I am writing this letter for several reasons. First, to urge everyone to vote Yes for both the school budget as well as the revised bond referendum on May 16. And also, to vote Yes to elect Rebecca Sassouni as school board trustee.
The public schools are one of the main pillars of excellence upon which the Great Neck community is built. The other two being an excellent commute to NYC and a strong real estate market. Of course, the real estate values and the schools are inextricably intertwined. When a school budget is not supported, the housing market will suffer. So, in my opinion, a No vote for the budget is equivalent to a No vote for the Great Neck community.
The original bond issue was defeated a few months ago. Since then, the school board has been listening to the community and has introduced a revamped bond issue, approximately 25 percent smaller than before, which in my opinion should be supported. Yes, there was great controversy, and maybe there will continue to be concerns, but if we want our schools to keep up with the 21st century, we must vote Yes to the upgrades addressed by the bond.
Also on May 16 is an election for two school board trustees, those folks who are entrusted to steer the school district into the future. Politics aside, I have had the privilege of working closely and alongside Rebecca Sassouni during the past 10 years as a cochair of many programs and projects undertaken at Temple Israel of Great Neck. Besides being able to call her a friend, I support her candidacy because I know her qualities well. I can say from personal experience that she is one of the most exceptional, hardworking, smart, honest and detail-oriented person I have ever had the pleasure of working with. In all cases, regardless of the time of day or night, Rebecca lived up to her commitments—she was someone who could be relied on to get the job done, and to do it right the first time. Equally impressive was her ability to listen to others and to change course when warranted. I greatly enjoyed every time I worked with her, and I have no doubt that she would be an incredible asset working for us as a school board trustee.