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Poll: What Was The Biggest News Story In Dutchess This Year?

Rob Rolinson, right, won the November election for mayor in the City of Poughkeepsie, giving up his Dutchess County Legislature seat. Four other county legislators did not seek re-election, and two were bumped off major party lines.
Rob Rolinson, right, won the November election for mayor in the City of Poughkeepsie, giving up his Dutchess County Legislature seat. Four other county legislators did not seek re-election, and two were bumped off major party lines. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. - With the year 2016 just days away, Daily Voice is looking back at some of the top stories that influenced Dutchess County residents in 2015.

Poll
What Was The Biggest News Story In Dutchess This Year?
Reader Results Voting Closed

What Was The Biggest News Story In Dutchess This Year?

  • Election of new Poughkeepsie Mayor
    0%
  • Changes in the Dutchess County Legislature
    0%
  • U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson Won't Seek Re-Election To Congress
    0%
  • Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro Re-Elected
    13%
  • Central Hudson Gas & Electric Granted Rate Increase
    13%
  • County Property Taxes Will Fall Under Next Budget
    0%
  • State Legislators Want Assembly Speaker To Resign
    25%
  • 20 Percent Of Students Opt Out Of Common Core Tests
    50%
  • Other
    0%

Coinciding with the launch of Daily Voice into Dutchess County in November, city and county elections brought a wave of change this fall.

While the Dutchess County Legislature lost its longtime chairman at the end of 2015, the City of Poughkeepsie gains a new mayor after city voters elected Ron Rolison on Nov. 3. Rolison has been representing Poughkeepsie aa county legislator since 2003. He was elected its chairman in 2010 and held the position since.

The 25-member Dutchess County Legislature will seat new members in January due to incumbents stepping aside or losing September primaries.

After County Executive Marc Molinaro's re-election, the Dutchess County Legislature approved a budget for 2016 that will lower the property tax levy. The final adjusted county property tax levy for 2016 is down more than $1.5 million dollars from the 2015 county property tax levy. The 2016 property tax rate will be $3.60 per thousand of assessed value, down more than 2 percent from 2015. Dutchess County Budget Director Valerie Sommerville, who is retiring, said the new tax levy for the county will be 2 percent lower than this year.

In June, the state Public Service Commission gave Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. the green light to increase residential electric delivery rates by 9 percent and natural gas delivery rates by 5 percent over the next three years.

Locally, and statewide, parents of about 20 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 opt out of taking Common Core standardized tests in April, prompting the state Board of Regents to suspend their use in judging student and teacher performance for four years and potentially risk loss of more than $1 billion in future federal aid.

In January, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R - Kinderhook, announced he will not seek re-election in New York’s 19th Congressional District in 2016 and may run for statewide office in 2018, leading to speculation that he’ll run for governor.

Also in January, state legislators from the Mid-Hudson region tell The Daily Freeman that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should resign after his indictment for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. Silver, a Democrat, resigned and was convicted by year's end, as was Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican.

The legislative leaders' convictions prompted state Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, and other area lawmakers to call for campaign and ethics reform laws to be passed in 2016.

Return to Daily Voice on Wednesday for a recap of major crime and court news stories in 2015.

What do you think the biggest story was in Dutchess this year? Vote in our poll and continue the conversation in the comments.

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