Tkazyik Killing Poughkeepsie’s Rebirth


Parking Meter Information

500 to 600 Block on a Friday

500 to 600 Block on a Friday

The City of Poughkeepsie began the installation of multi-space parking meters on Thursday, June 5th.

John C. Tkazyik Poughkeepsie, Mayor

John C. Tkazyik Poughkeepsie, Mayor

Installation will be completed by Monday, June 9th and enforcement will begin Tuesday, June 10th.  On-street parking signs will be changed directing motorists to pay the parking meter and display the receipt on the dashboard.

Enforcement will be Monday through Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm.  The parking rate is .25₵ per 10 minutes for a maximum 2 hour period.

Any questions regarding parking meters should be directed to the City of Poughkeepsie Parking Department at 845-451-4120.  http://www.cityofpoughkeepsie.com/departments/dpw/parking

What this communiqué does not do is make allocation for business-owners who need to park daily , some for up to 12 or more hours per day.

At the stated rate of 25c per 10 minutes , business owners will be forced to fork out $1.50 per hour . A whopping $18.00 for a 12 hour work day. This translates into a $108  for a 6 day work week . In addition to that humongous burdensome and unconscionable tax, missing a minute of feeding those shiny new parking stations will incur hefty fines through the ticketing system. The ever available Meter Maids are already hovering around the meters like desert Buzzards waiting for an injured animal’s demise.

I called the Parking Department identified myself and sought clarification from a woman who identified herself as Darlene, on what business-owners should do with their cars after the 2 hour maximum allowed. She claimed she had no idea why the Parking Department’s phone number was put on the site. She told me the decision was made by the big-wigs . I told her I am not concerned about big-wigs in Poughkeepsie, she promptly hung up the phone. I called back just to make sure I was not mistaken and she hung up again. I guess my voice was not Caucasian enough.

My next call was to City Hall. The Mayor’s voice came on reading off a menu of extensions for the various Departments of city Government. The Mayor’s extension was the last, extension (6001 produced a curt voice mail, “This mail-box is full, goodbye. That’s our Government working for us!!

Years ago someone had the novel idea that sealing off Main street the main artery

Poughkeepsie Journal story 2001

Poughkeepsie Journal story 2001

running through the city was a good idea.

 

 

 

Result of diversification

Result of diversification

The Main Mall was an outdoor pedestrian shopping plaza in downtown Poughkeepsie, New York, which was in existence from 1973 until 2001. An urban renewal project designed with the intention of stopping the decline of the central business district of downtown Poughkeepsie, the mall was created by blocking off a section of Main Street (from Market to Catherine/Academy Streets) to automobile traffic. The growth of Poughkeepsie’s immediate suburbs, along with the decline of the City of Poughkeepsie, doomed the project not long after its construction.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Mall.

 

I started a small business in the city just before the time when the decision was taken to reopen Main street. Excellence Barbers was born at 537 Main street. The idea was to bring a well run professional Barber-shop to the neighborhood. I got the idea after moving to Poughkeepsie in 1998 and received less than stellar service in that Industry. I could not venture into anything more adventurous because of  lack of resources. Rental was affordable though , there simply were no legitimate businesses in my neck of the woods. I signed a 10-year Lease with a monthly rental of $350 . Had I pushed the Land Lord  harder I probably could have gotten the premises for less. There were no takers for commercial space in 2001.

Most of the Barber shops then were mere fronts for other illegal activities . Going to the Barbers was an adventure  I wanted to change that. I interviewed a group of men and opened my shop then. I had no idea how to cut a strand of hair so I totally depended on the professionalism of the people I hired. Despite the fact most of these men were Masters Barbers , I found out pretty soon this was not the best Idea I could have come up with for Poughkeepsie.I quickly found out that though there was adequate potential for growth , most of the men were not prepared to go about earning a living the old fashioned way.

The process of diversification began in earnest soon after.

new pay station

new pay station

The city then was a cesspool of drug activity,  shootings were almost a daily occurrence. Drug dealers peddled their wares openly in groups, sometimes as many as ten or more on each corner. I made it known I wanted no drug dealing in front of my business-place. One morning as I stopped by to open the Barber shop before leaving for my job a group of about 10 men stopped by. Some openly displayed guns . They bragged that they were selling drugs there for years and no one was going to stop them. I watched and assessed the situation.I figured if those punks were going to kill me they would not have wasted all that time with bravado. I told them to stay put I would be right back . On my return about 10 minutes later, not a single man could be found on the block. I haven’t had any problem since.

Hassle free shopping town of Poughkeepsie

Hassle free shopping town of Poughkeepsie

City Detectives arrived a little later , they asked that I allow them to handle things . I told them if what I witnessed with the drug dealing and open display of illegal guns was their way of handling things I would have to decline their offer. One African-American Cop was not particularly pleased with that statement, he never spoke to me after that.  Big deal, I later learned he wasn’t exactly a pristine cop.

The City has recorded a slow and a painstaking climb out of that abyss of drug, prostitution and murder. It is by no means where it should be. With the large influx of Mexican and South American Immigrants, many of whom have started businesses of their own, the city has seen a marked Renaissance however. The Town of Poughkeepsie has in the meantime blossomed into a Mecca for shopping and dining. Every Effort should be made to encourage businesses to stay in the City. There is nothing offered here which cannot be sourced in the Town. Shoppers will simply shop and receive their services in the Town where parking is free and plentiful. By the time The big-wigs figure this out we will all be out of business as those business people were decades ago.