A Message From Supervisor Albra

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Town of Fishkill

APRIL 10, 2020


Supervisor Azem "Ozzy" Albra

Dear Fishkill Resident,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe during this trying time. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our daily lives in a matter of weeks. Many people are isolated in illness and others have been lost to this pandemic. I send my thoughts and prayers to all of those who have suffered during these dark days. Businesses and schools remain closed, and non-essential workers have been ordered by the Governor to remain home. Meanwhile, dedicated workers providing vital services face daily challenges and risks to keep the public healthy and safe. During this trying time of uncertainty, I am reminded every day of the incredible character and wonderful community we have here in the Town of Fishkill. I am grateful to be in a position where I can focus the efforts of the Town on serving and assisting our residents during this pandemic. I am confident that our amazing Town will find its way through this crisis and into a better future.

Today, April 10, marks my 100th day as Town Supervisor. After I was sworn in, I immediately set to work to fulfill the promises I made to the people of Fishkill. On my first day in office I spoke to representatives of the New York State Comptroller’s Office to request an audit of the Town’s finances. Auditors came to Town Hall starting in January, and initially performed a risk assessment. The auditors are now performing an audit, at no cost to Town taxpayers.  I asked for this audit to ensure that moving forward, both elected officials and town residents have confidence that the Town’s finances are transparent and that any changes required will be made.

Another priority goal upon my taking office was to make Town government more open and accessible to residents. To achieve this, I restructured the Town Board meeting agendas to encourage residents to come to Town Hall after work and participate in the process. I moved public comment on general Town items to the beginning of the meeting. This allows interested residents to comment at 7pm, instead of having to wait late into the evening to voice their concerns as was the case under prior Town Boards.  I also moved public comment on agenda items to immediately before the board votes on resolutions. I did this so the public can have direct input in the decision-making process.

For the first time in eight years, all Town Board members, regardless of political affiliation, are welcome to come into Town Hall at any time. They are also welcome to speak to department heads and Town employees. I even created an office space for the use of all Town Board members, something that was not available for the past eight years. These actions reflect my commitment to open and accessible government.

I have placed a high priority on keeping Fishkill government running smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have publicly encouraged citizens to write letters to the Town Clerk which are read into meeting minutes. I have also implemented a call-in system to allow residents to call into Town Board meetings and participate. Many residents have participated in these adaptive measures and remained involved in the process. These initiatives go above and beyond the measures required by law to accommodate these unusual times. I remain a staunch advocate of open government, and I want you, the citizen, to know what is going on.

Boy Scout

An aspiring Eagle Scout came to Town Hall to ask questions about government.

I have also spent time evaluating the employees of the Town. Out of more than 140 employees of the Town, I have asked for only one resignation. The Town is blessed with many talented and dedicated employees. I am committed to maintaining the continuity of government, so that the residents of Fishkill continue to receive the quality services they expect.

A difficult task at the start of my term was obtaining quality municipal legal counsel for the Town that would advise our Town on the law, without regard to politics. After due diligence and a review of many firms, Councilwoman Louise Daniele located an excellent and reputable law firm, which now represents the Town in numerous capacities.

My most important promise to the citizens of Fishkill was to change the Town’s policy regarding development. The most common complaints and concerns I have heard from Fishkill residents is that the Town is becoming overdeveloped. Traffic has grown out of hand and residents felt their voices were not being heard by the Town. I promised the people of Fishkill that if elected, I would change the Town of Fishkill’s approach and attitude toward development to an approach that insists on orderly and responsible development that is consistent with our Comprehensive Plan and the character of our great Town.

 I’ve made it clear to developers that quality projects which are good for Fishkill – which will provide new services or opportunities in the Town without placing an undue burden on taxpayers – will be encouraged. Projects focused solely on developer profit at the expense of our community and its character will not receive my support.

I believe that our Comprehensive Plan was enacted for a reason and I am reluctant to make changes in our adopted zoning unless it is accomplished through a Comprehensive Plan amendment and corresponding zoning amendments with an opportunity for residents to be heard. Consistent with that approach, I recently supported the Town Board resolution to stop the review of a petition to amend our Town zoning that had been sought by the Rolling Hills development on Route 9D. I’m pleased to report that at the April 1st Town Board meeting, the Town Board voted unanimously to terminate the Town’s review of that petition to amend the Town zoning.

The future of development in Fishkill must consider the impact on the residents who reside here and not solely the interests of developers. To ensure this remains the case, I will include funding in the 2021 Town Budget and five-year capital plan to review and update the Town Code provisions, including but not limited to: water protection, historical preservation, and removing grey areas that have been exploited by developers and their attorneys for the past eight years.

Furthering my commitment to open government was my promise to establish term limits for elected officials. At the very first Town Board meeting of my administration, Councilwoman Jackie Bardini introduced a proposal to adopt term limits for Town Board and Town Supervisor. All Councilmembers agreed that term limits are needed to ensure that new ideas and voices are heard, and to guarantee future generations a place at the table and a leading role in Fishkill’s future. At the March 18th meeting, the Town Board enacted a Local Law establishing a limit of two terms for Town Board members and Town Supervisor. Fishkill is one of a few towns in New York State that have adopted this important legislation.

Term Limits

Supervisor Albra congratulates Councilwomen Kenya Gadsden and Jacqueline Bardini after voting to enact term limits.

At the April 1st Town Board meeting the Town Board voted to create the position of Police Commissioner. This position was created the strengthen the channels of communication between the Town Board and the Town of Fishkill Police Department. We have a 24/7 part-time police department. As such, the Town faces issues that a full-time police force does not have. This new position will allow the Board in real-time to know what goes on as well as adjust and make improvements. It will help the Town move forward on its police accreditation program to make Fishkill one of the premier agencies in New York State. It is my commitment that the Town of Fishkill Police Department remains a strong, viable agency for Fishkill residents in perpetuity. I will never support an outside agency coming in to take over the policing of Fishkill.

Albra and Serino

Supervisor Albra and Sen. Sue Serino took part in a leadership panel at Dutchess County Solidarity Day in Fishkill.

I’m confident to report the Town of Fishkill is on strong financial ground. I intend to keep it that way by maintaining a strict conservative budget. While in office I have maintained the inherited 2020 budget and improved upon it. I elected not to hire a budget planner. I have taken a budgeted full-time communications position and plan to make that a part-time position. The Town has not hired a budgeted legislative aide at this time. Monies set aside for an assistant to the Assessor will not be used. Also, I am working with the City of Beacon on a shared services program to hire a joint Human Resources director. This shared service will save Fishkill taxpayers money. The Town, County and State will be affected by reduced tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If home and property values remain strong, the Town will be able to weather this storm.

I’d like to update you on projects the Town is currently undertaking or reviewing.


  • The inherited salt shed project will be continuing.
  • Councilwoman Gadsden has been assigned to oversee the roof repair on the Senior Center. The Councilwoman is also looking at ways to expand senior transportation in Fishkill.
  • The Beacon Hills water project is moving forward.
Dutchess Park Lake

Beautification at Dutchess Park Lake is underway, including the installation of an aerator to improve water quality and highlight natural beauty.

  • The restoration of Dutchess Park Lake has begun.
  • The Town Board has voted to approve a traffic control device at the intersection of Merritt Boulevard and Vanderbilt Way, which I enjoyed working with Councilman Ori Brachfeld to accomplish.
  • The developer who proposed a strip mall across from the Fishkill Rural Cemetery at Hunt’s Development on Route 9 has withdrawn their application.
  • Texaco Research Center update: the developer appears to be changing his plans regarding development on this site. The parcels are currently zoned industrial. When I spoke to him for the first time, I advised him that I think a factory would be perfect on that spot, to create local jobs for the economy. The developer indicated those were no longer his plans, and he wished for a residential community to be built on the site. This property has significant remediation problems with contamination going up to 100 feet deep. As your Supervisor I am committed to make sure that you the citizen will be heard and protected in any development on this site. The days of developers steam rolling into projects in our Town are over. Responsible development will replace the old regime of developers dictating what happens in Fishkill.

Unfortunately, due to the economic situation nationwide, the planned Town Hall parking lot project has been placed on hold. My desire to begin beautification in the Town may be temporarily scaled back, including my plan to place a bronze statue at the triangle of Route 52 and Route 82 in honor of Chief Nimham. Chief Nimham was an American Revolutionary War hero and the intersection is already designated in his honor. I was also considering a replica of the Little Red Schoolhouse at the intersection of Red Schoolhouse Road and Route 9D. While these plans may not be economically feasible at this time, I remain optimistic that we will be able to accomplish at least one of these projects in the near future.


None of this would have been possible without your support.  It is truly an honor to serve you as Town Supervisor. We are currently preparing for the eventual end of the COVID-19  restrictions so that we can immediately resume full operations at Town Hall and all other Town facilities to begin the road to recovery.

Finally, I’d like to give special thanks to Town Clerk Rebecca Tompkins who has assisted me through these challenging times. I’d also like to thank my fellow Town Board members: Councilman Ori Brachfeld, Councilwoman Jacqueline Bardini, Councilwoman Louise Daniele and Councilwoman Kenya Gadsden. We will not agree on everything, but we do agree that Fishkill is a great community to serve, and we are all honored to serve you. With that common goal, we look forward to continuing to serve you in Town government.


Azem “Ozzy” Albra

Town Supervisor