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Meet Your Fourth Ward Candidates

Candidate's answer to the questions sent to them.

Jacqueline Dennison

1. Hello! My name is Jacqueline Dennison. Some may know me better by my maiden name...Keys. I was born and raised in Port Jervis, and raised my three children here. 2. I am motivated to be a candidate because I believe in Port Jervis and its desire to fix its problems, and enjoy a better quality of life. 3. Port Jervis faces huge problems with affordable housing, transportation and crime. 4. Port Jervis may not be able to fully remedy those issues, but we can strive to make each less problematic. For instance, grants would be useful for securing more affordable housing. Currently, our City Bus is not sufficient, and cab service dropped during Covid. Conversations with both would help everyone. As for crime in Port Jervis, we must support our police department. Its said, "If you see something, say something." We must all do our part. 5. My vision for Port Jervis includes, but is not limited to, clean safe streets, thriving new businesses, community outreach, and a local government that not only listens...but is more transparent.

Joseph Ennis

Questions to answer.+

1. If you were to introduce yourself, how would you describe you? First and foremost I am a happy and dedicated husband and father. Second, I am a retired N.Y.P.D Sergeant and current co-owner of a fantastic childrens athletic facility called Wonderland Elite. And last but not least, I am a proud resident of Port Jervis & current candidate for City Council 2. What motivated you to become a candidate? I have always been interested in the working of our government, both large and small and I have worked on various campaigns over the years. So as a member of the Port Jervis Republican committee, when one of our City Council members told us he would not be seeking reelection, I realized that this was an opportunity to step up and take the responsibility onto myself to continue the great work that our current council is doing and also, hopefully, bring a new perspective to the table as well. 3. What issues do you believe the city is facing? As a resident of the 4th Ward, I believe quality of life issues are at the top of the list. As a resident of Port Jervis, I believe that affordable housing and responsible development that brings jobs to our city is a large issue. 4. Any ideas as to how to remedy them?

I think that continuing on the current path that our city council is on is a great start to remedying some of the issues our city has. With that said, future plans need to involve more of the city. Our city government needs to do everything it can to continue developing and growing our tourism, but it has to be done in a fiscally responsible way. All efforts to do it without raising taxes is the top priority and things like the current D.R.I. grant is a great start. 5. What is your vision for Port Jervis? My vision is one that I believe is shared by our entire Republican team. I see a city that the residents are proud to call home, like I do. I want the city to grow and flourish and become an even more popular tourist area that new people want to buy property in & make it their home. But I want it to keep it's small city feel & remain the jewel of the Hudson Valley that it is now. I see jobs and affordable housing coming in without the taxpayers having to pay for it. I want the development of our City to reach out to the surrounding areas, now that it has begun downtown. I would like to get more people, who are dedicated to keeping Port Jervis moving forward, involved in the process. Melissa Newhauser

1. If you were to introduce yourself, how would you describe you?

Hard working, motivated, eager to learn. I’m currently finishing my first term as councilperson for the 4th ward. I would like to continue to be involved and help the residents in my ward. 2. What motivated you to become a candidate?

I was interested in seeing what goes on in the city from a different level other than as a homeowner/resident, it was also important for me to give back to my community. It is very interesting and eye opening to see how things are run in the city. 3. What issues do you believe the city is facing?

Quality of life, bringing businesses into the city to increase our tax base and affordable housing are some of the main issues I see in the 4th Ward. 4. Any ideas as to how to remedy them?

From what I have seen, the City is heading in the right direction as far as bringing businesses and affordable housing to the area. The DRI Grant will afford the city the opportunity to bring both housing and jobs to the city, as well as the annexation that will also bring in businesses. Quality of life issues will be a never-ending battle but can be managed as it has been with our police department and code enforcement. 5. What is your vision for Port Jervis?

A flourishing city with a large number of tourists who come here because of the great events the city hosts and the beautiful trails and the river. We want to entice tourists who come and spend their money here to decide to live here.

Stanley Siegel

1. .If you were to introduce yourself, how would you describe you?

My name is Stanley B. Siegel. I’m a lifelong resident of Port Jervis, married to Sharon. We

have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. I am currently serving as Councilman at Large. I have served a total of six years in that position, and as 4th Ward Councilman for 14 years.

I currently also serve as PJ Housing Liaison, Senior & Veteran Advisor, and City Marshal. As a council member, I have served on every City committee.

I have remained an active member of the PJ Fire Department for 58 years & the Fire Police squad for 50 years, serving as captain of the Fire Police for many of those years.

I am a US Army Veteran - Vietnam era - and a member of Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion. I believe in Port Jervis and its people, and pledge to continue to do all I can to serve and help others. 

2. What motivated you to become a candidate?

As a lifelong resident of Port Jervis I have always been actively involved in community activities,

such as our great volunteer fire department & fire police squad, our youth sports teams as a coach, Cub & Boy Scouts, social organizations, veteran affairs, and many other community events and activities.

In 2002, I was asked to run for Councilman-at-Large along with Ross Decker and felt that this could be a positive extension to being able to help our fellow residents with their concerns and needs. This opportunity to serve my fellow residents is something that I truly enjoy doing.

3. What issues do you believe the city is facing?

Serving as a City Council member for 20 years has given me an opportunity to see firsthand

what issues are of concern to us all. My list would include but not be limited to:

1. Quality of Life issues is my #1 concern.

2. Many, but not all absentee landlords are not providing adequate living conditions for our

residents or keeping the properties up to code. Everyone deserves and should have safe,

maintained homes and apartments.

2. A modern Central Fire station would save a great deal of money and make the fire

department more efficient.

3. There is a need for a Senior Center.

4. A Human Relations officer and Ethics Board is necessary.

5. We need more transportation options to transport residents around the city, to other

communities in the county, and to our neighboring communities.  

4. Any ideas as to how to remedy them?

1. Quality of Life issues: I tour our city nearly every day to report and work on Quality of Life issues. I rely on feedback from constituents and others to direct our attention. I believe much more focus and effort needs to be directed to each of our neighborhoods throughout the city.

2. Absentee Landlord concerns: This needs greater attention and effort as no one should have to live in substandard housing conditions. I work with the Building Official on a routine basis to attempt to identify and correct these conditions.

3. A central fire station would save a great deal of money and make the fire department more efficient by consolidating many firehouses into one that is centrally located. We have obtained the property for this to be erected, established a building committee, and are currently seeking ideas and grants.

3. With a new fire station, one current ADA accessible firehouse could be converted to a needed Senior Center with little expense to renovate the building for senior use.

4. With the increase in employee concerns, new regulatory obligations and other employee

relations concerns, there needs to be a dedicated HR person. I will also continue to seek an

Ethics Board and transparency & communication in city government.

5. I will continue to seek transportation options to transport where they need to go. Having a Dial a Bus that only can go within City and NY State limits provides much less service to our residents than many other communities in Orange County.

Additionally, I will continue to advocate for seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and all Port residents, staying involved with issues to help them. I will collaborate with my fellow council members on all issues in our city.

5. What is your vision for Port Jervis?

We live in a beautiful valley with two rivers, two mountain ranges, recreational opportunities like fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and well-maintained parks & playgrounds. We have a full time police force, number one rated volunteer Fire Department, a full time ambulance service and volunteers that perform a varied array of other services. There is a full-service hospital and several Urgent Care and other medical facilities. You feel a sense of community when you travel through many of our neighborhoods. We have a downtown where opportunities continually evolve. We have all types of food establishments and convenience stores all around the city.

So, my vision is simple: Lets continue to evolve to be that great little city that we want Port

Jervis to be, by working together and continuing the renaissance that is currently occurring. I want to continue to be part of that, and to contribute to its success. I have devoted 20 years of my life to that goal, and pledge to continue in that mission and goal.

Michael Witt

1. If you were to introduce yourself, how would you describe you?My parents taught me to work hard and always be considerate to everyone in our community. I will work hard to promote jobs, housing, youth activities, lower taxes, better sewer and water. My wife and children are my motivation. They support and push me to be the very best and do the very best that I can. I promise to make them proud and work hard for all residents of Port Jervis. 2. What motivated you to become a candidate?I felt I could make a difference as a candidate that would stick to my beliefs and do what was best for all residents of Port Jervis. 3. What issues do you believe the city is facing?Safety in some of our neighborhoods Drugs are also a big issue. Ensure each city agency is running efficiently. High water and sewer bill. High taxes. 4. Any ideas as to how to remedy them?Work with various departments and government agencies to continue their efforts to push crime out of the city and keep our residents safe. Work to lower taxes without reducing services to our residents. Continue the sewer realignment project. 5. What is your vision for Port Jervis?Promote economic growth and bring the right types of businesses to our city. Keep promoting safe neighborhoods in our city. Make sure housing is not an obstacle for our residents. Work with landlords to insure their tenants help keep our city safe and clean. Create additional opportunities for the youth of our city. Apply for state and federal grants and funding for city programs.

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