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suffragentsThe SuffragentsThe League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW) has rescheduled their celebratory fundraiser to mark 100 years of women's suffrage in New York State, to Sunday March 25 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at 65 Church Lane in Scarsdale. Brooke Kroeger, author of The Suffragents, will tell the untold story of how a group of prominent and influential men came together to help women win the right to vote.

New York State voters approved women's right to vote on November 17, 1917, three years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment that approved women's suffrage on the federal level. In 1917: When Women Won the Right to Vote, NY Times correspondent, Tessa Melvin wrote that, "Nowhere was the effort to gain the right to the state vote more intense than in Westchester County... At its height, the suffragette movement in the county enrolled 20,000 women and included 102 suffragette clubs, according to material in the files of the Westchester County Historical Society." Every Westchester town voted in favor of the referendum. Women organizers included New Rochelle's Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the Woman's Suffrage Party, which later became the New York State League of Women Voters. (Note that Ms. Melvin's article misspelled Marion Sinek's name (Finek) and that they were suffragists not suffragettes.)

"The history of women's suffrage and the LWVW is deeply intertwined," says LWVW PBrooke Kroegerresident Marylou Green. "Since 1919, our dedicated volunteers have been providing the public with factual, nonpartisan information about our government and elected officials. We produce voting guides for elections throughout the county, strive to elicit specific opinions and proposals from candidates rather than marketing soundbites, and monitor the workings of Westchester government and the Westchester Board of Elections. Many of us know the story of the suffragists in New York and the nation, but have not heard about the essential support they received from influential men who organized for the movement. It's time to celebrate them also."

Champagne, wine, hot hors d'oeuvres, finger food, and desserts will be served at this festive event. Tickets are $75 each. Payment can be made online via credit card or PayPal at lwvw.org or by mailing a check, payable to LWVW Inc., to 570 Taxter Road, Suite 565, Elmsford, New York 10523. For additional information please contact the League office at 949-0507 or marylougreen14@gmail.com.

The event was rescheduled due to the storm that hit Scarsdale on Friday March 2.

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petitionsThe Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNP) announced that nominating petitions for Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Jane E. Veron as candidates for Village Trustee were delivered to the Village Clerk on February 6, 2018. While 289 signatures were delivered to the clerk, petition signatures continued to arrive totaling over 330 signatures, reflecting a broad base of community support at this early stage.

The Campaign Committee will support these individuals and assist them in in their efforts to meet and speak with members of the community over the weeks leading up to the General Village Election.

The SCNP extends its sincerest thanks to all those volunteers who canvassed the Village to collect signatures, as well as to those who signed the nominating petitions for the candidates.

The General Village Election will take place Tuesday, March 20, 2018. All Election Districts will be voting at the Scarsdale Library, 54 Olmsted Road. Hours of the election are 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and Noon to 9:00 p.m.

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eustaceandvoice2During a fairly routine meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees on January 23, trustees provided a variety of updates and status reports for residents that ranged from volunteerism and the "Cable TV Needs Survey," to budget planning and tree code.

Trustee Carl Finger opened the meeting by reviewing recent village bills, and noting that the village bidding process is quite thorough, with staff working diligently to protect taxpayer dollars. "They look at every penny for us... By the time we see it, the hard work is done."

Mayor's Comments
Mayor Dan Hochvert's comments were brief; he began by expressing admiration for teenage volunteers he met on Martin Luther King Day at the Westchester Reform Temple. These "J Teens" come from throughout Westchester and participate in a variety of local volunteer projects. Last week, they were packing medical kits for areas impacted by major storms, such as Puerto Rico. "The enthusiasm (and) the leadership that I saw in these teenagers made me sure that the future of Westchester is going to be great," Hochvert said. He exchanged contact information with the group, "so that volunteer groups in Scarsdale could call on them, since they are looking for more opportunities."

He also announced ongoing work to revise an RFP on nut weed (nut grass) control for Harwood Park and Harcourt Woods, in an effort to eliminate it in these green spaces. And, finally, he noted that the village administration and trustees have begun their annual budget process.

Trustee Committee and Liaison Reports
Trustee Seth Ross announced that the Scarsdale Cable Television Commission still is seeking responses to its "Cable TV Needs Survey," which closes on Wednesday, January 31. He asked residents to take some time to complete the online questionnaire, which can be accessed here. "We've had quite a number of responses, but not nearly as many as we were hoping," Ross reported. "More responses will enable the village to negotiate significantly better agreements with cable providers."

Ross also reminded the public to learn more about village boards and councils, almost all of which have openings now or in coming months. He also encouraged residents to get involved in local civic matters by applying to any particular board or council: "I hope that those who have served previously and those who have not will seriously consider serving the village in these capacities." To learn more, visit the village's "Boards and Councils" webpage.

Trustee Carl Finger continued by discussing finance committee matters, specifically the first budget discussions of the year. "We're off to what I think is going to be a very productive and efficient budget for the coming fiscal year." He added, "I encourage everybody to attend, if they can, any of the upcoming public meetings... It's very informative. The staff ... and the department heads are all working very hard watching our bottom line."

Trustee Jane Veron provided an update on Scarsdale Parks and Recreation matters, specifically its interest in preventing the spread of the flu and the need to "remind those engaging in sports to be mindful of ensuring sanitary conditions." The department sent flu prevention alerts to participants in its programs, and worked with the school district in getting word out to students and parents. Veron also discussed the work of the Scarsdale Drug and Alcohol Task Force, which will host "Healthy Brain Day" on April 19-20, to promote understanding of the effect of substances on the brain.

She then changed gears and thanked the Scarsdale Arts Council, which supervised the Chase Park installation of Pearl Necklace, by Simone Kestelman. Veron said that the work was enjoyed for many months and she looks forward to future public installations. Last, Veron thanked the community for its feedback on the recently released sanitation operations study. "We've received emails, phone calls (and) in-person commentary on the (recycling) proposal that was presented by the CAC (Conservation Advisory Council)," said Veron. "We will be having an information session next Tuesday at 7:00 pm, where we will continue to discuss the study." The public is invited to attend.

Next up was Trustee Deborah Pekarek, who discussed the ongoing process to amend the village's tree code to better preserve Scarsdale's tree canopy. Earlier in the evening, the Scarsdale Law and Sustainability Committees met with village staff, and members of the Friends of Scarsdale Parks and the CAC to review proposed amendments. The discussion yielded additional ideas and revisions, and the public will be advised of future developments and meetings.

Pekarek then briefly mentioned her participation in recent meetings with the Colonial Acres Neighborhood Association and League of Women Voters, and concluded her remarks by announcing that four new officers have joined the Scarsdale Police Department. They are Jamie Crespo, Viet Dang, Terrence Doyle and Maxwell Goldberg. "We welcome our four new officers to the Scarsdale Police Department and we look forward to working with them and anticipate that they will serve the village with care, concern and professionalism," she said.

Public Comments
Lena Crandall, Fox Meadow Road, mentioned that the Scarsdale Forum will host its annual Winterfest event on Saturday, February 3, at 7:00 pm. The event is open to forum members and their guests; any residents who are not members of the organization may join here.

Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez, Fox Meadow Road, invited the public to attend an upcoming Scarsdale Forum event, "What is the School Bond and Should You Vote for It?" on Thursday, February 1, at 7:30 pm. She also discussed the forum's recently completed "Traffic Survey Report," in which it recommends that Scarsdale Village allocate resources to improve compliance with state and local traffic code provisions. Over 700 respondents completed the survey; a significant number cited concerns about walking, driving and cycling in the village.

Madelaine Eppenstein, Autenreith Road, followed up on Kirkendall-Rodriguez' comments, and thanked the community for its participation in the traffic survey, and the trustees and village administration for considering the forum report. She also provided news about Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, which will coordinate its fourth annual "Community Planting Day" and is working with village staff on a longer-term tree planting species list.

Michael Rubin, Crossway, added to Trustee Ross' comments on the cable TV survey. He explained that public input is important in determining future cable television needs, and survey data will help determine what the village should focus on when renegotiating contracts with Verizon and Altice cable television providers. Residents are urged to complete the online survey if they haven't already.

Bob Harrison, Fox Meadow Road, asked about the village's 2018-19 budget projections, specifically the proposed tax increase for homeowners. Village Manager Steve Pappalardo reported that the first pass of the budget represents a 2.18 percent tax levy increase, well under the 3.78 percent tax levy cap for Scarsdale. Pappalardo further explained that a number of factors will alter the first draft, so the information is very preliminary.

Harrison then mentioned the upcoming CAC meeting on sanitation services and voiced his objections to recent recommendation for curbside pickup of commingled recyclables. He also cited other residents' comments about the effect the proposal will have on senior citizens, and urged no change in pickup procedures. Harrison went on to state his concerns about the planned Wynmor Park tennis court renovations, and wondered why the trustees awarded a contract costing $110,361 when the project was budgeted at $75,000. Pappalardo explained that the village received three bids that were similar in cost, which indicated that staff didn't budget enough funds for the project. He also provided an explanation about how the bids were structured and the contractor selection process.

Laura Halligan, a new contributor to scarsdale10583.com, is a local writer, editor and marketing consultant. She is principal of Pinch Hit Prose and provides communications services to entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits.

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NeutralizationAmong its many activities, each year, the League of Women Voters assists local officials at the Westchester County Naturalization Court by welcoming new citizens, and providing them with important voter information. This program is coordinated by the League of Women Voters of Westchester, who, through various local Westchester Leagues, welcomes thousands of new citizens each year. On January 25th, two members of the Scarsdale League attended the Naturalization Hearing in White Plains, and it was a day to be remembered for them, and even more so for the 120 soon-to-be new citizens. These immigrants filled the courtroom to capacity along with their families and friends who accompanied them to witness their final step to U.S. citizenship. The new citizens varied in age from young adults to senior citizens, all with diverse backgrounds. They represented immigrants from Latin America, Mexico, China, Japan, Denmark, the Middle East, Caribbean and many other countries. 

After all the participants were called up individually to hand in their green cards, the heart-warming ceremony began. Honorable David Everett, Supreme Court Judge welcomed the Speakersoon-to-be citizens to his court and the country. County Clerk, Timothy Idoni then administered the Oath of Allegiance and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, each recited formally by the new citizens. The formalities and oaths touched many in the courtroom. Judge Everett reminded the new citizens that democracy is not a spectator sport and they should become involved in their communities. He recommended they participate in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community organizations. He reminded the new citizens that he also was the son of immigrants, and it is not about where you come from but what you make of yourself. Judge Everett stressed the importance of voting in elections and encouraged the new citizens to utilize their new right to vote! He provided a lot of insight and inspiration to the group, which was heartfelt and inspired tears of joy for some.

After the citizens were called up individually to receive their Naturalization Certificate, officially proclaiming their citizenship of the United States, they were able to proceed outside the courtroom where The County Board of Elections was on hand to assist with voter registration. The U.S. Passport office also was there to help the new citizens obtain Shaking handstheir passports with photo services, applications and advisors to assist with the application process. Each citizen appeared to cherish both their new right to vote and their ability to obtain a U.S. passport.

From speaking with the new citizens, the process to become a United States citizen is complex and takes many months to complete. In addition to the many requirements for citizenship, each potential citizen needs to complete a background check by the FBI, submit photos and fingerprinting, pass two exams, and be interviewed by Immigration Services. It was clear from a day at Naturalization Court that those who were sworn in felt that it was all worth it.

The Naturalization Hearings, open to the public, occur twice a month in White Plains where the County swears in about 125 new citizens at a time. For more information about the work of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale, please visit their website here.

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CNCGraphicThe Citizens Nominating Committee ("CNC") announced today that its members voted Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Jane Veron as its slate of candidates for three Village Trustee positions to be voted upon at the General Village Election to be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Jane Veron is presently finishing her first two-year term as a Scarsdale Village Trustee.

The CNC searched for potential candidates and deliberated over the course of two months diligently following up with references from throughout the Village – and beyond. The CNC considered and researched carefully the background, experience, and qualifications of each candidate.LenaCrandallCNC

According to ML Perlman, Chair of CNC (a non-voting position) "The CNC approached over 50 individuals for the role of Trustee, 5 of whom submitted their names for consideration by the CNC. The CNC researched extensively all candidates including over 80 references with first-hand experience with the candidates. After research and discussion, the CNC decided based on majority vote who would be put forth as the slate for the election."

The CNC is an independent body comprised of 30 elected representatives (6 from each neighborhood) tasked with reaching out within the Village community to encourage residents who are ready, willing and able to volunteer their service as a trustee.

arestContinued Perlman, "Residents are encouraged to remember that the CNC process in no way restricts or changes the rights and options of the community. Quite the opposite; the CNC is an independent group of volunteers that provides a service to the community in the form of finding and researching candidates for office. The community only gains by having a researched and peer-reviewed option on the ballot for voters to consider."

The CNC Chair plans to provide a CNC Fulfillment of Responsibilities Report including an overview of the CNC 2017-18 process, a link to its recorded Organization Meeting on December 5th 2017, and a list of procedural questions for consideration by the Procedure Committee.

According to Perlman "The CNC is elected by the public and its procedure janeveronis reviewed annually by the Procedure Committee. I wanted to provide as much transparency as possible for the public in particular to better understand the important work conducted by this group of volunteers."

Procedure Committee Website

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