A photo of Mayor Pellegrino taken in 1987.
After 34 years as mayor of the Village of Port Washington North, Tom Pellegrino announced that he will not seek re-election this March. "I'm going to miss it," he said, "but after so many years, it was just time." He added, "I do so with a slight bit of remorse, but also with a great deal of pride and joy."
The mayor feels that he has passed the mantle of leadership to three talented and dedicated people, three current trustees, Bob Weitzner, who will run for mayor, Mike Schenkler and Steve Cohen. Trustee Gary Levi, who has been a trustee for 11 years, announced that he too is stepping aside. Mayor Pellegrino noted that over the years Levi has earned his respect, appreciation and affection.
A picture taken at the opening of La Stella restaurant in the Delco Shopping Center. The board has had the difficult task of keeping residents and business people happy, though their interests sometimes conflict.
During his 34 years as mayor, and one as trustee, Mayor Pellegrino worked extremely hard, as Port North is not exactly a "sleepy" North Shore village. With its relatively large number of industrial and retail properties, including Soundview Shopping Center, Delco Shopping Center, Stop & Shop and Thompson Industries, the village board has always had to navigate the delicate balance between the competing interests of the business and the residential property owners, who number about 2,700. Oftentimes, tensions ran high.
When asked what he feels his legacy is, the mayor replied, "I guess it's the orderly growth of the village. We got Shore Road cleaned up. The Lewis Oil gas tanks are gone. We recaptured almost all of the waterfront property in the village and we're planning a waterfront park for public use," which he adds proudly, "will be named after me."
Aside from the usual business of running a village, like garbage contracts, tree replacement, roads, sidewalks, etc., Mayor Pellegrino had many other accomplishments during his tenure. These include:
* Secured all but one parcel of shorefront property for public recreational use and commenced the plan for development of the waterfront park.
* Introduced 250 senior citizen housing condominiums to the village, where the 41-acres had been laying fallow for years.
* Developed the concept of a village club for residents of Port North.
* Codified village ordinances
* Retained planner for evaluation of Lewis Oil and forty acres properties
* Enacted strict ordinances pertaining to anti-explosives, firearms, advertising and signs, anti-trespassing, anti-noise and flood-damage prevention to name a few.
* Established a code enforcement officer.
* Worked with developers on construction of Soundview Marketplace and Delco Plaza shopping centers.
The mayor and his wife Joan have five children and 15 grandchildren.