Sobel, Kashi re-elected to Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees

Sobel, Kashi re-elected to Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees
Incumbents Bart Sobel (left) and Eli Kashi (right) were re-elected to the Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees on Tuesday. (Photos courtesy of both candidates)

Village of Great Neck Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel and Trustee Eli Kashi were re-elected to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, each receiving more than 900 votes.

The incumbents defeated challenger Sam Yellis, who received 404 votes, in the peninsula’s lone contested election on Tuesday.

In the Village of Kings Point, Trustee Kouros “Kris” Torkan, the founder of the real estate company Villadom Corp., ran unopposed to replace Mayor Michael Kalnick, who did not run for re-election.

Torkan was first appointed to the board to fill the seat left vacant by former Trustee Ron Horowitz in 2019. Kings Point residents Tedi Kashinejad and Shahriar Victory were also unopposed for trustee seats being left vacant by incumbents Ira S. Nesenoff and David Harounian.

Torkan received 326 votes, while Kashinejad and Victory received 306 and 289 votes, respectively. Each candidate received two absentee ballot votes as well.

Lake Success Mayor Adam Hoffman and Trustees Fred Handsman, Robert Gal and Spyro Dimitratos were also unopposed in their re-election campaigns. Hoffman received 54 votes, Dimitratos and Gal each received 51 votes and Handsman received 50 votes.

Kashi, a local business owner who has served on the board since 2020, led the way in Great Neck with 964 votes, 149 of which were absentee ballots. Sobel received 944 votes, including 139 absentee votes. Yellis received 78 absentee ballots.

One of the hot-button issues heading into the election was Yellis’ claims of overdevelopment throughout the village. The challenger said the village has permitted variances that allowed them to “encroach into single-family home zoning.”

Sobel, a local lawyer who was first elected to the board in 2010, said that just one project has begun construction throughout the village over the past seven years and said Yellis’ claims were misinformed.

“Sam apparently knows little to nothing about how zoning and development work,” Sobel told Blank Slate Media. “He had opposed just about every proposal that has come before us. He decries “urbanization,” while in reality, Great Neck had always been an area with a healthy mix of single and multi-family.”

Sobel said he ran re-election to continue what has been done throughout the village since he took office more than a decade ago, including property taxes being kept to a minimum, coordinating the annual street fair and various safety enhancements such as installing flashing traffic signs and changing the Beach Road intersection to include a turning lane.

Kashi said giving back to the community is what led him to run for his seat two years ago and remained true as of Tuesday’s election. 

Some of the accomplishments he reflected on included urging Nassau County to fix and renew Middle Neck Road, hiring the “correct employees” in the building department to improve code enforcement throughout the village, and working with police to ensure Great Neck remains a safe environment for all of its’ residents.

“I would like to continue fixing the roads, correct more traffic issues and crosswalks, install more garbage collection cans, plant new trees to beautify the village, and continue to make the village hall more efficient and easy to access for all the residents,” Kashi said.

Sobel touted the work of Kashi, describing him as “a dynamic public servant” and lauded his own work ethic by attending state seminars tailored to elected officials and has received training in municipal finance.

“I think I work as hard, or harder than any other officials,” Sobel said. “I literally give my cell number, and my time, to residents to discuss any matters.”

Sobel also praised his wife, Judy, “a powerhouse” that has dedicated herself to volunteer work and been a support system for him helping run the village since being elected.

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