Friday, 14 October 2011 00:00
I really first met Ralph about 15 years ago when I was restoring the historic Coles House on Glen Street. I of course knew of the Suozzi family, Ralph’s father, Jimmy and his cousin Tom and Tom’s father Joe and later the rest of his family. Unlike the Suozzi family, I was a newcomer to Glen Cove. I have been here for only 40 years. It was easy for me to like Ralph, he was unassuming, warm, almost on the quiet side, and his humor was infectious. There was a sincerity about his nature and a clarity about his thinking that appealed to me.
I have come to appreciate the very special feeling that people have about Glen Cove when their families have lived here for generations. Something goes on when that happens and the space where they live becomes special. We see this when we study early American cultures. Neighbors become an extension of family and land becomes sacred. As I said, I am a newcomer. Maybe my daughters, having grown up in Glen Cove, may have that special feeling.
Ralph grew up in Glen Cove and I know that Ralph has that special feeling about Glen Cove. For him, this is the city of his much beloved father and his family and relatives. Having grown up in Glen Cove, Ralph’s friends are all people who grew up with him. While for others this is a neighborhood, a place to live, for Ralph, Glen Cove is an extension of his home ground.
Ralph is not a politician; he is not interested in a future career in politics. Ralph is in office because he wants to take care of his home, his family and his extended family, the city of Glen Cove.
Many years ago, I wrote a letter recommending that the term for mayor be four years, not two because it will take at least a year to just find out about the job. In my mind, Ralph has just completed his first term as mayor. His experience in office is invaluable and his connection with all the working government, local and municipal agencies is enormous. I was in Ralph’s office to pick up some signs and a funny thing happened. He had a phone call from FEMA and he thanked them for their assistance. At the end of their friendly conversation, I assume that he was asked if there was anything else they could do. Ralph replied, “Would they believe that the mayor’s million dollar mansion was damaged”. They both had a laugh. It was obvious to me that Ralph was friends with the person from FEMA and could share his spontaneous sense of humor.
Anybody who knows Ralph knows that he is a dedicated hardworking mayor. This is who he is and he knows no other way of being. Ralph loves to talk and he is brilliant in his understanding about the workings of the city. I keep asking him to simplify his discussions because he can lose me and others in his factual knowledge. Ralph’s knowledge about the workings of our city is mindboggling and a resource not to be wasted.
I have always considered myself a free thinker and would vote according to the qualities of the candidates. Whether the person was Republican or Democrat was of no concern. Please do not let what is happening in our country, make you think Republican or Democrat as it pertains to our small city. Please remember, Glen Cove is neither Democrat nor Republican but a small separate city that is trying to take care of itself and those who live here. Ralph is neither Democrat nor Republican. He is a native of Glen Cove and will do what it takes to take care of his home turf and those who love it and live in it.
Dr. Rocco J. Cirigliano