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mcclureTwo long time Scarsdale employees, Chief Financial Officer and Custodian of Taxes for the Village of Scarsdale Mary Lou McClure and SHS social studies teacher Maggie Favretti, will be the recipients of the second annual Thomas Sobol Award for Service to the Community. The announcement was made by Susan Greenberg, President of Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service, sponsor of the Award. These two recipients of the award will be honored at a luncheon to be held at 14 Harwood Court on the ground floor of the Harwood Building beginning at 11 AM on Tuesday January 23, 2018.

Mary Lou McClure administers all matters relating to finance in the Village as well as assisting with the preparation of the annual Village operating and capital budgets. Her budgeting and finance abilities have helped the Village Board to adopt consistently responsible annual operating budgets and a philosophy of cash to capital resulting in a lower debt burden and maintenance of Scarsdale's Aaa bond rating. Her work during her thirteen year tenure with the Village has resulted in significant service and efficiency enhancements to Village financial, budgeting and tax collection operations.

According to Steve Pappalardo, Village Manager, Mary Lou has exhibited a solutions oriented approach and a constant eye toward improving operational efficiencies. In 2007 Mary Lou was instrumental in evaluating solutions, selecting a vendor, and upgrading the Village's Financial/Enterprise Resource Planning system currently in use. She also modernized the tax receivable and tax lien systems. Mary Lou implemented online payment of the tax and water bills in 2008, and assisted in the implementation of online Recreation registration in 2009. She continues to pursue opportunities for automation, including document imaging and online inquiry and payment, all to provide more convenient and better service to residents.

Maggie Favretti is known for her scholarship, intellect, Maggie in the gardenand indefatigable energy in designing courses, writing publications, and connecting student learning to real-world outcomes. Maggie earned a B.A in art history from Yale University and an M.A. in English from Middlebury College. She has published short works about the commodification of the American landscape, women's poetry during the Enlightenment, food history and local history. At the high school, Maggie works to develop interdisciplinary teaching and world history programs. She has served as adviser to various high school clubs as well as serving on many committees beyond the confines of SHS such as the World History Association, the College Board and various historical associations.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman commented, "Maggie has connected with countless students, families, and community members not only because of her dedication to the school and to education in general but also because of her belief that we each have the capacity to improve the world around us through individual dedication and collective effort – a belief she has exemplified throughout her career. We are delighted that Maggie is this year's recipient of the Sobol Award."

tomsobolDr. Sobol was one of the nation's leading educators who, from 1971-1987, served as Scarsdale's Superintendent of Schools, then as New York State Commissioner of Education from 1987-1995, and subsequently as Professor of Education at Columbia Teachers' College, until his retirement in 2006. The New York Times characterized Dr. Sobol as a "fervent advocate for imposing broad academic standards, subsidizing poor urban districts, empowering parents and teachers to make policy, and promoting a multicultural curriculum." He firmly believed that educational excellence in the classroom must be combined with support at home and that ALL children should have the opportunity to learn.

While in Scarsdale, Dr. Sobol was instrumental in helping to establish the Scarsdale Community Youth Service Project, a unique collaboration between the Village and the Schools and administered by SFCS, providing significantly to the well-being of students in the Middle and High Schools. The objective of this award is to recognize two employees who work in Scarsdale, one from the Village and one from the Schools, for their distinguished service to the community over a period of years, and like Dr. Sobol, set an example of professional skill and loyalty to the community. The intent is to convey to the people who work in Scarsdale that its residents appreciate their efforts, and at the same time to honor the memory of Tom Sobol.

Following his tenure as State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Sobol returned to Scarsdale and served as a Board member of SFCS, chairing its Long Range Planning Committee where his final report was well recognized for its perception and written eloquence. In 2007 he was the recipient – with his wife Harriet – of the SFCS Open Door Award for service to the Community. Dr. Sobol passed away on September 3, 2015 after a long and valiant battle with Parkinson's Disease.

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jingleballOn a snowy Saturday December 9, while most stayed warm and prepared for the first wintry storm, the Scarsdale based WeRun club teamed up with local residents for a twenty-two member  "WeRun for Hope" group and raised funds for the annual 5K Jingle Bell Run at SUNY Purchase. The Jingle Bell run is a national wide fund raising event for the Arthritis Foundation. Another charity fun run job was well done by this local, spirited, and vibrant running club in 2017.

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questions(This statement was read by Diane Greenwald at the December 4, 2017 meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Education.) Thank you for this opportunity to speak tonight at this public forum and for your dedication to your work on this bond effort.

Recently, I have heard several in district leadership express a desire not to 'bind' future boards with promises or plans because, it seems, that some of you feel bound today to invest in Greenacres by a promise from the past. The implication, whether intentional or not, is that Greenacres is lucky, as if investment is an appeasement to an energized yet fractured subset of our community, and that this single plan, at about $33 million, is the last chance for Greenacres to be a priority. While I am sympathetic to any fatigue around Greenacre's discussions, I worry that this narrative undermines healthy community engagement, and is not leading to adequate questioning, informed decision-making, appropriate compromise or successful buy in.

As I understand it, there are demonstrated and critical issues driving investment into Greenacres -- and past promises are based on real needs. The recent report around mold in the basement and in classrooms at Greenacres reminded me to reflect on the original Greenacres project drivers, and here is how I understand them:

1) Water and its effects - There are unique water issues, perhaps due to a higher water table at GAs than at other older schools, that have led to mold growth, and while this district keeps our buildings tidy and claims to keep Greenacres remediated, children currently being taught in the basement, are clearly not intended to be taught there into the future. Which brings me to...

2) Size - the school loses about 2,200 NSF (I think) of instruction space from the basement and there simply isn't room to move that upstairs in an already tight facility. This building is, in fact, too small for the current and foreseeable population, all the demographic modeling aside. We heard Dr. Hagerman present his view that a decreasing population is a key reason not to build a new school, but then, months later, Dr. Hagerman noted that if we build an appealing school addition, new families might be attracted to move into the area, overriding decreasing demographic projections. One can assume that if an addition would be an attraction, a new school would be too. So, I mean no disrespect, but I think perhaps demographic projections need to factor in improvements; otherwise they are not the best data points for determining investment. The bottom line is the school is not the adequate size or space allocation for modern instructional demands and might not be even when expanded.

3) Site Location– I understand that the district architect is confident they can secure SED permission for another expansion on this tight site, however, the expansion does not solve some of the problems of the site, including: having a playground across a street; placing a hulking addition with over-scale massing in a residential location; ongoing parking issues, pick up issues, or access problems for building services. All these site items are safety concerns. Maybe these issues are lower priorities for Greenacres families, which I am not, but first priority or not, the issues remain there and are real.

4) Deferred Maintenance and Planned Improvements – The June 12 Presentation identifies about $12M of known need. I believe about $5-6 Million is not being included in this bond. Which raises the question of why not? Once working at Greenacres, are there economies of scale that would make inclusion of some or all of these items a benefit? Are we foregoing cost efficient opportunities that will burden future boards? And are we really spending so much money and not getting everything done?

5) Instructional Space Improvement Opportunities – Once recognizing the need for expansion and improvement specific to this school, there is an opportunity to reorganize rooms, fix space constraints and modernize for our district's stellar educational practices. Interesting goals include creating flexibly and increasing collaboration spaces; adding a cafeteria and kitchen; improving access for all students, and access to light and technology; expanding storage for extended, focused project-based learning; expanding classroom sizes to meet national standards; including new furniture and maybe sinks in all classrooms; and more! These are all worthy goals, and this seems to be the area of some focus, with some notable improvements, but also noticeable omissions leaving many ideas unexplored and some in the community underwhelmed and clearly the complications of construction and health remain worrisome to many more.
Whether addressed now, or later, whether a bond package passes now or not, all these issues – and likely more -- will remain a part of future capital investment conversations. They are not going away.

And I still have a lot of questions.

I have been told repeatedly, even when not asking, that the idea of a 'new school' is a ship that has sailed. And I have watched with confusion as the Board determined $30-$35M as the 'feels right' amount to spend on Greenacres. OK. I think it's a sizable amount of money and so much can be done with that. But I think the conversation got shut down before we truly have understood what is the return on investment for this reno/expansion for Greenacres. I still am unclear if are we getting the right fixes for this money. Are these the long-term solutions? Is this building really safe for significant investment and upheaval? Are the high water table and the mold-growth issues fully dealt with? Is a commercial dehumidifier, which will need to be replaced some day, the best approach? Mold spores in classrooms and festering in walls are disease carrying and children are vulnerable– its concerning!

Are the priority learning needs being addressed? Why was a GA building committee convened and then disbanded without capturing their good thinking and ideas about learning and building priorities on the pre-schematic design concept? Should the bond pass, what is the plan for project oversight, that includes community and board input/review/approval as the project morphs through schematic design, design development, construction documentation and as it is value engineered, which could significantly impact scope? Having put out to the community very specific deliverables, has this board got a clear sense of the conceptual priorities that will drive this process that will surely require hard choices as the design and cost estimates grow more accurate and detailed? Again, considering how much is not done, how long will this last?

And my questions go on...
Why are critical district decisions around food service and air conditioning postponed in favor of roof and boiler maintenance, projects that could perhaps be more easily tucked into annual operating budgets over time? How is the notion of 'health and safety' actually driving inclusion of maintenance and planned improvement in this bond? In some ways, everything is health and safety – it's a big umbrella. I applaud the attention to ADA compliance, to make accessible all of the facilities at the highest level to our most vulnerable students and staff and security vestibules are a sad reality. But, I don't think we ever put children in harms way where they experience feelings of insecurity in their environments. So then, how do engineering designations, which I have struggled to follow, provide logical plans for some inclusion over others?

Maybe there are good answers to some and even all of these questions, but I have been paying close attention, and I still don't know how this bond package is fiscally prudent and meeting our priority district goals.

I don't live in Greenacres and I have no children in elementary school, and will never see the direct benefits of this spending for my own kids. But I believe that investment into education is good for everyone, and that leaving Scarsdale better than we found it is our privilege and duty. I don't have an agenda and I really want to like this package, but I think there are too many questions remaining to move forward with a referendum vote right now – which if voted down, leaves too many unknowns about why. And I don't think I am alone.

A lot of District time and energy and expense went into understanding the full extent of district capital needs and we all know the district has more need than the bond includes. To be fiscally prudent, we may need to spend more money than what debt is rolling off the books. The district has committed to a notion of tax neutrality, but it is an arbitrary goal that is not linked to the demonstrated – and significant -- district needs. Instead, it is linked to the willing investors from a generation back, but their investment is not a sustainable structure. For me to support any bond, in addition to trusting decisions for bond inclusion, whatever the amount, I need to understand (at least broadly) how we are planning to finance and address the significant needs remaining out of this bond.

Sensitivity to Scarsdale's high taxes and to tax fatigue could be accomplished through good planning, clearer prioritizations, more honest dialogue and a ground-up process intent on inclusion and community education. Maybe this could and should be driven by the emerging new strategic plan that can reflect for us our shared learning commitments and our dreams for our children, something that is built together and goes beyond valuable but primarily tactical lists of key tasks, that can act as the tool to guide our dialogues.

For Scarsdale's entire history, this community has stepped up when needs are understood and I believe we can be counted to again, as long as it makes sense.

If you wish to answer some of my questions, if you share some of my questions or those shared by others here tonight, then I don't think you are done. I greatly appreciate the work you have put in, and I think you are on the right track with these dialogues and discussions of late, but as mentioned, I think there is a need for additional and holistic review, reflection, and reconsideration. It will take bravery to ask for what is truly needed. And Scarsdale might surprise you and step up. I don't have a crystal ball and I don't issue threats, I don't know what is gonna happen, but I am not alone.

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shelleydiamondScarsdale resident and Global Chief Client Officer at Young & Rubicam, Shelley Diamond shared this exciting opportunity to help reboot your career. Young & Rubicam Group is launching a new career reboot program, PowerOn. In recognition of marketing and advertising professionals facing the challenges of re-entering the workforce after leaving to be full-time parents or caregivers, the training program aims to reclaim this untapped talent and recruitment potential. The 12-week training program is open to both men and women and offers hands-on experience, resources and training necessary to kickstart the next chapter of their careers.

Studies from the Center for Talent Innovation show that those who leave the workforce to care for children or other family members face increasing difficulty when they opt to re-enter, with women being disproportionately more affected. Today, an estimated 3 million women with college or advanced degrees are seeking to re-enter the workforce.

"It's time for our industry to embrace this untapped pool of talent – so often the decision to depart from the workforce to focus on family or childcare unfairly impedes opportunities for growth down the line. But we know these candidates offer an incredible skillset, life experience, diverse points of view and much more. We developed PowerOn to offer a channel for these professionals to come back," said Madeline Park, Chief of Talent and Operations, Young & Rubicam Group.PowerOn logo

Participants will be supported by mentor teams, both experienced executives and reciprocal learning opportunities from emerging talent. The program's robust learning and development curriculum includes professional workshops, speaker series and a range of professional skills and knowledge training sessions. Training sessions will be open for all employees to encourage networking, collaboration and shared learning. The optimal goal will be to place participants in full time positions at the close of the program.

Y&R Group's PowerOn program seeks to support and mentor professionals who primarily have experience in Account Management, Strategic Planning and Project Management. Applicants must have held a management or senior level position prior to leaving the industry.

The program will begin on January 16, 2018 based in Y&R Group's New York office locations. Participating companies include: Y&R, Wunderman, Red Fuse, WPP Health and Wellness companies, Sudler & Hennessey, Grey Healthcare and Hogarth.

Applications are open now thru December 1, 2017. For additional information about PowerOn or to apply visit

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CNCGraphicScarsdale Citizens Nominating Committee ("CNC") welcomes the ten newly elected members and invites the public to its first meeting Tuesday December 5th 2017 at 8PM at the 3rd floor meeting room at Village Hall 1001 Post Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583. Come to the meeting to learn more about Scarsdale's Non-Partisan System for selecting candidates to run for Village office on the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party. Scarsdale Public Television will record the meeting.

The CNC consists of 30 elected Scarsdale residents who represent their neighborhood election units (Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres, Heathcote or Quaker Ridge). Ten new members are elected to the CNC each November to serve staggered three-year terms. The volunteer group meets from December to January to seek, interview, and evaluate potential candidates to run for Village office. This year the CNC will nominate individuals to run for three openings on the Scarsdale Village Board. Trustees Marc Samwick and Deborah Pekarek will be finishing their second two-year terms and Trustee Jane Veron will be completing her first two-year term. The General Village Election is at Village Hall on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

Scarsdale's Non-Partisan System has been operating successfully for over 100 years, following a contentious election in 1909. The goal of the Non-Partisan system is to attract qualified citizens who would otherwise avoid campaigning, but would be willing to run for office in elections that are generally uncontested. The CNC's deliberations and due diligence on all potential nominees is kept confidential to further encourage well-qualified volunteers to apply for a spot on the Non-Partisan slate. There are 4 non-elected and non-voting administrative members of the CNC present to insure adherence to the procedural requirements of the Non-Partisan Resolution. Potential candidates also have the option to run for office outside of the Non-Partisan system under provisions of New York State law.

Are you interested in running for Trustee? Do you know someone who would serve the Village of Scarsdale well? Contact any CNC representative listed below; or inform the CNC Chair, ML Perlman, at (917) 679-8779 or

The deadline for submission of a biographical form to the CNC is 5:00 PM January 17, 2018.



Chair TVCC President ML Perlman
Vice-Chair TVCC VP Jon Mark
Representative TVCC TBD
Representative SNAP TBD


Edgewood 2018 Eric Cheng
Edgewood 2018 David Peck
Fox Meadow 2018 Madelaine Eppenstein
Fox Meadow 2018 Eve Steinberg
Greenacres 2018 Michelle Sterling
Greenacres 2018 Jeanette Warner
Heathcote 2018 Charles Baltman
Heathcote 2018 Jeff Goodwin
Quaker Ridge 2018 David Dembitzer
Quaker Ridge 2018 Nancy Steinberg
Edgewood 2019 Ron Sannicandro
Edgewood 2019 Ryan Spicer
Fox Meadow 2019 Marc Greenwald
Fox Meadow 2019 Judy Wenjing Kerr
Greenacres 2019 Daniel Brown
Greenacres 2019 Jon Leslie
Heathcote 2019 Laura Kaplow-Goldman
Heathcote 2019 Peter Tesler
Quaker Ridge 2019 Mary Beth Gose
Quaker Ridge 2019 Ron Schulhof
Edgewood 2020 Becky Bach
Edgewood 2020 Susan Duncan
Fox Meadow 2020 Dara Gruenberg
Fox Meadow 2020 Steve Pass
Greenacres 2020 Michelle Lichtenberg
Greenacres 2020 Adie Shore
Heathcote 2020 Amber Yusuf
Heathcote 2020 Eric Lichtenstein
Quaker Ridge 2020 Gabrielle Wise
Quaker Ridge 2020 John Auerbacher

Here is the agenda for the public portion of the meeting:

1. Welcome
2. Appointment of Vice Chair
3. Roll call and attendance
4. Statement of Purpose – Non-Partisan Resolution
5. Presentations by Mayor and Village Trustees whose second terms expire in 2018
6. Administrative Matters (schedule, confidentiality, attendance, rebroadcast of public session on Scarsdale Public TV, other administrative matters)
7. Review and adoption of proposed 2017-2018 Rules of Procedure
8. Public portion of meeting closes and Committee goes into executive session

Executive Session

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