New mayors elected in New Hyde Park, Floral Park

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Floral Park Trustee Dominick Longobardi.. (Photo from fpcitizensparty.com)

New mayors will take over in New Hyde Park and Floral Park next month following their wins in unopposed elections Tuesday.

Lawrence Montreuil, New Hyde Park’s current deputy mayor, will replace outgoing Mayor Robert Lofaro after receiving 196 votes. And Dominick Longobardi, a Floral Park trustee, will take over for outgoing Mayor Thomas Tweedy after winning 475 votes.

Residents of the villages also re-elected sitting trustees and elected new ones for open seats. None of them had opponents.

New Hyde Park Trustee Donald Barbieri won a fifth four-year term with 188 votes, and Rich Pallisco was elected a trustee with 194 votes to fill Montreuil’s seat.

Floral Park Trustee Lynn Pombonyo won a second full two-year term with 458 votes, and Frank Chiara won 452 votes to take Longobardi’s seat.

Chris DeVane, the New Hyde Park village justice, also won an unopposed re-election bid with 202 votes.

All the officials will be sworn in at the villages’ reorganization meetings on April 3.

Lofaro and Tweedy had both served their villages for nearly two decades. Lofaro was first elected in 1999 and Tweedy in 2001.

Montreuil, elected a trustee in 2001, could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning, but said last month that he sought the mayor’s seat to ensure continuity in the village’s efforts to “preserve and improve the suburban character of life.”

While this was his first run for elected office, Pallisco said he has been serving New Hyde Park for 16 years on various committees and in community organizations.

Pallisco, a retired Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee, is the village’s volunteer parks and recreation commissioner and serves on the Beautification Committee, Tree Committee and Long Island Rail Road Task Force.

Pallisco wants to continue his efforts to maintain the village’s aesthetics as a trustee, he said.

“I’m with a good team,” he said.

Barbieri, a lifelong New Hyde Park resident, was elected alongside Montreuil in 2001.

He could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but said last month that he was proud of spearheading a project to make Jericho Turnpike, the village’s main thoroughfare, more walkable and accessible.

Tweedy decided to step down this year after serving a third two-year term, unusual for Floral Park mayors, to oversee renovations at the village’s pool complex.

Longobardi has been a Floral Park trustee since 2009, but he said he felt the weight of the mayor’s job when he woke up Wednesday morning.

“You’re the guy, and it’s a great feeling, but at the same time you realize … everybody’s looking to you to go, ‘OK, what do you want me to do?’” Longobardi said.

Longobardi, a deputy comptroller for the Town of Hempstead, said his understanding of government work as an administrator will help him continue the Board of Trustees’ collaborative relationship with the village staff.

In his first months in office, Longobardi will lead the board in approving a new budget, forming a capital plan and presenting proposals to renovate Centennial Hall, a historic but underutilized building.

The village is also forming three new committees to strengthen relationships with its businesses, schools and churches, Longobardi said.

“I’m not a monument builder. I’m not that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s keeping government rolling the best we can, the most efficient way we can.”

Pombonyo, a former Floral Park-Bellerose school district superintendent, was appointed a trustee in 2014 and won her first full term in 2015.

She could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but touted the village’s fights against a since-shelved proposal for a video casino at Belmont Park and the Long Island Rail Road’s third track project.

Chiara, a chief investigator in the Bronx district attorney’s office, also could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

But his biography says he is a longtime coach with the Floral Park Indians, a youth sports club, and a member of the West End and South Side civic associations.

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