At last week’s caucus, Marlborough Republicans chose their slate of candidates for the November election. For the local town positions, Scott Corcoran was nominated for Supervisor; John Alonge for Highway Superintendent; Sherida Porpiglia-Sessa and Manny Cauchi for the two open Town Council seats and Colleen Corcoran for Town Clerk.
At the county level, Tom Corcoran is running for re-election to the Ulster County Legislature for District 11 to represent the Town of Marlborough and newcomer Gina Hansut is also seeking a seat in the Legislature to represent District 10 in the Town of Lloyd/Milton. Tom Corcoran set a unifying tone at the start of the caucus, conceding that this past year was particularly challenging because of the pandemic, “but we all got through it. This community has stuck together and supported each other as I would have expected from this wonderful town and the wonderful people who live in it.”
Although new to running for elected office Gina Hansut is no stranger to politics. Her late father Danny Alfonso held a seat in the Ulster County Legislature for 26 years and her husband Paul served two terms in that same body, followed by service as the Lloyd Town Supervisor.
“Serving the public is just something that is part of me,” she said. “I have volunteered a lot over the years and with Covid, I wasn’t able to volunteer so I was really missing a piece. So this might be a way that I can continue to volunteer and be an elected official to serve the people.”
Scott Corcoran said he has a team mentality when it comes to serving on the Town Board.
“I am a team player and that’s what I will continue to do as Town Supervisor,” he said.
Corcoran has served several committees: Budget & Finance, Labor Negotiations, Building and Parks and Recreation. They have informed him on town budgets, working to keep taxes low, PBA and Highway negotiations, to name a few.
Corcoran highlighted the achievements of the board during his 10 years of service: moving town and police headquarters to the former Milton Elementary school; updating the highway salt shed and putting doors on the highway garage; sewer plant renovations that will be paid for through the federal American Rescue Plan Act; park pavilion and bathroom renovations, upgrades to the soccer and baseball fields and installing lighting, drainage, new bocce and basketball courts and erecting a new children’s playground at the park. On infrastructure the town has a new phone system, software, servers, a website and a Facebook page.
Corcoran said after the public voted to keep the TOMVAC building, he joined a committee that eventually decided to turn the building into a community center. The town received $800,000 in grants and member items that will be used to pay for most of the rehabilitation costs.
“I’m a pro-business type of guy,” he said, noting that the Bayside and Dockside projects are, “back on the docket and Butternut Falls Inn is expanding by putting in a conference center overlooking the Hudson River and a Dollar General is going in.”
Corcoran thanked his wife for her support and for her sage advice; ‘Don’t promise anything you can’t do.’
“If I tell you I’m going to do something, I do it, I get it done. That’s how I am going to work for you and it’s how I am going to keep this board moving forward and keep Marlborough moving forward,” he said.
John Alonge thanked his wife, daughter and his friends for their support in the Superintendent’s position. He also thanked the Republican Committee and especially his employees who came out to support him.
Alonge concluded; “It’s you guys that make me who I am, so thank you very much.”
Sherida Porpiglia Sessa received the nomination for Town Council. She calls herself a ‘do-er’ and believes her background as a corporate events planner will serve her well if elected to the board. In her job she has handled $30 million budgets, “so I am no stranger to the numbers and the math that it will take to keep this community moving forward. I love this community and my children go to school here, my friends are here, we participate in sports and we are very active in the community and in the school district. Most importantly I welcome the ideas of everyone in this room and everyone in the community. I will not be afraid to do the work to get them implemented.”
Manny Cauchi was nominated for the second open Town Council spot. He acknowledged the many formidable hardships the community has weathered during the pandemic.
“I would like to help us all work together to face these challenges so the people of Marlborough can continue to grow and prosper,” he said. “I am confident that I will provide the highest level of integrity, transparency, leadership and partnership to help address our town’s needs.”
Moving forward, Cauchi said his goal is to unite and strive to create a better quality of life for the community.
“I will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the position so that together we will achieve a better tomorrow for Marlborough,” he said.
Colleen Corcoran was nominated for the position of Town Clerk, a position that her husband Tom said, encompasses a myriad of duties, but first and foremost, “she is the face and the doorway to the town and the local government. Her good judgment and logical approach to her job as Town Clerk has made her an irreplaceable asset to this town.”
Visibly moved, Colleen said, “I am very choked and touched by the words of my husband, the love of my life, my rock.” She said she enjoys the job and working with all of her co-workers, citing her Deputy, Danielle Cherubini, “for all her hard work and dedication to the job. Thank you for your support and I look forward to continued service to a community that I love so much.”
Marlborough Republican Party Chairman Tom Coupart said despite the heat, 50 people attended the caucus. He praised the nominees of his party.
“There is a lot of experience, knowledge and professionalism there and I am looking forward to having these people elected to our Town Board,” he said. “I believe they bring a different view, they bring a different mentality and a younger mindset. The younger generation is starting to come into play here now, and I think young people are going to have to step up; this is their town, this is their community and it’s their time.”