Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the retirement of a senior administration official, Consumer Affairs Director Nelson Kranker. Mr. Kranker has served Dutchess County for more than 34 years.
“Nelson Kranker has devoted himself to promoting a fair and equitable market place for consumers and the business community,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Nelson has worked tirelessly as a consumer advocate for residents over the years and he will be greatly missed.”
Nelson Kranker began his career with Dutchess County Government in March 1976 when he started as an Inspector in the Weights and Measures Department, which is responsible for inspection of all scales and measuring devices in commercial establishments and the testing of petroleum products for quality, including octane, lead content, and clean air act requirements. He was later promoted to Assistant Director of Weights and Measures. The role of the Weights and Measures Department was expanded with the passage of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Law and the Department became known as the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs. Mr. Kranker became the first County Consumer Affairs Director in 1988. Prior to joining county government, Mr. Kranker served as a Communications Specialist in the United States Army.
As Consumer Affairs Director, Mr. Kranker has worked with residents to provide mediation and/or legal action when a business has engaged in false, misleading or deceptive practices, particularly in the area of home improvement contracting. He has worked to educate residents about the warning signs of fraud, with educational materials, presentations and participation in community events, to help residents avoid becoming victims of fraud.
“It has been a pleasure working for Consumer Affairs throughout the years. Over the years, we have seen tremendous progress in good business practices. Years ago, we would see up to a 20% failure rate with gasoline samples. Through our routine inspections, today we have a 0% failure rate for the more 117 million gallons of gasoline sold each year in Dutchess County,” said Mr. Kranker. “I have greatly enjoyed the ability to be help consumers solve problems and educate the public on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. It has been a privilege to work with the dedicated team here at Consumer Affairs, as well as County Executive Steinhaus and the entire County Government team.”
Mr. Kranker has been an active member of various Weights & Measures organizations at national, state, and regional levels. He has served as Chairman of the Northeastern Weights and Measures Association, as the President of New York State Weight and Measures Association and as the President of the Southeastern New York State Weights and Measures Association. He has also served as a board member of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators.
Mr. Kranker is the father of three. He and his wife Rose reside in Rhinebeck, where Mr. Kranker has been an active community volunteer. He served on various boards for a number of community organizations including the Rhinebeck Methodist Church and the Dutchess County YMCA. He has also served as the registrar and board member for Rhinebeck Soccer Club and was manager for Rhinebeck Baseball Middle League.
“When we purchase items at the local store, we assume the scale is correct and when we pump gas into our vehicle tanks we take for granted the gasoline content meets the correct specifications, all thanks to the work of the Consumer Affairs department,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We are grateful to Nelson Kranker for his many years of dedicated service as a consumer advocate, helping all of us to feel confident about our day to day purchases and serving as an invaluable resource against consumer fraud, coming to the aid of consumers when purchase or contract disputes arise.”