Village of Lake Success Mayor Ronald Cooper is running unopposed for his fourth term in next week’s village election, while three members of the board of trustees are also making uncontested bids for re-election.
In addition to Cooper, Lake Success Deputy Mayor Stephen Lam and trustees Fred Handsman and Paul Glantz are running unopposed for new two-year terms in Tuesday’s election.
Lake Success Village Justice Howard Boris is also facing an uncontested election for another four-year term.
“I think that the stability of the village is certainly enhanced by the fact that we’ll all be coming back,” Cooper said.
Voting will be held from 12 until 9 p.m. at Lake Success Village Hall, which is located at 318 Lakeville Road.
“I think the board has a good mix of people with different backgrounds,” Lam said. “You have people who are lawyers. You have people who are businessmen. You have people who are, fortunately, accountants.”
“It really makes it a lot easier,” he added, “to steer the direction that the village is going in.”
The versatility of Lake Success’ village government begins with Cooper, who before becoming mayor, served for eight years on the board of trustees.
Cooper served as the village’s golf commissioner and chairman of the finance committee during his tenure as a trustee. He was also the board of trustees’ liaison to the planning board and the Lake Success Police Department.
Now retired, Cooper was a managing partner with accounting firm Ernst and Young for 35 years. He is currently treasurer and member of the executive committee of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.
“During the tenure of my trusteeship, I was probably most proud of my work done on the golf course, curing the drainage problems on the golf course, which has made that facility far more usable,” Cooper said.
In his next term, Cooper said he will focus on helping to renegotiate the contracts with the village’s civil service and police department unions. He said keeping Lake Success’ budget in check will also be considered a major priority over the next two years.
“It’s mostly now all financial,” the mayor said. “That’s the major thrust of what we need to assure that the village is financially stable and that the residents are getting the biggest bang for their buck.”
Lam, who has been a trustee for 20 years, has also served in various capacities as a member of the village’s governing board.
Over the past eight years, Lam has been deputy mayor under Cooper and former Lake Success Mayor Robert Bernstein.
“I’ve worked very, very closely with mayors,” Lam said.
As a trustee, Lam has served on the golf commission and was on the men’s golf club board for 13 years. He has also been on the negotiating committees for the village’s police and civil service union contracts for the past 18 years.
A “semi-retired” former operator of his 90-year-old family-owned business, which manufactures diamond-cutting machinery, Lam said he will continue work to help balance the village’s finances.
“We’re looking to get a balanced budget by working on a contract with the police that is equitable for them, but will allow the village to maintain its tax cap of under 2 percent that was sent down by the state,” Lam said. “At this point, I’m confident that we can get a contract with the police that will enable us to maintain the budget we’re looking at.”
After Lam, the longest-tenured member of the village’s board of trustees is Handsman, who is currently finishing out his ninth term.
During his 18 years as trustee, Handsman has served as the Lake Success golf commissioner and is currently the board of trustee’s liaison to the public works committee.
“The board works very well together,” said Handsman, who is a senior manager at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. “Everybody’s very independent, very mindful of what we are trying to do. It’s been running very smoothly, I have to say.”
Handsman said his tenure with the public works committee has yielded real results for village residents.
“We pretty much rebuilt the entire village infrastructure,” he said. “We built the police/court house. We built a brand new pool. We built a brand new community building with a number of multi-purpose rooms.”
And helping to ensure negotiations for the village’s new civil service and police department contracts run smoothly will be important over the next year, Handsman said.
“It’s very important for the village, and to our employees, that it’s done fairly and equitably,” he said. “We have a responsibility to New York state, as well as our own residents, to keep that in place and watch our expenditures and keep our property taxes as low as possible.”
Glantz will also play an important role in negotiating the village’s police union contract in the upcoming year.
Since being appointed to the board of trustees by Cooper to replace former Trustee Gary Gambetta in 2009, Glantz has served as the liaison to the police department.
“I think I’ve brought my managerial knowledge and experience from the business world into the police force,” said Glantz, who runs his 102-year-old, family-owned scrap metal broker business – Glantz Iron and Metals Inc.
Glantz said leading an effort to change the village’s ambulance service provider to North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has provided a major cost-saving initiative for the police department.
“What it did was actually free up the police to perform the other services that we are asking them to perform,” he said.
Over his next term, Glantz said he is prepared to work with his fellow trustees to continue to save money for the Lake Success Police Department.
“We are definitely not a monolithic group,” Glantz said of the board of trustees. “We have varying opinions on how to manage the village and I think that’s good. If it was just one opinion on every issue, we wouldn’t be able to do very much.”
Attempts to reach Boris for comment on this story were unavailing.