Nelsonville Board Candidates: What I Will Do

Lisa Mechaley, Dove Pedlosky and the incumbent, Alan Potts, are the three candidates for two seats on the Nelsonville Village Board. Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong asked the candidates to answer five questions; their responses are below. The term for the position is two years. The polls at Nelsonville Village Hall at 258 Main St. will be open from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.

Mechaley, Pedlosky, Potts

Why do you want to be a trustee?

Mechaley: I was raised by my mother and grandparents to put honesty, empathy and service first. I believe that in a democracy every person has a responsibility to participate in the decision-making processes and the well-being of the entire community must be considered for every decision made. Our village has been through a stressful year, with powerful companies and interests aiming to divide us on some issues. I’m well-situated to help forge a new spirit of collaboration and constructive engagement. A core goal is to ensure that everyone is informed and has a voice.

Pedlosky: I’m a big believer in giving back to the community. I was raised to value public service and helping others. Nelsonville is a remarkable village, with more history and beauty in 1 square mile than most places in America. I want to preserve everything that makes us so unique, while helping to ensure it continues as a vibrant community. Updating the village’s comprehensive plan provides a perfect strategy for identifying our assets and opportunities. I will strive to engage many voices. The best comprehensive plans bring together ideas from across our generations, experiences and skill sets. The more people we have thinking about our future, the better our plan will be.

Potts: I like to finish what I start. When I was originally elected, the Village Board came up with an ambitious agenda. Life is essentially pretty good in Nelsonville, but we decided some things could be improved. We began to examine our comprehensive plan, zoning, safety, sewers, parking and traffic. Later, cellphone issues came into play and we were forced to devote time to those. Basic services of the village continued uninterrupted but our ambitious plan had to be set aside for a period. Lately, as the cell tower lawsuits progress through the courts, we have had more opportunity to get back to that original agenda. I would very much like more time to work on what we started — if the residents of Nelsonville permit me the opportunity. I hate leaving things unfinished.

What strengths and experience do you bring to the job?

Mechaley: As education director for the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, I was responsible for managing the education budget, developing new programs, hiring staff, and running a summer camp that complied with Orange County Health Department regulations. At the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, I work collaboratively with organizations like Mount Sinai, the New York Hall of Science and the New York City Department of Health to develop teacher training in science. I am on the Putnam Highlands Audubon board and the educational advisory board of Constitution Marsh. I am working collaboratively with various stakeholders in Putnam County to make better use of the Cold Spring trolley.

Pedlosky: I work in higher education, where I do everything from fundraising and grant writing to managing projects with multiple teams and many moving parts. I make sure that complex projects get done on time and on budget. I ask tough questions that lead to smart solutions, I listen to my teams, and I volunteer for my share of hard work. A village trustee needs to do all these things. I am a core member of the Philipstown Cell Solutions task force, neighbors who built a comprehensive record to successfully counter Homeland Tower’s Rockledge Road proposal in Nelsonville. We pored over case law and Federal Communications Commission dockets, collaborated with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and other experts, hired an independent engineer with our own funds, retained legal counsel, and responded to every report submitted by the cell company. A consulting lawyer told us he had never witnessed such a substantial body of evidence produced by a community against a cell tower application. I will bring this same dedication to the position of village trustee.

Potts: I have been told that my strengths are integrity, intelligence, a strong work ethic, patience, commitment, loyalty and open-mindedness. Of those, I feel my sense of commitment to Nelsonville is most important for the office of trustee. My concern is the betterment of Nelsonville. I do not have any other motives/influences in seeking re-election as trustee. The job really doesn’t have any perks. I have had a plethora of interesting experiences that have helped shape and refine me. I began working at age 10 and had various forms of employment before settling on my calling as a science teacher. I have been around the world and then some. I paid for my education and managed to collect several college degrees. All these things have contributed to the person I am and the values I possess. Experience is, indeed, an excellent teacher. The experiences I gained as a trustee have, similarly, added to the mixture and fueled my commitment.

What should be done with the village-owned, 4-acre lot on Secor Street?

Mechaley: I want to preserve the shared assets that we all cherish, including the gateway that we and visitors use to access the Nelsonville trails. And many of our children use the path daily to walk to school. The only reason not to put an easement on the Secor property would be to eventually sell it. Although this might provide a short-term economic boost for the village, it is more valuable as open space for future generations.

Pedlosky: I’m in favor of adding the Secor parcel to the Nelsonville Woods conservation easement. I encourage a public referendum on the issue. This land is already in use as public open space, serving as a recreation area, pedestrian passage, and gateway to the Hudson Highlands. The [proposed Open Space Institute contract] addendum preserves Nelsonville’s right to use the land for projects with public benefit but protects the area from commercial development that would impact quality of life and compete with our reinvigorating Main Street commercial core. This is an important moment and we must plan wisely to protect and improve our natural and economic resources.

Potts: The land is village-owned and is a monetary asset of the village. It is zoned residential and thus has value. It is not owned by five elected officials or any special interest group; it belongs to all of us and any decision should be made by Nelsonville residents. It would be irresponsible to cede our rights in such a way that the village would need permission to use its property.

Nelsonville Village Hall (File photo)

Does Nelsonville need to improve relationships with Cold Spring and Philipstown? If so, what steps would you take?

Mechaley: As a trustee, I would work for what is in the best interests of Nelsonville. This will include working collaboratively with Cold Spring and Philipstown leaders to find ways to solve conflicts. The first step is building trust through open sessions on the issues that bind us at both the government and community level.

Pedlosky: The villages and town benefit from working cooperatively. But all parties need to know that they can trust the leadership of their municipal partners. I will bring that trust and respect back to the Nelsonville Village Board. I will work with my Nelsonville colleagues as well as the Cold Spring and Philipstown leadership to break logjams and work smarter together. I will listen to my colleagues and to the public, even when we disagree. We can’t problem-solve when we’re not listening to each other.

Potts: Relationships between Cold Spring, Philipstown, and Nelsonville can certainly be improved. But that is mutually dependent on respect and cooperation. It often seems that Cold Spring and Philipstown view Nelsonville as the odd, shabbily dressed person in the room. Nelsonville residents are proud that we are a separate entity and will not calmly bow to those who would suggest otherwise. Cold Spring and Philipstown need to be a bit more respectful of our status as a separate village and acknowledge our concerns regarding local issues. As a trustee, I like to think that I was slowly gaining in that area, but I cannot be completely certain.

Why should voters pick you over the other candidates?

Mechaley: I believe that complex interconnected problems are best solved by looking carefully at the whole system. In my work as a sustainability educator, we often start by creating an ideal vision of the community. From this vision we develop an action plan. I would love to know what residents envision for the future of Nelsonville. From this vision we can develop a comprehensive plan. When making decisions, I feel it is important to consider the 3 E’s: economy, environment and equity. While it feels ridiculous to have a cesspool in my backyard, we can’t bankrupt the town to connect to the sewer system. This doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t be done. We can start by finding out how other small villages have raised funds for large projects. The Hudson Highlands is one of the most beautiful places on earth and should be preserved. The green space in Nelsonville is a huge asset for the village. Although the trails are well-maintained by volunteers, the Nelsonville woods would benefit from some habitat restoration. Amphibian and bird populations tend to be benchmarks of environmental health. There is very little bird life in our woods, and the wetland areas were quieter last spring. I am eager to reach out to members of the community through social media or in person. If you see me around town, on Facebook or on Twitter, please say hi.

Pedlosky: I’m ready to work hard, honestly, and cooperatively for and with every Nelsonville resident. I can’t guarantee perfect solutions to every problem, but I promise to listen to your ideas and concerns and think creatively to find resolutions. This is a small place; we know our neighbors. We should be able to work together to improve everyone’s quality of life. From a practical standpoint, my deep knowledge of the present cell tower case and federal wireless regulations will benefit Nelsonville in this lawsuit and beyond, as we plan for the appropriate incorporation of communications technologies in our village.

Potts: I am not confined by political bias, ulterior motives or ego. We have enough of that in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. I believe deeply in public service and consider it a privilege to represent Nelsonville as a trustee. It is not a glamorous position nor does it afford any celebrity — unless you count phone calls — but it is worthwhile to me.

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18 Responses to "Nelsonville Board Candidates: What I Will Do"

  1. Frances O’Neill   March 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Ms. Mechaley says she has a cesspool in her backyard but the mayor shouldn’t bankrupt the village to connect to a sewer system. Philipstown has no role whatsoever in this critical issue: it is a Nelsonville issue working hand-in-hand with Cold Spring. If she attended village board meetings or even read the local papers, she would know this. She would also know that the mayor repeatedly emphasized that this critical project cannot proceed without substantial grants. He is working with County Executive MaryEllen Odell and state Sen. Sue Serino for their guidance in grant funding. (Serino and Odell are both directing huge sewer projects.)

    A prudent fiscal manager, the mayor discussed with the West Point Engineering Department the possibility of assigning cadets to do the initial assessment at no cost. Cesspools are a big environmental threat. The preserve near Secor Street could be subject to environmental damage. Far worse cesspools are extremely hazardous: they can collapse, endangering families and should be replaced.

    Reply
  2. Bill O’Neill   March 10, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Dove Pedlosky suggests she could oversee the cell lawsuits better than I. Last year I admired Dove’s work in the cell-tower battle and thought she might make a good trustee. She has my email it to prove it. Given that she joined a nasty insurgency coalition to run for the office, my opinion changed. Whispered slurs about me and assertions that I don’t communicate well are lies. How can Dove judge my communication skills? She never attends board meetings except when Philipstown Cell Solutions (PCS) tells her the topic is cell towers and instructs their group to attend and kick ass.

    PCS links to her campaign Facebook page, corrupting its credibility. A week ago a member of PCS sent me and my board a questionnaire that suggests I am colluding with Homeland and Verizon — another shameless and false accusation. At my request I did discuss details of settlement discussions with my board and with the Philipstown Town Board in a confidential joint executive session. Shortly thereafter we received this PCS questionnaire. Under advice of counsel, I had to instruct my board to respond “no comment” to any and all inquiries because we are in the midst of federal lawsuits. What are PCS and these candidates trying to do? Are these Secor-area residents so eager to damage my reputation that they are willing to undermine our legal defense in the Rockledge suits?

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Zwarich   March 11, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I wrote the questionnaire Bill O’Neill calls “shameless.” I am honestly baffled by this comment, and feel sort of sad about it. I have posted the referenced questionnaire and my invitation letter here: https://candidatecellquestions.weebly.com so that people can take a look and judge for themselves.

    I can attest that these were written with honest intentions and were definitely not written to slander anyone. They are meant to give all the candidates regardless of if they are on Facebook a fair chance to put their viewpoints before the PCS Facebook interest group members who are Nelsonville voters. I tried to summarize the most common questions I’ve been hearing from Nelsonville folks. The majority of the questions can be answered more generally without touching on any current lawsuit and certainly I hope no candidate would reveal privileged information. These are questions about vision and leadership. I hope all candidates will answer any of these questions they feel will help the public understand where they actually stand and what kinds of solutions to this very complex issue they find reasonable.

    Reply
  4. Alan Potts   March 11, 2019 at 8:33 am

    When was the last time Nelsonville had an election with such media coverage? My guess would be… never. This makes me wonder, “Why all the fuss over a Nelsonville election?”

    I have never read so many things regarding the Nelsonville elections. It seems like every time an edition of either paper arrives, it has a new item from a candidate or supporters. As a resident and a candidate, I read all the letters, ads, and social media posts available to stay semi-informed about what others are thinking. It is amazing what people are willing to express when they do not have to look at a person. I have read truths, half truths, partial truths, misconceptions, misinformation and a few outright lies. As a candidate for re-election as a Trustee of Nelsonville I feel I must address some of the items I have read lately. These are not in any particular order…

    Transparency — The coalition campaigning for the open seats on the board claims that they will provide more transparency regarding village affairs. This suggests that the current board is not transparent enough. They are, if one attends the meetings. I am able count on one hand the number of village meetings (not cell tower related) that the coalition has attended. When I suggested such to the coalition, they claimed the meeting dates were hard to find. Newspapers, website and telephone are apparently not sufficient notification. Maybe carrier pigeons. On a related note, it is no secret that coalition candidates overlap with the Philipstown Cell Solutions Group (PCS). In fairness, the group has done some excellent work. During the cell tower debacle, I joined the PCS Facebook group to simply follow the action and, as a Trustee, remain informed. To my recollection, any comments I posted were simply about meeting times. One day, I tried to check the page and found that I no longer had access. It is odd that a group demanding transparency would restrict a sitting Trustee’s access to information that relates to village affairs. Apparently, I do have a different definition of transparency. If the coalition’s definition of transparency includes sharing information on pending litigation (Federal Lawsuits), that is not going to bode well for the Village’s case. It also seems that a Civic Action Group has morphed into a Political Action Group with the goal of gaining control of the Nelsonville Board but there is more to running a village than cell towers.

    Mayor O’Neill — I have read/heard multiple comments about Mayor O’Neill that imply he lacks respect for other board members and the residents of Nelsonville. For the record, I have not had that experience with Mayor O’Neill. Many of the comments concern his manner of speaking and the volume of his voice. The issue that many do not understand is that Mayor O’Neill has a speech impediment (stutter) that he compensates for by raising his voice and searching for other words when he is unable to formulate his original word. Mayor O’Neill has an incredible vocabulary and when he is searching for a word that will work, it is often fairly obscure to others which leads people to assume he is being disrespectful by ‘talking over their heads.’ Another factor to keep in mind while considering the ‘disrespectful’ comment is that Mayor O’Neill has to consider the issue that a member of the village board is relaying information to others.

    Mr. Dave McCarthy — In a letter written (to another paper) by Mr. McCarthy, he alluded that his wife, Danielle, had a terrible experience when she served on the Nelsonville board. I have heard that but do not know anything about it. My concern is what Mr. McCarthy left out of the letter: There is not a single current board member who was on the board at the same time as Mrs. Pack McCarthy. This leads me to wonder why it was mentioned, and not clarified, during an election cycle. Perhaps it was an omission but it could also have been an attempt to incorrectly malign some members of the current board as misogynistic.

    In the interest of transparency, I intend to vote for Bill O’Neill and myself, obviously. Mayor O’Neill is not perfect but is a great Mayor, devotes more time to the office than any Mayor in recent history, and is well suited for the position. I am voting for myself because I would like to finish the agenda we started two years ago.

    Who you vote for is your business but, PLEASE, vote on March 19th. Thanks for reading and speak with your neighbors.

    Potts is running for his second term as a Nelsonville trustee.

    Reply
  5. Dove Pedlosky   March 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I’m similarly confused by these comments from the mayor and Mr. Potts. I don’t refer to styles of communication once in this article, except for the need to listen to others. For the record, I have been disappointed by Mr. O’Neill’s combative posture toward residents and neighboring municipalities — alternative viewpoints are not tolerated, and residents, including myself, leave public meetings feeling demoralized. This village is full of smart people who should feel empowered to participate in local government. Their voices need to be respected and included if we are to develop forward-thinking policies to preserve our beloved village.

    Reply
  6. Dave McCarthy   March 11, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I’ve sat on this for a long time now, still upset by what transpired. With all the claims by Trustee Potts and Mayor O’Neill, however, I can no longer keep it to myself.

    In November 2017, there was a large meeting at Haldane to discuss the possibility of a cell tower going up in the woods of Nelsonville. The community was concerned and the meeting did little to assuage those fears, as it seemed clear that the elected officials from Nelsonville preferred that location to the location proposed on Rockledge overlooking the Cold Spring Cemetery. I took the mayor at his word, though, and was inspired when he asked us all to “join the fight!”

    That night I didn’t sleep. Instead, I read the minutes of every public meeting I could find that had Homeland Towers on the agenda. I discovered something early on from the Philipstown minutes. They had just severed their relationship with a radio-frequency engineer after learning about a conflict of interest. The engineer had direct business dealings with some of the telecoms involved.

    I went to the Nelsonville website to read the reports and see which engineer we had hired. Turns out, it was the same guy. Important news, I thought. I made some calls to make sure I read everything correctly. I wrote an email to Alan Potts and Bill O’Neill sharing this with them. The response from O’Neill was a barrage of threats. The mayor said he would be forwarding the email on to the engineer so that he could sue me. O’Neill also claimed I had injured the reputation of the Village, and would be “exploring our options,” and that because other people were saying things about him on Facebook that he was going to explore his options there as well. You can read the email exchange here.

    This was a very difficult time for my family. These emails all came over the course of one weekend. I shared this with three lawyers who all told me that the threats by the mayor were ridiculous. This was public information shared privately with my elected officials. It has still been difficult to deal with. Since I still worry about the lengths they will go to, I will redact the name of the engineer. My family is still rattled by the threats from the mayor. Can we please elect Chris, Dove and Lisa? Alan, this is what we’re all talking about. It’s not imaginary. It’s real and we deserve better.

    Reply
  7. Peter McFadden   March 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    As a Nelsonville resident, I am thankful for this election. The vigorous debate has brought to light issues that need further exploration.

    One issue I’d like to see explored more is the cost to the village of the cellphone tower litigation. Many a town across America has been forced into an unhappy decision because it could not afford the cost of ongoing litigation.

    It’s clear that candidates from all sides are participating in this comment section. I’d like to hear from each of them. What cost is the village, if any, incurring in this litigation? How high might the price tag go? What is the plan to pay for this litigation?

    I am genuinely ignorant on this (you could call me a low-information voter!). I’d like to learn more. I think it would also be helpful if the Highlands Current could write an article on this. Thanks to all!

    Reply
    • Chris Caccamise   March 11, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      I would be happy to talk to you about this issue. If you email me at runningfornelsonville@gmail.com, I would be happy to set up a time to talk.

      Reply
    • Bill O'Neill   March 11, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      All of the information I’m providing is a matter of public record already disclosed at village board meetings.

      The village is being sued in federal court by Homeland Towers/Verizon and by AT&T. The cause: our Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) denied their application to construct a cell tower on Rockledge Road overlooking the historic Cold Spring Cemetery. The basis of the denial: the applicants failed to meet our zoning code provision (with foresight enacted some 15 years ago) that a cell tower’s visual impact must be reduced to a level of insignificance.

      The first-named suit seeks to overturn our ZBA’s decision and also seeks monetary damages. The second suit seeks only the overturn of the ZBA’s ruling.

      The distinction between the two suits is important. Monetary claims trigger our insurance coverage. The AT&T suit does not. Up to the present, there have been no costs to the village except the hundreds of hours spent responding to massive discovery and interrogatories requests by the plaintiffs. At the urging of legal counsel and the federal judge we engaged in settlement discussions to find an alternate site for the tower (prior to the suits we had contemplated an alternate on village property at Secor Street. At public hearings, the community forcefully rejected this option and thus it was withdrawn. When settlement discussions began, the plaintiffs were advised that the Secor parcel was completely off the table).

      Not able to find an alternative, these discussions were abandoned and we are headed to trial. Although, in my opinion, our zoning code defense should prevail in court, as an experienced executive I realize what is afoot. AT&T has an army of lawyers and very deep pockets; their strategy, undoubtedly, will be to crush us with legal expenses. How will all of this turn out? My crystal ball is a bit cloudy but I will keep everyone up-to-date at our public board meetings which are covered by the local press. Our next board meeting is March 20. You’re cordially invited to bring more questions to us which I will answer within the bounds of legal constraints — namely, I can’t reveal confidential information while these suits are in progress.

      Reply
      • Peter McFadden   March 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

        Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful reply. It does seem that the AT&T litigation is a looming large issue for our small village. I’d like to hear from the other candidates what their perspective is on this issue. And, it would be helpful for the Highlands Current to dig deeper into this for all our benefit.

        Reply
  8. Raquel Vidal   March 11, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    I’m grateful that there is finally full press coverage of a Nelsonville election. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    Reply
  9. Frank Haggerty   March 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I can’t figure this election out.

    It’s great that everyone has fought these hideous cell phone tower projects. There are a number of them in the area, in the Philipstown and in Fishkill areas, and they look like a prop to some mad scientist’s post-human destroyed Planet Earth. Plus the radiation, and all such man-made radiation, is potentially very hazardous, regardless of what the proponents and lawyers and investors may tell you.

    I have spoken with Mr. O’Neill on a few occasions. He seems perfectly normal and reasonable to me.

    Misunderstandings and misperceptions, particularly when different types of personalities and communication styles are involved, and particularly during these far-too-short local election cycles, can lead to distractions and tensions having nothing to do with the policies, issues, experiences, skills and methods which must be debated and known to the voter. At the same time, any hidden agendas and conflicts of interest must come out, and they must in turn be judged by the voter.

    In the past this newspaper and the PCNR, no doubt at considerable cost, have sponsored live debates, reviewable at a later time online, between local candidates. How a candidate comes across in this format helps the busy voter make the often difficult but necessary, often gut, decision of whom to vote for. Are there any videos of the Nelsonville candidates? Even a solo video of a personal presentation, as distinct from a formal or sponsored debate, released by the candidates themselves, might be helpful.

    Nelsonville has tremendous challenges — maintaining and improving the health of this community, including roadway and pedestrian safety, minimizing the introduction of harmful electromagnetic radiation, and solutions to the legacy septic issues appear to be foremost among them. The key point I tried to make during my two campaigns for village office in Cold Spring — the lack of regular and consistent sales tax revenue sharing with the local municipalities, both from the state and from the county — are a great impediment and a great disincentive toward the maintenance, let alone the improvement, of proper community services. Undoubtedly this is even more the case for Nelsonville than for Cold Spring.

    Reply
  10. Bill O’Neill   March 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Mr. McCarthy’s comment is regrettable. He has now released into the public domain his attempt to tamper with our Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), which may seriously damage the Village’s defense in the two federal lawsuits against us. Inasmuch as it is now public, I will comment.

    Here are the facts: based on information he received from Philipstown, he attempted to tamper with our Zoning Board of Appeals. His charge: the radio-frequency engineer retained by the ZBA had a conflict of interest. Independently, the ZBA examined this conflict issue and was satisfied there was none. (The ZBA operates independently of me and the board.) What had McCarthy achieved? He defamed the engineer and impugned the competency of our ZBA. I told McCarthy that if his actions resulted in a lawsuit against the Village I would contemplate action against him. This was a warning, not a threat, that he should cease and desist. The ZBA operates publicly; any concerns of any citizen, including McCarthy’s, are heard in a public forum. Mr. McCarthy, as he has throughout this campaign, operates behind the scenes, such as converting Philipstown Cell Solutions (PCS) into a political weapon for my opponents.

    He refers to our November 2017 public hearing on the possibility of siting a tower on the Village’s property at Secor Street. There was no agreement with Homeland, signed or otherwise. Instead we voluntarily held a public hearing to get the community’s — not just Nelsonville’s — opinions on this possibility. McCarthy states we did little to assuage community fears. McCarthy fails to recall the Village’s decision. At a subsequent hearing Trustee Potts read a statement announcing that, given the community’s clear opposition, the Village would not grant permission to Homeland. That’s what we call democracy.

    McCarthy and his allies live near Secor Street. Why are they are now seeking to damage the Village’s defense in the Rockledge suit?

    One more small point that may explain McCarthy’s hatred of me. He asked me to repair his sidewalk, which has an old iron pipe under the sidewalk to pump water from his basement which appeared to be the cause of the problem. I told him that we would open up the sidewalk but if his pipe caused the damage, he should pay, not the Village. Perhaps he considers that combative.

    The Village received a very strong letter from the radio-frequency engineer which, in part, says: “The allegations in this email [McCarthy’s] are incorrect and constitute an attack on my integrity as a professional engineer … as well as slander with respect to my work on behalf of countless municipalities…” This document, like most Village documents, is publicly available. I will make it available in its entirety to those who are interested.

    Reply
  11. Frances O’Neill   March 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    The candidates for mayor and trustee continuously attack my husband as mean-spirited and divisive. How did they make that judgement? Where do you get the information? Dove Pedlosky, a candidate for trustee, says she left Bill’s board meetings demoralized. But she doesn’t attend most board meetings. I do. How can someone be demoralized if they are not there? Bill’s board meetings are open and he takes questions from people, whether they are Nelsonville residents or not. Last year, Bill mentioned he admired Dove’s work on the cell tower issue and asked her to consider running for office. What changed? The candidates for mayor and trustee decided to plagiarize his entire agenda and claim it as their own. I thought our email had been hacked! Worse still, several friends have told me they heard candidates saying vile and untrue things about Bill. Is that their standard of decency?

    Reply
  12. Sean McNall   March 11, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    I’m grateful for this coverage of the Nelsonville election. I admire each member of the Nelsonville community who has stepped up in this election cycle to take on the considerable responsibility of working on behalf of their neighbors. I thank the incumbent candidate Mr. Potts, as well as the challenging candidates Ms. Mechaley and Ms. Pedlosky for their candor. From their responses to the questions posed by the Current, I get a clear sense of which candidate(s) will best represent my hopes for the village moving forward. This is fair journalism. It is all that we should expect.

    With the publication in this comment section of email exchanges between Mayor O’Neill and Dave McCarthy, and the subsequent response from Mayor O’Neill, it appears that Nelsonville voters would benefit from still more in-depth coverage from the Current in the days leading up to the village election.

    It would be helpful to me, as a resident of Nelsonville, if the paper could make sense of this public conversation in time for the March 19th vote for Mayor. The issues under consideration are just too important to be settled here in the comment section.

    Moreover, I think these two Nelsonville residents, Dave and Bill, deserve to be fully and fairly understood by their neighbors and this community on the content and context of these exchanges, absent suspicion, absent accusation and absent the threat of litigation.

    Reply
  13. Alan Potts   March 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

    When considering the character of Mayor O’Neill and Trustee Potts, please consider the following: When the Secor Street site was proposed as a cell-tower location, the three members of the board decided immediately that it would not happen if the residents did not support the idea. Legally, the deal could have happened with a signature as the land is municipal-owned and does not require ZBA approval. The revenue from the tower would have been great for a village with our budget but the village board chose the honorable and transparent route of having a public hearing.

    The hearing lasted almost two hours and was not a pleasurable experience as we were berated from many sides. But we did as we had agreed. As all know, the deal was never made. That is honor and integrity. Consider that the next village board can cede our rights to the Secor site and limit our use of the property with a similar stroke of a pen. The composition of the board matters. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Tony Bardes   March 12, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    First, she kicked me. Then I took her doll. Then she stuck her tongue out at me. Then I threw her doll behind the couch. Then my brother threw a snowball down my shirt. So I dumped his plate of goldfish. “I am telling,” I exclaimed. But mom did not listen and ALL of us got a time-out.

    Reply

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