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5QuakerCenterThis home (built in 1938), pool and tennis court at 5 Quaker Center have been torn down and a two-lot subdivision has been approved by the Planning Board.At long last, the Scarsdale Board of Trustees will consider a draft of new preservation code aimed to safeguard a select group of historic properties. The new code would pre-designate some of the Village’s most distinctive homes, buildings and sites for preservation and prevent the demolition of the exteriors of the structures. Interior changes and updates would still be permitted.

Up to this point, Scarsdale has had limited success in protecting some of the Village’s most unique, distinctive and historic properties. Though the Village appoints a Committee for Historic Preservation to grant demolition permits, rulings have largely favored homeowners and developers who wish to raze the homes. In the rare cases where the Committee voted to deny demolition, owners have appealed these decisions to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees and ultimately to state courts.

For example, after a long battle, the owners of a historic home on Dolma Road appealed to demolish their home based on “hardship,” claiming they could not get the profit they wanted out of the sale of the home without permission to demolish it. Ironically, after the developer purchased the house he listed the property and a new 11,000 square foot home on the site for $7,995,000 and is yet to find a buyer.

The Scarsdale Board of Trustees will discuss this proposed draft for the first time on Wednesday March 20 at 6 pm. These discussions will take place after the Village election on March 19 as Mayor Dan Hochvert and three Village Trustees complete their terms of service. As some view pre-designation of properties for preservation as a “taking of homeowners’ rights,” the proposed code is sure to engender much discussion. The debate will essentially begin with one Village Board and then transition to a new Village Board in April.

The goal of this proposed code is to protect the interests of current and prospective residents by preserving the buildings and sites that make the Village unique and distinctive.

Here is the intent:

Protect historic buildings and structures which represent distinctive elements of the Village’s historic, architectural and cultural heritage;

Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;

Protect and enhance the attractiveness of the Village to residents, prospective residents and visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided;

Provide an educational role in the Village with respect to historic preservation.

The criteria for designating a site or structure for preservation would be similar to the code the current Committee for Historic Preservation uses to rule on applications for demolitions.

They are:

In making a determination whether to designate a Protected Site or Structure, the Committee shall consider the level of significance in American History, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture present in the site or structure, as well as the integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship, and

(1) That the site or structure is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history; or

(2) The site or structure is associated with the life of a person or persons of historical significance; or

(3) That the building or structure is the work of a master; or

(4) That the site or structure embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic value; or

(5) That the site or structure has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history.

The Committee may consider if the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, New York State Register of Historic Places or Westchester County Inventory of Historic Places. A national, state or county listing alone is not sufficient to warrant preservation herein.

Once the Village decides which properties to designate, the new code calls for the list to be filed with the Village Clerk and notification of property owners. The Village Trustees may refer the proposed list to the Board of Architectural review for their recommendations. This will be followed by a public hearing after which the Board of Trustees and adopt, modify or reject the proposal.

When the list is complete, the Village Clerk will send notification to the affected property owners within 5 days and notify all Village departments. The list of designated properties will be added to Village Preservation Code.

If property owners wish to renovate or alter a designated property, they will need to apply to the Board of Architectural Review for approval. The new code sets forth criteria for preservation and requires the BAR to issue a “Certificate of Appropriateness” for any work to be done.

The new code does permit property owners to appeal the decision of the BAR on the basis of hardship, so this loophole will still remain.

Owners of the designated properties will also be required to keep the exterior portions in good repair so that they do not “deteriorate, decay or become damaged or otherwise fall into a state of disrepair.” A list of requirements for the preservation of foundations, flooring, roofing, walls, chimneys etc. is included. Failure to maintain the property will be punished with a fee of not more than $50,000.

Last, aggrieved property owners who are unhappy with their historic designation, decisions by the Board of Trustees or Board of Architectural Review or a denial of permission to raze a home may appeal to the State Supreme Court.

Review the proposed code on the Village website here:

Undoubtedly many questions will need to be answered. Here are just a few that come to mind:

-What list of properties will be pre-designated? Who will come up with that list?

-After the list is complete, can homes be added to the list in the future? What will be the process?

-Will any streets or neighborhoods be pre-designated - or just individual properties?

-If a home is not pre-designated, will the owners be required to go through the current process to receive permission to demolish it?

-What happens in the case that an owners object to their pre-designation status, and doesn't appeal within 30 days? Is it a done deal?

-Will the pre-designated homes receive a plaque or some demarcation of their historic status?

-What will prevent anyone from filing a hardship appeal?

Learn more at the meeting at Village Hall at 6 pm on Wednesday March 20th.

busstop(Updated March 7, 2019) Greenburgh Police say that the Medical Examiner has determined that a man found dead on Central Park Avenue at 4:57 am on March 5 commited suicide. On Tuesday March 5, 2019 at 4:57 A.M. police responded to 631 South Central Avenue after a receiving a call reporting a male sitting in the bus stop not breathing and suffering from a head wound. Arriving Officers found an eighty (80) year old male deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The scene was secured and a crime scene established. Greenburgh Detectives responded along with the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office. A weapon was recovered at the scene.

The name of the victim is being withheld.

CNCGraphicCNC Chair Jon Mark and Vice Chair Tim Foley have provided the following report on the proceedings of the Citizens Nominating Committee for 2018-19.

Citizens Nominating Committee Annual Report
February 11, 2019

Introduction: This report on the CNC’s 2018 - 2019 candidate selection process has been prepared by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Citizens’ Nominating Committee (CNC) for the benefit of both the Procedure Committee and the public. It is the intention of this report to afford some level of transparency to the public of the process followed by the CNC.

Overview:

The conduct and procedures of the CNC are outlined in the Non-Partisan Resolution (NPR) which states its purpose as “to establish procedures for the nomination of a single qualified candidate for election (a) to the office of Mayor, (b) to each place on the Village and Town Board of Trustees to be filled at each Village and Town election, and (c) to the office of Village Justice, all by a Citizens Nominating Committee elected by the voters.” This year, only candidates for Mayor and three Village Trustee positions were required to be nominated.

The process is intended “to secure the continuance of the conduct of our local public affairs free from partisan controversies and from electioneering for party advantage … for the non-partisan nomination of candidates for such village and town officers through a non-partisan citizens’ committee.”


The NPR establishes two bodies to carry out the process it envisions: The Procedure Committee and the CNC. The Procedure Committee is charged with (i) finding candidates to run for the CNC in contested elections, (ii) administering the CNC elections, (iii) reviewing the work of the CNC, and (iv) publicly exploring potential revisions to the NPR. This report focuses exclusively on the work of the 2018-2019 CNC.

The CNC is comprised of 30 voting members and four non-voting, administrative members. The 30 voting members serve staggered three-year terms and are comprised of six from each of the five elementary school districts. Each year, 10 members rotate off the CNC (two from each elementary district) and they are replaced by 10 new members (again, two from each elementary district) who are elected by voters from their respective elementary districts in an election to be held on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November each year. In November 2018, in addition to the election of a new first-year class of 2021, three members were elected to fill vacancies in previous CNC classes.

The NPR provides that in selecting candidates for Village offices, “the Citizens Nominating Committee shall have regard primarily to the fitness of the persons selected for the particular office. Other considerations herein of fitness and qualification having been satisfied, it shall be the endeavor of the Citizens Nominating Committee in making such selections to provide, so far as may be practicable, for representation upon the Village and the Town Board of the various geographical sections of the Village.”
CNC members reach out to community residents to identify potential nominees, assist those willing to be considered with the submission of a biographical form, listen to all of the nominees’ presentations, research nominees’ references and volunteer service both inside and outside the Scarsdale community, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each nominee, and conduct a separate vote for a single qualified candidate for each Village Board position to be filled via the General Village Election each year. A nominee who receives the vote of the majority of the members of the CNC becomes a candidate for the position to be filled.

Under the NPR, the work of the CNC in vetting and discussing nominees is done in closed door, executive sessions, the substance of which is confidential. The principle underlying confidentiality is the acknowledgement that until a nominee is an official candidate, a private citizen is entitled to privacy. Therefore, operating in a confidential manner is believed to be an important safeguard that encourages residents interested in being selected for Village office to volunteer for consideration.

At the CNC level, membership on the CNC is open to all qualified voters who choose to run for election to the CNC. As a result, the CNC is composed of a group of resident volunteers representing a cross-section of the community by geography (within the Village), gender, age and length of residence in the Village. This point is illustrated below in “Analysis of 2018-2019 CNC Representation.”

The NPR requires that the first part of the first meeting of the CNC each year is an Organization Meeting that is open to the public. In recent years, the public portion of this meeting has also been recorded for television in an effort to add transparency to this part of the process. The required substance of the Organization Meeting is set forth in the NPR, but generally the meeting includes (i) a review of the non-partisan system by the Chair, (ii) the discussion, deliberation, possible amendment and adoption of the CNC’s Rules of Procedure consisting of guidelines on how the CNC will conduct its process for that year, and (iii) an address from currently sitting members of the Village Board “to advise the [CNC] of any specific experience or ability which would, in the judgment of the Mayor and the members of the Village and Town Board, be particularly desirable in any candidate or candidates to be nominated for the forthcoming election…and to discuss with the [CNC] any matters…which they or the [CNC] may feel would be helpful to the Committee in its selection of candidates.”

The CNC’s Rules of Procedure are publicly available on the Procedure Committee web site. While the public portion of the Organization Meeting does not expose the deliberations about potential nominees, it does publicly air the discussion around the nature of the process to be conducted and lets the public see and hear the members of the Committee who will conduct it.

It is worth noting that the CNC process does not restrict or change the rights and options of the community with regard to how candidates or individuals appear on the ballot for the Village election itself. Quite the opposite; the CNC is an independent group of resident volunteers that provides a service to the community through finding and researching candidates for office. It is the opinion of the Chair and Vice Chair of the CNC that the community only gains by having a researched and peer-reviewed candidate on the ballot for voters to consider. Residents who wish to pursue office by alternative procedures – whether by write-in vote or by running under the auspices of a New York State-designated political party or through some other independent group – are free to do so, and have done so in prior years.
Analysis of 2018-2019 CNC Representation:

Class of 2019: - Edgewood Stephen Baer (filling vacancy), Ryan Spicer; Fox Meadow - Marc Greenwald, Judy Wenjing Kerr; Greenacres - Daniel Brown, Jon Leslie; Heathcote – Peter Tesler, Anne Zink (filling vacancy); Quaker Ridge - Mary Beth Gose, Ron Schulhof (three women, seven men)

Class of 2020: Edgewood - Becky Bach, Susan Duncan; Fox Meadow - Dara Gruenberg, Steve Pass; Greenacres - Michelle Lichtenberg, Adie Shore; Heathcote - Eric Lichtenstein, Norbert (Bob) Wolloch (filling vacancy); Quaker Ridge - John Auerbacher, Gabrielle Wise (six women, four men)

Class of 2021: Edgewood – Sergi Flaster, Linda Killian; Fox Meadow – Richard Pinto, Jill Spielberg; Greenacres – Jon Krisbergh, Alan Lewis; Heathcote – David Bunzel, Adam Rilander; Quaker Ridge – Larry Dobosh, Lee Fischman (two women, eight men)

General CNC Demographics of Voting Members:
Gender: 11 women (36.7 %) and 19 men (63.3%)
Ages: 37 to 68
Residency: 2.5 years to 34 years

Accounting of Specific Work:

Number of CNC meetings: Six covering approximately 13.15 hours

• November 26, 2018: 8:06 pm to 10:05 pm – 2.0 hours
• December 12, 2018: 8:07 pm to 9:53 pm – 1.75 hours
• December 19, 2018: 8:08 pm to 9:37 pm -- 1.50 hours
• January 9, 2019: 8:06 pm to 11:02 pm – 2.90 hours
• January 16, 2019: 8:07 pm to 10:42 pm – 2.60 hours
• January 23, 2019: 8:10 pm to 10:35 pm – 2.40 hours

Additional time spent on the following:

• Review of Non-Partisan Resolution and CNC Rules of Procedure
• Outreach to residents to submit papers as potential nominees
• Calls and emails to nominee references
• Follow-up meeting with one potential nominee by a CNC-appointed subcommittee
• Internet searches

Nominee Search: Members of the CNC reviewed a list of approximately 350 individuals to determine who might be asked to consider putting their names in as potential nominees. The list was compiled from publicly available lists of Village boards and councils as well as persons known to CNC members who might be interested in being considered. Based on that review, as well as contacts made by individual CNC members to other members of the community, the CNC approached approximately 130 residents to run for Village Board positions. Of those 130, 10 individuals submitted their biographical forms and appeared before the CNC. Three of those individuals sought to be the candidate for mayor; seven sought to be a candidate for one of the three Trustee positions to be filled.

Potential Nominee Neighborhoods: The 10 individuals were from Edgewood (2), Fox Meadow (2), Greenacres (2), Heathcote (3) and Quaker Ridge (1).

Candidate Research: For the 10 individuals that submitted their biographical forms, the CNC made over 170 calls and spoke directly to approximately 150 persons (in the aggregate) who were either references named by the potential nominees or persons who were not named references but who were known to have served in volunteer organizations in Scarsdale with the potential nominees. The number of references checked for each individual ranged from 10 to 23. Each individual provided a list of references, but the CNC spoke to additional contacts based on each individual’s involvement in Village and other organizations. The additional references were found by looking at past committee/board lists, or by reaching out to individuals active in volunteer organizations identified in the biographical information submitted by the potential nominees.

In addition, at the appointment of the full CNC, a subcommittee of two of its voting members met in person with one potential nominee to ask a follow-up question that had been raised by the CNC as a whole during its discussions. The results of that meeting were reported to the entire CNC by the subcommittee at the next CNC meeting.

Selection of 2019 Procedure Committee Vice-Chairperson and 2019-2020 CNC Chair and Vice Chair

As required by the NPR, after the voting on the slate was completed at the final meeting of the CNC, Sarit Kessel Fuchs was elected Vice Chairperson of the 2019 Procedure Committee. In addition, Marc Greenwald and Ryan Spicer were elected Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the 2019-2020 CNC from among the members of the retiring, outgoing class of voting members.

Note, no detailed procedure is set forth on how to accomplish the election of persons to these positions. However, at the business meetings leading up to the final meeting, the Chair and Vice Chair reminded Committee members of the responsibility to elect individuals to these positions at the final meeting. Committee members were therefore urged to have that in mind as they conducted their business so that they might have some idea of who among them might fill those positions going forward. As a result, at the final meeting after a call by the Chair for volunteers to fill the positions and some discussion, individuals were quickly identified and elected.

Procedural Questions for 2019-2020 Procedure Committee Review

In light of the thorough review of the NPR conducted by the Procedure Committee in 2018-2019 and the November 2018 amendments made to the NPR, there do not seem to be questions pending for 2019-2020 Procedure Committee review. However, next year’s CNC might consider Procedure Committee suggestions, if any, on how to refine the process followed this year for selecting the Procedure Committee Vice-Chairperson and the succeeding CNC Chair and Vice Chair.

Respectfully submitted,

Jon Mark, Chair
Tim Foley, Vice Chair

cc: Eric Cheng, TVCC representative
Sarit Kessel Fuchs, SNAP representative

Endnotes:

NPR Article I. Note: the NPR was amended by public vote on November 13, 2018. Citations in this report are to the NPR as amended which is posted on the Procedure Committee’s website: http://www.scarsdaleprocedurecommittee.org/formsHome.php

The Village Justice is elected to a four year term. A candidate for that position will be required to be nominated next year.

NPR third Whereas clause

The NPR was originally adopted December 11, 1930. It has been amended 42 times over the years, most recently in November 2018 as noted above.

The 2018-2019 CNC non-voting administrative members were: Jon Mark, Chair; Tim Foley, Vice Chair and Secretary; Sarit Kessel Fuchs, Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents (SNAP) Representative; Eric Cheng, Town and Village Civic Club (TVCC) Representative. The foregoing non-voting members were designated under the NPR prior to its amendment in November 2018 under then Article V, Section 2(B). Under Article V, Section 2(B), the Chair and Vice Chair of the TVCC were designated as the Chair and Vice Chair of the CNC and the other two non-voting members were designated by the TVCC and the Chairperson of SNAP, respectively. Under Article V, Section 4 of the amended NPR, the Chair and Vice Chair are to be appointed from the retiring third-year class of the CNC. The two other non-voting members are to be nominated by the new Chair and Vice Chair and ratified by the CNC at its organization meeting.

The Procedure Committee has the discretion to advance or delay the date of the election by up to one week should the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November fall on a holiday or for other good cause. NPR Article III, Section 2

chairThe Personnel Committee of the Village Board is asking residents interested in volunteering to serve on Village Boards, Councils, and Committees to submit their names for consideration. New terms will begin April 1, 2019. Candidates interested in serving on any Board, Council, or Committee should apply using the application form available on the Village website or in-person at Village Hall. It is also helpful for Scarsdale residents to provide written suggestions of individuals who should be considered for appointment. Please submit contact information including email addresses. For more information on the various Boards, Councils, and Committees, please visit www.scarsdale.com and click “Volunteer Opportunities” under the “Resident” tab and select the “Boards, Councils or Committees” icon or click HERE to go directly to the site.

The information may be submitted on or before March 01, 2019, in one of two ways:

Online: Just click HERE to apply. One may also visit www.scarsdale.com, scroll down to the Village Highlights section, and click on the Highlight story, “Volunteers Needed for Citizen Boards, Councils, and Committees.” From there, simply click “APPLY today.

In-Person or by Mail: An application may be picked-up from the Village Clerk’s Office at Village Hall and either submitted in-person or by mail to Trustee Justin Arest, Scarsdale Village Hall, 1001 Post Road, Scarsdale NY 10583.

Residents are welcome to contact the Personnel Committee Chair, Trustee Justin Arest, by
e-mail at justinarest.scarsdaletrustee@gmail.com with any questions about these opportunities to serve the community. The Village Clerk, Donna Conkling, is also available to assist by phone at 914-722-1175, or by e-mail using dconkling@scarsdale.com.

Pursuant to the general policy adopted by the Village Board, guidelines for membership on Scarsdale's appointed Boards, Councils, and Committees cover four areas:

1. Residency

Boards, Committees and Advisory Councils are comprised of residents of the Village. While comments from outside the community can be sought as needed, actions recommended or taken by Boards, Committees and Advisory Councils should ultimately reflect the views of Village residents.

2. Professional or Business Affiliation

Various professional skills and training are required by Village law or deemed desirable by the Village Board of Trustees for the successful fulfillment of some Board, Council or Committee charters.

3. Civic Interest and Involvement

The majority of the members of Village Boards and Councils are appointed by reason of demonstrated interest in Village affairs, through volunteer involvement. Scarsdale is the beneficiary of a long history of voluntary civic endeavors. Since the overriding purpose of Boards, Committees and Councils is to assure the continuation of high community standards, it is appropriate that members on Boards, Committees and Councils be those residents who have demonstrated willingness and initiative to work in support of this objective.

4. Specialized Knowledge

Certain Boards, Committees and Councils benefit by having one or more members with specialized knowledge. For example, the Cable Television Commission benefits by having people with knowledge of the communications industry; the Advisory Council on People with Disabilities would benefit from the experience of residents with disabilities; the Advisory Council on Youth would benefit from people who have worked with young people.

For detailed information on length of terms, meeting days, etc. for specific Boards, Councils, and Committees, please click here.

BethBermelScarsdale Library Director Elizabeth BermelThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Scarsdale Library Director Elizabeth Bermel: It is with pleasure and gratitude that I announce that the Scarsdale Public Library’s Capital Campaign has met its cash obligation to the Village. With the most recent gift received by the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees from the Friends of the Scarsdale Library (at the February 12th Village business meeting,) over $7.5 million dollars has been given to the Village. The Campaign has exceeded its fundraising goal by an additional $500,000 in written pledges, bringing the total raised to $8 million, a truly humbling expression of community commitment to our institution. A special thank you to the Campaign for Excellence for the remarkable fundraising efforts.

When I became the Scarsdale Library Director over 9 years ago, I had no idea I would be on such a journey. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the donors, the dedication of the volunteers, the expertise of the professional staff and consultants, and the support of our patrons. Every one of them has been an integral part of my sometimes exhausting, but always exhilarating, experience transforming your library into the community resource that reflects the unique needs and expectations of this special community. I am also amazed by the patience and support of our patrons during our transition. The work at the Library’s 54 Olmsted Road building is going very well. We are pleased with the progress, and though we have a way to go, I am hopeful to return home by the summer of 2020. Meanwhile, please come by our temporary location, the Library Loft at Supply Field at 244 Heathcote Road.

Over these years, I have worked with over 70 volunteers on Library boards and committees. I offer my sincere thanks to past and present members of the Scarsdale Public Library Board, the Friends of the Scarsdale Library Board of Directors, the Building Committee, the Village Board of Trustees, and of course, all the donors, patrons and the full community for their tireless commitment to the Library’s mission supporting lifelong learning in Scarsdale.
Hope to see you soon, perhaps at the Friends-sponsored 'Casino Night' Gala on March 8th!

Warm regards,
Elizabeth Bermel, Director
Scarsdale Public Library

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