Former state Assemblyman Rory Lancman was elected to serve as the next president of the Great Neck Library during Tuesday night’s re-organization meeting.
Lancman described the library as “the crown jewel of Great Neck” and expressed his gratitude for being voted into the position by his peers on the board. Forging a sense of unity and collegiately on the library board is something he wants to immediately work on as president.
“I want to try and put all of the intra-board contentions behind us and give the people of Great Neck a library board that reflects both their values and their working toward a common goal and spending taxpayer money wisely,” Lancman told Blank Slate Media.
Lancman, who served as a state Assemblyman representing the 25th District and as a member of the New York City Council, moved to Great Neck in 2021 with his wife, Mojgan, the first Iranian-American to be elected as a state Supreme Court Judge.
He was elected to the board in November following a contentious election featuring a lawsuit launched by a pair of challenging candidates, Jessica Hughes and Christina Rusu.
The counting of votes from the Halloween election was challenged by Hughes and Rusu, who also filed a legal complaint against the library and their opponents, Lancman and Trustee Liman Mimi Hu.
The challenges made by Hughes and Rusu included ballots that had non-original signatures or no signature at all, incorrect dates and were handwritten or lacking time stamps, according to court documents.
Lancman defeated Rusu 1,683-1,626 while Hu defeated Hughes 1,760-1,753 as both will serve three-year terms on the board.
Lancman also touted the need for himself and the entire board to prioritize the Great Neck community and ensure that the library has something for everyone.
“It’s a matter of, internally, functioning as well as possible and externally engaging the community so that people can have input and that the direction of the library is informed by what the different communities of Great Neck need,” Lancman said.
Additionally, Scott Sontag was voted to serve as vice president of the board, Kathy Gold was elected to serve as secretary, Hu was elected to serve as treasurer and Don Panetta and Josephine Mairzadeh were elected to serve as assistant treasurers.