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Boniface1The Scarsdale Forum Downtown Revitalization Committee has released its latest report, which proposes improvements to Boniface Circle as an important step in enhancing both the appearance and utilization of Scarsdale’s open spaces.  

The report focuses on the area as the nexus for open space connectivity within Scarsdale Village Center, and the committee suggests a variety of landscape modifications, safety enhancements, and additional amenities in redesigning Boniface Circle to encourage greater public use.

Noting that Boniface Circle's landscape and hardscape are overgrown and crowded, the committee asserts that the current plantings and stone wall block access and obscure vistas to Chase Park, the Harwood Building, and surrounding merchant establishments. In addition, its report highlights security vulnerabilities and other hazards, such as the possibility of vehicle intrusion, inherent in the Boniface Circle design. To address these issues, it suggests that Scarsdale Village staff

1) replace, remove, and/or prune existing shrubbery and trees;
2) upgrade and relocate the current utility infrastructure;
3) provide café-style tables and chairs that can be rearranged to accommodate all-year outdoor use; and
4) install enhanced lighting.

The Downtown Revitalization Committee also proposed other items that may require additional funds, and fabrication and/or installation by outside vendors --the installation of impact-resistant security barriers to protect users from vehicle traffic and the relocation of the World War II memorial to Memorial Garden on Mamaroneck Road.

According to Susan Douglass, the committee chair, "Scarsdale residents need a reason to visit the village center to shop, dine, and gather with others, and a vibrant public space closer to the retail center. Boniface Circle is an intimate component of this concept, and residents would be well served if it is transformed into the usable, open green space it once was, instead of a dreary, closed-off and underutilized zone, used just as a walk-through." She continued, "Our goal is to create a public gathering, entertainment, and art space, similar to the many charming, small plazas in New York City, with the potential to provide a year-round environment for outdoor community engagement."

The full report may be accessed by clicking here.

voteNew York State recently passed a series of new voting reforms that makes it easier for residents of New York State to vote.   Adding to these reforms, Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature recently enacted a new law that allows voters to elect or change their political party enrollment in a more timely manner.  Enrollment in a political party allows a voter to participate in that party’s primary elections.  Voters in New York State may now choose to enroll in a political party, or change their political party enrollment, at any time up until February 14th, 2020.  The change will be effective immediately.   Previously, voters could make this change up until October 11 and the enrollment change went into effect the following year.  

New York’s presidential primary will take place on April 28, 2020, and the congressional and state primary will take place on June 23, 2020.  If you would like to vote in any of the party’s primaries you must be enrolled in that political party and you have until February 14th, 2020 to enroll or change your designation.

Currently, there is no separate form to be filled out to change a voter’s political party enrollment.  Rather, a voter must use the current voter registration form to do so.  The registration form has a section where the voter may choose to enroll in a political party.  To find out if you are registered to a political party, that information is available here. Voter registration forms, including online forms, can be found on the New York State Board of Elections website. This website also has other important information about voter registration. There will also be copies of the voter registration forms at the Library Loft and the rack in the lobby of Village Hall.  You may also visit the Westchester County Board of Elections (25 Quarropas Street, White Plains) and fill out a voter registration form to add or change your political party affiliation.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the League of Women Voters, Voter Service Representatives at LWVSVoterService@gmail.com.

policeblotterAnother serious pedestrian accident occurred in Hartsdale on Friday night. At around 6:00 pm on December 13, a 71 year-old woman was hit by a car as she crossed Hartsdale Avenue near 45 East Hartsdale Avenue. It was a rainy, misty night. Police were called and found the woman lying injured in the eastbound lane of East Hartsdale Avenue. Greenburgh Police EMS were called and transported her to a local hospital. She is listed in critical condition.

The 81 year-old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and is cooperating with the investigation. The Greenburgh Police Accident Investigation Team is asking anyone with information concerning the investigation to contact them at 914-989-1726.

Preliminary facts indicate the pedestrian was crossing in the middle of the block on East Hartsdale Avenue between Wilson Street and Columbia Avenue in a northerly direction towards 45 East Hartsdale Avenue when she was struck near the double yellow line along East Hartsdale Avenue.

This is the third serious pedestrian accident in the area in just three months.

On Friday evening November 22 at 6:10 P.M. a 67 year-old Edgemont woman was hit by a car at the intersection of Fort Hill and Underhill Roads. She was taken to Westchester Medical Center and died later that night from her injuries.

And on October 18, 2019 two children, ages 14 and 11 were struck by a car on Central Avenue near Sacred Heart Church at Lawton Avenue.

The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) election will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 7 – 10 AM and 2 – 9 PM in the Scarsdale Middle School (SMS) Auditorium Lobby at 134 Mamaroneck Road. In the event schools are closed on Election Day, the election will be held on the earlier of (i) Wednesday, January 15, 2020, or (ii) the next day school is in session. Any Snow Date or Run-off election will be held in the SMS Auditorium Lobby at the times given above.

voteA mail-in ballot is available for those who choose not to vote in person. Mail-in ballots are available to the public in hard copy at Scarsdale Village Hall and the Scarsdale Public Library Loft at Supply Field; 244 Heathcote Road and available in electronic form on https://scarsdalesbnc.com/. Completed mail-in ballots must be sent to: SBNC Administrative Chair, PO Box 172H, Scarsdale, NY 10583 and received in the SBNC PO Box no later than 4 PM on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Any resident of the School District may vote who is (i) a US citizen; (ii) 18 years of age or older; and (iii) a resident of the School District for 30 days prior to the election.
Residents will also vote on several proposed amendments to the SBNC Resolution. The proposed changes can be found here as well as at Village Hall and at the Scarsdale Public Library Loft.

For more information about the SBNC, please click here:

Following are the list of those running from each neighborhood along with biographies of each candidate:

EDGEWOOD
CECILIA ANON-KOWALSKI: 29 Tunstall Road
Years of Residency: 5 years
Occupation: School Psychologist
Education: Cornell University (BA - Biology and Society); Fordham University (MS Ed and Professional Diploma in Bilingual School Psychology)
Child’s age: 10, 8
Civic Activities: Edgewood PTA member and active volunteer at school functions

PREM ITHARAT: 180 Lyons Road
Years of Residency: 8 years
Occupation: Finance Advisor / Wealth Management / Entrepreneur
Education: NYU Stern School of Business (BS, MBA)
Children’s ages: 12, 7, 3
Civic Activities: 2019-Present: Co-President Edgewood PTA; Chair, Red Cross Young Patrons of Metro NY North - Westchester, Lower Hudson Valley, Greenwich; Rotarian, Greenwich Rotary; Executive Leadership Committee Member, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light The Night - Westchester / Fairfield / Hartford; Ambassador, American Cancer Society Making Strides Fairfield Walk; President, Greenwich Young Professionals Group; Hudson River Museum Contemporaries Council Member; Co-President Elect Edgewood PTA (2018-2019)

FOX MEADOW
SWAPNA KANEKAR: 40 Crane Road
Years of Residency: 9 years
Occupation: Global Head of Tax Education: University of Pune, India (B.Com)
Children’s ages: 14
Civic activities: Treasurer Fox Meadow PTA (2014-2016)

JONATHAN LEMLE: 32 Kent Road
Years of Residency: 2 years
Occupation: Real Estate Investment
Education: Union College (BA), Columbia Business School (MBA)
Children’s ages: 5, 2
Civic Activities: Attended Scarsdale Schools K-12 (Fox Meadow); iMentor - Weekly Mentoring Program

GREENACRES
DEBORAH JEANNE SKOLNIK: 11 Oakstwain Road
Years of Residency: 18 years
Occupation: Writer/Editor Education: Cornell University (BA - English)
Children’s ages: 19, 15
Civic Activities: Advisory Board - Scarsdale Adult School, Member - Junior League

CINDY S. YAU: 29 Kingston Road
Scarsdale Years of Residency: 10 years
Occupation: Attorney
Education: Georgetown University (BS - International Relations); UC Berkeley (Master’s in Journalism), University of San Francisco (JD)
Children’s age: 14, 12
Civic Activities: SHS Volunteer, College and Career Counseling Center (2019-2020); SMS EC Committee Members/Chair of Hospitality (2019-2020); SMS Co-Chair of Multicultural Committee (2018-2019, 2019-2020), Edgewood Book Fair Committee Chair (2016-2017); Co-President and Co-President Elect, Edgewood PTA (2014-2015, 2015-2016); Edgewood Multicultural Fair and Taste Around the World (2011-2017), Edgewood Fair Registration Chair (2011-2014), Classical Café Chair (2012-2013, 2013-2014)

HEATHCOTE
CURTIS PARKER: 23 Cushman Road
Years of Residency: 4 years
Occupation: Senior Vice President, AR Global Investments
Education: University of Tulsa (BS - Finance)
Children’s ages: 9, 7, 1
Civic Activities: Heathcote PTA (2015-2019), Scarsdale District-Wide Facilities Committee (2017), Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers (Treasurer, 2012-2015)

“CLAIRE” YIN YANG: 35 Secor Road
Years of Residency: 3 years
Occupation: M&A Tax Partner at PwC
Education: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania (BS-Accounting/Information System)
Children’s ages: 8
Civic Activities: Heathcote Multicultural Committee Chair (2019-2020); Heathcote Annual Lunar New Year Assembly and Teachers’ Luncheon (2017-2019); Learning-to-Look (2018-2019); various volunteering activities at Heathcote and Scarsdale Chinese Association

QUAKER RIDGE
SUSI D’AMBRA COPLAN: 1 Black Birch Lane
Years of Residency: 8 years
Occupation: Network Distribution/Affiliate Relations - ABC Television Network Education: University of Michigan (B.A - English & Psychology)
Children’s ages: 16, 13
Civic Activities: WRT – Teen Task Force (2019-Present), Disney VoluntEAR – Supporting charitable organizations in the NYC area (2000-Present); Career Closet – Volunteer (2019-Present)

PURNIMA SRIVASTAVA: 4 Myrtledale Road
Years of Residency: 7 years
Occupation: Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase Education: University Of Delhi, Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Children’s ages: 15, 14
Civic Activities: Active volunteer at various activities at QRS, SMS and SHS; India Youth Fund Volunteer; Global Finance People Agenda Volunteer

For additional information, please contact Felicia Block, SBNC Administrative Committee Chair, at f_liss@hotmail.com.

Samwick Welcomes the CrowdHere are comments from Mayor Marc Samwick from the December 10, 2019 meeting of the Board of Trustees:
Freightway Community Meeting
There will be a community meeting tomorrow evening at 7pm, here in Rutherford Hall to discuss the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site.  We will hear from the two finalist developer teams, each of which will present their preliminary development concepts.  The community will then have an opportunity to convey its priorities and preferences regarding the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site. 

The Village is in the midst of a lengthy and diligent process to discuss alternatives to the aging Freightway parking garage.  This effort began in earnest with the formation of the Freightway Steering Committee in 2017 – nearly three years ago.  The Committee conducted an extensive community outreach effort that reached over 750 residents and other stakeholders and found widespread interest in pursuing a redevelopment of the parking garage – which is currently in need of about $2.5 million of repair and renovation work with more investment to follow. 

There is every reason for the Village to pursue a process to evaluate the opportunity to redevelop the Freightway site.  The primary objectives of this effort are to: (i) improve commuter parking, (ii) bring vibrancy to the Village Center, and (iii) provide a positive net fiscal impact to the Village and School District.  

The redevelopment of Freightway is not a fait accompli.  To the contrary, the Village is in the midst of a deliberate, lengthy, thoughtful and open process that is designed to engage the community in the discussion of its priorities and preferences for a potential development as well as to determine which course of action is best for the Village at this time.  In fact, the Village Board is not on a singular path to develop the Freightway site – we are on a path to investigate whether development of the site is preferable to investing taxpayer funds into an aging parking structure.  

To put it plainly, this is not a done deal. The Board does not intend to complete a development if the fiscal impacts on the Village and School District are detrimental.  The Board does not intend to complete a development if the schools will be unduly harmed.  The Board is composed of residents and we care about the same things that the community cares about.

We understand the natural inclination to want information today and to make a decision.  A development of this importance will take time to come together and progress will be iterative.  For example, school impacts cannot be evaluated until the number of residential units and the composition of those units is known. 

Tomorrow is the first of many steps of evaluating the preliminary development concepts.  The development concept will evolve and the process will play out over an extended period of time and there will be many opportunities for community input.  We ask that you recognize that we are proceeding forward to see how this process plays out before making a judgment.  That is what the Board is doing.  If a development project is beneficial and we continue to see a productive path forward, we will continue the process.  If we see that the project will yield results that do not achieve our goals, then we will stop the process and repair the garage.

We encourage you to start by attending the community meeting tomorrow and to also stay engaged in the process as the project is refined over time.

We want to hear from you and have established a dedicated email address: freightway@scarsdale.com.  We have also upgraded the Freightway section of the Village website, which can be found on a direct link on the front page of the Village website: www.scarsdale.com or directly at www.scarsdale.com/freightway

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening and to hearing from you throughout the Freightway process. 

Coffee with the Mayor/Freightway Selection Committee
The next Coffee with the Mayor will be a Coffee with the Freightway Selection Committee.  I am pleased to announce that Trustees Veron and Arest will join me at Starbucks on East Parkway at the Village Center Train Station on Tuesday, December 17th at 5:30 pm until 7:00pm.  We welcome the community to join us for a less formal discussion of items that matter to you, including the potential redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage.  We look forward to seeing you at Starbucks on Tuesday, December 17th at 5:30pm.

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