Seeley resigns

Village President Vincent Seeley, pictured in this October 2018 file photo (center), resigned from the village board Wednesday in the middle of his fifth term. Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media

CATSKILL — After a four-month absence for a new business venture, the board of trustees approved Village President Vincent Seeley’s resignation Wednesday night.

The board will appoint a new village president to fill the position until the post can be put up for election in March of next year.

Seeley was elected to his fifth term on the village board in March 2019. Seeley indicated he planned to return to the board in an interview with The Daily Mail in November, stating he had been traveling out of state for a new business venture.

Seeley submitted his letter of resignation to the board Jan. 8.

“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,” according to Seeley’s letter. “Business and personal endeavors have taken me away from the area and I am unable to satisfactorily meet the obligations for the position.”

Seeley expressed pride in the village’s progress.

“It has been a great journey and I believe I left the village better than I found it and in the very capable hands of the current village board and staff,” according to the letter. “Many years ago, we coined the phrase, ‘Welcome to the ever-improving village of Catskill,’ and I believe that still rings true today.”

The community will likely see Seeley again, the now-former village president wrote.

“When I am back in the area, I will be sure to come to a board meeting in person when the COVID restrictions let up and I can sit on the other side of the table and get a glimpse into what that feels like after more than 15 years.”

The decision to ask for Seeley’s resignation was tough, Village Vice President Joseph Kozloski said.

“Being he was absent for so many meetings, we’ve had questions from the public asking him why he hasn’t been attending, so we asked what his intentions were and he said if needed, he would send us his letter of resignation,” Kozloski said. “We asked if he was going to miss more [meetings] and he said he might, so we asked if he could tender his resignation and he did so.”

Kozloski commended Seeley for his efforts.

“He’s done a very good job with moving the village forward since he got on the board,” he said. “If he ever decides to come back to Catskill, I think he would do a good job if he wanted to run for elected office again. I’m sorry that it came down to this, but if he couldn’t devote the amount of time needed for the position because of his personal life, then it’s time — we need to move on.”

Trustee Greg Smith said Seeley has done a lot for the community over the years.

“It’s sad to see him go,” Smith said. “He’s done it for a very long time and really transformed the village into what it is today and I wish him the best in his new endeavors.”

Trustee Peter Grasse said Seeley will be missed.

“He’ll be greatly missed. I learned a lot from him in the three years I’ve been there. I’ll definitely miss his energy, that’s for sure. I wish him luck in his business venture and hope to see him soon.”

Former Catskill Town Supervisor Doreen Davis, who worked with Seeley on several projects throughout the years, wished him well.

“We had a collaborative and productive relationship, as I did with the rest of the village board during my tenure,” Davis said. “We were on the phone frequently, problem solved together, worked through challenges and opportunities related to sewer, water, fire protection and all the things that are a part of local municipalities. I think what I appreciated most was his temperament. Politics at the local level is very often not fun and it seems hard to get beyond it to just do good work for the public, no matter the political party. Vinny was a good partner and has served Catskill well for a good long time. I wish him the best.”

Seeley also served one term on the county Legislature from 2013-16.

Because of the timing of the resignation, the election will not be held until 2022, Greene County Election Commissioner Brent Bogardus said.

“To go on the ballot this year, the village trustee vacancy had to occur on or before Dec. 31, 2020,” Bogardus said. “So it does not go on the village election ballot for this March. It would be an appointment of the village board until next March.”

No appointment was made at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We are in no position to make a decision tonight as far as appointment,” Grasse said at Wednesday’s meeting. “Whether we do it next board meeting or the end of March, it will happen eventually.”

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(2) comments

scottmyers

Watch this quote: "and really transformed the village into what it is today".

Unfortunately, that's not good.

Vincent Seeley, the cousin of former Sheriff Greg Seeley, badly mangled Black Lives Matters.

He similarly mishandled the county's demand to allow the demolition of 80 Bridge St.

And, then there's the defunding of the Catskill Community Center, which is related to the above.

The demolition of 80 Bridge Street, a historic building with no significant architectural flaws, was necessary to gain a technical exception to the 2% property tax caps. No Sheriff's Office means a new one is "required." We have a new and unnecessary debt of $90 million. Demolition creates a non-income parking lot, which is exactly the opposite of conclusions in the recent village study.

Vincent Seeley began blocking my FOIL requests a year ago, using staff and the village attorney Hillsinger to carry out his orders.

The village was a mess before COVID-19. Now there's a giant new hole in the ground at 80 Bridge Street instead of a restored Sheriff's Office. And there's no community center.

The Sherif's office, BTW, is required to stay in Catskill according to Local Law § 216.

Our income is mostly from tourism, but COVID-19 and tourism are antithetical.

When COVID-19 is contained it'll be like sitting in the bathtub with no water after a bath.

There are no new money businesses here. None were created during Mr. Seeley's tenure.

None are planned.

It's an error to leave the position open.

jeffersonheights222

Glad they did. He had his time. With his absence so long, the Board should have asked for his resignation months ago. He wanted his cake and to eat it, too. Sorry, Vinny, you can't!

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