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Otisville’s Newly Elected Mayor Wants to Prioritize Water Issues, Replace Sidewalks and Beautify Mainstreet

Published: June 12, 2023
The village of Otisville’s new Mayor, Brian Michael Carey, poses for a photo in his office in Otisville, New York. (Image: Judy Tao/Vision Times)

Recently, Vision Times had the opportunity to sit down with the new mayor of the village of Otisville, New York, Brian Michael Carey, to discuss his priorities as he enters his first 2-year term.

Otisville is a village in Orange County, New York. According to the 2020 census, the population of the village was 969. It is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

Carey (50), a Republican, was born in Middletown, New York and grew up in Monroe where his mother served as the Village Clerk for 37-years which he says “embedded” public service into his character.  

He had previously served the community of Mount Hope as a Councilman for eight years prior to running for mayor of Otisville. He won his election by 24 votes in a race that historically is won by only four or five votes, according to Carey.

Top three priorities

Carey laid out his top three priorities as mayor of Otisville; addressing water issues, replacing sidewalks and beautifying Mainstreet.

“As part of my campaign promise … one of the things that needs to happen here is we have bad water in Otisville,” he said, adding that, “From my experience, I can’t keep white shirts because they turn yellow from the water.”

He explained that residents get their water from wells in the village, which sits in storage tanks “down by the village park,” before it’s pumped to different households. 

Carey said that in order to address the issue federal and state funds will be needed and that he already has arranged meetings with some of his peers to discuss the best way to obtain grant money. 

“It’s not going to be an inexpensive project, It’s going to be a very expensive project. So we have to figure out a way to get grant money to do that,” he said, adding that, “That’s the first thing I want to do. Or one of the things I want to do.”

“Second, we have sidewalks throughout the village …  they are not in the best of shape, they definitely need to be upgraded, widened, they are very narrow,” he said.

The third “major” thing he wants to do is take steps to beautify the village’s downtown.

“I want to make downtown nicer looking than it is,” he said, specifically speaking to concrete blocks that surround a village owned parking lot in the village’s core. 

“They’re ugly,” he said before admitting that he is not yet confident what he will do, however he wants to “try doing something inexpensive to make it look more beautiful.” 


Carey on taxes and the economy

“I’m not looking to raise anyone’s taxes within reason,” Carey said, explaining that the village  pays taxes “to the town of Mount Hope, they pay taxes to Orange County, they pay taxes to the school district, and they also pay a village tax. So, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax.”

He said he is looking at the current proposed budget, which had not been passed yet, and hoped some adjustments could be made. 

“Ultimately, that’s the goal, not to raise taxes,” he said, adding that, “Stuff does go up, and you have to raise it a little bit, but nothing significant I guess is the word I’ll use.  No one wants to pay more taxes. We pay plenty of taxes in the world.”

Carey, a small business owner, explained that many people in the village struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, and that many small businesses didn’t make it. 

However, he is confident that the village economy is showing signs of improving.

“People are going back to work. People that were unemployed are finding jobs,” he said, also pointing out that there are many new houses being constructed in the village. “The housing market around here is going up, which that’s a good sign,” he said.  

He expressed a sense of urgency to get things done since his term as mayor is only two years. 

“I came from a four year term which you can obviously get a lot more done in four years than two years. So, every two years you are up for reelection in this spot,” he said, adding that, “As soon as you start to get your feet wet, you are running for reelection again.”


On the CCP threat

Carey acknowledged that he attended an event at his local youth center exposing the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses.

Prior to the event he said he “did not know a lot about it,” but through conversations he has learned and that the event was important to a lot of the locals.

The event did not come without problems however. 

“I believe at one of the events there actually was an internet threat, or a phone call threat,” he said but the event was held despite the threats.

“Some people might sit back and say, ‘Why in the world would you want to have an event if you were threatened?” adding that, “Because it’s that important. That’s it, no other explanation, it’s that important.”

“And if it’s that important for people that live here, then it’s important to me,” he said. 

Another event Carey is excited about is the Dragon Boat Festival which will be held in Otisville this coming June 18.

He lauded the diversity in the community. “It doesn’t matter to me where someone’s from,” he said, adding that, “If you want to come live in the community … be a neighbor, fix up your house … live here happy, peacefully … I think it’s great to have a mixture of people.”

“I think it’s great to have a mix of people, and Otisville and Mount Hope have a great mix of people,” he said.