Pedram Bral, the Village of Great Neck’s Mayor now for almost three months, wants to try something a little different.
Bral, who was elected on a platform promising that his administration would provide residents with a role in decision-making and an atmosphere of friendliness, will hold his first informal village meeting next week on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the French Kosher Bakery at 579 Middle Neck Rd.
He’s calling it Coffee with the Mayor and inviting residents to come in at 8 a.m. for an hour or so on the first Wednesday of each month and share their thoughts and feelings with him and other village officials.
“A couple of people have approached me and I thought it would be a good idea to have a meeting with the mayor once a month,” Bral said during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting at Village Hall.
“I’d like to choose one of the businesses in the village each month and have an hour to meet with residents and businesspeople just for coffee,” he explained. “I think it’s a great idea for people to come in, meet me, meet the new stores, meet the old stores. It’s one small way of increasing the foot traffic. I’m hoping this will increase the awareness of our stores.
“Many people can’t come (to meetings) at night,” Bral said after the meeting. “Now they can come in at 8 in the morning. It’s about local government reaching out to its constituents but also trying to promote local business in a casual setting where they can meet us.”
Bral also invited other businesses in the village that might be interested in hosting future monthly Wednesday morning meetings to contact him at village hall.
While the meeting was lightly attended, an important piece of legislation regarding tenants’ rights was passed unanimously, 4-0, after a public hearing. Trustee Barton Sobel was not in attendance.
Now, landlords who are making application for a permit or variance to either the board of trustees or the Zoning Board of Appeals must officially notify their tenants by certified mail of their intent. Previously, only adjoining property owners were required to be notified.
“I think this is a good idea,” said Beach Road resident David Zielenziger, who was one of several speakers who favored the new requirement. “I think it’s providing equity for tenants so we can prohibit the kind of lack of notices that we’ve had in the past. There is no cost to the village but there are new requirements for landlords.
“Most of our properties are owned not rented, although we’re about to get almost 200 new apartments coming in,” he noted, referring to the Avalon Bay luxury development currently under construction at 240 East Shore Rd.
The board also discussed the annual spring crafts fair, tentatively scheduled for May 1, 2016, and revealed that it was negotiating with a new company, Nassau County Craft Shows, to take over the event, previously run by Showtiques Crafts.
Discussion focused on the village’s favorable impression of the new vendor and expressed hope that the fair, which has not been as successful in recent years as it had been in the past, could be revitalized. Nassau County Craft Shows runs several successful fairs in Long Beach.