Many people think civic service work is thankless, but not Marion Endrizzi.
“Everyone says that what you do as community service is completely thankless, and I have always told everyone it’s not thankless at all,” Endrizzi said. “It’s so much better to be in the position to do things and not have to sit in front of different boards and requesting that things be done. I always felt it was gratifying to see what you did for your community, to beautify it for the residents, because Plandome Heights is a great community.”
Since 1985, Endrizzi has served in a host of positions in Plandome Heights, including village clerk, village trustee, mayor, Plandome Heights Planning Board chairman, Plandome Heights Civic Association president and charter member of the Plandome Heights Women’s Club.
Her most well-known title, however, is “Guardian of Plandome Pond Park.”
The park is a short walk from Endrizzi’s home on South Bournedale Road and has been an ongoing project for her.
In 2000, Endrizzi approached the Nassau County Department of Health with concerns about West Nile virus.
The park is home to Plandome Pond as well as a sump pump for the pond. Though the park was transferred to the Town of North Hempstead in 2005, Nassau County still owns the sump and has checked on it regularly.
“They’ve been coming in ever since from May to the first frost in October on a monthly basis, and they treat it with a natural larvicide because it feeds into Manhasset Bay,” Endrizzi said.
Endrizzi said she originally got into public service when her husband, John, was president of the Plandome Heights Civic Association in 1984 but was often out of town. He sent his wife as a proxy, but Endrizzi became interested in the workings of the village.
During her time as a village trustee between 1990 and 2003, Endrizzi noticed many of the village’s maple trees were in decline, so she began working on a tree planting program.
Like many North Shore villages, Plandome Heights requires residents to replace any trees removed from their property. Residents were given five tree options, like scarlet red maples and zelkova trees, to be planted on the village’s right-of-way near the roads.
Endrizzi said the village footed half of the cost and more than 350 trees have been planted in Plandome Heights because of the program.
Endrizzi also worked with the Town of North Hempstead to add decorative trees to Plandome Road at no cost to the village.
The small village didn’t have a permanent office until 1998, often meeting in officials’ homes or at Plandome Village Hall, but Endrizzi helped secure the first Plandome Heights Village Hall on Hillside Avenue where Little Shop ’round the Corner now sits before moving to the current offices on Orchard Street about one year later.
During her time as Plandome Heights mayor from 2005 through 2006, Endrizzi worked with the Long Island Power Authority to solve blackouts plaguing the village. Before the end of her term, LIPA sent crews to upgrade the village’s electrical equipment.
After nearly two decades serving the village directly, Endrizzi sought to reorganize the Plandome Heights Civic Association after years of inactivity.
While the organization was founded in 1943, about 14 years after the village was incorporated, all of the group’s records were lost once it became inactive. In 2010, Endrizzi, alongside Paula Abate, Mike and Jayne Knox, Roxanne Fitzig and Daniel Cataldo, helped revive the civic group, rewriting the bylaws.
Endrizzi was awarded back-to-back honors in 2013 when the Town of North Hempstead named her to May W. Newburger’s Women’s Roll of Honor and Nassau County gave her an Outstanding Women of Achievement award.
While Endrizzi retired as Plandome Heights Civic Association president late last year, her fight for Plandome Heights is not over.
During the election campaign, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran promised to help restore the Nassau County Police Department’s Sixth Precinct, and Endrizzi plans to hold her to that.
“To this day, we don’t have detectives and we don’t have administration down here, and the place is falling apart,” Endrizzi said. “Both Curran and Martins said they would reopen that Sixth Precinct. Let’s see what happens.”
Previously the village was covered by the Sixth Precinct, which was closed due to budget cuts in 2012, merging it with the Third Precinct, which covers from Little Neck Parkway to Glen Cove Road with Northern State Parkway as the southern boundary.
The Sixth Precinct office was converted into a community center, and former Nassau County Police Chief Thomas Krumpter said it would cost approximately $5 million annually to pay 25 officers in administrative roles to reopen the Sixth Precinct.