Village residents go to polls on Mar. 21
Alison Anthoine, a lawyer and immediate past president of the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, will challenge first-term Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy on Tuesday, Mar. 21, and three candidates will pursue two open village board seats.
Each candidate submitted nominating petitions to the Putnam County Board of Elections by the Feb. 14 deadline.
Marie Early and Frances Murphy, elected to the board in 2014, are seeking re-election against challenger Margaret Schatzle. Judge Thomas Costello will run unopposed to retain his seat as a Village of Cold Spring justice.
Anthoine is running under the Bridge Builders Party, while Merandy and Early will appear under the People’s Party. Murphy is running as the Back to Basics Party candidate and Schatzle represents the Unity Party.
This will be the last March election for the village. A year ago voters approved moving the election to November, so the next time residents cast ballots will be November 2018.
In Nelsonville, Mayor Tom Corless and Trustee Danielle Pack McCarthy are not running for re-election. Corless was appointed mayor in 2008 and has since been re-elected four times. Pack McCarthy won her seat in 2015 in a tie-breaker after she and Thomas Robertson both received 90 votes.
Barring a write-in campaign, they will be succeeded by longtime Planning Board Chair Bill O’Neill as mayor and Alan Potts as trustee. Both submitted nominating petitions to the village by the Feb. 14 deadline. Nelsonville voters also will decide on Mar. 21 whether to expand the board from three to five members.
O’Neill is a retired managing director and chief global marketing officer of Standard & Poor’s Corporate Finance. He has been a resident of Nelsonville since 1979. Potts, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in Nelsonville since 2004, is a middle-school science teacher in Rockland County.
Corless could not be immediately reached for comment on why he chose not to run. In April, Pack McCarthy emailed a letter to residents alleging Robertson had acted in a “disrespectful and harassing manner” toward her and saying that Corless had showed “a lack of support.”
Pack-McCarthy told The Current Feb. 16 that she chose not to run because of the negativity she faced in the job. “I was disappointed in the level of discourse that was taking place at meetings,” which, she said, were the only occasions “that I felt uncomfortable, in all of my many ways being involved in the community. I felt that my presence on the board was important and that I was successful in speaking up for residents who previously hadn’t had their voices heard. I am hardworking and passionate, but the experience was stressful for me and my family.”
In her capacity as a soccer coach and on school committees, and in her husband’s similar roles, “we are well liked and appreciated and get a deep sense of belonging and satisfaction” from their participation, but “my experience as a board member in Nelsonville had such an opposite effect,” she explained. “I was disappointed to experience the nasty side of politics that I stressed from the beginning of my trustee term was totally unnecessary at this very local level. I felt as though simple conversations turned into hostile arguments and that my voice did not matter or count. This is so sad, and really serves as a local example of the divisiveness occurring on the national level. If we could only treat each other as neighbors no matter what the setting, so much more progress could occur.”
The Current has invited each of the Cold Spring and Nelsonville candidates to a forum to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 13, in the music room at Haldane.