Letters: Cold Spring Village Election

Candidate endorsements before March 15 contest

Bill Mazzuca, Cold Spring:

I am voting for Barney Molloy for Trustee in the Cold Spring Village election on March 15.  Please join me in voting for someone who has the experiences, qualifications, and skills that our village so desperately needs.

Molloy has served on the Emergency Task Force, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Code Update Committee and as chair of the Planning Board. While serving our village in these varied capacities, he has exhibited terrific organizational and managerial skills.

We all know that the state tax cap is creating very difficult budgetary constraints, but what is being done to deal with it now and in the future? What is our “plan” — none, it appears! That is why we need a long-term capital and asset management plan. Molloy has repeatedly exhibited the skills needed to develop such a plan.

He has also exhibited the ability and willingness to work with all, regardless of differing view points and philosophies to the betterment of our beloved village.

This coming election is much too important to our village to not take seriously who we vote for. Your vote matters and it should be for the one person who has the experience, ability, qualifications and the willingness to work hard to help our village deal with the difficulties ahead. That one person is Barney Molloy!

Michael Armstrong, Cold Spring:

Cold Spring is fortunate to have three good candidates for the two open trustee spots. All are honorable, thoughtful, and committed to serving this community. I urge voters to choose the two candidates with experience in our village government — Lynn Miller and Barney Molloy.

Lynn Miller served a partial term as an appointed trustee in 2009-2010 and did an admirable job. She worked hard and collaboratively, showed consideration for differing views, brought fresh solutions to problems and exhibited common sense in her votes. She and her husband, Greg, have been smart, neighborly and tenacious in building the Go-Go Pops business on Main Street.

Barney Molloy served two years as Planning Board chair during tumultuous times, and, in my view, showed good judgment, fairness, equanimity and a sound understanding of municipal procedure. He and I do not agree on some issues — I think the village should move elections to November, for example, while he opposes it — but what really counts is a willingness to work hard and to listen even harder. Barney has had the courage to raise uncomfortable questions about capital budgeting, the appropriate level of police services and the firehouse, to name just three. The village needs that.

These two very different people share an impatience to get things done that has not in many years been more needed. Vote at the firehouse on March 15 to elect Miller and Molloy.

Christine and Raymond Bokhour, Cold Spring:

Lynn Miller’s infectious smile is a reflection of one of her greatest strengths as a community servant and leader; she is a “people person.” A few years ago, when we met her as new residents to Cold Spring, she stepped right up and offered warm support in the form of a sympathetic ear, an encyclopedic knowledge of our village, and soup. There is no doubt that her natural way with people will serve the village. If we want to keep getting good things done here, we need someone with Lynn’s talents for collaboration and cooperation.

Lynn understands the village of Cold Spring from two very important perspectives, both as a resident and a businesswoman. She is passionate about maintaining the unique charm and attractiveness of Cold Spring while creating opportunities for its residents and local businesses. She dives head first into a challenge but maintains the position of a peacemaker with a gift for creating victories for all at precisely those moments where others might give up or dig in their heels.

The proof is in her distinguished history of love and service to Cold Spring, including the creation with her family of a beloved landmark, Go-Go Pops on Main Street — famous well beyond our borders and a magnet for visitors far and wide. Her previous experience as trustee and her determination to continue serving us all inspires our votes. We encourage you to give her your votes as well.

Carolyn C. Bachan, Cold Spring:

As a confirmed political junkie and therefore, a glutton for punishment, I admit to watching far too many speeches by the candidates of both parties in this year’s presidential primary season. One of the things I have come away with is that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump actually agree that youth unemployment is too damn high. Well, at least they agree about something!

I have another admission: I hardly know Lynn Miller at all, having only met her personally a couple of times. But there is one thing I absolutely do know about her for a fact — she employs teenagers at her family business on Main Street. How fabulous is that?

Do you remember your first summer job or after-school job? What did that do for you?

For an entrepreneur to take on our community’s youth as employees requires a leap of trust, a willingness to take on risk, commitment to training and fair dealing. That person should be commended. We know that kids with activities to occupy their minds and time — whether sports, volunteering or whatever — are more likely to have a sense of purpose and self-worth, and less likely to turn to substance abuse. I hope other businesspeople in Cold Spring and Philipstown follow her example.

It reminds me of the line in a song: “I believe the children are our future.” We need elected officials who look ahead, far ahead, like Lynn Miller. Please vote for her.

Donna Anderson, Cold Spring:

After years of fighting and finger pointing, Barney Molloy, because of his experience and management know-how, along with the rest of what used to be very professional planning board, got the Butterfield Project done. It wasn’t easy, took two years of almost constant work, even as some did their best to stop the progress. But the whole time, Barney was always professional, took the time to explain to us seniors what the process was and what the law required. He never dismissed our concerns, misled or belittled us, and he was always consistent and fair. You only have to watch last week’s meeting of the new planning board to see the difference. Unfortunately, it’s like night and day!

That’s why I’m writing this letter, because not only the seniors, but everybody in Cold Spring needs Barney on the Village Board. Vote for Barney Molloy on March 15!

Gregory McCoy, Cold Spring:

I’m delighted Steve Voloto is running for trustee. I have known Steve for years, and always found him to be a solid citizen: honest, reliable, smart, cares about the place he lives, and with a terrific sense of humor. Recently, my wife and I hired him to rebuild our barn behind our house. It was terrific to see that all the qualities I admire about Steve as a person are also there in Steve as a businessperson. He was so easy to work with, always gave us good options, was on time and on budget. And always a pleasure to have around.

Steve would be such a terrific asset to have on our village board. He’s got my vote, and I hope he’ll have yours.

Lydia JA Langley, Garrison:

As a 17-year resident of Philipstown, I strongly endorse Lynn Miller for position of village trustee. She is a uniquely qualified and passionate about improving our Village.

Lynn understands how local tourism impacts village finances and will dedicate her creativity and perseverance to help find effective solutions to the challenges we face. Her successful business Go-Go Pops has been one of my favorite places to patronize for their healthy offerings. That has afforded me with the opportunity to get to know Lynn, her husband, Greg, and son, Jack, over the years. She is also a person who is willing to hear others’ opinions and is always willing to speak with anybody to hear her or his perspective.

Lynn really grasps the fact that this is a public service job and she is not seeking it for her own benefit but to serve the people of the community in an impartial way. She is always willing to listen to other opinions to learn and grow from them. Her door, literally and figuratively, is always open. I, for one, applaud that!

I stand with Lynn Miller and give her my full support for her successful candidacy. She will do right for the Cold Spring community and will have their best interests at heart.

Aaron Wolfe, Cold Spring:

Our village government functions quite well, even as it faces important financial decisions. There’s recent progress on longstanding debates: parking meters, environmental remediation near the boat club and the Main Street project.

In the March 15 election for village trustees, I’ll be voting for Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto to continue the progress. Steve and Lynn would add the on-the-ground knowledge and vision of business owners who succeed in the local economy. Their voices and experience will benefit the board and the community.

Voters also have the opportunity to move the village election date from March to November. It’s unfortunate that this year’s presidential nominations are so fantastically insane, at least for one party, which might make keeping the village election in March seem desirable.

With a November election date, is anything stopping the village community from continuing to hold civil forums, talk to neighbors, write letters and maintain village focus? Would it be useful to see which candidates are feeding the party pipeline that wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and voting rights, ban immigrants by religion or carpet bomb various parts of the world (or pick your own party’s issues)? Would the budget process be improved by new trustees having more involvement? Would more villagers get involved if the election were held when voter turnout is always higher? The possibilities in the last question push me toward supporting the move to November.

Keep the village moving forward by voting for Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto on March 15.

Paul Lansdale, Cold Spring:

Lynn Miller would be an effective trustee. I have always felt that Cold Spring should award her a Community Service Award because her creative, charming business, Go-Go Pops, is the pride of Main Street. Her commitment, energy, endless creativity and professionalism would translate very well as a trustee for the good of all of our village.

Liz Miller, Cold Spring:

When my fiancée and I moved to Main Street a year ago, we happily discovered a robust network of friends in Cold Spring: people raising their families and contributing to village life. Today, it is with great pride and enthusiasm that I write to support the candidacy for village trustee of one of those most marvelous welcome-wagoners: Steve Voloto.

In the five years I have known Steve, he has proven to be a rational, reasonable and intelligent person. He is curious, deliberate and generous in his dealings, both personal and professional. Amazingly, despite these desirable attributes, Steve virtually lacks that enemy of democracy — ego. Though possessed of well-formed opinions, Steve is the one more likely to be asking the right questions than proving he has the right answers. A skilled craftsman and successful business owner, Steve knows it’s better to “measure twice, cut once” — an apt metaphor in the context of small town governance where decisions directly impact each and every one of us.

As a newcomer here, I am grateful to be making my home in a community that cares deeply about its past, present and future. Steve’s three-year old son, Sam, will graduate Haldane in 2030. When you head to the polls on March 15, I urge you to cast your vote for Steve Voloto, and running-mate Lynn Miller, so that Sam and his peers recognize the village you love today; one which owes so much to its past.

Maya Dollarhide, Cold Spring:

I am writing to show support for Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto in the upcoming election. Lynn will bring her business acumen, fair-minded community spirit and innovative ideas to the board. Steve’s decades of experience in the carpentry and construction business will be an asset for managing budgets and coordinating multifaceted projects. Both are ideal candidates for village trustee — local business owners and invested residents who are dedicated to the success of our lovely village. Please vote for them on Tuesday, March 15.

David Birn, Cold Spring:

I am writing to urge my Cold Spring friends and neighbors to support Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto for village trustees. Both are residents and local business owners with a vested interest in helping Cold Spring thrive, and both have the competence, people skills and problem-solving abilities which comes with being successful entrepreneurs. Most importantly, both are friendly, approachable and open-minded. It’s been a rough couple of years for governance in the village. It’s time for some fresh air. Please join me in supporting Steve and Lynn.

Donald Mac Donald, Cold Spring:

The owners of businesses on Main Street are a vital piece of what gives our village its unique character and sense of vitality. As the owner of a successful business on Main Street, Lynn Miller understands the issues business owners face. Lynn also understands the positive as well as negative impacts their tourist customers have on residents.

That is why I urge my fellow residents to vote for Lynn Miller on March 15. I believe Lynn has the credibility and character to work effectively to move the village forward. Remember: It’s not in the talking, it’s in the doing.

Sarah Gurland and Thomas Huber, Cold Spring:

We love Cold Spring. We have lived here for 16 years, and every day we feel lucky to be a part of this special community with so many wonderful friends and neighbors. Everyone wants what is best for this community, and as the time comes to vote for our trustees, the best thing for our village is to vote for Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto. Lynn and Steve both have the skills to work cooperatively and creatively to meet the challenges facing the village. They will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task of making Cold Spring a better home for all of us. We hope you will join us in voting for Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto on March 15.

Joann Alvis, Cold Spring:

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Lynn Miller. I have known Lynn as a neighbor and a proprietor of Go-Go Pops for several years. Lynn and her family are heavily invested in our town as business owners and contributors to the local theatre scene. (Some of us were lucky enough to catch her husband, Greg, at the Depot Theater this past December in A Christmas Carol.) Lynn’s sense of community and devotion to the village of Cold Spring are inspiring. Holding “office hours” most days at Go-Go Pops, Lynn is always available for a quick chat. On Main Street she is privy to conversations and comments of both visitors to our town and local residents, giving her a unique insight into the concerns of the larger community. As a trustee, I am certain that Lynn would look after the interests of tourism, which we need for revenue, as well as to the interests of the villagers.

Lynn’s background in the media and arts make her especially valuable to the town. Cold Springs is a charming location. As a former stylist, Lynn has the skills to negotiate business from the film and print industry. As an artist, Lynn would bring creativity and outside-the-box thinking to solve problems we face as a community: How do we maintain our historic character and meet the needs of an expanding population? How can we develop the waterfront without over commercializing our town? What to do about the waste left by weekenders on our trails?

If you frequent Go-Go Pops you already know about her commitment to local, organic, free-trade and recycling — even her coffee cups and lids are biodegradable! Lynn’s high standards and values are traits that we need. Cold Spring deserves Lynn Miller. Please join me and cast your vote for Lynn.

Thomas Ambrose, Cold Spring:

I am urging voters to join me and vote for Steve Voloto and Lynn Miller. Both of these candidates have invested interest for the village’s welfare as business owners and long-term residents, which I feel more closely aligns with the residents who are working hard and raising their families here.

I support candidates whose ties to the village go far beyond the politics of elections but rather will impact both their families and economic welfare directly. Lynn has successfully owned and operated Go-Go Pops on Main Street for years which has been loved by residents and visitors alike adding to the sustainable vitality of our village. Running a Main Street business uniquely qualifies Lynn to have a personal understanding of many of the challenges facing the village as well as the tools to address them head on. As a general contractor, Steve’s understanding of budgeting, project management and client relations will serve the board and residents well.

The success of both of these candidate’s businesses demonstrates the understanding they have for working hard and working with other people to successfully rise to the challenges they have faced. Beyond their qualifications as local business owners/operators, it is the fact their livelihood and families’ well-being is dependent on those of the village that will drive the use of their demonstrated good judgment. And this fact, uniquely qualifies them as candidates worthy of electing. So please join me in voting for the two candidates whose interests are those of all residents of this village.

James Geppner, Cold Spring:

About this upcoming election: If there’s one thing I’d like for the village, it would be for it to be a little more boring. Less suspicion. More boredom. There are other things I’d like too. I’d like there to be a plan to increase village fee revenue to about 20 percent or so of the budget (a big number, but I think it’s possible). I’d like more people to vote. But mostly I’d like for the village to be more boring, for our meetings and accounts of our meetings to be sleepy and congenial. Impossible? Maybe.

But if our public discussions were filled with people who made it a practice to listen closely enough to others that they were able to repeat back what was said to them and could even make a case for what was said (even if the view opposes their own), then maybe those meetings would be congenial and sleepy after all. “I’m a good listener” is a tired utterance said by people all over the world who are nearly the opposite.

This is asking more of people. It’s a procedure which, though not terribly hard to do, has the benefit of producing conversations that get to and follow the substance of what a person is saying. We can all afford to set aside our own ideas for a minute or two while another says what’s on their minds. Our brains hate it, of course, and will try to wriggle out of it in order to go back to the ideas and beliefs that run like a broken record in our heads. But we have all day to think of our ideas. Can’t we put those aside for a few minutes?

There is an alternative course available to us. We can revel in suspicion. That’s easy to do too. Just assign ugly or malign intentions to a person’s actions. Or take it a step further and see one person’s actions as being evidence of the malign intentions of an entire group of people. It helps too to lay on them a label or two (“She’s an XYZ”). Admittedly, this second procedure is the more exciting one and gives us the privilege of telling ourselves that we’re right about everything. But I like the first procedure better and above all I’d like to vote for people willing to give it a try. If they succeed then one day this practice might be the norm and not the exception.

So who can pull it off? I don’t know. But my hopes, at least in the near term, are on Lynn Miller and Steve Voloto, both running now for village trustee. Lynn is gracious and curious. She’s open, affable, cheerful, and it sounds like she wants to develop some non-property tax revenue sources, too. Steve Voloto is down-to-earth and approachable. They each have other skills, of course, but none are more important to me than the discipline, openness and curiosity necessary to be open to what others have to say and stifle the desire to sow suspicion.

Don’t get me wrong. No one person can make the discussions in the village sleepy and congenial. This has to be a group effort. And even in the best case scenario there are still always going to be people who make sport of acrimony. That’s okay. We don’t need to reform them. All we need is to prevent them dictating the terms of our conversations with each other.

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