You are on page 1of 22

MAYORS STATE OF THE CITY 2014 I am proud to be the Mayor of Our City, the State of New Yorks First

Capital. As I am certain all of you would agree, Our City is one of the most unique municipalities in the state, as evidenced by our ethnically and racially diverse population. The ethnic and racial diversity in our community has thrived and grown since the Dutch settled Kingston in 1652. Our City is blessed with a rich and proud historical heritage, beautiful waterfront with deep water port; a lunch bucket manufacturing background which also included brickyards and cement plants, all contributing to the growth and economic development of our state; a thriving and ever-evolving arts, cultural and digital community and venue for a plethora of recreational activities on land and the Hudson RiverSimply put, the individualism of our city gives us a sense of pride, historical and cultural awareness and a feeling that Kingston is truly a special place to live, work and play. We should be proud as we all earned and deserve the pride we have in our City. Further, given all that our City has endured over the years, we truly are a sustainable community to be proud of. In 2012, I referred to Kingston as a model city. I stated then, in order to succeed as a model city, we must change the culture within our City government. For our City to become a model city, it can only occur if there is a partnership with the stakeholders in our community. To be successful as a model city, we must address quality of life concerns of all our stakeholders that have, for far too long, stagnated our Citys growth and economic development. In 2012, I vowed to implement a new paradigm for governing our city and for providing services to the public. I stated we must, with a partnership of all stakeholders, restructure, reinvent and where necessary, require our government to be transparent, accountable, accessible for all stakeholders and to ensure our government acts on behalf of the publics interest. I am pleased to say because of the partnership we have established over the last two (2) plus years, we are now managing our government as a business and similar to our stakeholders, as they would manage their households. Further, from the efforts of this partnership, our city government is now accessible and fair for all stakeholders!! Simply put, because of our partnership, our city government has been reinvented and there is a more transparent, efficient and fair use of stakeholders tax dollars to address the daunting and often at times, very complex quality of life issues facing our City so we can attract new residents, business, professionals and tourists to our community.

NEW PARADIGM APPROACH FOR MANAGING CITY FINANCES In preparation of our 2014 budget, my administration once again implemented a transparent, fiscally responsible modified, zero-based budget for all city departments. Please keep in mind that every $150,000 spent of tax dollars is the equivalent of 1% of the City Budget; approximately 88% of the total city budget is non-discretionary, unfunded mandates and/or contractual expenditures, 76 cents of every budget dollar is for personnel related costs and it costs over seven-hundred thousand ($700,000) dollars per week to provide services to the public. Our internal financial results for 2013, subject to audit, show that the City will have finished the year with a modest surplus. This was accomplished by my administration through the development of a prudent, fiscally responsible budget, mindful departmental spending, and active budget monitoring throughout the year. This was all accomplished despite losing over $300,000 in 2013 sales tax collections due to our local assemblymans inaction to sponsor legislation in the NYS Legislature to pass the 1% sales tax extension for Ulster County. This inaction could not have reasonably been anticipated when the 2013 budget was adopted. Due to the Assemblymans inaction, approximately $671,000 was withdrawn from the Citys fund balance so as to balance the budget within the mandatory 2% tax cap. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, the positive 2013 financial results were a major factor in the City obtaining an upgrade in its S&P underlying bond rating earlier this month from an A+ to AA-, the highest such rating in the Citys history. This upgrade will provide the City the opportunity to borrow funds at optimal interest rates when it is needed most. The Citys short term rate is currently 0.49%. The Citys unassigned fund balance is expected to stand at a modest but adequate $2.5 million when the 2013 year is finalized. This amount, 6.7% of the Citys annual expenditures, is within the range of fund balance levels recommended by GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) (5 to 15%). As we look forward, our great City will continue to face fiscal pressures, some unique to Kingston while many others are shared by local governments throughout New York State. In addition to the $300,000 lost in December 2013, the City is short an additional $285,000 in January due to the 1% sales tax extension for Ulster County not being extended. This $585,000 legislative loss, along with lagging sales tax collections that we are experiencing thus far in 2014 (down nearly 5% from prior year) is a serious detriment to the City. These funds could have been used for a myriad of purposes, including but not limited to: contract negotiations, equipment and infrastructure needs, parks and

recreation purchases, economic development, or returned to fund balance to offset property tax increases and/or improve the Citys financial standing and credit rating. While the economy has recovered in many respects, we see limited growth moving forward in other key revenue items such as mortgage tax receipts.

A long and harsh winter has driven up snow removal costs and put further stress on the condition of our roadways. The harsh winter was also instrumental in the market factors that have caused short term energy supply costs to increase exponentially.

The previous administration drew nearly a million dollars from fund balance as part of the 2012 budget and failed to put any funding aside to settle the three collective bargaining agreements that expired prior to my taking office. The Citys infrastructure continues to age and require repair and replacement. A significant amount of funding will be necessary to address our ongoing infrastructure and capital needs. Upon receipt of their recommendations, I look forward to working with the Common Council to implement the Capital Plan I submitted in February 2013 (as well as the plan submitted in 2012). Our Governor has made significant and meaningful headway in improving NYS government however we continue to need more relief from unfunded state mandates to protect our taxpayers and keep future property tax rate increases within the 2% property tax cap.

How do we face these challenges moving forward? Continue to have meaningful talks with these bargaining groups in an effort to reach agreements that are both fair to our employees and financially responsible and sustainable for the City.

Explore all opportunities to reduce costs through efficiency in operations and doing more for less. For example, the City has incorporated automated refuse trucks into its Department of Public Works fleet which has allowed the City to utilize personnel for other important tasks such as street and road work. The incorporation of single stream recycling has mitigated increases in tipping fees by increasing the recycling rate in the City. In addition, the Kingston Fire Departments repair of apparatus are now performed by Public Works and saving significant overtime costs.

Continued restructuring of government and consolidation of services: Examples: Consolidation of Registrar and City Clerk (savings of $100,000 annually) and restructuring of Economic Development office (savings of $35,000 annually). Sharing of services with other local governments. Example: Tourism agreement with Ulster County. Savings of $20,000 annually. Explore opportunities for operational cost savings through improved technology. I would like to thank the Common Council for approving my administration to undertake a study to perform a detailed feasibility analysis of a project to convert street light fixtures throughout the City to a more energy efficient LED technology. Continued analysis of insurance costs. Example: The restructuring of our main employee dental insurance plan and an internal audit of lab retiree health insurance payments has saved the City approximately $200,000 or more annually. In addition, my administration was able to achieve savings in the Citys liability insurance by selecting a carrier through a competitive process. Continue to review the Citys existing debt for cost savings opportunities to restructure and refund City debt. Continue with the zero based budget approach in which my administration requires justification for every departmental budget request on an annual basis. Expand the Citys tax base through economic development. Prioritization of infrastructure projects is critical. My administrations revamped Economic Development office has obtained millions of dollars in grants thus far and their continued success is instrumental to minimizing the impact of much needed capital project work on our City and its taxpayers. Maintaining a strong bond rating will enable the City to borrow for non-grant funded items at low interest rates. I would like to thank my friend and partners Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and the County Legislature for their commitment to take on the full cost of the Safety Net program over a three (3) year period. The public should know the factsthe truth. In 2012, County Executive Hein proposed, not our local assemblyman, the County to take on the full cost of the Safety Net program over a three (3) year period. True to the County Executives word, and with the support of the County Legislature, for calendar year 2013, on January 1, 2013, the City of Kingston taxpayers saved $565,626 in safety net expenses. The County Executive and County legislators demonstrated unequivocally their commitment to a partnership with our City to address a financial

albatross that has drained the City Budget of millions of dollars of potential and needed funding to address quality of life issues, economic development, our capital plan, infrastructure, capital equipment and collective bargaining settlements for city employees. Thank you Mike Hein and our County legislators for your assistance with this matter which has plagued the City for years. Unfortunately, the inaction of our assemblyman has resulted in a substantial and/or additional withdrawal from the fund balance of the 2014 budget totaling 802,809. To reiterate, the public must recognize the County Executive and County legislators kept their promise to take over safety net expenses. The public must recognize County Executive Mike Hein and County legislators for their assistance to the taxpayers of our City. The public must recognize the inaction of our local assemblyman regarding the sales tax crisis is not in the publics interest and indeed reflects all that is inappropriate with the old boy crony Albany culture of political selfishness which our local assemblyman has long been a part of!! I would also like to thank County Executive Mike Hein for providing additional funding for the Abeel Street project totaling $100,000. The Abeel Street project totaling $4 million has resulted in newly paved road, parking, sidewalks, curbing and lighting. The results of this project have generated interest and investment in the Rondout and along Abeel Street. Vacant properties have been sold and are now being renovated for residential commercial and use for the ARTS. The County Executive also made available for the City $70,000 in planning design for the Broadway CorridorKingston Connectivity Project; $85,000 for the Washington Avenue Signalization Project and snow removal equipment and personnel thereby saving the City of Kingston taxpayers thousands in overtime. On behalf of the taxpayers, thank you County Executive Mike Hein for our partnership which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of tax dollars saved over the last 2 years.

PUBLIC SAFETY When I was campaigning for the Office of Mayor in 2011, I would consistently see 8-10 individuals per day /night at corner of Broadway and Henry Street clocking or making drug sales. In addition, to the clockersaka drug dealersthe usual prostitutes would be walking up and down Broadway advertising they were open for business. The landscape of Broadway was littered with vacant storefronts disillusioned small business entrepreneurs and residents living along the Broadway Corridor.
5

Today, under the leadership of Chief Tinti, the dedicated and hard work of our Police Department, there is no visible clocking or selling of drugs at the corner of Broadway and Henry Streets and the usual prostitutes are not so bold to advertise their business!! Sure, we still have drug dealing and prostitutes in our City and in midtown, however, the landscape of Broadway Midtown is much different. There is renewed interest in investment in midtown specifically on Broadway. A feeling of pride amongst many its residents. There are new businesses, restaurants and service providers in previously vacant storefronts. The Broadway Corridor has experienced a significant influx of Latinos and other ethnicracial groups who have opened new businesses and restaurants. There has been significant investment in number of properties ( Ulster Lighting and/or art gallery) all because the landscape has changed in the last two years. Critics may say the drug dealers and prostitutes have gone elsewhere into midtown. However, again due to the dedication and hard work of our Police Department, over the last two years, almost 200 individuals have been arrested in drug sweeps throughout our City and in midtown. I am proud of Chief Tinti and our police department personnel for serving and protecting the public. Thank you for your role in making this City a better and safe place to live, work and play! But all in our City must acknowledge citizen participation and commitment to public safety for everyone must be the goal. This is imperative for our Police Department to protect and serve our City. That said, any resident, business, clergy professional who has any concern about the department be it criminal or quality of life , please contact my office. I will pass any information to our Chief and/or pertinent department head who will usually contact the party to address their concerns about the safety and welfare of our City. Under the leadership of Chief Tinti, personnel, equipment and technology have been allocated and/or reallocated for foot patrol, bike patrol, Youth Bureau, special assignments, special investigations unit; community policy and major interdepartmental drug-gang related investigations. Once again, all of the aforesaid has been accomplished without spending any additional taxpayer dollars. The Chief of our Police Department has also continued to generate community spirit and morale among the personnel of the Police Department. To assure our residents, members of the clergy and faith-based groups throughout our City, businesses and professionals have access to our Police Department, the Chief of Police will designate a liaison with the aforesaid so as to further facilitate community policing. I think we all agree, community policing makes Kingston a better place to be. We all want Kingston safer for everyone and we can only do this together.

Police Department Enhanced Community Interaction Increased visibility through walking posts and bike unit officers. Officers are encouraged to walk post when possible. This allows them an opportunity to increase positive community interaction not always possible when assigned to vehicle patrol only; Out on the Street Supervisors Supervisors are regularly scheduled to be out on the street to oversee the patrol function first-hand. Improvements in the administrative capabilities of the department have afforded us the opportunity to increase visibility and provide direct supervision on the street. Broadway Corridor Patrol Zone In addition to improvements to our patrol tactics through our crime analysis, we now have a patrol officer assigned to the Broadway Corridor of Kingston. The patrol area of this assignment starts in uptown Kingston and travels along Broadway to the downtown business area. Expanded Use of Social Media We use social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, to keep community members informed about what the Police Department is doing to make our community safer. Postings include arrests, traffic conditions, informational posts and updates to community events. Enhanced Presence in Schools and Educational Facilitiesadd youth bureau In addition to our successful School Resource Officer Program in Kingston High School and J. Watson Bailey Middle School, uniformed officers visit various city schools on a regular basis. This permits face time with staff and students and expands our community efforts. Our Special Investigations Unit conducted another major drug sweep in 2013 (Clean Sweep, Dust Mop, Mop Up) resulting in over 40 arrests for drug sales or drug possession. Sweeps like this are part of our continuing efforts to promote a safer community. Quality of life offenses are targeted as a regular course of business. Our anonymous tip line TIPSOFT continues to be a success. It offers community members a way to provide the Police Department with information that protects the identity of the person providing the tip while still giving the Police Department information that can begin or further our investigations. Youth Bureau- We have completed the second Youth Leadership program and plan on holding another this summer. The program teaches youth to make sound decisions when faced with difficult situations and allows them to see what kind of work police officers do as part of their daily activities.
7

Ministers Alliance of Kingston- We are currently meeting to set up a community event that will include the police department in order to further our community efforts. Bank of America Building Regarding the Midtown Police Station, last year the KLDC took title to the BOA on Broadway, parcel for the site of a proposed Police Station. In 2013, the project was stalled because the City had no funds and was not eligible for federal funding for such a community based initiative. In addition, the sales tax crisis, federal government shut down helped to delay further consideration for this initiative. However, with the assistance of Congressman Chris Gibson, the City is now eligible for USDA/RDA and other federal funding for this project. Congressman Gibson promised to do this two years ago! I have asked the City Office of Economic Development, Community Development and Community Developments consultant and Congressman Gibson to pursue any available funding from public, private and foundation sources for the initiative. However, I want to assure the residents-taxpayers unless the project can be funded without any impact on our City Budget2% tax cap and/or reduction in services for the public, I will not recommend pursuing it. We will continue to strive to make our City safe for everyone. Our Police Chief will continue to review departmental operations, procedures, keep current with technology, social media, enhance community policy and/or interactions, continue our partnership with Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum, New York State Police and other police departments in surrounding towns. Once again, thank you to our Police Department. You have made a difference and truly affected and improved the quality of life in our community.

PUBLIC WORKS INFRASTRUCTURECAPITAL PROJECTS 2014 For several years now the Public Works Department has operated/provided services with less personnel, in some instances, 15-20 year old equipment and financial resources. This means there are now less personnel and resources to pick up our yard waste, recyclables, repair roads, sewers, sidewalks, curbing and all infrastructure, replace light fixtures/street lights. Simply put, it means it is more difficult to provide services that are required for a city to succeed. Given the circumstances, the Public Works Department deserves credit for their hard work and commitment to making our city a great place for all to live, work, invest and play! The personnel under the direction of Superintendent Schupp, are all doing more work with less resources to get the work done.
8

In 2011, the Superintendent of Public Works introduced Single Stream Recycling to curb side pickup in the city as a cost saving measure. New automated trucks were purchased along with totes that are now being used for recycling and refuse pick up. This has made curb side pickup more economical by reducing the number of employees assigned to this task, cutting trips to the landfill in half and reducing the carbon footprint by reducing the number of trucks on the road each day. In 2010, DPW was picking up 10 tons of recycling each week. Currently, an average of 50 tons per week is being collected through the single stream initiative. A financial impact with an anticipated cost savings of roughly $175.000.00 per year in tipping fees. The totes now being used city-wide for recycling helps to keep litter off the streets and it adds to stream lining pickup operations. During the next several weeks DPW crews will rollout 1500 new refuse totes that were approved and purchased during my administration. This is yet another cost saving measure as it will help to remove water weight from the waste stream for future savings of tax revenue. Open containers now being used allows rain water and snow to accumulate in the container which we pay for in tipping fees. The department has also introduced computerized delivery systems for road salt during winter maintenance operations in its newer trucks and also introduced pre-treatment of brine for deicing roads. These efforts have not only reduced the salt used during a snow or ice event but has helped to reduce overtime costs, and the amount of granular salt used for each storm and improving the environmental impacts of salt use. These newer trucks have wing plows that follow designated priority routes while plowing which improves bad weather travel for motorists and reduces trucks and personnel costs during a snow/ice event. The environmental benefits to the changes in both winter road maintenance and refuse and recycling are just a few procedural changes introduced during the past several years in the DPW that will benefit future residents and generations for years to come. These new efforts help to reduce the carbon footprint by reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions because of fewer trucks required for the operations stated. The Single Stream recycling effort was completed on target in 2013 and we are now beginning the roll out of refuse totes. Our hope is to complete this effort by 2016. We are merely just beginning to realize the positive impact that these cost saving measures are having on the citys sanitation budget. But we are confident that changes such as these will continue to bring Kingston into the future and provide its residents with services that are efficient and cost effective and continue to make Kingston a safe and pleasant community to reside in.

As stated recently, the City shall receive $593,457.56 in NYS CHIPS paving funds and $57,510.29 for pothole repairs for 2014. The Superintendent has completed a list of streets for this years paving. After consultation with all utility providers operating in the City, a final list will be made available to the public. Since January, the Department of Public Works has used 241 tons of cold patch (temporary) blacktop, patching our City streets. The hot mix material has recently become available and two (2) crews shall be on the streets every day to make street surface repairs. Due to the brutally harsh winter, the department is currently performing repairs and rebuilding storm water catch basins throughout the City. Prospectively, the Superintendent of Public Works shall continue to monitor and review departmental operations and procedures, keep current with technology, equipment and training of personnel and partner with the county, state and surrounding towns for shared services when it is prudent. The City of Kingston Engineering Capital Public Facilities Infrastructure projects for 2014 shall include repairs and improvements for storm water manholes, signalization, design and preparation for the Greenkill Avenue Bridge project, Washington Avenue Tunnel stabilization, public facility repair, boiler replacements at Rondout Firehouse and Rondout Neighborhood Center, curbing and sidewalks, long term control Plan Phase I, regulator upgrades, Hasbrouck Avenue CSO, digester concrete repairs, implementation watershed management plan, WWTP upgrades and flood mitigation, uptown and midtown parking lots, safe routes to schools, water quality assessment project, Broadway Sidewalk , the LED evaluation for future purchase and conversion for a total cost of $ $16.275 million. Regarding the Citys Capital Plan, prospectively I look forward to partnering with the Councils Infrastructure Committee appointed at my request by President Noble last year. The committee has been provided information and a map of the City from the Engineering Department which identifies the capital plan projects throughout the City and sites of other capital infrastructure projects. It is my understanding the committee is in the process of reviewing the information. It is imperative that we work together to prioritize the capital plan infrastructure projects contingent upon not only cost, but with a focus on the benefit to Quality of Life, and health, safety and welfare of our City and economic development.

10

QUALITY OF LIFE Under the direction of Fire Chief Mark Brown and Deputy Chief David Allen, the City Building and Safety Division have been restructured to enhance enforcement of the City Building and Zoning Code. Also, we have increased enforcement of the Zoning Code regarding the Heritage District zoning overlay which requires a criteria for compliance for signage and exterior faade improvements. The public probably has noticed along Broadway signage and faade of property historically an eyesore for midtown is gone. T his is important for midtowns and the Citys revitalization. This is important for stimulating interest in the midtown area by investors. Prospective developers and/or investors in small business, shall not invest in a corridor that is riddled with unattractive signage and faade. By ensuring compliance with the City Code, we can generate an interest in investing in midtownthe Broadway Corridor. Staying the course on this ensures we address concerns of residents, property owners, business and professionals and do not push these groups away and hindering the revitalization of our City, not just midtown. In 2013-2014 the restructuring of the Building and Safety Division is as follows: Hiring of a part time code enforcement officer dedicated to enforcement in midtown without any effect on the city tax rate. This employee shall assist staff with inspections for multiple dwellings, vacant-dilapidated buildings, posted properties in the midtown area only. Continuation of Block by Block includes other City departments; Continue coordination between Building and Safety, Planning, Historical Preservation, Heritage Commission, Corporation Counsel and Assessors Office; Continue enforcement of unsafe-dilapidated buildings, posted-vacant buildings. Where necessary, seek order to demolish and funding from Council to facilitate same; Step up enforcement of Tenant Accountability Act, parental Accountability Act as it pertains to building and safety matters in our City.

The aforesaid can only be effective by working with property owners, landlords and their tenants. Since being sworn in, my administration has pursued the above initiatives to address quality of life and health and safety welfare concerns which ensures we d ont push away our compliant residents and commercial property owners and impede our growth.

11

Simply put, we must continue to be partners as the results pay huge dividends to the City and garners much recognition for our community in regional and national media as being a place for people and business to relocate and for retirees to spend their golden years. QUALITY OF LIFEPARKS AND RECREATION The City has made a significant investment in our park system. The City has invested over $667,000 in the last two (2) years; the largest in the City park system history. The funding was made possible with a partnership through a variety of funding sources including local funding, CDBG, NYS DEC Estuary Program. We must make such an investment in our parks. This is necessary for not only providing an experience to enjoy the natural beauty and setting of our park system but to insure our youth and adults have a variety of recreational, educational and cultural activities to productively occupy their time. Basically, it is imperative we make such an investment in your youth because it not only is it the right thing to do for our community, but it is a more humane and efficient use of tax dollars than spent on prisons, jails, probation and parole programs. Prospectively, the City through a partnership with Junior League of Kingston, will install a new Kinderland Playground at Forsyth Park. In addition, from, another partnership and with a donation from the Recreation Commissioner Ron Woods and assistance from the Mid- Hudson Tennis Association, shall repave the tennis courts and improve parking for Forsyth Park. The City shall also invest in repainting and repair of park basketball courts, if feasible handball courts and address pavinginfrastructure in Block and other parks. The Parks Department should be recognized for their contribution to improving quality of life, and offering recreational, environmental and educational programs which have resulted in positive media coverage of what our City has to offer for all! Over 8,750 people are served by our Parks Department. Under the direction of Recreation Director Kevin Gilfeather and all departmental personnel, here is what is happening in our park system: Park Bathroom Replacement Project: six (6) bathrooms to be replaced with solar powered composting toilets; Playground Upgrades and park amenities for Van Buren Street Playground; new bike racks and eight (8) benches to be installed in parks; Hasbrouck Park Playground Partnership with KSD;

12

Capital Improvements; Rondout Neighborhood Center, Hodge Community Center and the Carriage House at the Hodge Center. This initiative also involves our partners at YouthBuild. I would like to thank the Bruderhof for the donation and installation of a stove in the Hodge Center and for all they do in our City for our children, seniors and those in need! Bike Education Program; part of Bike Friendly Kingston lane bike markings initiative; Continuation of Movies/Music in Parks; Continuation Intergenerational Program; New Basketball Courts for Hodge and Rondout Neighborhood Centers; Nature Center; Continue seeking grand funding for center operation, improvements, new programs; 55,000 people visited Nature Center last year; Rondout Center will remain open after school closes Kayak Launch; BMX Lease; CDBG two consecutive years received full allocation of funding from HUD of which a significant investment has been made in the Hodge, Midtown Neighborhood Center, Rondout Center and for our parks system QUALITY OF LIFESENIORS Since the passing of my brother T.R. there was literally no recognition nor little effort by the City to provide programs and events for our seniors. I think all would agree our senior residents deserve better respect for their contributions to our City. In 2012, I established a Senior Advisory Council with the assistance of our senior partners, Rev. Darlene Kelly (Clinton Avenue United Methodist Church) and Mike Lamoree of UC Community Action, we have accomplished the following: Food Pantry for senior residences (private and public housing). We have also established a food pantry soup kitchen group who meet regularly to work together and to avoid duplication of services and competing for limited resources and volunteers.
13

The City will also partner with the YMCA, Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and Peoples Place to insure our seniors and those in need are able to have fresh produce this summer; Summer Picnic Movies/Music in the Parks Providing bus transportation to events Annual Senior Dinner Fall Community Action Dinner Intergenerational Programs Reading, Cooking, Daycare activities

QUALITY OF LIFEVETERANS For several years the veterans in our community were not given the recognition they deserve for the sacrifices they have made for all of us. Through a partnership with Kingston Veterans Association, I am proud to say we are recognizing them by the following: Expanding and improving the Memorial Day Parade; Assisting with the Weekend Warrior Program; Working together to move the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Armory; Implementing a monument for the Sea-Bees at the waterfront; And assisting in a Banner Program to acknowledge and pay tribute to all of our veterans who served our community and nation.

QUALITY OF LIFECULTURAL TOURISM Tourism in Ulster County stimulates almost a one-half (1/2) billion dollars for our local economy. In 2012, the City consolidated tourism services with the County resulting in an average annual savings of $35,000. The partnership with the County of Ulster has resulted in doubling the visitors to our City, increasing our sales tax revenue and establishing the City as a destination for many events, festivals and to our cultural activities in art, music and now, film production.

14

In short, our partnership has enabled the City to brand and market the City as a community in which there are a plethora of events, recreational and cultural activities all stimulating an interest among prospective residents and business to relocate to our City. It is another tool for economic development. With the addition of Raleigh Green, the Citys Tourism and Cultural Affairs Coordinator, the City has improved and updated the Kingston Visitors Guide. Further, he has updated the Citys social media generating more positive feedback and interaction from the public and a recognition by many who live in our City and/or who have moved away, that we have a beautiful City, a very special place for many people to live, work and play. Mr. Green created a logo for our City Kingston NY Historic is Just Our Beginning to market, promote and brand our City. Through a partnership with local business and professionals, kiosks will be installed with maps and information regarding events, cultural and recreational activities. Prospectively, it is hoped banners will be posted throughout the City advertising local business and activities. The NEW YORK TIMES has described our City as Williamsburg North and other media has labeled Kingston a top city and/or destination for artists to reside. The WALL STREET JOURNAL, FORBES MAGAZINE and other media have recognized our City as a place for second home buyers and retirees to live. In 2012 I formed an Arts Advisory Board known as K365. Most know our City has something happening in art, culture, music and recreation every week and/or weekend. Since its inception the K365 Arts Advisory Board has accomplished the following: K365 Facebook Page; Coordinated with assistance of Bard College a feasibility study for a museum; Coordinated placement of a curator for the ASK Biennial sculpture event last year; Established a connection to Lace Curtain Factory Project and the BEAT initiative; Assisted in organizing artists from all over the City and who practice various genre of the arts so as to promote their creative works; Assisted with the first Kingston Festival of the Arts and Taste of Kingston

Overall effect has been to create a framework and advocacy group for the arts and cultural activities utilizing same as a catalyst for economic development and/or creative place-making for our local regional economy.
15

In 2014, the Arts Advisory Board shall continue to promote the cultural activities, music, art and film production services for our City. Also the Board shall continue to pursue a venue and funding for a cultural museum and stay the course utilizing our cultural assets for economic development making the City a destination for people to live, experience and invest.

DIGITAL ROADMAP Last year I recommended the City website and other digital technology be revamped and/or modified to provide more user friendly, informative access to the public and for marketing our City. Mr. Kale Kaposhilin of Evolving Media served as a volunteer consultant for the initiative and spent one year meeting with focus groups, organizing feedback and/or responses from all stakeholders. Thank you Mr. Kaposhilin for your commitment to make our City a model city. The recommendation from this year-long effort was to revamp-upgrade the City webpage. In the last year, the City IT Director Kyle McIntosh and his staff have made significant improvements to the City webpage regarding access, links and information available for the public. This was all accomplished without any additional tax dollars spent. With the assistance from the City IT Department, Kale Kaposhilin, Raleigh Green and Kevin Godbey (Kingston Happenings), a determination has been made to proceed with the update of our City webpage but at a significantly lower cost of $7500. The funding for this project results from budget-contractual savings within the IT Department and from bonding previously provided for improvements to the City webpage. Thank you Mr. McIntosh and your assistant (Eric Tacti). Without your hard work and thinking out of the box, we would not be able to undertake this project at such a low cost to the taxpayers. The public should know that quotes were obtained by the City; however, costs for the project were at $30,000-$50,000. Therefore, the City is receiving a bargain. The firm who currently assists with maintaining our City webpage and who created it several years ago shall be retained for the project. This firm has designed Danbury CT and Orange County NYs websites. It is imperative the City move forward to revamp, update and improve our digital roadmap. This is not just for marketing our City, but also for ensuring the public has access to information and matters affecting our City.
16

I am also pleased to announce in the next few weeks, the City will be implementing Kingston Report It! This smart phone app shall provide citizens with a means for reporting quality of life, environmental and other non-emergency issues. This is a cost effective tool for all city departments to utilize so as to manage a variety of issues. Also, it will be of tremendous value during snow emergencies for reporting and updating the public on snow removal, garbage and recycling collection and other city services affected by any emergency. Both initiatives are necessary to keep the public, business and professional community informed and engaged with our city government. With the assistance of Kale Kaposhilin and Raleigh Green, the City is currently reviewing the digital Town Square Program. This initiative will provide a digital network dialogue for government, business professionals and other decision makers to exchange information and facilitate their objectives and goals. In short, it creates a digital partnership for our communitys public/private decision makers.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT When I was growing up many of our residents were employed in IBM, cement plants, brickyards, printing, manufacturing and dress apparel industry. In 2014, the employer base has changed dramatically. I became particularly aware of this fact while campaigning for the Office of Mayor. In addition, over the past 2 years with the help of all stakeholders in our partnership, I have had the opportunity to re-discover and discover our assets which can be utilized to transform our city into a regional education, arts, technology, health care, film and recording production venue and agricultural hub. To foster economic development we must invest in human capital and continue to harness our assets and the energy of our community. We must continue to address quality of life, public safety, infrastructure to attract new residents and business to our City. In 2012, we restructured the Office of Economic Development under the direction of Gregg Swanzey. This has resulted in an administrative savings of $35,000 annually and from 20122014 over $8 million in federal and state grant funding.

17

New grants thus far in 2014 total more than $4.3 (of the $8 million total) for Kingston Connectivity, Broadway Corridor, Green-Line including Kingston Point Trail, waterfront connections to Hudson Landing, traffic signalization study for Broadway and long term capital planning study for the City WWTP. The City has sponsored grant application with Central Hudson seeking $250,000 in funding for UPAC and Lace Curtain projects. The City has filed applications for hazard mitigation grants for waterfront resiliency, the levee and emergency operations totaling $8 million. An application is also being prepared for filing for $11 million in Tiger 6 funds for projects connecting the Rondout through midtown to uptown stockade district. Also the City with the County Health Department are seeking $2 million in funding for lead inspection and remediation. Project grant awards to the City prior to 2012 are finally coming to fruition; the rail refurbishing for trolley $870,000, parking garage study, Rondout Stormwater Study, East Strand Streetscape (improvements in front of Cornell Building), Harbor Management Plan, GEIS for 70 acres of waterfront. The aforesaid projects totalling $2.6 million with the Office of Economic Development currently administering more than $10 million in grant funding. The Comprehensive Plan, Watershed Management Plan, Sea Level Task Force, Climate Action Task Force, Conservation Advisory Council, GEIS study for 70 acres of waterfront and Harbor Master Study all contribute to the Citys success with obtaining federal, state and foundation grant funding and serve as a blueprint for economic development and insure and continue to improve our quality of life. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE MIDTOWN Kingston Connectivity Project; a multi-model infrastructure will be designed linking the Rondout with Uptown and serve as a catalyst for Midtown revitalization. BEAT invest in human capital Kingston BEAT.org May Midtown meeting 721 media center Internship programArt, Technology, Healthcare KSD, SUNY at New Paltz, UCCC, BOCES, Bard College Pave Midtown parking lot Health Alliance
18

Film production Lace Curtain Factory project KLDC faade grants Police Station UPTOWN Parking garage development of site Interim use of site; install steps Fair Street side and Curb cut on Fair Street for access to parking lot Install signage directing traffic to parking lot, uptown stockade district Awaiting proposal from KUBA and Pike Plan for use of parking garage The two parking lots on North Front Street will be paved

HUDSON VALLEY LANDING AVRA Developer Agreement Promenade

RONDOUT Parking on Dock Street Development Dock Street IRISH Cultural Center Trolley Museum utilize funding available for design study for turn-around; seek funding for paving and rail repair strand Kingston Point amenities Rail trail strand to East Chester Street

19

RAIL TRAILS South Wall to Rosendale Washington Avenue to Ashokan Reservoir

URBAN AGRICULTURE KINGSTON INDUSTRIAL PARK

KEEPING EMPLOYMENT IN KINGSTON Continue implementation of Stavo/Wolf-Tec manufacturing and Golden Hill initiative

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM Kingston High School BOCES Hudson Valley Labor Federation Promote trades local jobs HOMESTEAD/NON-HOMESTEAD

20

CONCLUSION The vision for our model city stems from our grass roots partnership and listening to each other. I am proud to say our City has the potential and is now at the crossroads with an opportunity to become a model city. We can only achieve this if we all partner together, putting ego, politics aside and by listening to each other. I am proud that our City is obtaining so much recognition from national and regional news media. The media attention our City has received has attracted tourists, artists, musician, digital entrepreneurs and film producers making our City a destination for cultural, business, recreation and sports activities. I am proud to say Kingston--Historic is Just our Beginning!! Thank you to all the stakeholders for your support.

Thank you City Council, Congressman Chris Gibson, County Executive Mike Hein, County legislators Jeanette Provenzano and Peter Loughran all our department heads and employees, and a special thank you to my secretary Ellen DiFalco.

---------------------------

21

22