Update: Mid-Hudson Civic Center President Danielle Anderson has responded to the petition.

A new petition seeks a public hearing as to the state of the non-profit Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.

County Legislator Joel Tyner and author Joanne Michaels are behind the petition to determine if then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was given preferential treatment while members of the local community have seen prices for ice time skyrocket.

President Trump held a rally at the Mid Hudson Civic Center on April 17, 2016. There is some question as to whether his campaign paid for the event. County Legislator Joel Tyner had this to say, '“If a receipt exists for the Trump campaign’s use of MHCC in 2016 then why has the management there avoided sharing that receipt for the last two years?”

There is also some question as to why the figure skating program has been decimated. What once was a 38-member club is down to 14 people.

According to the account of parents involved with the program, MHCC manager Danielle Anderson offered an unlimited skating program for an additional $1,000 fee only to cut their time after payments were made.

Reportedly, there have been some issues with the refrigeration unit that keeps the ice frozen which could explain the extra fees but no information could be found on the state of the unit.

Letters and emails sent to the Civic Center as far back as June of 2017 have not been responded to, according to the petition. The state of the marquee along the arterial is an embarrassment. (Full disclosure: the marquee once featured Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley station WPDH's logo.) What once advertised the events coming to the area, has sat in disrepair for more than a year.

The following is a letter sent to the Dutchess County Legislature by Ms. Michaels on Jan. 6. She has yet to receive a response.

Dear Legislators:

I am writing to you, as requested by your colleague, Joel Tyner. I was a guest on his radio show this morning. He is to be commended for caring about a venue that SHOULD BE run in the public interest and improve the health and well-being of county youth.

I repeatedly tried to contact Danielle Anderson, wife of Butch Anderson, Dutchess County Sheriff, now manager of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, after the departure of Laurie May, who was an excellent manager over many years. After several called and emails to Mrs. Anderson, she emailed me and said: “write me a letter.” I did just that.

The letter (see below) was hand-delivered in hard copy to Danielle Anderson on June 30, 2017. It was both HAND-DELIVERED to her office and EMAILED. After two weeks of NO ACKNOWLEDGMENT or response, I sent a follow-up email containing the letter to her personal email. Again, there was no response.

Over the course of 3 months, I repeatedly sent the email asking for a response, before contacting the publisher of the Poughkeepsie Journal and Marc Molinaro, County Executive. NEVER WAS THIS LETTER ACKNOWLEDGED by your county executive OR by the publisher of the PJ….as if ignoring it would make it go away. I presume the physical health of young people isn’t of interest to the county executive….not enough money involved. Just wondering.

I’m the author of 10 books (including 2 guidebooks to the Hudson Valley in print for over 25 years; W.W. Norton publisher) and a working journalist, as well as a small business owner who distributes regional books throughout the Hudson Valley.

What is going on at the ice rink is shameful. I urge all of you to investigate the issues raised in the attached letter since the current "non-manager" cannot even respond to a letter.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: What are her qualifications for this position? Was the job ever advertised? According to my sources, she is earning $125,000 per annum.

I would like to re-gain respect for your county government. It wasn’t long ago that one of your previous county attorneys spent time in jail.

Thanks for your prompt attention to this situation.


Joanne Michaels