I have lived in the village of Great Neck for most of my adult life. I have also owned and managed businesses in Great Neck, including a restaurant and catering facility. I formed a local business organization and am now an officer of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce. And I have witnessed the transformation from what Great Neck was fifty years ago to what it is now. And for the past thirty years I have watched how Mark Birnbaum engaged our community and, to the sacrifice of his growing family gave that time to Great Neck.
From his involvement with the Great Neck Housing Authority as a commissioner, where he served in the vital role of protecting our seniors, to his serving on the Great Neck Board of Zoning Appeals where he was elevated to chairman and addressed the balancing of interests – protecting our village zoning laws but at the same time understanding the needs of those residents who had no other option regarding their unique property situations.
Commercial projects that went forward were scaled down after community input, and we were able to see the judicious way in which he addressed each and every application. After gaining such valuable experience Mark moved on to become a village trustee, where he was an independent voice on that board, agreeing with the three mayors he served with when the consensus was warranted, and either voting against resolutions that he did not deem appropriate, or convincing the other board members to change their position so that votes would be unanimous, but never voting for something he did not thoroughly review and agree with. It was at this time that I got to know Mark personally, as he was asked to give more of his time to serve as general counsel to the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce.
He attended, (and still does), each and every meeting, monthly executive board meetings, monthly board of directors meetings, and general meetings, all without compensation. He communicates with the board on all important decisions and policies, and is always available by phone call, e-mail, or in person for any Chamber matter, even taking time out during the day to attend ribbon cutting ceremonies. And when he decided as a trustee to run for judge in 2013, he did so using his decades of experience with the village to bring knowledge and understanding to the role. There have been very few times when he was not able to attend a Chamber event – that was because he was attending meetings of the Nassau County Magistrates Associations, where he networks and meets on a regular basis with other judges in the county, but more particularly, the other judges on the Great Neck Peninsula, to obtain invaluable insight and share common experiences with his fellow Great Neck judges.
As a judge, Mark has consistently been respected and valued by our residents, and non residents alike for rendering fair and impartial decision making, and I urge all readers in the strongest possible way to keep Judge Birnbaum on the bench, and vote for him on June 15th at the Village Hall.
Great Neck resident