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Former police officer and business owner face off in Catskill village special election

Jun 30, 2021 6:00 am
Sam Raudins is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Catskill Village Trustee candidates, Republican Jeff Holliday and Democrat Michelle Williams, are now campaigning in advance of the July 6 special election. They are looking to fill the vacancy created by the January resignation of former Village President Vincent Seeley. Both candidates are lifelong Catskill residents, but each brings different experiences and key issues to the race. Holliday is a retired state trooper and an assistant fire chief. He said his experience in law enforcement has given him the knowledge of how public services work. “Having been in law enforcement for more than 31 years, I understand how important public safety is. Public safety is not just about policing as much as it’s about visualization and what people perceive,” he said. Holliday defines the key issues as the need for a community center to help engage area children in recreational programs as well as continued fiscal monitoring of how taxpayer dollars are used — such as upgrading the water system on Main Street. Holliday says he is “driven,” and wants to work for the people of the area as a way to give back to his community. Williams was born in Catskill and she is raising her daughter in the area as well. As a local businesswoman, she founded The Mermaid Cafe and Bittersweet Ice Cream Shop. She says her business experience puts her “in tune” with the community as she interacts with merchants, customers and tourists daily. Williams said she decided to run because the Democratic committee asked her to, but also because she saw the challenges the community faced during the pandemic after she created the Stone Soup Project in 2020, and her cafe shut down. The project turned into something where Williams was feeding nearly 200 people three times a week, delivering soup to their homes, she said. “That really made me learn a lot about the community and its needs and just touching base with different walks of life and people with all kinds of struggles and seeing them through the pandemic,” Williams said. If elected, Williams said she would seek to bring back family events that were lost during the pandemic, improve broadband internet access and advocate for safer water. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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