Paula Mahan reflects on six months as Colonie's supervisor

July is a month of fireworks, barbecues and summer fun. It also marks the sixth month that Town Supervisor Paula Mahan has been on the job. And while six months may not seem long, Mahan said she has already done a lot for the town in that short time.

Probably the biggest issue the Mahan administration has been dealing with is the estimated $18 million deficit the town has acquired over the past few years.

Despite the overwhelming nature of the shortfall, time after time Mahan has acknowledged simply that there is a deficit and that the main concern is fixing it.

In an effort to cut back on costs, the supervisor put a freeze on all non-essential spending.

That included things like subscriptions to journals in our offices at Town Hall, she said.

Other ways the town has kept expenses in check include bringing the town's Web site under town control and cutting back on how often "The Colonie Chronicle" is printed throughout the year.

The supervisor said she has worked hard to review contracts throughout the town, and, in particular, has brought the Newtonville Post Office up to date from paying only $143 per month rent to about $143,000 per year.

Mahan, along with the town Comptroller Craig Blair and Deputy Comptroller John Mattox, traveled to New York City in March to ask Munistat Investor Services to ensure that the town's credit rating would not be lowered to junk bond status.

Afterwards, the Town Board held a public hearing to discuss the deficit, and encourage input.

While the deficit is far from paid off, Mahan said, since being in office, the town has managed to save more than $900,000.

Mahan is working with state legislators to create a bill that would impose a one-time corrective tax on all residents, which she feels could make a huge dent in the deficit.

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