TOWN OF WAPPINGER – Dutchess County Executive Sue Serino was administered her ceremonial oath of office Sunday, becoming the ninth county executive since Dutchess County switched from being governed by a board of supervisors in 1968. Serino took the oath from Judge James Brands while surrounded by friends, family, supporters, and several aircraft inside the Dutchess Community College Aviation Programs 32,000 square-foot hangar at the Hudson Valley Regional Airport.
Several elected officials attended, including Congressman Marc Molinaro (NY-19), who held the county’s top spot for 11 years. Molinaro took a moment to joke that several of Serino’s staff, veteran government employees, served as interns during his tenure. He was pleased to announce that the Serino staff will be led by Deputy County Executive Rachel Kashimer, who was appointed to that position last January by former County Executive William O’Neil.
Serino listed food insecurity throughout the county, mental hygiene, and access to affordable daycare as priorities for her administration.
Serino, who served on the Hyde Park Town Board, Dutchess County Legislature, and New York State Senate before being elected as county executive stressed the need for listening to constituents as a key component of effective leadership. “I’m dedicated to ensuring you always have a representative government because as I say, you don’t know what you don’t know – and if you’re not listening to the issues that our community has, you can’t solve them.”
Serino also announced the appointment of her former senate staffer, Carly Bulgia as the head of the first-ever Department of Community Engagement, created by Serino last week. According to Serino, the office is tasked with delivering a responsive government to the county’s nearly 300,000 residents.