GN voters head to polls Tuesday

GN voters head to polls Tuesday

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for elections in six of Great Neck’s nine villages.

The villages of Great Neck Plaza, Great Neck Estates, Kensington, Russell Gardens and Thomaston will hold votes in their village halls on March 19 for their boards of trustees. The Plaza will open polls from 9:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m., and all the other villages will vote from noon through 9:00 p.m.

With the exception of two trustee races in Saddle Rock, all of the declared candidates are running on uncontested ballots. But voters in some villages will see changes to their local governments – including in Russell Gardens, where Mayor Matthew Bloomfield will not seek re-election.

Former Russell Gardens Mayor Steve Kirschner is stepping forward to again seek the village’s top executive position.

Kirschner, who is running unopposed, said in February that he decided to run because of a lack of willing and experienced candidates among the village’s current trustees.

“Unfortunately, many of the trustees are relatively new with the exception of the deputy mayor,” Kirschner said. “I’ve been living in the village of 35 years and I love the village, and I thought that until people get a little more experience I could go back in.”

Kirschner said Bloomfield was leaving public life for personal and business concerns and that Village of Russell Gardens Deputy Mayor Martin Adickman would not seek the mayor’s seat for similar reasons. Village of Russell Gardens trustees Jane Krakauer, David Miller and Matthew Ellis did not seek the position because of their relatively recent elections to the board, Kirschner said.

Kirschner, who served on the board for nearly two decades including a stint as mayor from 2003 to 2009, said he anticipates holding the job until other trustees feel ready to run for mayor.

Bloomfield has been mayor for four years, and has served on the board since 1990. Adickman is the second most senior member of the board, having served since 2003. 

Krakauer and Ellis took office in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and both replaced trustees who did not run for re-election. Miller took Bloomfield’s trustee position when he became mayor in 2010. 

Kirschner said that though his wife would not be thrilled with the additional time away from home, he wants to use his experience to help guide the village. 

Among the priorities he listed were continuing  infrastructure maintenance and snow-clearing initiatives while attempting to keep budgets below the state tax cap.

In Saddle Rock, trustees David Schwartz and Mark Collins are facing challenges to their relection from Independent Party of the Village of Saddle Rock candidates Hamid “Ben” Sharifiazad and Shlomo “Mony” Zenou. Mayor Dan Levy is running for reelection uncontested.

In the village of Great Neck Plaza, 12-year Trustee Gerry Schneiderman and recently appointed Trustee Lawrence Katz are running unopposed for election.

Schneiderman is a longtime resident who, prior to serving as trustee, was the chairman of the village board of zoning appeals from 1982 through 2000. Katz, a certified public accountant, was appointed to the board in December following the retirement of former Trustee Marion Green and is seeking his first elected term in office.

Schneiderman said in February that he serves as a liaison between the village and the business community and will continue to promote the economic and real-estate development of the Plaza.

“I love the village. I think we’re on the right track. The mayor’s done a lot to help the development of the downtown,” Schneiderman said, referring to Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender. “There’s a lot to be done and I love doing it.”

Katz told the Great Neck News he was looking forward to building on his months in office.

“I’m running because I think I can help the board and help Jean in their endeavor to improve quality of life in the village,” he said.

In Kensington, Trustee Alina Hendler is running for re-election unopposed. Deputy Mayor Gail Strongwater will not seek re-election, and attorney Darren Kaplan will seek her seat unopposed. 

In the Village of Great Neck Estates, Mayor David Fox, Deputy Mayor William Warner and Trustee Sidney Krugman are seeking re-election unopposed. 

Thomaston Mayor Robert Stern, Deputy Mayor Steven Weinberg and Trustee Gary Noren are also running for re-election without competitors on the ballot. Trustee To-On Pang is running for his first elected term unopposed after being appointed to the board in May to replace departing Trustee Robert Klein.

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