Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) released a statement Feb. 26 on his decision not to seek reelection in 2021.
“After much deliberation and consideration with my family, friends and advisers, I have decided not to seek reelection as Huntington Town Supervisor this November. To be clear, this was my decision and my decision alone made in the best interest of my family, the town, and the Republican Party. While this decision is a difficult one, it is made easier by the fact that in less than one term I have delivered on all of my campaign promises and will continue to accomplish the many goals I set out to achieve before this final year is complete. Few administrations have faced as many challenges, and few have achieved what we have. I am proud that I will leave the Town of Huntington in a far better place than when I took office, and for that reason I am incredibly optimistic about the future of the Town and its hamlets that I love so much.
“The effort to take the Town in a new direction began roughly four years ago and was inspired by my deep roots in Huntington, which was borne from a small butcher shop operated by my grandfather on New York Avenue in the old Huntington Station. On the campaign trail, I often recounted the importance of this butcher shop to my family’s history in Huntington and it served as my impetus for revitalizing the Huntington Station area. My campaign attracted a broad coalition inspired by my community connections, broad platform and commitment to move the Town in a new and better direction.
“In office, I immediately set to work on fulfilling my campaign promises. In our first month, I fulfilled my promise to make town government more transparent and accountable to its residents by enacting term limits, strengthening our ethics laws and increasing opportunities for constituent feedback. These measures increased confidence in town government and the democratic process.
“I also pledged to preserve and enhance the wonderful quality of life that makes Huntington a special place to live, work and raise a family. Every day, we worked to protect the suburban charm of our neighborhoods and historic downtowns, while creating new economic opportunity for this generation and the next. To provide our children with an even better town than the one we inherited, we committed to smart development, curbed the overdevelopment of Huntington Village, invested in open space and farmland preservation, revitalized our waterfront, and continued the reinvestment in and revitalization of Huntington Station.
“Among so many other accomplishments, I spearheaded the creation of the Town of Huntington Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, the first town court of its kind on Long Island, to efficiently adjudicate violations of the Huntington Town Code; held the line on property taxes with three Tax Cap-compliant budgets; protected the Town’s AAA-bond rating; and made unprecedented investments in our Town parks and facilities.
“While so much was accomplished to date, my time as Supervisor may be defined by two unprecedented challenges, one inherited, and one that no one could have anticipated.
“The decade-long litigation with LIPA over the assessment on the Northport Power Plant posed an existential threat to all homeowners, commercial property owners, and the Northport-East Northport School District. With settlement negotiations stagnant, a looming court judgment threatened ruin for our beautiful Town. Under my leadership, the Town negotiated an unprecedented settlement few thought possible. We eliminated the threat of total financial devastation, including up to $825 million in future tax refund payments to LIPA, which hung over the heads of our residents for over a decade, secured millions of dollars in additional funding for our schools and Town, and protected our residents against unsustainable tax increases.
“The once-in-a-lifetime pandemic came without warning and required quick decision-making and visionary leadership to protect our residents, businesses, front line workers and Town employees. Our Town developed a comprehensive plan to safely reopen facilities and deliver important services to our residents. We continued to provide daily meals for our senior citizens. We adopted countless measures to assist struggling local businesses, including the creation of a small business task force that continues to make recommendations for additional measures. Our country suffered terribly from this pandemic, and our Town was not spared that pain. I send my thoughts and prayers to all the victims of this insidious virus as well as their surviving family members. We will never forget and the first Monday in March has now been designated as “COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day” in the Town of Huntington.
“As this phase of my public service career comes to a conclusion, I must thank our outstanding Town workers for everything that they have done to help make the new direction vision a reality. Public service remains a noble pursuit and our employees fully understand that.
“Our Town remarkedly includes so many people of different backgrounds and we draw our strength from this diversity. The Town Supervisor must ensure that the voices of all such people are heard and respected. I am proud to have served as a time when Huntington has come together with a united voice, even as our national discourse tends to divide us. To this end, over the course of my term, I have encouraged the celebration of our diversity while promoting a vision of a unified Town centered upon our shared values and common humanity as evidenced by initiatives preserving Huntington’s Black history and honoring the lives of Dr. Agnes Hiller, Samuel Ballton, Peter Crippen, and Paul Johnson.
“During my time as Town Supervisor, I have often thought of Jackie Robinson’s famous quote that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” This quote motivated me during challenging times and inspired me to do more to help our residents. Whether one is in the public or private sector, we should remember Mr. Robinson’s wise words and do our best to make our corner of the world a better place. I am committed to doing just that in the next phase of my life because those values are my inheritance.
“I want to thank everyone for the friendship and support they have given me during my time as Town Supervisor. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our Town and its residents and, rest assured, that I will continue approaching each day through the end of my term with the same vigor and passion for public service that I had on the day I was first elected.”
Lupinacci will serve the remainder of his existing term in office.