In order to carry out the goals her husband had set as the deputy mayor of Malverne prior to his death earlier this year, Patricia Canzoneri-Callahan agreed to serve for the remainder of his four-year term.
Describing her as a natural fit for the position, Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald appointed Canzoneri-Callahan to the seat, vacated when James Callahan III died May 26, at the village board’s July 6 meeting. “This is bittersweet,” McDonald said. “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and thinking about who could fill the broad shoes Jim had. [Canzoneri-Callahan] is more than qualified.”
McDonald wasn’t the only one with conflicting feelings about the occasion. “This is also an evening of mixed emotions for me,” Joseph Canzoneri, Canzoneri-Callahan’s father and a former village mayor, said when he swore his daughter into the seat. “But I know that Patricia will do a great job.”
Callahan served Malverne well with his extensive legal knowledge and experience with local issues, McDonald said. “We are very fortunate to have a replacement that brings similar skills and talents to the village board,” she said.
In an interview with the Herald, Canzoneri-Callahan said she was grateful to McDonald for giving her the opportunity to take her late husband’s place. “He was very committed to serving the residents and doing what was best for them,” she said, “and in his untimely passing, certain things he had set as his goals — he wasn’t going to accomplish them. So I feel very strongly that I would like to finish out his term so that I can complete the goals that he had set.”
Callahan, who served on the board for 12 years and as the commissioner of the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, died of cancer, with which he was diagnosed during a six-week hospital stay this spring. He suffered a stroke on April 9 — five days after he was sworn into office — and was hospitalized until he died in the early-morning hours of May 26. He was 42.