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This story was picked up from Scarsdale10583 by CBS and aired in a segment by Tony Aiello on the 6 pm news on May 27th.  Dear Scarsdale10583: As I looked out my kitchen window today, Fox Meadow Road resembled Manhattan in the early 80's. There was garbage strewn everywhere. Everything from dry cleaning wrapping, crumpled Red Bull cans and used Tupperware decorated the street. This is becoming a common occurrence on Fox Meadow Road. I have actually witnessed my garbage man …(sorry) "sanitation engineer", drop garbage from his collection route, step over what he's dropped and give me a big friendly, toothy morning smile. I called the Scarsdale Sanitation Department today to complain and they actually had the audacity to tell me that they don't collect litter!!

They lackadaisically said that they would send someone out in a week or two to do a general clean up, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I drove along Fox Meadow Road, getting in and out of my car in the pouring rain to collect all the trash with my bare hands. It is all still in the back of my Acura. My intention is to drive on over to the Scarsdale Sanitation Department tomorrow and sprinkle it all over their front lawn. Maybe just maybe then will the Sanitation Department see that picking up litter is part of a Garbage Man's..(sorry) "Sanitation Engineers" job.

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To the Editor: As past and present leaders of the Joint Committee of the School Board Nominating Committee (which includes this year’s and last year’s Administrative Committees of the SBNC), we are writing to support the School Board nomination and election process that has provided the Scarsdale schools with extraordinary leadership for over four decades. The members of the Joint Committee collectively have over 60 years of experience with this rigorous and effective process. The members of the School Board Nominating Committee know how the School Board operates and work together to evaluate the candidates’ skills in information-gathering, consensus-building, and the other things the candidates need in order to be effective and valuable members of the School Board.

In addition to their annual work on the school budget, each week the school board members must read and understand numerous reports on subjects as varied as lower, middle, and high school curricula, human resources issues (including vital hiring and tenure decisions), special needs programs, student stress, transportation, discipline, narcotics, operations, maintenance, and many other topics involved in the operation of our schools. Each year, the candidates our committee interviews – some self-proposed, some proposed by others – talk to the SBNC about how their skills and experience would enable them to absorb, discuss and form consensus on any of these subjects. The committee goes out into the community and verifies their claims with friends and neighbors and learns their potential strengths and weaknesses as potential school board members. Then the committee selects the most promising candidates it has interviewed for the slate of nominees. It is this process that has given our community a long succession of School Boards made up of dedicated and thoughtful members who in collaboration with one another have provided us with the school system that is one of our community’s greatest assets. We think it deserves the strong support of all of our citizens.

A committee has been formed by a group of people who firmly believe in the process and want to preserve our non-partisan system -- Friends of the Slate 2010. Since the candidates who were nominated this year by the SBNC did not anticipate they would need to campaign, the new committee has taken the lead to provide this effort this year. Look for their palm cards, answer their phone calls, and help them provide absentee ballots or rides to the polls for those in need of such assistance. They also need volunteers to support these activities. Please email susan.ross@verizon.net if you are able to help.

Sincerely
David M. Brodsky – Past Chair of the Joint Commitee
Susan Kessler Ross, Chair of the Joint Committee

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Here is a letter from members of the Edgemont School Board Nominating Committee: Dear Edgemont Resident: This year, there are four open seats on the Board of Education, for which five candidates were nominated by members of the community. The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) interviewed all five candidates. As members of the SBNC, we appreciate that all five candidates participated in this rigorous process, and we are pleased to have endorsed the following four candidates: incumbents Tom McCormack and Gerry Stoughton, and David Chao and David Stern. We are writing now to ask you to support the four SBNC Endorsed Candidates at the election on May 18.

All four endorsed candidates are active members of our community, and all care deeply about it. Many of you already know them from their involvement in our schools and school related organizations, including Edgemont Rec, the Edgemont School Foundation, PTA programs, and the School District’s Citizens Budget and Long Range Planning Committees. In addition, they have a history of civic involvement within our community as well as beyond it, and they all bring valuable experience gained from their participation on other boards.

Incumbent Tom McCormack is a litigator and managing partner at a major international law firm; he is a graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School. Incumbent Gerry Stoughton heads a Financial Analysis division at a major public authority; he is a graduate of Columbia University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Both McCormack and Stoughton are in their third year on the Board of Education, and are seeking re-election for a second term. Both have amply demonstrated their capabilities during their time on the School Board, as has David Chao in his prior service on the School Board. David Chao works on special projects in the financial services industry; he is a graduate of Dartmouth College. David Stern runs a management consulting firm that provides strategic and financial direction to various non-profit and for-profit organizations; he is a graduate of Yale University and Yale’s School of Management. We are thrilled to have endorsed four candidates who bring such a wealth of talent and skills to the table. Their expertise will be instrumental in managing both the short-term and long-term needs of our School District.

The Board of Education is a crucial link in the chain of teachers, programs, administrators, staff and dedicated parents that support our School District, and the mission of the SBNC is to select from among qualified candidates those individuals who, in the Committee’s judgment, can best serve the School District’s needs. Edgemont’s SBNC is made up of volunteers nominated and elected by members from each of the civic associations as well as a high school representative. The SBNC is charged with interviewing and endorsing candidates for the School Board. As SBNC members we are required to attend School Board meetings and to be informed about school matters so that we can conduct a thorough interview and make an informed recommendation about a candidate. It is a time consuming process, but one that has served our community well by providing an intensive vetting process for selecting School Board candidates.

We believe the four SBNC endorsed candidates, incumbents Tom McCormack and Gerry Stoughton, and David Chao and David Stern, will best serve the needs of our School District as a whole and will maintain a diverse and balanced School Board which includes Michaeline Curtis, Wasim Salimi and Lisa Wexler. We hope you will support the endorsed candidates by voting for them on May 18.

Please feel free to contact us or SBNC Chair, Michelle McNally, if you have any questions, and please feel free to share this letter with other Edgemont residents.

Sincerely,
Edgemont School Board Nominating Committee Members

Kim Aslanian Adam Bench Marshall Donner Liz Kaufman Linda Lorch
Mark Romney Domingos Romualdo Robert Rosenberg Deborah Schenfeld
Nancy Shifren Gary Stern Catherine Woods
 

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The following letter was submitted from the Campaign for Bob Harrison: On Wednesday May 12th, the Journal News Editorial Board endorsed Bob Harrison for the open Board of Education seat previously held by Jeff Blatt, based on his qualifications and experience and his extensive understanding of the details of the costs of education and willingness to discuss the details of issues facing the Scarsdale School District versus being influenced by the school PTA for his opponent.

Bob Harrison, following recommendations of the TVCC Budget Study Report dated 4/8/10, supports the return of a portion of the sizable undesignated reserves of $$5,389,757 held by the district and earning a meager 0.05 % return. The TVCC report states: "This is the rainy day (for our residents). We recommend at least $1 million be contributed to tax relief, which will still leave sufficient funds for future contingencies. "

The TVCC report states it has significant reservations about the budget based on several fundamental policies and proposals that also impact future budgets. These areas need to be addressed with the 43 years of Bob Harrison’s business and financial expertise and 30 years of community service.

Bob Harrison supports the return of $ 12,500 to the Teen Center Budget and $13,000 to the Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service budget. Bob's opponent has been unwilling to discuss specific issues raised in the TVCC report and the Chairman of the SBNC says there are no issues.

With a $135,000,000 school budget including the highest paid teachers in New York State by far (at the median salary - Scarsdale salaries are $ 118,636 versus Edgemont salaries at $97,821) we must have open discussion of our school district issues. With over 450 teachers, the $ 20,815 difference equals over $9 million that could have been used to reduce the tax rate by 4.5 % and add 45 teachers for smaller class size and offering more courses like Mandarin if we had the same salary structure as Edgemont does which has an excellent school system.

A taped "Bob Harrison for School Board " program, with moderator, Nancy Berdon and candidate Bob Harrison will play on the Scarsdale Village channel 75 and Fios Channel 43 this weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 PM each evening. The program is 33 minutes long and features Bob Harrison's qualifications with an MBA and his business and financial experience for the Board seat of outgoing Board member with an MBA, Jeff Blatt and focuses on the financial and educational issues facing the Scarsdale Board of Education.

Every Scarsdale resident should read the TVCC Budget report at www.scarsdaleforum.com or contact Bob Harrison for information about his candidacy or the report at 914 725-0962 or by e-mail at proscars@aol.com.

Vote on Tuesday, May 18th at the Middle School Gym.

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Dear Friends and Neighbors: My name is Caroline Tzelios. Currently, I am the Co-President of the Edgemont High School PTSA and I am honored that I have been nominated to run for the Edgemont Board of Education. I think my extensive volunteering over the past 11 years at both the Greenville Elementary School and at the Junior-Senior High School has allowed me to develop a unique understanding of the outstanding Edgemont school system -- what its strengths are and where opportunities lie -- a perspective that would make me invaluable as a BOE member. I have been called a "PTA mom," and I view this as an asset for the BOE as I will bring a different point of view and different skill set to the table, enabling the Board to be a truer representation of the community and its opinions.

Being a stay-at-home PTA mom of three children has enabled me to learn about and experience our school district firsthand -- both its academics and extra-curricular activities -- and it is because of the passion I have for maintaining this school district's excellence that I am pursuing a position on the BOE. As PTSA Co-President and Chair of a variety of school committees, I have developed relationships with the school administrators, teachers, and staff. It has allowed me to become intimately familiar and have a true understanding of the academic curriculum, the extra-curricular programs at the schools, and the concerns and needs of the teachers, the administrators, the parents and most importantly, the students themselves. I have also served as a member of the district-wide Wellness Committee for the past four years and previously served as the President of the Longview Civic Association.

If I am elected to the BOE, the school board will be my top priority. Serving on the school board is not a part-time job. I believe that it requires a high level of day-to-day involvement to really be effective and to provide a constructive leadership role. I am available to speak with residents, parents, teachers, administrators, and even students throughout the day and attend all the various school events. In order to make the best decisions for the schools and the students, I believe you truly have to immerse yourself in the school system and that is what I have done for the past 11 years and what I intend to continue to do next year.

In these tough times, the Edgemont Board of Education faces exceptionally difficult financial decisions as they strive to keep the school tax increases as low as possible. I have demonstrated my financial astuteness by optimizing an increasingly limited PTSA budget. In tough times, we have had less to work with so I understand the challenge of doing more with less. However it is vital for the Board to evaluate each decision from the perspective of what is best for our students. Financial hard times will come and go (they always have) but what is imperative is that the school district does the best it can with the resources it has for each child every single year. I will bring that balance of financial astuteness and direct knowledge of our academic and extra-curricular programs to the Board of Education when making tough decisions over the next few years.

Additionally I am proud to be a Greenville Elementary School parent, and the current 6 members of the Edgemont Board of Education are all parents of current or former Seely Place Elementary School students. I strongly believe Edgemont should have a balanced Board with representation from all three schools, as diversity is essential to any effective board. In this era, diversity of representation on boards is viewed as an asset; studies have shown diverse boards to be more effective and corporations and non-profit organizations set policies to achieve such diversity.

Prior to staying home to raise my three children, I worked in marketing at Oxford University Press and as an Assistant Treasurer in the Mutual Funds Department at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. I have an undergraduate degree in Business from the College of Mt. St. Vincent and a master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University. I have lived in Edgemont with my family since 1995 and look forward to many more years of volunteering for the Edgemont schools and community.

I give 110% to everything I do and I pledge that, if I am elected on May 18th to the Edgemont Board of Education, I will work hard, listen to all your concerns and issues, and be fair when making the tough decisions that will be necessary in the years to come while always keeping in mind what is best for all our children. I hope you will vote for me on May 18th. I would love to hear your thoughts about the schools, about the Board of Education, and my candidacy ... I am always available. Please feel free to email me at carolinetzelios@aol.com.

Thank you,
Caroline Tzelios

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