On Tuesday, March 18, Floral Park will hold village elections from noon to 9 p.m. at the Floral Park Recreation Center. Village trustee and member of the Floral Park Citizens’ Party James E. Rhatigan is seeking re-election. The following was submitted by the Citizens’ Party:
James E. Rhatigan is seeking re-election to a two-year term as Floral Park trustee, running on the Citizen’s Party ticket. He currently serves as Floral Park trustee, representing the south side section of the village.
As a member of Floral Park’s board of trustees, Rhatigan serves as deputy mayor and liaison to the police department, conservation society and the emergency management committee. He also previously served the village as a commissioner of the fire and recreation departments, and of the library, as well as liaison to the beautification committee, Heritage Park committee, and the Citizens with Disabilities committee.
He now serves as chairman of Floral Park’s task force for the preservation and improvement of Belmont Park. As chairman, he testified before the New York Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, in both 2007 and 2010 where he presented the task force “Statement of Principals” that detailed the village’s positions toward the award of the state franchise for thoroughbred racing in New York. He is currently working closely with Mayor Tweedy and the task force members to protect the interests of our village with regard to the proposed casino at Belmont.
Prior to becoming trustee, Rhatigan served as a volunteer member of a number of village committees, including the residents’ orientation committee, the ad-hoc pool building committee and the grievance Board.
He took an active role in opposing the MTA/LIRR’s Third Track Project. He testified at the formal scoping hearings and has participated in numerous planning sessions and public forums. He has spoken at the LIRR Commuters Council Annual President’s Forums at MTA headquarters in Manhattan and at the public hearing on the MTA budget crisis in 2009. At such forums, Rhatigan has advocated on behalf of his Floral Park constituents and has consistently expressed his views on the public record and his concerns regarding the potential negative effects that the third track project will have on the residential and business communities of Floral Park.
Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in Queens Village. He is a homeowner and taxpayer of Floral Park for more than 34 years. Recently married to Diane, he is the proud father of three daughters: Kathleen, an occupational therapist in the New York City School system; Elizabeth, a Bronx charter school educator and Margaret, a student at Dowling College in Oakdale.
Before becoming a Floral Park homeowner, Rhatigan’ commitment to active community service initially took root in Queens Village. He served as an EMT for the Queens Village-Hollis-Bellerose Volunteer Ambulance Corps (QVHBVAC). In addition to serving as a volunteer EMT for the QVHBVAC, he was also a member of its board of directors and acted as its treasurer. He believes this background provides him with valuable personal experience when considering emergency and community safety issues.
Rhatigan believes he is well qualified to represent his neighbors in Floral Park’s South Side area, having been a long time member as well as elected president of the South Side Civic Association. He has also demonstrated his active commitment to civic involvement, having served 16 years in the Citizens’ Party as a captain, vice chairman and two years as chairman. He has also served the youth of the community, having been a soccer coach for the Floral Park Indians Athletics and manager of softball teams for the Floral Park Little League.
One of his greatest services to his community has been through his activities as an active and involved member of the Knights of Columbus. He serves as one of its local community leaders and is a Past Grand Knight of Floral Park Council #2345 and a former district deputy of the 16th and 17th New York districts. He served two terms as Knights of Columbus Nassau County membership coordinator and is coordinator of the New York State Council Pilgrimage to the Our Lady of the Island Shrine. Rhatigan served in all officer positions of the Nassau Conference, K of C, recently completing a two year term as chairman.
Professionally, he is the benefits manager at Donald J. Fager and Associates, Inc, a New York-based provider of insurance services to the health professions. He holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation. Rhatigan believes this professional background provides him with valuable personal experience when the board of trustees considers the many employee relations and benefit issues.
Further, he believes his decade’s long commitment to his community and his neighbors “demonstrates a sustained and proven track record upon which his neighbors can trust.”