Frank Cilluffo began serving his third term as commissioner of the Great Neck Park District after being sworn in by state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck) last Thursday night.
Cilluffo was joined by his wife, Lisa Reisfield, daughter, Francesca, and Commissioners Robert Lincoln and Tina Stellato for his induction ceremony. Cilluffo expressed his gratitude for those close to him after the ceremony.
“Firstly, I want to thank my family for all their support and help with my election,” he said. “I am not sure what I would do without the love and guidance of my amazing wife and daughter. Secondly, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank all of the voters and my supporters for taking part in the election process. It has been an absolute joy to serve this wonderful community for the last two terms and I am blessed to be able to continue my work with the Great Neck Parks Department.”
“I know that you work very hard for the taxpayers, and keeping taxes low while providing great programs and services for the parks, which are a key component in this community,” Kaplan told Cilluffo. “I think one of the prime examples of that work is the ice rink outside and seeing people young and old and seeing people using it at this hour. We know you will work very hard with your colleagues to get more done for the community.”
He also thanked his opponent, Erica Beggs, for running “a great campaign.”
Cilluffo 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. He said he worked with the other commissioners to see what improvements to the parks could be made that would not be at the taxpayers’ expense.
Involved with the Rotary Club and the Lighthouse Society, and as a youth hockey coach and a member of the Memorial Day parade committee, Cilluffo still prioritizes his post at the park district.
“I will do everything in my given powers to put the residents first, as well as enriching our parks and facilities to the community’s wants and needs,” Cilluffo said. “I will be guided by the master plan to better serve our community.”
The master plan he referred to incorporates the next steps that the district can take with its base of ideas stemming from public comments and suggestions from residents. According to Cilluffo, the plan will identify current and future programming and operations at each park and will consider acquiring additional land to expand the district.
One of the park district’s recent successes has been the Lights and Ice event at the Village Green.
According to Park District Superintendent Jason Marra, there has been a resounding turnout from residents.
Marra said that he and his staff are going to conduct more cost analysis studies in response to many requests to extend the Lights and Ice experience past its current Jan. 12 end date.
“There are ongoing costs from the rental companies and staff costs and analysis for those will be put together and present our findings to the board to see if we can continue to keep the event running,” Marra said. “We’ve gotten many requests to extend this further. We’ve picked up a lot of momentum over the vacation break, which we are very pleased about.”