TELL US YOU'RE COMING! (BUT NO RSVP REQUIRED)
Join the Huntington Republican Committee, the Town of Huntington, the Tepe and Bifulco families, the Dix Hills Fire Department, New York State, and Suffolk County officials on Sunday, June 27th at 12:00 PM at Dix Hills Park, 575 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills, NY for a dedication ceremony officially renaming the park after our former Chairman and Huntington's first and only woman Town Supervisor, Antonia "Toni" P. Rettaliata-Tepe and her beloved husband, Dix Hills Fire Department Commissioner and Ex-Chief Philip H. Tepe.
We lost Toni and Phil just weeks apart in the Spring of 2020. The Town of Huntington recognized these dedicated public servants by renaming Dix Hills Park after Toni and Phil on what would have been Toni's 76th birthday last year, at the October 20th, 2020 Town Board meeting.
Yes, the Town of Huntington's First Woman Town Supervisor was a Republican!
Born Antonia Patricia Bifulco in Manhattan on October 20, 1944 to Pasquale Bifulco and Mary (Finello) Bifulco, “Toni” was raised in Huntington and graduated from Huntington High School. She went on to attend Katherine Gibbs School in Melville and work as an administrative assistant in the Suffolk County courts.
After marrying John B. Rettaliata, Jr., Toni ran for elected office under her married name, Toni Rettaliata, and became the third and last woman to date to ever hold the office of New York State Assemblymember from the Town of Huntington. Toni followed in the footsteps of Huntington suffragist Ida Bunce Sammis, the first woman to ever serve in the New York State Assembly, and succeeded Mary Rose McGee in the 8th Assembly District (1979-1982), then after redistricting, in the 10th Assembly District (1983–1987). Assemblymember Rettaliata notably secured the first $31,000 in funding that allowed former Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia to build the award-winning and history-making Huntington Town Clerk’s Archives and Records Center, now named for the former and longest-serving Town Clerk.
Supervisor Toni Rettaliata (In Office 1988-1989)
In 1987 at the age of 43, Toni Rettaliata was elected Town of Huntington Supervisor and served the then two-year term as the first and only woman to ever hold the office (1988-1989); she was responsible for the formation of the Town of Huntington Veterans Advisory Board and initiated the project to build Veteran’s Plaza on the front lawn of Huntington Town Hall.
Supervisor Rettaliata established the Town of Huntington Refuse District #3, the Special Election for which having failed under a prior administration. Refuse District #3 was approved by residents under Supervisor Rettaliata's leadership due to the transparency and open lines of communication her administration established with residents, even hiring two staff members in the Town Clerk's office to answer phone calls. The creation of this Refuse District allowed refuse charges to be included in the resident's property tax bills instead of paying a monthly bill from a carter.
Supervisor Rettaliata also created a Division of Constituent Services under her office to field calls from residents. She had a bus that would travel to different parts of the Town to respond to various constituent issues. She also resurrected the Handicapped Parking Enforcement Program. Supervisor Rettaliata initiated the adoption of resolutions to create a four-year term for Town Supervisor and Highway Superintendent, which passed and took effect after her two-year term in office.
Toni remarried in 2000 to Phil Tepe. She continued to remain dedicated to public service after completing her career as an elected official. In 2006, Toni Tepe was elected Chairman of the Huntington Republican Committee and served as its leader until her death.
Born in Rockville Centre on January 15, 1949 and raised in Dix Hills, Philip H. Tepe was an American patriot with decades of service to his country and community as a Vietnam Veteran, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Nathan Hale Post #1469, and a member of the Town of Huntington Veterans Advisory Board, which his future wife established during her time as Town Supervisor, he also served as co-Chairman of its Vietnam Veterans Committee.
Phil Tepe served as a Suffolk County Deputy Fire Coordinator, a Town of Huntington Fire Marshal and was a great leader in his own right, most recently serving as Commissioner of the Dix Hills Fire District, of which he was an ex-Chief, Badge #207 and 52-year member of Engine Company 2.
At the time of his passing, the Tepe family asked those wishing to honor Phil to make a donation in his name to the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. Terry Farrell was one of Phil’s best friends and in the years after 9/11, Phil worked closely with the Farrell Brothers and did many great things for firefighters and fire departments across the country.
Join us on Sunday, June 27th at 12:00 PM at Dix Hills Park, 575 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills, NY for a dedication ceremony officially renaming the park after Huntington's first and only woman Town Supervisor, Antonia “Toni” P. Rettaliata-Tepe and her beloved husband, Dix Hills Fire Department Commissioner and Ex-Chief Philip H. Tepe.
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