On June 18, when the Village of Great Neck holds elections, I will vote to reelect Mayor Pedram Bral, Trustee Steven Hope and Trustee Anne Mendelson. It is a no-brainer. Our village government has palpably improved in the past four years, in each of the following ways:
1. Low taxes. Mayor Bral instituted a tax freeze in the village and has held that steady for three years. Compare that to our neighboring villages, where taxes have steadily increased, or to the last administration, which raised taxes by double-digits.
2. Balanced budget. Before Mayor Bral took office, the village had a budget deficit of more than $1 million per year. We now have a surplus, and in the last four years the balance of the General Fund has increased by an astonishing $1.5 million. The kicker: There have been no cuts in services.
3. Better village services. Village Hall is now more responsive and user-friendly for all residents. Routine applications and permits are processed quickly by a kinder and more reasonable staff; and the Village’s Planning, Architectural Review and Zoning Appeals boards have all instituted reforms to make the application process faster, fairer and friendlier.
4. A transparency revolution. Thanks to initiatives by this administration, every minute of every trustees’ meeting is videotaped and available online. Mayor Bral also revamped the village website and posted online the agendas, applications and minutes for every board meeting held in the village. He also instituted robocalls before noteworthy public meetings, so that everyone is aware and can attend.
5. Forward and collaborative thinking. The mayor began a project to revitalize Middle Neck Road and the East Shore Road waterfront. He invited the entire community to join an advisory task force and introduced their ideas as legislation. When new ideas were proposed during public meetings by those who did not volunteer for the task force, the mayor listened and agreed to rewrite the legislation. The administration is continuing its hard work to inject new life into our main streets.
6. Making the village better for everyone. As a strong supporter of our public schools, Mayor Bral has developed a plan to help reduce overcrowding at EM Baker School. And, whether it is to remove a Dead End sign from a Chinese immigrant’s property (after he explained it was bad luck in his culture), to doing everything in their power to ensure that Marie Blachère had a successful opening, the current mayor and trustees are hard at work on behalf of us all.
A small but vocal group of naysayers, who seem strangely obsessed with opposing the mayor at every turn, have tried to distort this amazing record. But their complaints bear no connection to reality.
For a truly responsive, transparent and user-friendly local government that is working on behalf of every resident in the Village of Great Neck, the decision could not be clearer. On June 18, vote to reelect Mayor Bral, Trustee Hope and Trustee Mendelson.