Gavilla said the biggest issues in Suffolk County are the lack of jobs and an unfriendly climate for businesses. “One of the first things I’d have to stop is the mass exodus of businesses that are leaving Long Island and New York to go to states like North Carolina,” he said. Gavilla said he’d establish a committee of local business leaders to find out what they find attractive about doing business on Long Island — and what lawmakers can do to keep them in the county. Gavilla also said that county lawmakers need to do better at balancing the budget. “Instead of cutting expenses, we just keep hitting people with these fees,” he said. “ ‘Fee’ is really another three-letter word for tax. We need to remove the backdoor taxes that we hit all these taxpayers with. The red light cameras is an example of a program that has failed . . . we need to remove that.”
Gavilla, 47, is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. The Dix Hills resident has lived in Suffolk County most of his life. Gavilla opened Long Island Professional Realty, a residential real estate agency in Commack, in 2010. He employs a team of 30 who sell homes all over Long Island. Before that, he owned a computer training school and worked for an internet service provider. Gavilla received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. John’s University. He is divorced, with two children.