Long Island's longest-tenured town supervisor was honored for his commitment to government and public service Sunday afternoon.
Smithtown officials named their municipal building the Town Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio Town Hall, a move adopted by resolution March 3.
The building had been known as Smithtown Town Hall.
"It was never about me. I intended to do my best job for the people," Vecchio said on the steps of Town Hall in front of about 250 people. "Thanks to the people of this town. There were more ups than downs. I'm full of gratitude."
In office 37 years, Vecchio may be the longest-tenured town supervisor in New York State, officials said.
The 35-minute dedication brought back memories for Arleen Leone, 73, who worked with Vecchio's campaign when he aspired to be supervisor in 1978. She later became his campaign manager.
"It's well deserved and a magnificent honor. He was hardworking and spread his message," said Leone, who lives in Coram.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, at the ceremony, called the supervisor a "Smithtown legend."
"He has an incredible record of service. That work, that legend continues," Bellone said.
Town employee Peter Linder, 42, said he'll never forget receiving a handwritten, three-paragraph letter from the supervisor when his mother died six years ago.
"It meant a lot. I still have it," said Lindner, who works at the recycling facility. Other town workers thanked the supervisor.
"I don't come to these things often. He's kept order and taxes down," said Pop Alardo, a 35-year town tax assessor.
The lighthearted ceremony also had humorous moments, punctuated by Smithtown historian Brad Harris.
"It's not true he was here when Town Hall was constructed in 1912," the historian said.