Readers Write: Mayor Ehrbar goes the extra mile for us

The Island Now

I am writing this letter in support of Mayor Paul Ehrbar, Trustee Kevin Rynne and trustee candidate Bill O’Brien as they seek office in the upcoming Village of Williston Park elections. 

My wife Beth and I have lived in the Village of Williston Park for 14 years. 

Our three children are all growing up in this great neighborhood and they are each student in the Herricks School system. 

Eight years ago, when our boy Ty was 5 years old, he was diagnosed with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. 

It was around this same time that our family met Bill O’Brien and Kevin Rynne for the first time. 

Despite his condition, Ty wanted nothing more than to play baseball with his friends in the Williston Park Little League. 

My wife and I were concerned that this might not be an option for Ty.  

Through mutual friends, Kevin Rynne and Bill O’Brien became aware of our situation. 

As a coach and the administrator of the WPLL respectively, these two men reached out to our family and made it abundantly clear that Ty would be safe and welcome in their program! 

Thus, began a relationship with Ty and coach O’Brien that continues to this day!

As the parents of a handicapped child, it’s an unfortunate reality that our son is not always welcome in organizations or at events, even some ostensibly designed for children.

One can then imagine the great comfort we got from knowing our boy was under the trusted guidance of these two fine men! 

Neither I nor my son will ever forget the end of that first season when coach O’Brien told Ty, in front of his whole team, that as long as he was a coach, he wanted Ty on his team!  Those words will stay with us forever.

Kevin Rynne’s concern for our family extended well beyond the baseball field. 

Through a cursed coincidence, Kevin had friends whose son also had Duchennes. 

He arranged for us to meet and although the details are perhaps too personal to go into here, suffice to say his introduction of our families has been an extreme comfort to my wife and me.     

As our son approached his 10th birthday, he transitioned into a wheelchair. 

That harsh development brought with it the fact that our beautiful home in Williston Park was not nearly adequate to support his needs. 

As my wife and I contemplated our dire situation, as an answer to prayers, the benevolence of friends, family, neighbors and even complete strangers provided us with the wherewithal to modify our home and make it handicap accessible. 

One day as we pondered our son’s needs, our doorbell rang.   As I opened the door, I met Mayor Paul Ehrbar. 

Although I knew who he was, I was surprised and curious to find him on our doorstep.  Mayor Ehrbar introduced himself and told us that he had heard about our situation and asked if we could come to the Village Hall at our convenience to meet with him. 

When we did meet a few days later, Mayor Ehrbar extended every courtesy to Beth and I and made it perfectly clear that his administration would be there to serve and support us. He knew we would be doing renovations to our house and he wanted to make sure we avoided the common mistakes that homeowners make throughout the renovation process as he knew time was of the essence for us.

Over the next several months, I became intimately aware of the inner workings of the renovation application process of the Village of Williston Park.

The thing that struck me at the time, and what still sticks with me, was the utter professionalism, concern and dedication to duty that Mayor Ehrbar and his entire administration exhibited every step of the way. 

No corners were cut for us; and in fact, during the process we were required to answer some very personal and sensitive questions. 

However, the respect and compassion shown by Mayor Ehrbar and his administration as they conducted their due diligence on our application increased my already expansive pride in this Village.

Through his leadership and guidance, Paul Ehrbar is as fine an example of public service and dedication that you could hope to find.  

Fast forward to today, and it comes as no surprise to my wife and me to find out that these three individuals would be together as they run for elected office in the Village of Williston Park. 

For our family, they share the common thread that they all, at separate times, came to the aid of a family in their village that needed help. 

At the times they did so, there was nothing to be gained from them. 

Our family was in no position to help them, nor was there anything we could do for them.  And yet, they were there for us. 

Paul Ehrbar, Kevin Rynne and Bill O’Brien, separately and now together, all answered a calling to serve the Village of Williston Park, and on March 20, my wife and I will be happy and proud to cast our votes for them!     

Timothy Flood

Elizabeth Flood

Williston Park

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