GOLD COAST LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION - CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES AND STATEMENTS
The five candidates running for the three seats on the Gold Coast Public Library's Board of Trustees submitted the following statements prior to the Meet the Candidates forum.
Nancy Benchimol and her husband Samuel (aka Mickey) have lived in Glen Head for thirty-nine years. A retired Biology professor from Nassau Community College, she served 12 years as a trustee on the North Shore Board of Education. She has been a volunteer tutor for Literacy Nassau for six years. In 2001 Nancy was elected to the original Gold Coast Public Library Board of Trustees and over the past fourteen years has served two years as Secretary, two years as Treasurer and seven years as President.
I have served as Gold Coast Library Trustee for the past 4 years. While our director, Michael Morea, and his team do an excellent job in providing services to residents, the current library facilities are inadequate for a community of our size.
The new library building we propose to construct is intended to meet our community's current needs as well as its evolving needs over the next 50 years. We envision multi-use, flexible, aesthetically pleasing and inviting space that can accommodate programs and technology designed to attract residents of all ages. As we will demonstrate during our upcoming information sessions, we believe we can provide this new library at a reasonable cost to taxpayers. I look forward to helping turn this proposal into a reality – one that will greatly enhance the quality of life in our Library district for years to come.
RUDOLPH L HERTLEIN
I am married to my wife Mary, we have 3 sons and 9 grandchildren and as residents of Glen Head for over 45 years I believe that the Library provides and important service to the community.
I am retired, a former Marine and currently a Director of Alcentra Capital Corp., Abacus Federal Savings Bank and CPA.COM.
My community service includes trustee of the Todd Estates Civic, St. Hyacinth Parish Advisor, former Little League Coach and other community activities.
I agree that the current location needs additional space and lacks adequate parking space.
I believe the current trustees are out of touch with what the library needs (20,000 – 25,000 Sq.Ft. is excessive compared to the present 5,000 Sq Ft.). The floating of a proposed Construction Bond for $16 to $17.4 Million to acquire land, demolish the current building and build a new Library is unrealistic. The interest alone at 2% is $320,000 per year.
There are other alternatives that should be explored, the former Bernards’ Restaurant, St. Hyacinths’ empty School, etc…
I believe I could help bring fiscal responsibility and transparency to the Library Board.
As a resident of Glen Head for forty three years, I have decided to run for the Trustee Position at
The Gold Cost Public Library. During the library’s first decade, the Board succeeded in acquiring a
Library and providing many services to our community. This was a great achievement.
In my position as a member of the Board of Trustees, I will spearhead a search to identify alternative
approaches to obtain a less expensive and easier to adapt property for the library’s expansion. The
present proposed expansion is grandiose. It depends on being able to buy and to build on the property
as well as to sell off some of the remaining property.
As I was obtaining signatures to run for this position, I was repeatedly told not to expand the library
as presently proposed (four to five times larger than our existing library). This sentiment came from
residents with young children as well as more mature residents. I listened to their inputs and I will do
my best to implement their wishes and the wishes of the rest of the community.
I will use my expertise as a Real Estate Broker to match the community’s needs with the facility
best suited for the expanded library. With this type of approach, we will reduce the impact of taxes on
M.B.A. – St. Johns University – Executive Management – 1972
B.S. – New York University – Management – 1969
*Past President of Todd Estates Civic Association – 10 years
*Present Trustee of Todd Estates Civic Association
*Active member St. Mary’s, Roslyn
Library adapts, evolves and morphs to remain relevant and valuable, and it operates at the leading edge of information technologies. A successful public library plays a central role in civic life. Its presence reflects strongly on the community it serves.
Digital resources notwithstanding, humans remain a social species. People of all ages and interests interact live, face to face, in real time, even if they sit at a table texting one another.
The real growth in public libraries, Gold Coast in particular, occurs in programs, activities and services. The present library can host exactly one such at a time, in one rented room in a building now under contract for sale to investors.
Designs in progress propose space to fill present unmet needs and others we can project. With a flexible layout, like a large transformer toy, each would have moveable walls and access to infrastructure, making a building easily reconfigurable for a future we cannot precisely predict, other than one in which people still gather.
As a founder of the Gold Coast Library, chair of the real estate committee, and 35-year resident, I firmly believe the decision regarding the proposed relocation will define this community’s future and reputation.