Joseph Belisi earns accolades at recent ceremony
When the Town of Oyster Bay recently decided to dedicate Farmingdale’s Washington Street Park in honor of late Nassau County District Legislator Joseph V. Belisi, it was in the name of a native son. Belisi, who passed away from Parkinson’s Disease on June 16, 2020 at the age of 73, had deep roots in the community.
He was named a “Daler for Life” by the Village of Farmingdale reflected by his time as a Little League coach, and roles in the Sons of Italy in America, Knights of Pythias and Italian Americans in Government Service. He was also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans and an integral part of the Massapequa-Farmingdale Men’s Club. Professionally, Belisi’s life was one defined by that of public service. Elected to the Nassau County Legislature in 2009, he represented the 14th District, where he was succeeded by Laura Schaefer in 2013 upon his retirement.
During his time in the chamber, Belisi was vice chairman of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, which is charged with police oversight, confirm or reject the county executive’s choice for police commissioner and holds hearings and subpoena documents and witnesses. It was a suitable fit for the Farmingdale resident, who has spent 32 years in the Nassau County Police Department, serving as a Nassau County Police Sergeant, S.W.A.T. team supervisor and first vice president of the Superior Officers Association. His law enforcement background was further buttressed by a military stint with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where Belisi was a two-time Purple Heart recipient.
For this dedication ceremony, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and members of the town board, along with Nassau County Police Department officials gathered to honor Belisi. Saladino made a point of highlighting the amount of public service the late infantryman and elected official gave while raising three children and eight grandchildren along with his wife Donna.
“Joseph Belesi dedicated his entire life to the service of others, most notably answering the call of service to this great nation, where he was twice wounded in action in Vietnam,” Saladino said. “He was an exceptional man of character, courage, integrity and compassion. This park will forever serve as a lasting tribute to his remarkable legacy and as a reminder to all residents of his service and sacrifices on behalf of nation.”