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You are here: Home Section Table Village Voices Gun Violence Awareness Day Declared Plus More From the Village Board
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Gun Violence Awareness Day Declared Plus More From the Village Board

gunviolence1The Scarsdale Board of Trustees with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in AmericaTuesday's meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees was a lengthy one, dominated by a multitude of issues ranging from gun violence to the charitable gift reserves. See more below:

Gun Violence

Friday June 1st will be National Gun Violence Awareness Day in the Village of Scarsdale. Mayor Dan Hochvert, dressed in orange, read a proclamation for Scarsdale’s fourth annual gun violence awareness day which stated that on average 13,000 people die in gun homicides each year. He asked village residents to reflect on gun violence and to support local organizations to fight gun violence.

The meeting was attended by members of the Westchester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, led by Patricia Collela. They distributed orange t-shirts and ribbons to the Village trustees and staff. She read the following:

“I would like to thank Mayor Hochvert for officially proclaiming Friday, June 1, 2018, to be National Gun gunviolence2Village staff wore orange ribbons in support of gun violence awareness.Violence Awareness Day in the Village of Scarsdale. On that day, and at events nationwide throughout that weekend, thousands of Americans will honor the victims and survivors of gun violence by wearing orange.

Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor after she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, her friends asked us to stand up, speak out, and wear orange to raise awareness about gun violence.

The color orange has a long and proud history in the gun violence prevention movement. Whether it’s worn by hunters in the woods of Pennsylvania, activists here in New York, or Hadiya’s loved ones in Chicago, orange honors the more than 90 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day — and demands action. Orange expresses our collective hope as a nation — a hope for a future free from gun violence.

I am here as a member of the Westchester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which was founded in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the 5 years since that tragic day, Moms Demand has expanded to include a chapter in every state, with more than 4 million volunteers dedicated to ending the epidemic of gun violence in our nation.

Across the country, Moms Demand Action works with students, survivors, mayors, law enforcement officers, faith leaders, teachers, doctors, and all kinds of Americans who know there is more we can do to prevent gun violence. Together we advocate for stronger laws and policies that will save lives, and we are proud to be a driving force behind many Wear Orange gunviolence3Pat Colella and Mayor Dan Hochvert display the proclamation.events.”

Stormwater Management

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo invited the village engineer to present the annual report on compliance with storm water control laws. He explained that the village is required to report on implementation of pollution prevention plans, public education, participation and involvement, detection, and elimination of storm water runoff. The village is also required to control runoff from construction sites and take precautionary measures to prevent polluted water from infiltrating open watercourses and ultimately the Long Island Sound.

The engineer gave a lengthy report on the measures the Village has undertaken this year to safeguard our local waterways and to prevent illicit discharges into the watercourse.

Public Comments

A continuing issue for the Village Board are uncivil and lengthy public comments. Of late, some residents have been using this time to repeat comments made in previous weeks and have also called out specific board members, rather than addressing the board as a whole. Many are speaking longer than the five minute limit.

Mayor Dan Hochvert raised the issue, saying the board is hearing many repetitive comments at village meetings. He said some commenters challenge the ethics of Board members and one charged a member with being “nepotistic.” Hochvert said, “How many would say to their spouse you cannot serve because I am serving.” He also noted that the board received comments on the budget from people who did not attend any budget forums. Hochvert said the village staff has been receiving inquiries on issues that have already been covered. These repetitive requests increase the workload of the staff whom have been working extra hours to respond, slowing progress on matters that are important to other residents.

Village Trustee Lena Crandall broached this issue saying, “Public comments are an important opportunity to share information…one of my hopes is to foster a stronger sense of community.” Crandall said that when she moved to Scarsdale she got to know many residents through volunteer work and encouraged others to use the podium at Village Hall to tell people about the good work of their organizations and invite more volunteers to help out. She asked residents to keep comments constructive and to draft their statements before coming to the podium.

Andrew Sereysky of Walworth Avenue called attention to the Scarsdale Forum report on an off leash dog park. He said, “They recommend the dogparkvillage consider the feasibility of a dog park and form a committee to study these issues. I think this a great move.” He mused on the lengthy process for establishing the park, saying, “As the Grateful Dead said, what a long strange trip it’s been”. He asked anyone who wanted to get involved to email scarsdaledogpark@gmail.com.

Sereysky also invited Greenacres residents to the 2nd annual outdoor movie night on Greenacres Field on Saturday June 2 at 8 pm.

John Gruen of Brewster Road complained about the poor condition of Scarsdale’s roads. He said, “How are our roads in such poor condition? We have to avoid distracted drivers and dangerous potholes… Potholes cause serious damage and injuries… I urge you to recognize this issue. Act now – this isn’t a political issue it’s a safety issue.”

Mayor Hochvert responded, saying “Last year we paved 6 miles of roads. This year Post Road and Weaver Street will be repaved. We agree with many of your statements and are working hard to find the money.”

Philip Mehler of Birchall Drive also wanted to comment on the roads. He said, “The young man took my thunder away about the roads. The roads are not getting better they are getting worse. What you do is piecemeal. You need to take a dynamic approach. My three year old Lexus sedan started to rattle so much that I traded it in for a new Lexus.”

Former Village Trustee Bob Harrison who frequently speaks at meetings came to the mic. Before he began, Mayor Hochvert reminded Harrison of the five minute time limit for comments. Harrison quickly responded, “Mayor, that's not fair, we sat out there and listened to all you speak for quite a long time.” Harrison then continued to comment on the charitable gift reserve and village tax due dates, topics that Hochvert noted could be privately discussed with the Village Treasurer during the week. Harrison then asked about the status of a comfort station at the Middle School tennis courts. When Hochvert reminded Harrison that he had exceeded his five minutes, Harrison said “I don’t know what happened to you Mayor, you used to be so great… it was always a nice interaction.” He called the speaking time limits, “very disturbing.”

Resolutions

2-4 Weaver Street
Trustee Carl Finger introduced a resolution to amend the Village of Scarsdale’s agreement with Frederick Fish and Stephen Oder, the developers of 2-4 Weaver Street. The original agreement called for 11 multi-family units including one fair and affordable housing unit. However, In September 2014 the owners requested the development of three additional multi-family units in the tavern building, increasing the total number of units to 14, which was approved by the planning board. The Village Board agreed to permit 14 units, including one affordable unit at 2-4 Weaver Street.

Sidewalk Sale
Trustee Veron introduced a resolution to hold the annual Sidewalk Sale on Thursday July 26 through Saturday July 28 from 10am to 6pm each day in Scarsdale Village. Sidewalk Sale participants must be insured and have the proper permits for tents, assembly, amusement devices, or sale of food. The $125 tent permit fee will be waived as long as merchants file an application with the Fire Department and obtain approval from the Fire Inspector. She noted that the village is working cooperatively with businesses and that waiving the tent fee enables more businesses to participate in the sidewalk sale for residents.

Charitable Gift Reserves
The Board agreed to hold a hearing on June 12 for a resolution to create a charitable gifts reserve fund to allow residents to deduct state and local taxes. Responding to The Federal Tax Cuts and Job Act imposed by President Trump in December, Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law allowing local governments and school districts to establish a charitable gifts reserve fund that could be used to offset the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions imposed by President Trump. The charitable gift reserve fund will allow property owners to make an unrestricted charitable money contribution to the fund and receive a real property tax credit of up to 95% of the value of the contribution. Residents who contribute to the charitable fund must complete a credit claim acknowledgment form issued by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. The Village of Scarsdale passed a resolution that would allow residents to take advantage of the charitable gift fund to receive up to a 95% credit towards their village tax bill. To apply to village property owners this year, the charitable gifts reserve fund must be adopted prior to the issuance of village tax bills on July 1, 2018.

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