The Poughkeepsie Common Council has until May 19 to override â with six of eight votes in favor â the mayorâs veto of the resolution to fund the city bus system through the end of the year. Video by Jack Howland/Poughkeepsie Journal
By May 19, City of Poughkeepsie residents will learn the fate of the funding for the city bus service.
Thatâs the deadline for the city common council to override â with six of eight votes in favor â Mayor Rob Rolisonâs veto of the resolution the council passed on April 19 to fund the city bus system through the end of the year. The city’s 2017 budget only funds the city bus service through June 30, at which point Rolison hopes to implement his long-gestating plan to consolidate the city and county services.
On Monday, before the evening common council meeting at Poughkeepsie City Hall, opponents of thatÂ bus consolidation plan intend to march from the Family Partnership Center to city hall as part of Community Voices Heardâs event âHudson Valley May Day Rally.â
Councilmember Chris Petsas, D-1st Ward, whoâs led the opposition movement among the council, said he willÂ likely not pursue that override vote on Monday, though he expects a crowd of city residents to show up in support of funding the city bus service through the end of the year.
Kevin Newman, 64, a City of Poughkeepsie resident who uses the bus system when inclement weather keeps him from riding his bike, plans to attend the rally.
âWe need the two systems, and the two are complementary,â he said. âThe city bus service provides that neighborhood service, and the county bus provides more of a corridor, or highway, service.â
On this issue, two camps have emerged on the city council: Those who support the mayor, who has called the bus consolidation plan a necessary measure to help bring down the cityâs roughly $13 million deficit; and those who support the opposition movement thatâs fueled by a belief that city bus funding continue and consolidation would weaken the service.
The resolution to fund the city bus service that Rolison later vetoed passed 5-3, with dissenting votes from Matthew McNamara, D-8th Ward, Mike Young, D-2nd Ward, and Lee David Klein, R-4th Ward. Overriding the veto would take six votes.
Rolison said on Saturday he was confident the common council, and in particular the dissenting members, will uphold his veto.
âMy expectation is that they would not support overriding the veto since they didnât support the action to begin with,â he said.