The Village of Sands Point has a contested village election for the positions of mayor and two trustees this year. Longtime Mayor Leonard Wurzel is seeking re-election, along with incumbent trustees Katharine (Kay) Ullman and Marc Silbert.
They are being challenged by the Residents for a Change party. Craig Sanders is the mayoral candidate on the slate and he is running with Stuart Israel and James "Chip" Welsh who are seeking trustee positions.
The election will be held on Tuesday, June 19, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at village hall located at 26 Tibbits Lane.
Port News asked all six candidates to submit bios, mission statements and, in general, explain what kind of difference they feel they can make. What they wrote follows:
"We, Mayor Leonard Wurzel and trustees Kay Ullman and Marc Silbert, are running for re-election to preserve and continue our commitment to improve the unique and excellent quality of life we enjoy as residents of the Village of Sands Point.
"Our village operations are extremely complex and multifaceted. Within our village operations, we have 11 departments, two appointed boards (zoning and planning) with 12 volunteer members, and several other village committees with volunteer residents.
"Our Village Club of Sands Point has more than 800 active members and nine club committees comprised of more than 70 committee members (most of whom are Sands Point residents). Assisting us in our roles as village officials, and providing valuable guidance, are more than 30 Sands Point residents (excluding several independent associations, clubs and organizations within Sands Point which also play an important role in village governance) who devote valuable time to the betterment of our community. We are committed to provide more opportunities to our residents who want to serve the Village of Sands Point.
"Our village government should continue under prudent, capable and experienced leadership. The village leaders should participate in village matters and should demonstrate the experience, trust and confidence of village residents necessary to govern.
"We look forward to continue to serve all the residents of the Village of Sands Point, keeping the interests of all residents of our Village as the paramount focus, to enhance its value for future generations."
"I graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1941. I was drafted into the United States Army as a private and rose to the rank of Corporal at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia. Later, I attended Officer Candidate School in the Adjutant General's Department, and was discharged as captain after two years overseas as an Assistant Adjutant General in England, France and Germany, in the U.S. Theatre Headquarters. While stationed in France, I was awarded the European-African, Middle Eastern Medal with one Battle Star, and earned the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in connection with military operations.
"I was employed by Loft Candy Corporation in 1946. I was president from 1957 to 1964. I left to form Calico Cottage Candies, Inc. and served as its president until I retired in 1992. I was also president of Retail Confectioners International and the Association of Manufacturers of Confectionery and Chocolate and was listed in "Who's Who" in America since 1959.
"My wife, Elaine, and I moved to Sands Point from Manhattan in 1953. Our sons, Mark and Larry, attended Port Washington public schools and are Schreiber High School graduates. I have always had an interest in our village government. I was appointed a member of the Village Board of Zoning Appeals from 1974 to 1981, and served as chairman from 1976 to 1981. In 1981, I was elected village trustee and served as building commissioner from 1981 to 1989. In 1989, I was elected Mayor of the Village of Sands Point. As mayor, I have been responsible for our 21 police officers, village staff, the composition of the boards of appeals/ planning, and environmental protection liaison, historic landmarks and Residents' Club Commissions, among many other duties. Although I am credited with many accomplishments, including being an honoree at the Port Washington Library Foundation Gala, perhaps the most notable is the acquisition of the 208 acre IBM recreational facility and the creation of the Village Club of Sands Point, which is the envy of many country clubs on Long Island."
"I first became a resident of Sands Point in 1951 when my parents moved to Harbor Acres. I attended local public schools in Port Washington and graduated from Paul D. Schreiber High School. My husband, Leo, and I and our four children moved back to Sands Point in 1975.
"I have served as a trustee of Sands Point for 12 years, also acting as its road commissioner and a police commissioner of the village. As a trustee I have been involved in a supervisory capacity for many of the village's key operations including the police force, building department, water district, sanitation department, Village Club, and roads. This year the village will operate with a $10 million budget. An additional $7 million is involved in the self-supporting Village Club operations.
"In my position as the road commissioner, I share responsibility with the superintendent of public works for keeping the 22 miles of public roads in Sands Point in good repair. Pursuant to the Village's Five Year Road Improvement Plan, each year a specified amount (this year approximately $800,000) is put into the budget for the resurfacing, re-grading, sweeping, sanding, repair of pot holes, replacement of curbing, and installation and improvement of storm water drains on our roads.
"As a trustee, I was also instrumental in the purchase of the IBM property for the village and the creation of the Village Club. Further, I serve as the village liaison to the Manhasset Bay and Hempstead Harbor Protection Committees, L.I. North Shore Heritage Area, L.I. Sound Study and NY State Sea Grant Committees.
"Prior to my election as a trustee, I served the village as Chair of the Sands Point Historic Landmarks Commission and a board member of the Sands Point Civic Association.
"My involvement in education before my trusteeship has been extensive. I served for 12 years on the Port Washington School Board including three years as its president and five years as its vice president. Prior to that, I was a PTA President and President of Parents Council. Subsequently, I became a founding member and vice president of the Port Washington Education Foundation. I was twice co-recipient of the Community Chest of Port Washington's Citizen of the Year Award.
"I attended the University of Michigan and Boston University (B.A.) and received a master's degree in Library Science from C.W. Post, later becoming a librarian at the Williston Park Public Library from which I recently retired."
"I moved to the Village of Sands Point from Manhattan in 1984 with my wife, Peggy and our son. Since that time, our boys Ryan and his brother Adam have both graduated from Schreiber High School. Ryan is currently attending graduate school at NYU having graduated from Cornell, and Adam is entering his junior year at Cornell.
"I have served as a Sands Point Village Trustee/Building Commissioner since 2001 following three years as a member of the Sands Point Board of Zoning and Appeals. Prior to joining the BZA, I was on the board of the Sands Point Civic Association for eight years, four of which as its president. I am a member of the Village Club of Sands Point's Development Committee which was responsible for the expansion of the club from a nine-hole course to its current 18-hole configuration as well as the creation of the Grille Room and Pro Shop facilities. I have also served on the board of the Community Synagogue.
"In addition to my role as village trustee, I am the Sands Point village representative to the Town of North Hempstead Visioning Committee, the Nassau County Hazard Mitigation Committee and the village's designated Emergency Management Officer (EMO). As the EMO, I work with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Nassau County Village Officers Association (NCVOA) to maintain a dialogue with neighboring communities in the event of a declared emergency. I have obtained an 800 MHz radio for the village which is dedicated to maintaining communications with the county OEM in the event of emergency to coordinate assistance if required. As part of my role as EMO, I have completed ICS (Incident Command Systems) 100 and 700 courses and am now certified at these levels. I attend numerous meetings to give a vibrant voice to our village and nurture productive relationships with the state, county, town and other local administrations. I was recently appointed chairman of the Town of North Hempstead's Intermunicipal Agency.
"I have been in the executive recruitment and placement industry for over 30 years and am a graduate of New York University. My wife Peggy has been president of the Schreiber HSA, and Manorhaven PTA and is currently with the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center. We are both National Co-Chairs of the Cornell University Parents Fund."
"Create open government where all the residents of Sands Point can be heard.
• We will appoint local representatives to facilitate quicker communication of residents' problems and issues.
• We will create a truly interactive website where residents can email the mayor and board of trustee members, lodge complaints, request village documents, follow live online village board meetings, online forums and referendums, investigation to allow online tee time scheduling for VCSP golf members, online payment of village fees and fines.
• We will appoint a commission of village residents to investigate and report to the board ways to improve "community life" in Sands Point.
• We will accelerate and simplify the appeal process for building permits so as to minimize delay of residents' construction projects and community eyesore of abandoned projects.
"The mayor should be a leader, not just an administrator, of the village.
• The mayoral platform is an asset that must be leveraged for the benefit of the village.
• Craig Sanders will voice his strong position on key issues confronting the community and bring back the vigor this great community has lost but so richly deserves.
"Sands Point Beautification must be funded.
• Improvement of the village appearance is too important to quality of life, as well as property values, to be ignored in the budget. Zero dollars were allocated in present budget to Sands Point Beatification, including no money for property cleanup.
• We will fund a program to clean up all the garbage left on the streets of the village, often by out-of-town contractors, by charging them a nominal permitting fee.
"Pledge a pay-as-you-go budgetary platform.
"Create a "green village."
• Provide tax credits for energy efficient building improvements.
• Implement a more aggressive recycling program.
• Explore ways to reduce the village's carbon imprint.
• Control tree removal via a replacement policy.
"Greater integration of the Village Club as the center of community life.
• Make the Mansion the main attraction by adding a card room, updating the décor and allowing for a more casual dining experience.
• Explore the addition of a health club at the tennis facility.
• Explore ways to increase use of the waterfront (Beach club, kayak club, acquire some sailing dingies).
• Have summer evening outdoor lawn movies for the whole family."
"Craig B. Sanders is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York and Florida. After briefly working at the law firm of Sanders, Sanders & Block , Mr. Sanders founded a medical management and development business. As the driving force behind this enterprise, Craig is responsible for the management and consulting of a number of healthcare ventures including in the companies history the turnkey operation of an entire 212-bed hospital with over 600 employees, several hospital departments on Long Island and throughout the New York Metropolitan Area, and over ten health clinics in New York and New Jersey. In addition to his management business, Craig presently serves of counsel as a specialist in the field of health law for a number of regional law firms and consults on a number of healthcare development projects.
"Craig is married to Michelle, his wife of over 10 years, who is an active member of the community serving presently on the executive board of Manorhaven School, co-chair of the Special Education Parent Teacher Association for Manorhaven School and the past co-chair of the Sunrise Day Camp Mitzvah Day Fund Raising Committee. Craig and Michelle are the parents of Rachel (9), twins Harry and Max (5). Craig can often be seen on the basketball court, tennis court, Village Club pool, and occasionally on the golf links."
"Stuart M. Israel is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans and Brooklyn Law School. He is a founding member and managing partner of a health care law firm employing almost 100 employees with a multi-million dollar budget. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and Trial Lawyers Association as well as a frequent lecturer on health care issues to local physicians and lawyers.
"Stuart's other administrative experience includes former president of NYC Building Co-op Board with 100 units, recent election to serve on board of trustees of a charitable organization and former board member of a local yacht club. Stuart is active in many charitable endeavors and is presently engaged with a start-up in the New Orleans school system, recently ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
"Stuart is a sailor who has been boating on Manhasset Bay for over 40 years. He is a resident of Sands Point with his wife, Susan, a former NYC pre-school teacher and presently a director of the Early Childhood section of Sunrise Day Camp, a program created for children stricken with cancer. They have three children, Hannah, age 12, Elana, age 9 and Jacob, age 6.
"James "Chip" Welsh has been in the technology industry since 1981. After graduating SUNY at Stony Brook with a BS in computer sciences Chip started his career at Grumman Data Systems based in Calverton, Long Island. He earned a transfer to the R&D team at Grumman Bethpage where he supported Grumman scientists on such projects as aircraft radar detection simulation and other projects requiring secret clearance.
"Transitioning to NY City in the mid-1980s he worked as developer/consultant for Dean Witter Reynolds earning his MBA from Fordham's Business school at night. He then joined Sun Microsystems where he took on ever more challenging roles in the global sales and marketing of high technology for the next 10 years. He and his wife, Melissa, spent an interesting year based in Moscow, Russia managing the sales team for Sun Microsystems.
"Chip and Melissa, and children Lily and Max, returned from Silicon Valley to New York to spend the remaining years of his mother's life, who was stricken with a terminal illness in 2000.
"Chip has been entrepreneurial since 1999 leading the sales efforts of Silicon Valley based start-ups on the east coast.
"As an avid runner you can often see Chip on the roads of Sands Point or boating with his father and family on Long Island waters."