An Open Letter To The VGNP Board Of Trustees


I have lived in the Plaza for about 25-plus years and love the location, being in town, proximity to New York City and all the (former) stores. I also live in a beautiful town/similarly positioned village out east, Southampton.

Great Neck Plaza has gotten filthy and unattractive and I have suggestions that you all should have thought of.

It is not your problem that slobs throw their half-eaten pizza plates, Snapple bottles and candy wrappers on the ground, even if the green trash barrels are empty.

If it is kids, they got no lessons of consideration and manners from their parents, and if it is adults, shame on them.

The streets in the downtown are particularly trashed and dirty on weekends. So, I suggest that some of your staff who empties the barrels during the week take turns and swap days off and work weekends. Sunday is the worst when folks have been out Saturday nights. Why did I have come up with this suggestion? If workers don’t want to take time off during the week and not work some weekend days on a rotating basis, find staff who will. Fire them. Or, are you locked into not changing and improving and like the status quo?

And, make it mandatory for any stores that serve food to buy the same trash receptacles from you so they are consistent and look alike, and place them in front of their stores.

The above two suggestions are no-brainers, and it should not have taken my (held in for years) complaints about the streets’ condition to get some notice and hopefully action and changes—let’s not get rats and vermin.

Southampton streets are immaculate—and we need to emulate other clean villages. It is a disgrace for a supposedly upscale, desirable location to live like this.

And, why does it take stores that lay unopen for two to three years with “Coming Soon” signs to open? In Southampton, stores do not have two to three years to occupy a space, they get warnings and notices to finish. (I am particularly referring to the store around 71 Middle Neck Rd., the one with the lovely sign that looks like ice cream/yogurt cones). It seems we keep a blind eye to these conditions and maybe violations—or, they should be made a violation.

And, knowing that the old Playhouse has sat vacant for, I guess, 10 to 15 years, do something. Get an agreement with the Estates to forge ahead. How long does it take to mediate and make decisions? Just do it. The pain will last only a short time in the deconstruction/demolition for the neighbors.

After a mother gives birth, the agony and discomfort of those nine months dissipates. Boy, if I owned that building and wanted to build something and was not able to due to territorial disputes, I’d walk away, screw the taxes and let someone else suffer this do-nothing atmosphere. Someone is always going to be unhappy, but let’s get moving.

—Bonnie Lyons Salkind

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