Parks commissioners, candidates should follow park protocols and campaign Regulations

On Dec. 3, Great Neck Parks Superintendent Jason Marra issued a memo to all parks department staff outlining specific COVID protocols to take effect immediately. This included the following statement: “Face coverings are required by all employees while indoors at all times regardless of their vaccination status.”

On Dec. 5, the Parkwood ice rink was closed for a private event, which was attended by Commissioner Ciluffo and candidate Vanessa Tamari. Both of them were photographed without masks at this event, not even 48 hours after the memo was distributed.

It is disappointing, to say the least, to see a current commissioner and someone who is seeking election to the position of commissioner, both in flagrant violation of park policy and with so little disregard for basic common sense.

There is also a hint of impropriety here, with an elected official, a current park commissioner, using his inside knowledge of a private event to promote his preferred candidate. Were all five candidates advised of this opportunity to do a meet & greet with Chabad, or was it just Ms. Tamari?

This was not the first time the rink was closed to the public and one candidate was promoted due to her friendship with a current commissioner; it occurred previously on Nov. 11, canceling a holiday public session in favor of a private Baker PTO event and once again, only one candidate was notified and attended with a current commissioner.

Both of these events are clearly a violation of campaign policy, which states that a candidate may not engage in ‘regulated communicative activity’ at a park district facility where an event is scheduled, and also states that ‘All Park District General Ordinance provisions must be followed by persons at all times while engaging in Regulated Communicative Activity,’ which is defined as campaigning to an assembly of more than 3 people.

How can we trust a candidate (or a commissioner, for that matter) who can not follow the basic rules and regulations of the district?

Nina Gordon

Great Neck

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The Island Now

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