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New Rotterdam board members vow to improve town

Unlike Silva, Michael Della Villa, 44, is a lifelong resident of Rotterdam and a graduate of Schalmont High School. Della Villa now serves as the president of Schalmont's Board of Education, a position he has held for the past two years.

Della Villa, who has served the board for four years, has two years remaining on his term. He said he will remain on the board for the remainder of his term but will step down as president at the board's organizational meeting in July 2008.

Della Villa said he'd been approached to run for office for the past three or four years, but decided that now was the time to take advantage of an opportunity to serve on the town board.

"I decided it was time to give back to the community," said Della Villa. "Rotterdam is a great place to live, and I decided to run for office hoping that

I can add value to the town."

Like Silva, Della Villa believes the town board should work together as a team of residents rather than as a partisan group.

"We need to define our goals and a strategy for Rotterdam and then work together to achieve those goals for the benefit of our residents by having consensus on the goals for the town and support for decisions," said Della Villa. "These actions should be non-partisan."

Increasing economic development, keeping taxes low and strengthening Rotterdam schools are some of the initiatives Della Villa plans to explore as a board member. According to Della Villa, commerce, education and senior care are all interrelated issues that affect the community.

"We need to take care of our seniors as they worked hard to take us to where we are, and we need to take care of our children because they are our future," said Della Villa. "We need to have strong school systems because they will support our businesses."

Della Villa lives off of Dunnesville Road with his wife, Debbie, who is the director of OLA Nursery School. They have three children.

Della Villa is the co-president and Partner of RockIT Science Solutions, a Latham-based technology services company.""

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