Feb 2010
Student Government

Their city council votes may be non-binding, but students, who are members of youth groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts, school student government body, Explorer program, and others, may now serve on the Beacon City Council. 

“We want our youth to make the connection that local government impacts their lives and to understand that they have a voice in shaping their future, if they get involved,” said Mayor Steven Gold.

Chosen students will have a seat at the table at a city council workshop and regular meeting, receive publicly distributed materials the council reviews, and have an equal voice in discussions. They will even have a vote – albeit non-binding.

The first group to participate in the program is the Venture Crew 203, part of the Boy Scouts and sponsored by the American Legion Post 203 in Beacon.

As reported by Mid-Hudson News.

Feb 2010
Tax Help

AARP Tax-Aide is offering free tax help in Beacon through April 15. The free, volunteer-run tax preparation service is available to middle- and low-income taxpayers, with special consideration to those age 60 and older.

AARP Tax-Aide counselors will be at two sites in Beacon:

Howland Public Library, 313 Main Street
     â–º Mondays :: 10am to 1pm
     â–º Thursdays :: 10am to 1pm

Southern Dutchess Community Action Agency, 554 Main Street
     â–º Tuesdays :: 10am to 3:30pm
     â–º Wednesdays :: 1pm to  5:30pm

Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment call 211 (The United Way Helpline)

For more information visit AARP Tax-Aide online.

Feb 2010
Banner Project :: Call for Artists

After a two-year run, the first Beacon Artist Banners have been retired. The 13 foot tall banners are displayed May-October on lampposts along Beekman Street leading up from the train station to Main Street.

Artist interested in being considered for inclusion in the next two-year installation can email an inquiry to Carla Goldberg and Stacey Ward Kelly. Simple qualification requirements and submission details can be found on The Beekman Street Artist Banners Open Call for Artists.

Deadline for inquiries is February 19, 2010. 

Merchants interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Rob Rutigliano at


Dec 2009
NYS Benefit Programs

The State of New York has launched myBenefits, an all-in-one resource to give New Yorkers better access to programs available to help make ends meet — nutrition programs, energy programs, health insurance, tax credits, and other state and federal aid.

Visit myBenefits to find out about these crucial programs, determine if you are eligible, and learn how to apply. It is possible to apply online for some programs including submitting an online application for Food Stamps. For a detailed list of available resources visit the Governor's Resources Page for Working Families.

Dec 2009
Overnight Parking

A reminder to Beacon residents: To facilitate snow removal, parking is prohibited on all city streets when there are two or more inches of snow.

There are ten municipal parking lots where residents can park their cars overnight rather than parking them curbside. Please do not leave your car in a municipal parking lot for more than 24 hours. City snow removal trucks need to clear the parking lots too. Cars left more than 24 hours risk being ticketed.

Locations of the ten municipal parking lots:

  1. South Avenue   (by Loopers Plaza Tennis Courts)
  2. West Center Street   (by Beacon Community Center)
  3. Cross Street   (behind Hudson Beach Glass)
  4. Cliff Street   (corner of Main & Cliff Streets)
  5. Main Street   (next door to Pleasant Ridge Pizza)
  6. Church Street   (behind Quinn’s Restaurant)
  7. Henry Street   (behind Yankee Clipper Restaurant)
  8. Henry Street   (corner of Main & S. Chestnut Streets)
  9. Van Nydeck   (behind Brother’s Restaurant)
  10. Main/Verplanck   (next to Moxie Hair Salon)

Nov 2009
Vote Tuesday on Countywide Bond Referendum

Polls open at Beacon High  School on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 from 6am to 9pm

Voters who live in Dutchess County school districts have the opportunity to decide whether a new alternative high school should be built.

Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) is looking to build a $29.65 million 66,500-square-foot building on the Salt Point campus in the Town of Hyde Park, as well as renovate the Career and Technical Institute at the same location. This centralized campus designed to enhance current programs and encourage new programs to serve the needs of students in Dutchess County. If completed BOCES will no longer need to lease facilities on Route 44 which have cost upwards of $1 million annually.

”It's a money saver, job creator and a project that will bring the right kind of education to students and teachers,“ District Superintendent John Pennoyer said.

The cost of the bond will be shared by all districts in the county, Pennoyer said. While he said it was difficult to calculate a tax impact because each district is different, Pennoyer said the average increase in taxes for a homeowner is 67 cents per year.

For more information read the full coverage in the Poughkeepsie Journal or visit the BOCES website.


Nov 2009
Special Town Hall Meeting :: Budget 2010

The city council has scheduled a secial town hall meeting to discuss the 2010 budget.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 7pm, at City Hall (1 Municipal Center) in the  Court Room. All constituents are urged to attend and to voice their comments.

All Beaconites are urged to review the Proposed 2010 Budget Details. This file includes:
      • Adopted 2010 Budget Summary (1 page)
      • Effect Of Rate Increase On Tax Bills (1 page)
      • 2010 Budget Request — Line Item Detail (28 pages)
            Expense and Revenue of the General Fund, Water Fund, and Sewer Fund
      • Explanatory Notes for Line Item Detail
            Revenue Explanatory Notes (6 pages)
            Expenditure Explanatory Notes (45 pages)
      • Graphs (5 pages)
            2010 Expenses
            2004 - 2010 Expenditure History/Recommended
            2004 - 2010 Assessed Values
            2004 - 2010 History of Tax Rates
            2004 - 2010 Tax Levy History

Nov 2009
Holiday Art Shows in the Hudson Valley

The Poughkeepsie Journal has featured these holiday art shows in the Hudson Valley:

Howland Cultural Center  477 Main Street, Beacon. A Look at the Beacon Art Salon through December 20, 2009. Gallery hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1pm–5pm. Works by Claudine Farley-Davis, Carol Flaitz, Greg Georgi, Carla Goldberg, Susan Graves, Larry Guzman, Beth Haber, Barbara Kotacka, Mary Mugele Sealfon, Stacey Ward Kelly, Maureen Winzig, and Audrey Chibbaro. For more information call 845-831-4988 or visit

Barrett Clay Works  485 Main St., Poughkeepsie. Holiday show/sale through December 12, 2009. For more information call 845-471-0407 or vist

Tivoli Artists Co-op  60 Broadway, Tivoli. Holiday show/sale. through December 20, 2009. For more information call 845-757-2667 or visit

The Arts Upstairs Gallery  60 Main Street, Phoenicia. It’s About Time group show. Works by John Byer and family in solo room. For more information call 845-688-2142 or visit

Unframed Artists Gallery  173 Huguenot Street, New Paltz. Gaia: Earthmother group show. Also, works by Lubomir Tomaszewski. For more information call 845-255-5482 or visit

Woodstock Artists Association and Museum  28 Tinker Street, Woodstock. Holiday show/sale through January 3, 2010. Also "Small Works" show by Craig Wood, and works by Agnes Tomaselli. For more information call 845-679-2940 or visit

Read the full article in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Nov 2009
Snow Ordinances

After a summer break from snow, here are a few reminders about the city ordinances for managing the inevitable snow falls this winter:

Parking after Snow Accumulations
It shall be unlawful to place, park or leave any automobile, truck or other vehicle on any public road or street within the corporate limits of the City of Beacon after any fall or accumulation of snow of two inches or more, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or when parking on said public road or street obstructs the removal of snow, unless such vehicle is at all times attended by a person legally capable of operating said vehicle. All vehicles left parked in violation of this Subsection A may be removed at the owner's expense. There shall be no parking in municipal lots within 24 hours of posting of same by the City Administrator. The violation of this provision shall constitute a violation and shall be punished by a fine of $100.

Removing Snow from Sidewalks
Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground in the City, abutting upon any street, avenue or public place, shall, where such building or lot of ground is within the established limits of the City, as they now exist or hereafter may exist, within 24 hours after the cessation of every fall of snow or the formation of any ice on the sidewalk abutting such building or lot of ground, remove or cause the snow or ice to be removed or cleaned entirely from the sidewalk abutting such building or lot of ground. ROUTES USED BY STUDENTS WALKING TO SCHOOL SHOULD BE CLEARED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. For additional information and laws regarding Snow Removal see the Beacon Code Section 191.12

Throwing Snow in the Road
It shall be unlawful for any person to blow or place snow or ice onto City of Beacon public streets or roads by mechanical or physical means. The violation of this provision shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable by a fine of $100 for the first offense and $250 for the second and subsequent offenses committed within 18 months of the first offense.

Nov 2009
Proposed 2010 Budget

Now posted: Proposed 2010 Budget Details

Notes from Mayor Gold:

The 2010 "Mayor’s Budget" has been revised. The budget changes were officially announced at the Monday November 2nd council meeting. It includes the removal of the twelve-day work furlough and reduction in hours contained in the original budget. City workers will not be experiencing any reduction in work hours. In addition the revised budget significantly reduces the number of occupied positions to be eliminated from five to one. The tax rate increase for residential assessments in the revised budget is 14.59 %. The commercial rate increase is 6.66%.

The revised budget includes an additional $167,000 in revenue owed to the city by the state (for grants that were not distributed) and $26,000 of city account adjustments.

Much of the budget challenges were identified in the 2009 mid-year financial projection report. The budget has no increases in operating expenses. To help accomplish this, the city requests that all labor unions honor a 0% salary increase for 2010. The budget includes over $600,000 in additional losses of sales tax related revenue. It compensates for $1,250,000 taken out of the reserve fund to balance the budget in 2009 but not being withdrawn in the 2010 budget. Much of the revenue included in the 2010 budget is from recouping debt owed to the city by the State of New York. Keep in mind that this source will not be available in the 2011 budget. In addition, this budget includes a number of positions that will not be refilled in an attrition program.

I anticipate working ambitiously with the council to further reduce the tax rate increase as we meet with department supervisors and review the budget line-by-line. A town hall meeting will be scheduled for late November and as always public comments are welcome at city council meetings. The council will be making amendments between now and late December when the budget is adopted.

— These notes are also posted on Beacon Citizen Network where everyone can read and write public comments.