With a December homicide and two New Years Day shootings, City of Poughkeepsie officials say reducing crime is one of their top 2013 resolutions. YNN's John Wagner spoke with the mayor and council members about their hopes for the coming year.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- While most people are resolved to quit smoking or lose weight, Poughkeepsie's Common Council cooked up some resolutions of their own.
"We need to move forward and think positive and aggressive that if there is a budget crisis in 2013, let's address it now and not wait until October," said Democrat Robert Mallory, Poughkeepsie's newly elected council chairman.
Robert Mallory says he's focused on getting both sides of the aisle working hand in hand for the good of the city. Mallory will tackle quality of life issues and push for smart economic growth. Another council member's main goal is to get College Hill Park and her ward cleaned up.
"It will pick the spirits of the people up," explained Councilwoman Ann Perry. "Also, it would encourage visitors to come to the neighborhood. It looks blighted and so no one wants to come."
By fall, the Walkway over the Hudson will have an elevator dropping to the Poughkeepsie waterfront, giving the council time to work on a plan to attract those visitors and their wallets to Main Street.
"What we need to do is connect that tourist mecca with the City of Poughkeepsie," said Councilman Joseph Rich.
The mayor says his three top goals are to bring in more economic development, especially along the waterfront and main street, to hold the line on spending and taxes, and to cut down on crime.
"We instituted a cash for tips campaign, we've put cameras up in high crime neighborhoods, so it's not a matter we're sweeping under the rug," said Mayor John Tkazyik.
"If crime continues the way it is, you're not going to have people wanting to come into the city of Poughkeepsie to build a business and build a home," said concerned resident Ken Stickle.
The New Year brings with it new garbage pickup fees. The mayor hopes that controversial issue won't cause any more issues for next year’s budget.
"It's something that the council is going to have to monitor over these next four or five months," said Mayor Tkazyik. "Because we don't want this new enterprise fund to end up short."
That's one resolution the city shares with many of its residents, getting out of debt.