Commissioner Howard Abbondodelo says that during his nine-year tenure he has helped take the Albertson Water District into the 21st Century.
Now, Abbondodelo said, he hopes to take his tenure into a fourth term.
Abbondodelo, who plans to run for re-election in December, has served three three-year terms on the water district’s three-person governing panel, and he is the former president of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association.
“I enjoy it, and I still got more work to do,” said Abbondodelo, who owns the commercial printing company Port Litho with his brother. “The more I get educated, the more I can help — I have the experience.”
Since he began, he said, he has overseen the district cycle through a number of technological advancements, including an updated website, transition to online banking and t he ongoing replacement of old meters with computerized models, which he says are more accurate.
The district has also improved its infrastructure, he said. It is replacing the antiquated water mains along McKinley Avenue with eight-inch piping in lieu of the current six inches, which will increase water pressure, Abbondodelo said. He said the district also drilled a new well, bringing its total to five, all of which have air strippers and generators.
“We’re like the district of 2016,” he said. “I pride myself because we’re always on top of our infrastructure, and if we have any problems, we solve them. We’re on top of it, and we keep up to date on everything.”
Abbondodelo was honored last week by the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association — the organization for which he served a one-year term as president in 2014 — for his service, and he received a citation on behalf of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
“Howard is richly deserving of our appreciation,” said Thomas Hand, the current president of the association and a commissioner from Massapequa Water District. The award “commemorates his leadership, guidance and concern for the NSWCA organization and the Long Island communities we serve, which is above and beyond the responsibilities of his position as NSWCA President.”
As president, Abbondodelo focused on technology for the association, he said, and helped oversee the development of the association’s website and community outreach initiatives. The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association is made up of commissioners from 21 water districts across the two counties.
As an elected official for the unincorporated hamlets of Albertson, Searingtown and parts of Roslyn Heights that make up the water district, he said he enjoys serving as a representative in the area’s most local form of government.
When he first decided to run nine years ago, he did it as a way to get involved in his community, he said.
“I’m getting older, and I was asked to run and I love it,” Abbondodelo said. “We all sit around and [kvetch] about the taxes, well I got an opportunity to help myself and the community.”
He added that Albertson focuses on keeping up on infrastructure, and accurately discerning between the times repairs are more economical than total replacement, and vice versa, helps keep the district’s cost down.
And customer service is another priority of his, he said, recalling a recent phone call he received from a resident who said had troubles with her water.
“Our superintendent personally went over there to see what the problem is,” Abbondodelo said. “I guarantee that within a half an hour that someone will be there.”
Residents seem to appreciate Abbondodelo’s service: Three years ago, he staved off a challenger for his seat in a blowout victory.
Former Mineola school board Trustee John McGrath ran against Abbondodelo on a platform of consolidating the district.
On Election Day, Abbondodelo beat him 377-26.