Written by Steve Mosco, Smosco@antonnews.com Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:26
After 13 years presiding over Massapequa Park, James Altadonna stepped down as mayor last week and was appointed Oyster Bay Town Clerk.
Altadonna, who was elected to his seventh term in March, will be take over for Steve Labriola, who resigned in February. Altadonna’s name began to pop up in connection with the Town Clerk position in April, and he was nominated by Republicans to run for the job in late May.
The Village Board must name a successor to Altadonna and will do so at the next meeting, set for June 24, according to Village Administrator Peggy Caltabiano.
Until a new mayor is named, Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Pravato will step in and handle all mayoral duties.
Altadonna said that while stepping down as mayor was not an easy decision, he felt that what he set out to accomplish was nearing completion and he saw the Town Clerk position as a way to do more for the community.
“I feel the village is on very sound footing right now,” he said. “The business districts are strong and financially it is doing great. It was a good time to transition.”
But even as he leaves office, he said Massapequa Park will remain his home and he plans to always have an ear to the ground in the community.
“It will always be my home,” he said. “And if I can be of assistance and support the leadership in any capacity, it would be my pleasure to do so.”
Altadonna’s new responsibilities will include maintaining all Town records and recording vital statistics. His office is also charged with issuing numerous licenses, as well as birth certificates and death transcripts. Moving forward to his new position as Town Clerk, Altadonna said he wants to streamline these processes by updating the Town’s computer systems by taking advantage of the latest technologies.
But for Altadonna, working in a Town office or in the mayor’s office is all about communication with the residents. He feels he always put the residents first and as Town Clerk, he plans to continue that approach.
“The hardest part of leaving the job as mayor is that it feels like I’m leaving people,” he said, adding that he will miss his extremely hard-working staff. “Villages and towns, these are just destinations and places on a map. It’s the people that make the town. And Massapequa Park is a special place with special people.”