On a perfect evening in Great Neck Plaza last week, members of the Great Neck Co-op & Condominium Council gathered in Firefighters’ Park on Grace Avenue for their annual picnic.
Among the over 75 in attendance sharing sandwiches, salads and cold drinks were North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Plaza Mayor Jean Celender and Plaza trustee Pam Marksheid, but the event was far from political in tone.
“I’m just here to come and say, ‘hi,’ to my neighbors,” said Bosworth, who lives in Harbor Hills. “I think it’s great. I had spoken at one of their meetings, and it was in the middle of the winter. They said, ‘We’re having a picnic in July. Come!’ So, I’m here.”
Ruth Goldfarb, who is the president of her co-op on Canterbury Road and in her second year as president of the council, explained the function and purpose of the organization that has been in existence over 13 years.
“The goal of the association is to educate board members on how better to run their buildings,” she said. “We are not political. We do not support anything. We don’t ‘not support’ anything. It’s all about education.”
The meetings usually include guest speakers on items of specific interest to co-op and condo owners. Topics such as insurance, financing for co-ops and condos apartment renovations and combinations, security, satellite dishes, making and enforcing house rules, responsibility for repairs and taxes have been covered.
Nassau County Supervisor Edward Mangano has also addressed the council on emergency planning and preparedness after Hurricane Sandy hit.
Bruce Funk, board president at 160 Middle Neck Road for 10 years, sees great value in the council’s work. “They always have informational programs,” he says, citing the complexity of laws and regulations governing condos and co-ops. “Their programs directly relate to the island rather than to the city, which has its own set of rules.”
“We meet four times a year,” Goldfarb added as she looked at guests enjoying themselves at the packed picnic tables surrounding the park’s gazebo. “But this gets the best turnout. It’s a lovely way for people to meet.”
Mayor Celender agreed as she sat with her husband, Jeffrey Schwartz, who is president of their plaza co-op. There are more co-ops and condos in her village than the other surrounding villages that make up the over 40 buildings that belong to the council.
“It’s very nice that the Co-op & Condominium Council has this annual picnic,” she said. “It’s a nice opportunity for residents to get together to have a wonderful picnic in Ielpi Park.”
“It’s a great organization that provides networking, educational seminars and helps the management of these buildings share information and learn how to do things easier and better,” she added. The village supports what they’re doing and I’m happy to be here.”