The media likes to report on politicians, and politicians don’t usually exactly avoid good press. Elected officials deserve recognition for what they do for the benefit of the people, but much of what they get is done by others, people who keep the wheels turning. This week, our community lost two of these important behind-the-scenes heroes.
John Naccarato, known to many for his elected public office, was also one of the people, along with Ms Ellsworth, responsible for the ‘invention’ of constituent service by elected representatives. Together, they ensured that then-MP Hamilton Fish Jr. was attentive and responsive to the needs of the public. While Mrs. Ellsworth ran the district office, John made sure Congressman Fish knew about every church bazaar, every chicken dinner, and any other place where more than two people were gathered. John believed in representative democracy and his passing last week is a great loss to our community.
Mary Ann DiPietro was the first person many people spoke to when asking for help in the office of the late Congressman Maurice Hinchey and then in our Assembly District office. Although she has never held elected office, Mary Ann’s volunteer work in so many areas made her instantly recognizable to many. Most recently, when we held our 26th and likely final Summer Reading Program celebration, her absence was felt by all. Her love for her children and our community came second only to the dedication to the memory of her late husband Frank, who also worked “behind the scenes” to ensure our local democracy was strong and responsive. Mary Ann is now reunited with Frank in eternal peace.
To their families, I hope to speak on behalf of our community in thanking them for all they have contributed. For the hundreds, if not thousands, of people these people have helped over the years, remember the example of their kind attention and commitment to doing good.
The writer is the 103rd District State Assembly