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Citizens Heard at Oct. 24 Common Council Meeting

About ten people spoke at the Oct. 24 Common Council meeting on issues of social justice, city finances and crime.

Several residents spoke at Oct. 24's Common Council meeting, after the Council

Here are summaries of some of citizens' key complaints heard by the Council:

-Peekskill resident Juanita Dunlap told the council that her 17-year-old daughter and a friend were punched by a teenage male acquaintance on Friday night. Dunlap said that the police were rude to her and would not allow her to file a complaint against the boy. Dunlap says that the Peekskill police department refused to give her a complaint form and did not believe her when she reported the attack. The Mayor told Dunlap the Chief of Police would be in touch with her.

On Wednesday morning Lt. Eric Johansen met with Dunlap who said that her daughter will file a formal complaint against the boy who allegedly attacked her soon, according to Johansen.

Johansen said that the Department is looking into Dunlap’s accusations against the police officers involved Friday night. 

 

-Members of CPARC and the Committee for Justice repeated their with the Mayor and Council. They believe that the City Council has refused to listen to their concerns or take meaningful action to correct the accused systemic racism in City Hall.

Several members of the two groups claimed that their friends and family have suffered retaliation from speaking out at Council meetings, both at work and at the Peekskill Housing Authority. Darrell Davis and another man accused the Mayor of being a “member of the tea party,” because she has been at some with Republican New York State Senator Greg Ball.

The Democratic Mayor responded by explaining that Sen. Ball represents Peekskill at the state level and she has joined him at recent events within the city pertaining to jobs and other issues that affect the local community.

 

-GOP candidates for mayor and city council, Tony Washington (running for mayor), Barbara Kerasiotes and Joe Brady (both running for open council seats) spoke against the mayor and council’s fiscal practices. Kerasiotes expressed concerns over the administrations debt, its purchase of the upper Karta property and the future remediation costs of the lower Karta property (which the city has bonded for but has not yet purchased).

Tony Washington told the Mayor that he is concerned about the money the Council has spent over the last few years.

“We have had no increase in police protection, quality of life, infrastructure improvements or new jobs,” Washington said.

The Mayor responded by explaining that the city had to pay a lot in tax certioraris in 2008, that the tax levy has not gone up and that the council is trying to avoid lay offs and cuts to service.

“We have a huge increase in pension bills. The Council wants to reduce the (tax rate increase) without laying people off.”

 Joe Brady told the Council that he is running for council because he believes that the city workers are not being treated fairly and because he is worried about the city’s financial state.

-Peekskill resident Anthony Mitchell complained about the condition of the Depew Park fields, “They are in the shabbiest condition, it is embarrassing,” he said.

For more on the Oct. 24 meeting, on a revised taxi ordinance, and other resolutions passed, and watch the video on the city website.

elizabeth October 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM
i am so tired of people who dont live in the city of peekskill and those that dont pay property taxes complainingand taking time away from the citizens of peekskill that do payt the taxes feeling uncomfortable and bullyed into not speaking the city has to go back to the same way other muncipalities are you dont live here you are not allowed tp speak
Elizabeth Claire October 27, 2011 at 12:36 AM
Liz, This is where we need a journalist to report facts. In 2005, the City set aside $3.5 million for these pension expenses. We've known about these costs for a long time. Foster ignored them. She closed the account and spent the money on other things. Look at the City's Annual Information Statement for 2010, which summarizes the City audits from 2005 onward. It shows how Foster spent the money set aside for these pension obligations for other unspecified things. It's scary. No one is reporting this stuff. And no one seems to care.
getrealforonce October 27, 2011 at 02:20 AM
What's sad is that so often the comment "no increase in police protection" is thrown around, yet no mention is made that there has been no increase in Fire/EMS protection in years in the city despite a steady and rapid decline in the number of volunteer firefighters. I wonder how many citizens and business owners know that you could have a fully staffed professional fire department, still have volunteers supplement the system and with a tax increase that would equate to a family of 4 having to cut back on one dinner out for a year....if...that money wouldn't be made up in the savings on your fire insurance premium. Call volume for fire and EMS (the FD has EMT's and Paramedics, saving you more money as dual role providers) is steadily on the increase but the numbers of responders on scene, especially during the day is on the decline and in many cases during normal working hours non existent. Infrastructure in stations are crumbling..they're crumbled...unsafe, outdated and costing taxpayers more costs for heating old, non energy efficient buildings. Where's the mention by any in office or running for office about you're fire and emergency medical services? Plan for the new firehouse (which the cost could be cut down) or a plan to figure out to make the department more efficient if a new one will not be built? Why is the fire department the red headed step child in this city?

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