NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Bill Monti has always been about public service in North Salem.
Monti was recently appointed to the North Salem Town Board, having lived in North Salem since 1990. The 74-year-old resident previously served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and on the town Housing Board. Monti was also a member of the Republican Town Committee. Monti previously served as general manager of Indian Point.
"In every town we live in, I've always wanted to participate," Monti said.
Monti said the biggest issue facing a quiet town like North Salem is how to attract and keep young families.
"There are people who may not be able to afford the property taxes," Monti said. "It's a major issue that most municipalities face. How do you deal with that?"
The new councilman said he is committed to staying within the state-mandated two percent cap on the property tax levy.
"It's a no-brainer," Monti said. "Maybe we can keep taxes even lower."
Getting new businesses in town is also a priority for Monti.
"We are a quiet sleepy town," Monti said. "Commercial properties contribute to the tax base without demanding a lot back in services. How do you attract that?"
Monti said he has enjoyed working with his colleagues on the town board and that everyone is committed to open and transparent government.
"You can't function properly unless people understand what is happening and what is happening," Monti said.
Monti has become a fund-raiser for the fight against ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. Monti's son was stricken with the disease in 1995 and died in 2000 at the age of 33, leaving behind a wife and two children.
Monti, along with his wife, has worked with the ALS Association, raising money and providing services for people in need. Monti has participated in the Westchester Walk to Defeat ALS since its inception in 2002.
"We are willing and happy to participate," Monti said. "Whatever aid and comfort we can provide. Everyone has a cause they stand up for."