I recently celebrated a quarter century of owning and running Enchanted Florist. However, managing a successful business in the community is only one example of my leadership skills. For over 27 years, I have been an energetic and dedicated community activist. I am proud of my involvement in many fine community organizations. Unlike those who boast about their titles but do very little, my record is one of taking action, winning uphill battles and solving problems with creative thinking.
I led the fight to remediate the old Phelps Dodge site in West Maspeth which resulted in an 18 million dollar cleanup. I worked with my close friend and mentor, the late Frank Principe, to develop the Grand Avenue Truck Bypass Plan to unclog traffic on Grand Avenue. I was also at the forefront of the fight against the Cross Harbor Tunnel which would have brought thousands more trucks through our residential neighborhoods.
Not only do I have a green thumb, but I also believe in a green environment. Believing Maspeth can never have enough green space and against all odds, I fought for the conversion of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks site into a 6-acre community park, which is slated to open in 2010. I continue to work on the revitalization of Grand Avenue by way of more street lights, a greener streetscape and terracing the LIE to reduce noise pollution and car exhaust. The reconstruction of Kosciuszko Bridge is another of my priorities and I am advocating for amenities for the borough of Queens such as a shoreline park with water access for canoeing.
We must continue to fight against overdevelopment on many fronts. I have been calling on the Department of City Planning to downzone Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale. I and other members of Juniper Civic have been on the front lines of the fight against illegal construction. Thanks in part to our combined efforts, the infamous “Huang House” on Mazeau Street in Maspeth was partially dismantled to conform to building and zoning codes.
I have been the most vocal critic of a planned cell tower in a residential neighborhood in Maspeth. While the plan has already been scaled back, I will continue to fight it.
Early in my life, I developed an appreciation for local history and became an avid preservationist. This passion led me to fight to save St. Saviour’s Church in Maspeth, which is now being relocated and rebuilt on a new site and will be opened as an historical site and community center.
Our area will prosper when health, safety and quality of life are the focus of elected officials. From experience I know that there is no problem that can’t be solved with dedication, cooperation and outside-the-box thinking. I enjoy my role as watchdog for the community and am ready to continue my fight in public office. I always have an open door and an open ear to the people of the community.
Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, Tony Nunziato graduated from St. Sebastian grammar school and Power Memorial Academy and went on to study business at St. John’s University. At the age of 24, Tony became a partner in a Manhattan floral business, where he catered to clients who included Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Luciano Pavarotti and others.
By the time he reached his late twenties, Tony had moved to the neighboring community of Maspeth and started his own establishment, Enchanted Florist & Greenhouse, Ltd. Tony was soon elected President of the Metropolitan Retail Florist Association, and was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the New York Florist Club.
Tony was a member of Queens Community Board 5 for 10 years where he served as Chair of the Environmental Committee. He served as President of Maspeth Town Hall where he oversaw the reconstruction of its historic building. He has also served as President of Maspeth Kiwanis, Vice President of Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force, co-founder of Newtown Historical Society, Chair of the Republican County Committee 30th Assembly District, member of the Board of Directors of Queensboro UNICO, member of the Executive Board of the Juniper Park Civic Association, member of the Third Degree of the Knights of Columbus, member of the Loyal Order of Moose and an honorary member of the Veterans of the Ninth Regiment.
Tony resides in Maspeth, his home for more than a quarter century, with his wife of 27 years, Dolores, and their children, Anthony, Alicia and Andrea.