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You are here: Home Section Table Shout it Out Scarsdale Procedure Committee Invites Scarsdale Voters to Submit Suggestions to Improve the Non-Partisan System
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Scarsdale Procedure Committee Invites Scarsdale Voters to Submit Suggestions to Improve the Non-Partisan System

 people commentsThe Scarsdale Procedure Committee (PC), whose members are representative of every elementary school neighborhood, is inviting Scarsdale voters to help improve the non-partisan election system’s governing document and the Citizens Nominating Committee processes. To accomplish these important tasks, the public is being invited to review and comment on proposed amendments to the document known as the Non-Partisan Resolution, which are available on the PC’s website today here, along with the current Non-Partisan Resolution, marked to show proposed changes.

According to PC Chair Madelaine Eppenstein and Vice Chair Eric Cheng, “The Scarsdale community’s non-partisan system of electing qualified candidates for village office is governed by the Non-Partisan Resolution – a living document that has been amended 41 times since its adoption, most recently in November 2012. The system administered by the PC establishes a method for selecting a slate of qualified candidates for Mayor (every two years), Trustees (every year, due to staggered terms), and Village Justice (every four years). Periodically, the community is asked to comment on proposed changes to the Resolution which are ultimately submitted to the electorate for a vote. Today’s announcement represents a pivotal, collaborative opportunity for Scarsdalians to make a positive difference in the civic affairs of Scarsdale.”

The non-partisan election system, which is managed by residents of Scarsdale, works like this: the PC administers the annual recruitment and election of voting members of the 30-member Citizen's Nominating Committee (CNC). CNC members – six residents from each of Scarsdale’s five elementary school districts – are elected by their neighbors to vet and select candidates for Village office. The CNC in turn nominates a slate of non-partisan candidates for the positions of Mayor, Trustee and Village Justice which may be open in any given year. By contributing input on potential revisions to the Non-Partisan Resolution, Scarsdale voters play an integral role in the process that selects Village government, another unique feature of Scarsdale’s non-partisan system in which partisan politics is avoided.

What are the proposed changes?

If approved, the proposed amendments would sever decades long, traditional ties between the Town and Village Civic Club (TVCC), (now known as the Scarsdale Forum) and both the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) and the Procedure Committee.

The resolution now calls for neutral leadership of the CNC by the president and vice president of the Scarsdale Forum, as well as their appointment of another Forum member and an appointment by the Chair of the Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents (SNAP). All four are currently non-voting members of the CNC.

Under the new proposal, the new CNC Chair and Vice Chair, elected at the end of the annual CNC proceedings by and from among the CNC class of those who have served for three years and are now retiring, will serve as the non-voting leaders of the next year’s CNC proceedings. The new CNC Chair and Vice Chair will then appoint from among Scarsdale’s qualified voters two more non-voting members to assist with administration and procedural duties.

Similar changes in leadership selection would be made to the Procedure Committee that administers the process by which members of the CNC are elected by the voters to nominate candidates for mayor, trustees and village justice.

Currently ten members of the Procedure Committee are designated by the TVCC and two are designated by SNAP (which has declined to do so in recent years). The balance of the committee is made up of the retiring class of ten CNC members elected by the voters.

Under the proposed amendments, the leadership of the Procedure Committee, i.e. the Chair and Vice Chair, would be elected by the newly retired class of the CNC. Other members of the Procedure Committee will still be comprised of the retiring CNC class, in addition to twelve members who have been selected from volunteers and recommendations from all major civic and volunteer organizations, nominated by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Procedure Committee and ratified by a majority vote of the retiring class of the CNC.

Review the propsed amendments here:

Procedure Committee chairs Eppenstein and Cheng stated that “All comments received by the PC from Scarsdale voters and community organizations during the 90-day public comment period, from June 1 through August 31, 2018, will be reviewed by the PC. At the end of this public review, the Procedure Committee will propose amendments that, in the Committee’s judgment, should be presented to the electorate for a vote the second week of November 2018, at the same time that the voters go to the polls to vote in a new class of Citizens Nominating Committee members.”

The members of the 2018 Procedure Committee are: Charles Baltman; Sarah Bell; David Dembitzer; Eric Cheng; Madelaine Eppenstein; Timothy Foley; Jeff Goodwin; Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez; Eli Mattioli; David Peck; Richard Pinto; Pam Rubin; Gregory Soldatenko; Jill Spielberg; Nancy Steinberg; Michelle Sterling; and Bruce Wells.

The Procedure Committee invites the public to review and submit comments about the proposed amendments via email to meppenstein@eppenstein.com. Copies of the proposed amendments and a markup of the Non-Partisan Resolution are available on the Procedure Committee website, here 

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