Great Neck Library sets out to fill vacancies as elections draw closer

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The Great Neck Library's board met in the Parkville Branch Library on Tuesday night, updating attendees on election matters and other projects. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The Great Neck Library Board of Trustees accepted Omer Soykan’s resignation from the Nominating Committee on Tuesday night and set procedures for filling vacancies.

Soykan resigned to run for a trustee position, according to an email sent to Holly Coscetta, the administrative assistant to the library director, which was attached to the meeting agenda. The resignation is necessary to be in compliance with the library’s by-laws.

Soykan will be interviewed by the nominating committee for the vacancy.

His resignation cut the number of members on the Nominating Committee to four.

This resignation comes shortly after a decision by the board to extend its application deadline for a trustee seat, vacated by Douglas Hwee, who was voted off by the Board of Trustees, and for a Nominating Committee seat to Sept. 1.

Earlier this year, the Nominating Committee selected Weihua Yan to run for the expiring seat of Marietta DiCamillo and Dr. Barry Smith to run for the expiring seat of Michael Fuller. Their terms would last from January 2018 to 2022.

The library also announced that Josie Pizer, a former library board trustee, was running as an independent candidate for the Nominating Committee seat of Marie Franzoni. This places her against Nominating Committee candidate Cheng Ye.

Currently Samuel Gottlieb is the only candidate running for the expiring seat of Soykan.

Their terms would be three years, lasting from January 2018 to 2021.

After receiving applications on Sept. 1, the board said it will interview Nominating Committee candidates on Sept. 5 at the main library. Then, at the Sept. 12 board meeting, it will vote on which candidate should hold Soykan’s seat until his term ends early next year.

As for the trustee vacancy, the board said the Nominating Committee will interview candidates on Sept. 19 and submit two names to the board to be voted on at a special board meeting. The date of that meeting hasn’t been set yet.

Whoever is selected to fill the vacated trustee seat would hold it until the end of that seat’s term in 2021.

In order to vote, one must be at least 18 years old, a resident of the Great Neck School District and either a valid library cardholder by Oct. 2 or a registered voter with the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Elections are on Oct. 30. Residents living north of Northern Boulevard can vote at the main library at 159 Bayview Ave., Great Neck, while residents living south of Northern Boulevard can vote at the Parkville Branch Library on 10 Campbell St. in New Hyde Park.

In unrelated business, the board approved the installation of an RFID system, which uses radio-frequency identification to track materials throughout the library.

Hwee, in the audience, asked questions about when the security gates arrived, if each library item had been tagged and whether trustees had any numbers on how many books the libraries had before undergoing renovations.

Library officials said they did not have an exact number, but noted that all the books have been tagged and that the gates were ready to be installed.

Trustees also approved a request for proposals on a landscaping project for the main library building. Firms interested would be giving presentations in “mid-September,” the board said, and it would likely decide on a firm by the end of the month.

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