2017 Feis Honoree Is Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony J. Santino:
Anthony J. Santino was elected Town Supervisor on November 3, 2015 with 60 percent of the vote.
Supervisor Santino was first elected to a four-year term as a Town of Hempstead Councilman in November 1993 and re-elected four times. In 2000, he won a special election for the Fourth District seat when the town switched from an at-large system of representation to the current district representative system. Santino was the senior member of the Hempstead Town Board and had been the longest-serving Hempstead Town Councilman of the modern era.
In his first year in office, Santino cut town spending by $9 million, made significant reductions in the size of the town’s municipal workforce and slashed overtime by 45%. Santino’s first budget as supervisor is the first structurally balanced town budget in over two decades since it does not rely on reserve funds to meet current spending requirements. In this budget, Santino eliminated a $23.5 million deficit and turned it into a real $5 million surplus. Santino’s fiscal reforms have resulted in multiple upgrades of the town’s fiscal outlook from Wall Street’s most respected firms.
Supervisor Santino was the driving force behind the Town of Hempstead’s condemnation of the Oceanside Motel, a community eyesore that was often the scene of illegal activity. He also authored and sponsored the landmark legislation that brought library service to previously unserved residents of many residents in the town’s unincorporated communities. The creation of the Bay Park Library District was a first-of-its-kind effort to expand library service in New York State through the creation of a library district that contracts with an existing, neighboring library. Communities have used this model across Long Island to expand library service to previously unserved communities. Supervisor Santino was recognized by the Bay Park Civic Association with their “Distinguished Community Service” in recognition of establishing this special district.
Supervisor Santino has a distinguished career in public service. An eight-year veteran of the East Rockaway Village Board, he was elected a village trustee in 1983 at the age of 22 and re-elected in 1987, serving as Deputy Mayor for two years.
Santino also served as District Director and Executive Assistant to Congressman Norman F. Lent before joining the staff of the Nassau County Board of Supervisors. Prior to Supervisor Santino’s service on the town board, he was the town’s Director of Communications for six-and-a-half years.
Mr. Santino is a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University and also attended East Rockaway Public Schools. He also serves as a lector at St. Raymond’s Roman Catholic Church.
Supervisor Santino is active in a wide array of religious, charitable, fraternal and community organizations. In early 2016, he was awarded the Torch of Freedom Award and was honored by EIHAB Human Services for his commitment to America’s largest township. Santino was also previously the South Nassau Communities Hospital Carnation Ball as well as the Center for Adult Life Enrichment honoree and has also been pinned as a Member of the Friends of Mercy Medical Center.
The United Jewish Appeal-New York Chapter bestowed their Community Service Award to Supervisor Santino for his unwavering support of Israel as well as his positive work and achieving consistent results for neighbors throughout Hempstead Town.
A member of Order Sons of Italy in America, Santino is also involved with the Kiwanis Club of East Rockaway and the St. Raymond’s Parish Holy Name Society. He is additionally a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a charter member of the Msgr. Walsh-St. Raymond’s Council #7220 Knights of Columbus and a member of the Cardinal Mercier Fourth Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus.
Due to his contributions to these organizations and his efforts on behalf of the entire community, the Father Joseph O’Connell Council #3481 of the Knights of Columbus (based in Oceanside) and the Father Farrell Council #5962 in Hewlett have both honored Supervisor Santino.
Additionally, Santino continues his involvement in the non-for-profit Italian-Americans in Government Committee, the American Committee on Italian Migration as well as the Iroquois District of the Nassau County Boy Scouts of America where he serves on the Eagle Scout Board of Review. He is also a member-at-large in the Iroquois District. In June 2009, the Boy Scouts recognized him for outstanding contributions to the Scouting program and the community with the District Award of Merit.
An enthusiastic supporter of our community’s volunteer fire service, his efforts were recognized by his unanimous election as an honorary member of the Woodmere Fire Department.
Santino also is a member of Irish-Americans in Government and remains involved with New York Elks Lodge #1, Sons of the American Legion and the St. John’s University Alumni Association. He is also an associate member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 3 and was honored by AOH as 2010 Man of the Year and with the Friend of the Hibernians Award by Division 14 in 2013. Supervisor Santino was also inducted East Rockaway American Legion Post #958 as a “Friend of the American Legion.”
In addition to his civic involvement, Santino is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being named “Man of the Year” by the Georgia Wright Animal Guardian Foundation, the Order Sons of Italy in America, St. Raymond’ s Roman Catholic Church, the Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre, the Iroquois District of the Boy Scouts of America, the Shanti Fund – a charitable organization of Indian-Americans – and the Elmont-based Kerala Cultural Center. In August 2014, the Indian-American Voters Forum recognized Santino for his decades of work for the public by awarding him with their “Outstanding Services to the Indian Community” honor at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan.
Additionally, the American Committee on Italian Migration, Chabad Outreach Center and National Council of Young Israel have also recently awarded him their Public Service Award for his community commitment and frequent positive results.
In 2013, Supervisor Santino was honored with the Five Towns Community Chest’s Public Service Award for his work preparing for, during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Congregation B’nai Shalom-Beth David of Rockville Centre also saluted his work with their Community Service Award. St. Mary’s/Maris Stella Council #2228 Knights of Columbus also honored Supervisor Santino with its “Humanitarian of the Year” for his stellar response to the superstorm and continued community efforts.
Santino was also the recipient of the Lynbrook Link Counseling Center’s “Champion of Youth Award.” He has received the “Friend of Education” Award from the East Rockaway Board of Education – its highest educational award – for his tireless efforts on behalf of the school district.
He was also named “Man of the Year” at the annual joint brotherhood breakfast sponsored by Oceanside’s Order Sons of Italy in America Rocky Marciano Lodge, Five Towns Kiwanis Club, Trophy Lodge of B’nai B’rith as well as the Long Island Gaelic Athletic Club. The East Rockaway Kiwanis Club named Supervisor Santino its “Kiwanian of the Year” for 2002.
Born in Corona, Queens, Supervisor Santino moved to East Rockaway during childhood and for over four decades continues to call the community home.