by pushing through his plan to place a 120-bed “emergency housing” homeless shelter in the City’s 5th Ward.

“Government’s role is to listen and represent its constituents. The Poughkeepsie Common Council is doing exactly that by voicing the legitimate concerns of City residents. Molinaro is steamrolling the process by disregarding public input and pushing through this controversial and deeply unpopular proposal,” said Dutchess County Legislature Minority Leader Yvette Valdés Smith. “His actions raise the question: Who would Molinaro represent in Congress: his constituents or special interests?”

Molinaro, the Republican candidate for House of Representatives CD-19, is working to secure the Republican votes in the Dutchess County Legislature to approve the project. No Democratic votes are needed for the plan to pass.

The plan includes spending $3.1 million dollars for the site as well as many more millions in renovation costs. In addition to the lack of community input, Molinaro’s plan is based on a shelter in Bergen County, which may not be a good fit for the needs of Dutchess County.

Councilmember Evan Menist, Majority Leader of the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council said, “The City of Poughkeepsie and specifically the historically Black Northside have been systematically harmed by government actions for over a century. From racist redlining, to destructive “urban renewal”, to the expansion of the Dutchess County Jail and mass incarceration, the continued disproportionate effects on majority-minority communities constitutes a pattern of civil rights violations by Dutchess County against the residents of the City of Poughkeepsie, and we are prepared to seek legal representation to help us make that case.”

Instead of directing people to an area experiencing criminal and drug activity, we need to find a way to help our homeless in an environment where they can progress, and get the services they need.” said Assistant Minority Leader and Poughkeepsie Legislator, Barrington R. Atkins. “It is apparent that decisions were made without taking an opportunity to listen to our community voices. This is utterly unacceptable and not sending the message that our county is willing to work with, respect, and help the city of Poughkeepsie. I am deeply disappointed.”

Molinaro, who has served in public office for his entire adult life, has indicated that he intends to pass this proposal during the May 9th Dutchess County Legislature Board Meeting.

Yvette Valdés Smith
Minority Leader, Dutchess County Legislature
Dutchess County Legislator, District 16
Proudly serving the people of Fishkill and Beacon

Author: Harlem Valley News