A STATEMENT FROM SUPERVISOR FRANK P. PETRONE
March 30, 2017
It is with a considerable sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, as well as a little bit of sadness, that I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for reelection this year.
This was a difficult decision for me to make. I have spent all of my almost 24 years as Supervisor looking ahead to the future. I have looked not at just what is right immediately, but what is right both for now and for the long term. I have worked to bring people together, to hear all sides and to forge consensus that will best serve residents our residents’ needs.
Since becoming Town Supervisor in 1993, I have consistently pursued an agenda that mirrored my first campaign slogan: People Before Politics. My agenda was to run town government in a way that made quality of life for our residents my number one priority. And now, looking back, I believe I have accomplished what I set out to do back in 1993. It is only when an elected official puts people first that politics can be used for the greater good.
I am especially proud of my accomplishments in these areas:
Fiscal management: Bringing the town back from the brink of bankruptcy; holding the line on taxes; reducing debt service from 24 percent of the operating budget to 7.1 percent; and obtaining and maintaining AAA bond ratings from all three major rating agencies.
Environment: Spearheading the first open space bond act on Long Island, as well as two others, and using the money and other means to protect 1,000 acres from development; purchase 305 acres for preservation; create nine new parks and improve 73 others.
Water quality: Implementing major measures to upgrade sewage treatment plants and reduce stormwater runoff into our harbors.
Housing: Creating more than 1,400 units of affordable housing, including the first limited equity co-op on Long Island.
Huntington Station revitalization: Taking on a challenge, one that everybody knew would take time, to reverse decades of neglect and revitalize Huntington Station, including creating Highview at Huntington from a former parking lot, bringing Avalon Bay to Huntington and the planned mixed-use buildings at Northridge Street and Olive Street.
I accomplished all of this by running a government that put partisanship aside in the interest of good government. We hired people based on their qualifications and not their party affiliation. We worked together as professionals, and, when necessary, we reached across party lines to move initiatives forward. I appreciate the efforts of all of the people who have worked with me over the years to continue moving Huntington forward and thank them for their service.
For me, it is time now to look to different opportunities, both professional and personal. I look forward to becoming a grandfather in a few months, to spending more time with my family and possibly looking at new professional opportunities.
I am proud that I will be leaving Town government, and the Town, in better shape than when I took office. I want to thank all of those who have worked with me along the way – especially all of my fellow town board members, past and present, for their input, advice and dedication. Without their teamwork over the years, these achievements would not have been possible. I want to thank all of the department heads and Town workers who day in and day out make sure our Town is running smoothly. I want to thank my family, especially my wife, Pat, for understanding that the demands of this job are 24/7 and for allowing me to focus on my public responsibilities, sometimes at the expense of family ones.
But most important, I want to thank the people of Huntington for giving me the opportunity to serve you for so many years and for demonstrating your faith in my stewardship of the Town we call home and love so much. I wish all of you peace, happiness and prosperity in the years to come.