Joseph Roberti Sr., a Republican, is running for a seat on the Town Board. He is endorsed by the Conservative and Republican parties. He is a civil engineer, and prior to his retirement he worked for the New York Department of Transportation and the New York Thruway Authority, overseeing multi-million dollar projects. He has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals since 1989, with a gap of two years, and is currently the board chairman. Roberti served on the zoning commission, which wrote the current zoning law. Roberti has been active in the community as a member of the Lions Club, for which he helps to organize the annual Easter egg hunt; St. Joseph’s Church Holy Name Society; and is a member of the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Mary, live in Glasco. They have a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren.
If elected, what would be your top priority?
Fair assessment of taxes, expanding the tax base and open government. That covers a lot of the things I think a Town Board should do.
How does your experience make you a good candidate?
Financial oversight; I have served as a liaison with community officials. I have an engineering background, with experience in problem solving and resolving of conflicts. I have managed projects ranging from $6 million to $70 million. I was a facilitator for statewide training. I know how to communicate with people; that’s probably my strongest asset. I’m a good listener; we get input from people at public hearings (ZBA hearings) and it’s important to listen to them.
Describe the role of town government – what it should and shouldn’t do
Mainly they enact laws, interact with the planning and zoning boards, budgeting, interacting with town activities and general oversight of the town – they are the ones that control things. The board is a very important body of people.
How can the town board encourage economic growth?
Create a tax base through industrial development. Partner with state and county, find out what’s available. If there’s money available through grants; if there are low-interest or zero-interest loans we should try to take advantage of them. Also, we should work with organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, the county and state agencies – they have more experience than we do. We should partner with people and try to use them to help us. Partnership is crucial; you need to ask for help. You can’t do everything on your own.
As you see it, what are the current board’s top priorities?
I don’t want to speak for them. You would have to ask them their top priorities.
Do you think there would be negative consequences if candidates of the opposing party were elected?
People should be offered a choice, not being stereotyped by the same thinking. An elected official represents everyone. Once a person is elected, he has to forget what party he is; he represents everyone, whether they voted for him or not. I believe in being fair, and that’s what an elected official should be. You represent everyone, whether they voted for you or not. You should be trying to make your town better. I’m telling you how I feel a board member should think. I don’t want to be negative.