Letters: Cold Spring Candidates

Thank you to all who signed my nominating petition to get my name on the ballot for Cold Spring village trustee in November.

Between the heatwave and the COVID anxiety many of us feel, it was a hard time for folks to open their doors. Still, neighbors on every single village block did — as well as in the Butterfield condos, Springbrook, Forge Gate and Chestnut Ridge. Among them were members of our civic associations and institutions — the fire company, Chamber of Commerce, public library, PTA, boat club, all our standing boards, the current village trustees and both Town Board members who live in the Village. I’m grateful.

Although I am running unopposed, I still have to earn your vote. You should know who I am, what I have to offer and why I’m running.

Village elections are independent. I chose Forge Ahead for a party name because it speaks to our industrial history as a foundry town and because it’s what we have to do together, right now.

We must forge ahead in challenging financial times, making tough choices that will help us continue to deliver essential services with reduced state and federal aid.

We must forge ahead in the COVID pandemic to protect our health, maintain our sense of community and keep local businesses open.

We must forge ahead with climate preparedness initiatives that protect our riverfront and built environment.

We must forge ahead with difficult community conversations, in ways that people who hold differing views are heard, understood and work together toward solutions.

In the coming weeks, I will reach out electronically and personally, in socially distanced ways. It’s not the ideal way for you to vet a candidate, but it’s where we are this election season. We’ll make it work. Meantime, feel free to contact me at   [email protected] or text 347-721-2086.

Kathleen Foley, Cold Spring

Even though I’m running unopposed for village trustee, it’s important to me that village residents understand why I’m running.

Our needs as a village are different because of COVID-19. When we look at the budget in 2021, I’d like to see where we can all best be served and how we can plan for the future. Would emergency medical technician services for the village be beneficial? What does our library need to help the transition? How can we support parents who are working and have no child care or school? How can we support teachers who are reinventing the way they teach? I’d like to work with our residents to examine all of our evolving needs, even if the answers are difficult or the goals seem lofty.

Now is a time to be good to each other and to reinvent the way we function as a community so that we can all bear the isolation and the uncertainty. This includes examining racial injustice and intolerance in our village. Two incidents of hate graffiti in two years is too many. Now is the time to actively counteract a history of the KKK in this area. Let’s examine our policies and our attitudes and see if we’re the kind of village that really, truly welcomes all.

We all want the pandemic to end, and we have the power to keep our infection rates low. Let’s look at what works in other places and see what could be applied here. How can we better maximize our use of public spaces for residents? Can we prioritize bike lanes? What environmental concerns do we need to address to ensure an enjoyable future of our beautiful village for all? We want to see one another so let’s map the safest way to do that sustainably.

I’d also like to continue the conversation about the safest way for Main Street businesses to stay in business. I both live on Main Street and have a business here. Empty storefronts make a difficult year even harder, and we’re all struggling. So, let’s lift each other up. I realize that tourism can come with drawbacks for full-time residents, but a vibrant Main Street can give a village its heart. We’re here for you year-round, and every merchant wants to be a store that supports the character of our village. At the same time, we know Putnam County should be giving the village a percentage of the sales tax revenue that we generate and I know we all want to work toward that goal, however difficult it might be. In the meantime, it’s worthwhile to keep our Main Street a place where residents can find connection.

If elected, I’m looking forward to working with Marie Early, Fran Murphy, Mayor Dave Merandy and Kathleen Foley, all of whom are extremely knowledgeable. The current board — Dave, Marie, Fran, Steve Voloto and Lynn Miller — have given a tremendous amount of time and energy keeping our town functioning and keeping us safe. I know the hours they’ve spent. And I understand that there’s a lot of day-to-day items to deal with first and foremost in order to make these bigger initiatives possible. I’m ready to do the work.

Heidi Bender, Cold Spring

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