Candidates for Hillside chancellor meet and greet Holley community

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Chancellor candidates outside the Holley Elementary School Tuesday evening.

HOLLEY – Things are really beginning to heat up in the dog-eat-dog-eat-goat-eat-hedgehog race for “Chancellor of the Chapel.”

The four, four-legged candidates for the honorary title participated in a meet the candidates night Tuesday evening outside the Holley Elementary School.

Samson the dog, Scarlett the hedgehog, Gamma the dog, and M&M the goat, are all vying for the title.

Scarlett the Hedgehog, managed by Corrinda Shepherd, demonstrates “curling up in a ball” for voters.  It’s a neat trick that she also does while floating on water. Scarlett is a loving mother who can be trusted as a caring confidant. Her diminutive size belies her fighting spirit.

The unconventional “tongue-in-cheek” election is a fundraiser being held by members of the Holley Elementary Student Council to benefit the restoration of the Medina sandstone chapel in the historic Hillside Cemetery in Clarendon. Voters can purchase as many ballots as they want to “buy” their candidate into office.

“We want students to do something outside school walls,” Elementary Principal Karri Schiavone said. “We want students to know there is a bigger world than the elementary school. This was perfect.”

M&M the Goat was curious to learn about potential political supporters. Campaign manager Fran Gaylord confessed he never envisioned himself managing an election campaign for a goat, but noted M&M would do a stellar job of “keeping the grass down” around the Chapel, if elected.

Student Council members last year raised funds to help replace the roof on the Holley Community Free Library.

Schiavone also divulged the candidate who is likely to garner her support.

“I’m partial to M&M (the goat),” Schiavone said. “Although I’m very impressed by Scarlett’s pearls. She came dressed to win.”

Scarlett the hedgehog sported a natty pearl necklace early in the evening. Other candidates offered stickers and bags of candy to voters. M&M the goat even brought along two very cute companions – baby Nigerian dwarf goats.

Samson the dog – a 200 pound English Mastiff to be exact – reveled in the lovin’ attention received from voters. His campaign manager, Craig Lane, said “no one will get in the Chapel” if Samson is Chancellor. He said his team’s strategy is, “to beat Gamma.” Rumors Tuesday evening had it that Gamma campaign manager Sandy Heise had been heard to admit, “Samson is a cute dog after all.”

Student Council advisor Sally Martin said money raised by the students will be used to fix the stained glass window at the chapel.

A political “parade” is planned at the school next week, with students walking through the halls in support of candidates. There will also be an opportunity for students to cast their own vote.

“We had our school budget vote last week, ” Martin said, when parents came to vote. “I told the students this time, you can vote.”

Candidate Gamma the Dog is managed by Sandy Heise.  His campaign staff noted he is a Catahoula Hound – the State dog of Louisiana. They additionally accused the M&M camp of playing dirty by bringing cute baby goats to lure voters. Gamma’s campaign staff is warning other candidates to, “watch out for the goat.”  Gamma, however, has his own amazing “cuteness factor” on his side.

The results of the race will be announced on Flag Day, June 14, when the new Chancellor will take office. Votes are $1 each and are unlimited.

Polling places include the Clarendon Town Hall, Holley Village Office, Community Free Library, and the offices of Dr. Dan Schiavone and Dr. Krista Wiley in Holley.

Residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Chancellor candidates outside the Holley Elementary School Tuesday evening. All candidates and voters who attended the event Tuesday evening were well-behaved.

The two-legged campaign managers, however, sometimes had difficulty containing zeal for their candidates.

Samson the Dog shared sweet treat favors with supporters.

The M&M campaign team brought along two incredibly cute baby Nigerian Dwarf goats as part of their entourage. The bold move raised the ire of the Gamma camp, in particular. M&M campaign manager Fran Gaylord downplayed any unfair effort on his candidate’s part to garner more votes. The babies had to be brought along as the are still in need of being bottle-fed, Gaylord explained.

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