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Hudson Valley News

Revitalization Eyed For Poughkeepsie

Hank Gross
L-R: Rolison, Hesse, Poughkeepsie council Chairman Christopher Petsas, Councilman Tracy Herman, Molinaro

Dutchess County has a new Community Development Coordinator and his first focus will be revitalization efforts in the City of Poughkeepsie.

The appointment of veteran urban planner Paul Hesse was announced at Poughkeepsie City Hall by County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Mayor Robert Rolison. 

“I can tell you, universally, anybody who has worked with Paul, alongside of Paul, or knows about Paul, says ‘yes’, that he is back and he is going to be a great member of the team here in City Hall,” Rolison said.  “We’re very fortunate to have the county help us.”

Rolison said with Hesse onboard, one practice that will not continue, moving forward, is to “study and restudy.”

Molinaro believes Poughkeepsie is the perfect focal point for a revitalization effort that will serve the entire county. 

“If the city is not revitalized, the county cannot be revitalized.”

Molinaro said by helping Poughkeepsie, they are helping the entire county. 

“What is unique is the challenge facing the City of Poughkeepsie and the need for the City of Poughkeepsie, as a city, to be reborn,” said Molinaro. 

The county executive said they are embarking on a “revitalization revolution.”

Hesse, who has worked with several Mid-Hudson organizations and communities, including, in the past, Poughkeepsie, said he was impressed when he looked at what he would be getting into. 

“I haven’t seen anything like this,” Hesse said.  “I haven’t seen a partnership.  I haven’t seen a county recognize the symbiotic relationship, the importance of symbiotic relationship between one of its communities, the principal community within the county, in this case, Poughkeepsie, and they’re doing it right.”

Hesse’s career began in the Poughkeepsie Planning Department. His lengthy resume most includes serving as a senior research planner for Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. 

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