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Rolison, Legislature Leadership to Bring County Government Closer to the People

Published: 4/27/2010

For Release: April 27, 2010
Contact: Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103

“Dutchess County Government Brought to You”

Chairman Robert Rolison (R-Poughkeepsie) today announced the Dutchess County Legislature is taking steps in an ongoing effort to bring county government closer to the people it serves.

“The New York State Association of Counties has designated April as County Government Month. It’s during this month that counties should look for new, innovative ways to form a stronger bond between those elected as public servants and the constituents they represent. With that goal in mind this Legislature will take a few different actions to help make it the people’s direct pipeline into county government,” said Chairman Rolison.

Rolison says that in the coming days and months new commissions and public forums will focus on ways to make government operate in a more effective, efficient manner by listening to the people who have ideas, thoughts and concerns to share. The information gathered by these commissions and forums will help the Legislature achieve its overall goal, added Rolison, which is to make Dutchess County a place where communities, families and businesses can afford to flourish. The “Dutchess County Government Brought to You” measures will include:

  • Shared Services Commission to work closely with municipalities and local organizations to foster cooperation that will lead to taxpayer savings;
  • “Stay Dutchess” Commission to explore ways to attract and retain young professionals so that the brightest don’t continue to leave our county for less expensive places to live and work; and
  • Series of public forums that will be held in each corner of the county giving people the opportunity to voice their questions and concerns directly to their county representatives.

“Sharing services is essential during this time of great economic uncertainty,” said Angela Flesland, Assistant Majority Leader and chair of the Shared Service Commission. “By working with municipalities and contract agencies to reduce overlapping services it will enable us to save taxpayer money for vital programs and, hopefully, prevent significant tax increases this fall which seem likely given the fiscal pressures placed on Duchess County by New York State.”

“Too many young professionals are leaving New York State, and Dutchess County in particular, in search of less expensive places to call home. With five major institutions of higher learning, we need to find a way to keep more of these graduating professionals here in the Hudson Valley so that they can help make this a better community for their future families as well as ours,” said Ben Traudt chair of the “Stay Dutchess” Commission.

“The Legislature is the people’s branch of county government charged with the specific task of debating and adopting policy that impacts every family and business in Dutchess County. To ensure that it remains accountable directly to the people who elect their representatives, those representatives must take the time to listen to the people whether it’s at one of these commission meetings or at a public forum. It will take a collective effort to make this a better county,” said Majority Leader Gary Cooper.

“Legislators work for the people and so it is only appropriate that we bring government, whenever possible, directly to them so that we can get all the input we can from the people who selected us to serve them,” said Chairman Rolison who is now accessible online via Facebook and Twitter.

Rolison concluded that constituents are welcome to contact the Dutchess County Legislature with any questions or concerns they might have about county business. Chairman Rolison, and all your county legislators, can be reached by phone at (845) 486-2100 or e-mail at