Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:10
(Editor’s Note: Immediately after the petitions for candidacy were filed the Great Neck Record contacted each of the three villages holding elections. Each village clerk/treasurer was advised that the Record would accept a photograph and short biography and statement of intent to run for office from each candidate. To date only the Village of Great Neck candidates have chosen to comply and have submitted the following statements.)
The villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Lake Success will all hold elections this coming Tuesday, June 16. Seats are open for mayor and trustee positions. None of these villages will see a contested election.
Village Justice Jon Mostel is also running for re-election. He is running for another four-year term.
Our village finances are strong and we have been able to reduce property taxes. That has been achieved without reducing services to our residents, notwithstanding our current economic woes and all in stark contrast to the serious financial problems our state, county and other governments are facing. We also have maintained our high credit rating which reduces our interest expense on the bonds we issue. Also, the recently negotiated sewer combination, when implemented, will result in substantial tax savings.
Our quality of life initiatives include our new Strathmore Eco-Park and new Village Green fountain and plaza, both without expending any village taxpayer dollars, our workforce housing law, rebuilt and newly planted islands in Middle Neck Road, inter-municipal cooperation with the Great Neck Park District for recycling and other matters (these too save tax dollars without cost to the village), increased recycling efforts and continuing to rebuild or repave our Village roads, among others.
Importantly, we have been working, and will continue to work, with our schools and police (we are not permitted to have our own police force) to increase safety and improve our quality of life.
We have significantly improved our building department and the services and responsiveness of our village to our residents and businesses.
Our improved relationship with other municipalities and elected officials has benefited our village and, since becoming mayor, I have become the vice president of the Great Neck Village Officials Association, a member of the executive board of the Nassau County Village Officials Association, a director of the Water Authority of Great Neck North and a member of the Town of North Hempstead Mayors’ Sewer Advisory Committee.
I believe my background as a commercial and real estate lawyer for over 35 years with an international law firm based in New York, my degree and experience in accounting, my chairmanship of law firm and bar committees, my highest ethical and legal ability attorney peer rating and my ability to listen and to analyze and deal with complex and difficult situations, has assisted me in performing my job as mayor of the great Village of Great Neck.
I stated earlier that there is still much more to do in today’s uncertain economic times. Of critical importance to our residents’ quality of life and our village generally is the improvement of our business community and Middle Neck Road. It will require a lot of thought, input from various sources, cooperative work and difficult decisions. Of course, that is only one item on the never-ending road to making Great Neck a better place to live, work and enjoy life. With the help of our residents, I look forward to continuing to work on that “road.”
Having 34 years experience in business, a BS in Accounting, an MBA in Finance and a CPA Certificate, I bring a great deal of financial management experience to the village. Working with many elected officials from the federal, state, county, town and local levels, I have been able to forge many close working relationships that have been very beneficial to our village. I am active in other community organizations in various positions such as: commissioner and treasurer, Great Neck Senior Housing Authority; board member, Great Neck Chamber of Commerce and chairman of its community relations committee; chairman of the Crafts Fair Committee; executive board member and treasurer, Lake Success Jewish Center. These different experiences help me to enhance and improve our quality of life in our village.
I have brought fiscal awareness to our village by utilizing conservative budgetary practices, which has provided our village with a fiscally responsible budget for the past eight years. I helped create our five-year plan for improvement and replacement of our infrastructure. I have attended many state run seminars to enhance my knowledge on many government issues that affect us locally. Audit controls were established for the review of all village voucher abstracts. I review all invoices and vouchers to ascertain that we have received the goods and services billed for and must approve them before any are paid. Additionally, I have renegotiated contracts for the village that saved us money. This effort needs to be continued.
I created and chair the Villages Business and Commerce Committee. I’ve enlisted business owners and other elected officials to help improve our downtown. Some ideas that have been implemented are the Middle Neck Road welcoming banners and the rebuilding and replanting of our center islands. The new brick sidewalks are also becoming a reality making our downtown more inviting. I have partnered with business owners and building owners alike to upgrade their stores and our streetscape. I have brought change and excitement to our streets with knowledge I have attained from attending seminars on downtown rejuvenation. Given the economic conditions, we have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done.
Resolving resident issues is probably the most rewarding part of the job. The one-on-one contact with our residents and problem solving is most satisfying for me.
A few additional accomplishments are:
Creation of legislation for site plan review, which allows residents more involvement in proposed changes made to their neighborhood.
Modified zoning restrictions that impeded the renting of stores within our village.
Proposed smart growth re-zoning on Middle Neck Road to enhance our Business District and allow for Emergency Workforce Housing.
On the negotiating team with Mayor Ralph Kreitzman for the consolidation of our village run sewer system with the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, which will save tax dollars for all village residents.
It has been my honor representing you for the last eight years and, with your help, look forward to two more.
First, I wish to thank the residents of our village for the honor and privilege of serving as their village trustee for the past two years. In that time I worked closely with Mayor Kreitzman in formulating and introducing work force housing legislation. At the behest of the mayor, I chair the village’s inter-departmental storm water task force responsible for working with residents beset by flooding to find realistic solutions to this problem. As a result, engineering of a major storm water mitigation project for Middle Neck Road is under way and being paid for by the county. I also serve as trustee liaison to the village’s department of public works. In this capacity, I work closely with the department’s superintendent in objectively defining and recommending to the mayor and board of trustees the village’s annual road improvement capital program. If fortunate enough to be re-elected, I will, among other things, continue working to “green” our village by introducing sensible legislation requiring adherence to Energy Star Standards in new construction.
I am founder and CEO of Executive Strategies Group LLC, a strategic advisor to business owners. I have authored numerous articles and sections of books on strategic planning and public finance. Previously, I was the principal in charge of strategic business planning and advisory services at Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP, a leading certified public accounting and business advisory firm. I also held senior management positions with the City of New York.
I have been the chairman of a local chapter of an international association of CEOs, and an elected delegate to the White House Conference on small business where I chaired statewide and northeast regional committees.
Philanthropically, I have been president of the board of governors of the American Jewish Committee, Long Island Chapter. I am a member of the Long Island Cabinet of the State of Israel Bonds, a founding member of the Great Neck Arts Center, and an associate trustee of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Village government, more so than town, county, state or federal government, is the one that most impacts every resident every day from garbage pickup to snow removal to sewage processing. I have always felt an obligation to the community in which I live and that is why, long before my election two years ago, I was active in the Village of Great Neck government. As you may recall, I served on the village’s board of zoning appeals for four years and on the planning board for two years. Now I want to further my service to the Village of Great Neck by seeking another term as your trustee. I am seeking re-election to ensure that both current and future residents will enjoy the wonderful quality of life that my family has enjoyed for the past 19 years and which I and all my colleagues on the board of trustees work so strenuously to maintain and constantly improve. I hope that you will once again honor me with your vote.
It is my honor and privilege to run for re-election as your village justice. My family and I are proud to call Great Neck our home for over 30 years. We have been members of a local synagogue since we bought our home, and have actively participated in its affairs. Our children attended our local public schools. Before I was elected as village justice I was elected as a member of the board of trustees and appointed to serve as deputy mayor. I also served on and chaired the board of zoning appeals. I am an attorney, admitted to practice in New York State and federal courts and a partner in a large New York and international law firm.
The Village Justice Court is a separate, equal and distinct branch of local government. It has broad, but limited jurisdiction in matters affecting the local community and is the court readily accessible geographically to the people. It is often called ‘the court closest to the people.’
While the job of village justice is a part-time job, the village justice is responsible for the operation of the Village Justice Court and the office of the Court Clerk which is open daily. We take pride in serving our village, seeing to the honest and fair administration of justice and in doing our part to encourage respect for the law. I look forward to continuing to serve our community in this capacity.”
Elections in the Village of Great Neck are Tuesday, June 16, from noon to 9 p.m.
Residents who live west of Middle Neck Road and north of Hicks Lane will vote at Great Neck House, 14 Arrandale Avenue. Residents who live east of Middle Neck Road and south of Hicks Lane will vote at the E.M. Baker Elementary School, 69 Baker Hill Road.
In the Village of Kings Point trustees Richard Sokolov and Peter Aron are running for reelection for two-year terms. The elections are uncontested.
Also, Village Justice Gary Granoff, who was appointed as a replacement, is running, unopposed, for election to this four-year term.
Elections in the Village of Kings Point are Tuesday, June 16, from noon to 9 p.m., at Kings Point Village Hall, 32 Steppingstone Lane.
For the Village of Lake Success, three trustees are running for re-election. Adam Kolodny, Adam Hoffman and David Milner are all running unopposed for another two-year term.
Village of Lake Success elections are Tuesday, June 16, noon to 9 p.m., at Lake Success Village Hall, 318 Lakeville Road.