CATSKILL — The village’s reorganizational meeting Wednesday night marked the end of an era as a new village president was nominated to fill the seat held by long-time president Vincent Seeley.
Peter Grasse III, a Republican, was named the new village president. He was elected in to a second term as trustee.
Seeley stepped down Jan. 8 after a four-month absence that stemmed from a new business venture. The former village president was elected to his fifth term on the village board in March 2019.
Catskill village presidents are appointed by the board of trustees and are not directly elected by voters.
Village Vice President Joseph Kozloski has served as the acting president in Seeley’s absence. On Wednesday, Grasse said he did not expect to take on this leadership role when he first ran for office.
“I just wanted to get in there and make a difference,” he said.
While campaigning for re-election, Grasse said several residents suggested he toss his hat in the ring for the recently vacated seat.
“I think that people noticed what I’ve accomplished in the last three years, to have people suggest that to me,” Grasse said.
Grasse enjoys being a part of village government, he said.
“There’s so much that can be done, so much that I can help do — I get great enjoyment out of it,” he said. “I enjoy listening to the concerns of residents and I like to think everything out before I make a decision. Trying to make the right decision all the time is key.”
Atop Grasse’s priority list is getting the village’s finances in order.
“Once the budget is out of the way, summer is here,” he said. “Obviously, I want to make sure the parks are maintained and everything is looking its best so everyone can have the best enjoyment out of them.”
The village has some major infrastructure projects on the horizon, including a new water main for Main Street and a settling pond for the water treatment plant; as well as some new development coming to the village such as Taco Bell, WellNow and more.
“I’m excited to get to work,” Grasse said.
Kozloski was nominated to continue serving as vice president.
A special election will be held at a later date to fill Seeley’s unexpired term, Grasse said.