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Remembering Guy V. Molinari

By now, many of you have heard of the passing of Guy V. Molinari, former Assemblyman, Congressman and Borough President of Staten Island.

In many ways, Guy was a father figure to me. All the wonderful memories came flooding back when I heard of his passing this morning. We knew each other going back to 1974. This is going to be a hard one for me…

guymolinari

We participated in many political, civic and veterans affairs missions over the years. He had us at the Verrazano toll plaza pushing for the one-way toll, he had us marching on New Dorp Lane to support the Desert Storm Troops, he had us everywhere, and it didn’t matter if it was after 5PM or on a weekend.

I worked for Guy as his contract officer and veterans affairs advisor at Borough Hall from 1990 to 2001. He never changed any veterans testimony I drafted, nor letters to agencies when we wrote to support veterans causes. I represented him on the NYC Franchise and Concession Review Committee, where we dealt with the veteran vendor issue and the Great Kills public anchorage issue. We fought to keep the Brooklyn VA hospital open, to bring a public bus connection from SI to the Brooklyn VA hospital, and to bring a VA clinic to Staten Island for the first time since the 1950’s Halloran Hospital closed.

He created a number of Staten Island luminaries, including Councilwoman Susan Molinari, Councilman Fred Cerullo, Councilman John Fusco, Congresswoman Susan Molinari, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki.

At one point, he asked me to draft an RFP to prove that the dump could be closed and the garbage shipped out on a cost-effective basis. He wanted a qualified scientist who had not previously received any NY City funds for their work. I worked with Guy’s environmental engineer and we issued the RFP. The study that resulted convinced then Mayor Rudy Giuliani that the dump could in fact, be closed on a cost-effective basis. And closed it was in 2000. At that point, he had the Mayor (Giuliani), the Governor (Pataki) and a federal lawsuit, which became the trifecta to close the dump!

I’ve only touched upon some of the salient points in Guy’s long-time service to Staten Island in this email.

But I can tell you, he was one of a kind and he will be sorely missed!

The only mistake Guy told me I ever made in life was not joining the Marines!! May God Bless you, my brother.

I’ve attached a pic of Guy, Susan and me at the Veterans Action Coalition’s 9th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Vets BBQ at the Marine Corps League on May 27, 1989.

You will notice that I had hair, no belly and a full set of teeth!

5.27.89a
Those were the days, my friend…
–Lee

PS: Wake and Funeral arrangements are here:

https://www.silive.com/news/2018/07/viewing_funeral_arrangements_s.html#incart_river_index

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