Effective July 8, incumbent councilman John P. Hughes has resigned from his position on Rosendale’s town board after more than five years. His accession to the board via a special election in 2014 when Bob Gallagher took the position of highway superintendent tipped the majority to the Democratic side for the first time in many years. Hughes was reelected in 2015 and 2019.
“At this midyear time, I have chosen to open the seat for the next willing public servant,” Hughes wrote. “The remaining board members and supervisor Walsh will consider and appoint an interim replacement member for the remainder of this year. Then this year’s November election will allow the people to choose who will hold the position for its final year (2021) of the normal four-year term.”
Hughes reflected on his departure. “I saw an opportunity while it was still early summer. Now it’s midsummer, and getting late/mid as we go,” he said. “There is an energized and ready field of potential board members out there. I am happy to pass the baton, as it were.”
Had he been motivated by philosophical differences with other town officials of late – possibly regarding the selection process for members for a police review board, which was reportedly somewhat contentious? He declined comment, saying, “I have too much going on with tomorrow’s caucus, and other things.”
Hughes’ official statement went on to express his appreciation to his fellow Rosendale citizens for giving him the opportunity to serve in public office. “Every ounce of work and enthusiasm I put into this town has been returned to me in double. I’ve had such a great experience working with my colleagues on the board and with all the employees and volunteers throughout the government and beyond. Our department heads, our board and commission volunteers are all top-notch. I know I got lucky by serving at the time I did, with so much positive energy and shared vision.”
The Rosendale Democrats, where Hughes serves as a committee member, hosted a virtual caucus on Monday evening, July 20 to select a candidate to run in November for the seat on the Town Board being vacated by Hughes. The winner of the election will fill out the final year of Hughes’ unexpired term beginning January 1; meanwhile, the Town Board will have to appoint someone to finish out the current year.
Carrie Wykoff was the sole nominee and was approved by acclamation of the 81 registered Democrats in attendance. She will therefore be the Democratic candidate on the ballot on Election Day 2020.
Not having called for a caucus, Rosendale Republicans are not poised to have a nominee on the ballot this fall. No other townwide offices come up for election in 2020.
Founder/proprietor of Events That Matter, Wykoff is a professional events planner who also officiates at weddings as an ordained interfaith minister. She is a certified yoga instructor, has been co-chair of the Rosendale Street Festival since 2013, is director of the Advancement, Events and Enrichment Program at the High Meadow School and a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Rosendale Theatre. Wykoff is married to performance artist Doug Motel; their daughter Maitreya Motel is a 14-year-old political activist and vlogger.