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Filling The Gap

Shuffling continues to go on with the Massapequa Park Village Board as longtime resident Richard Begandy was recently tapped to take over the unexpired term of Jeffrey Pravato. Begandy, who is also a Village Planning Commission member, is filling Pravato’s slot as the latter was named mayor by the village board last month. The outgoing James Altadonna Jr. was in turn sworn in as Oyster Bay Town Clerk in early June, taking over the remaining term of Steven Labriola, who took over as the chief of staff for Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos after resigning from his town position back in February.

A village resident since 1984, Begandy is a former Malverne resident active in local politics. Currently the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7763, he regularly marches in the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades. When asked how he wound up getting involved with local doings, he responded that past relationships with village officials eventually evolved into his recent appointment filling in Pravato’s trustee slot.

“I work closely with the administration for both parades. Then I made some friends in different political places. It was strictly a friendship. Then I got invited to some political affairs and I had a great relationship with former Mayor James Altadonna and it just seemed to blossom from there,” Begandy explained. “I attended as many of the village board meetings as I could, so I could keep up with current affairs and what’s happening in the village. I wanted to learn about the workings of the village board. So the former Mayor James Altadonna told me some time ago that he had put my name up as a trustee.  As they say, the rest is history.”

The 77-year-old is enthusiastic when he says that he’ll absolutely run again once his current trustee term expires. Among his long-term goals are taking the fiscal responsibility the village has had in the past and continuing in that vein. Also, improving overall life in Massapequa Park, taking care of the infrastructure and making the village a more beautiful place to live in than it already is. It’s all part of Begandy’s plan to make what he considers an exemplary place to live that much better.

“[Massapequa is special because of] the people, the main shopping and a village administration that is outstanding. If you have a problem, they take care of it to the best of their ability. They just don’t let it slide,” he pointed out before adding, “The overall atmosphere of the village itself reminds me of Americana.”