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Scarsdale Is at Its Best When It Innovates

trusteesThe Non-Partisan Party Slate: Seth Ross, Rochelle Waldman, Marc Samwick and Jonathan LewisThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Jonathan Lewis, Candidate for Village Trustee:

I am running for Village Trustee on Tuesday, March 19 on the non-partisan slate. I am a great believer in our non-partisan system of government — it’s how Scarsdale became Scarsdale. But I also firmly believe that Scarsdale is at its best when it innovates, and when it focuses on what it does uniquely better than any other community in New York. My career has taught me to do more with less, while being innovative, impactful, and taking the long view. These are the lessons I’d bring to the Board of Trustees.

First, a little about my background. In 2004, I co-founded Samson Capital Advisors. We were seven working partners with no clients or revenues. By 2015, when we sold our company, we managed about $7 billion in assets under management and had over 30 employees. Our reputation for being careful was earned during the financial crisis.

I am now Chief Investment Officer and a member of the management committee at Fiera Capital US, which now has over 120 employees and manages more than $20 billion across a range of asset classes. As a Chief Investment Officer with expertise in finance, municipal bonds, and risk management, I would bring this knowledge to the position of Village Trustee.

I have been a member of Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan organization where senior executives provide pro bono consulting services to the federal government, bringing best business practices to national security issues. I chaired reform initiatives on intelligence and served on pro bono assignments related to the structure, staffing, and compensation of the intelligence community. I served on a multi-year task force on how to improve domestic security. I have worked with executive branch actors from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and the CIA, and members of Congress to ensure federal, state, and local governments collaborate properly to keep everyone safe. I would bring this perspective to policy discussions about public safety. JonathanLewisJonathan Lewis

I have been very active within the Scarsdale volunteer community, as a past president of the Scarsdale Forum, and as an elected member of the Scarsdale Board of Education.

My term as president of the Scarsdale Forum from 2008-2009 occurred during the financial crisis, when I instituted major changes to enhance the vibrancy of the organization during some difficult times. I appointed an investment committee to establish guidelines and define the asset allocation strategy for the organization.

In terms of policy, I brought experts from SUNY Albany to meet with our board to lead a planning discussion about digital government initiatives. In reaction to community concern about the number of tear-downs that were occurring, I created a new committee on Neighborhood Character. In the years that followed, the Forum weighed in on the discussion of neighborhood character and preservation. During my term, with an investment plan in place, and membership up, the financial stability of the organization was also strengthened.

During my time on the School Board, we had to contend with the then-new state law establishing the property tax cap. We had to balance the need to provide a great education for the 21st century, while being mindful of the economic challenges our stakeholders faced in the aftermath of the financial crisis. One of the most impactful new ideas we funded was called the Scarsdale Center for Innovation. It was a low-cost initiative that had the power to unleash the creative energies of our teachers and administrators for the purpose of reengineering our curriculum.

Scarsdale’s leadership in education and our reputation as innovators in that field are what set our community apart, and I believe we need to innovate in our local government to succeed in this challenging era. I believe that if we approach the challenges of our time with fresh perspectives, we are more likely to innovate our way to deliver on the value proposition of living in Scarsdale. If we succeed, Scarsdale will remain the most attractive choice for home-buyers seeking to build a happy and successful future for themselves and their families.

I am confident that, if elected, with my my colleagues on the Village Board I can help Scarsdale succeed, and I ask for your vote on March 19.

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