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You are here: Home Section Table People Praise for Retiring Mayor Dan Hochvert and Village Trustees Matt Callaghan and Carl Finger
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Praise for Retiring Mayor Dan Hochvert and Village Trustees Matt Callaghan and Carl Finger

HochvertPlaqueMayor Dan Hochvert and Village Manager Steve PappalardiMarch 26 marked the final meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees before the new Mayor and newly elected trustees are sworn into office on Monday April 1. Mayor Dan Hochvert presided as trustees toasted him and Trustees Carl Finger and Matt Callaghan who have completed four years of service on the Board, as well as the Village staff with whom they have worked closely.

Matt Callaghan was given the mic first and chose to address his fellow trustees and the staff from the floor of Village Hall. He thanked “the ladies who run Village Hall” along with Dara Gruenberg and ML Perlman for “saving the non-partisan system.” He seemed to regret his decision to vote against the funding for the new library saying, “I made a misstep a few years ago – I made the wrong move,” and advised the incoming board to “listen to your hearts.” Callaghan waxed poetic, quoting Thoreau and remembering his friend Howie Nadel who passed away in December and also recalled the 125th anniversary of Fire Company Number 1. He offered a prayer to the next Village Board, saying, “God grant them the grace to fulfill their responsibilities as a steward of the public good.”

Turning to Callaghan, Trustee Jane Veron thanked him for his service, great stories, quick wit and decisive votes. She said, “There has never been a fire commissioner like you,” and continued, “You comport yourself with grace and gentility, no matter what the circumstance.”

Trustee Justin Arest called Callaghan “dapper,” and said the County was lucky that Callaghan would now serve on their advisory board on seniors. Lena Crandall said Callaghan was, “An independent voice on the Board of Trustees,” and Trustee Seth Ross said Callaghan was, “Vigorous with an independent approach to deliberation,” saying, “Even when I don’t agree, I have a more comprehensive understanding after you speak.”

Turning to Carl Finger, Veron said, you have an “unassuming earnestness … and a fundamental desire to do what is right…. We will miss your good counsel on our board.” Arest added, “Carl, being new can prove frustrating. I appreciate your efforts to make sure I was heard. You agreed to help me with the bills the first time. I always appreciated our conversations.” Noting Finger’s nomination to service on the School Board, Arest said, “The schools will be lucky to have you.” Crandall told Finger, “You protected our trees and protected our streets from e-cigarettes and guns. From you, I learned about how to get things done.” Ross added,
“You have a lot to contribute. You have lived here your whole life. I look forward to you continuing to be an active and involved member of the community.”

Addressing Mayor Dan Hochvert, Veron said, “Two years have flown by and I am proud with what we have accomplished under your leadership. You roll up your sleeves and get things done ….. No fuss no muss – impact without fanfare… You have been a great partner to me – on communications, roads, food scraps, cable, the list goes on… You welcomed new ideas. I admire your countenance. You govern with an even keel. When asked ,you are always splendid. You will be sorely missed.”

Justin Arest said, “Don’t underestimate Dan Hochvert…. He is in better shape than I am.CallaghanPlaqueMatt Callaghan receives a plaque from Village Manager Steve Pappalardi We became a very good team.” Lena Crandall thanked the Mayor for helping her to “make the transition from volunteer to board member.” She said, he has “shown me how to work as a member of a team.” Ross said, “Mayor – you take an expansive view of the job… You know and speak to everyone…you remember to meet the needs of those you serve. It is a great comfort to know you will still be here.”

Trustee Carl Finger saved the best for last. He said, “Most people don’t understand the bond we share – having spent so much time together. I have great affection for all of you and the past board members with whom I served.”

With that he read the following poem:

Citizens of Scarsdale, our Village in the Park
My last board meeting, so please do hark
I invite you to hear about your trustees
As well as the staff that always aims to please
Here is the tale of a government so fine
The last four years have been a fabulous time
This year we were joined by Arest and Crandall
Ready they were to take the mantle
From Pekarek and Samwick they sat in stead
Working hard, learning the ropes, and getting ahead
Justin quickly brought to the board his own view
Adding process to our decision making stew
He studied and learned of the village code
Justin keeps us all on a very straight road (without potholes)
Lena started off with verve and with ease
Always of course preserving our trees
She asks important questions and views
And keeps us up on the sustainability news
Continuing on were Callaghan, Veron and RossFingerPlaqueCarl Finger receives thanks from Village Manager Steve Pappalardi
Never a word from them would be cross
Matt has been the fire commissioner
Always the anti vote positioner
His independence was most respected
And was most certainly why he was re-elected
More can be said of our trustee Seth
His comments often a fresh air breath
Seth’s quite reserved its fair to say
But when he speaks, better listen or be prepared to pay
His analysis and comments always quite wise
Logic prevails, he finds no need to dramatize
Jane is third in the line of succession
She works hard and speaks clearly without digression
Jane wanted a board that would communicate
She suggested a committee to set us straight
Websites, newsletters, instructional videos to exhort
Every meeting Jane offered a comprehensive report
Of her comings and goings we heard great detail
A report so lengthy it could not fit in the mail
That brings me now to the current Mayor you see
Who led us all with humor splendidly
He took the reins of the board as our newest steward
He stood firm and didn’t allow us be skewered
He carefully quietly listened and always heard
Dan could change minds and hearts with one word
He let us all stretch out and explore
Our interests and goals he would never ignore
I can’t say enough about his first rate function
Suffice to say I have no compunction
Mayor Dan has my greatest appreciation
For service well done and much approbation
That takes me now to those who make our work possible
Though they often labor without name, they are cognoscible
It’s hard to know quite where to start
To remember them all I’d have to be really smart
Safety in Scarsdale is number one
Chiefs Matturo and Seymour cannot be outdone
No longer a long term renowned employee
I’d be remiss not mention Salanitro Benny
His knowledge of all matters snow, trash, and compostable
Made most first rate because he was always approachable
Paul Zaichek is a wiz with buildings and plans
In planning buildings not a thing is missed, not even the fans
Liz Marrinan our planner knows the village codes and lots
Her advice on point and correct and quite often sought
Frank Diodioti has taken over the building department with zeal
The information he provides is always even keel
Our Court Clerk April is always so kind
Ever present a smile that will help you unwind
Donna Conkling our Village Clerk is as organized as one could hope
She manages personnel, committees, councils as well as the pope
Mary Lou McLure manages our money with care and finesse and details aplenty
She always has the numbers at hand and if you ask nicely she’ll lend you a twenty
Assistant to the Village Manager is Josh Ringel
His expertise on parking, traffic and safety, permit fees and the like explain why he’s no longer single
Assistant Manager Ingrid Richards appeared on the scene
Just in time for meter, trees, and other legislation she presented with sheen
Robert Cole also arrived with a great flair
He’s done amazing work despite not having hair
Rob’s work I must say is always first rate
Newsletters, spreadsheets, analysis, and never ever late
Our Village Attorney Angela Martin a fine legal mind
Supported my efforts and wrote legislation really quite fine
That brings me to Steve, Pappalardo I mean,
Who runs a Village with much great esteem
From our friend Winston who closes up Village Hall each night
To the many employees who toil out of sight
It’s hard to imagine a business run so well by so few
But I am here to tell you it is definitely true
Steve takes copious notes at every committee, council, or board meeting
He records all the words and ideas without eating
But that’s not all that Steve does every day
He reviews those notes while hidden away
Then returns to us with a memo and plan to weigh
It’s truly apparent to those close enough to hear
That Steve is force of excellence for the Village year after year
So as I bring my comments to a close
I realize that names I’ve omitted nobody knows
But at least for me I’d like staff to hear
They keep our village running and that much is clear
I will never forget the contributions you make
And will tout your accomplishments for Scarsdale’s sake
Police, Fire, Public Works, Buildings, Courts, Planning, Treasurers, Assessors, and so many more
All I can say is thank you so much, as I head for the door.

For his final words, Mayor Dan Hochvert said, “It’s been a great reward to work with this board, the Village staff and all the Village volunteers who work together to make this a fine place to live. Without all that work Scarsdale would not be as fine a place to live.”

Many from the community also came out to thank the departing trustees and Mayor.

Andrew Sereysky delivered proclamation for distinguished service to Mayor Hochvert and Carl Finger and declared them honorary members of the Greenacres community.’

Former Mayor Jon Mark thanked Mayor Hochvert, Matt Callaghan and Carl Finger for their volunteer service. He said, “Your time and effort are an essential component to village affairs… Each of you has contributed greatly.”

Lynne Clark addressed Dan Hochvert, saying, “I am here to thank a man who has given his heart and soul full time to make Scarsdale a better place. She said, Hochvert was “Present at every Scarsdale event,” and said, “If something needed to be done and he could do it – he did it!”

Diane Greenwald tested our Latin when speaking on behalf of the Library Board of Trustees. She thanked all three for remarkable service to Scarsdale,” and said they acted “with decorum and integrity.” For their support for the library, she said, “We are forever grateful, “Semper gratiam habere,” and advised them to “Carpe librium” (seize the book.)

Addressing the Mayor, Co-President of the League of Women Voters Janice Starr said, “Your passion comes through in so many ways. You reached out to many segments of the population. Your commitment to sustainability and historic preservation showcases your love of all things Scarsdale.”

To Matt Callaghan she, said, “You are the man in uniform. You are the liaison with seniors. You represent those who are not always heard. You are funny and kind.”

Starr called Carl Finger, “An intelligent skilled trustee” who “made our work easier.”

And finally, Carl Finger's two daughters, who had sat patiently in the audience, came to the podium to thank their dad, "Trustee Finger."

Watch the meeting online here.

The new Mayor Marc Samwick along with trustees Jonathan Lewis, Seth Ross and Rochelle Waldman will be sworn in at 12 noon at Village Hall on Monday April 1, 2019.

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