Join the revolution to take back our neighborhood!
“The key to Poughkeepsie’s success is within its people".
"It’s time for Poughkeepsie’s people and pride to shine once again".
Chris Petsas is serving his first term as 1st Ward Councilman and is the current Chairman of the Common Council. He is a lifelong resident of the city of Poughkeepsie and proud graduate of our public school system. He and his family have resided on Talmadge Street for over 30 years. A former volunteer firefighter and EMT, Chris embodies the important values of caring and compassion for his community and its residents. He believes in our city and knows that with the right leadership Poughkeepsie can once again move forward. "Poughkeepsie has had some great political leaders in the past however, we need more than just a great political leader who can grant benefits to their friends and political party. We need a community leader who is a visionary, a person who can inspire current and future generations to get involved and help move Poughkeepsie forward. Poughkeepsie’s problems cannot be solved alone or by any single leader, it must be a community effort - a joint effort”.
Poughkeepsie Taxpayers Association (Past President) The Taxpayers Associations is a watchdog group that advocates for keeping taxes in line for both homeowners and businesses and ensuring that taxpayer money is being spent wisely. As president, Chris was an outspoken critic of wasteful spending and advocate of less government.
Dutchess County Youth Board (Past Vice Chairman) The mission of the Division of Youth Services is to ensure every youth a fair and equal opportunity to attain his/her full potential by providing and encouraging services which strengthen family life and by supporting families in their essential function of nurturing the youth’s overall development. As Vice Chairman, Chris served as Chairman of the Proposals Committee, which was responsible for recommending and drafting the Youth Board’s annual budget for youth programs.
Poughkeepsie Community Garden project (Founder) The Community Garden project was started in an effort to beautify the City of Poughkeepsie and utilize vacant building lots in the community. As founder, Chris led a successful effort to turn a vacant and trashed filled lot, into a beautiful and bountiful garden shared by neighborhood residents
Hudson Valley Railroad Society, Inc (past President)
Columbus Elementary School PTA (past Treasurer)
Police Department’s Civilian Patrol (former member)
Community Policing Advisory Committee (former member)
B.O.E. Citizens Advisory and Superintendent Search Committee (former member)
Roosevelt Fire Department (past President)
Exempt Firemen’s Association, (past President)
Awards and achievements
Empire State Federation of Women Club’s, 2013 Chris was honored by this regional organization representing women from across the State as a Citizen of the Year honoree. He was chosen based on his deep commitment to the community and his hands on approach to issues.
John Flowers Community Award, 2012 Chris was honored by long time community activist John Flowers for his dedication to the city and the support he lends John during his events.
Catherine Street Community Center Volunteer of the Year, 2011 Chris was given this recognition from Catherine Street Community Center for his exceptional contributions and volunteer efforts that he has put into the not for profit organization.
8th Annual Prestige Awards, 2011 Chris was honored during the 8th Annual Prestige Awards where he got to share the stage with other honorees including Martha Reeves (from the Motown group “Martha and the Vandellas”) and Marlon Jackson (from the Jackson Five).
40 under 40 Shaker Award, 2008 Chris was selected as a honoree by the greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce for its annual “40 Under 40” awards. This event highlights 40 individuals within the area that are up and coming “movers and shakers” in the Hudson Valley.
Outstanding Community Achievement, 2008 Chris honored by the Poughkeepsie Neighborhood Club in 2010 for outstanding community service.
As a homeowner himself, Chris realizes that keeping property taxes low is important to attracting new residents and keeping our current ones. He helped craft and voted for this year’s budget that kept the property tax increase under 2%. He has also voted to refinance old city bonds to lower interest rates – helping the city save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments.
Believing that our city government has become disconnected from its residents, Chris has worked tirelessly to make City Hall more interactive and open to its people. He has sponsored council chamber art receptions and a free concert on the lawn of city hall as well as co-sponsoring resolutions to post more public documents and information on our city’s website. As Chairman of the Council he has also frequently allowed for all residents in attendance at Council meetings to speak before the Council – disregarding an old “house rule” that limited public participation to just 45 minutes.
Bringing new businesses and rehabbing our housing stock is a top priority of Chris. Since taking office, he has supported and voted for several new development projects including a new downtown supermarket, an artist loft complex on Main Street, and a planned senior complex on Pershing Avenue. He has also supported and voted to sell dozens of city owned vacant properties. Many of these properties have been or are in the process of being renovated adding to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods.
Chris supports the preservation of our history and its buildings when economically feasible possibly. When a local business acquired and wanted to demolish a federally designated historic building located at 204 Church Street (the Arnout Cannon House), Chris led the charge to save the building from demolition by brokering a deal between the owner and city. Today, the building has been saved with a new owner planning to renovate it and move his business there.
Chris understands that we need to be more proactive in our approach to fighting crime. He has vocally called for more foot patrols, restoring community policing, expanding our downtown surveillance camera system and reintroducing the civilian patrol program. In fact, due to his passion to see a more interactive and proactive police department he was recently appointed by the Mayor as co-chair of the Civilian Patrol Committee to help lead the charge to restart the program. He is committed to seeing a more interactive and integrated police department.
Chris has dedicated much of his life to our city youth. As the second youngest person on the City Council he voted to increase funding for city youth programs by over 80% over the Mayors proposed 2015 budget. He has also coordinated with school district officials on several different endeavors from SWAG events, to displaying youth art in the council chambers and much more. Chris believes we need to make much more investments into our youth.
For decades are city park system has been crumbling – the worst neglected being Pulaski Park. Through his efforts, Chris has made the renovation of Pulaski Park a main priority. This year he secured over $35,000 for Pulaski Park improvements – these improvements include a new fence around the basketball court, the sealing and striping of the parking lots, new BBQ grills, new benches and several new trees. He is confident of securing even more money and seeing additional improvements next year for not only Pulaski Park, but all city parks.
City Bus System
Chris supports maintaining city management and authority of our city bus service. He does not support the County taking over our system or any other private company. He believes that our city bus service has much to offer our residents and that it is a vital part of our community, especially for those that do not own cars or have their own transportation. He has and will continue to advocate for keeping our city bus system – city owned and operated.
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Poughkeepsie Neighborhood Club Cotillion – (left to right) Gladys Pittman, Chris Petsas and Leila Howard
Watering trees at new 9/11 park in front of City Hall
Speaking at dedication of “John M. Flowers Circle” at end of Main Street
With Mayoral candidate Jere Tierny at old YMCA
Press conference in support of additional police officers with fellow Councilmember Ann Perry
Posing with members of the Poughkeepsie Neighborhood Club
Dedication of Vernell “Fuzzy” McClinton committee room at Exempt Firemen’s Association
Packing dictionaries to give out to all 3rd graders in the school district
Re-dedication of newly renovated Exempt Firemen’s Association building and hall
Attending the NYC Puerto Rican Day parade with fellow councilmembers
Photo with U.S Senator Charles Schumer
Photo with 6th Ward Councilwoman ShaRon McClinton
Cleaning up Gifford Avenue during a clean up day event
Photo with Positive Brother Committee Vice President Charles Smack
Attending Wassiac Fire Department Dinner with Meaghen Rosenbach
Cleaning on Washington Street
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36 Talmadge St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601