This article has been updated to correct the party lines that Eric Blaha is running on for Ossining town councilman. He is running on the Democratic and Working Families lines.
OSSINING, N.Y. Eric Blaha believes his experience as a lawyer representing condo and co-op communities and dealing with complex commercial litigation will help him if he is elected to become a town councilman.
"I have hands-on experience operating residential communities on a smaller scale," he said during an interview. "On a day-to-day basis I deal with board members and property owners who reach out for me to help them with infrastructure, residents' complaints and a host of issues that you would expect to deal with on a town board."
One of Blaha's primary goals if he is elected will be to keep taxes down.
"This administration has done a commendable job in reducing the tax burden to residents and I'd like to continue that," he said.
Blaha also sees opportunities to save money in consolidating more services, such as the town and village's Department of Public Works and Highway departments.
To encourage more residents and businesses to come and stay in Ossining, Blaha suggested increasing cultural resources, such as museums and art galleries.
"I think we should focus on improving what we have and further developing areas," he said.
Blaha said one of his biggest inspirations for running for office is his father, a former school teacher who died in a car accident when Blaha was 12.
"There was a tremendous outpouring from the community and I realized how much of a difference he made and it inspired me to carry out his philosophy of making a difference in the community," Blaha said.
Blaha has three sons in the Ossining School District -- a 13-year-old in Anne M. Dorner Middle School, a 10-year-old in Roosevelt School and a five-year-old in Park Early Childhood Center. Most of Blaha's volunteer experience in Ossining has revolved around his children.
"On Stash the Trash day I brought my whole family down so there were five Blahas pulling garbage out of the brook," the candidate said. "Same with the kayak launch, Earth Day and high school performances I brought my whole family."
Blaha is currently a partner in the New York City law firm LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg and Blaha. He said he doesn't think his full-time job as a lawyer will prevent him from having time to serve the town.
"I make my own time," he said. "Right now I think serving on the town board is the best avenue for me to bring my real world and life experience to this community to enhance the Ossining experience."
Blaha is running for town council on the Democratic and Working Families lines. His running mate, incumbent Geoffrey Harter is running on the Democratic, Independence Party and Working Families lines. Opponents Kim Izzarelli and Stephen Dewey are running on the Republican and Conservative lines.
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