Mount Pleasant Dems Announce Full Slate for Town Board Election

Mount Pleasant
Francesca Hagadus-McHale, Evan Echenthal and Joe Bonanno are the Democratic candidates for the Mount Pleasant Town Board this year.

The Mount Pleasant Democratic Committee will run a full ticket for Town Board this year, the first time in years the party will contest the supervisor’s seat.

Late last week the committee revealed it had nominated Valhalla Fire Commissioner and 40-year town resident Joe Bonanno to take on Carl Fulgenzi for supervisor next fall. He will be accompanied on the slate by former councilwoman Francesca Hagadus-McHale and political newcomer Evan Echenthal.

Bonanno, 58, who joined the fire department shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said he has enjoyed community service, having also volunteered as a CYO basketball coach and Boy Scout leader. He wants to continue to give back by working with all town residents and focus on public safety and keeping taxes low by broadening the tax base.

“This is the time to show that local government can be accountable and can get things done, and it’s a way to sort of ladder up and show that to get rid of these political differences between us all, and show that things can get done locally and it’s time to make a difference,” said Bonanno, who was a longtime Nestle employee and most recently director of sales and revenue management with the Buitoni food company.

Francesca Hagadus-McHale, center, was surrounded by supporters who were thrilled to see her become the first Democrat in about 30 years get elected to the Mount Pleasant Town Board.

Hagadus-McHale, 67, who surprised in a 2018 special election to become the first Democrat on the board in 30 years before being defeated the following year, said she wanted to stress greater transparency and reaching out to residents throughout the town.

The retired teacher said that running alongside strong, well-known community members will give the trio a good shot at balancing the board.

“I’ve always felt we need to be more united as a town, that there are people who don’t even know that they live in Mount Pleasant,” Hagadus-McHale said. “So that is one of the things that we want to work on, to bring people together.”

Echenthal, 55, an attorney and 15-year town resident in the unincorporated section of town near the New Castle border, said he finds that residents outside the hamlets are often forgotten. Members of the Democratic ticket intend to reach out to all residents to address their needs, he said.

Carl Fulgenzi
Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi

Fulgenzi, supervisor for more than six years, said he will run for re-election. He pointed to the town’s strong financial standing while maintaining taxes and tackling multiple projects as key accomplishments.

“There are too many things going on,” Fulgenzi said. “I have a lot to finish up before I get out of here.”

He said incumbent councilmembers Laurie Smalley and Tom Sialiano are both interested in running again but their candidacies are not official.