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MarkedTreesTuesday’s meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees meeting featured well over an hour of public commentary on a variety of issues, ranging from trees and water rates, to property assessment, the village budget and historic preservation.

Cooper Clear Cutting
Zhen Zuo (Cooper Road) stated, “My new neighbor at 12A Cooper has cut 20 tall trees… Most…were a hundred years old (and) we bought (our) house because we loved the woods...“ She continued, “The trees were at least 50 or 60 feet away from the (neighbor’s) swimming pool. I called the engineering department; I was told that they had a permit… and there was nothing we could do. Why did the engineering department provide a permit? … When the (village) staff went to the site… did they consider the impact on neighbors? No, they only wanted to collect $1,000… We are paying $100,000 in property taxes, but the village isn’t protecting our rights.” Hu went on, “If people can cut trees that easily, the character of Scarsdale won’t exist… the replacement tree requirement for these 100-year old trees is only three feet… How many years will it take for (them) to grow that tall?”

Library Campaign Gets a Boost
Dara Gruenberg (Hampton Road) followed, representing the Scarsdale Library Capital Campaign Committee and Friends of the Scarsdale Library. She announced, “Thanks to three generous donors, every dollar now given to the capital campaign is doubled. We hope this challenge match will encourage every resident, at any level of giving, to participate in our campaign, joining over 425 donors who have already contributed.” She continued, “It is gratifying to experience the tremendous support of our library’s improvement project that will launch us to meet and even, perhaps, surpass our commitment to the village in time for construction to begin later this spring… Please visit the library’s website and click on the campaign page for easy ways to give. Every dollar counts for the match, so you can double your impact.”

Speaking of Trees
Bob Berg (Tisdale Road) followed up on Ms. Hu’s comments by stating, “I learned of this tree massacre this morning and it was really a horrifying story. This is exactly the type of destruction of trees we need to prevent.” He went on, “This conduct is permitted under the existing tree law and under the new proposed tree law… They did what’s required under the law, they applied for a permit and they’re planting replacement trees… And, yet, they’re clear-cutting this land… and they destroyed this lot for no reason… and trashed the whole neighborhood… You have to deal with this in the land use boards and the planning process, and bag this new tree law.”

Issues For Board of Assessment Review
Berg then changed gears to discuss property assessment procedures as a member of board of assessment review. He reminded the public, “If people want to grieve their property taxes... they have one opportunity a year to do so, and that comes on the third Tuesday in June… They must come to our board to present their grievance in order to file a claim in court, if they don’t agree with what we do with their grievance…”

He then stated his concerns about the board’s staffing and disappointment that Jane Curley was not reappointed after her term ended in September 2017. Berg read an email sent by the three remaining BAR members to the mayor and trustees, which emphasized Curley’s qualifications and prior service, and questioned the qualifications of new appointees Richard Pinto and Anna Karpman. He said, “By no means, do we cast any aspersions on Mr. Pinto or Ms. Karpman, who we expect are exceptionally civic-minded and, undoubtedly, well qualified for many other boards and councils in Scarsdale. But, the BAR requires specific qualifications that they simply do not possess at this time. We respectfully request that Jane Curley be reappointed to the BAR effective immediately and that a qualified replacement for Paul Sved, who has retired from the BAR, be sought as expeditiously as possible.”

Shutting Down the Proposed Water Rate Increase
Brice Kirkendall-Rodriguez (Fox Meadow Road) then came to the podium to discuss the proposed village water rate hikes. He began, “I was quite dismayed to discover that our recent water rate changes make it less expensive to consume excessive amounts of water… This year’s water rate increase, of over 12 percent for the first 50 units of water used and a rate decrease of more 3 percent for units of water above the first 50, has effectively raised the price for those that conserve water and rewarded the most excessive consumers of water with a rate reduction.” He noted that he didn’t object to the primary purpose behind the increase but felt that, “…by reducing the excess rate, there is an added shift of cost burden from those who use the most water to those that use the least.”

After researching the issue, Kirkendall-Rodriguez concluded that, “NYC has actually not raised water rates in the last three years,” which, he continued, raised the question, “What would possess the village to blame NYC for a water rate change that is entirely of its own discretion? The only explanation… is that the village… wanted to find some kind of relief for residents who were particularly vocal last fall when they saw high bills for their summer water usage.” He continued, “However, not all excessive water use is accidental. Much of it is by choice, to enjoy green lawns and in-ground swimming pools... we ought to own the fact that, we may recycle our food scraps, but we are probably one of the heaviest per-capital consumers of water in the region.”

Kirkendall-Rodriguez then went on to propose solutions to effectively manage usage and costs. “(First,) let’s fix our water rates… most communities in our neighboring areas have moved to a multi-tier pricing scheme… (Second,) let’s expand our guidance on how to conserve water… Finally… for the homeowners who want to continue to use significant amounts of water, without having to pay high excess water rates, a well may be a viable option… In the meantime, I beg you not to inadvertently create a moral hazard by reducing the excess water rate in this budget.”

Next Reval?
Jane Curley (Hamilton Road) then brought up the possibility of another property revaluation in the next couple of years. She said, “The Ryan revaluation was two years ago and New York State does recommend doing one every four years… If we were to do one every four years as recommended, that should already be being considered and talked about. Given that all our taxes effectively went up a significant amount and given that a lot of people were dissatisfied last time, I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in this and I think people are going to be very eager to hear about what the plans are. I would expect to see a tentative timeline or… a proactive decision to delay it beyond 2020.”

Two Cents on the Proposed Village Budget
Bob Salvaggio (Rochambeau Road) commented on the draft village budget, the inability for homeowners to deduct more than $10,000 in local property tax, and the village’s response to “this huge de facto increase in our property tax rates.” He said, “This year’s budget could almost have been cobbled together by applying a straight edge to the trend of previous years’ budgets… there’s no mention at all of tax reform, property tax deductibility or the like… There seems to be an inability… to respond to the new reality of budgeting in an era of significantly increased effective property tax rates.”

Salvaggio went on, “I had hoped to see some thought applied to cutting department budgets… Given much ink spilled over the role of union contracts, underfunded pension liabilities, etc., I would have liked to have seen a discussion of potential cost-saving alternatives to the way the village currently provides essential services.” He also volunteered that he and other members of the Voters’ Choice Party are discussing the feasibility of creating a “501(c)3 community chest” funded by tax-deductible donations from residents to cover the cost of recreation and sports programs, the library and social services (similar to the Teen Center and Maroon and White), and reduce the need for the village to fund these initiatives through property taxes. He welcomed community input on the idea.

Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) later commented that the village should eliminate a proposed $100,000 allocation to review parks and recreation activities/facilities. “(It) is ill-founded… there’s no reason the board has to approve that… we can do some nice surveys ourselves… $100,000 can be used more wisely.” He also reiterated his desire for the village to take action on building a comfort station at the middle school. “The mayor has tried to work with the school board… I’m urging this board to take action… if you have to pass a resolution to buy a small piece of land (then do it).”

Bob Berg followed by discussing budget provisions for Scarsdale’s roads. “I have been calling for several years for an updated road survey or study… (and) was surprised that one had been completed… on November 28, 2017… (and) 50 percent of our roads are in poor or fair condition.” He continued, ”The budget for the coming year doesn’t do much to move the ball... It’s providing maybe a million and a half… to do road repair. We’ve never making progress on getting our roads back into drivable shape… I urge you to look into some sort of bonding mechanism in the coming year.“

In responding to the comments on the budget, Trustee Carl Finger said, “Based on our efforts… and the priorities that we’ve worked on as a board and with staff… it’s a successful budget.” He continued, “(With regard to) the idea of a nonprofit, the board is already aware of that, staff is aware of that… and we’re looking into it. (With regard to) health insurance… I wanted to point out that it’s not that we have certain health insurance plans, and whatever the rates are, we accept them. We have discussed with staff what the various options are… The increase (in budget) is reflective of not only the increase (in cost), but that the options available are not better or less expensive. “ Further, he stated, “Department heads are not tasked with reducing expenses… but they are tasked with taking a hard look at budgets to make decisions to save money or change the way services are delivered to be more efficient.”

With regard to the water rate increase, Finger said, “With respect to the water rate… we did consider the concept of relative increase of overage vs. base rate. We did discuss, specifically, the idea of tiered pricing… and its something we’re thinking about going forward, but we didn’t do it this year. We are aware of conservation concerns and are interested in that.” Kirkendall-Rodriguez later said that, since the budget wasn’t yet finalized, he didn’t see any reason not to retain the water rate structure used in 2017.

Asking for Village Priorities and Long-Term Plans
Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez (Fox Meadow Road) asked how the village will address priorities for 2018-19. She said, “I encourage the BOT and the mayor to involve all Scarsdale residents in determining… the priorities at village hall. I urge you to have an open hearing… I also recommend that you run a survey… I can attest to the richness of information that you can find, and the data would be very useful to village personnel… to design and implement budgets and long-term financial and capital plans.”

She continued, “In your first year, Mr. Mayor, there have been countless meetings and discussions devoted to trees, sanitation pick-up and recycling. Yet, what about other important village matters? What about having a fair and well-run property revaluation so that residents are taxed fairly… What about paving the 50 percent of the roads that… are only in fair or poor condition? What about reducing the number of aggressive drivers, especially around our schools and school buses?”

Kirkendall-Rodriguez also encouraged village trustees and administrators to address the recent federal tax code changes and macroeconomic factors in finalizing the budget and “in creating and implementing a long-term financial model and plan for our village.” She went on to say, “It has come to my attention that Scarsdale Village has not developed a long-term financial model… This is the time to be thinking about different macroeconomic stresses and how they could impact the village's fiscal stability.“

She concluded by discussing staffing of village boards and committees, and expressing support for Jane Curley. “I often hear… that it is so difficult to find volunteers for councils, boards and committees… If it is really true, that you reach out to a wide variety of residents… and have a hard time finding enough volunteers, why then would you not reappoint a very talented, decent, ethical and quantitative volunteer such as Jane Curley?”

In a Pickle Over Courts
Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) finished the public comment session by expressing his unhappiness about lack of public notice for an upcoming Parks and Recreation Council meeting about pickleboard courts. “I’ve been a strong proponent that we need to let our community know about what is going on (with regard to) Parks and Recreation. There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be an agenda posted and be on the website.” He then went on to state his opposition to converting or sharing existing tennis courts for purposes of pickleball. “I’m totally opposed to any pickleboards being placed on the tennis courts… Why we would want to have disruptive lines on these courts is beyond me,” he said. He also pointed out a discrepancy between the cost of youth tennis permits as listed in the Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Department spring/summer 2018 brochure and the cost listed on the village’s website, and urged the village to accept the lower rate listed in the brochure, should anyone request it.

WoodyCrouch4Those who claim that the Scarsdale’s Nominating Committees only select longtime volunteers and Scarsdale insiders will be pleased to learn about the nomination of Woody Crouch by the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC). Though he has lived here for 40 years and many do know him, he’s not the guy you would find at your PTA meeting. In fact, when I received notification of his nomination, my reaction was “Woody? … Woody who?” I’ve been publishing Scarsdale10583 for 10 years and have lived in Scarsdale for 28 years but had never crossed paths with Mr. Crouch.

In order to rectify that situation and find out why Woody wanted to run for the School Board, I scheduled a breakfast with him. While everyone else was enjoying an indoor snow day, Woody and I were huddled over coffee at the Parkway Diner where he shared his amazing life story.

Turns out, Woody grew up in a place that is about as far from Scarsdale as you can get. He spent his early years in Pineville, Louisiana, a town with a population of only 5,000 people. He told me that he’s been working almost everyday of his life, and it all began with a paper route when he was 10. In order to secure the newspapers, he had to ride his bike across a bridge over Red River and bring them back to Pinefield to deliver, some on dirt roads. At the time, papers sold for a nickel each.

As a student, he was always strong in math and ended up going to a larger high school in Alexandria, Louisiana. Not sure what to do upon graduation, he decided to attend a small Baptist college where he worked in the bookstore to support himself. His father was a veteran and spoke to the local Congressman about giving Woody an appointment to West Point – but when another student took the only available spot, Crouch was offered a place at the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, where he enrolled in the engine program and emerged an engineer.

From there, he spent a year at sea on a small cargo ship called the SS Harry Culberth and then came back to New York, where he landed a job at a naval architecture firm, designing the engine room of a destroyer.

Seeking a job with more security, Crouch walked into Con Edison headquarters at 350 Broadway and was hired on the spot. He spent seven years building a power plant and, from there, he got a job at the New York Power Authority, where he stayed for 30 years. During his tenure, he built New York State’s power infrastructure, negotiating with politicians and residents to allow major projects to extend through their neighborhoods.

Speaking about his ability to navigate controversy he said, “I would go into meetings where hundreds of people were up in arms about a power lines or plants in their communities, and by the end of the meeting no one was angry.” He managed large- scale installations on very tight deadlines, and was able to meet the schedules and get the jobs done on time.

Why does he want to serve on the Scarsdale School Board? Crouch says that he has lived in Scarsdale for 40 years and that his children attended the schools. He now has five grandchildren in the district, two in Edgewood, two in the middle schools and one in high school. He says, “I want to do the right thing for Scarsdale. I think I can make a difference.” With the schools district in the midst of plans for major renovations and infrastructure improvements, Crouch believes his knowledge of construction and engineering would be an asset to the Board of Education.

He also says he has an “understanding and respect for teachers, as his wife, two sisters and a brother were teachers. He said, “They are the most important part of the system,” and believes that we should “let our teachers be creative and use their strengths.”

Crouch continues to work as a consultant in the power field but has also found time for volunteers work in Scarsdale. He is known to many in town from his years on the Drake Edgewood Association, on the Scarsdale Neighborhood Association of Presidents (SNAP), as chair of the Edgewood Athletic Association and a coach for girls and boys basketball, soccer and softball teams. He is currently a Committee Member of Boy Scouts Troop 2 and a Merit Badge Counselor for Engineering, Energy, Citizenship in the Community and Family Life. He was on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of IHM CCD program and President of the U. S. Society on Dams.

Crouch’s grandson was born with Sturge Weber, a rare disease, and only lived for five months. This prompted Woody to get involved with Sturge-Weber Foundation where he served as the Chairman for six years and now serves as a Board member.

Even more striking than his depth of experience is his genuine willingness to listen. Crouch is open to many points of view, and eager to learn more about parents’ concerns and the challenges that face the Scarsdale Schools. His years of engagement with stakeholders statewide and his ability to forge agreements will serve him well if elected.

arest(Sent to by Justin Arest, Candidate for Village Trustee) My name is Justin Arest, and I am running with Trustee Jane Veron and Lena Crandall as this year's Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party slate. I wish timing allowed me to speak with all of my neighbors individually before this election. I would take that opportunity to share more about me, my passion for working with others to make our community better and, more importantly, to hear your thoughts about what you love about Scarsdale and what issues you think need to be addressed. Obviously, that is not realistic, and therefore I write this piece to at least introduce you to me in hopes of earning your vote on March 20th.

Growing up in New Rochelle, I spent a good part of my life in Scarsdale. In fact, I met my wife in the Golden Horseshoe almost twenty years ago. Allison grew up in Quaker Ridge, and we feel so fortunate to be raising our two children as third generation Scarsdalians.

When we moved to town, I knew I wanted to get involved. It was a natural extension of my time as a member of my Community Board in Manhattan. Here, I was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, a logical place for my professional training and experience. I am a trained attorney and manage a real estate investment company based in Manhattan. However, I am aware that different roles require different hats. I do not consider myself a real estate manager or investor when I sit on the Zoning Board. I consider myself first and foremost a resident who takes considerable pride in the character of the Village in which we live. That's why with every application, I am careful to consider not only the applicant and his or her neighbors, but also the impact on the community as a whole, including future residents. I am always concerned about the potential for unintended consequences, and I work hard to identify and prevent what might be detrimental in the long term. What makes this Village special did not happen overnight. It deserves our protection. As a Trustee, I would continue to maintain that same sensitivity, and I would commit fully to the responsibilities of the position to represent all Scarsdale residents.

Next, I was asked to serve on the Library Project's Capital Campaign Committee. After learning more about the possibilities that a more vibrant library could offer to all Scarsdalians as well as the attractive public-private nature of the project, I wanted to help. It has been a great experience working with such a talented group of volunteers. I was flattered when the Library Board then invited me to serve on its Building Committee. We work with the architect, engineers, construction manager, Village staff, as well as other experts, to ensure that the vision of the project is translated into the final plans.

These experiences led to the Board of Trustees asking me to serve on the Freightway Steering Committee. That, in turn, led to some lively debates between me, Village staff, and the Trustees regarding the planning aspect of our Village Center area. I am a staunch supporter of holistic planning in all regards. I saw a possibility that as developers desired to redevelop their properties in favor of currently popular transit-oriented development trends, the Village may review such applications piecemeal. My hope is when we look back in decades to come, we don't regret missing opportunities to plan right and plan better. The Freightway Steering Committee did a great job at involving the community in creating its Vision Statement for the site. This type of outreach should continue at every stage of the process.

I have also taken on responsibilities within the Scarsdale Forum, a 501(c)(3) with a history of strong civic ties to the Scarsdale Community. The organization's president recognized my willingness and ability to serve and invited me to get involved. She also noticed the countless hours I had spent in Village budget sessions asking tough questions, making suggestions, and speaking with our Village Manager and Treasurer to fully understand our Village budget – both the constraints and opportunities that can exist. I am currently Chair of the Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale Committee, and also participate on the Forum's Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Nominating Committee, as well as a member of a number of other committees including the Assessment Revaluation Committee. I believe that we have learned so much from the last two revaluations that can and should only lead to a better preparedness for our next one. We must look to the future and always understand that equity is the primary goal of our Assessor's Office, and that stability is also important. This, of course, applies to a future revaluation but also is applicable to our current grievance system. I am completely committed to the goal of restoring our community's confidence in our Assessor's Office.

A constant theme throughout all of my volunteering is that communication is not only important, it is essential. Even the best efforts at transparency can be wasted if there are not efficient and effective ways to disseminate that information. The best decisions from our elected officials can only come when they understand the needs and concerns of the residents they serve. The onus to obtain the information should not be placed on our neighbors, the Village needs to reach everyone. That is why when Jane Veron announced the formation of an Ad Hoc Communications Committee, I volunteered. We have done great work over the last year, but there is so much more to accomplish.

Improving the Village we live in can only happen one way—by working together. That is why, regardless of the position, my approach to decision making is simple: I want to get the best information possible by researching, listening and often learning. I try to understand all perspectives regardless of where I start out. I ask a lot of questions. I believe we can all learn from one another and I will encourage open discussion by the Trustees throughout the decision-making process. I understand that my role as Trustee will be in an oversight capacity, but that should not lead anyone to believe that the role is passive. Trustees control policy as well as make budgetary decisions. I have great respect for the Village professionals and trust they do their jobs with integrity, but ultimately, Trustees are accountable and hold a fiduciary duty to the community to do what is in our collective best interest.

It has been an honor serving this community as a resident volunteer. It has allowed me to meet and work with an incredibly talented group of neighbors and become thoroughly versed in significant town issues concerning finance, land use, assessment, development, and renovation of a community asset. I hope I can gain your trust and your vote to represent you as Trustee.

Please Vote Row B on March 20th. Let's support our non-partisan system that looks to record over rhetoric.


Meet the Candidates:

The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNP)  will host a "meet and greet" event with its slate of candidates – Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Jane Veron -- on Sunday, March 18, 2018. The event will be held at the Scott Room, Scarsdale Public Library, 54 Olmsted Road from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Residents will be able to meet and learn about the experience and qualifications of SCNP's candidates running for the office of Trustee. There is no charge for the event and refreshments will be available.

According to Campaign Committee Chair, Jon Mark, "With the election around the corner, we want to make sure the public has access to the candidates with the most significant and relevant experience for the challenging job of running Village government. The Citizens' Non-Partisan candidates, Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Trustee Jane Veron have the qualifications and temperament to lead."

Mark noted that "SCNP candidates have been chosen by the Citizens Nominating Committee – a committee of thirty residents representing a cross section of the Village by geography, age and even their length of residence in the Village which ranged from two years to over 50 years. The committee members were elected by their neighbors to vet and select candidates for Village office. This non-partisan system has been in place for more than a century and remains as vibrant and relevant today as it was at its inception.

Over time, the track record speaks for itself. Our real estate is in exceptionally high demand for the schools, services and the way of life offered by our special community. Scarsdale has a AAA financial rating because of decades of competent non-partisan leadership of Trustees on our Village Board. The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party is proud to continue the 100-year tradition of CNC-researched candidate endorsement."

RSVP by emailing to:

NewTrusteesThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 from Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Jane Veron.
To the Editor: We want to start with the most important words we can say: Thank you, thank you, thank you, Scarsdale.

As volunteers ourselves, we appreciate that Scarsdale’s strength is the depth of commitment and generosity of so many residents who give freely of their labor, time, and expertise to make our community better.

For the second year in a row, Scarsdale voters came out in large numbers to cast their vote in a Village election. Over many weeks, volunteers for all four candidates passionately urged their friends and neighbors to execute the most important responsibility of citizens — to show up, participate, and be counted. We believe the hours spent on the phones, on social media, debating on Letters to the Editor pages, participating in or attending the League of Women Voters forum, knocking on doors, shaking hands at train stations, and distributing palm cards demonstrates a level of engagement that we plan to carry over as we shift from the excitement of campaigning to the thoughtful work of governing.

Alongside our deep gratitude, we're also humbled by the responsibilities that come with such robust support. When we stood before the 30 elected volunteers of the Citizens Nominating Committee, representing a diverse cross-section of our community, we knew what would be expected of us. We know that we are the latest in a long tradition of volunteer public servants who have come through the non-partisan system. Our Village has a long track record of elections that have been free from the corrupting influence of money, special interests, and acrimonious partisanship. We are the envy of neighboring municipalities due to our emphasis on character, judgment, and good government. It will be up to us to continue to prove the wisdom of our unique system through our actions as Trustees. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are honored to serve.

With gratitude and hope,

Justin, Lena and Jane

(Pictured Above: Jane Veron, Justin Arest and Lena Crandall: Photo credit: Harvey Flisser)

electionresultsSCNP Campaign Co-Chairs Jon Mark and Dara Gruenberg announce the results. Photo credit Harvey Flisser

letter-to-the-editorDemocracy in Scarsdale (or anywhere) is precious and fragile. Many Scarsdale leaders for a century have maintained an effective democratic system here. The Scarsdale system depends on its Village Manager for safety and common services while it keeps the Village Manager's authority within popular democratic bounds. Government is the Village Manager and Village employees, on the one hand, and the Non Partisan system for electing vetted volunteer Trustees from throughout the Village, on the other hand, is our democratic safeguard.

Unlike New England town meetings, the residents of Scarsdale are represented through a nonpartisan system that works through a grass roots nominations process, engaging every neighborhood. The process ultimately selects a slate of locally experienced leaders whose gifts include primarily the capacity to listen to all points of view. As Trustees, their job is to be sure the ideas of residents are heard. This Trustee discipline curbs the power of the Village Manager.

Working against this tradition, of course, are individual champions of particular ideas who believe their own ideas are more important than the ideas of the people. These individual champions wind up in a fight against other Trustees and against the Village Manager.

During our 46 years of Scarsdale residency, we have witnessed this tug of war many times, between vetted volunteers who insist on listening to all the people and the self-anointed champions who need to upend the nonpartisan system to enforce their ideas. Every election is crucial to maintain Scarsdale as the democracy it is.

What struck us initially about Lena Crandall, a new Trustee candidate in the upcoming Village election, was her desire to "get all ideas on the table." Perhaps this desire stemmed from her legal training, or her immigrant family upbringing, but it became her personal signature. No matter how strongly she felt about an issue, she was restrained and encouraged contrary ideas.

We saw this first during her service in the Town and Village Civic Club (now the Scarsdale Forum). Lena wanted to be sure that special effort was undertaken to hear the ideas of residents who were Chinese or Latin American who had no experience with American democracy or limited English to understand. As Scarsdale has become more diverse in national heritage and languages, this emphasis on inclusion is even more necessary than in earlier years. Lena still insists that every resident, regardless of citizenship, needs to be included and heard.

It is not surprising to us that Lena Crandall, who rose through her twenty years of service within Scarsdale Forum (and other groups), first as Committee Chair, then Vice President, then President, and now a Past President and Co-chair of the Special Events Committee, has been nominated as a Trustee for Scarsdale's election in March. The nonpartisan system of Scarsdale has found her for us, along with Justin Arest and incumbent Trustee Jane Veron. It's up to us to vote the slate, elect Lena and keep Scarsdale on track.

Lynne and Merrell Clark
Walworth Avenue

(Letter from Eric Lichtenstein)

To the Editor:

I am a Scarsdale Village resident writing in strong and proud support of Justin Arest, one of the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party's candidates for election as Village Trustee on March 20, 2018. I was a member of this year's Citizens Nominating Committee.

I met Justin shortly after moving to Scarsdale in 2014. A mutual friend introduced us after realizing that Justin and I were neighbors with growing families on similar timelines. It was a successful match.

What I love most about my friendship with Justin is that he is a great listener. He cares deeply about his friends' lives and is never quick to make judgments. I have had numerous discussions with Justin about our mutual interests during family visits, phone calls and backyard chats. What we share is a deep commitment to our community. I did not grow up in Westchester, I'm a Long Island transplant, and although the various New York City suburbs share many things in common, there are some subtle differences that occur in Westchester and Justin – a Westchester lifer – is my go-to guy for answers.

Justin is extremely committed to the Scarsdale community. From serving on boards and volunteering, to being an active participant in neighborhood discussions, he has proven his eagerness to work hard for Scarsdale. Justin also brings a new and fresh perspective to the Village which in the current economic environment is a huge plus. We need to encourage more millennials and young people to want to move to Scarsdale and raise their families here. Justin sets an inspiring example of civic volunteerism for others in his generation.

I have witnessed Justin's hard work and commitment to Scarsdale and its improvement in working with him on the Library Renovation Project. Another example of Justin's commitment to the community is his work on both the Zoning Board of Appeals and on the Freightway Steering Committee. He has shown that he already dedicates extraordinary time and energy to be of service to Scarsdale even with the commitments of having a young family. I expect him to continue to do so if he is elected to serve as a Trustee.

Justin is rational, thoughtful, and conscientious. He can debate the issues with fairness and keep an open-mind to all sides of an issue. He exercises mature judgment, and he is not afraid to take an unpopular positon if he believes it is the right thing for the long-term.

I can't think of a better candidate to entrust with the position of Scarsdale Village Trustee. I know that Justin will have the community's best interests in mind and that residents will respect his values, judgments and overall character. I strongly urge all eligible Scarsdale residents to vote for Justin on March 20.

Eric Lichtenstein
15A Richbell Road
Scarsdale, New York

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