Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



Dear BCN community,


May I ask what you think the city government should do that would lift our city to new levels? What goals should we aspire to reach? What is it that this city needs or wants or should do, more than anything else....from basic infrastructure like more parking spaces to ideals such as call-in or online polls on the bigger questions facing our city?  


Thank you, Steve Gold

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Comment by Ben Royce on March 1, 2011 at 6:56am

very generous feedback, thank you


Comment by Hollis Bogdanffy-Kriegh on February 27, 2011 at 7:41am
Hey Mayor! Thanks for all the good feed back. It is absolutely great to read that so many of these wonderful ideas have already been addressed or are in the works. All, I can say is "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!". As for getting involved, absolutely. I am relatively new to Beacon so I felt it was appropriate to live here for a few years and see what was happening in town and what drew my interest. Lately, I have been involved in mounting a neighborhood effort to partner with the DCDPW to get trees planted on Dewindt St. behind the parking lot. I have been advised about the University Settlement Sargent/Downing Educational Nursery and I definitely want to be involved with that. There are wonderful things happening here and there is probably something for everyone. Let's keep sharing those ideas and that energy!
Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:41pm

I think I’ve addressed most of the entries below and tried not to repeat myself or discourage anyone from posting their ideas. Thank you again for taking the time out to think of ways we can keep moving Beacon forward. There are some really good threads here and good people who wrote them. I just want to reiterate that communicating an idea is wonderful, it makes for good reading, but for someone to be motivated to actually take risks and devote the time and energy to make something happen is unique. Be unique! There are some people in Beacon who have taken charge and pursued their dreams, like those behind the Beacon Citizen Network, the Riverfront Festival, the Dog Park, RiverPool, the Incline Railway, the Chamber-BACA-Sloop Club festivals, Beacon Deserves Better, the Beacon Line group, Bikeable Beacon, the BCN cleanups, etc. You don’t have to do it alone, advertise the idea, start a group, join a group, network your group with others; meet often be persistent and have fun.  

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:38pm

Fire Trucks: No, to my knowledge there isn’t a law that requires fire trucks to go to an EMS call. We do it here as do many communities. It’s a way to be sure people who need care within a few minutes are treated. Beacon is very blessed to have the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corp performing regular calls and advanced life support. But often it’s the fire truck and the BFD volunteers that arrive on the scene first. Exactly how many trucks should be sent on EMS calls is a question that we are asking this year as the department reviews the recommendations of a Fire Department Study and performs a self evaluation. The study includes some far reaching recommendations such as combining fire houses, maybe fire companies, realignment of roles, a structured pathway to bring on new recruits, and more.

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:38pm

Andrew Jackson Downing: Wow, turning Main Street into a tribute to him…very cool. There is a person who is working with the city and several groups to plant specimen trees at the University Settlement Camp. This person is one of NYC’s main arborist and has done more research on AJD than anyone. If you want to contact him send me your email address ( You might both team up to develop a plan that we could use in the center section of Main Street, our next zoning initiative.


Charrette for Main Street: Not a bad idea as we focus on the center of Main Street. As I mentioned earlier, the city council will be pursuing the next phase of applying the Comprehensive Plan to stimulate new building development in what was referred to as the “transition zone” (gotta love it). It’s called that because the center section of Main lies between the historically built up Mattewan Village on the East side and Fishkill Landing Village on the West.

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:37pm

Burying Power Lines: It looks great, lasts longer and is safer. But even when we dug up Wolcott Ave and repaved it about six years ago we tried like heck to make it happen, but the cost exceeded our budget. The city had a real champion then who worked every angle and pushed it about has hard as anyone could.


College in Beacon: County Legislator John Forman and I met with the Chancellor of Dutchess Community College to try to get classes into the old High School. He said they spent their capital on the Wappinger’s campus and new additions to the main college. But we’ll keep trying – I do like the idea of Beacon being a college town. I also toured the HS with a senior rep from the School of Visual Arts along with the realty agent and the person who put the prospect together, but they didn’t bite.

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:36pm

Combating Vandalism: This is a real problem and one that the city takes seriously. The city has cameras on Main Street that transmit live pictures to the police station which the dispatcher monitors constantly. A camera focused on the Roundhouse trail may be in our future. It is impossible for the police to be everywhere no matter how many police we have, so people need to keep their eyes and ears open and call 831-4111 or 911 immediately to report something suspicious. Some areas have formed a community watch group that its trained to be aware and chain call their neighbors. If you would like to start one send me an email and I will get someone to call you to set up an organizational meeting.


Noise: Yes, it’s defiantly and issue. The council spent a great deal of time in changing the older ordinance to be easier for the police to enforce. Call the police if there is a noise problem in your neighborhood.

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:35pm

Comprehensive Plan:  This is very much the document that guides us in all of our zone changes and acquisitions. Literally every single zoning change we have made in the last three years has been in conformity with the spirit – if not in the exact recommendation of the comp plan. It is the blueprint for our city’s development. I personally attended most of the visioning sessions and plan meetings and have a good feel for its direction. It was adopted in December 2007 which makes it probably one of the newest plans in Dutchess County. I think you will enjoy going to the city’s website and reading the Comp Plan – fascinating to say the least. If the visioning workshops are not posted as was suggested, I will get them up to our website.


Police on Main Street: Again, another correct suggestion, it’s called community policing. Our chief started in the force on the Main Street beat and he strongly supports the concept.  We were able to cobble a shift like that about two years ago and a year before that we had a bike patrol. As soon as we can hire more officers that is the first thing we should do, but as it stands right now the small staff levels of the officers we have on each shift are too busy driving to calls and doing traffic. This March or April the council will be holding comprehensive discussions to review shift models, civilian dispatchers, would hiring more officers reduce overtime and hiring parking ticket agents.

Comment by Steve Gold on February 26, 2011 at 10:34pm

Part II:

Move City Hall to Main Street: That would be nice for all the reasons stated. We applied for a grant to study that move into the general area of Main and Teller. We didn’t get the grant, the economy tanked, and other more necessary large projects will have to take a priority such as a new highway garage and a combined fire house. I know that the building across the street from the post office is for sale, so now is the time to move and this idea qualifies as a Beacon Dream worth perusing, but it is a huge capital project and the city residents could not afford the debt services incurred by the millions of dollars of bonds that it will take to build.


Trader Joes: Funny thing that one of the writers was thinking that a Trader Joes would be good here. Well a similar grocer contacted me about the space next to the post office. In fact I suggested they would have to put a two level parking garage in the back on Henry Street. In the end they decided Beacon was too small a demographic. But I agree with another writer that it is better to support the stores we have here than to wish for a high end grocer to move in – I was defiantly conflicted when talking to them.

Comment by Hollis Bogdanffy-Kriegh on February 25, 2011 at 8:03am
One other asset that is here in Beacon is Pete Seeger and the Clearwater. They are national treasures and part of our legacy. When I think of the image of Beacon, I think of Pete and all the massive good he and the Clearwater have done for the region and for Beacon. He and the River Kids (from Beacon!) just won a Grammy for their album "Tomorrows Children". I know Pete doesn't think much of awards but really it is something we as citizens of Beacon can be proud of. We have a legacy of environmentalism to protect and be proud of, don't you think?

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