Richard "Fritz" Falanka graduated from Port Chester High School in 1962 and served with the 192nd Artillery Connecticut National Guard. He returned to Port Chester after his military service and went to work at Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt and Nut Company in Port Chester and later at Data Products, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut.
Fritz began his career with the Village of Port Chester in May of 1977 when he was appointed Village Clerk. On four separate occasions, Fritz was called on to serve as Interim Village Manager and was appointed Assistant Village Manager in June of 1999. On April 6, 2004, Fritz was appointed Village Manager and he served in this position until his retirement in May of 2006.
In March of 2017, Fritz was elected Mayor of the Village of Port Chester. Fritz was re-elected to a second term in March of 2019. His term runs through April 2021.
Fritz was awarded the New York State Clerk of the Year award in 1996 and is a honorary member of the New York State Association of City and Village Clerks. He served that Association as its Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and as a member of the Executive Board. During his tenure as Village Clerk, Fritz attended 29 consecutive New York State Conference of Mayors training schools for municipal officials. He also served a term on the New York State Conference of Mayors Board as the State's affiliate representative.
In 1984 Fritz co-founded the Westchester County Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association and served as its first President from 1984 to 1986.
He is an active retired member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and was elected to serve on the IIMC Board of Directors from 1994 to 1997 as the Region I Director representing the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
He is a past president of the Port Chester-Rye Brook Council of Community Service, past president of the Port Chester Babe Ruth League, past member of the Don Bosco Center Board of Directors and Port Chester Recreation Commission and was Chairman of the Village of Port Chester "Port Chester Day" celebration for over 20 years. He presently serves as President of the Port Chester Old Timers Association.
During his time as Village Clerk and Village Manager, Fritz served on various committees to place the Viet Nam Memorial, the 911 Memorial and Village Gazebo in Lyon Park. In addition, he helped establish the Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Friday Night Summer Concert Series programs for the Village of Port Chester.
Fritz is also a member of the Elks Lodge BPOE 863, Port Chester Old Timers Athletic Association and Kiwanis Club. He also presently serves as President of the Corpus Christi/Holy Rosary School Advisory Board.
In the past, Fritz has been honored by the Port Chester Old Timers Athletic Association and by the Port Chester-Rye Brook-Rye Town Chamber of Commerce and was honored as the Grand Marshal of the 2013 Columbus Day Parade.
Fritz lives in Port Chester with his wife Sandy. He has one son Steven, daughter-in-law Giovanna, grandson Michael and granddaughter Angelia.