Councilman Robert Holden held a street co-naming ceremony for former Councilman Thomas Ognibene on Sunday, Dec. 12, at the corner of Furmanville Avenue and 83rd Street in Middle Village.
Ognibene served as the council member for District 30 — encompassing Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Forest Hills — and also held the position of Republican minority leader in the City Council. He was first elected in 1992, serving through 2001.
The former councilman died in 2015. He is also remembered for serving in the U.S. Army as an officer in the Armor Corp from 1967 to 1970. Ognibene graduated on the dean’s list from C.W. Post College, got his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and opened his own practice in 1975.
“Council member and Minority Leader Thomas V. Ognibene is a credit to the civic spirit of our neighborhood and this street co-naming, very near to his home, will help his legacy to be remembered,” Holden said. “I was proud to sponsor it and very pleased to hear so many fond memories of how Tom touched so many lives. Not only was he a tremendously gifted politician and dedicated public servant, but he was also extremely generous with his time and sage advice to the younger elected officials who spoke so fondly of him today.”
While serving as a Council member, Ognibene was working to revitalize the city in the 1990s, partnering with members from both sides of the aisle. He fought to improve the quality of life, and he helped Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his effort to reduce crime, clean city parks and protect small businesses.
Ognibene was married for 48 years to his wife, Margaret, and had two children together, Guy and Eve. Ognibene also served as vice president of Christ the King High School’s board of trustees for more than 20 years.