CATSKILL — Two candidates are vying for a Catskill Village Board seat vacated by the departure of Village President Vincent Seeley in January.
Republican Jeff Holliday and Democrat Michelle Williams are going head-to-head in a special election July 6.
Seeley stepped down after a fourth-month business-related absence, forcing the board to reorganize. Trustee Peter Grasse Jr. was appointed village president in April.
“It is after much deliberation and discussion with family, friends and colleagues that I write this letter of resignation from the Village of Catskill Board of Trustees,” Seeley wrote. “Business and personal endeavors have taken me away from the area and I am unable to satisfactorily meet the obligations for the position.”
The trustee seat, once filled, will expire in March 2022. The board consists of two Republicans and two Democrats.
Holliday is a lifelong Catskill resident and led a career as a New York state trooper for more than 30 years before retiring in June 2020, according to the Catskill Republican Club.
He graduated from Catskill High School in 1983 and Columbia Greene Community College in 1985. Holliday is also a local umpire, basketball coach and softball coach. He has two children with his wife of 26 years, Lori, according to the club.
Williams is a local businesswoman who founded Mermaid Cafe and Bittersweet Ice Cream Shop, according to the Catskill Democratic Committee. She created the Stone Soup Project during the pandemic to provide free food to families in need.
Williams was born in Catskill and attended St. Patrick’s Academy as well as Catskill Central High School. Williams is also a mother who is “committed to nurturing community spaces for young people,” according to the committee.
Grasse said after Seeley’s departure that the board discussed how to fill the vacancy and it was moved to hold a special election.
Grasse said he expects a “decent” turnout July 6 and that the board could use the extra help.
“I’m actually looking forward to it because we’re very busy around here and having that fifth person would definitely be a plus,” he said.
Village Vice President Joseph Kozloski said it’s important the seat is filled in order to maintain enough board members to conduct business.
“We all work together. We’re all in the business of getting the job done for the village,” he said. “It’s not like it’s Republican or Democrat.”