New Hyde Park’s Mayor Daniel Petruccio, views himself as just another resident, except with a government title. He governs the same as he would in his home or in his career as guidance director at Chaminade High School -- with “equality.”
“I am not an autocratic leader," Petruccio said. "I prefer to share my spotlight with my colleagues. Aside from the title of Mayor, I have the same power as any other member of the board."
Petruccio, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and moved to the area after getting married. Petruccio found himself at a Village meeting many years ago, disturbed over a previous Village board's decision to raise property taxes over 30 percent in one year; it was at that first meeting that Petruccio’s interest in local government ignited and after several other subsequent meetings he decided to work with a group of like-minded individuals to start a new political party to help address the issues in the community.
On April 2, 2001 all of his efforts paid off when the Village voted and swore him in as Mayor of the Village of New Hyde Park. Since then, he has been re-elected twice for four-year terms and has been in office for 10 years.
“I have enjoyed my time as mayor," Petruccio said. "I have got to know a number of fine individuals, both residents and other elected officials from various levels of government."
Over the past decade, Petruccio admits his biggest challenge was and has remained finances. The present economic climate has only enhanced that challenge and has forced the mayor and his board to find creative ways to stretch tax dollars to continue to provide quality services at reasonable prices.
One of his many goals is to ensure that funds are allocated fairly and responsibly, giving residents the peace of mind and reassurance they deserve.
“I will spend their money as if it were mine,” Petruccio said. “I will always represent the community honorably and with pride."
In addition to managing the Village’s budget, Petruccio supervises over 20 counselors at Chaminade. When he is not acting in the capacity of director, he is either grading papers or teaching about 100 juniors in four moral theology classes based on Christian Humanism.
“Juggling my private life and my full-time job continues to be a challenge as it is for all of the trustees; prioritization is key,” Petruccio admits. However his love and passion for teaching, keeps the mayor at Chaminade in a role he vows to never give up.
Currently the mayor and his team is working on beautification and construction projects throughout the village of New Hyde parking, including “Operation Downtown.”
This project has been a multifaceted project that spans over a number of years. It runs most of the length of Jericho Turnpike concentrating on the center of the shopping district at the intersection with Lakeville Road. The project includes brick pavers, planters, garbage receptacles, light poles, street signs and selective bump outs. Petruccio is also working with the New York State Department of Transportation to add medians down the center of the Turnpike.