“Nassau County has lost a dedicated public servant,” said Mangano in a statement. “My wife Linda and I lost a friend of over 20 years. Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt served the residents of Nassau County with great integrity and pride. I had the privilege of serving closely with Peter in the legislature since its creation in 1996, where he distinguished himself as an outspoken advocate for the residents of the 12th Legislative District.”
Schmitt is the only person to ever represent the 12th Legislative District, which encompasses Massapequa and Massapequa Park as well as portions of Seaford and North Massapequa. Local elected officials who have worked with Schmitt expressed shock and sadness at his sudden passing.
“Peter Schmitt was a great friend,” said Congressman Peter King, whose 3rd Congressional District currently includes all of the 12th Legislative District. “I’ve never known anyone who worked, or who fought harder, for his constituents than Peter Schmitt. He was politically incorrect at times, but always honest and always dedicated.”
“We all lost a great friend,” said Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna. “I’m going to miss Peter as a friend and Massapequa lost a wonderful advocate for all of us. I am deeply saddened by the loss.”
In addition to serving as legislator representing the 12th Legislative District, Schmitt had been deputy presiding officer, minority leader and since Republicans gained back control of the legislature in the 2009 elections, majority leader and presiding officer. As the leader of the Republicans in the legislature, Schmitt often sparred politically with his Democratic counterparts. However, officials from both sides of the aisle expressed sadness and respect for Schmitt.
“I’ve known this man 17 years,” said Legislator Judy Jacobs, who served as the presiding officer when Democrats held the majority, and Schmitt served as the minority leader. “I just can’t believe it. It’s a sad day. We may have been adversaries on the way we do things in the governmental sphere, but we were always friends on a personal level. My thoughts are with his family at this time.”
“Our entire caucus is shocked and saddened by the passing of Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt,” Kevan Abrahams, the Nassau County Legislature minority leader said in a statement. “He was an iconic leader of our legislature since its inception in 1995. Through his career spent in public service he has left an indelible mark on Nassau County. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Schmitt is survived by his wife Lois, a daughter, Samantha and a grandchild, of whom he often spoke proudly.
Despite Schmitt’s penchant for speaking candidly, Congressman King recalled a man whose private persona was different from his public image.
“Peter and Lois were inseparable,” said King about the relationship between Schmitt and his wife. “In fact, just two weeks ago I had my fundraiser. The two of them were there. They were the first to arrive and the last to leave. They sat quietly at a table. Here he was, one of the top two or three people in Nassau County and if you walked in the room, he was just sitting there, a regular guy.”
According to county sources, the Nassau County charter stipulates that a special election to fill the position of legislator from the 12th District must be held within 30 to 60 days. As the deputy presiding officer, Norma Gonsalves, will fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the presiding officer, but will not officially become the presiding officer unless confirmed by the legislature. With the legislature now split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, it is not known if that will happen. Gonsalves represents the 13th Legislative District, which encompasses East Meadow, Salisbury and North Merrick.
That split could also affect next year’s budget, as the legislature must approve the county budget by Oct. 31. Because of Schmitt’s death, even if all nine Republican legislators approve it, at least one Democrat must also vote to approve it, in order to get the 10 votes needed to pass. If the budget is not approved, last year’s budget automatically goes into effect.
A wake will be held at Massapequa Funeral Home, south chapel, located at 4980 Merrick Road on Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral will be on Monday, Oct. 8 at St. Rose of Lima Church on Merrick Road in Massapequa at 11 a.m.
Saturday, 25 May 2013 00:00
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos has named Paul L. Meli as his Deputy Comptroller of Audits and Special Projects.
“Mr. Paul Meli will bring over 32 years of legal experience to the Comptroller’s Office,” Comptroller Maragos said. “Paul will strengthen the Comptroller’s Audit functions, which is critical to controlling costs throughout the county government and ensuring that county funds are well spent. He will also enhance the comptroller’s legal staff with the day to day handling of legal matters.”
Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
A recent visit from the Maureen McCormick, chief of vehicular crimes at the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, during an assembly for the seniors at Glen Cove High School, drove home the message that with every choice there is a consequence. The Choices and Consequences program, which addresses the dangers of reckless driving and driving under the influence, is brought to the high school by SAFE, Inc.’s School Committee who partner annually with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office to bring the program to the school right before the prom.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
The Glen Cove Junior Lacrosse Club celebrated their Lacrosse Day on Saturday, May 11. Under cloudy skies and the threat of rain, the seventh and eighth grade ‘Late Knights’ started the day off against Half Hollow Hills and continued to struggle offensively. In the end the lopsided score didn’t reflect the strong effort put in by the Knights. Davey Moore, Russell Perciballi, Anthony Calo and Lucas Salerno each had a goal for Glen Cove. Calo and Salerno, converted defensemen, scored their first career goals on attack. Joey Grella was a force on midfield with two assists. Eric Brown and Perciballi assisted on the other two tallies. Goalie Brendan Whitehead played well but was unable to hold off the Half Hollow attack.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Glen Cove Junior baseball/softball games are now in their fourth week with games in full schedule. Below are results of last week’s games:
The Glen Cove Fire Department Durham Bulls had three games last week. In the first game, they fell to the Hot Rods, 15-12. Matt Basil was 3-for-3 with a homer and two singles. Gavin Conway contributed a single and double as Luciano Tausaysay was also 3-for-3, with a single, double and triple. In the second game, the Bulls defeated the Blue Line Pools Iron Pigs, 13-7. Rodni Leftwich and Ian Cukro had three hits apiece in the team’s win. Leftwich homered and contributed five RBI. Conway added two RBI. Ryan Annunziato belted a go-ahead homer as Tausaysay added a triple and Finn Jenkins had an RBI. In the third game, the Delicious Pizzeria Bees outlasted the Bulls, 11-8. Tausaysay contributed two hits out of three at-bats including a double. Jenkins had a hit and two RBI as Vincent Milano was 2-for-3 with two RBI.