Kirsch defeats Birnbaum in Great Neck village justice election

Kirsch defeats Birnbaum in Great Neck village justice election
Attorney David Kirsch defeated incumbent Mark Birnbaum in the Village of Great Neck's village justice election on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of David Kirsch)

Local attorney David Kirsch handily defeated incumbent Mark Birnbaum by nearly 600 votes in the Village of Great Neck’s village justice election on Tuesday.

Kirsch received 779 votes to Birnbaum’s 195 votes, Village Clerk-Treasurer Abraham Cohan announced Tuesday night. Of the 779 votes Kirsch received, 557 were in-person ballots and the remaining 222 votes were from absentee ballots, Cohan said. Birnbaum received 174 votes from in-person ballots cast and 21 from absentee ballots.

The election ended an eight-year tenure on the bench for Birnbaum, who spent a decade on the village Board of Trustees before winning his first term as village justice. The justice oversees cases such as moving, parking and traffic violations along with violations of the village code.

“It’s apparent that the residents who voted wanted change,” Birnbaum said in a statement to Blank Slate Media. “I am proud and grateful to have served the residents of the village for the past 30 years, the last 19 as an elected official. I hope that my successor instills confidence in the entire community of an independent, fair village court.”

Kirsch, who will serve a four-year term as village justice, attended Hofstra University for his undergraduate education before going to Touro College in 2003. He received his Juris Doctor degree in criminal law there three years later.

Prior to working at the Barton Law Group in Huntington Station, Kirsch served eight years as an associate attorney for Manhattan-based Koehler and Isaacs LLP. He represented clients in criminal, labor and disciplinary cases.

Kirsch said his first job out of school as an attorney was working at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, where he served as an assistant to former DA Robert Johnson. Kirsch handled crimes ranging from narcotics to violent felonies.

Kirsch said he has served as the vice president of security for Young Israel of Great Neck for the past several years, along with being a member of the synagogue’s Executive Board.

“I’d like to thank Mark Birnbaum for his many years of service to the community,” Kirsch said in a statement to Blank Slate Media. “Thank you to those who trusted me with their votes. I hope to serve the entire community with fairness, to the best of my ability, as Justice of the Village of Great Neck.”

Birnbaum was first elected village justice in 2013 and re-elected in 2017 after serving as a village trustee from 2002 to 2012. In the early stages of his trustee tenure, Birnbaum was appointed the liaison for the Nassau County Police Department, the village’s public safety commissioner and the Great Neck police commissioner.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral and trustees Steven Hope and Annie Mendelson were also re-elected in their uncontested races.

Bral, who was elected to his third two-year term as mayor, received 939 votes. After defeating former Mayor Ralph Kreitzman in 2015, Bral faced challengers in his 2017 and 2019 re-election campaigns.

Mendelson received 805 votes and Hope received 778 in their two-year term trustee elections, Cohan said. Mendelson, a technical product manager at the financial data firm Refinitiv, was first elected to the board in 2015. Hope, a property manager at Park Row South Realty, has served on the board since 2017. 

“Thank you to everyone who voted and thank you for entrusting us with another three years of serving the community,” Bral said Tuesday night.

In the Village of Lake Success, Trustees Lawrence Farkas and Gene Kaplan received 63 and 71 votes, respectively, in their uncontested races. Marian Lee, who has served on the village’s Planning Board and Parks & Recreation Board, received 112 votes in her uncontested election to fill a trustee seat previously held by David Milner, whom Lee beat in the village’s primary election earlier this year.

All Lake Success trustee positions were two-year terms.

In the Village of Kings Point, incumbent trustees Hooshang Nematzadeh, Kouros Torkan and Ira S. Nesenoff received 150, 117, and 109 votes, respectively, in their uncontested elections.

Village Justice Randa Maher received 115 votes in her uncontested election for another four-year term.

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