Molloy Backs Falloon for Mayor
A week ago, Village of Cold Spring Trustee Ralph Falloon was running for the office of Mayor seemingly unopposed, which now stands confirmed.
But those days in between were another matter.
Newly appointed Zoning Board member Barney Molloy had, in fact, been out and about in the village over the weekend with County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra and former Trustee Airinhos Serradas, who were introducing him to village residents who may not otherwise know him.
Molloy hit the pavement to gather more than the 50 signatures needed to place his name on the ballot for Mayor of Cold Spring
Reaction to Molloy’s intention to challenge came swiftly from Falloon, who on Monday told the PCN&R exclusively that he was not expecting a contest: “I’m frustrated and disappointed. I did not get into the race to have competition.” However, Falloon conceded that Molloy has, “great qualifications.”
Village races are non-partisan.
In a new turn of events, Molloy and Falloon met Tuesday afternoon over lunch to see if they could iron out their differences. At the end, it was decided that Molloy would not put his name on the ballot, but stay with the Zoning Board of Appeals. leaving Falloon to run for Mayor run unopposed.
The impetus for Molloy to consider running? “I was concerned with all of the issues facing the village— Butterfield, Marathon and the waterfront, that things weren’t getting addressed in a collaborative fashion and the village seemed to be stuck.”
Molloy was also concerned about the Mayor’s race going uncontested; he said several residents shared that view and asked him to at least consider running.
Molloy who has extensive experience in local and state government, quickly got just shy of 100 signatures in just a few days to get his name on the ballot; however he did not turn them in to the Village Clerk.
Molloy observed he had not previously had an opportunity to meet Falloon face to face about the pressing issues in the village. “Ralph is a lifelong resident and he is trying to do the right thing.”
For his part Falloon observed that Molloy would be an asset and they would work together to try to end the divisions and move the village forward.
Falloon observed that he thought surrounding himself with people who were experts in various areas would make him a better Mayor for the village. He also said that he and Molloy feel the same way about a lot of issues and would commit to working together. Molloy and Falloon will now reach out to Michael Bowman and Stephanie Hawkins, trustee candidates, to work as a united front for the betterment of the village.
But his revelation of potential unity among candidates would put Trustee Bruce Campbell in an awkward position.
The newly formed team both acknowledged Campbell’s hard work for the village but added that ultimately, the people decide who is elected to office.
In what he said was a move of solidarity, Falloon was also getting signatures along with Historic Board member Kathleen Foley, who is a strong opponent of many aspects of the Butterfield development.
Falloon’s choice to involve Foley in his campaign has left some of his firefighting cohorts befuddled, as some at the Company still view Foley as the woman who tried to silence the fire siren, which is a local tradition that remains to this day. The siren was tested twice a day for as long as anyone could remember. Her reason to squelch the siren, at the time, was that her children’s bedrooms were dangerously close to the siren, which was tested at noon and 6 p.m.
At the time, some members of the Fire Company observed that it did not seem to make sense for her to buy a house so close to a siren and then complain about it. Falloon said of the matter at hand, “If she wants to help me, I’m not going to turn it down; my mind and heart are open.”
The Molloy-Falloon team came to pass after a whirlwind week in which it appeared the mayor’s race would be contested. Other candidates pressed on with their own campaigns.
Michael Bowman, Cold Spring Fire Company president and candidate for Trustee, said, “I think debate and discourse is good for open government in the Village. That being said, the only campaign I am concerned with is my own. I will leave the Mayoral candidates to build their own platforms, and hopefully a consensus in the Village – and not more division.”
The deadline for candidates to turn in their paperwork is Wednesday at 5 p.m. Judge Thomas Costello has also turned in his signatures.
On Wednesday morning, Hawkins and Bowman both issued statements about a fusion ticket. Bowman said, “This is what Cold Spring needs more of, coalition-building rather than divisiveness. Very happy that Mr. Molloy has reached out to Ralph, and that a plan is in the works to move the Village forward. I believe that Ralph Falloon has the support, the experience and the ability to listen to all sides of the issues, and to move us in the right direction.”
Hawkins said that she would pass on a fusion ticket: “I am ready to work for the betterment of the Village with any of the candidates running in this Village election, but I will continue to run an independent campaign and I look forward to participating in a lively, respectful race for Trustee.”