POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall officially kicked off his bid for re-election Thursday night in Poughkeepsie. In a room full of family, friends, and elected officials, County Historian Will Tatum acknowledged the work Kendall has done in preserving vital historical documents before bringing Hon. Albert Rosenblatt, retired Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals up to introduce Kendall.
Rosenblatt, the Harvard-educated former District Attorney for Dutchess County, called Kendall “the face of the county,” noting that his office is where the people of Dutchess County get their business taken care of.”
Speaking to Kendall’s use of technology, Rosenblatt mentioned that after Tatum was named county historian, Kendall and Tatum went to work to preserve the historical records of the county. The clerk has successfully digitized and preserved ancient documents dating back to the 1700s. “We have a legacy in this county that is incomparable, and Brad and Will maintain them meticulously,” said Rosenblatt.
Kendall has previously served as president of the New York State Association of County Clerks (NYSACC) and was selected as New York State County Clerk of the Year in 2018. On Wednesday at the NYSACC conference, Kendall received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to which he quipped “I’ve got more to do, my life isn’t over.”
Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison was on hand to lend his support for Kendall. The two men served together on the Dutchess County Legislature, where Kendall spent seven years as chairman of the body. “Brad does a great job without letting partisan politics influence the work he does,” Rolison said.
Kendall told the audience that when he first took office, he told his team that they would be using a customer-oriented approach to business at the clerk’s office.
“Every day we make a difference in people’s lives either in the DMV or in the clerk’s office and I think over the last 12 years I’ve had a very positive impact on the experience people have had with county government,” he said.
Kendall noted that his DMV office is no longer the “only game in town” as a result of online transactions offered by New York State. My management team and 62 employees are the ones that “make the office shine every day” and claimed that the workforce attitude is what keeps people using his local offices.
Kendall, citing his use of technology whenever possible to improve the customer experience, said his office will be rolling out a process in which customers can use their smartphones to make appointments at DMV, further saving the customer’s time. Technology has also enabled Kendall to institute electronic filing of court records and land records which saved over $620,000. According to Kendall, his office has had an $8 million surplus over 12 years.
He will face Democrat Kenya Gadsden in November.