Readers Write: Claims about VGN mayor false

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In response to the statement in last issue’s article, (“The current mayor has proved himself to be untrustworthy and undemocratic”), there has been nothing untrustworthy and undemocratic about the activities of the current mayor.

Quite the opposite.  The mayor has made time to meet with vendors and developers in an effort to learn more about issues or proposals before they come to the board and the public.

Such small discussions allow a more free discussion of issues which can then be succinctly disseminated at public meetings.

No decisions are made in such closed-door discussions.  Thus, when vendors or developers come to BOT [Board of Trustree] meetings, the information is presented for the other trustees and for the public to hear.

Again, no decisions are made prior – all issues are discussed first and then either tabled or voted upon.

Additionally public comment is allowed on all issues.  Transparency has been at the core of all we do for the village.

Since we have been in office, we have made the village a friendlier place to live;  one which has grown a more vibrant business district; one which takes the time to listen to resident feedback:  at board meetings, via emails and phone messages, and regular Meet the Mayor get-togethers which allow residents to address any personal questions and concerns that they may not wish to air at a board meeting in more casual settings.  Would an undemocratic mayor be meeting with the public? These get-togethers also give exposure to our local businesses.

In terms of growing the business district, five new stores have opened in the past two years, along with two store expansions, and there are plans for two new stores to begin construction in the fall, decreasing the empty storefronts on Middle Neck Road.   The board has also made efforts to improve the appearance of existing and new storefronts.

We have updated our website so residents can download permits and forms, view an archive of agendas and meeting minutes from the various meetings (BZA, ARC, BOT), make online payments, find out about special events (village shredding day, crafts fair, etc), and search almost any village related topic should one be seeking information after Village Hall is closed.

Residents have benefited from our responsiveness by having pot holes repaired in a timely fashion, roads being paved, parks being cleaned up, and by providing standards for the protection of trees and people.  We have reduced the structural deficit and maintained a healthy fund balance. No one was aware of the deficit that was present on our election two years ago

Despite these positive changes, there are those who continue to spread rumors and untruthful statements about what we have done and plan to do for the community.

We welcome questions and feedback.  Our board has been respectful to everyone, even those opposed to our proposals.  No one gets special treatment.

Furthermore, a contract has been negotiated and signed with Vigilant.

As part of a democratic process, other mayors, including the Village mayor, have sought to learn about what other emergency services offered. Vigilant was not being threatened or maligned, which was an idea that was perpetuated by those trying to undermine our efforts to improve the services.  They prefer that we continue the status quo even if that status quo is not optimal.  In a democracy, fact finding is encouraged.  As a result of our due diligence, we are now enhancing and improving upon the services that we receive from Vigilant.  We will now have a paramedic on call 24/7.

To those who wish to disparage our operations in the village, we welcome your ideas in order to generate creative solutions; however, by spreading rumors, you continue to misinform your fellow residents even though they have benefited from a fair, transparent, well run local government over the past two years.

Constructive criticism would be more productive.

The line of communication to the Board of Trustees has been open for the last two years.  If residents have any questions, they are encouraged to call and speak to any one of us directly – publicly at a board meeting, or privately via phone or email.

The next Meet the Mayor meeting is on June 7 at  Mangia Bene, 624 Middle Neck Road.

Our goal continues to be to make the Village of Great Neck a destination point for both Great Neck residents and shoppers from neighboring towns; but more importantly we hope to unite the residents in respecting one another and the beautiful diversity within our community.

Pedram Bral

Mayor of the
Village of Great Neck

Annie Mendelson

Trustee of the
Village of Great Neck

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