At the most recent Village of New Hyde Park board meeting, Mayor Larry Montreuil opened the meeting with a moment of silence for the late Donald Barbieri, 18-year member of the village board.
“This will probably be a challenging meeting; I don’t really think it’s really sunk in at this point that we have lost Don,” said Montreuil. “These past few weeks have been really difficult in New Hyde Park.”
Barbieri died on Friday, Feb. 23, from complications from his long fight with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
“It’s going to be particularly hard without Donnie around; he was a constant presence here in this building,” said Montreuil.
Montreuil shared how tirelessly Barbieri worked for the village, even outside of regular meetings and scheduled events, and how remarkable his memory and skill was for being able to visual budgets and numbers in his head.
“He read all of the emails, read all of the documents; he would raise questions to things that I missed,” said Deputy Mayor Donna Squicciarino. She added that even in one of her final conversations with Don, he was making plans to meet with people and make arrangements for village issues which he had been tasked with. “He wasn’t done with what he had to do; he never stopped; he loved this village.”
“Donnie was loved by this community,” said Trustee Richard Coppola. “He was a spokesman for the seniors and people with disabilities; he really fought that battle for a lot of people.”
Coppola shared a memory of Don walking up the stairs to his house, having dinner with him and hearing of Don’s love of playing baseball when he was younger.
“He was a rock for this village,” said Trustee Richard Pallisco. “I miss him; I miss his calls.”
See “Local Advocate Dies After Fighting Illness” in the Feb. 28 edition of the New Hyde Park Illustrated for more about Donald Barbieri.