New Great Neck Mayor Dr. Pedram Bral suspended all pending sales of village property and replaced the village attorney after being sworn into office on Tuesday.
Bral, who unseated former Mayor Ralph Kreitzman, had campaigned against a plan to sell Village Hall and build a new one. The village had an oral understanding -- but not a signed contract -- with the Great Neck School District, which was to purchase Village Hall at fair market value, former Village Attorney Stephen Limmer has said.
"I don't think we're going to move the Village Hall," Bral said after Tuesday night's village board meeting.
Funds from the sale of village properties were to pay for construction of a new Village Hall and department of public works yard, trustee Bart Sobel, one of two members of Kreitzman's Better Government Party left on the board, said in an interview Wednesday.
Bral, a registered Republican, and his running mates have said they believed renovating the existing buildings was cheaper.
Officials were considering selling a Steamboat Road parking lot, the public works yard on Middle Neck Road, and Village Hall on Baker Hill Road, Sobel said. The plan had been for the revenue from the sale of those properties to largely cover -- if not exceed -- costs for building the new facilities on the site of the village's former sewage treatment plant on East Shore Road.
"Everybody needs a chance to look at our options, take a deep breath, and together all figure out what works best for the village," Sobel said Wednesday of Village Hall. "Otherwise we'd have to do a renovation on these properties that would cost a lot of money."
Kreitzman had said Village Hall -- once a small farmhouse -- was not user-friendly or environmentally sound and needed an elevator.
Great Neck schools Superintendent Thomas Dolan said in an emailed statement that he had not been part of any "verbal agreement" to buy Village Hall but "we had discussions about our interest and the possibility of its availability."
School board president Barbara Berkowitz said in an email that she had spoken with Kreitzman about the board's interest in purchasing Village Hall. "There had been no agreement as any such purchase would require public discussion as well as a voter referendum," Berkowitz said. "In the future, I look forward to speaking with Mayor Bral about this and other issues which benefit our community."
Limmer, of the Great Neck firm Ackerman Levine, said Tuesday that he no longer represents the village. is to be replaced by Peter Bee, a longtime GOP elections lawyer from the Mineola-based firm Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan, Bral said.