Six Great Neck villages (Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock and Thomaston) hold elections on Wednesday, March 18. Only one election is contested. In the Village of Great Neck Plaza three candidates are running for two trustee spots. Each village clerk has been asked to reach out to all candidates, asking them to send the Great Neck Record a head shot, and a short 300-word statement including biography, experience and why the candidate is running for office. No criticisms of other officials will be accepted at this time. Some villages, and some candidates, do comply. In the weeks to come, we will publish all such election materials.
The Record will accept such candidate information for publication until Thursday, March 5.
Great Neck Estates
Mayor David Fox
“I have lived in the Village of Great Neck Estates, with my wife Karen, for more than 45 years and raised our three sons here.
“In 1996 I was elected to the board of trustees and served as board member and commissioner of public works until my election as mayor in 2002. For the past 12 years, I have remained true to one basic principle, making Great Neck Estates the finest village on our peninsula. Together with outstanding board members we have constantly upgraded our total infrastructure. We have concluded significant improvements within our park and common village areas and our police department has seen major technology and staffing improvements.
“As in all municipalities we are always challenged by economics. No one wants more taxes but demand better services. To that end we have been able to maintain realistic budgets with conservative tax increases. Our budget is approximately $9,000,000, little of which is discretionary. While we see modest increases in the next two years we have established strong credit in the municipal bond market. We are about to embark on a major road improvement and upgrade project and have upgraded our pool facility. The next big issue to tackle is the restoration of Village Hall. We are still in excellent financial shape and foresee sustaining that for many years to come.
“I am pleased with our accomplishments and trust that I have had a positive impact on our community. The concept of giving back, to a community that has enriched our family’s lives, is most fulfilling. I believe that the strength of our community is only as great as our residents. I am heartened to see the younger generation of residents following this concept and volunteering their time for the betterment of us all. I look forward to serving another two years of service to the village that we call home.”
Saddle Rock Mayor
“I have been a Great Neck resident for 29 years. After graduating Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1984, I managed my solo multi-faceted private medical practice. I held clinical teaching positions at Albert Einstein, Montefiore, North Shore and LIJ hospitals. Prior to immigrating to the U.S., I was a captain in the Israeli Defense Army during the “Yom Kippur” War.
“My wife Rhonda and I moved from Great Neck Estates to Saddle Rock 21 years ago with the vision of it becoming one of the best villages. Motivated
by commitment to our community,
I was first appointed by the late Mayor Leonard Samansky to serve on the zoning board; then elected as trustee and served as park and dock commissioner. Next I served as deputy mayor and since the passing of Mayor Samansky, as full-time mayor. In the past 30 years, I have served on multiple boards, from investment firms, real estate ventures and a small capital industrial company. These positions contributed and enriched my experience in management and administration.
“When I became the mayor, my vision was to help the village become the most desirable place to live. The board and I began a massive infrastructure campaign that included total road reconstruction, new seawall, new tennis courts, new playground, new dock and marina facility, new basketball and baseball fields and now a total renovation of the pool and park. All was accomplished through multiple grants and careful fiscal management. During the past three years, we lowered taxes and froze them.
“The plan for the near future is to utilize the grant secured through Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, to install new street signs, fitting for the community we are. The longer-term plan is to replace all aging street lights with state of the art, energy saving, LED lights and install monitoring cameras in strategic areas and further beautify our parks.”
Darren Kaplan is running for reelection to his second term as trustee of the Village of Kensington. Kaplan is also village building commissioner. Prior to this he was chair of the architectural review board and previously served several terms
on this board. In 2010, he was
appointed to the special task force on revisions to the village zoning code. Professionally, he is an attorney who primarily represents institutional shareholders and limited partners in corporate and private fund litigation in the state and federal courts. Kaplan is “of counsel” to Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP and heads the firm’s New York City office. He is a New York Metro Super Lawyer in securities litigation and is rated AV, the highest designation a lawyer can achieve from publisher Martindale-Hubbell. Kaplan and his wife Anna have lived in Kensington for 19 years, where they have raised two daughters.