Lynn Pombonyo, the retired superintendent of Floral Park-Bellerose Elementary School District, did not expect the phone call in November asking her to fill a vacancy on the Floral Park Board of Trustees, she said.
And she certainly didn’t expect that just a few months later she would find herself in the midst of her first campaign, albeit an uncontested one, for public office.
“There was an audible silence,” Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy said of the phone call. “And she said, ‘I’m just so taken you would consider me.’”
“I was very surprised when Mayor Tweedy asked me about working with our village government,” Pombonyo said. “He asked if I would fill that open seat and run in March. After giving that some thought and talking to the other trustees, I said yes.”
Now, Pombonyo is running unopposed as a member of the Floral Park Citizens Party to retain her new seat.
“Lynn has such a great understanding of the village,” Tweedy said. “I cant’ tell you how thrilled I was when I asked and she said yes.”
Pombonyo served eight years as the superintendent of Floral Park-Bellerose and one year as an assistant superintendent before retiring in 2012. She now teaches a course at Stony Brook University, she said.
She also coaches a Floral Park robotics team — a program said she helped start four years ago — and will be travelling with the members to the University of Arkansas in mid-May for an international championship tournament
“I’m an educator,” she said. “I loved being superintendent.”
Pombonyo grew up in Uniondale, but she had relatives in Floral Park and would often visit, she said.
“It was like my home away from home when I was little,” she said.
Pombonyo said her first goal as trustee is to move into a “fully informed position on the board.”
“You’re learning no the job, so to speak,” she said. “Everything I’ve done has been to try to catch up on prior information and the history of everything and then contribute to problem solving or the solutions.”
But Tweedy said she has a remarkably shallow learning curve.
“She’s way ahead of the game in terms of being a trustee,” he said. “She had a skillset that is unique to anyone in the village.”
Pombonyo that as trustee she will continue to keep the 1,650 children at Floral Park-Bellerose in mind.
“I still consider them my children,” she said. “It’s really about creating a future for them and making wise decisions that will continue to grow and develop our community.”
Pombonyo is running a joint campaign with the other members of the Floral Park Citizens Party who are up for re-election: Tweedy, village Justice Douglas Hayden and Trustee Dominick Longobardi.
The election is scheduled for March 18. Floral Park polls will be open between noon and 9 p.m. Residents can check their polling place at the village’s website or by calling the village at 516-326-6300.