The 2009 Petition for a Dutchess County Historian

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    Dutchess County residents
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    members of the Real Majority Project
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Last fall (2008) Dutchess County Historian Stanley Mersand retired for medical reasons. It is now almost a year later-- yet inexplicably our County Executive has refused to hire a new County Historian.

Section 30.08 of the Dutchess County Charter states that, "There shall be a County Historian, who shall be appointed by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Legislature."

As we are all well aware by now, this year (2009) marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's sailing up our river here in this valley.

So-- if you agree that our County Executive should delay no longer in hiring a new Dutchess County Historian, sign on to this petition, pass it along to all you know, and send letters to [email protected] and [email protected]!

Joel Tyner
County Legislator (Clinton/Rhinebeck)
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
DutchessDemocracy.blogspot.com
[email protected]
(845) 876-2488

[recall this Jan. 27, 2006 press release-- "County Historian Selected" (why lag in picking new one?)
http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/CountyExecutive/10851.htm ]

[back in 2004 I spearheaded getting a county historian into the 2005 county budget-- spurred on by Virginia Buechele; see her www.petitiononline.com/dchstry , much more below on this]

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This letter below from Rhinebeck's Steve Mann in the Poughkeepsie Journal Apr. 26th hit nail on head:

"This Is No Time To Not Have County Historian"

Word was just received via the popular county grapevine that the Dutchess County historian resigned a year ago and nobody was ever officially notified by the county government. I am sure this must have been an oversight on the part of the county (ahem!).

I would like to publicly nominate Ginny Buechele for the job. She is a wonderful historian and genealogist who knows the ins and outs of our local government, for better or for worse. She has the strength and will to deal with bureaucracy at its worst and to pool through the muck of politics to do a fine job.

I would certainly hope that the county would not go without a historian during the Quadricentennial celebrations (ahem - hint!). So I am sure the county will appoint a new county historian in the immediate future, if not sooner (ahem - hint!).

I encourage others to write and advocate for a replacement ASAP.

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From http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/History/HSIndex.htm ...

History Department
170 Washington St.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Voice (845) 486-3669 Fax (845) 486-3679
e-Mail [email protected]

Mission Statement

The Department of History operates under laws of both New York State and Dutchess County. The Historian acts as a supervisor of all municipal historians in the County and holds meetings to coordinate the work of those historians. He submitsyearly reports to the State. The Historian researches and writes about the County's history and representsDutchess County at workshops, meetings, and presentations at thelocal, state, as well as national level.

The History Department works to help make Dutchess a true destination for both research and exploration of our history. Its mission is to:

Research, discover, and preserve the history of Dutchess County;
Pass that knowledge on to the next generation;
Preserve the artifacts of our history;
Help cities, towns, and villages in Dutchess County to preserve their past;
Help celebrate our wonderful past by planning events and celebrations for the future.

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From http://www.ExploreNY400.com ...

We have the rare centennial privilege of celebrating our great states 400th anniversary. 2009 marks the dual 400th anniversaries of the voyage of English Captain Henry Hudson, who led (for the Dutch) the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, and Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the first European to gaze upon the waters of the namesake lake. To celebrate these simultaneous quadricentennials as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fultons maiden journey up the Hudson River on the first successful steamboat New York State and its many communities have planned a yearlong series of events.

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From http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/2843/countyhistorianoct13_2004.html ...

[from the Town of Poughkeepsie's Virginia Buechele]

Regarding Dutchess County Historian - October 13, 2004

Regarding Dutchess County Historian:

Presented to the DC Legislature 10/13/2004 by Ginny - Petition Attached [See Table Below this one]

Yes I am back again, just as I was in the Fall of 2002 when I said that I would not stop coming back until this County had a County Historian.

In approximately 3 short weeks this legislature will receive the County Executive's proposed 2005 Budget.

I am here to ask the legislature to conduct a thorough review of the County's Department of History. - Dept. 7510 and if necessary amend same.

For over 10 years the line item under Personnel for this Department entitled County Historian has read $500, this position has not been filled nor to my knowledge has the County Executive pursued filling the position.

The Dutchess County Charter states [Section 30.08 states] "There shall be a County Historian, who shall be appointed by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Legislature.

Dutchess County Local Law No. 3 of the Year 1986 established a Records Management Program and a Records Advisory Board on which shall sit the County Historian and a County Archivist; and

Dutchess County is an "Original County" with a long and significant history,

Our history ranges from 1683 when Dutchess was created by an act of the Colonial Assembly, through the Early Patent Holders Schuyler, Beekman, Livingston, Native American Settlements, Dutch Fur Traders, on through the Revolution to where we are today, today is tomorrow's history. What is not preserved today is lost to tomorrow.

From 1778 into the 1780's Poughkeepsie served as the Capital of New York State. Between 1787 and 1788 federalists and anti-federalists debated the merits of the US Constitution in their homes, on the streets, in the courthouses, inns and taverns as well as in the fields. From the aristocrats in their mansions to the farmers in the fields.

If we are cognizant of our history and historical resources and protect them with a high degree of stewardship we assure a gift to those who follow us;

Part of what this County has become today is a part of all those that have gone before us;

It is important for our history to be preserved for future generations and for the Public to be serviced in regard to accessing the public records pertaining to the history of this County in order that we can learn from them and thereby see into the future;

The importance of preserving our history is PRICELESS to future generations;

Our neighboring Counties put us to shame with their County Historians and archival facilities - In Putnam County, their Part Time County Historian receives a salary in excess of $16,000. [$16, 419]

A County Historian serves to unite local historians into a cohesive unit that will present and promote an overall coordinated County History and serves as a focal point that promotes tourism for the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area;

Neglecting history deprives ourselves and future generations of our birth right.

Therefore, I urge this legislature to, if necessary, amend the County Executives Proposed 2005 Budget for the Department of History, to adequately provide for the office of County Historian and encourage the County Executive to pursue and fill the position of County Historian AND

ALSO to enforce the County Records Management Law to insure that our Historical Records and Sites are appropriately preserved, archived and made accessible to the public. NOW is the time to correct more than TWELVE (12) years of mistake.

In closing, I would like to present to you the thought's and comments in this regard from over 60 residents, historians, historical and genealogical organizations in Dutchess County. You will find that the thoughts and comments contained in this document in actuality represent a far greater number when you take into consideration the number of individuals who belong to some of the organizations listed.

Perhaps another Revolution is on the Horizon here in Dutchess County and it will come during the next election when those of us who are tired of seeing our history ignored cast our ballots.

Now is the time to correct more than 12 years of mistake.
The Petition Attachment

[This is the Petition that was presented to the Legislature on Oct. 13, 2004]
[ http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?dchstry&51 ]

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To: Dutchess County, NY - County Executive & Legislature

WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Charter states [Section 30.08 states] "There shall be a County Historian, who shall be appointed by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Legislature. He shall be directly responsible to, and serve at the pleasure of, the County Executive. He shall have all the powers and perform all the duties now or hereafter conferred or imposed upon him by law, and perform such other and related duties required by the County Executive or County Legislature."; and

WHEREAS, the position of County Historian has not been adequately funded for a period of more than twelve (12) years; and

WHEREAS, the County Historian position has been vacant for more than 12 years; and

WHEREAS, Dutchess County Local Law No. 3 of the Year 1986 established a Records Management Program and a Records Advisory Board on which shall sit the County Historian and a County Archivist; and

WHEREAS, we the undersigned residents and/or taxpayers of Dutchess County recognize that:

- Dutchess County is an "Original County" with a long and significant history,

- Our history ranges from 1683 when Dutchess was created by an act of the Colonial Assembly, through the Early Patent Holders Schuyler, Beekman, Livingston, Native American Settlements, Dutch Fur Traders, on through the Revolution to where we are today, today is tomorrow's history. What is not preserved today is lost to tomorrow.

- From 1778 into the 1780's Poughkeepsie served as the Capital of New York State. Between 1787 and 1788 federalists and anti-federalists debated the merits of the US Constitution in their homes, on the streets, in the courthouses, inns and taverns as well as in the fields. From the aristocrats in their mansions to the farmers in the fields.

- if we are cognizant of our history and historical resources and protect them with a high degree of stewardship we assure a gift to those who follow us;

- part of what this County has become today is a part of all those that have gone before us;

- it is important for our history to be preserved for future generations and for the Public to be serviced in regard to accessing the public records pertaining to the history of this County in order that we can learn from them and thereby see into the future;

- the importance of preserving our history is PRICELESS to future generations;

- our neighboring Counties put us to shame with their County Historians and archival facilities;

- a County Historian serves to unite local historians into a cohesive unit that will present and promote an overall coordinated County History and serves as a focal point that promotes tourism for the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area;
- that our elected officials have been NEGLIGENT in appropriately funding the office of County Historian and appointing same over a period of more than 12 years.

Therefore, we the undersigned implore you our County Executive and Legislature to appropriately fund the office of County Historian in the 2005 County Budget and actively pursue appointing a qualified person to fill the position of County Historian in 2005. We also implore you to enforce the County Records Management Law/Program to insure that our Historical Records and Sites are appropriately preserved, archived and made accessible to the public. The Citizens and Taxpayers of the County are restless, hear our cries! We PAY, our ancestors PAID, our descendants are PAYING and will PAY. NOW is the time to correct more than TWELVE (12) years of mistake.

Adequately Fund the Office of, and Appoint a, Dutchess County Historian NOW

We endorse the Adequately Fund the Office of, and Appoint a, Dutchess County Historian NOW Petition to Dutchess County, NY - County Executive & Legislature.

[ Name, Dutchess County C/T/V of Residence, Address:Zip Code, Comments]

70. Duane Watson Rhinebeck

69. Vincent Martinez Dover Plains

68. Stephen C. Bellizzi Wappingers Falls

67. Jennifer Harper Dutchess 12572

66. Ryan Rhinebeck 12572

65. Dawn Nedin Poughkeepsie New York 12601

64. Rod Davis for the Little Nine Partners Historical Society Pine Plains 12567 Support for the petition voted at the board meeting of 16 Sept 2004, w/unanimous approval. http://www.rootsweb.com/~nylnphs/V0/index.htm ([email protected])

63. B. Sweet Dutchess 12538 We must do something NOW, or information will be lost.

62. Allison R. Rossi Beekman 12570

61. Lucia C. Eckhardt Stormville 12582

60. Kathie Halvey Beacon

59. Jacqueline Bunnell~Ogden Hillside Lake, Town of East Fishkill Sorely needed and long overdo.

58. Brian DiNonno Poughkeepsie 12603

57. Krista DiNonno Poughkeepsie 12603 Save something for the children

56. Neil Vaughn 432 Main Street Beacon 12508 tradition, continuity, and you have to be able to recall your mistakes in order to not repeat them

55. RENA D'ANDREA 2 COUNTRY CLUB LANE 12590 Only from yesterday do we know today and plan for tomorrow.

54. John Koch East Fishkill 37 Dale Road I vote, I want a D. C. Historian

53. Thomas Barger Town of Washington 12545 "Nothing of importance happened today". - --England's King George III, diary entry, July 4, 1776. Of course people in our county knew better!

52. Daniel W Upton Sr Poughkeepsie

51. Nancy V. Kelly Rhinebeck 305 Cedar Heights As town historian, I think Dutchess if remiss in not having a county historian

50. Andrew D. Schmidt Poughkeepsie Founding member, Computer Museum of Boston; current member Museum of American Financial History, NYC

49. Ann Bell East Fishkill 12533

48. Eugene O. Robinson 1344 Rt.44 Palseant Valley,NY 12569

47. WILLIAM GARVEY 31 FISHKILL HOOK ROAD, HOPEWELL JUNCTION 12533 Do it!

46. Adrienne K. Wiese Hyde Park 12601 We also need a library where this material is available.

45. Norma W. Van Kleeck Town of Poughkeepsie 141 Fulton Ave., Poughkeepsie 12603

44. Linda C. Koehler Town of Poughkeepsie 12603 As President of the Dutchess County Genealogical Society, I represent the opinion of the DCGS board that appointment of a County Historian is long overdue. The lack of any formal role for a historian or archivist professional in the current management of the county archives is just one way our county government is letting us down by neglecting the appointment of a county historian. The voice of a county historian well serves the balance of the community as a whole, as well as representing those of us with a special interest in genealogy and history for itself.

43. Willa Skinner Fishkill 30 Charlotte Rd. fishkill 12524 Dutchess is one of the few counties without a historian. For the benefit of our own rich local history and our tourism industry, a county historian should be appointed this year.

42. George R & Alicia Stoffers 5 Windsor Court, Town of Poughkeepsie 12601

41. Joyce R. Tompkins LaGrangeville

40. Gina Fox Rhinebeck

39. Walter D. Foucher Clinton 12514

38. VIncent and Kimberly Porcelli Hopewell Junction 12533

37. Gloria Dianne Hickkman Town of East Fishkill 12533 I agree

36. CYNTHIA PHILIP RHINEBECK 12574

35. Denise Barnett Dutchess 12533

34. Carol DiGiovanni Town of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601

33. Agnes V. Nolan Dutchess County 12533 Too much history is being lost in the name of progress. The Wiccopee Hamlet will be lost if it is not saved, it is time to name it as the 1st Historic District of East Fishkill. The sooner the better.

32. Kathleen Corrao Wiccopee, East Fishkill 12533

31. CHERYL AND PATRICK BRODIE 8 FOX RUN HOPEWELL JCT 12533

30. Regina Simeoforides East Fishkill 12533

29. Anne Corbo Hopewell Junction 12533

28. Barbara Wilman resident of Dutchess County 12533

27. William H. Dourdis Town of Poughkeepsie 14 South Grand Ave. Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

26. Kelly M. Marsh Yes 12601

25. Pamela Seeger 20 Pellbridge Drive Hopewell Junction 12533

24. Richard Lowry Dutchess 35 Horizon Hill Dr., 12603

23. Marsha Lowry Dutchess 35 Horizon Hill Dr., 12603

22. Mary Ann Ryan 306 Auburn Ct. Fishkill, NY 12524 As a librarian who often handles local history questions and requests from out of the area as well as in the county, I believe this position is vitally important . The county historian would be responsible for helping to preserve our heritage, foster the collection of items and documents that could otherwise be lost for ever, and support the tourism industry with background information and guidance.

21. Norene Coller Clinton 140 Deer Ridge Dr, Staatsburg, NY 12580 very important concept for the county

20. Burl Henry Poughkeepsie 12603

19. MR.BRIAN P TOTTEN HOPEWELL JCT.DUT,CO.NY 12533 MY FAMILY HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS IN THE USA SINCE 1640

18. Megan B. Lacourse Pine Plains 12567

17. Roy E. Joegensen East Fishkill 12532 As a member of Fishkill, Beacon and East Fishkill Historical Societies I understand the importance of this position. The MHHC would, as well, recomend that the position be reinstated or, rather filled as required by law.

16. Warren T. Smith Village of Rhinebeck For Rhinebeck Historical Society Members and Board of Trustees

15. Richard M. Anderson Hyde Park 12601 I had formed an Advisory Board to organize

14. DICK CRENSON PLEASANT VALLEY 12569

13. Chris Petsas City of Poughkeepsie 12601 Lets roll!

12. Kate Kelly Beacon 12508 HISTORIAN IS VITAL

11. Dorothy Shays Dangerfield Dutchess 112 Sterling Street, Beacon 12508

10. Arthur M. Cady Columbia County 56 Main St., Germantown, NY 12526 Owner of 30 Holmes St., Poughkeepsie, NY

9. Doreen Tignanelli Poughkeepsie 12603

8. Barbara Sweet Hyde Park 12538 This is really needed

7. Judy A. Wolf La Grange 12603

6. Penny Rinaldi Dutchess Cty Poughkeepsie, 12603 Great job, We need one. To hard to get to Historical Soc.

5. Frank J. Doherty 181 Freedom Road Pleasant Valley, NY 12569-5117 This is long overdue

4. John E. Hillsbeck Hyde Park, New York 12538

3. Jo Anne Z. Hillsbeck Hyde Park, New York 12538

2. Joel Tyner 324 Browns Pond Road Staatsburg, N.Y. 12580 Nice job, Ginny-- let's hope we can make this happen this year!...

1. Virginia A. Buechele Poughkeepsie P O Box 243, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569 Together We Can Make A Difference