The Kingston Common Council will see two Democratic Party primary elections, highlighted by Ward 3, where incumbent Reynolds “Rennie” Scott-Childress will face off against former Alderman Brad Will, who he was appointed to replace five years ago.
Scott-Childress has served as majority leader of the Common Council since January 9, 2018. A history professor at SUNY New Paltz since 2005, Scott-Childress has coached youth soccer, taught disadvantaged students, and led rail trail cleanups. He’s also served as a member of the Kingston Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee since its inception. On the Common Council, Scott-Childress serves on the Finance and Laws and Rules committees, and according to a profile on the Kingston Democrats website, has sought to reduce the costs of city government and enhance services through targeted spending, improve economic opportunities, reduce tax rates for property owners, and help Kingston continue its path toward becoming a “healthy, appealing and welcoming city.”
Will, an architect and environmental advocate, is hoping to return to the Ward 3 seat he resigned from in April 2016 several months after being fined $1,000 by the city’s Ethics Board for voting on matters related to renovations to the Pike Plan without disclosing his role in the project as an architect. Will was elected to the Common Council in 2013 and 2015.
Will has served on the Woodstock Zoning Board of Appeals and as director of numerous boards, including the American Institute of Architects’ Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter, and the Kingston Land Trust. Will voiced opposition to the Common Council’s approval of the
Broadway and Grand Intersection Improvements Project, favoring commercial development over the municipal plan.
The other Democratic primary on the Common Council is for Ward 7, where Democrats Michael Oliveri and Laura Nordstrom are vying for a seat left open following the resignation last week of Patrick O’Reilly. O’Reilly, an unenrolled alderman, is retiring from a 30-year teaching career and resigned effective Tuesday, June 2. In a Facebook post, O’Reilly said it was a requirement of his membership in the teachers’ union with the New York State Local Retirement System that he is not employed by both at the time of his retirement. He added that he expected Mayor Noble to appoint him to serve the remainder of his current two-year term, which ends on January 1, 2022.
Nordstrom spent over a decade working in the community-based non-profit sector with the Boys & Girls Club of Kingston, RUPCO, and the YMCA of Kingston before shifting into government. She is currently a legislative aide in Hyde Park endorsed by the Kingston Democratic Committee, Ulster County Young Democrats, New York Working Families, progressive organization Run For Something, and grassroots advocacy group Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. On her website, Nordstrom counts among her issues gun violence and crime, affordable housing and rent control, in-patient mental health and detox services, sustainability, criminal justice and police reform, and community building and investment.
Oliveri has already earned the Republican and Conservative lines on the November ballot. He’s currently the public transit dispatch and operations coordinator for Ulster County Area Transit, where he’s been employed since November 2008. He also serves as a motivational speaker to foster children and “at risk” teenagers through his own MAO Inspires.