As we approach the election in Great Neck Plaza, I’m thrilled to see that my letters to the editor continue to elicit such a response.
More than that, I’m thrilled to see that so many of the issues I have raised over the past year have finally started generating some traction with the folks that occupy Village Hall. As far as I am concerned, it’s great that The Jean Team now has the courage to act on some of my recommendations.
For instance, when I ran for trustee in 2009 (and helped generate the highest voter turnout in recent memory), my running mates and I made economic development one of our core issues; now after years of denying there was a problem, Mayor Celender says it’s among her most important priorities (for the moment we should ignore the fact that her plan to rezone downtown is an ill-conceived idea that will only leave more empty storefronts and apartments).
I also think it’s wonderful that a year ago I began calling on the village to get involved in addressing the service cuts and fare increases plaguing LIRR riders in the Plaza (especially when the Plaza announced their plan to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into LIRR owned property); now after ignoring the issue, Mayor Celender recently suggested that the reduction of service is a problem and she hopes to address it.
I also appreciate the village heeding my call to put board of trustee agendas online before meetings to increase public engagement; even though they first rejected the idea. And I thank the village for following my lead as I continue to push for increased pedestrian safety, specifically at crosswalks in the village; regardless of the fact that they initially dismissed my concerns, they are now slowly starting to address them as we can see with the new crosswalk sign on Shoreward Road near the post office (let’s ignore the fact that I requested a stop sign to make it illegal to speed through, but in any event, it’s a start).
So congratulations Mayor Celender for recognizing the error of your ways and embracing my stance that this community needs help and you need policy ideas.
Transparency remains a major problem at Village Hall, evidenced most recently at a trustee meeting when it was Trustee Marksheid, who in response to my questions, was the first and only one to publicly acknowledge that part-time-highly-compensated Trustee’s Schneiderman and Rosen, along with Mayor Celender, accept free health insurance for their families paid for with village tax dollars (thanks Pam for outing your colleagues for shamelessly diving into the community chest that overflows with tax dollars).
The truth of the matter is that on March 15 this community will be no better off by putting Trustee Schneiderman back in office. I say this because on March 16 he will continue his role as an unashamed self-benefiter who lacks leadership skills, legislative intelligence, ideas and ability, and whose personal needs trump that of the community.
As for my critics, thank you. I am a strong proponent of public discourse and whether or not you like my approach, I appreciate you continuing the conversation (even if it is being helped along by political consultants, the mayor’s landlord, and the management company hired to run her husband’s apartment building).
As a community, we deserve better than Gerry Schneiderman and Jean Celender. Maybe 2012 will be our year!
Michael S. Glickman