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North Hempstead Town Board Fills Town Clerk and Town Council Vacancies

Immediate Release                                                                                    Contact: Justin Meyers
April 17, 2007                                                                                                       (516) 869-7794

North Hempstead Town Board Fills Town Clerk and Town Council Vacancies

Leslie Gross Appointed Town Clerk and Maria-Christina Poons Selected for Town Council

(Manhasset, NY – April 17) – North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman announced today that at the Tuesday, April 17th meeting, the Town Board designated Maria-Christina Poons of Great Neck and Leslie Gross of Manhasset as Town Councilwoman and Town Clerk respectively. These are interim appointments to fill vacancies created by Wayne Wink’s and Michelle Schimel’s elections to higher offices. Both positions will be filled in the fall November election.

Known for her strong background in education, Ms. Poons worked in the Great Neck School District for over 25 years. She also has extensive experience as a bilingual education consultant in several school districts in North Hempstead, including Manhasset. A highly respected community leader, Ms. Poons has served as a Board Member of the New York State Safe Kids Coalition, the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC, the Great Neck Senior Center, the Great Neck Student Aid Fund, the Education Assistance Corporation (EAC), and the Great Neck/New Hyde Park North Community Fund. She also sits on the Town of North Hempstead Committee Against Domestic Violence. Ms. Poons is Past President of the Hispanic Community of Great Neck and yesterday became the first Hispanic to hold a seat on the Town Board.

“I am very honored to have received the appointment of the Town Board to represent the residents of the 4th Councilmanic District in North Hempstead as Wayne Wink’s successor,” Ms. Poons said. “He has left a wonderful legacy, and I know the residents greatly valued his input. I really look forward to getting to meet the constituents, listening to their concerns and working closely with community groups and organizations.”

Leslie Gross was appointed Executive Director of the NH BTDC in March 2005. In that capacity, she worked closely with the Town Supervisor, Town Board, Chambers of Commerce and other community-based organizations to improve business opportunities and foster increased tourism in the town. The BTDC spearheaded a number of town projects including the Annual Bar Beach FamilyFest, the Annual celebration of North Hempstead Day, and the creation of North Hempstead Cable TV programs (including “Around the Town” and “Taste of the Town”) which profile local businesses, museums and charitable organizations.

Ms. Gross has long been active in North Hempstead’s civic life, lending her efforts to numerous community organizations including the Rotary Club of Great Neck, the North Shore/LIJ Health System, where she serves as an Associate Trustee, the Gift of Life, Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Amsterdam, The Children’s Sports Connection and Temple Judea. The newly-appointed Town Clerk grew up in Great Neck and has been a resident of Manhasset since 1980. She has been married for over 30 years to her husband Howard, a management consultant. They have two sons Adam and Brian, a daughter-in-law, Danielle, and their one year old grandson, Jacob.

“I am greatly honored about my appointment as Town Clerk by the Board,” Gross said. “Michelle Schimel was an outstanding Clerk, and I look forward to continuing the services and projects she developed and championed during her eight year tenure, including proper archival maintenance. I have lived in the Town most of my life and look forward to meeting constituents and helping them with the services that the Clerk’s office has to offer.”

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