Patch: Why did you decide to run for election?
Tom Diana: The reason I decided to run for Highway Superintendent is because I wanted to get back into public service. My skill set in this department I feel would best service the community. I did not however venture into this lightly or because of the salary. I asked permission from the current highway superintendent to meet with himself, his personnel, tour the facilities, went out during storm activities, took the interest in all aspects of the job.
Patch: What personal or professional experiences qualify you to serve as highway superintendent?
Diana: I possess a very diverse skill set which best represents the office that includes but is not limited to some of the following examples:
- Management of civil service personnel
- budgeting, bid and NYS and federal grant writing
- Expansive mechanical and construction work
- Heavy equipment mechanic and operator
- Emergency management and planning
Diana: Of course it will always be funding, safety and roadways.
With regards to funding of the highway department, the $4.9 million to takes to run this department, 91 percent of the revenues are from taxes. Another 9 percent of which is the overall town budget. Almost 65 percent of the highway budget is salary and compensation. This does not leave a lot of funds to work with. I will work with the available monies to get the job right the first time. I will not give the residents of Yorktown the "pie in the sky promises" which even with capital bonding will increase taxes dramatically.
Safety is one of my priorities. The residents expect and deserve that the roadways be maintained. I have spoken with many residents. They want "clear, clean and most of all safe roads for all seasons." Our children, seniors and residents safely will always be paramount.
Roadways, the paving of roads. This is always a concern when speaking to residents. Their question is almost always, when is my road going to get paved? Starting on day one, I will implement a paving condition index, which will prioritize the road surface conditions, going from the worst to the best. This will enable us to pave the worst and most hazardous roads first. Thus giving the residents an idea of when their roads would be paved. It will also help us allocate more funding.
Patch: Describe your campaign platform or how you differentiate yourself from your opponent's platform?
Diana: My opponent has termed the highway superintendent's job as management or executive position. This is clearly not the case. He seems to think that you can sit in your office behind your desk and delegate. That somehow the job will get done. This cannot be further from the truth. Mr. [Eric] DiBartolo has been very successful running the highway department because he is engaged in all aspects of the job. I plan to be just as engaged with the community, employees and job.
Patch: Should you be re-elected, what would you like to achieve over the course of your term?
Diana: I would like to achieve a plan that would incorporate technology to assist the residents and the highway department by locating and identifying problems such as: pot holes, drainage, trees down – just a few examples. We also must continue to update and improve our fleet. Try to replace less efficient vehicles with clean burning ones. This will help reduce fuel consumption and decrease our carbon boot print.
Patch: Is there anything we haven't asked you that you would like the public to know about your or your candidacy?
Diana: First and foremost, I believe in honesty, trust and accountability. I am not the so called "seasoned politician" nor am I the man that sits on the town board. I am the man who can deliver on performance. The Highway Superintendent needs to be honest, trusted and held accountable for his actions. This is how you earn the respect of the people and the employees in this department. Finally, I will also work hand in hand with the town board and our community to assist them with their concerns, issues and suggestions.