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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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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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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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Mark-SvedBeverley Sved,  a 25-year Scarsdale resident and a dedicated volunteer, will be the 2018 recipient of the community's highest award, the Scarsdale Bowl. The Scarsdale Bowl is awarded annually to "one who has given unselfishly of time, energy, and effort to the civic welfare of the community," according to the Bowl founding documents.

Terri Simon, Chair of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee, said "Bev Sved is a volunteer extraordinaire whose long, broad and deep commitment to our community and calm, smart consensus-building has moved Scarsdale forward and inspired countless other residents." Sved will be honored at the Scarsdale Bowl dinner on Wednesday evening, April 25th, at The Fountainhead in New Rochelle. Simon encourages all members of the community to attend: "The Bowl Dinner is a warm and uplifting opportunity to celebrate the spirit of volunteering that permeates our Village and makes it truly a community." The Bowl Committee will send out invitations in mid-March. However, one need not receive an invitation in order to attend the Dinner, and the Committee encourages all who are interested to sign up for the Dinner on the Scarsdale Foundation website here. 

"The Scarsdale Bowl was initiated in 1943 to recognize an individual's outstanding contributions to thTerriSimone civic life of this community," said Simon. "The Dinner gives us an annual opportunity to honor a stand-out volunteer who exemplifies an approach to which we can all aspire." The Bowl Committee, a diverse group of 16 community volunteers, selects the recipient after reviewing many worthy candidates who are nominated by the community. The annual tradition of awarding the Scarsdale Bowl is maintained by the Scarsdale Foundation. The Foundation engages in a broad range of philanthropy in the Scarsdale community and supports many local institutions. One of its primary functions is funding and distributing need-based scholarships to deserving Scarsdale High School graduates and Scarsdale residents in their sophomore through senior years of college.

Last Sunday evening, the Committee voted to honor Beverley Sved, or as everyone in the Village knows her, Bev. Delegates from the Bowl Committee, including Simon, Scarsdale Foundation President Randy Guggenheimer, Foundation Liaison to the Committee Seth Ross and Committee Secretary/Treasurer Robert Jeremiah arrived at the Sved home to announce their selection. Sved was completely surprised and described getting the news about the honor as "unexpected and incredible." "I'm blown out of the water!" she said. When Simon told her that so many people were and are involved in our community because of her, Sved said, "That's so nice! That's so nice to hear!"

Sved is an engineer and Chartered Financial Analyst by training, and had a long and successful career at IBM in the areas of Corporate Strategy, Business Forecasting and Industry Analysis. At the same time she began taking on volunteer responsibilities—large and small— in Scarsdale, including serving as a Village Trustee from 1998-2002 and as Mayor from 2003-2005. In addition, Sved was a director on the boards of the League of Women Voters of Westchester and the Scarsdale Forum (both organizations in which she continues to be actively involved), a Trustee and then Vice President of the Scarsdale Foundation, a member of the Village Board Finance Committee and the Planning Board, President of the Westchester County Historical Society, a director on the boards of the United Way and Scarsdale & Edgemont Family Counseling, President of the Overhill Neighborhood Association and Chair of Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents.

The community is invited to join the Bowl Committee on April 25th at The Fountainhead in New Rochelle to honor Beverley Sved who embodies Scarsdale's spirit of volunteerism.

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