Library Election Slate Taking Shape

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Board also expedites landscape construction bid

The future of the Great Neck Library might be shaped by the election slated for Oct. 30, as vacancies and expired terms on the both the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee will have to be filled.

At a special meeting called on Aug. 22 at the Parkville Branch to consider several items, trustees accepted the resignation of Nominating Committee member Omer Soykan, whose term expires in January 2018. Soykan stepped down to run for the trustee seat that opened up when the board voted to remove Douglas Hwee on July 25. Hwee, the first representative from the sizable Asian-American community to be voted to the board, had been a trustee only since January.

According to the library’s website, the committee “is responsible for presenting to the Great Neck Library Association membership a nominee to fill the specific office of each outgoing Trustee and of each outgoing member of the Nominating Committee.” This reportedly insulates the trustees from seeming to pick their own favored members.

Though Soykan’s move does not violate the library’s bylaws, it has raised eyebrows in that he is the second member of the committee in the past five years to resign in order to run for a trustee seat. Per the bylaws, Nominating Committee terms are for three years and members must sit out a year before running again. Michael Fuller, whose board term is ending, was reportedly the first from the committee to follow such a route.

An email seeking comment from one of the counsels to the board, Phil Butler, was not returned.

The board voted to extend to Sept. 1 the deadline for filing of petitions for independent nominations seeking a place on the ballot for the unexpected vacancies.

Trustees were set to interview Nominating Committee candidates to fill the remainder of Soykan’s term on Sept. 5, too late for inclusion in this issue. Members will make their selection at the Sept. 12 board meeting.

Soykan will not be running uncontested; the board will mull candidates vetted by the Nominating Committee later this month to run for the rest of Hwee’s term, which expires in January 2019.

Detail from the rendering for the Great Neck Library’s proposed landscaping. Bayview Landscape Architecture of Roslyn won the bid to design the project, and later this month the library board will decide on a bid to carry out the actual construction.

Also that evening, the board voted to move up by two weeks its con-sideration of a request for proposal for landscape work at the main branch. Originally, it was set to choose a bid in October but, after a discussion, trustees agreed that the date would be late as winter loomed.

The board had already agreed to pay Bayview Landscape Architecture of Roslyn $77,000 for its design services. The moneys came from the Landscaping Fund. The landscaping essentially completes the renovations that were made to the main branch.


Great Neck Library Candidate Slate For 2017 Election

The Nominating Committee has endorsed the candidates below to fill two seats on the Library Board of Trustees and two seats on the Nominating Committee that will be expiring January 2018. Additional candidates will be considered by the Nominating Committee and Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

For the four-year term running January 2018 to 2022 for the seat currently held by Michael Fuller:

• Endorsed candidate: Dr. Barry Smith

For the four-year term running January 2018 to 2022 for the seat currently held by Marietta DiCamillo

• Endorsed candidate: Weihua Yan

Nominating Committee

For the three-year term running January 2018 to 2021 for the seat currently held by Marie Franzoni:

• Endorsed candidate: Cheng Ye

• Independent candidate: Josie Pizer

For three-year term running January 2018 to 2021 for the seat currently held by
Omer Soykan

• Endorsed candidate: Samuel Gottlieb

Voting Information

Voting will be held on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the following sites:

Main Library, 159 Bayview Ave. in Great Neck, for residents north of Northern Boulevard

Parkville Branch Library, 10 Campbell St. in New Hyde Park, for residents south of Northern Boulevard

Voter Eligibility

Each voter must be 18 or older, a resident of the Great Neck Public School District
and either a library card holder by Oct. 2, 2017, or a registered voter with the Nassau County Board of Elections. For more information, including inquiries on proxy voting, call 516-466-8055, ext. 201, or visit www.greatnecklibrary.org.

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Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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