Thursday, March 1, 2018

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Molinaro boosts parks, youth services, restorative justice in 2018 State of County address

Molinaro: "Purpose before Politics"

HYDE PARK – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro took the stage at the Culinary Institute Auditorium Wednesday night to deliver his sixth State of the County Address since taking office in 2012. He stressed the importance of quality of life issues, including public parks, youth services, and drug prevention.

A favorite son of local politics, Molinaro spent nearly half his life in public service starting out as a Tivoli village trustee at age 18 and one year later, mayor of the quaint village.

The Dutchess executive explained how the success of their county was less about himself, but rather as a result of his team, and his constituents.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the State of Dutchess County is not the last 55 minutes I’ve spoken to you here tonight,” Molinaro said. “It isn’t the actions of an executive or votes of the legislature. The state of our county is you. It’s us. It’s our dreams and labors. The steps we take, decisions we make, problems we solve, and challenges we overcome together.”

Along with promises to continue improving special needs access to local public parks through the Think Differently initiative, Molinaro vowed more resources towards combating opioid addiction with the new Stabilization Center, Narcan training programs, and the county drug task force.

He touched upon the recent school shootings in Florida to launch the Second Step youth mental health aid program, ensuring that such tragedies are avoided in local communities. “We don’t just put police officers in schools, we train them with crisis intervention and we match them up with mental health personnel and staff, to get to the heart of the problem,” Molinaro said.

Other programs include enhanced adult literacy programs and senior citizen services. Molinaro also announced new programs for helping local veterans.

The high point of every annual Molinaro SOTC speech is the economic indicators, showing how Dutchess remains a regional economic engine with thriving business growth. Unemployment is down to four percent this year, with the county enjoying the second highest bond rating statewide, Molinaro noted.

Dutchess is spearheading investment in the local film industry, including new partnerships and an upcoming Hudson Valley film conference in June at Culinary Institute. Dutchess Community College and IBM will also host a design thinking workshop on March 22 to reduce the skills gap, aligning educational outcomes with employment, Molinaro said,

 “Dutchess County is fostering innovation to drive new jobs and investment, with the creation of an Innovation Quad, pillared by the Marist College Fulton Technology Project, SUNY Dutchess Materials Science lab, Vassar College Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, and of course IBM,” Molinaro said.  “With this Innovation Quad, Duchess brings these powerhouses together, to cultivate a startup ecosystem, where companies can leverage existing science and technology resources, as well as expertise.”

 


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