As with other villages in the Roslyn area, the Village of Roslyn Estates will have board of trustee elections on Tuesday, March 18. Candidates in Roslyn Estates will be running for two-year terms and as opposed to the other villages, there is significant opposition to the incumbents.
Mayor Susan Ben-Moshe is running unopposed, but incumbent Trustee Richard Levine, running on the Evergreen Party ticket with Mayor Ben-Moshe, is facing opposition from candidates from two other parties. Todd Street will also be running for trustee on the Evergreen ticket. The newly formed Restoration Party will field two BOT candidates, Scott Henry and Leslie Scharf, while Steven M. Sloane will be running for the board on the CARE (Concerned About Roslyn Estates) ticket. There are two trustee seats up for election on March 18. The term for each seat is two years.
The Roslyn News asked representatives of each party to state why they are running for the board and to address what they see as the important issues facing Roslyn Estates.
According to the founders of the Restoration Party, the origin of the party's name is to "restore" what they say has been lost in the village over the past six to 12 months. For party members, that includes a community spirit and sense of neighborhood, trust and belief in village government and its mandate to serve its residents, and an administration that is more representative of the makeup and views of the residents.
The Restoration Party's statement lists "key drivers" as: creating a non-intimidating, non-confrontational environment which encourages residents to interact and participate; establishing a two-way communication process, one that is open in nature and facilitates a free and collaborative dialogue about the issues affecting the village; and no hidden or behind-the-scenes agenda - full disclosure of the issues and objectives.
Scott Henry and Leslie Scharf are the Restoration Party candidates. Henry is an investment banker who has lived in the village with his wife and two school-aged children for the past eight years. Scharf is a native of Roslyn who has lived in Roslyn Estates for the past seven years. He, too, is married with two school-aged children. Scharf is also a former member of the Roslyn Estates Architectural Review Board.
Steven M. Sloane, the CARE party trustee candidate, has been a resident of Roslyn Estates for six years. He has been a member of the Roslyn Estates Civic Association for the past five years, serving as president and currently, as vice president. During that time, Sloane has been involved with the execution of annual gifts to the village, with planning various social events, and with writing a monthly column for the civic association, one that often concerned safe driving reminders to village residents.
"This past year there has been much dissension in the village due to a number of issues, primarily Architectural Review and Subdivisions," Sloane said. "I believe that the views of a small number of people have been used to overwhelm the majority of residents into believing that more regulation is better. I believe that the residents of the village do care about the place they live in and would prefer to see a more open process for decision making - a process that will incorporate more input from those who care about the village and its majority of residents.
"I therefore believe that those people who really care about the village need to elect new trustees who will bring a broader view to the village board. I believe I am one of those people," Sloane concluded.
The candidates running on the Evergreen Party ticket represent a combination of experienced incumbents with Todd Street, a newcomer to village politics.
"This slate of candidates brings together two experienced officers," the Evergreen statement said, speaking of Susan Ben-Moshe and Richard Levine. "Both have served in their present capacities for four years with a proven track record. They have added Todd Street to their slate to infuse fresh ideas and a new perspective while hoping to continue on with the gains that they have made in the past," the party spokesman added.
The Evergreen Party official said the party's accomplishments have come in four areas: Responding to residents' needs, enhancing village services, effectuating governmental efficiency, and beautifying the village.
"The Evergreen Party hopes to continue to serve the needs of the village and maintain its beauty while giving residents the very best and most efficient service," the statement continued. "Their platform is simple: they are proud of what they have done in the past and hope to continue to service Roslyn Estates' residents in the future."
In addition to his work on the village board, Levine is an insurance agent in Great Neck. Street is president of Todd Street Productions, a Manhattan-based firm that does presentation work for a variety of events, including trade shows and professional meetings.
During the past several months, village residents have been involved in intense discussions over proposed changes in its zoning code, a development that has helped to create the competitive environment surrounding this year's election.
Voting for the March 18 election will take place at Roslyn Estates Village Hall located at 25 The Tulips. Voting hours are from noon to 9 p.m.