Thank you for publishing my letter in your June 19 issue; however, you changed the subject/title of my letter to “GN Mayor blocks Facebook posts from resident.” My original email to the editor was actually entitled “Another Virus in Great Neck: Ignorance and Misinformation.”
My email to you was not primarily about the Mayor’s blocking of my Facebook posts on his personal page, although you chose to focus on that. To clarify, the Mayor’s “personal” Facebook page is visible to the public, not just to his friends. Anyone is allowed to comment, until he decides to censor and block them. And yes, that is his right, on his personal Facebook page… although he continues to use his personal page as a platform to tout his accomplishments as Mayor, so his claim that it is “not an official village page” is hypocritical. The vast majority of his posts are about what is happening in the Village.
However, my focus in my original email to you was on the spread of misinformation and lies that Mayor Bral posted on his personal page regarding the peaceful protest at Firefighters Park on June 5, and his repeated attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement and on Governor Cuomo, which continue to the present.
Additionally, I never claimed to be a resident of the village, although if Mayor Bral posts something publicly for anyone on or off Facebook to see, his audience is not limited to residents of the Village of Great Neck. By blocking people from responding to his posts when he disagrees with their political views, he is following the model of his hero, President Trump. The mayor “plays to his base,” which in this case is the Persian Jewish community. For example, the annual Memorial Day parade (a Great Neck tradition for over 95 years) was cancelled due to COVID-19, but in the same month, Mayor Bral arranged for a Lag B’Omer parade down Middle Neck Road, and posted repeatedly about it on his Facebook page. Apparently a minor Jewish holiday was more important to him than a national holiday during a global pandemic.
I would also like to point out that Mayor Bral prevented me from attending the virtual public meeting held on June 16 regarding the proposed multiple use building at 733-741 Middle Neck Road. Despite having an invitation to the Zoom meeting and attempting to log in three times, I was blocked from attending, and ultimately was informed “the host has removed you from this meeting.” Perhaps the Mayor chooses to ignore the fact that the Village of Great Neck contains many commercial businesses that serve patrons from all areas, not just residents of the village. He certainly seems to have forgotten that public meetings of the Village trustees are, by law, required to be open to the public. Mayor Bral apparently feels that only residents of the Village are entitled to voice any opinions at his meetings, or even to attend the meetings. This is a flagrant violation of New York State’s Open Meetings Law, and should not be allowed to continue unchecked.
Nina K. Gordon