Floral Park trustees, mayor speak at Organizational Meeting

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The Floral Park Mayor & Board of Trustees Swearing-In Ceremony, April 5, 2021 (Pictured left to right: Trustee Jennifer Stewart., Trustee Archie Cheng, Mayor Kevin M. Fitzgerald, Deputy Mayor Lynn Pombonyo and Trustee Frank J. Chiara).

The Incorporated Village of Floral Park held its Annual Organizational Meeting on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Recently-elected Mayor Kevin M. Fitzgerald and Trustees Lynn Pombonyo and Frank J. Chiara were sworn-in to serve for two year terms. Jennifer Stewart was appointed Trustee to serve the remaining term of former Trustee Fitzgerald.

Trustee Jennifer Stewart

I’d like to thank Mayor Fitzgerald and the Board for this appointment. I appreciate their confidence and the guidance and support they have already given me.

I’d like to thank my family; my husband Kenny and our three kids for their support as I take on this new challenge. I’d also like to thank my family watching from North Carolina and Massapequa as well as my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jerry McGowan who are present with us this evening for their enthusiastic support of this endeavor.

I’m excited to get to work with this fantastic Board and do a small part in keeping Floral Park a great place to live.

Trustee Frank Chiara

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Community for giving me and us the honor and privilege to continue our service to this wonderful Village. Thank you to my wife and boys for their continual support and encouragement while serving as your Trustee.

Thank you to our Village staff for all that you do on a daily basis to keep our Village running so smoothly. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. A special thanks to all our volunteers here tonight who dedicate their time and energy, keeping our Village a great place to live! It is a pleasure to work with all of you.

I am looking forward to serving together with our new Mayor, Kevin and Deputy Mayor Lynn. I wish you well in your new positions. I know that you will both be great in your new roles. I always enjoy serving alongside, fellow Trustee, Archie. Archie eagerly shares his knowledge and wisdom. He is an essential, valuable part of this team. I would like to welcome Jen to our team and look forward to working with you. This Board is here to serve and work together with our residents to make sure that the Village of Floral Park continues to be a great place to live and raise a family. I am proud to be to serve our community as a member of this team.

Once again, THANK YOU for the privilege and honor of being one of your Trustees.

Trustee Archie Cheng

First of all, I would like to congratulate Kevin on his election as Mayor, and Lynn and Frank on their reelection as Trustees. We have been a great team and I am extremely happy that we will work together for the next year. I next would like to extend a warm welcome to Jen. You may not know this yet, but it is a great privilege and honor to not only represent all of the residents of this Village but to continue the legacy of so many esteemed mayors and trustees that have come before us.

I know that our varied experiences will serve us well as we lead the Village out of the pandemic, and that as Mayor Hayden always said, “that Floral Park will always be the greatest place to live, work and raise a family.”

Trustee Lynn Pombonyo

Good evening, and thank you for coming and participating in tonight’s ceremony.  You all play important roles in our Village and in our lives, and we value and deeply appreciate your contributions to both.

Tonight, we are celebrating “new beginnings,” a thought that Trustee Chiara shared with me yesterday. Our Trustees will be assigned to new departments and committees. In addition, there are over one hundred of you, volunteers, who will be appointed to Village committees tonight, and we are truly grateful. Collectively, you bring significant experience, notable accomplishments, fresh perspectives and new ideas that will enhance our planning throughout the Village in such exciting endeavors as our upcoming recreation programs and pool opening; further visioning and moving forward on our Village Streetscape Advancement Committee; endlessly inventing new ways to enjoy activities in our Village facilities, indoors and out; and maximizing the scope and impact of our Village services. Working tirelessly to reopen our Covert Avenue businesses is so important to all. And, to all our returning and new committee members, we look forward to working with you very soon.

A personal note of thanks goes to Judge Ed McCarty who has shared another special swearing-in moment with me. We’ve done this for each other through the years, and it’s all been a great honor and joy. I’m so very proud of you.

Also attending their very first Floral Park Village Board meeting by Zoom are my sister Gail and brother-in-law Tom from Monroe, NY, and my nieces Melissa and Meredith with their husbands Steven and Tom from Pine Bush, NY and Phoenix, AZ respectively. I love you, and I’m so happy you’re here with us.

Great thanks go to you, Mayor Fitzgerald, and my colleagues, Trustees Cheng, Chiara and Stewart, and our dedicated Village staff for your extraordinary leadership, expertise and service. I wish all of us the best as we go forward as the Village’s next Board of Trustees team. To our Village residents, businesses and friends, it continues to be an honor to work with you and work for you facing the opportunities and challenges that are in our future. May God bless you and our Village of Floral Park always.

Thank you, Mayor.

Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald

My fellow Trustees, colleagues, family, friends and most importantly my fellow residents. As we know Floral Park is known for many things (e.g. continuously top five safest city in New York, a beautiful recreation center etc.), but it is its residents that truly make Floral Park as our motto states as “Great Place to Live, Work and Raise a Family”. It is a simple statement but a lot of effort, cooperation, and time is required by our wonderful Village staff and residents to ensure we live up to that message each and every day. Over the course of Jen’s and my life here in the Village, we would always comment to each other, how many of the people we interacted with during the day were either a volunteer or participant in an organization here in Floral Park. It amazed us that no matter where we were in Floral Park, we would usually see someone that we knew was actively participating in keeping Floral Park what we have grown accustomed to. Since being first elected, I realized that I only knew a fraction of the residents and their efforts, as I now always see someone in the Village who is taking time out of their lives and is putting forth that extra effort to ensure that our Village remains a phenomenal place to live.   It is humbling to be chosen by such an exceptional group of people and to represent them in the governance of our Village.

I would be remiss if I did not thank a few significant people:

Trustee Pombonyo, Trustee Cheng, and Trustee Chiara, it has been an absolute privilege to have served with you and being part of an extraordinary team. It is with a sense of teamwork that we share (and I know Trustee Stewart will fit right in with her own unique style and thoughts) that I am confident we as a team will continue to keep Floral Park a vibrant and attractive community. I look forward to working with each of you in meeting whatever challenges come our way – and there will certainly be some.

To all our Former Trustees and Mayors that have come before us for having a vision during your terms for ensuring Floral Park would be the wonderful place it is today. And for your tireless efforts and personal sacrifices that you have made. I look forward to building upon the foundation that you left in order to ensure future generations enjoy the quality of life that is a hallmark of Floral Park.

The members of the Citizens’ Party, thank you for your continued support over the past 10 years including this very different campaign year. I would like to extend a special thank you to Chairman Joseph O’Grady, former Mayor Kevin Greene and Michael Cullotta for all of your efforts this year in ensuring that our campaign was a successful one.

My friends and neighbors at the Northend Civic Association for ensuring that the concerns of our neighbors are always brought to the Board of Trustees and other local officials. I enjoy our open dialogue, each month that ensures residents’ concerns are heard as well as a place where new ideas are shared. (Plus I do appreciate the various texts and calls that do assist in maintaining our Village character). With that said I would like to encourage every resident to try to get involved in the Civic Association in their section of the Village. I know that you will find it informative as well as make new friends and share a few laughs.

In the spirit of tonight in which we will be appointing residents to serve on various committees, including a number of new volunteers that eagerly accepted the roles. To you I would like to offer the following quote “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” Thank you all for putting your heart into Floral Park and for being so generous with your time as you are the backbone that supports us.

To my mother and father for instilling in their children the sense of pride in rolling up your sleeves in order to help others. Over the past ten years as a Trustee when people ask me how I find the time to do serve as Trustee, my first answer is always because I have phenomenal support from my family. Therefore, lastly I would like to thank my lovely wife Jennifer for her unwavering love, support, and understanding day in and day out. And my children Caitlin and James, thank you for all the smiles, laughs and fun times. James, I am sorry that we will not be able to do what you suggested but as Mayor I hope to do a few more 4VS TV shows which I know you will be looking forward to watching.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone, who took time out of their day to join us this evening. I look forward to representing you, my fellow residents, for the next two years as Mayor and most importantly I am proud to be a resident of this great Village we all call home.

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