News from the Peekskill Republican City Committee on its mayoral endorsement:
Chairman Vincent C. Vesce announced that at a meeting held this evening, the Peekskill Republican City Committee unanimously endorsed Frank A.Catalina as its nominee for Peekskill Mayor in this November’s municipal election.
Mr. Vesce said, “Mr. Catalina brings his lifelong Peekskill roots to this race which includes 32 years of varied experiences as an attorney.
He is a former Board of Education member, former Peekskill Corporation and I.D.A. Counsel and former member of the Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce. His community involvements include being a Life Member of the Peekskill Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a member of the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army, a member of the Christopher Columbus Society and Vice President of the Peekskill Rotary Club”.
Mr. Catalina’s view of the present City Hall Administration is that of deep concern. He said, “The past 5 years, the members of the current Administration have led Peekskill into the most serious financial condition this city may have ever faced with absolutely no plan to turn this dire situation around.” The candidate advocates a higher degree of respect for the City’s taxpayers and greater care with public money calling for an immediate termination of all outside consultants, PR firms, ‘special counsels’ and wasteful studies, saying they have cost the City millions of dollars over the course of the Foster Administration with no tangible benefit to the City. “Should the citizens of Peekskill place their trust in me, hiring a qualified and outstanding City Manager, Comptroller and Economic Development Director will be my first orders of business and will be accomplished in the first 100 days of my Administration,” he added. Mr. Catalina believes Peekskill will build and expand its tax base only through private commercial and residential investment, not through federal or state grants. He went on to say, “While we should seek out and accept such grants, the budget crisis of 2012 proves that the City’s preference for subsidized projects simply does nothing to lighten the burden on our taxpayers or expand our tax base”.
Mr. Catalina believes that with new leadership, Peekskill can be doing much better in so many ways. Catalina said, “A steady series of bad decisions continue from the current leaders in City Hall such as the debacle that resulted in the methadone clinic approval compounded by the City filing a lawsuit against its’ own Planning Commission and the decision to pursue the firehouse plan without citizen referendum which has led to valuation litigation with affected property owners. This waste of taxpayer money can and will be stopped on day one of my administration. The incumbents in City Hall didn’t foresee that their shortsighted financial decisions, like demanding $41,000 from the Peekskill Celebration and a similar amount from the Italian Feast organizers, would lead to the discontinuance of these longstanding and beloved community events. These foolish decisions are further compounded by hiring a public relations firm and “spokesperson” to deliberately misrepresent these failed strong armed tactics”.
Catalina went on to say, “Reasonable people can debate, in good faith, the pros or cons of a statue or a nature walk but what is not open to debate is the City’s fundamental obligation to provide basic services such as garbage collection, safe roads, adequate police, fire and emergency services, and a safe reliable water system. Unfortunately, the record of the administration that has been running City Hall with an iron fist the past 5 years will show that basic city services to all our citizens have been reduced, while unfair and insulting fees have been added to our tax burden. Meanwhile, long ignored road and water system maintenance has been ignored which recently reached the point of risking lives and resulting in a great loss of property. The policies of the Foster Administration that have led to Peekskill’s current state can only be characterized as an outrage to our citizens”.
Catalina concluded “I sincerely thank the Peekskill Republican Party for their endorsement and I look forward to setting forth an aggressive agenda for Peekskill’s growth in a positive campaign of ideas and look forward to a vigorous debate with the incumbents without the personal attacks that have become so prevalent in politics. The people deserve a fair discussion of the Foster-Claxton-McGowan, et al record. I believe Peekskill residents expect and deserve much more from our elected officials”.
Frank Catalina is 55 years old, a 1975 graduate of Peekskill High School, an attorney since 1981, father of three adult children and widower, having lost Paula, his beloved wife of 25 years, in 2008 to cancer. He lives in Chapel Hill.
Chairman Vesce noted that the Peekskill Republican City Committee expects to endorse candidates for City Council at their next meeting.
Interviews for City Council candidates are currently taking place. The Peekskill Republican party encourages all interested parties who share our common goals to join us in what will be an exciting new beginning for Peekskill.