Entire council along with mayor on ballot
By Jeff Simms
Eleven candidates are vying for the six seats on the Beacon City Council. Voters will decide on Nov. 3 on races that—along with the mayoral contest between incumbent Randy Casale and Ron Ray — will set the agenda and tone for their city.
Council members are elected to two-year terms, and every seat is contested at the same time. One representative is elected from each of the city’s four wards, and two at-large members round out the council.
In Wards 1 and 3, Democratic incumbents Margaret E. “Peggy” Ross and Pamela Wetherbee are defending against Republican challengers Diane Spiak-Pisanelli and William Irizarry, respectively.
In Ward 4, Democratic incumbent Ali T. Muhammad is opposed by Samantha A. Tseng, who belongs to the Beacon Works party—while Ward 2 presents the most unusual race. Democrat Omar Harper defeated longtime Ward 2 Councilman Charles P. Kelly in the September primary, so Harper is the official Democratic candidate. Harper, however, has also been endorsed by the Dutchess County Republican Committee and will be listed on the ballot as the Republican candidate.
His opponent next month, once again, is Kelly — his name on the ballot now as the candidate for the Working Families and Green parties.
Republican Chris Olson is challenging the two Democratic at-large incumbents, Lee Kyriacou and George M. Mansfield.
During the coming term, the council will likely address the consolidation of Beacon’s three firehouses and police presence on city streets, among many other issues.
To help readers familiarize themselves with the candidates and races, The Paper sent four questions to the 11 candidates. The questions and the candidates’ answers are linked below. Some answers were edited slightly due to space constraints, but every effort was made to retain the essence of the candidates’ responses.
We have also linked to profiles of the two Beacon mayoral candidates.
William Irizarry (R) [Did not respond] Pamela Wetherbee (D, incumbent)