FISHKILL, N.Y . -- After fending off his opponent by a slim margin, Fishkill Supervisor Robert LaColla is committed to keeping Fishkill's deficits and taxes down.
LaColla, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Ozzy Albra by a mere 13 votes.
The supervisor got into politics by initially being a volunteer throughout town, and later joined the Comprehensive Plan Committee and became a member of the planning board.
"In that time the town was struggling financially," LaColla said. "I ran for a town board seat and then made a decision to run for supervisor on a pledge to correct the deficit and other struggles the town was going through."
LaColla said the town was not raising taxes with spending going on unabated, causing a $4.8 million deficit in the general fund and other deficits in other special districts.
"There was a real lack of business protocol throughout the town departments," LaColla said.
Upon taking office, LaColla said town employees pitched in to help erase the deficit. Residents endured a significant tax increase in the first budget, but through cuts in spending, the deficit was eliminated in three years.
LaColla said the 2016 budget implements the town's capital plan, yet still decreases spending from 2015.
"New York is an expensive place to live," LaColla said. "We have to make sure we're attractive to new businesses and younger people looking for a place to call home. We're making sure we're improving amenities."
Making town government more accessible has been another one of LaColla's priorities. Meetings were moved to the evening and our now being streamed online.
"I've found that a lot of residents do watch the meetings," LaColla said.
Fishkill is a visually beautiful place to live and also a convenient place to live, LaColla said.
"We're a transportation hub," LaColla said. "We're by an interstate highway and we have Metro North."
When he's not in office, LaColla said he enjoys visiting the schools and going hiking and at night, he said he enjoys dining at one of Fishkill's many high quality restaurants.
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