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Library3

The Scarsdale Public Library at 54 Olmsted Road is preparing to reopen in a modified way in November. As they need to adjust how people can access the library given Covid-19 regulations, they want to know what services are most important to you. Please help the Library by answering this quick survey by October 31st.

Click here to respond.

maskthedaleThe following letter concerning COVID, Halloween, neighborhood engagement, a traffic accident and more was written to the Scarsdale community by Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick:

Dear Scarsdale Community:

COVID-19 remains a public health threat.

As responsible adults with an obligation to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we must all continue to maintain vigilance in adhering to public health guidance and legal mandates so as to help avert a local resurgence of the disease. Recent news about the appearance of transmission hotspots in New York, referred to as “Cluster Hot Spot Zones,” serves as a stark reminder of our collective duty to continue to be attentive by making personal choices and taking necessary actions in support of the guidance and mandates that protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 exposure.

Please continue to practice social distancing, comply with the NYS mandate that you wear a face covering in public spaces where you are unable to maintain at least six feet separation from others, and adhere to any applicable self-quarantine mandate triggered by travel to NY from a designated state.

Our safety is in our hands. The best way to remain safe and healthy while helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to continue to follow these CDC and the NYS Department of Health guidelines:

• Wear a mask.
• Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Practice social distancing (6 feet).

Undertaking these efforts, including encouraging children, teens, and young adults, will reduce the likelihood that rigorous restrictions on businesses and our daily activities may need to be reinstated.
We’ve done a great job locally, so let’s keep it up!

The following pages provide Halloween information and guidance, notice of an upcoming Village Board work session focused on Village finances, encouragement to become active in your Neighborhood Association, a reminder to vote, and other news and information. Please be sure to review closing remarks for an important message.

Halloween Amidst a Pandemic

Halloween is a fun time of the year, a period when a seemingly incompatible mixture of terror and creativity blend into a concoction that builds community. It is a day celebrated by youth and adults, alike. For some, costume and party planning begins months ahead. As fall colors begin to emerge, our residents and Village staff, alike, look forward to special programs and community events coordinated by our Parks, Recreation and Conservation personnel.
With the backdrop of COVID-19, we have been forced to modify our offerings this year. The Scarecrow Festival, which incorporated social distancing and other public health precautions, took place last week and was sold out! A great time was had by all.

Status for each of our remaining Halloween programs and events is as follows:

• Bat and Owl Prowl – This popular Weinberg Nature Center program was cancelled for
this year. However, take a look at some of the other fun offerings below.
• Storywalk at Weinberg Nature Center: A partnership between the Weinberg Nature Center and Scarsdale Public Library, experience the story, Room on the Broom, as you walk the Nature Center’s front trail from October 10 through 17.
• Halloween Window Painting: Scheduled for October 18.
• Halloween Parade: Normally on Halloween, but cancelled. However, there will be a Virtual Costume Contest – watch for more details next week on the Parks, Recreation and Conservation website.

Importantly, the Village continues to await Trick-or-Treating guidance from the New York State Department of Health. In the interim, however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading COVID-19 and has published guidance for holidays, including recommendations specific to Halloween. The CDC urges residents to avoid specified higher risk activities, such as traditional trick-or-treating, employing appropriate precautions when participating in identified moderate risk activities, such as attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than six feet apart, and considering low risk alternatives, such as having a virtual Halloween costume contest. For more details on the CDC recommendations, review their online Halloween advisory information.

At this time, and consistent with the CDC guidance regarding higher risk activities, as well as the NYS prohibition on public gatherings in excess of fifty individuals, the Village does not anticipate being able to approve requests similar to last year’s for neighborhood street closures to facilitate traditional trick-or-treating.

Village Board Work Session – Finance

The Village Board will hold a finance work session at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, October 27, to review status of the FY 2020-21 budget against the backdrop of continuing financial management activities in connection with COVID-19 revenue impacts. We will also discuss FY 2021-22 budget planning, as well as the appropriate target for Unassigned Fund Balance.

As you may be aware, prudent fiscal management contributes significantly to the Village’s Aaa bond rating from Moody’s. The Village Board and staff have continuously monitored the Village’s financial position throughout the pandemic, having undertaken a variety of austerity measures to ensure continuing financial stability during a period of upheaval. Because of our early and aggressive efforts, we remain on solid footing today. Our continuing efforts, as reflected in the public work session scheduled for October 27, underscore our commitment in that regard.

Please see future announcements from the Village and/or check the Village website to obtain information on how to attend this and other important Village Board meetings.

Ad Hoc Council to Combat Racism and Bias

The Ad Hoc Council to Combat Racism and Bias, formed by resolution of the Village Board on July 14, 2020, continues to conduct invitation-only listening sessions in order to enhance their awareness of salient themes and to gather and consider insights and perspectives from persons of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds residing in Scarsdale. Because of the potential sensitivity of the topic and the need to offer a safe space for persons to express concerns and experiences freely, the listening sessions have not been open to the public. However, as the Council’s work continues, there will be opportunity for broader public engagement.

As a refresher, the Ad Hoc Council’s mission is to:

1. Create an anti-racist and anti-biased environment in Scarsdale that encourages inclusion and a sense of belonging for all residents – an environment that recognizes the value that each individual brings to our community.
2. Focus on listening and engagement to identify areas of tension in the community (specifically, where and how residents are experiencing discrimination or bias).
3. Use the information gathered to construct actionable recommendations, which may include such elements as educating the community, creating a safe and open place for the community to bring any race or bias issues to seek resolution, and other concrete recommendations derived from the work of the ad hoc Council. The Council’s members are diverse and include a majority of people of color, including individuals representing Scarsdale Family Counseling, the School District, Board of Education, Village staff, and Village Board.

Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents (SNAP) – Are you Active?

For those who may not be aware, SNAP is an organization comprised of the presidents of each of Scarsdale’s 15 Neighborhood Associations (“NA”). Every resident of Scarsdale is eligible to join his/her NA, which is designated based on street address. See the Scarsdale NA Map to determine your NA. Then, use the table below to get in contact with the president of your NA and be placed on any mailing list s/he maintains in order to help you remain informed and engaged in matters of interest and import in your neighborhood.

Contacts1

Contacts2The purpose of SNAP (the “Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents”) is to help facilitate communication between the Village, School District, and residents, and to promote the welfare and neighborly spirit of Scarsdalians - both in each of their Neighborhoods and collectively as a group. The SNAP presidents meet together monthly, usually with the Mayor as well as other Village staff members. The NA's are a great source of information, they advocate for common causes and issues, and they organize neighborhood events.

On behalf of the Village Board, I encourage every resident to join their Neighborhood Association and actively participate in the types of activities that make Scarsdale a wonderful community.

Scarsdale Library

I recently toured the Scarsdale Public Library and was very impressed with the renovation and addition work that has been completed – you’re not going to believe the transformation! On behalf of the Village Board, I commend all who have contributed to the project’s success, including Library and Village staff, the Library Board, and the many generous members of our community who contributed the funding necessary to make the project a reality. Watch for more library reopening information over the coming weeks.


Vote!

With the registration deadline having passed, all registered voters are strongly encouraged to take the next step—vote! For information about Early Voting, Absentee Ballots, and more, visit the Westchester County Board of Elections online.

Closing Remarks

I saved this important piece of community information for last:

On the morning of Wednesday, October 07, Beverly Samuels, a 79 year-old pedestrian walking on Crane Road near Church Lane, was struck by a vehicle and died as a result of her injuries. I cannot begin to imagine all that Ms. Samuels’ eyes saw during her 79 years, nor can I fathom the profound influence the images had on her as an individual walking her path in life.

What I know for fact today, unfortunately, is that her 79 year-old eyes were unable to see the vehicle that took her life, at least not sufficiently ahead of time to enable her to escape the heartrending outcome.

As a human being, I am deeply saddened by this tragedy.

As a community leader, I believe we must redouble our efforts to move in the direction of safer roads for all users. More on this topic to come.

Sincerely,
Marc Samwick Mayor

NancymichaelsDear Scarsdale Community,

Last Thursday evening, in the backyard of Scarsdale Foundation Chair Randy Guggenheimer and his wife Liz, the Scarsdale Bowl Committee and Foundation Board celebrated the extraordinary contributions that this year’s honorees, BK Munguia and Jon Mark, have made to our community.

Volunteerism is the backbone of the Scarsdale community. This year’s Bowl Celebration theme, Shine on Scarsdale, shed light on our strong belief in public service. BK and Jon have lived this mantra, and have been exemplary volunteers whom we are proud to honor and have as role models. Philanthropic giving, and the generous donation of time and expertise by volunteers like Jon and BK, combine to create the dynamic fuel that helps Scarsdale Shine On.

I was privileged to have worked with the members of this year’s Bowl Committee, a terrific, fun, and knowledgeable group of volunteers who worked tirelessly on an event that didn’t happen in the way it was anticipated, and therefore, have extended their tenure to ensure that this evening would be a memorable night for BK and Jon. The members of the 2020 Bowl Committee Graduating Class are Farley Baker, Karen Ceske, John Clapp, Dorothy Finger, Melpo Fite, Dara Gruenberg, and Bob Miller - thank you for your service; members of the 2021 Bowl Committee Class are Matt Martin, Dana Matsushita, Jeff Robelen, Andrea Seiden, Janice Starr, and Amber Yusuf. I am so glad this latter class is continuing and I look forward to working with you again.

Along with this group, our Fundraising Committee met weekly to come up with a plan for how to raise our formidable goal of $150,000 towards need-based college scholarships for Scarsdale students. This committee’s members were Michelle Lichtenberg, Andrea Seiden, Suzanne Seiden, Janice Starr, and Abby Sroka. Our marketing gurus Grant Schneider and last year’s Bowl honoree Jill Spieler were key in designing our logo, invitation, program, and publicity materials, and Diane Baylor, our webmaster, despite our ignorance, guided us in the right direction. Thank you all.

I’d like to especially acknowledge Scarsdale Bowl Secretary/Treasurer Abby Sroka, who is invaluable to our organization. Besides handling all financial matters, she is the manager of online sales, sends out Evites and eblasts, and is always willing to help.

Thank you to this year’s corporate sponsors for your support: Partner ($5,000): Advantage Testing of Westchester and House of Flowers; Founder ($2,000 to $4,999): Coopersmith, Simon & Vogel, P.C.; Supporter (up to $1,999): Arthur Lange, Inc., Christie-Spencer Corp., Classic Pest Control Services, LLC, Cum Laude Group, Inc., Emerald Tree & Shrub Care, Landsberg Jewelers, Lucente Landscaping, Mercedes-Benz of White Plains, Outstanding Homes, Tzell and Protravel Foundation, Scarsdale Improvement Corp., Scarsdale Security Systems, Inc., and William Raveis.

BK Munguia and Jon Mark are an extraordinary couple, a shining example to us all. In the months that we have worked together, I have noticed appreciation, respect, responsiveness, flexibility, and thoughtfulness that pervades all that they do. As I was making their sign-in book which hopefully we’ll use at the 2021 Bowl Dinner in April, I came across a saying that I thought aptly describes the two of them: Wisdom is knowing what to do next, virtue is doing it. To BK and Jon - thank you for your extraordinary virtue and culture of public service.

It was my incredible pleasure and distinct honor to present BK Munguia and Jon Mark with the 2020 Scarsdale Bowl Award for Outstanding Community Service. We look forward to honoring BK and Jon again at the 2021 Bowl Dinner on April 22, 2021 with all their friends and the Scarsdale Community present.

Nancy Michaels
Scarsdale Bowl Chair, 2020, 2021

national merit logo2Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program including 21 students from Scarsdale High School and 8 from Edgemont High School. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance
to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Here are the semifinalists:

Scarsdale High School

Jaden D. Bharara
Joshua D. Bock
Keerthana Chari
Caleb Copeland
Alexandre I. Friedman
Emily N. Hansen
Amy Hu
Noah M. Jaffe
Samuel I. Levine
Peiling M. Niu
Dylan M. Oberst
Daheun Oh
Rina Ota
Ojas Pareek
Jake S. Rompala
Zachary S. Siegel
Abigail R. Talish
Joanna S. Wang
Adam H. Wasserman
Alexander L. Weinberg
Maxwell A. Zweig

Edgemont High School

Anika Bansal
Joshua R. Blaustein
Sankar Gopalkrishna
Youkyoung Jeong
Mitchell R. Kronk
Daniel A. Liu
Atticus Margulis-Ohnuma
Richard Yan

TrusteesSwornInTrustees Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randall Whitestone were sworn in on September 18.Halloween, fall leaf collection, the Village election and kind words for departing Trustee Jane Veron and retiring Village Treasurer Mary Lou McClure were all discussed at the Scarsdale Village Board meeting on Tuesday September 22, 2020.

The three trustees who won the election, Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randall Whitestone were sworn in on September 18, and the Mayor welcomed Whitestone to his first Village Board Meeting. He said Whitestone was collaborative, open minded and a creative problem solver and looked forward to working with him.

The Mayor congratulated 2020 Scarsdale Bowl recipients Jon Mark and BK Munguia who will be honored at a small reception on Thursday night September 24. He said, “It’s not the honor they envisioned but it recognizes the outstanding work Jon and BK have done for the Village. We owe you a debt of gratitude and congratulate you on receiving the Scarsdale Bowl, our communities highest honor for volunteers.”

He continued, “Also on Thursday, we will hold the first meeting of the Police Reform and Reinvention Committee as mandated by the Governor’s orders. He has tasked each Village with reviewing their police department and making recommendations that are in keeping with the municipality. That effort will begin on September 24 and must be completed by April 2021.”

The Mayor said that the Board will hold an organizational meeting and Trustee Justin Arest will be named Deputy Mayor. Samwick plans to implement portfolios for trustees and invited input before the meeting.

Halloweenhall136

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo announced that the Village had just received guidelines from the CDC about Halloween, and asked residents to follow them. He said that Halloween “may take place in Scarsdale for those who wish to participate. It is an individual decision for children and their parents.” He cautioned, “The CDC says trick or treating is a high-risk activity for spreading the virus and recommends that residents also avoid trunk or treating where candy is handed out from car trunks, attending crowded parties, and going on hayrides with people outside your household.”

Instead, the CDC recommends lining up individual treat bags for families to grab and go while maintaining social distancing or engaging in moderate risk events like attending an outdoor costume party while wearing masks. Low risk activities include household parties, outdoor pumpkin carving, outdoor scavenger hunts, virtual costume parties and a Halloween movie night with your family.

Pappalardo said, “The Village recommends that families follow the CDC recommendations for low risk activities.”

However he said if you do decide to treat or treat please:

Do it in small groups or with your family.

Do not wear a costume mask over a protective mask as it will be difficult to breathe.

Wear bright reflective clothing and consider armbands

Trick or treat during daylight hours or no later than dusk

Carry hand sanitzer and use it frequently after receiving candy at individual homes

Follow all COVID safety protocols and traffic rules.

Leaf Pick-up

Fall leaf collection begins October 19 and will end on December 11, 2020. The Villlage will collect leaves, loose at the curb using vacuum trucks. Collections will be done 3-4 times during the season at each home. Tree branches must be tied or bagged and placed at the curb for weekly collection. Leaves can be brought to the recycling center and the fees are waived if landscapers pre-register with the Village. Recycling bags are available at the recycling center at a discounted rate. Loose leaves on the street are a traffic hazard and can cause flooding. Residents are encouraged to mulch/mow their leaves on site. It will fertilize the loan and help the environment.

mcclureVillage Treasurer Mary Lou McClureMary Lou McClure and Jane Veron

Several speakers had parting messages for retiring Village Treasurer Mary Lou McClure and the Mayor spoke first saying, “She deserves a lot of kind words for the outstanding work she has done. We just finished work with our auditors who said a number of times how strong our finance department is and that begins with Mary Lou. She is the bests of our Village and our employees. She shows enormous dedication, intelligence and we are better as a Village because of all she has done for us.”

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo said, “I could wax poetic about Mary Lou. I am still hoping that the retirement party for Mary Lou that has been planned and cancelled twice will take place and I can make my comments at that joyous occasion.”

Trustee Justin Arest said, ““Mary Lou, I have not kept my admiration and appreciation for you a secret, especially recently, but I would remiss if I did not thank you again and tell you how much you will be missed. You have gone above and beyond, and not just over the past year, but especially over the past year. You have guided us in your retirement when we needed you most and allowed us to find someone worthy of your role. I also want to note that your accessibility and kindness is known not only to Trustees but to residents as well, as clearly evidenced in the comments made during public comments. And I was the grateful beneficiary for years prior to my service on this Board and cannot thank you enough for helping me and teaching me so much.”

Trustee Lena Crandall echoed the comments about McClure and thanked her for answering all her questions over the years and told her to “enjoy life.”

Trustee Seth Ross said, “A more than deserved tribute to Mary Lou. Your management of Village finances has been lauded by many and certainly deserves all the feedback. On a personal note I remember going to you with questions about expenditures and receiving not only clear responses but each time an education in the facts underlying your responses. I am a more knowledgeable trustee as a direct result of your willingness to go above and beyond what is asked of you. Best of everything in your retirement.”

Trustee Jonathan Lewis said, “Mary Lou, without good data and reporting we could not do our jobs properly. Your hard work is the foundation of civic dialogue about important issues. Thank you for your service and dedication to Scarsdale.”

Trustee Rochelle Waldman echoed what the other residents and trustees said and wished McClure well. She said, “You have taught me an incredible amount, including the meeting we had this morning to go over the bills I audited this weekend. Good luck to you in your retirement.”

Randall Whitestone called Mary Lou McClure, “top knotch.”

Dara Gruenberg added, “Mary Lou thank for your exceptional service and dedication to our village. Working with you had been such an honor and a pleasure. I know I speak for many volunteers when I say we do our work not just to better our community but also because of the relationships we foster. You are one of those individuals. You went above and beyond to help me personally two years ago when I chaired the League’s budget portfolio. I must admit one of the reasons I volunteered to take on that daunting role was because I knew I would be able to go to you for support and help. Your grandchildren are very lucky to be able to have more of your time. Their gain is our loss. Thank you again for caring for our village so meticulously.”

Speaking on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale, Leah Dembitzer said, “The League Board wishes to extend thanks to our Village Treasurer, Mary Lou McClure. Mary Lou is our Village’s secret gem. Mary Lou, you are smart, professional and giving with your time and knowledge and, according to our Board, you are one of the nicest people with whom we have had the pleasure to work. Your financial acumen, attention to detail and organizational skills have served our Village well for these many years. Mary Lou, the League Board will miss you dearly and we wish you much happiness in your future endeavors.”

Margot Milberg thanked McClure on behalf of the Board of the Scarsdale Library saying, you are “patient, calm and helpful, with wonderful attention to detail and a steward of library funds. We want to wish you must success in your retirement.”

Robert Berg thanked Mary Lou McClure, patient, calm and helpful, wonderful attention to detail and a steward of library funds. We want to wish you much success in your retirement.

About Trustee Jane Veron, who just completed four and half years of service on the Village Board, Milberg said, “Speaking on behalf of the Scarsdale Public Library Board of Trustees. Jane you have always been an ally, advocated and trusted advisor for the library. You were instrumental in getting the library approved by the village. You believed in the project and shared the vision in what a reimagined library could look like. You are a true friend of Scarsdale and the library. We look forward to seeing you at 54 Olmstead.

Leah Dembitzer said, “The League Board would like to extend thanks to Jane Veron for her years of dedicated work on the Village Board. Jane, I hope that you are listening so that I may speak directly to you. Jane, you have worked tirelessly for our community with a dedication to revitalizing our Village Center. You are a unique community leader: poised, thoughtful, patient and professional. Your ability to reach out to the community, to ask questions and to listen thoughtfully has served us well. The League Board is deeply grateful for all of your work as Trustee in service of our village and community; and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”

Madelaine Eppenstein congratulated Trustee Veron and Mary Lou McClure for everything they have done for the Village over the many years. She said, “I want to express my gratitude to both for their generosity and their effort, Their cordial approach to helping residents and community groups is without equal. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”

Public Comments

Calling in during public comments, Robert Berg and his daughter Zoe Berg spoke about the election that took place on September 15, 2020.

Robert Berg thanked Village Clerk Donna Conkling for running a safe, contested election on September 15. He said, “It was wonderful to see nearly 2,000 residents come out to vote. We are proud to bring democratic elections to Scarsdale, complete with traditional lawn signs, doorhangers, and door to door campaigning. I congratulate the winners and wish them well and want to thank our supporters for letting the Village know that there are critical issues that are not being addressed by the Village Board and staff. They are watching and we will continue to hold the Village accountable to the public.”

He continued, “We are facing extraordinarily challenging times and need transparency in our Village government. I am very disturbed by the lawless acts of the Village in refusing to produce the documents that we requested under the FOIL law in April until the Friday before the election, September 11 even though the Village attorney advised the Village that there was no basis under the law for withholding those documents nearly five months earlier. I am referring to Mr. Selvaggio’s FOIL request for the Notify Me email list. He served that FOIL on April 24 which was precipitated by the Mayor’s attacks on the VCP’s candidate on April 23 using the Notify Me system. We heard nothing for months. We followed up in July and were told that the Village was seeking an opinion from the Committee on Open Governance. In September we followed up again and were told that we would get the documents as long as Mr. Selvaggio signed a certification that he would not use the materials for solicitation or fundraising. “

“….There are no ifs, ands or buts about the FOIL law and yet you tried to delay, you did delay and then you sat on it for another two months. You violated the law. I saw that Marc has requested a change in the law. Was this a resolution from the Village Board? I hope the new board acts in a much more open manner.”

The Mayor responded to Berg and explained that the FOIL request was more complex than Berg had indicated and involved issues of cyber security, privacy and public trust in government. He said, “It was not taken lightly as our primary function is to protect our residents and that includes their privacy and their email addresses. We explored whatever avenues were possible to protect our residents”

Berg’s daughter Zoe also spoke and said she would have hoped that “the little town of Scarsdale would have been a place of refuge.” She said, “That has not been the case since we started challenging Scarsdale’s broken nominating process. As many of you know, my dad ran for trustee and we worked hard to raise awareness about serious issues. One way to raise awareness is to use political signs. My dad and I drove around placing signs only to realize that some of the signs had been stolen, thrown on the ground or stepped on. I would shake my head thinking, “are we in middle school?” In the end my dad filed three police reports and had hundreds of dollars of signs stolen.”

“On election day my dad and I had some complications voting because we had just moved to Quaker Ridge and our March absentee ballots were no longer valid. We had to wait about 20 minutes before we could vote because the election inspectors had to resolve the complications. As we were waiting, a young man walked uncomfortably close to me and said in my ear, “You know, my penis has been bothering me lately – it must be the 5G.” He and his mother walked off before I could say anything. Both my dad and I were speechless.”

“Minutes after the incident by dad and filled out his ballot and waited for me so we could walk out of the polling place together. After casting my vote I looked for my dad, only to see a poll watcher who will remain nameless screaming at my dad saying he was canvassing at the polling place and would call the police to escort him out. All he did was vote and all he wanted to do was walk out of the polling place.”

She concluded by asking, “Are we Scarsdale?”

The Mayor responded and said no one on the Village Board of Trustees was involved in the voting incident. He said, “This is an elected board and we respect the law.”

Later in the meeting Trustee Lena Crandall apologized to Zoe Berg for the comment and thanked her for her advocacy around the 5G issue. Crandall said, “Voting is our most precious right.” She thanked everyone for coming out to vote and said, “we represent everyone.” She recommended that voters take advantage of the early polling dates for the November election.

Trustee Lewis said to Zoe Berg, “I am appalled by what you described and very disturbed to hear about this incident.”

In other business, Trustee Justin Arest provided a statement of expenses and revenues.

About Village finances he said, “We had a meeting with our Auditors, PKF O'Connor Davies, prior to this meeting at 6pm, regarding our FY 19-20 financials statements. PKF presented its findings with the results being positive. I encourage anyone who might have been unable to attend the 6pm meeting to watch the recording and as always feel free to reach out with any comments or questions. Some items that were highlighted included our unassigned fund balance at the end of the FY compared to 20-21 expenditures was just above 14%. Our policy has been to keep that number between 10 and 15% while the GOA recommends something closer to 17%. Our debt service is approximately 3% of our budget. PKF advised that many other municipalities they work with have that figure at 8% or higher and commended our use of fund balance for capital projects. We also discussed GASB 75 and how even though OPEB liabilities are treated as pay as we go, they must be accounted for into the long term despite the lack of an allowable funding mechanism. If that does not make sense to anyone, please feel free to reach out. Bottom line, understanding that we are living through challenging health and financial times, we are in good financial health.”

Investment Policy

Trustee Arest read a resolution adopting the 2020-21 Village Investment Policy. All trustees voted aye with the exception of Trustee Lewis who voted no to the resolution because the trustees no longer have a finance committee to review the investment policy.

Lewis said, “The proposed investment guidelines govern how we invest public funds, monitor compliance with the guidelines, and implement a governance structure for the investment of public money. Process drives governance, compliance, and performance. I disagree with the language in the resolution that states the changes are primarily housekeeping in nature - there are changes that are substantive and from my perspective weaken governance, compliance, and reduce the probability of performance. The proposed guidelines eliminate a standing investment committee and a standing finance committee. Those committees ceased to meet regularly in early 2019, and in my view the ad hoc work sessions that have replaced them have not fully met all of the objectives of good governance with its emphasis on public discussion, debate that improves ideas, and public deliberation. There should be board discussion about whether or not the experiment of eliminating committees has improved governance or not, and if there should be further reform. We have not met to discuss investments or discuss compliance with guidelines at any point in 2020 as a board in a working session or as a committee. We have had no substantive, public conversations in 2020 about the limitations we set for the institutions we can use, how those limits relate to either credit quality, or return. I believe the revisions to these guidelines institutionalize an ad hoc approach to governance and weaken the Treasurer's requirement to establish written procedures. I believe the experience of the past year and half suggests we need finance and investment committees that meet on a regularly scheduled basis, especially in a financial crisis. I cannot vote for an ad hoc approach when it comes to the oversight of public money. I vote no.”

Sidewalks

In other business, the Village Board will hold a public hearing on October 13 on amending Village Code on sidewalk cafes to allow them to operate through December 31, 2020 and to allow the sale of merchandise on sidewalks through the end of the year.

Water System Master Plan

Trustee Lewis read a resolution to execute a professional services agreement for the development of a water system master plan comprised of hydraulic modeling, water distribution system mapping, and development of a 25-year capital plan, The plan will identify the most efficient means of connecting our water system with other resources. Much of Scarsdale’s water system is over 100 years old and is badly in need of attention. The agreement grants the work to Woodard and Curran Engineering for a fee of $79,400.

New Village Treasurer

The Board appointed a new Village Treasurer to replace Mary Lou McClure. Anne Marie Scaglione was appointed Village Treasurer. She is a CPA and has served as the Comptroller of the City of Peekskill since July 2014.

Gifts

The Village accepted a gift of $500 from Mr. YeWang and Mr.s Helen Ni of 7 Church Lane for the Scarsdale Fire Department.

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