Dec. 15, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A street in Middle Village has been co-named in honor of a former city council member.
The corner of Furmanville Avenue and 83rd Street was co-named “Thomas V. Ognibene Way” during a ceremony Sunday—in honor of a former Republican lawmaker who lived on the block.
Ognibene represented Council District 30 — which covers Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside — from 1992 to 2001 and was Council Minority leader from 1994 until his term ended.
The ceremony took place on what would have been his 78th birthday. He died in 2015 from cancer, aged 71.
Several elected officials attended the event including Council Members Robert Holden and Eric Ulrich, Congresswoman Grace Meng, and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. Local leaders, residents and Ognibene’s relatives including his widow Margaret were also in attendance.
Holden said that the street co-naming would help preserve Ognibene’s legacy.
“Tom touched so many lives,” Holden said, who organized the event and passed legislation in the city council that made the co-naming possible.
“Not only was he a tremendously gifted politician and dedicated public servant, but he was also extremely generous with his time and [provided] sage advice to the younger elected officials who spoke so fondly of him today.”
Ognibene worked alongside former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s to tackle crime and improve quality of life issues for constituents, Holden has said in the past. He also played a key role in helping to beautify Juniper Valley Park.
He ran for mayor in 2005 unsuccessfully against then-incumbent Michael Bloomberg and sought his old council seat again in 2009 but lost to Elizabeth Crowley.
Ognibene was an attorney before being elected to office. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1970.
Ognibene was also on the board of trustees at Christ the King High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., for more than 20 years.