Council to interview 10 applicants seeking to fill Salem’s vacated seat

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Poughkeepsie City Common Council, under the leadership of Acting Council Chairperson Natasha Cherry, will be interviewing 10 applicants who are seeking to be the next Councilmember-At-Large position.  The post became open after Sarah Salem resigned abruptly as council chairperson following a jury convicted her of a DWI charge.

Cherry issued a call for resumes and letters of interest from residents with a deadline of October 7, 2022.  Ten applications were received from residents.  Cherry distributed them to members of the council this past weekend.  The council will be conducting interviews in the coming days to choose the new member.

The council, by law, is required to name Salem’s successor by October 20, 2022.  The selected individual will become the Councilmember-At-Large and assume the role of Council Chairperson for the remainder of the unexpired term which is December 31, 2023.

The applicants, listed alphabetically are as follows:

  • Jasmaine Clay, an Army veteran and founder of a non-profit organization.
  • Paul Diem, a 34-year sales executive and union shop steward.
  • Nicholas Kalogris, an office assistant for the New York State Department of Community Corrections & Supervision.
  • Sakima McClinton, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, and previously ran against Salem as a Republican for the At-Large position.
  • Vincent Pedi, an officer with the Dutchess County Democratic Committee and serves as the Workforce Development Outreach Coach at SUNY Dutchess (Dutchess Community College).
  • Chris Petsas, an eight-year veteran of the Common Council, including serving as the chairperson.  Petsas was precluded from seeking re-election last year due to term limits.
  • Carlos Russell, the owner of the Queen City Lounge on Main Street in the city.
  • Curtis Simpson, former Poughkeepsie SNUG Supervisor, and current youth athletic coach.
  • William Smith, a retired corrections officer with the New York State Department of Corrections & Community Supervision.
  • Da’Ron Wilson, the current Executive Director of School Engagement for the Poughkeepsie City School District and previous teacher in the district.