STATEN ISLAND — A man is campaigning to have his father honored the best way a Staten Islander can be — by having a ferry between the borough and Manhattan named after him.
Mario Esposito Jr., 40, wants to get one of the city’s planned new boats named after his father, Mario Esposito, who served as a county clerk in Staten Island for almost 18 years.
When Esposito Jr. read about the city’s plan in July to replace three aging Staten Island Ferry boats, he thought one named after his father — who passed away in 2001 — would be a perfect way to remember him.
“I said to myself, ‘this is something that would really honor his memory,’” Esposito Jr. said. “I felt that this would be a good way of honoring a native Staten Islander who really did care about his community.”
Aside from serving as county clerk, Esposito also worked with a number of charitable and community organizations and was the president and founding member of the American Parkinson's Disease Association.
Esposito may face some stiff competition for ferry boat names. In September, Congressman Michael Grimm announced his plan to try to get one of the three new boats named after former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Esposito Jr., who works as a paralegal for the district attorney, realizes he faces an uphill battle, but said it was worth the fight.
“It's going to be a hard challenge, I know that going in,” he said.
“I feel that this man really genuinely gave to his community. I am a little concerned about it, but I do believe that it's worth giving it a chance.”
Already, Esposito Jr. has reached out to elected officials and local community boards and has received letters of support from former mayor Mario Cuomo, Community Board 2 and others.
For now, Esposito Jr.’s waiting for more letters of support and biding his time until the ferries get closer to the water.
“I hope that this community and the city will respond favorably to it,” he said.