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On Election Day, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was not successful in his bid for another term, completing a 38-year run as our senator. No matter if you voted for him or not, I believe this public servant is owed a huge debt of gratitude for his service and hard work.
We may not always have agreed on his political positions, but I believe no one can question his commitment or dedication to the people of his district or this state. Padavan always delivered when dealing with constituent services and he and his staff showed over and over again that “Nobody cares like Frank.”
Just on my block alone I can think of many examples over the years where Padavan’s intervention made a difference. There was the case of the widow with three children who lost her job and then was denied unemployment benefits based on a technicality. My mother told her to call Padavan and, sure enough, when she did he intervened personally on the widow’s behalf and made sure her benefits were restored.
Then there was the case of the breast cancer survivor whose insurance company refused to pay for a test she needed. Padavan made some contacts and as a result that test was paid for, and that insurance company will have to pay for the same test for other women in similar circumstances.
As a civic person, I cannot tell you how many times I have contacted Padavan regarding community problems and issues. I always received a response in writing and usually the senator was able to have the concern rectified. This is the way all of our elected officials should be operating, but in my experience Padavan is one of a handful who are responsive and effective.
Padavan also helped build up and support many important community institutions, including the Alley Pond Environmental Center, the Queens County Farm Museum, the Bayside Historical Society and the Poppenhusen Institute. He has a school complex named after him and he has also done a lot of work in the mental health field. His contributions to the benefit of the people he serves are numerous.
This is not a eulogy for Padavan. It is a thank you and an appreciation for a job well-done, and a wish that in some capacity he will continue his service to our communities.
As we work with our newly elected, re-elected and current officials, we can all benefit from Padavan’s experience, know-how and caring ways. He is truly a man dedicated to all of the people he has represented.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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