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Candidates for East Hills Board of Trustees

The following candidates are running for the board of trustees in the Village of East Hills. The election will take place on Tuesday, March 20.

Clara Pomerantz

Clara Pomerantz is running for re-election to the Village of East Hills board of trustees. She issued the following statement on her candidacy:

“Since 2002 when I moved here with my family from Flower Hill in Roslyn, I have been proud to be a resident. I take even more pride in being a trustee, in serving as a member of the Koblenz Team, and in devoting my efforts to making a positive difference in this wonderful, vibrant community.

“I would like to continue serving as a trustee because I enjoy helping people in our community. I am a caring, empathetic person who is truly concerned about others. My passion is children: children of all ages. I envision a villag

e where we care about one another, help each other, and have the strongest sense of community. I bring this perspective to the board.

“I would also like to continue programs such as our annual Environmental Green Day which I began in 2009, and continue to offer choices to go ‘green.’ I am gratified that through our board’s efforts, our security patrol cars are now hybrids and are both fuel and cost efficient.

“I have also been actively coordinating efforts with neighboring communities to combat our airplane noise/pollution problems. We have been in touch with our United States senators to support our efforts.

“The Nassau County Police consolidation proposal is another issue which raises a major concern. We are working hard to ensure that our village has adequate police protection. We recently attended a rally to oppose the plan a

nd ensure that East Hills’ voices are heard loud and clear!

“I will continue to offer fun-filled events for people of all ages, such as Candyland, or our annual Kids’ Day, which I created. Candyland was designed for all residents including young infants, their parents and grandparents who walked through the woods, elementary school children who decorated the trails, and high school students who made their own costumes of Candyland characters and received community service credits for their work.

“I will continue to supervise the Kids in the Park Committee and the Park Rules Revision Committee with Manny Zuckerman.

“One of the most important issues facing East Hills today is keeping our taxes low, while simultaneously offering the finest services and amenities. When most villages are cutting back, we even expanded our garbage recycling pick-up program.

“This year, we had a zero percent tax increase. We run a tight budget reflecting our philosophy of doing more with less. I have a mathematics background and help the bBoard to implement creative ways to reduce costs without impacting services.

“Earlier this year we refinanced our bond debt, saving $1.5 million. We also saved the village $700,000 by requiring the new owner of the Pall Corp. property to repave Forest Drive. In addition, we saved over $7 million in all taxes by blocking tax abatements for commercial real estate owners in East Hills. We also save countless sums of money by soliciting corporate sponsorships, advertisements, etc. for our spectacular events, including the July 4th Fireworks, Labor Day Concert, Kids’ Day, Halloween Celebration, Environmental Day and much more. Most of these events are held with little or no cost to the village.

“Our close relations with government leaders at all levels are also key to keeping taxes low, and enhancing our services. Our recent municipal agreement with the Town of North Hempstead enabled us to add infrastructure improvements such as cobblestone curbsides, new shrubs, and sidewalks at the Park at minimal cost to the village. We are also awarded grants for various improvements such as roads and other capital projects.

“Through our close, long-standing relationship, the Nassau County Police Department established a local police/ambulance presence at the Park. Police cars are constantly driving through the village, supplementing our Village Public Safety Patrol. As a result, emergency help is not only minutes, but seconds away.

“I am optimistic about our future in the village despite the many challenges we face. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board to develop creative solutions to keep our community one of the finest in America.”

Voting takes place Tuesday, March 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Theatre, 209 Harbor Hill Rd.

—By Joe Scotchie

Manny Zuckerman

Manny Zuckerman is running for re-election to the Village of East Hills board of trustees where he also serves as deputy mayor. His office issued the following statement on his candidacy.

“Manny Zuckerman is a member of the Koblenz Team, and is running for reelection on the Unity Party ticket.  Manny offers twelve years of extensive background in municipal government. In his role as Deputy Mayor, Manny principally handles the administration and implementation of the Public Safety Department, the Senior Activities Committee and the Kids in the Park Committee. He reviews all village budgetary items, arbitrates all personnel and administrative issues, and oversees the purchase process for major acquisitions such as sanitation trucks, computers, contracts and generators.     

“Manny began serving East Hills shortly after moving into the community. At that time, the village had a rash of 35 plus burglaries within a three-month period.  Manny spearheaded a new security committee. The Unified Civic Association implemented the first private community security patrol of its kind on the North Shore.

“In 1990 Manny led a movement to begin a Village patrol modeled after the patrols that had been used in Lakeville Estates, Nob Hill and Country Estates. With the unanimous support of all East Hills Civic Associations, the patrol began and is still in place today. Crime in East Hills is now at an all-time low.

“Manny was named the first Security Commissioner where he was responsible for starting up, staffing, and establishing an internal security force.  He serves as Supervising Trustee over all security matters in the Village.  Interfacing with the Sixth Precinct we also house a satellite office at the Park, which helps with response time and with the greater patrols of our neighborhood.

“Manny has an intimate understanding of all facets of village government.  This experience was obtained through years of volunteering. His widespread background includes: Chairman of the Village Planning Board, President of the Unified Civic Association, Supervising Trustee on committees, and serving as a Trustee. He helped plan The Park at East Hills, working with over 300 residents on twenty-two committees.  

“Manny also brings extensive business experience to the table.  His success in business allowed him to retire at early, enabling him to devote over 30 hours per week to village matters. 

“Manny’s vision for the future includes setting up an emergency response program. Following Hurricane Irene, Manny met with State Senator Jack Martins to obtain a State grant of $50,000 for the installation of emergency generators. These generators will provide power for Village Hall and the Village Theater. Once completed, the Village will be able to provide shelter, heat, lights, showers and bathroom facilities for residents during power outages.

“Manny realizes that the top issue facing this Village today is cost containment and keeping taxes as low as possible while maintaining at the highest level services. Manny was a key supporter for the zero tax increase this year and strongly supports an increase of less than 2 percent that will be implemented next year.  

“The cost containing saving measures he supported this year has saved the Village millions of dollars. The Village refinanced the park bonds, which saved $1.5 million dollars. Working with the Roslyn Schools to block an IDA application for tax abatement for the Pall Corp. property meant keeping over $7 million dollars on the commercial tax rolls. Requiring the property buyer to repave Forest Drive at its expense gave the Village $700,000 extra to spend on paving residential streets. Inter-municipal agreements with the Town of North Hempstead for infrastructure improvements led to even greater savings.

“A few of Manny’s goals for the future include: Blocking tax abatements and opposing commercial tax certioraris (reductions) that erode our residential tax base, being committed to repaving village roads, tackling the problem of speeding, not only by our new mobile Speed Monitor, but through greater enforcement, maintaining a safe and secure community by further improving our Public Safety Department, expansion of Kids in the Park activities,” the statement concluded.

Zuckerman is married to Jacalyn, with two children who graduated from the Roslyn Schools, Seth and Madeline.  His family has lived in East Hills for over 34 years.

Voting takes place on Tuesday, March 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Theatre, 209 Harbor Hill Rd.

—By Joe Scotchie

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is running for election to the Village of East Hills board of trustees.  He issued the following statement on his candidacy:

“There are two significant differences between me and the incumbents.  First, I am committed to freezing Village taxes this year and they are committed to raising them. With a $2 million-plus surplus and roughly $600,000 of new monies received during the recent refinancing, it is very feasible to avoid asking our residents to dig deeper into their pockets.

“Second, I offer an independent voice.  I am not running on anyone’s ‘team,’ and will always act and vote in the best interests of the community.  As trustee, I know that my independent voice will have a positive and substantial impact on our local government.

“I spent my early childhood in East Hills and returned here 12 years ago with my wife. We have three children in three different Roslyn schools.

“I have over 23 years of experience practicing law in such areas as commercial litigation, commercial transactions, real estate transactions, criminal law and vehicle and traffic law. Each year, my law firm represents thousands of clients and I am proud that I can help so many individuals to navigate the judicial system.

“I also have a strong business background having participated for over 15 years as a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a not-for-profit business group with over 8,000 members worldwide.  During this period, I volunteered for every leadership position on its New York board culminating in two years as president.  I even received a commendation letter from President Obama for my EO work.

“Over the last few years, I got a first-hand look into how our current administration runs our village and concluded that a new and independent member of the board would provide fresh ideas and energy.

“I’ve spent my professional life serving the public and volunteering.  I am running for trustee because I know that I can help improve our wonderful community, and am one that prefers action over words.

“I hope you will elect me as trustee.  I promise to use one guiding principle in making all village decisions: What is in the best interest of the community.  I urge all voters to come out on March 20 to vote in this important election.”  

Voting takes place on Tuesday, March 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Theatre, 209 Harbor Hill Rd.

—By Joe Scotchie

Mitchell J. Winn

Mitchell J. Winn is a running for trustee in the Village of East Hills.  He issued the following statement on his candidacy:

“My family moved to Roslyn Heights in 1964, and I grew up at 87 Barnyard Lane, graduating from Wheatley High School in 1977.  I attended Tufts University (majoring in economics and political science), and then graduated from Fordham Law School in 1984.  I got married in 1985 to Maxine, and we bought our house at 32 Westwood Circle in 1995.  My daughter Amanda graduated from Wheatley in 2009, and is now pre-med at Brandeis University.  My son Jason is a junior at Wheatley.  We are members of Temple Beth Sholom, where I was Bar Mitzvahed, as were my children.

“In 2005 when the East Williston School District budget failed, the board was going to cancel the summer recreation program, which is run primarily for students of the East Williston and Carle Place districts, although it is open to all.  I formed the East Williston Summer Recreation Corp. as a non-profit corporation, and still serve as its president. The corporation started with a deficit, but by watching costs, the program now runs at a surplus, despite only a minimal price increase, and is going strong.  I have also been a member since 2002 of the Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee, volunteering my services to assist indigent tenants facing foreclosure.

“I have found these pro bono activities, and my law practice representing homeowners and businesses in coverage disputes with insurance carriers, to be tremendously gratifying, and I want to do more.  I was part of the committee, which formed and planned the East Hills Park, and I would like an opportunity to be of more service to the village.  I think that the mayor has done a tremendous job, but I think that having the mayor, all of the trustees, and the village judiciary all as part of the same “Unity Party” is an invitation to abuse, if not now, then in the future.  Good government requires that there be an independent person contributing and overseeing the village’s activities.

“My political philosophy is that of an Independent. A balanced budget and low taxes are my priorities, and these seemingly contradictory ends can be reconciled by keeping expenditures low while maintaining essential ‘quality of life’ expenditures.  Taxes can be raised when needed, but this should always be an absolute last resort.  My impression of the village at this time is that a number of expenditures could be cut without affecting the quality of life in the village, e.g. the ‘Mayor’s Softball Tournament,’ while the 2011 Village budget showed an increase of recreation expenditures from $40,105 to $65,000.  If the residents (not the mayor) want to hold a tournament, let them pay for it themselves!

“While the 2011 budget provided for an increase in street maintenance expenditures of $275,336, this was certainly justifiable given the deplorable state of our streets, and I support this expenditure.  But the increases in the budget for the administration clerk and treasurer’s office of $105,360 (from $326,640 to $432,000) and for building contracting expenses of $148,310 (from $252,690 to $401,000) seem excessive, given the hard financial times facing our residents. I would also question the necessity of increasing our fire protection budget from $719,723 to $970,131.  

“We must always remember that we are spending other people’s money when we approve these expenditures, and must sharpen our pencils as much as possible.  I also feel that all village personnel, from the mayor down to the park’s pool attendants, should remember that service to the community, not to the administration or their own convenience, must be emphasized as the number one priority. I would look forward to having the honor of serving our community as its trustee.”

Voting for the board of trustee election will be held on Tuesday, March 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Theatre, 209 Harbor Hill Rd.         

—By Joe Scotchie