Community activist Rebecca Gilliar challenges a mayor she once backed

Mayor Pedram Bral and Trustee Anne Mendelson at a Tuesday night village board meeting. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Community activist Rebecca Gilliar, who helped organize an under-the-radar write-in campaign to unseat then Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman and two others in 2013, has now set her sights on the man at the head of the ticket she backed in that campaign — Pedram Bral.

Gilliar has filed to challenge Bral, who headed a slate that defeated Kreitzman and two trustees in 2015, in a June 20 election.

“The current mayor has proved himself to be untrustworthy and undemocratic,” Gilliar said in an email.

Calls to reach Bral on Wednesday for comment on the race were unavailing.

Gilliar will be joined on the Village Unity Party ticket by Adam Harel. Harel, Trustees Mendelson and Steven Hope will be competing for two seats.

Bral, Mendelson and Trustee Ray Plakstis Jr. defeated Kreitzman and incumbent trustees Mitch Beckerman and Jeff Bass in the 2015 election.

In opposing Kreitzman, Gilliar said he had shown “disregard for what the rest of the 10,000 village residents think” and had allowed the business district to dwindle.

On Tuesday, Gilliar’s daughter, Rachel, was elected to the Port Washington school board.

Mark Birnbaum, the village judge, is unopposed.

In Kings Point, incumbents Ron Horowitz and Hooshang Nematzadeh are running on the Taxpayers Party ticket. Neither currently faces any challengers.

Incumbents Lawrence Farkas, David Milner and Gene Kaplan are running to retain their seats in Lake Success. They are all unopposed.

The candidates for the three village elections were finalized on Tuesday, the deadline for filing petitions.

The villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Lake Success will hold elections on June 20, with many trustees running unopposed.

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Janelle Clausen is a reporter with Blank Slate Media covering the Great Neck peninsula and Town of North Hempstead. She previously freelanced for the Amityville Record, Massapequa Post and the Babylon Beacon. When not reporting, the south shore native can usually be found buried in a book, playing video games or talking Star Wars.


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