New Hyde Park Village needs Unity on March 16

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It was with great pleasure that I recently learned that former NHP Mayor Dan Petruccio endorsed the NHP Unity Party’s slate of candidates [https://nhpunityparty.com/]  running in the upcoming NHP village election on March 16.

Dan Petruccio served as our NHP mayor from 2001-2013. Anyone who had the pleasure to talk with him learned quickly that he viewed himself as ‘one of us.’

He was deliberate with his views – careful to consider all sides, and he governed with his heart as well as with his head. He was a good arbiter of issues, and a good listener, too.  Dan treated residents with respect, very often talking with us on a first-name basis and he was always available and approachable to lend a helping hand to give an objective but compassionate ear to our concerns.

Mayor Dan also embraced citizen-participation and welcomed new ideas and citizens’ input, a quality sorely missing in recent years.

Mayor Petruccio was known for leading with a sense of fiscal responsibility. Under his administration, our village embarked on an ambitious but fiscally responsible road-improvement project which resulted in more than 18 miles of new roadway.

His administration also spearheaded efforts to revitalize our downtown corridor along Jericho Tpke. via Operation Downtown. He was a great steward when it came to preserving the suburban character of our village, as well.

Personally, I got to know Dan Petruccio when the MTA/LIRR proposed the first plan for Third Track Project several years ago.

He believed our village needed to judge the merits of the changes being proposed, with a respect for the past, combined with an enthusiasm for what could be.

He openly acknowledged that the decisions his administration ultimately would make, combined with those decisions being made by the LlRR and our state representatives, had the potential to devastate our community or revitalize it.

Under Dan’s leadership, the village board was committed to fighting for families, the residential homes and businesses that would be potentially negatively impacted by the LlRR project – including family homes and businesses along NHP’s LIRR corridor that would have been condemned via eminent domain, too.

Mayor Petruccio’s dialogue with the LlRR, in partnership with hundreds of citizen advocates who supported him, successfully persuaded the MTA/LIRR to find alternatives. And they did, thus saving the lives, homes and livelihoods of fellow residents and business owners.

Mayor Petruccio’s administration successfully restored the voting public’s confidence in village government during a turbulent time in New Hyde Park’s history. Today, we face similarly challenging times and we turn to leaders like him to inspire us.

NHP is a beautiful tapestry of people from all different walks of life and cultures. While we embrace our diversity, we also share an unshakable common bond – our love for the traditions of our small suburban community.

The impacts of the LIRR Project, the pandemic and the gradual urbanization of Nassau County, in general, weigh heavily on the hearts of many homeowners and taxpayers who live here.

New Hyde Park is, in every sense, at a crossroads.

Mayor Petruccio’s example demonstrates to me that village government can be compassionate, inclusive, forward-thinking, responsive and effective as it navigates through difficult times once again. His endorsement signals to me that the NHP Unity Party candidates are our best hope to move our village forward and together.

Thus, I urge my family, friends and fellow neighbors in the Village of New Hyde Park to join us in supporting the NHP Unity Party’s Chris Devane for NHP Mayor, Madhvi Najjar and Arthur Savarese for NHP village trustees and Timothy Jones for NHP Village Justice.

Diane Bentivegna
New Hyde Park

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