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You are here: Home Section Table Village Voices Mayor Jane Veron Announces New Village Board Structure at First Work Session
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Mayor Jane Veron Announces New Village Board Structure at First Work Session

VisionAt her first meeting as Mayor of Scarsdale on Tuesday April 6, 2021, Trustee Jane Veron outlined a new structure for Board work and committees to facilitate an ambitious agenda for her term. Along with Mayor Veron, this was the first meeting for newly elected Trustees Sameer Ahuja and Karen Brew. Trustee Justin Arest will serve as Deputy Mayor.

The work session helped orient the new members on the Board’s rules and regulations and provided an opportunity to Mayor Veron to convey her vision to the public.

Mayor Veron introduced her vision and new Board structure that is designed to engage all Board members and will evolve as time goes on. She explained her plans saying, "The Village Board is excited to introduce this new framework to guide our strategic and financial planning. We have articulated Four Pillars of government: 1. Quality of Life 2. Infrastructure, Municipal Services & Sustainability 3. Public Safety 4. Economic Development & Land Use. We have also identified key Enablers: Technology, Communications, Personnel, and Law. Each of these Pillars and Enablers will receive close attention from the Village Board as we carve out priorities for the coming years. The Board is determined to integrate strategic and financial planning and will also reevaluate the budget process as well as the underpinnings of strong financial management. The Board will meet in public work sessions over the next two months to drill down on the detail. There is a tremendous amount of Board enthusiasm to lead the Village in reimagining the future at this important juncture in Scarsdale’s history."

In addition to the four pillars, she outlined Special Assignments including 1. The Pool Complex, 2. Complete Streets / Village Center, and 3. Village Manager Search. When speaking about the Complete the Streets/Village Center category, Mayor Veron said that she hopes to both make streets safer and more sustainable and complete ongoing roadwork and construction projects. There are also four categories of “Underpinnings” which includes Technology, Communications, Personnel, and Law. Each issue area will have a Chair, a First Vice Chair, and a Second Vice Chair, with the exception of the Underpinning teams, which do not have a Second Vice Chair. Below are the Trustee assignments for each committee.

Strategic & Financial Planning Veron2021
• Chair: Mayor Veron
• First Vice Chair: Deputy Mayor Arest
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Lewis

Quality of Life
• Chair: Trustee Whitestone
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Crandall
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Ahuja

Infrastructure, Municipal Services & Sustainability
• Chair: Trustee Crandall
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Lewis
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Brew

Public Safety
• Chair: Trustee Lewis
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Crandall
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Brew

Economic Development & Land Use
• Chair: Deputy Mayor Arest
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Lewis
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Ahuja

Pool Complex
• Chair: Mayor Veron
• First Vice Chair: Deputy Mayor Arest
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Ahuja

Complete Streets / Village Center
• Chair: Mayor Veron
• First Vice Chair: Deputy Mayor Arest
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Lewis

Village Manager Search
• Chair: Mayor Veron
• First Vice Chair: Deputy Mayor Arest
• Second Vice Chair: Trustee Whitestone

Technology
• Chair: Trustee Ahuja
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Lewis

Communications
• Chair: Trustee Whitestone
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Ahuja

Personnel
• Chair: Trustee Brew
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Whitestone

Law
• Chair: Trustee Crandall
• First Vice Chair: Trustee Brew

This new committee structure received high praise from the Board members, who believe that this model will help them achieve goals more efficiently. Deputy Mayor Arest commented that although Manager Pappalardo will be missed, the search for a new Village Manager presents an opportunity to bring in new ideas and cultivate best practices. While Manager Pappalardo was supportive of Mayor Veron’s ambitious agenda, he also urged the Board to take a cautious and practical approach as to what can be accomplished within a realistic timeframe.

KeyWords

Mayor Veron reviewed her Culture and Values Presentation and stated that the pillars of the Board must be integrity, trust, respect, open mindedness, and assume best intent. In order to achieve progress, she said that the public must have visibility to important issues and regular updates of ongoings of the board. Additionally, work sessions will continue to be used for discussion and deliberation for best outcomes. She requested that all issues and concerns be raised with her in the hopes of bringing matters to the public in a timely matter without blindsiding anyone. She also emphasized the importance of the Board being prepared for unanticipated challenges on top of the usual business of the Board.

Trustee Lewis noted how wonderful it was to have over 100 people participate in the forum last week on the proposed leaf blower legislation. He said the Board should always raise issues that deeply concern the community in work sessions. He also suggested the development of a Scarsdale app that would give community members easy access to Scarsdale information and services. Trustee Crandall added that the work session is the best forum for the public to challenge the Board. Trustee Whitestone also commented that the Board must try not to be static when it comes to discussing issues; he suggested creating a queue of issues that the Board is thinking about that may or may not be discussed in meetings. This queue can be flexible, and it would be an indication to the public about what the Board has on its mind.

Also at the meeting, Village Attorney Pozin reviewed the legal guidelines that govern the Board. He highlighted that any gathering of four or more members where business is transacted on behalf of the village constitutes a Board meeting. If there is an official meeting, then the public must be provided notice and have permission to view. Certain matters, such as issues pertaining to law enforcement, current and future investigations, and collective bargaining, can be discussed privately in Executive Session. Attorney client privilege is also an exception to the public meetings law, however these meetings must be limited to legal advice. While Board of Trustee meetings legally must be held in person, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order that temporarily allows Scarsdale to hold virtual meetings due to the pandemic. This Executive Order is in place until April 20th and may be extended at the discretion of the governor.

Village Manager Pappalardo reviewed general guidelines related to meeting agendas, Executive Session, press calls, policy versus operational matters, and resolution assignments. While a Board member may be assigned to present a resolution, that does not mean that person must agree with the contents of the resolution. When presenting the resolution, members have the option to read them verbatim, but Manager Pappalardo stated that it is more impactful for members to understand the contents and summarize the resolution for the public. He also emphasized that the Trustee Statesmanship Policy is to represent the Board with integrity and honor.

Manager Pappalardo emphasized that the Board has the capacity to remove the Village Manager at any point if they find the manager to be non-responsive or ineffective. Scarsdale is currently searching for a candidate to replace Manager Pappalardo when he retires this summer. Pappalardo stated that the manager works at the pleasure of the Board, and that person can easily be replaced by the Board if his or her work is unsatisfactory.

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