Shake-up at Village Hall

Lawrence names new administrator and attorney


The Village of Lawrence has rearranged its administrative staff, naming former village justice and prosecutor and current Lawrence Association President Ron Goldman the new village administrator, and former Garden City mayor Peter Bee the new village attorney. The village board appointed both men at its Aug. 29 meeting.

Goldman, a longtime village resident and an attorney with a practice in Cedarhurst, succeeds Dave Smollett, who retired. Bee, a partner in the Mineola law firm Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan LLP, replaces A. Thomas Levin.

Mayor Martin Oliner said that the changes would help the village move from post-Hurricane Sandy work to an agenda that focuses on quality-of-life issues.

“Ron Goldman is a long-term member of the village and epitomizes the values we have,” Oliner said. “Peter Bee has 37 years of municipal law experience. There is a slew of lifestyle issues we want to focus on, from traffic on Rockaway Turnpike to flooding and others that these gentlemen will bring a fresh, focused view to.”

Goldman, who has lived in Lawrence for 34 years, stepped down in 2011 as the village prosecutor, a position he had held since 1994, to head the Lawrence Association, the village’s civic organization. From 1988 to 1994, he was the acting village justice.

“It’s a great village, with the potential to be even greater,” Goldman said, adding that he looked forward to hearing from residents, and, with the board’s approval, hoped to create an internship program for high school students to learn how government works.

Goldman is an experienced trial attorney who started his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and helped establish the Kings County Sex Crimes Bureau. Working in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office from 1972 to 1992, he served as chief of the Sex Crimes and Battered Spouse Bureau, first deputy chief of the Supreme Court and deputy chief-in-charge of the Family Court Bureau. He also writes the “Unreserved Judgment” column for the Herald.

Bee, a village attorney for the Fire Island community of Ocean Beach, has been special counsel to Lawrence for several years, working predominantly on labor, employment and civil service issues. He founded his firm in 1980, after spending a decade in county government, where he began in Nassau County’s legislative offices and was the chief of the Municipal Law Bureau in the county attorney’s office.

“I’m pleased to be working with the Village of Lawrence, where I previously served as special counsel for a number of years,” Bee said.

He was mayor of Garden City from 2007 to 2009 and a trustee before that, and his firm serves as special counsel to the Suffolk County Villages Association. He is a past chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Labor Law Committee, and was a contributing author for the first edition of the state Bar Association textbook “Public Sector Labor & Employment Law in New York State.”

“Both these gentlemen have served our community, and I hope that their experience will serve our community well,” said C. Simon Felder, Lawrence’s deputy mayor.

Oliner said that Smollett would serve as a consultant for several months. A call to Smollett requesting comment had not been returned at press time.

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