Four Cairo residents vying to fill two town board seats
Raymond Pignone has a rundown for Columbia-Greene Media four people are running to fill two open seats on the Cairo Town Board: Mary-Jo Cords and Michael Flaherty, on the Republican and Conservative party lines; Lewis O'Connor and Thomas Vasquez, on the Democratic and Cairo United lines. Incumbent Cords has lived in Greene County for 38 years, and is employed as a real estate broker and is the administrator of the Durham Reading Room. She has served on the town board for 16 years; she previously served for four years as town assessor. Cords believes Cairo needs more commercial development to provide jobs and to expand the tax base in order to lower taxes. "We must expand our infrastructure along our highways to attract such development and continue to improve Main Street to attract retail and other small businesses," she said. Cords said as a town board member she is most proud of her part in establishing the new sewer system in the hamlet and the expansion of the water district. Flaherty, 45, has lived in the county since he was 10 years old. He lives in Purling and is employed in Logistics for Universal Forest Products. Flaherty believes there are many priority issues facing the Cairo community. "I know I will be an asset to this board and town if elected. I live with an open mind and would be most proud of being a part of any advancement this town has. Living in a community where my kids and many others would like to stay after they graduate would also be amazing," he said. O’Connor, 67, is a resident of Purling. He is a lifelong resident of the county and the retired superintendent of the Catskill Department of Public Works. He formerly served as a Catskill Town Board member from 2010 to 2014. O'Connor sees the impurity of the Cairo water supply to be an important issue and says it must be addressed properly. "I would consult with experts and research the best long-term remedy to protect the health of our residents and children and everyone benefiting from our future expansions," he said. "I have many years of experience in dealing with water and sewer problems, along with knowledge of highway management." If elected, O'Connor said, he would use this know-how to benefit the Cairo community, working in conjunction with the whole town board to solve problems in a timely manner. Vasquez, 55, is a resident of Cairo and has lived in the county for 17 years. He is the owner-operator of Spirits of Cairo. "The biggest issue facing Cairo is economic development (commercial and industrial) alongside not having adequate housing for a sustainable workforce locally," Vasquez said. "I will use my 35 years of business (development, locally owned) expertise to bring business and industry to our community." Vasquez noted the Cairo Town Board needs to hear new voices from business community that will listen to one another and understand that a United Cairo is the best foot forward for everyone. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.