Readers Write: Katz slams current GN Plaza leaders

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It’s hard to believe that it will be six months since our village election was canceled by Gov. Cuomo. So much has happened in our lives and so much has not happened by the current Plaza administration. You might ask, “Where are they now?” but the real question is “Where have they been for the last two decades?”

Nothing has changed for them. They have been unchallenged at the ballot box for so long that their attitude seems to be “Why do anything because we will get re-elected anyway.”

Well, we want to change that. Both Marnie Ives and Robert Farajollah have joined with me to create a team that in a write-in campaign will bring to the Plaza an administration that has a real sense of understanding and reassurance to all the residents of the Plaza.

We will work to protect and enhance our property values. We will listen to all our
constituents’ concerns and act to meet their needs. Our residents have real needs and issues that cry out to be addressed, i.e., stores leaving our village due to an administration seeking to micro-manage through overburdensome regulation, inadequate parking, lack of pedestrian safety, and a lack of true transparency.

Where is the leadership from our current administration? I have heard so many
residents complain that their issues fall on deaf ears. How often have we heard
politicians brag about their many years of service yet all they’ve done is fill a
seat. How many votes by the board have not been 5-0? Where are the new
initiatives?

Fulfilling my responsibilities as chairman of the Legislative Action Committee of
the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce, I’ve been at almost all of the board
meetings since early 2019. Many times, I’ve been the only member of the
community other than applicants sitting in the audience.

I found it disheartening listening to the myriad discussions over seemingly minor
issues that focus on what will be on the menu of a prospective restaurateur
looking to establish a business in our Village or the color or the size and style of
the typeface of an awning being installed by a new retailer looking to promote
awareness of the new business.

I’d report back to the Chamber and would listen to all the complaints from
members about the do-nothing Plaza administration. Finally, in November 2019, I decided to seek the office of mayor so I could effect positive changes in a village that has begun to seem more like a ghost town than the thriving place I moved to in 1971.

The current longtime deputy major expects to be anointed as a successor to our longtime mayor simply because he has been on the government payroll since 1985. This includes a taxpayer fully funded health plan and pension plan, to which our village makes contributions that are higher than the national average – all for a part-time paid employee.

For years, the deputy mayor has championed policies that have worked against
improving the village and have caused an erosion in the reputation of Great Neck as a prime shopping destination. Empty stores mean fewer commercial taxes collected, so there’s a looming real estate crisis that will affect the value of every co-op and home in the community, and that was well before the advent of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The deputy mayor has offered nothing in the way of new ideas, plans, needed
change or any specific policies. Stating that his primary concern is the safety of
residents, he has failed to act to address the reality that this community suffers
from one of the highest rates of pedestrian and vehicular accidents, more than
most other communities in the state of New York.

A letter to the editor in this paper pointed out that he said that the Maple Drive
garage hours were unrestricted after 8 p.m., but the hours are posted as two-hour
metered parking 9-6. In an interview with this paper, he said that Plaza parking was not a problem. Where has he been? Is 35 years of his hypothetical
experience not enough time to address his supposed concerns? He hasn’t yet
had a chance to do something?

I have the will, organizational experience, creative energy and drive to see that
positive change will happen in the Plaza once I and my team are elected. We will put in the time and work hard for you and represent your interests.

To find out more about us and our plans and ideas, join us on Zoom via an online Town Hall meeting every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7-8 p.m. Just visit our website, revivegreatneckplaza.com, for the link to the event.

Remember to vote for change in September. Come to the Village Hall and let your voice be heard. Write in your vote for my team, Leonard Katz for mayor, Marnie Ives and Robert Farajollah for trustees, to Revive Great Neck Plaza on September 15th.

Leonard Katz
Village of Great Neck Plaza

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