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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Elovich was ‘synonymous’ with Long Beach
Family, friends say he played ‘instrumental’ role in turning city around
Courtesy Elovich family
Al D’amato, left, Larry and Helen Elovich and George Pataki in the early 1990s. Many say that Elovich's political connections benefitted Long Beach over the years.

“Everywhere you look in Long Beach, you see [reminders] of Larry Elovich: the boardwalk that we run on, the thriving shops and restaurants, the beautiful beaches …,” said Elovich’s daughter, Lisa. “Larry Elovich is synonymous with Long Beach.”

Family and friends remembered Elovich as a formidable political leader during a tumultuous time in the city’s history, particularly in the 1970s and ’80s. His close friend Stanley Fleishman, a former chairman of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, said that as the Chamber’s president, Elovich helped attract new businesses to the city.

Fleishman and others said that Elovich was instrumental in transforming Long Beach from an economically depressed beachfront community into a city with a vibrant business district. “He would back projects that needed to be done,” Fleishman said. “He changed the business look of our community … and we have the lowest vacancy rate in Nassau County for stores. He helped revitalize the Long Beach business community …, attracting new businesses and working with the city to clean Park Avenue, maintain a cleaner city and working with the Rec [Center] to [bring] in more concerts and the arts.”

Elovich’s friends said that his death marks not only the end of a long and respected political career, but the end of an era in Long Beach.

“Politics has changed,” said Ed Eaton, who first served as city manager from 1979 to 1999. “You don’t get political leaders like you did in the 1960s and ’70s.”

Elovich, a Democrat, was the first such leader to unify a City Council and a party committee, bringing an end to years of Democratic infighting, according to a 1971 article in Newsday.

“He wanted to get involved in the community when he started his law practice,” Fleishman said. “He was very knowledgeable of politics and political affairs. He had the relationships on both sides of the isle — with Al D’Amato, who was a strong Republican, and Peter King. And then on the Democratic side, he was good friends with [State Comptroller] Tom DiNapoli and a friend of Governor Cuomo, both father and son.”

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