Readers Write: Revive Great Neck Plaza with my platform

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I grew up in Brooklyn and had always heard of Great Neck as the best place to live on Long Island. I moved here in the early ’70s and was thrilled to take my children to the parks, playgrounds, library story hours and I also enjoyed shopping and just looking into the many unique storefronts that lined our main street.

Today it’s different. No longer are we proud of our main thoroughfare. Even before the advent of the Coronavirus epidemic, we had so many empty storefronts with “for rent” and “closed” signs in their windows. The current Celender/Rosen administration, after being in power for several decades, has brought us to this sorry state of affairs by the policies and procedures they have promulgated.

As residents, we expect a certain level of services and we agree to be taxed so that these services can be provided to us. However, as stores close, we lose the tax money they pay into the village so we have to pay higher taxes to meet the budget deficit the vacant stores created. My team and I want to put a stop to this. We have endured this long enough and now it’s necessary to make a change.

We need real revitalization! We want to remove incentive overburdening regulation so businesses can once again either come to Great Neck or promote and expand their current operations. We need business tax monies now and once in office, we will work with the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County to assure that time is not wasted while waiting unnecessarily for permits to be approved. We will actively seek out specialty shops, small chain stores, and bring back the sense of personal service that is unavailable on the internet. We will also cooperate closely with the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce as well as more fully utilizing the talent and resources of the Business Improvement District  organization to encourage and develop outreach promotional programs to grow a business, old and new.

We want more open communication with our fellow residents and will encourage them to connect with us in the village hall either by a special ‘residents only hot-line’ or via email. We will listen and respond to all of our residents and follow through on their positive suggestions to improve our village.

Unlike my opponent, I believe that we do have a parking problem for both residents and shoppers and I will work hard to find creative solutions to improve this situation. I will personally visit other villages on the island which have successfully solved this problem and we can pick the best of their plans to implement in the Plaza. Builders and commercial property owners bring to the table years of experience in creating thriving business areas and we intend to reach out to them to solicit their ideas and suggestions.

Pedestrian safety is another major concern and we intend to confer with law enforcement from the town and county officials to explore possibilities where we can mitigate traffic congestion and accidents throughout the Plaza, and especially Middle Neck Road.

We also believe that we have a treasure trove of experience and talent in Great Neck and we will welcome input from all those people to assist us in our efforts. There is also the issue of someone being in a position of authority too long and losing touch with the changing times. We will re-implement term limits because new people, new perspectives, and new ideas are critical to keeping the positive allure of the Plaza up-to-date and at the forefront of a positive quality of life for all our residents.

I am excited at the chance to revive the plaza, a place I have called home for almost two decades. I’ve lived here long enough to see successful businesses and how amazing the Plaza can be for our residents. I have the will, creative energy and drive to make change happen. I’m running because I want to participate in the efforts to revitalize this area and work with the community to do so.

To find out more about how we will positively change our village, call us at 660-3701 or visit our website, www.revivegreatneckplaza.com. Vote for my team, Leonard Katz for mayor, Marnie Ives, and Robert Farajollah for trustees to Revive Great Neck Plaza on Sept. 15.

Leonard Katz
Village of Great Neck Plaza

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