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Letter: We’ll miss these two public servants

Nassau Legis. Judy Jacobs speaks on the steps

Nassau Legis. Judy Jacobs speaks on the steps of the county building in Mineola Nov. 3, 2014, during a news conference. Photo Credit: Chuck Fadely

I had the opportunity to work with two remarkable women who recently passed away, Legis. Judy Jacobs [“Recalling kindness of ‘Ju-Ju,’ ” News, Sept. 17] and Ann Famigliette, who was the executive assistant to Thomas Suozzi when he was Nassau County executive [“Ann Famigliette, Dem leader,” News, Sept. 25].

They were highly qualified women who were generous with their time and experience. Most important, they were dedicated to making government work the way it should.

As a deputy county executive, I worked with Jacobs on Suozzi’s challenging state and local legislative initiatives — everything from creating the Sewer and Storm Water Authority, securitization of the tobacco settlement to fund Nassau University Medical Center and approval of the first Environmental Bond Act to help preserve open space. Jacobs had an eye for identifying tipping points, following correct protocols and seeking bipartisan support.

Famigliette also understood complexities, who the stakeholders were and whom to reach out to in different communities. She had an innate sense of the best timing to move on an issue.

These were two power players who also tried to help other women along the path. They were firsts in their own rights — Jacobs as majority leader of the county legislature and Famigliette as a Democratic Party leader in Glen Cove.

When I became the first woman president of the Long Island Rail Road in 2007, they were among the first to reach out to me to offer their congratulations and help.

Helena E. Williams, Garden City