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Village of Great Neck Plaza Trustee Elections

(Editor’s Note: The Great Neck Record requested very specific information from each candidate: a short biography and the answers to three questions (expertise or experience, reason for running, top issue to be addressed). We received a variety of responses. Although we are strict with the 500 to 600-word limit, we are publishing the responses as received. The election is Tuesday, March 16, with the two candidates with the most votes winning the two Plaza trustee spots. Pam Marksheid and Ted Rosen, the incumbents, are running with incumbent Mayor Jean Celender. Stu Hochron is running for mayor with trustee candidates Michael Glickman and Scott Schwartz.)

Michael Glickman

Michael S. Glickman is chief operating officer of the Center for Jewish History (CJH), a NYC based not-for-profit that is the largest archive dedicated to the history, culture, and art of the Jewish people. Previously, Michael served as chief administrative officer, and director of government and corporate affairs at the same organization. Prior to joining CJH, he worked in the press office for an agency that regulated public financing for candidates seeking elected office in NYC and in the alumni office of Long Island University. Michael serves on the board of directors for the Great Neck Arts Center, and as a director for 20 Hillpark Owners, a Plaza co-op.

Michael received his M.P.A. with a dual concentration in management and finance, and international economic policy from Columbia University; and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in political science from Long Island University.

Michael has been a resident of the Plaza for the past five years, with his wife Sumi and their 3-year-old twins Aava and Dillon.

Why is Mr. Glickman running? “I am running for trustee on the Citizens for Plaza Reform slate because I stand for re-imagining Great Neck Plaza, revitalizing downtown and making local government work for you. I am running because we need a new era for Great Neck Plaza! It’s time to elect trustees that will restore the basic values that have always made the Plaza a wonderful place to live. We must work to rebuild and strengthen our local economy and we must ensure that the Plaza is an attractive place for young people to live and raise a family. I am running for trustee because I will do more than just talk, I will work to bring about solutions, new ideas and a greater level of transparency. I am running for Trustee because this new era holds much promise for all of us to renew our commitment to the Plaza.”

Experience and expertise? “I have spent more than 10 years dedicated to public service. During that time, I have served as the leader of a not-for-profit institution, a volunteer to numerous community organizations, and a student of public policy and good government.  I enter this election with the experience of working with diverse constituencies, a solid understanding of fiscal discipline (where professionally, I am responsible for overseeing a multimillion dollar annual budget and a staff of 50), and a demonstrated commitment to the people of this village.  This is the moment for us to take back our community and help position Great Neck Plaza for the 21st century.”

Most pressing issue? “The issues facing the Plaza are plentiful…from a suffering business district that lacks the support of our elected officials – high vacancy rates, few tax incentives, and an infrastructure that is becoming obsolete; to a local government that is more interested in “calming the traffic” of obscure areas of the village that have done nothing to make it safer for our families and our seniors as they cross the street; to village officials who boast the villages’ last success in 2004 (according to their website).”

We need more from our local government. We need to start investing in our community – the time for passive governance is behind us. We  need to take back our village, work to revitalize our business district, and elect new trustees who will focus on improving the quality of life issues that are ever-present. We need transparency, access to information, and innovation at Village Hall.

Pamela A. Marksheid

I have lived in a Great Neck Plaza co-op for 18 years with my son. I became a member of the board of directors soon after moving in. I have served on the board for over 14 years, the last eight years as president. I participated on the Shared Decision Making Committee at South Middle and was parent chairperson. At South High, I was PTA executive vice president.

I am retired from the NYC schools where I was included three times in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. I teach at the Silverstein Hebrew Academy. I attended Plaza meetings to safeguard my cooperative’s interests and to have a voice on the issues confronting the Plaza. I also attended and addressed the town board. I served on the Plaza’s Zoning Board of Appeals. 

 I have just concluded my first term as village trustee. It has been busy and productive. We improved residents’ safety with our traffic calming projects; beautified the Plaza; encouraged thousands to experience our restaurants during Restaurant Weeks. We created a sense of community and showcased our merchants with Street Promenades. One of my greatest contributions has been the successful lobbying for the Great Neck Library Station Branch to stay in the Gardens shopping center. I have submitted hundreds of petitions and brought out over a hundred residents to the library’s board of trustees meetings. Senior citizens especially utilize that facility and being able to readily access the library enables them to maintain a sense of independence.  We acted as intermediaries to help work out what we expect to be a solution between the landlord and the library.

I am running for re-election because I am fortunate to reside in Great Neck Plaza and privileged to represent its residents. As an activist, I want to continue to champion the important issues and to fight for those that need a voice. I took the lead in challenging the Great Neck Library’s proposal to move the Station Branch out of the Plaza, I became a UFT chapter leader in my school as I wanted to protect the rights of both the children and teachers.  I became co-op president and village trustee for similar reasons. I want the best possible living standards for all my neighbors. Representing the people of Great Neck Plaza has been truly an honor. If re-elected, I will continue to serve with the same honesty, hard work, and dedication.

My experience and expertise include: As trustee I have been part of the budgetary process, which was successful in maintaining a zero increase in the village taxes. I helped promote local businesses by recruiting them for Restaurant Week. I have been active in facilitating traffic calming projects. I have expertise in conflict resolution and actively mediate difficult situations producing compromises that benefit opposing sides. One of my greatest skills is the ability to communicate.

The most pressing issue facing the Plaza is maintaining the same quality of service during these tough economic times. By utilizing federal and state grant monies that the mayor has secured, we have improved the infrastructure with minimal cost to our village. Another goal is to support existing businesses and attract new enterprises. Restaurant Week was very important because we wanted to expose many people from outside the community to our attractive downtown area. We know Great Neck Plaza is the jewel of the peninsula and economic improvement is something for which we are working very hard.  We have hired consultants to review the vacancy rate and it is lower than almost all other downtown communities. We are still not satisfied. We want to make Great Neck Plaza an even better place to live, work and shop. 

 Ted Rosen

A Great Neck Plaza resident since 1974, I live in the Wyngate section with my family.

A graduate of Queens College and N.Y.U. School of Law, I have been practicing law since 1973, primarily in commercial litigation in state and federal courts. I have substantial experience with the legal issues involved in the management of condominiums and cooperatives.

I have served as arbitrator for a number of different organizations and institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the American Stock Exchange and FINRA. A trained mediator, I have served as a mediator for the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court in New York County and the New York Stock Exchange. I have served as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York City Environmental Control Board and as a hearing officer for the NYC Transit Adjudication Bureau.

After teaching as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges, in 2007, I became a full-time assistant professor at Queensborough Community College.

As a Plaza trustee and deputy mayor, I am the village’s Cable commissioner, member of the GN/North Shore Cable Commission and  member of the PATV board of directors. I supervise several village departments, including Code Enforcement Unit, Building Department and Housing Department. I have chaired, co-chaired or served as a liaison to various village committees.  I worked to bring Holocaust memorial programs, poetry readings and safety seminars to the village.

For 20 years, I was a member of the Nassau County Auxiliary Police, serving as a deputy inspector and chief of the Great Neck Central Auxiliary Police. I was also active in all aspects of the Great Neck unit of the Police Activity League. I was one of several people responsible for the construction of the PAL building at Memorial Field. I served as a member of the board of COPAY.

Why am I running for re-election? The Plaza is a terrific place to live and work. I have been part of the village’s government that has worked hard to keep it that way. I very much want to continue to do that and to make the Plaza an even better place to live, work, visit and shop.

My experience and expertise includes: I have been integrally involved in all aspects of village government. I know how village government works and how it interacts with other levels of government. I know that success in government, particularly at the local level, is achieved through hard work and the building of consensus. As an attorney and mediator, I see both sides of an issue. I work constructively with my colleagues on the board, to build consensus, even when we disagree, and by so doing, to obtain results that are in the best interests of the Village and the public we serve.

There are three pressing issues that face the Plaza today. First, is the challenge of maintaining the high level of municipal services the village provides in the most cost effective manner in very difficult economic times.  Our village government has held the village tax rate to a zero increase for the last four budget years while the village has maintained municipal services at a consistently high level. I will seek to continue to do this by continuing to scrutinize every dollar the village spends and work to bring in grant monies for projects, as this village administration has consistently done. Second, is the challenge of attracting new businesses by finding new ways to market and promote the Plaza. Third, is to continue to work to improve traffic and pedestrian safety through site-specific professional engineering projects and seek grant monies to pay most of these expenses.

Scott Schwartz

I am an associate at the law firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., a full service law firm based out of Uniondale, where I am a member of the real estate practice group and the tax certiorari and condemnation practice group. I currently serve on the board of trustees of the Great Neck Community School, a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, multi-cultural pre-school and am a member of the New York City Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association.

I was born and raised on Long Island, and attended the Half Hollow Hills public schools. I received my B.A. from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and my juris doctor from the Hofstra University School of Law.

I have been a resident of Great Neck Plaza for over three years, and reside here with my wife and my two young children.
I am running with the Citizens of Plaza Reform because I want to re-imagine Great Neck Plaza, revitalize downtown and make local government work for you.

Before residing here, I had been a visitor to Great Neck Plaza for as long as I can remember, and whether it was to simply stroll the streets, shop the various retailers, or grab a meal, in my opinion, the energy of the Plaza was unlike any other place on the Island. Because of this, when my wife and I began our own family, and sought to venture from Manhattan to suburbia, the Plaza was our first and only choice.

Unfortunately, in the three years that have since passed, the Plaza has lost some of that energy, in my opinion, due to a dwindling enthusiasm caused by not enough direction and a lack of inspiration from current leadership.  These are unprecedented times, which require committed representatives interested in working on behalf of the community at large.   

I am running as a trustee because we need new direction. We need a plan of action for the future of the Plaza. We need to make it attractive for new businesses and to encourage current business to remain, all for the benefit of our residents who have chosen to invest in the Plaza. 

As a young father, I do everything for my children. My children need a vibrant environment. I want them to embrace this village and to have cherished memories of sit when they form their views of the world. I know that the Plaza has these attributes, but, in my opinion, this potential is not now being realized.  I want to be an integral part of improving our village.

I have practiced law for almost 10 years, which has enabled me to develop excellent negotiating and listening skills that allow me to act as a conduit between many different types of investors, parties and personalities.  I believe my skills, together with my personal and professional background, will help me make prudent and economical decisions that will be in the best interest of the Plaza and its residents.  

I believe that the number one issue is the state of the business district.  The high number of vacancies has a direct effect on our property values and in turn, our ability, as residents, to preserve what is to most of us, our most valuable asset. We need to resolve the challenges that are presently discouraging new businesses from opening in the village, and that are causing existing businesses to contemplate remaining in the Village, including the various parking issues that unfortunately, are too familiar to all of us. We need to act as the catalyst for re-energizing the Plaza.