Village of Great Neck Elections 2022

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    The Village of Great Neck is having its general elections for two trustee positions on Tuesday, June 21, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Village Hall, 61 Baker Hill Rd., Great Neck, New York.
    Trustees Bart Sobel and Eli Kashi are running for re-election. Both trustees were elected into office in 2020. Sam Yellis is running independently for a spot on the village board of trustees. The Great Neck Record asked the three candidates questions to get to know their future trustees.

    Bart Sobel.

    Bart Sobel
    Q: What is your background?
    A: I have a BS in Accounting from CUNY Brooklyn College, a JD from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law and learned Municipal Finance with Harrison ‘Jay’ Goldin. I’ve been an attorney in private practice for 33 years, with my private, general practice in Great Neck since 1995.
    In 2010, I was first elected as a trustee in the Village of Great Neck and have been Deputy Mayor for five years. During my years with the village, I have redesigned the intersection of Beach Road and Middle Neck Road to create two dedicated turning lanes, created the hugely popular Great Neck Village Music Festival and Street Fair and more.
    I have been a village resident for 23 years with my wife Judy, raising four children.
    Q: What inspired you to run for a trustee position?
    A: I served on the Great Neck Library Nominating Committee for two terms and the Great Neck Village Planning Board for four years. I also served on the Resident’s Advisory Committee for the Village Green Playgarden and the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce board. I was initially asked to run for the vacant trustee seat by the previous mayor, Ralph Kreitzman. I have continued to serve under Mayor Pedram Bral, taking on many roles and responsibilities, including board liaison to the Village Justice Court and board representative for LOSAP (Length of Service Awards Program for firefighters).
    Q: If re-elected, what are you looking forward to working on?
    A: The most exciting project is the construction of the new village hall, which has been in the works for many years and is nearing the ground-breaking phase.
    I am also excited for some of the modest re-development and smart new development; it will go a long way toward improving our streetscape, eliminating blighted buildings and creating needed foot traffic to patronize our long-suffering commercial strip. It will bring in critical new sources of tax revenue to relieve some of the heavy financial burdens our residents and building owners bear. Even with IDAs some of the developers are requesting, these properties will pay more than they currently pay. It is vitally important to look to the future needs of the village, not just the short-term. Avalon Bay is already paying much more taxes than the old ‘oil tank’ property ever did. It is an amazing building that produces minimal traffic impact and is a beautiful improvement to the East Shore Road area.

    Eli Kashi.

    Eli Kashi
    Q: What is your background?
    A: I have been living in Great Neck for 23 years. I have a background in Special Security Services Training and Employee Management and am a NCPD community liaison. I am active in anti-terrorism courses in Israel and the US. I have four children who attend the Great Neck Public Schools.
    Q: What inspired you to run for a trustee position?
    A: The need for a secure, peaceful, beautiful and clean Great Neck. I wanted to help residents and keep the charm of Great Neck. The diverse population of Great Neck is amazing, the many different cultures and customs make it very unique. I care for it very much and would love to preserve it.
    Q: If re-elected, what are you looking forward to working on?
    A: If I have the honor of being re-elected, I would like to continue fixing the roads, correct more traffic issues and crosswalks, install more garbage collection cans, plant new trees to beautify the village and continue to make the Village Hall more efficient and accessible for all the residents. I would help finish the design and build the proper Village Hall, keep Great Neck secure from theft and burglaries and keep our area a drug-free zone by not permitting any vape/pot stores in the Village. I would continue to meet and help residents personally and have more community members engage in local projects.

    Sam Yellis. (Contributed photos)

    Sam Yellis
    Q: What is your background?
    A: I’ve lived in the village and taught social studies at the Village School (the third High School in the Great Neck School District) for over 20 years. My wife Diane and I raised our twins, Sophie and Brenner, who went through the Great Neck Public School System. They both just finished their first year at college.
    I’ve fought alongside the residents of Academy Gardens and Millbrook Court when they were threatened with eviction and when the property owners decided to redevelop those properties. I’ve fought alongside friends and neighbors at Board of Zoning Appeals meetings when overdevelopment has tried encroaching on our ways of life and our homes.
    Q: What inspired you to run for a trustee position?
    A: I have been fighting against overdevelopment, and for people, on the Peninsula for over a decade. The last straw for me was when the project slated for 733-741 Middle Neck Rd., which grew from 23 units to 60 units, applied for a 22-year tax abatement. The rationale for the new apartment buildings, presented by the current Village Government, was that they would pay a lot of taxes and alleviate the growing burden on our residents. Now they want tax abatements. It’s a lose-lose proposition. Giant buildings are entirely out of character with our suburban village, with no taxes to help pay for the new students that will be living in these new buildings.
    Q: If elected, what are you looking forward to working on?
    A: I’d like to help rebuild our community spirit! The Village is a blessing of so many amazing cultures and ethnicities; let’s celebrate them! This administration is sitting on a parks fund with almost $1 million; let us use some of it to sponsor cultural festivals, food festivals, and sidewalk art shows to make Great Neck a destination again! I plan to work with the Park District and the school district-both nationally ranked and chock full of amazing talent-to bring life to the heart of the Village Green.
    I’d also be a voice of reason regarding the approval process for new projects. There must be a voice pushing back against the developers and their friends in village government.

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