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LetsGetReadyPicLet's Get Ready, a nonprofit founded by Scarsdale alumni to level the playing field in college access, is recruiting college students (or '19 high school or college grads) to volunteer 1-2 evening per week this summer as College Coaches, providing FREE SAT prep and college application advising to low income high school students in Mount Vernon, White Plains New Rochelle, Stamford, and NYC.

-Volunteers teach either Math or Reading/Writing sections of the SAT 1-2 evenings per week and are provided with training, curricula, and support.

- Volunteers must attend training on June 18 or 21 and be available to teach one evening per week from June 19-Aug. 8. (Great to do after work or internship!)

Let’s Get Ready responds to a crisis in access to college and opportunity. A student from a low-income family with an A average in high school is only as likely to go to college as a child with a C- average from an upper-income family, and nationally, only 16% of low-income students who enroll in college actually graduate. This leads to persistent intergenerational inequality and poverty as a person who graduates from college will earn more than $1million more over their lifetime than someone with just a high school degree and their children are twice as likely to go to college.

Let’s Get Ready is a nonprofit founded by seven SHS alums who were in college and home for the summer in 1998. They realized that they were near experts in college admissions having invested tremendous time in their applications and SAT prep, and that while that knowledge was now useless to them, it could benefit younger students who could not afford costly SAT prep or who didn’t have parents who went to college and were familiar with the process. They pooled their knowledge and and began teaching a group of 30 students SAT prep and offering college application help in a Mount Vernon church basement. Let’s Get Ready continued and evolved and now through year-round campus-community partnerships from Maine to Philadelphia offers help for students applying to college and also support and mentoring once they are in college to help ensure that they graduate. The organization is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and has helped 33,000 deserving high school students get to college with great results. 92% of LGR students enroll in college after high school and they graduate at 5x the rate of low-income students overall.

Melika Forbes, a student that first summer who got into Syracuse University in part thanks to raising her SAT scores 200 points in the program went on to join Teach For America. She then went to law school and is now General Counsel for the charter school network Achievement First “Let’s Get Ready opened opportunity for me and has influenced nearly all my life choices,” Melika wrote.

The impact on many of Let’s Get Ready’s volunteer College Coaches has also been profound as many go on to careers in education or public service and often cite Let’s Get Ready as the experience that ignited their passion.

For information and to apply to volunteer: www.letsgetready.org/coach

shsgrad12mDear Scarsdale Friends and Neighbors: This is the time of year when many of us are celebrating graduations and giving gifts to our high school and college graduates.

There are many families who are not as fortunate. You may be aware of The Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College that provides scholarships for SHS graduates only for the freshman year of college. However, these students need help to fund their three remaining years of school.

The Scarsdale Foundation helps offset college tuition expenses for eligible students entering their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. Need-based financial stipends are awarded annually in June to deserving college students who have graduated from Scarsdale High School or were Scarsdale residents during their high school years.

With the sky-high cost of college tuition, even the hardest working families can have trouble meeting costs, and one set back due to illness or job loss can wipe out a family’s savings.

Last year, the Scarsdale Foundation awarded $130,000 to 26 Scarsdale students, but many students still need help making ends meet. To continue providing such critical money for college students in need, we are asking for your help. Our goal is to raise $25,000 by June 20th. We make scholarship grant decisions at the end of June.

Your generous contribution can make a big difference for these students.

$1000 helps fund a student’s tuition
$500 funds a semester of a student’s books
$100 pays for a student’s campus supplies

Every contribution helps! You can donate by clicking here:

Thank you for your generous support!

Sincerely,
Michelle Lichtenberg and Suzanne Seiden
Scarsdale Foundation
Fundraising Chairs

shsgraduation090082Students who graduated from Scarsdale High School or lived in Scarsdale during high school and who have completed their first, second, or third years of college are invited to apply to the Scarsdale Foundation for tuition assistance. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Foundation awarded need-based grants totaling $130,500 to students attending private and state-supported colleges and universities.

Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year should be submitted online from the Scarsdale Foundation’s website: www.scarsdalefoundation.org (click on the College Scholarships link). Completed applications must be submitted by Monday, June 3, 2019. You may contact Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Anne Lyons or BK Munguia at: scarsdalefoundationscholarship@gmail.com. Please note "Scarsdale Foundation Scholarship Inquiry" in the subject line of your email.

The Foundation welcomes contributions from the community to augment the funds available for distribution each year. Contributions may be donated to a specially earmarked Scholarship Fund of the Scarsdale Foundation, enabling the Foundation to carry on the tradition of helping our students in need pursue a college education. Donations may be made online by visiting the Foundation’s website or mailed to the Scarsdale Foundation at P.O. Box 542, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

For more information regarding the work of the Foundation, please visit our website: www.scarsdalefoundation.org.

CONTACTS:
Anne Lyons
aulyons@gmail.com 
914-725-9810

BK Munguia
Beeks58@aol.com
914-472-4053


Greenacres Neighborhood Association Calls for Board Members

The Greenacres Neighborhood Association (GNA) is looking for neighborhood residents who are interested in joining its Board. The GNA is the largest neighborhood association in Scarsdale and represents the entire area serving Greenacres Elementary School. The GNA produces number of social and informational events including our June 1st Spring Fling. Anyone living in Greenacres, who is interested in joining the Board, should contact either Kathy Steves at steves10583@gmail.com or Mona Longman at mlongman5@gmail.com for more information.

 

ForumElection4New President Tim Foley and Vice President Madelaine EppensteinThe Scarsdale Forum announced today that members voted to elect Madelaine Eppenstein as its Vice President at its Annual Membership Meeting. Eppenstein will serve alongside Tim Foley, Scarsdale Forum’s new President. Forum members also elected Randy Guggenheimer as Treasurer, Richard Pinto, as Secretary, and Diane Greenwald, Dara Gruenberg and Matthew Martin as Directors-at-Large.

According to Eppenstein: “Joining the Forum has been one of the best opportunities I could have imagined for engaging fully in the rich civic life of our village, for making so many new friends in the community, and for participating with them on issues presented publicly to village government that are important to our collective quality of life in Scarsdale. To me, the Forum represents Scarsdale's public square, where residents can join together to influence policy for the betterment of us all. It is an honor to have been chosen to continue working with Tim Foley, the Forum board, and its membership on advancing the Forum’s long tradition of civic discourse.”

ForumElection1Former President Jon Mark with incoming President Tim FoleyAccording to Foley: “It is a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with the stewardship of so central an organization as the Scarsdale Forum, and a pure delight to do so side-by-side with Madelaine Eppenstein, whose work ethic, attention to detail, passion, good humor, and leadership-by-example have already contributed so much to the achievements of the Forum this year. I look forward to working with Madelaine, Randy, Richard, our new and returning Directors and Directors-at-Large, and all our members on a new and exciting year.”

Madelaine Eppenstein and her husband are 26-year residents of the Fox Meadow neighborhood of Scarsdale and have two adult children. She currently serves on the Forum Board of Directors and Executive Committee and is chair of the Municipal Services Committee. She also serves on the board of the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, Inc., an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of village parks and greenspaces. She served as the 2019 Chair of the Procedure Committee that administers the nonpartisan election system in Scarsdale. For 37 years, she was managing partner of a New York City civil litigation and arbitration law firm with her husband. During that period she appeared before several Congressional committees on subjects relating to the federal securities laws, and participated in appeals for clients in federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

ForumElection2Former village trustee Matthew CallaghanTim Foley is raising two children with his wife in the Bramlee Heights neighborhood of Scarsdale. He is currently a member of the Scarsdale Village Planning Board and previously served on the Scarsdale Advisory Council on Human Relations. He has an extensive career in public policy, politics, and government relations, and currently works for Scarsdale’s own Assemblymember Amy R. Paulin. He also completed a year of service as Vice President for the Scarsdale Forum.

ForumElection3State assemblywoman Amy PaulinAdded Foley, “When I first moved to Scarsdale, the first and best piece of advice I received was that if I wanted to be involved deeply in civic life, I had to join the Forum. Residents should know that the Scarsdale Forum is open to all in the community who wish to have thoughtful discussions and express their views on village matters.”

Scarsdale Forum
The Scarsdale Forum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, the Forum has contributed meaningfully to Village affairs through its written reports, public speaker events and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents regardless of citizenship status.

memday2Village Parking, lights at Butler Field, time limits for public comments and the Memorial Day Parade were all discussed at the May 14 meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees.  See what happened and read the Mayor's comments below:

Firehouse

Fire Station #1 on Post Road will finally be back in service. After a multi-year $4.7 million renovation, the station, adjacent to Village Hall, can now accommodate large fire trucks. The Mayor explained that the project was over budget by $700,000, or 18%. Samwick blamed it on the Wicks Law that requires separate contracts for all the trades rather than a single “design build” contract which guarantees that the job gets done at a set price. Samwick said he met with state officials to voice concerns about the law.

PANGO Parking App

Good news on parking: Assistant Village Manager Ingrid Richards announced that parking app PANGO will soon be available for use PANGOat Village parking meters. Drivers can download the PANGO app and use it to pay by phone at Village meters. Credit cards and Venmo will also be accepted. It is the hope that this new system will make parking easier and more convenient. Goodbye quarters!

Bronx River Parkway Bike Trail Extension

Exciting development for bikers and walkers: The county is finally beginning work on an extension of the path along the Bronx River to cover the gap between Crane Road and Greenacres Avenue in Scarsdale. To accommodate neighbor’s concerns, this extension will be built on the west side of the parkway, rather than extending through Fox Meadow. Village Manager Steve Pappalardo explained that the work will involve the clearing of trees and shrubs, new drainage and retaining walls. If all goes well, the new path will be completed for the fall of 2020. If you have questions, Pappalardi said the contact at the County is David DeLucia at the Westchester County Parks Department.

Public Comments

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Bob Berg continued to press the Village Board to eliminate the five minute time limit on public comment. He said that the school board has removed their three minute limit and “no one has abused the privilege.” He told the story of a man in Bradenton Florida who was arrested for not respecting the 3 minute rule at Village Hall though he was telling officials that his family was being targeted and watched. Bob said that “the only time a resident can address the full board, the audience and be on television” is during public comments.

Mayor Samwick responded, saying, “There should be a clear sense of fairness, equitability and non –partiality. We must balance the needs of the audience vs. the speaker. It would be bad if we were arbitrary or showed favoritism. You bring valuable comments to the board.” He then invited Berg to speak with himself and the Village Manager at the Girl Scout House on Wednesday May 22 when they will hear resident’s concerns.

Lights at Butler Field

FieldLightsTwo Fox Meadow residents expressed concerns about the potential installation of lights at Butler Field.

Janet Korins of Ogden Road said, “Maroon and White is making a generous gift of $800,000. … I want a strict and enforceable usage policy for neighbors. How can we protect residents’ rights? We already hear the noise. Regular evening and nighttime use during the week is burdensome… The Village is peaceful and quiet. This is the character of the neighborhood. These concerns are being trivialized. They want maximum usage – such as concerts. What are our shared community values? What are the village noise ordinances? This is an issue of concern to all residents. What will prevent them from expanding usage in the future? What noise laws apply to the schools?”

Julie Zhu said she agreed with Janet and spoke of “being good neighbors.” She said, “Neighbors have tolerated noise and garbage on our lawns – we understood we are near the school and kids want to have fun. What is the school doing for the neighbors? It is a two way street.”

Sustainable Landscaping

Three spoke to urge the Village to adopt a sustainable landscape policy using only organics on Village properties. In practice, the Village is already doing this, however a report from the Scarsdale Forum’s Sustainability Committee recommends that the Village formally adopt this policy so that it won’t be changed if different personnel supervise Village properties.

Darlene Le Francois Haber said, “We can’t leave this to future whims ….We don’t want to gamble with this …. We need an enduring solution … We want a committee of the whole meeting to talk about this. We can be leaders regarding the safety of our environment.”

Madelaine Eppenstein concurred, saying, “Practices alone do not safeguard us. We need to ensure institutional continuity. The practice should become official.”

Michelle Sterling also asked that all “village properties be treated organically.” She said, “We are already doing this. We don’t need to change – and it’s going really well.
Specifically we have asked for this to be policy so that whenever there is a change in staff a new person can’t decide to do things differently. This will set us out as leaders. We are a tiny town but we make a big mark when we do things right.”

Memorial Day Parade

The Memorial Day Parade, sponsored by the Scarsdale Chapter of the American Legion, will be held on Monday May 27. It will begin with a flag raising at Boniface Circle at 9:30 am. The community is encouraged to attend and honor our heroes.

Donation of Arborvitae

The Greenwalds of Oak Way sought permission to donate $7,600 to plant six arborvitae on village property to screen their home from the Brite Avenue Tennis Courts. Due to construction of a new home the screening is gone. The resolution was approved.

Below please find comments from Mayor Marc Samwick made at the opening of the meeting.

There are four items I would like to discuss this evening.

I would like to start by thanking two important Village volunteer organizations for their long-standing valuable contributions to our community. The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and the Scarsdale Forum have been serving our community for over 90 years and about 115 years, respectively. Thank you to all of your dedicated volunteers and the hard work you invest year-in and year-out for the betterment of our community.

First, the League recently commented, in its annual budget review, about Trustees’ Conflicts of Interests. It first commended the Board for its “practice of discretionary recusal in the face of potential, real, or perceived conflicts of interest stemming from activities of Board members’ spouses and immediate family members who engage in local advocacy and have volunteer roles in local organizations, boards, and councils.” The League then encouraged, “Trustees to consider whether their own current activities present a potential, real, or perceived conflict that should trigger recusal from particular issues that come before the Board.” We agree with the League’s statement and this Board will continue to exercise diligence in the recusal of Trustees and the Mayor in the event of family or personal volunteer activities that present potential, real, or perceived conflicts with items that come before the Board. A relevant and timely example is the recusal of Trustee Crandall and me from the Scarsdale Historical Society’s economic hardship appeal that is currently before this Board. As members of the Historical Society, the applicant in this case, Trustee Crandall and I recused ourselves from this matter. We expect that similar matters will be handled in the same manner in the future.

Second, I would like to discuss a specific item addressed by the Forum’s annual budget report – an item that is on this evening’s agenda – Salary Increases for Non-Union Employees. The Board is expected to vote this evening on a resolution that proposes a 2% increase in salaries for employees that are not represented by a union. The Board performed specific diligence that is consistent with the recommendation of the Forum, namely, “salary increases that are comparable to non-union salary increases approved in comparable communities and that are necessary to retain these employees.” The Board met in executive session to review increases in salaries of non-union employees. We discussed, among other things, increases in non-union salaries in comparable communities and that data is attached to the resolution addressing this matter this evening. There are 16 comparable communities that are reflected in the survey and all but one community has approved salary increases for non-union employees within the range of 2-3%. One community has a slightly lower percentage adjustment, at 1.5%, but also includes other potential adjustments that make a direct comparison difficult. The other point I would like to highlight is that the Forum correctly notes that this salary increase is important for employee retention – a primary objective of the salary increase policy.

The Forum also noted the exclusion of the non-union salary increases “from the otherwise open and transparent” budget process. I have spoken with the Village Manager about enacting the Forum’s recommendation that non-union salary increases be included in the standard budget process and am pleased to report that, going forward, non-union salary increases will be included in the budget process.

Third, the Popham Road Fire House, also known as Fire Station #1, is expected to reopen within the month after an extensive $4.7 million renovation that retrofitted the fire station to house today’s larger fire apparatus, shored up structural deficiencies and generally brought the fire station to modern physical standards. The bad news is that the cost of the project was about $700,000, or 18%, over budget. Budget overruns are a difficult reality of completing needed municipal projects in New York State. Much of the blame for recurring budget overruns is an antiquated law, known as the Wicks Law.

The Wicks Law requires separate contracts be let for general construction, electrical, plumbing and mechanical work, for any construction project estimated to cost in excess of $1.5 million. The Wicks Law thereby requires four prime contractors for each job, all required to provide separate costly bonds and insurances and complicating the construction work by necessitating the Village coordinate the progression of the work among all contractors as opposed to the Village contracting with a separate General Contractor who would utilize electrical, plumbing and mechanical sub-contractors under its control and contractual fee.

The State law also prohibits villages and towns from utilizing design-build construction contracts, which encourage efficient design and construction. The law allows for the use of design-build for all NY State agencies, Counties and larger cities. Under the design-build format the Village would accept all-inclusive project proposals from construction teams, including architectural, engineering, construction and construction management services, for a total project fee. This project team works in tandem on the project from design to construction completion with a common goal of completing the work on-time and within budget. The inability of the Village to legally utilize this construction project methodology has cost the Village substantial funds, as evidenced by the Popham Road Fire Station project.

The Village Manager and I met with the Governor’s regional representative last week and we highlighted the difficulty imposed on villages and towns by the Wicks Law and other State-imposed limitations. While we do not expect any meaningful changes in New York State construction requirements, we will continue to fight for the right to employ more efficient construction mechanisms. In spite of these challenges, which have been in place for decades, we must continue to invest in Scarsdale’s critical infrastructure, though continued capital projects, such as our water distribution network, sanitary sewer system, and public service buildings, to ensure a successful future for our community.

The last item I would like to discuss this evening is the implementation of a license plate reader, or LPR, and parking app in the Village Center in the coming weeks. The new LPR will assist in parking enforcement and I would like to be sure that residents, merchants and others that visit our Village Center are aware that the LPR will be in use and will be used to enforce meter feeding violations. We will also be rolling out a new parking app within the coming weeks to enable residents, merchants and others to extend their permitted time with ease and flexibility. Please note that overall time limitations remain intact, so please plan accordingly. These new technologies are expected to somewhat ease our constrained parking capacity in the Village Center and we are eager to commence their implementation. The Village Manager will have further information on the new parking app during Manager’s comments. For more information on parking in the Village Center, please see the Village website – www.scarsdale.com.

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