Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

DC Legislative District 16

  • John Forman (I) Marketing Manager, FDM Insurance Company

  • Frits Zernike (Dem)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

1. What can the County do to create employment opportunities for County Residents?

2. What can the County do to promote growth in the agriculture sector?

3. Now that the County has taken over the City of Poughkeepsie Bus system, what can be done to address the concerns of the residents for whom access has been reduced?

4. Dutchess County is struggling to find ways of coping with the growing opioid epidemic: how can we improve the effectiveness of current practice? Or, are there any alternative strategies that you feel would be worth considering?

5. How best can the County address the problem that inmate populations exceed the ability of the jail system to adequately house and support them?

6. Cities and towns in Dutchess County have seen a decline in the tax base, while infrastructure ages, and needs repair or replacing. How can the County address this?

7. What needs to be done to improve quality of and access to Mental Health resources for Dutchess County residents?

8. In 2015, 1 in 10 Dutchess County residents was receiving services from DCFS. What can the County do in order to improve upon what Family Services provides for those who rely on these services?

9. Should the County encourage development of alternative energy sources, and if so, what might be the most effective strategies?

Campaign Phone (845) 596-5956
Party Enrollment/Designations INDEPENDENCE PARTY
Age 51
Experience 6 term member in the Dutchess County Legislature.
Education Attended: SUNY @ Delhi and DCC
Military History N/A
Keeping the tax burden as low as possible while providing the necessary services to the residents of this county. Investing in our infrastructure
Dutchess County has been a leader in investing to protect Open Space and save farmland from development.
It's important to note it was first the decision by Mayor Rolison to only budget for funding the bus service in the city of Poughkeepsie via June 30, 2017. The Poughkeepsie city council had an opportunity to override Mayor Rolison by adding additional funding in the budget prior to its adoption - and chose not to. Dutchess County stepped up and is now providing this service to the residents in the city of Poughkeepsie. I've heard on several occasions that the bus routes need to be amended. Dutchess County DPW has assured the County Executive, County Legislature and the residents that these routes will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. If changes need to be made to the bus routes, I have every confidence in the Dutchess County DPW that the necessary changes will be made.
Fortunately and unfortunately, this crisis is not solely a Dutchess County issue. It's an issue across New York State. And I say fortunately, because it's getting the attention it needs. Educating and training our first responders, increasing the participation in the Dutchess County Drug Task Force and increasing the promotion of the recently-opened Stabilization Center in Poughkeepsie.
The Dutchess County Jail has been a burden to the taxpayers for 30+ years. The inadequate facilities have forced those who are incarcerated be moved all across NYS. Moving inmates from county to county cost money. And more important, it makes it quite difficult for the inmates to be near their family and their legal representatives. For years, Dutchess County was spending millions of dollars for "housing out" costs. The completion of the Jail and Transition Center will be a huge step forward in reforming the criminal justice system in Dutchess County.
The Taxpayer Protection Fund was set up to use some of the county's fund balance to help offset the need for any property tax increase. The County Executive and Legislature both fully agree the need for continued investment to improve our infrastructure. The 2017 budget included over $15,000,000 towards these efforts.
We start with the Stabilization Center. Our residents now have a central place to go to seek the assistance they need. All of the providers under one roof for convenience. The Justice and Transition Center will help make more programs available to our inmates. When the inmates are housed out in Albany or Schenectady counties, they are not receiving the programs that are available in Dutchess County.
These services come down from Albany. Dutchess County will continue to provide these necessary services to our residents.
The county legislature recently passed a "sales tax exemption" for those who use solar energy. The county legislature recently approved the purchase of 4 Nissan Leaf electric cars and 4 charging stations that will be available to the public to use.
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