Written by Rick Karas Wednesday, 10 April 2013 09:59
It was the first such change at the top in New Hyde Park in a dozen years. Robert Lofaro’s 14-year journey through the village ranks took him from trustee to deputy mayor and now, the mayor’s seat.
Lofaro was sworn into office at Village Hall on Monday, April 1 while two other returning trustees were sworn in once again. Lofaro outlined some of his goals before a packed William Gill Theatre.
“We want to keep our taxes stable, we want to continue our road projects that began in 2001,” Lofaro said.
Specifically, the mayor was referring to Jericho Turnpike, saying he aims to keep it safe and pedestrian-friendly for all.
Lofaro also pledged to maintain a strong quality of life should the LIRR ever follow through with its plans to build a third track through the village. Then, of course, comes everyday life.
“We want to make sure your garbage is picked up, your streets are plowed, and your parks are here for you and your children,” said the newly installed mayor.
Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell stopped by to welcome Mayor Lofaro to office, and said the daunting job of running Nassau County truly begins at the village level.
“Mayor Lofaro has the knowledge, the experience, and most importantly, the love and dedication to the village,” O’Connell said.
Also on hand to usher in the new era while saying a fond farewell was outgoing Mayor Daniel Petruccio. After 12 years, Petruccio opted not to seek re-election, but says the village is in secure hands.
“[Mayor Lofaro] is a dear friend, who I am confident is going to lead the village for as many years as he decides to do it,” Petruccio said. “He has a team behind him that’s second to none.”
That team is full of familiar faces, as trustees Donald Barbieri and Lawrence Montreuil were each sworn in for another term on the board, both men having run unopposed.
Barbieri has served as a trustee for 13 years, and is looking forward to continuing his service to the village where he’s lived his whole life.
“I am a lifer here, as are many of my colleagues,” Barbieri said. “Sincerely, we love this place from the bottom of our hearts... we want to make a place that we have the most love for, a little better than it was before we stepped in to this place.”
Montreuil was elected as a trustee in 1997. Prior to that, he served on the New Hyde Park board of education in several capacities.
“Thank you all for the vote of confidence in our team, and for the inspiration you all give us,” Montreuil told those in attendance.
Handling the swearing in of officers was a re-elected officer himself, Village Justice Christopher Devane, now entering his second decade in his post.
“This is truly an honor and a privilege to be the Village Justice,” he said. “I consider the rest of the board not only colleagues, but friends, and I look forward to the next four years working together [with them].”
That starts with the new mayor, who stressed that the business of keeping New Hyde Park running smoothly is a job for all, whether they have an official title, or simply the title of ‘resident.’
“With your help and guidance, and with the work of my trustees... hopefully we’ll be able to continue to keep New Hyde Park a great place to live.”