The Northern Westchester Examiner

Peekskill Council Interviewing Hopefuls to Fill Vacancy

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The Peekskill Common Council is interviewing candidates interested in filling a vacancy created when Andre Rainey was elected mayor in November.

Rainey said the city received close to 20 inquiries from residents expressing interest in sitting in the seventh seat on the currently all-Democratic controlled council.

“Knowing all of these people are interested in sitting on the council, I think the next election will be amazing!” Rainey said. “A selection will be made as soon as we find the right candidate. We’re pushing for soon, of course. It’s been a month, but wonderful things take time. That’s why my photo isn’t hung up on the mayoral wall in City Hall yet. The photographer knows wonderful things take time.”

The empty council seat has two years remaining on its four-year term, but the individual who is appointed will only serve until Election Day, November 6, when a special election will take place for the final year of the unexpired term. The seat carries a salary of $8,686.

Rainey has said he believes experience “is essential to government” and “someone with a great financial background would be a great addition, but not limited too.”  In addition, Rainey said he was looking for someone who is honest, possesses management, leadership and good communication skills, and will make tough decisions.

Meanwhile, Rainey confirmed that his former campaign manager, Allyson Curtis, has been hired by the city as a deputy clerk.

“I’m extremely happy for her. She’s done great work for Peekskill, (State Senator) Terrence Murphy, and after looking at her resume, I’m excited she’s on our staff! This is why I like my city manager,” Rainey stated in an email.

Rainey also refuted criticism that the hiring of Curtis could be construed as a political favor. In a January 26 post on Facebook, former Mayor Frank Catalina, who Rainey unseated, posed the question, “Hey, what does everyone think about a politician who, immediately (after winning an election) hands out $70,000 ‘make-work’ job to their campaign worker(s)? I know it happens on a County level and in large cities like NYC or Yonkers, but how would you feel if this happened here in Peekskill? Would it matter if a Democrat did it…. or a Republican did it? Just wondering.”

“As far as nepotism goes, I can say there are some really miserable humans walking the Earth with nothing better to do, other than promote lies to the weak minds that follow,” Rainey stated. “The only time there was any nepotism, that I’m aware of, was actually a resolution on an agenda in 2017. Other than that, it’s just something negative to spread for negative conversation about our city manager, I assume. We love Peekskill, and we will get to the place this great city deserves to be in. Since January 1, everything’s been feeling much better.”

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