CATSKILL — The village of Catskill will hold a special election July 6 to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of former Village President Vincent Seeley.
Seeley stepped down Jan. 8 after a four-month absence that stemmed from a new business venture.
“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.”
The former village president was elected to his fifth term on the village board in March 2019. Because his resignation was submitted after Dec. 31 2020, the special election could not be held in conjunction with the regular election in March.
The board of trustees has operated as four-person board with Village Vice President Joseph Kozloski taking over in Seeley’s absence. Village Trustee Peter Grasse Jr. was appointed as the new president in April.
The Catskill Democratic Committee has nominated Michelle Williams, owner of the Mermaid Cafe and Bittersweet Catskill, to run for the seat, Kozloski said.
The Catskill Republican Committee has nominated former state trooper Jeff Holiday, Grasse said.
“He’s a lifelong Catskill resident,” Grasse said. “He was actually born in Catskill at the old hospital...It’s good to see good candidates coming forward.”
Seeley’s uncompleted term will expire in March 2022.
Village Trustee Natasha Law’s term will also expire in 2022.
Grasse and Gregory Smith were re-elected to the board in March. They outdistanced Democratic challengers Mercedes Brantley and Andres “Andy” Gonzalez.
The decision to ask for Seeley’s resignation was tough, Village Vice President Joseph Kozloski said in January.
“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.”