Great Neck Plaza Trustees Gerry Schneiderman and Lawrence Katz said they are running for re-election next month to continue their efforts to give back to the community and improve village residents’ quality of life.
Schneiderman has been a trustee since 2000 and served as chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals from 1982 until 2000. Katz has been a trustee since 2012 and served as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals from 2010 until 2012.
Both Schneiderman and Katz filed this month to run in the March 21 election. They are running unopposed.
“I have always believed that people should give back to their community, whether it is for your church or synagogue, local charity, civic organization, etc.,” Schneiderman said.
He said his civic involvement began when he moved to the Plaza.
“With the help of several of my neighbors, the Homeowners Association was resurrected to provide a sense of community as well as to help new homebuyers,” Schneiderman said. “We organized several block parties as a way to meet our neighbors and we formed great friendships.”
He said that during the same time, once his children would go to sleep, he would leave his home to attend the village’s Board of Trustees meetings twice every month.
“The mayor at the time was Andy Wurman and noticing that I was interested in the village, he asked me if I would like to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals,” Schneiderman said. “Three years later, [former] Mayor Alan Gussack asked me to be chairman, a position I held for 17 years.”
After downsizing his business and finding more time to serve the community, he said, a village trustee position opened.
Schneiderman said he approached Mayor Jean Celender about the vacant seat.
“She knew that I had been an active volunteer for almost 20 years and she agreed,” he said. “It has been over 16 years since I was first appointed trustee and I have enjoyed serving the community ever since.”
“I look forward to continuing to do whatever I can to make this village a great place to live and work,” Schneiderman added.
He said he has spearheaded many efforts within the village, including its restaurant week, a concert dedicated to new merchants in the village and assisting in getting brochures for real estate agents to show potential clients why they should come to Great Neck Plaza.
Schneiderman also said he has served on the village’s Public Art Advisory Committee and created the “parking meter grace period,” which gives drivers five minutes to return to their vehicle after their parking meter has expired.
Katz, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and Brooklyn College with a degree in accounting, said he moved to the Plaza in 2000 with his wife.
The two of them, he said, “were drawn to the beauty of the Plaza and loved its small town feel, shops, restaurants and proximity to Manhattan.”
Katz, who works as a certified public accountant for a “Big 4” accounting firm, said his experiences make him a valuable asset to the board.
“My background and technical skills complement those of my colleagues in Plaza government and enable me to work effectively for the benefit of our constituents,” he said.
During his time as trustee, Katz said his “greatest contributions include supporting the growth of the downtown business district, physical improvements to the Plaza, promoting restaurant week, advocating for our existing businesses, and other efforts to attract shoppers and new businesses to the Plaza.”
He also said the board has made and is in the process of making improvements to the village’s traffic, safety and aesthetics.
“I am running for re-election because I believe that Great Neck Plaza is a fantastic place to live and raise a family,” Katz said. “I look forward to implementing these and future endeavors for the benefit of all our Plaza residents.”
The election will be held on March 21 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Hall at 2 Gussack Plaza in Great Neck.