Thanks to Mayor Jon Mark and Trustee Bill Stern
- Bulletin Board
- Published on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 08:11
- Joanne Wallenstein
Many residents came to the podium at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday March 28 to thank Mayor Jon Mark and Trustee Bill Stern who both completed their service to the Village. Here are comments from former Village Trustee David Lee, LWVS President Deb Morel and Darlene LeFrancois Haber, Ron Schulhof and Michelle Sterling who have championed many sustainability initiatives in the Village.
Jon, when you left the Board of Trustees back in 2013 after serving two terms as trustee, I told of how even before I became a trustee you showed me the type of person you were. You, Kay Eisenman, and I were the three CNC trustee candidates that year, you two running for your second term and I for my first. The three of us were to participate in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters since we had an independent candidate on the ballot running against us.
In preparation for the debate, you prepared for all three of us what was at least a 10-page outline detailing the major issues of the day.
From that first experience with you, I said back then that I quickly came to see you as:
-Generous with others in sharing your knowledge
-Prolific in turning out relevant materials
-Someone possessing a powerful command and memory for the issues, and
-A person of great intellect, capable of understanding and presenting issues in an insightful and organized fashion.
I then added in that 2013 farewell speech that in the two years during which we served together on the board , I had come to see not only how true my first impression of those strengths of yours were, but that I had come to see others as well – especially, my recognition of :
Your exceptional conscientiousness in your preparation for understanding the issues we had to address and your dedication to our goal as board members for doing the very best we can for our Village.
As I look back today on your time as Mayor, I see those same descriptions as applying so fully to you.
But, I now want to add something more.
You and your colleagues on the Board this year came under intense pressure from many sides to try to deal with a very difficult situation. Criticized roundly by some, you all, but especially you, Jon, as Mayor, who were more targeted than anyone else, showed class and dignity as you listened to, and showed respect for, all comers, notwithstanding that the same treatment was not always returned your way.
And in a sense, I suppose that's how it sometimes needs to be - from both sides. If residents are angry and without decision-making power, they need to be able to show the intensity of their feelings, if that's how they feel they will be most effective at persuading the decision-makers.
While from our Mayor, we dearly need the kind of demeanor and character that you displayed, leading by example in having our Village Board accord respect to all our neighbors.
You're a classy guy, Mr. Mayor, and all of us in the Village are indebted to you for, among other things, the dignity that you lent to the office.
To Bill Stern from David Lee:
Trustee Stern – Thank you
Bill, you have been a gift to our Village Board. We saw that in your passion and intellect on display earlier this evening in your comments. Knowledgeable beyond measure and likeable beyond measure, you bring your special brand of expertise to the board and it's terrific. Your passion for sustainability and the environment, Scarsdale Cable-TV and the Library, is un-paralleled on the board - and most timely in our Village. Your engineering and business background brought a hugely valued perspective to Board discussions. Your colleagues on the Board looked forward to hearing what you had to say and learned to rely on your expertise and your wisdom. At Village Board meetings, you comfortably addressed contentious positions taken by some of our residents and did so persuasively, while always showing respect for the other's position. And your lucid, un-scripted liaison reports of meetings you have attended or events you have witnessed were often the most entertaining parts of board meetings.
You have been a terrific member of the Village Board, bringing integrity and a wealth of experience that helped the Board immensely in its decision-making. Thank you for your devoted service to our Village.
Good evening. My name is Deb Morel and I am the President of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale. On behalf of the League's board, I would like to honor and thank outgoing Scarsdale Mayor, Jon Mark, and Scarsdale Trustee, Bill Stern. Both Jon and Bill are exemplary public servants who approached the task of governing our village with great care, enormous commitment and impressive responsiveness. Through my work with the League, I have had the opportunity to observe and work with Jon and Bill on various civic matters, and I want to acknowledge the tremendous service each has done for Scarsdale over the years.
Bill Stern, a long-time resident of Quaker Ridge, has served two full terms as a Village Trustee, starting in 2013. With a masters degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in physics, Bill brought strong technical knowledge and insight to numerous village board discussions. Among other things, he has been a champion of sustainability initiatives in the Village, most notably his work on drafting and helping to enact sensible and progressive Village laws and regulations for residents' installation and use of solar panels on their homes.
Jon Mark grew up in Scarsdale, and has served in Scarsdale government for many years. From 2010 to 2014, he served two terms as a Trustee and, during those terms he was called upon also to serve for periods of time as the Scarsdale Police Commissioner, Fire Commissioner and Deputy Mayor. A year after the end of his final trustee term he was nominated and won the position of Scarsdale Mayor. With his characteristic blend of candor, practicality and humor, Jon opened every village board of trustees meeting with a clear and comprehensive run-down of the issues and developments residents needed to know about since the last meeting, and was always meticulously conscientious about following up on questions and requests from the community. And I, personally, have admired Jon's seemingly limitless patience, respect and attention for all citizens during the public comment periods. Jon and Bill, we are truly grateful to both of you for your service.
We would also like to welcome and congratulate the Mayor-elect, Dan Hochvert, and Trustee-elect Seth Ross as they begin their first terms. We congratulate Trustees Matthew Callaghan and Carl Finger as they each begin their second terms. Finally, we thank Trustees Pekarek, Samwick and Veron for their continued service. We wish you all the very best.
Michelle Sterling, Ron Schulhof read by Darlene LeFrancois Haber
Thank you for your service as Mayor these past two years. It has been a pleasure working with you. Scarsdale has seen a number of exciting sustainability initiatives launch under your leadership and is a better place for it. From LED Streetlights to supporting the county reusable bag initiative to the updated recycling guide to organic landscape management to initiating the review of solar and most recently the food scrap recycling program.
You have always given time to hear from volunteers, whether it be during public comments, committee meetings on the 3rd floor or just a phone call. You always came to the table with an open mind, listened and advocated for bringing volunteers into the process. You supported the creation of joint resident-village ad-hoc committees on important initiatives. This brought volunteers into the fold which thankfully made us volunteers a part of these programs and the village will continue to be the better for it.
Who would have thought two years ago that you would be giving a food scrap recycling demo, with a kitchen apron on no-less, to the Greenacres neighborhood association? While we are sad to see your time on the board come to a close, we fully expect to see you walking the train platform with food scrap starter kits in hand giving demos! In all seriousness thank you for your service to the community. You will be greatly missed.
Thank you for your service as a Trustee for the past 4 years! Your intelligence, thoughtfulness, and unending commitment to doing what is right for the residents of this community has been very apparent, and is tremendously appreciated.
In particular, each of the three of us applaud your unending support in the mission of caring for our environment. You very clearly reflect the knowledge that human-caused climate change, a fact NOT a hoax, is harming not only our earth, but – as a physician-scientist I can unfortunately say - our personal health. You know that "It's not only happening in the Arctic Circle, it's happening here. It's not only a problem for us in 2100, it's a problem now. And it's not only hurting polar bears, it's hurting us." As a result of your vision, and in your capacity as Trustee, you have clearly taken ownership of this issue and consistently expressed to your fellow Board members and our community that we are stewards of our earth – and we need to leave it in as good of a condition if not better for generations to come. That is evident.
Thank you for your leadership, your constant support and advocacy. We have witnessed that you have not accepted the status quo on this issue. In contrast, as a result of your conviction, as Trustee you have sought to prevent more environmental harm by supporting initiatives which reduce heat-trapping pollution through reducing energy waste and by accelerating the transition to clean renewable energy. Energy saving initiatives such as solar promotion and led street lighting, on organic land management promotion, on the food scrap recycling and energy composting initiative - on these and on all environmentally beneficial initiatives you have stood with each of us and advocated. For this - and for everything else you have done for our community - we thank you Bill. We will greatly miss you as Trustee. The three of us have discussed how to clone you...
But while your time on this Board is at its end, we are each wholly confident that you will continue to make your voice heard as an advocate for a better and healthier community, and a better earth.
We look forward to joining arms with you as a cherished member of our community in this mission.