Readers Write: Plaza officials work for perks and pay, not for the people

The Island Now

Below is a copy of the letter I recently sent to Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender and all of the village officials; once again, I did not receive a response.     

 Dear Mayor Celender,

 Elections for officials of the Village of Great Neck Plaza will be taking place this month, so of course, the candidates want to let their constituents know what a good job they are doing.

 In Janelle Clausen’s article about Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen that appeared in the March 2 issue of the Great Neck News (“Rosen touts Plaza’s record of excellence”), we are supplied with all sorts of platitudes about the Village’s “record of accomplishment” and how it is a “very nice place to live, work and shop.”

 But when asked by the reporter about whether there is a parking problem in Great Neck Plaza, Rosen responded, “I think there’s at times a perception that parking is a challenge, but I think in reality there is parking and I think that’s something over the years we’ve tried to address.”

 After the multitude of conversations and written communications about the dire parking situation for residents of the Welwyn/Shoreward area — along with clearly documented purposeful bypassing by code enforcement of the daily multitude of illegally parked Shop Delight employees—Ted’s response in the newspaper was just another attempt to whitewash an issue that the Village refuses to deal with.

 Since Shop Delight has been open, large numbers of employees have been persistent in illegally parking in the Welwyn/Shoreward area, depriving residents of ample places to park on the street.

In spite of the fact that clear documentation of this illegal behavior has been sent to the Village over an extended period of time, it has not been apparent to residents that tickets have been issued to those employees by code enforcement — regardless of the fact that there has been ample opportunity to do so.

During a meeting with Chris Backmon and Ted Rosen late last year, both Chris and Ted confirmed to my husband and me that over a 10-month period in 2017, VGNP code enforcement issued 200 tickets in the Welwyn/Shoreward area (which amounts to 20 tickets per month — fewer than one ticket per day), and neither confirmed that any of the 200 tickets were given to Shop Delight employees.

Every Plaza official knows full well that the very presence of these illegally parked cars on the streets adjacent to Shop Delight is a violation of their conditional use permit, paragraphs 13 & 23, as well as a violation of the Village of Great Neck Plaza’s Parking Code, Chapters 151-2, 3 & 4.

 Little or nothing has been done to enforce the law, or to mete out proper consequences to Shop Delight; occasional “lip service” is all we get. Residents are painfully aware that the Village has no real intention of dealing with this problem.

Regarding the upcoming elections in the village, Rosen states in the newspaper article, “I think the opportunity to serve the public is a very special opportunity. And if you feel that you’re doing a good job and you could serve the public, I think you should run.”

 Do any of you actually believe that “you’re doing a good job” serving the needs of the residents of my Welwyn/Shoreward neighborhood when no one at the village even bothers to respond to our communications or concerns? If you really want to know what kind of job you’re doing, just ask my neighbors.

Muriel Pfeifer

Village of Neck Plaza

(We want our “Great” back!)

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