Resident eyes park district spending

Andrew Benjamin

Great Neck resident Rebecca Rosenblatt-Gilliar called upon the Great Neck Park District Board of Commissioners last week to cut back on expenses by limiting the park’s district’s free summer concert series.

During a park district board of commissioners meeting last Thursday, Gilliar criticized the need for $175,800 to be set aside for the park district’s free concerts. 

“It’s one thing for us to be cultured and one to be entertained and another for us to be bratty about things,” she said. “It’s too much money to spend in this economy… it’s close to a quarter-of-a-million dollars. It’s not my taxpayer responsibility.” 

Gilliar said the concerts should be cut down to once a week.

But Great Neck Park District Commissioner Ruth Tamarin said there are residents who specifically look forward to the concerts every summer. 

“There are enormous (amounts of) people that look forward to these concerts all-year round and they pay taxes too,” she said. “They say to us ‘I’m paying taxes and this is my contribution.’”

Gilliar also questioned whether one of the taxpayer-funded concerts, the Persian concert at Bar Beach, was legal as it is open to all residents.

“When it comes to spending money of any kind, Great Neck Park District money can only be spent for the Great Neck Park District,” she said. “I believe you’re on the wrong side of the law. If you’re not on the wrong side of the law, you’re on the wrong side of the residents.”

Tamarin said the park district is co-sponsoring the concert and that “this is an instance where we are saving money.”

Though the Persian concert was in Great Neck previously, the decision to move it to Port Washington was made due to its popularity, Great Neck Park District Commissioner Robert Lincoln, Jr. said.

“It’s a very heavily attended concert,” he said. “We spoke to the town and both the town and park district felt it was advantageous to pool our resources.”

In other news, Gilliar said that she and a neighbor had drain plugs removed from their boats. 

Gilliar said two had been taken from her catamaran and one from her neighbor’s. She said that her three-year-old grandchildren had taken their first boat trip to the Merchant Marine Academy earlier this year and that thinking about the possibility of the boat sinking, “stopped my heart.”

If her grandchildren had been on the boat with the plugs removed, it would’ve taken on water and started sinking, Gilliar said.

Gilliar explained that the plugs are screwed into place very strongly and can only be undone with a wrench. She called the vandalism a “concerted sabotage.”

“This isn’t a kid with a magic marker,” she said.

Lincoln said everyone, not just boat owners, need to keep their eyes open.

“We need to keep an extra special eye out, not just at night,” Lincoln said. “We also need to tell everybody who has a boat down there that this has happened. What solves these things sometimes is everybody looking.”

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Andrew Benjamin

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