Elected for a four-year term, the Mayor serves as the Chief Executive of the City. The Mayor appoints the City Administrator, City Chamberlain, and City Judges. Other duties include approving or disapproving laws proposed by the Common Council, proposing a City budget to the Common Council, and serving as the City’s chief ceremonial representative.
About Mayor Tkazyik
At the age of 21, John C. Tkazyik became the youngest elected member of the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council. He was reelected to the Council in 2003 and 2005. Tkazyik ran for Mayor in November 2007 and took office as the City of Poughkeepsie’s second youngest mayor on January 1, 2008. Tkazyik was reelected to a second term in November 2011.
During his first term on the Common Council, Tkazyik worked vigorously to re-establish Neighborhood Block Associations in his ward and to revitalize once blighted neighborhoods. He was appointed by then-Mayor Colette Lafuente to serve as liaison and board secretary to the Poughkeepsie Housing Authority.
Tkazyik has served as Vice Chairman of the City Council and Minority Leader. He was a member of the Finance Committee and the Economic and Physical Planning/Development Committee. He assists the Marist College Campus/Community Coalition, an entity charged with resolving issues concerning college students living off-campus in residential neighborhoods, and is a past board member of the Dutchess County Empire Zone Administrative Board, current president of the City of Poughkeepsie Industrial Development Agency and current president of Poughkeepsie’s Joint Water Board.
As Mayor, Tkazyik inherited a budget $2 million in the red, a City with a vacant downtown, no grocery store, an aging infrastructure and a drug and gang problem that forced people to keep their doors and windows locked around the clock. Businesses were fleeing the City because of red tape and annual double digit tax increases. There were few jobs to be found, minimum wage or otherwise. In response, Tkazyik streamlined the workforce, froze salaries, and managed to avoid massive layoffs of the City workforce by eliminating positions as employees left or retired. Despite massive cutbacks in state and federal aid, he kept the police department at full strength, created a special police unit to crack down on gangs and established a “cash for tips” program that helped get illegal guns out of the hands of drug dealers and gang members. Violent crime dropped 30%. He has kept increases in the tax levy below 2% each of the last four years, paid down some of the City’s debt and refused to borrow to pay operating expenses. Tkazyik cut the City budget four straight years and eliminated red tape in the City’s business permit department. As a result, new investment has flocked to the City, downtown has come back to life, and high end restaurants have moved in and started hiring. Two grocery stores have located in downtown and developers have come to the City’s waterfront with cash seeking to invest.
Throughout the years he has also been instrumental in securing a number of neighborhood and park improvements and upgrades at the Dr. Martin Luther King Gardens. He spearheaded the effort to increase parking spaces on Garden, Thompson, Conklin, Mill, and Smith Streets; to reconstruct the Mansion St. bridge, improve lighting and add additional benches in Earline Patrice Park. He successfully fought to create a full daycare center for residents of the MLK Gardens, add fencing to increase child safety and video cameras to help reduce crime and vandalism. Police foot patrols in high crime neighborhoods have been increased, expanded and enhanced based upon real time crime data provided by the crime analysis unit and intelligence gathered by Neighborhood Recovery Unit, Community Policing, and the Field Intelligence Officer.
Coordinated sweeps to target low-level crimes have been accomplished in cooperation with City judges. Quality of life crimes have become a daily focus and have proven an effective part of Poughkeepsie’s overall crime prevention strategy.
Vassar Brothers Medical Center and the Mid-Hudson Medical Group have invested nearly $100 million in the City, creating new needed local jobs. The Walkway Over the Hudson has been completed and long vacant and abandoned properties have been sold, developed, and put back on the tax rolls.
Long active in both church and community organizations in Poughkeepsie, Tkazyik is a congregant at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, where he once served as the sacristan. He is the former president of the Parish Pastoral Council. Tkazyik has served as a member of the Catharine Street Community Center, Hudson River Housing Board of Directors, Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council, and is active in a number of clubs and organizations, including the Italian Center, Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, and the Dutchess Community College Alumni Association.
A graduate of St. Peter’s School and Our Lady of Lourdes High School, John earned an Associate in Arts degree from Dutchess Community College, and a B.A. degree in Psychology/Special Education from Marist College. He is employed as a manager in the family owned restaurant, Andy’s Place, in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Office Hours and Location
City Hall — 3rd Floor
Monday through Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Mayor John C. Tkazyik