Cilluffo survives write-in campaign from longtime park commissioner

Cilluffo survives write-in campaign from longtime park commissioner
Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Patty Katz (left) was re-elected to her seat while Great Neck Park District Commissioner Frank Cilluffo (right) appeared to survive a write-in bid. (Photos courtesy of both candidates)

Great Neck Park District Commissioner Frank Cilluffo was elected to serve another three years in his position on Tuesday, surviving a write-in campaign from former Commissioner Robert Lincoln.

Cilluffo received 1,241 votes compared to Lincoln’s 419, district officials announced.

Lincoln, who served as a park district commissioner in Great Neck for more than two decades, retired from his post last year. Over the weekend, he said, he was approached by individuals who wanted to launch a write-in campaign against Cilluffo.

“I think for 2-3 days worth of campaigning, to get hundreds of votes, is a message of some kind,” Lincoln told Blank Slate Media.

Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Patty Katz was also re-elected to her commissioner seat on Tuesday, receiving 312 votes.

“It is an honor to have the support and trust of the community and I will strive to continue the work I have been focusing on at the GN Water Pollution Control District,” Katz said in a statement following the election. “Now, along with my fellow commissioners, Steve Reiter and Jerry Landsberg, and our Superintendent Chris Murphy and our diligent staff, I will be able to oversee all of the upgrades to completion.”

Katz, nicknamed “Commissioner Treehugger” by her colleagues at the district, was first elected to the position in 2016. Preserving the environment, she said, has always been a great passion of hers.

A Great Neck resident for nearly 40 years, Katz has facilitated environmentally progressive discussions between politicians, combatted issues such as fracking and climate change, and hosted many public forums to educate the community on the environment as part of Reach Out America’s Green Committee.

Under her supervision, the district was granted the 2018 New York State Environmental Excellence Award. Additionally, Katz received the Nassau County Comptroller’s Women Breaking Ground Award in 2017, and the May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor in 2012.

Katz touted the importance of electing a commissioner with experience along with a variety of other environmental, ecological and general infrastructure knowledge.

“I think some people can think this can be a cushy job, but it’s really not,” she said. “We work very hard and we oversee a lot so you really have to know what you’re doing.

Katz will serve another three years as commissioner beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.

“During this campaign, so many residents worked to get out the vote on my behalf and I am so thankful for all of their efforts,” Katz said.

Cilluffo is a retired NYPD community affairs public safety director and a longtime resident of Great Neck. Cilluffo has a 19-year-old daughter, Francesca.

He was first elected to the position of commissioner in 2014 in a special election to fill the vacant seat that had been held by Ruth Tamarin.

Cilluffo stepped in and worked with the other commissioners to see what improvements to the park could be made that would not be at the taxpayers’ expense.

Cilluffo was also re-elected to his seat in 2019.

Programs and events that have been implemented over the past eight years include a holiday tree lighting, enhanced commuter parking, pickleball for children and community gardens maintained by volunteer students.

An active member of the community beyond being park district commissioner, Cilluffo is involved with the Rotary Club and the Lighthouse Society, and is a youth hockey coach and a member of the Memorial Day Parade Committee.

Cilluffo will serve for another three years beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.

Steve Flynn also won a third term as commissioner of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire and Water District in a race in which he was unopposed.

Flynn, a foreman for the Public Works Department in the Village of Plandome, was first elected as commissioner of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire and Water District in 2016 when he defeated incumbent Donald O’Brien.

A lifetime resident of Manhasset, he has held the position of 1st and 2nd lieutenant in his department and captain from 2000 to 2006.

The Manhasset-Lakeville Fire and Water District takes in all of Manhasset except for Plandome, half of Great Neck and some of northern New Hyde Park.

The Manhasset-Lakeville Water District serves approximately 45,000 customers who use 7.4 million gallons of water a day within the service area of 10.2 square miles, according to the water district’s website. Eighteen wells at 13 locations provide water to Manhasset and portions of Great Neck and North New Hyde Park.

Flynn will continue serving with Commissioners Brian Morris and Mark Sauvigne.

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