Community leaders share resolutions

Sam Desmond
Posted 1/12/23

The Suffolk County News asked leaders in the community for their resolutions for 2023, both for themselves and the people they serve.

Here’s part two of the responses.

Neil Foley, …

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Community leaders share resolutions


The Suffolk County News asked leaders in the community for their resolutions for 2023, both for themselves and the people they serve.

Here’s part two of the responses.

Neil Foley, councilman, District 5 of Town of Brookhaven

The Town will continue to address quality-of-life issues that affect the taxpayers of the Town of Brookhaven. Specifically for Blue Point, we commence the Roe Park project in the first quarter of 2023.

Anthony Piccirillo, Legislator, 8th District

In 2023, I hope to spend more quality time with my friends and family. I would like learn how to play a musical instrument this year, possibly the guitar!

Jason Borowski, president, Blue Point Civic Association

Like a lot of people I am sure, everything that has been going on in the world the past few years has caused me to fall into a habit of focusing on the negative going on around me.  For the new year I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to focus more on the positive things going on around me day to day.  That’s not to say I’m going to put my head in the ground and pretend like negative things don’t exist, but instead of dwelling I intend to acknowledge them and then shift my focus back to the positive. In terms of civic involvement, there are a few projects, such as Roe Park and the reconstruction of the concrete fence at Avery’s 5 Mile Look that have dragged on a little bit longer than I would have hoped.  I’m making it a personal goal of mine to get these projects accomplished within the next year.

David Chan, vice president, Oakdale Civic Association, member of Idle Hour Mansion community watch

We are preparing to bring in 2023, and perhaps we all have resolutions.   As the vice president of The Oakdale Civic Association as well as one of the leaders of the Idle Hour Neighborhood Watch Group, I have goals/hopes for our community for the upcoming year.  My goal is to continue to keep applying pressure to our elected officials regarding the status of Byron Lake project and the former Dowling Properties.  It is my goal to be the voice for our community regarding these properties.  I am cautiously optimistic that a sale may go through for the Former Dowling properties.   I am hopeful that if these properties sell, new owners would keep the history and community in mind moving forward.   As a member of the Oakdale Historical Society, I worked along with other members to organize the first  annual Oakdale Firecracker 5k Run/Walk. My goal for this coming year is to work towards improving upon and making the race even more successful in raising funds to renovate St. John’s Historical Church.

Mike Firestone, director, Bayport-Blue Point Library

My 2023 New Year’s resolution is to be a better / kinder person, have a better work–life balance, learn a new skill, send at least one thank you note to someone each month and of course... find more time to read more books! 

Jennifer Fowler, director, Sayville Public Library

The Sayville Library’s New Year’s resolutions are to continue to find new ways to inspire, support and collaborate with the Sayville community. The library resolves to be dedicated to our sustainable initiatives which will include creating a native planting meadow for our patrons and providing the community with information on how we can all adopt more sustainable practices. The library resolves to bring new services to the community, which will include a new makerspace coming in the spring called “The Makery.” The Makery will provide a collaborative space for patrons to gather, share ideas, work on projects, explore new technologies and indulge their creative sides.

Additionally, the library will be opening “Studio 88”—a designated space for patrons to create their very own podcasts. The library resolves to expand our work with our community partners and broaden our outreach efforts.

These efforts will include helping residents with food insecurity as well as providing educational and informational resources for those with mental and physical health concerns. We will continue to value and strengthen the relationships with our local school district, civic groups, legislators and Chamber of Commerce for the betterment of our residents. And finally, the library resolves to be a place for everyone. We look forward to seeing you!

Brian M. Bast, president, Oakdale Civic Association

My 2023 New Year’s resolution is going to focus on my two daughters and my position as current president of the Oakdale Civic Association. My daughters are going to be 14 and 15 in 2023, so I intend to change my parenting from baby/child mode to young adult mode! I intend to listen to them more and include them in family decisions! 

As for my role as president of the Civic, I intend to focus on the newly restored Brick Engraving Project at the Oakdale train station. The Civic received numerous calls from Oakdale residents with interest in purchasing a brick in memory of a loved one. It was because there was community interest in this project to be restored that we decided to help. 

We are here to assist the community with problems, interests, questions and concerns; reach out to us at (646) 258-7028 or come to our meetings.

Jennifer MacNamara, president, Johnny Mac Foundation

On a personal note, my biggest resolution is to scale back and make an attempt at being more minimalist. Having lost my mother and father, over the last two years, I have inherited a tremendous amount of “stuff.”  I find that it really weighs you down.
As the president of the Johnny Mac Foundation, my hope is to make more connections within the community because, it is with more local connections that we can raise more money and do more good for our community.

Joanne Hamilton, president, Pilot Club of Sayville

My New Year’s resolution as president of the Pilot Club of Sayville is to continue guiding and inspiring the club in its 49th year as it provides service to our communities, especially in the areas of brain health and brain safety, and “caring for the caregivers.” I would like to increase our club’s participation working alongside our Anchor Club of Sayville High School  at mutual events. I also want to promote Pilot International (we don’t fly planes; we are named after the riverboat pilots who “hold a true course ever”), whose guiding principles are friendship and service.

Personally, I would like to walk more, sleep more, drink more water, and eat less chocolate!

Michelle Rose, president, BBP PTA

As the Bayport-Blue Point High School PTSA president, a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate our planning for the school year and come up with some resolutions. Because of the holidays, PTA events and fundraising has slowed. January is a good time for a renewed membership push. I will post links on our social media websites and remind our staff, teachers, and parents that it’s not too late to join. 

I will encourage our parents and guardians that a great way to get involved is to come to our meetings. We always stress that all are welcome. Social media is a great way to get the word out about our meeting times and dates, and we utilize it frequently. PTSA meetings are the perfect way to get face time with our principal.

Another resolution is to express more gratitude for our volunteers; being a volunteer can be a thankless job. On that note, I would like to thank our executive board, Heather Ackerman, Nicole Teufel, Andrea Collins, and all our BBP PTSA volunteers for all their hard work! 

Finally, I would like to plan a successful fundraising event with our executive board. At the high school level, it can be challenging to compete with the other activities that are taking place, so it has to be something good! 

Here is the link to join our PTSA if you would like to become a paid member for the 2022-2023 school year:

Jamie Atkinson, director/ex-chief, Community Ambulance

Personally, I make every year’s goal to positively touch and impact as many people’s lives as I possibly can. My No. 1 resolution in 2023 is to just treat people a little nicer, take the time to talk to people more to get to know them, use patients as to not be so short with people as much, use empathy, compassion more towards people. I find with all the craziness going on in the world, people we come into contact with during your daily travels are going through a lot personally. People are overwhelmed dealing with financial issues, food insecurities, tragedies, health concerns, addiction, stress, anxiety—we may not even know about at first glance and are not shown on the outside.

I am also going to work hard on putting my phone down, not being so distracted by things that seem urgent or important at the time, but in the larger picture are really not. Work to pay attention to the people around me more, listen to what they are saying, and just take the time to have and share experiences without distractions. Take it all in, appreciate and enjoy the one life we have on this earth, as it is very short.

Dominique Maciejka, owner, Paper Doll Vintage Boutique, Sayville/Patchogue

This year, I am looking to involve my business more with the local community, both in and out of my shops. Paper Doll Vintage Boutique and Paper Doll Curiosity Shoppe have always been more than just stores. Prior to the pandemic, we hosted many classes and events. Whereas we have brought some of that back in 2022, I plan on bringing our community involvement back, bigger and better! A shop anniversary event, workshops, special launch sales, and photo shoots are all in the works! We also plan on getting more of our product online, as we work on creating an in-house photo studio to shoot our collection in. We hope to also participate in more community vending events, provide wardrobe for more TV shows and movies, and continue to grow outside of the shop!

Barbara Leogrande, Realtor, Douglas Elliman Realty, Sayville

As I enter 2023, it is natural to reflect on the previous year and acknowledge that journey. To recognize your achievements, failures, and blessings. Resetting the clock is always an exciting time for me. Flourishing in the idea of new opportunity is my resolution; all 365 of them!

Theresa Dodaro, prose laureate of Sayville

For 2023, my New Year’s Resolution is to complete my next novel, “Fortune and Shame.”  This story will include the history of European immigrants arriving in New York City and the development of the South Shore of Long Island in the mid-to-late 1800s.  At this time, the South Side Sportsmen’s Club on the Connetquot River attracted men of power and wealth to this area and transformed the wilderness into the first “Gold Coast.”   Fictional characters will interact with historical figures and local residents from the Sayville/Oakdale area in order to tell a heartfelt story that demonstrates the strength of the human spirit to survive in a world where fortunes are made and lost in a generation.

Alyse Arpino, director, CM Performing Arts Center, Noel S. Ruiz Theater, Oakdale

As 2022 comes to a close, I look back and see all of the mountains we climbed, all of the times we were able to enjoy and experience traditions and events bringing people together again. It made it all more exciting. It was a reminder of what’s important in our lives and families. I can only hope that 2023 will continue to bring laughter, love and entertainment into my life and to continue to enjoy and appreciate the people and experiences in our lives. It is my hope to continue growing and learning from all the amazing experiences I am blessed to be a part of. 


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