Senior Friendship Center relocates to Red Hook Community Center

Great news for seniors in northwestern Dutchess County and Red Hook and Tivoli in particular! The Office for the Aging (OFA) will relocate its Senior Friendship Center from its current location at Memorial Lutheran Church, 1232 Route 308 in Rhinebeck, to a new location in the Red Hook Community Center, 59 Fisk Street in the Village of Red Hook.

The OFA operates eight Senior Friendship Centers throughout Dutchess County, which are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offer nutritious congregate meals and social activities.

The new Red Hook location, which will be open Monday through Thursday, is 36 percent larger than the current site in Rhinebeck. Positioned closer to population centers in northwestern Dutchess County, the Red Hook site will provide more space for socialization and exercise, and it will offer the opportunity for intergenerational activities with seniors and teens, as well as activities with local organizations.

“Bringing the Senior Friendship Center to the Red Hook Community Center is a win-win situation for everybody,” said Kris Munn, County Legislator for Red Hook and Tivoli. “The facility is larger and can offer more opportunities for seniors while also supporting the overall mission of the Community Center to serve the entire community.”

OFA staff expects attendance at the new Red Hook location will double in the coming year, compared to the number of seniors who have attended the Senior Friendship Center location in Rhinebeck.

The new location will also serve as the base of operations for the OFA’s Home Delivered Meals program serving Milan, Red Hook, Rhinebeck and part of Clinton; home delivered meals are available to eligible seniors five days a week. Additionally, the new location will provide seniors opportunities for unique activities, such as tai chi and line-dancing classes.

More information about the services and programs offered by the OFA is available by visiting Dutchess County Government’s website or by calling 845-486-2555.

Tivoli Bridge sidewalks to be closed to finish construction

The installation of the lighting was completed this week – although Central Hudson still has to come wire up the bulbs – and according to the County Department of Public Works, the stone veneer on the parapet walls will be installed starting next week.

As a result, the sidewalks will need to be closed to create a heated enclosure so the mortar won’t freeze in the cold weather. It will take about two weeks to complete, weather permitting.

There will be signs and barricades to guide vehicles and pedestrians through the construction area.

Aside from any issues that arise during final inspection, that should complete the project.

County Job: Community Health Nurse (part-time) – Apply By February 23

Dutchess County’s Department of Behavioral and Community Health is looking to hire a part-time Community Health Nurse with a wage of between $25.11 – $27.72 and hour:

It is a professional nursing position in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Employees in this title are responsible for providing nursing care in the various clinics conducted within the division of Communicable Disease Control. Work is performed under the general direction of a higher level employee. Supervision of others is not a function of this position. This position is part time during a Monday through Friday schedule.

If you’re interested in the position or know somebody who might be, please click here to read more about it and other jobs available with the county.

County Job: Bridge Maintainer – Apply by Feb 16, 2018

Dutchess County’s Department of Public Works, Highway Division is looking to recruit a Bridge Maintainer with a salary of $38,180:

This class performs varied duties in connection with the construction and maintenance of bridges. The work calls for previous experience in the carpentry and masonry fields but does not require the skills of a qualified journeyman. Verbal or written instructions regarding the work are received from the Bridge Maintenance Supervisor who checks jobs in process and on completion.

If you’re interested in the position or know somebody who might be, please click here to read more about it and other jobs available with the county.

February 2018: Why can legislators vote without being present?

Much of the February agenda is uncontroversial and deals with paperwork such as acquiring the right to build on tiny pieces of property around road projects in Wappinger and Pleasant Valley and the rail trail in the Town of North East and reappointing people to the Traffic Safety Board.

But one item some colleagues and I would like to tweak are the Rules of the Legislature.

If a legislator were to leave the legislative chambers and a vote is called while they’re gone, most people would figure they’d be marked as absent or non-voting or as having abstained. And if someone misses a vote because they’re not there, well, that’s life. I’d hope that their fellow legislators would wait a couple of minutes for them to return but if not, so be it. And the missing legislator can explain their absence to their voters if need be.

But – believe it or not – there is a section of the Rules of the Legislature that says that the missing legislator’s vote will automatically tallied with the winning side. Legislators can vote even when they’re not there and don’t get a choice of which side to support!

Look, I know this situation isn’t going to happen often. Most of our meetings don’t last long enough that people need to use the restrooms and emergency phone calls from our families are rare. But it happened last year to one of my colleagues during a five hour budget meeting. She stepped out for the restroom and during the few minutes she was gone, a vote was called – perhaps intentionally – and her vote was stolen away and tallied against her wishes.

Again, it is rare but the idea that the legislature would put in its rules the ability to have someone forced to cast a vote they disagree with under any circumstances – well – it is undemocratic. In fact, the whole idea of a legislator voting without even being in the room is absurd.

We’re trying to change that rule so the only person casting votes on behalf of the people of Red Hook and Tivoli (and all the other towns and cities) are the people they elected.

What do you think? I welcome your input. Email me at kris@munnforredhook.com or comment below.

Coffee with your Legislator

Friday, January 19 from 8am until around 9am Kris will be at Murray’s in Tivoli and available to meet to chat about anything you like. If you have a local or state issue you’d like to share, he’s all ears – and if there is any way he can help he’ll do his best to reach out and assist.

This month Kris has already visited the Red Hook and Tivoli village boards and a meeting of the Red Hook Town Board to take any questions and report on county business that relates to those municipalities.

If you’re unable to meet in person or would rather just reach out electronically, all of Kris’ contact information is right here.

Swearing In

Kris Munn is sworn in as County Legislator by Judge Jeff Martin as his wife Jennifer and son Noah look on.
A wonderful ceremony at Red Hook Town Hall with the swearing in of Kristofer Munn, Christine Kane, Bill O’Neill and Sue McCann. Thanks to Jodi Jacobs for taking photos, Robert McKeon for MC’ing the event, Jeffrey Martin for administering the oaths and the VFW Color Guard for their service.

For more photos, click here.

Munn named Assistant Minority Leader of County Legislature

During the December 18 organizational meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature, the 11-member Democratic Caucus selected Hyde Park legislator Hannah Black to serve as minority leader and Kristofer Munn, who represents Red Hook and Tivoli, to serve as assistant minority leader for the 2018-2019 legislative session.

Hannah Black (D-Hyde Park) will be the new Minority Leader.

“I am proud to work with this talented group of new and more seasoned Democratic legislators. Their enthusiasm and dedication to bettering the lives of their constituents, and desire to provide a more transparent government is apparent. It is an honor to be chosen to serve. I look forward to the 2018-2019 Democratic Caucus having an effective voice and pertinent role in our local government,” said Black.

“I am looking forward to working with my fellow legislators to bring forward new ideas to improve our county government and help the people of Dutchess County,” said Munn.

Democrats expanded their caucus from seven members to 11 in the recent election and have six first-time legislators. There are 25 county legislators overall.

Black, 34, has served in the legislature since 2016. She served on the Hyde Park Town Board from 2008 to 2009.

Munn, 46, will be starting his first term in the legislature. He served five years on the Red Hook Planning Board and 3 years on the Red Hook Zoning Board.

Final results show 12 point win

The results have finally been certified by the Dutchess County Board of Elections and show a 428 vote win (just over 12%) for Kristofer Munn in his race for County Legislature. That is a 33 vote increase after winning the absentee ballot count.

Victory for everyone!

I’m happy to report that all the Democratic candidates won yesterday in a clean sweep of the Red Hook and Tivoli ballots.

(L to R) Red Hook Town Councilperson Bill O’Neill, Town Councilperson Sarah Imboden, County Legislator Micki Strawinski, County Legislator-elect Kristofer Munn, Town Supervisor Robert McKeon, Red Hook Mayor Ed Blundell, Town Councilperson-elect Christine Kane, Town Councilperson Harry Colgan, Tivoli Councilperson Emily Majer
Despite the dark money paying for big signs and online videos for our opponents, our people-powered campaign of door knockers and small donors won the day.

Winners include Christi Acker for State Supreme Court Judge who is the first Democrat ever to win this seat in an odd numbered year.

Also winning is Robin Lois who is ahead by 400 votes going into absentee ballots. Barring an extremely unlikely series of events, that margin will probably increase and give her a victory after much legal wrangling.

For town board, Bill O’Neill and Christine Kane were victorious winning by nearly 800 and 600 votes respectively and will take their spots on the town board alongside Sarah Imboden, Harry Colgan and Supervisor Robert McKeon.

And finally, I won the race for county legislature by nearly 400 votes before the absentee ballots are counted.

Thank you to our opponents for a clean, hard-fought race.

Thank you to everybody who contributed time, money and energy during the campaign. It was a fantastic experience for me and I’m a better person for having gone through it. I look forward to seeing you all around town as usual and continuing to work hard for the people of Red Hook and Tivoli in the coming years.