Letters to the Editor: Vote for the SCNPP Slate on Tuesday March 21
- Friday, 10 March 2023 19:15
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2023 09:18
- Published: Friday, 10 March 2023 19:15
- Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 526
To the Editor:
I am writing to voice my unconditional support for the SCNPP’s candidates for Mayor and Village Trustees. They are a dynamic and well balanced slate. I have worked closely with Justin Arest and Dara Gruenberg for several years, and with Sameer Ahuja for the past year.
Dara is a true force and inspiration with her genuine desire to help our community and others in need. She is one of Scarsdale’s finest volunteers, as evidenced by her dedication and unparalleled work ethic through her numerous leadership positions. She is a strong believer in the power of collaboration and working with others to find the best outcomes.
Dara has been an invaluable asset and consultant to the Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA), which I lead as co-president. During Covid, Dara helped craft innovative fundraising ideas, including funding for the Dine the ‘Dale tent Initiative through a new SBA sponsorship program. This program allowed us to purchase the tent and furniture and provide the community with a safe multi-generational place to gather and support our business community during the height of the pandemic.
Dara was also instrumental in formalizing the partnership between the SBA and the Village, through a Memorandum of Understanding, which solidified the two entities joint mission to assist Scarsdale businesses and continue to infuse all of Scarsdale retail hubs with vibrancy. Dara’s vast experience with our municipal government, stellar leadership qualities, and ability to engage the community make her an ideal candidate for trustee.
Justin is likewise a dedicated community volunteer, holding various leadership positions, including as a two term Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor. Justin has been a tireless advocate for and invaluable resource to our local business community. Throughout the last few years, he has been instrumental to the success of the SBA and has contributed to the vibrancy of our Village center. He was a critical proponent for and asset to the Downtown Village Task Force, which was established during Covid to provide support to the merchant community by removing unnecessary red tape and devising creative ways to bolster commerce. He invested endless hours assisting and advising the SBA during this critical time. He was supportive, thoughtful, open-minded and always willing to listen and lend a hand.
The SBA has been extremely well served by Justin’s brilliant mind, experience with governmental process, infinite fund of knowledge and incredible work ethic. He thinks “out of the box” to find the best solutions. I am confident that Justin will be an unyielding advocate for all of Scarsdale as its next mayor, and will lead Scarsdale with great judgment, intelligence, and empathy.
During the past year, as the trustee liaison to the SBA, Sameer has demonstrated all the qualities needed to be a successful Village trustee. He’s thoughtful, respectful, smart, and open-minded. His calm demeanor, thoughtful approach to issues and can-do attitude make him a pleasure to work with. Scarsdale will only benefit from his continued service.
Please vote for the SCNPP slate on March 21st.
To the Editor:
I am writing in support of the Citizens Nominating Committee slate of Justin Arest, Sameer Ahuja, Dara Gruenberg, and Karen Brew. Scarsdale is lucky to have this group who have each contributed to the civic life of our town in their own way.
In particular, I wanted to share my personal experiences with Karen Brew, whom I have known for almost 10 years. Karen had been Edgewood PTA President and served on Scarsdale Parent Teacher Council, as well as several Scarsdale Middle School PTA committees. I followed her in many similar roles so I knew her reputation as a tireless volunteer even before I actually started working with her on the Executive Committee for the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College. We worked very closely together on that committee, sharing responsibilities for publicity, fundraising, and scholarship candidate selection. In every role she took on, she was a committed, hard-working, thoughtful contributor. In our work together, Karen was very pragmatic and brought a critical eye to the issues that needed it. I can see those same qualities in her first term as Trustee, where she has been involved with the Personnel Committee, the Law Committee and others.
Karen has already contributed so much to our schools and our community and I am so happy that she is nominated to continue in her role as Trustee. I wholeheartedly support her nomination.
14 Overhill Road
To the Editor:
I got to know Justin well during his first term as a Village Trustee when I served as Mayor. He worked hard. I can’t recall any Board-related event Justin didn’t attend and participate meaningfully in the discussion. He personally explored issues by going to sites that were the subject of Board attention and often asked me to join him to help me better understand relevant issues. He tried to find the option which would serve the Scarsdale residents and businesses best. To do this he discussed options with Staff and fellow Board members. If those discussions shared new information, he was prepared to change his initial opinion on a matter if he saw residents and/or businesses would benefit more from a change in his original position.
Having served as Deputy Mayor, Justin was often asked to take on responsibility for researching and organizing information regarding issues in order to better focus Board decision making. I have no doubt that he will serve as Mayor with the same focus he brought to his service as a Trustee.
Justin’s volunteer efforts have extended to a number of organizations. most in Scarsdale. One example is his four years of service on the Scarsdale Zoning Board of Appeals prior to joining the Village Board. Those four years (2014-2018), gave him an in depth understanding of the types of issues that often concern residents and businesses and require resolution at the municipal level. I believe that experience provided useful training for his service as a Trustee and comprise one part of his preparation to be Mayor, in addition to his service as a Trustee.
I believe Justin will serve with energy and dedication as Mayor and urge voters to show their appreciation for his service, and willingness to serve again, by voting for him in the Village Election on March 21st.
I have had the great pleasure of working with Dara Gruenberg for the last several years on the Friends of the Scarsdale Library Board. When Dara first joined the FOSL it was a small organization that quietly supported our wonderful library. Members of the FOSL quickly recognized Dara’s innate leadership capabilities and asked her to fill the role of president. In this role, Dara not only grew the Board to include remarkable representatives from each of the Scarsdale neighborhoods, she also elevated the organization to play a prominent role in the Scarsdale Library’s Capital Campaign and in its much needed renovation. Both as president of the FOSL and as Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign, I have long admired Dara’s ability to lead with not only a gentle sense of authority and determination but also with thoughtfulness, kindness, and great consideration. In addition to being the type of leader who listens and values teamwork, Dara is a consummate professional who is respectful, responsible, and always reliable.
Throughout her tenure, I’ve come to know Dara to be an incredibly hard-working public servant who has a huge heart and cares deeply about our community. For years I have watched Dara give selflessly of her time and resources and gladly step up to help any of her Scarsdale friends and neighbors. Dara’s warmth, sense of humor, and commitment to our community shines through in everything she does. She recently ended her service on the FOSL Board and I can’t begin to express how greatly she will be missed. I can honestly think of no better candidate for Village Trustee and truly feel Scarsdale would be lucky to have Dara fill this position.
To the Editor:
How lucky are we to have had Dara Gruenberg as a thoughtful community leader over so many years? Dara is deeply committed to so many segments of life here in Scarsdale, and we would be lucky to have her leadership as a Trustee for Scarsdale Village.
I have known Dara for 8 years. I feel privileged to have worked at her side on initiatives at Westchester Reform Temple and to have followed her vision as a leader with the Scarsdale Library and White Plains Hospital.
It stands out to me that in the earliest days of the pandemic, while many of us outside of the health care system were focused on our loved ones’ safety, and many who worked inside the health care system were focused on Covid prevention and patient care, Dara was focused on supporting the public health professionals themselves. With creativity and persistence, Dara drew upon her deep organizational skills and her diverse community networks to offer meaningful support to our health professionals. Under Dara’s leadership, this initiative expanded and ultimately raised more than $10M for White Plains Hospital. Citizens from all over Westchester benefited from her hard work.
Dara brings a unique blend of passion and patience to all that she does. She is tactical during a crisis and strategic with long-term projects. She is a deep listener and, as a volunteer, deeply generous with her time.
We have ALL been the beneficiaries of Dara’s vision, intellect, and integrity in her community work to date, and will be lucky to have her as a village trustee in the coming years – please join me in voting for Dara and the entire CNC slate of candidates on March 21.
To the Editor:
It is my pleasure to write in support of the candidacy of Sameer Ahuja for Village Trustee for a second term. I’ve come to know Sameer as we have partnered to reinvigorate the volunteer Human Relations Council, which I chair. From the beginning, I was impressed by his passion for Scarsdale and especially for his desire to advance Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Scarsdale. Over the last year, we worked together to identify an exciting mission for the HRC and revitalize the council’s membership. With his help, we are moving forward with a committed group of resident volunteers and have identified high priority projects for the council to work on this year. WIth his support, we have also partnered with the Advisory Council on Communications on shared projects and goals.
Sameer has long ties to Scarsdale, having grown up here as an immigrant, graduating from Scarsdale schools. His desire and efforts to give back and volunteer with Village government are inspiring to all, especially for Scarsdale’s increasingly diverse population, both adults and children. I also greatly appreciate the perspective he brings from his professional work in technology and entrepreneurship. I have seen him bring his skills, experiences, and knowledge to bear on numerous Village matters such as wireless coverage and information technology.
Along with his fellow candidates of the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party, Justin Arest, Karen Brew, Dara Gruenberg, and Cynthia Dunne, Sameer Ahuja is an excellent choice for Village Trustee. I look forward to the impact he will have these next two years.
To the Editor:
I am honored to write to share my strong support of Sameer Ahuja for village trustee.
I have known Sameer for over 20 years, when we met as classmates at Harvard Business School. Even among our HBS classmates, Sameer’s intellect and ambition were distinctive, but more importantly, they were paired with a deep caring and enduring empathy to impact and improve the lives of others. Throughout our friendship, Sameer hasn’t merely been interested in business, but has been devoted to the betterment of the world and has employed business as a vehicle. When Sameer and I first discussed how he might turn his energy to create a positive impact on our community, I immediately appreciated the fit and supported his interest in the Village Board. I knew that he would bring a fresh perspective and vigor to village matters. Now, one term in, my faith has been justified, as we have all seen how hard he has worked on behalf of the Village, all while leading GameChanger, his current start up, from a tiny niche player to the leading sports app in the app store! As a side note, I would add that GameChanger benefits communities and millions of families in every corner of the United States and embodies Sameer’s abiding drive to use business to transform communities one team at a time.
Sameer always spoke highly of his time growing up in Scarsdale, and when I choose to settle down here, our families have since become close friends. Now speaking as a friend and resident, I am continuously impressed by his passion and dedication to whatever he is focused on and have enjoyed cheering him from the sidelines as he worked tirelessly on his start ups and as a trustee for our village – always with a positive energy and spirit. In my view, these two experience bases complement one another, as the start-up culture that Sameer has embraced has fortified his dogged resilience to “get things done.”
Sameer regularly communicates about village matters with me and other residents, sending emails asking for our opinions and encouraging us to attend/dial into meetings to share views. Sameer listens first, and leads second, and for that I am grateful. He is a strong (and eloquent) advocate for Scarsdale residents and for enhancing our quality of life and the safety of our community. As an example, I believe that I speak for many neighbors in Fox Meadow in expressing gratitude for the progress the Village Board has made to address wireless coverage gaps. I want to acknowledge the crucial role Sameer played in launching this work and ensuring it got over the finish line.
Sameer Ahuja is an excellent choice for village trustee. I urge you to come out and vote on March 21st for him.
To the Editor:
I enthusiastically endorse Justin Arest for Mayor of Scarsdale.
I have been impressed with Justin as a superb Trustee as well as on a variety of Village committees. His adherence to process, his knowledge of the issues, his deep experience with the financial condition of our Village and his commitment to Scarsdale, are all conditions that will make Justin a thoughtful, dynamic and action-oriented leader.
Justin knows Scarsdale, the Village, the Schools and its neighbors. He is respectful of our needs, our wants and understands our capacities. He, often as not, has a unique question that expands the conversation and leads to a more complete decision. Justin is wonderful to work with and will do so inclusively and transparently.
The Village is faced with interesting and challenging opportunities. Justin will work diligently, collaboratively and intelligently to effectively engage all stakeholders. He will enhance our processes, structures and planning to provide sound guidance that will lead to thoughtful decisions to set the Village on a solid foundation for today and tomorrow.
Please lend your support to Justin and vote for him for Mayor of Scarsdale and the entire slate, on March 21, 2023 at the Scarsdale library.
Please Vote for Arest for Mayor, and Ahuja, Brew and Gruenberg for Trustees
I strongly support the CNC slate of Justin Arest, Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Dara Gruenberg. As a local volunteer myself, I have seen these amazing residents in action on the Board of Trustees and as local volunteers active in numerous town volunteer positions. They are intelligent, thoughtful, caring and hard-working residents that continue to give their time and expertise to build on the strengths of this community. I feel lucky to have them volunteering to help lead our community as Village Mayor and Trustees.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with and have been able to rely on this incredible team to support several sustainability initiatives such as Scarsdale’s Food Scrap Recycling Program, the LED streetlight conversion, our new Paint Recycling Program, and the recent passage of our new local law which ensures that our Village properties are maintained organically and without toxic chemicals. Working with them, I can say that they always listen, consider the facts, and involve our Village volunteers in order to get to the best results for our community.
The role of mayor is a critical one for our Village, and we are fortunate to have Justin Arest ready to take on this position. During Justin’s two terms as Trustee he showed us that he has the temperament, skill set and work ethic to positively impact our community. We are still benefitting from the work and changes he made during his time as trustee, such as the hiring of senior village staff, structural staffing changes which have saved money and improved Village services, and his many hours spent developing budgets that deliver the services our community wants in a fiscally responsible way. Justin continually made our community better, and I’m looking forward to his leadership as mayor.
Please Vote for Arest, Brew, Ahuja and Gruenberg on Tuesday, March 21.
To the Editor,
As the current Citizens Nominating Committee Chair and Vice Chair, we are very proud of the age, gender, cultures, thoughts and backgrounds that make up this dynamic group. The CNC was made up of 30 elected residents whose mandate was to find and vet exceptional candidates for our Village board. They have done an excellent job in doing just that.
The process by which the slate was chosen is a rigorous one. The CNC first hears directly from potential candidates who each make a 10 minute presentation addressing their interest in serving and their qualifications. The presentation is just the beginning of a lengthy vetting process. The CNC then reviews each potential candidate’s history of volunteerism, gathers and reports back from a variety of reference sources who are interviewed “on the record” and holds lengthy deliberations over many meetings. The process is not easy but necessary to choose the best people for the positions to be filled. After months of fact-finding, due diligence, and calling over 60 references in total, the CNC has nominated the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate for Mayor and three Trustee positions.
The candidates, Justin Arest for Mayor, Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Dara Gruenberg for Trustees are bright, conscientious, thoughtful and most of all, extremely dedicated. Based on its work, the CNC concluded that the candidates’ extensive experience gives them the perspective necessary to understand and address issues we share as a community. They are all hard-working individuals who have dedicated countless hours to discuss, debate and respond to our village needs effectively. In the volunteer work they have done to date, each candidate has shown their ability to remove their personal preferences, consider input from residents and professional sources and make thoughtful judgments for the best interest of the Village as a whole. The CNC has also nominated Village Justice Cynthia Dunne to be elected as Village Justice. Justice Dunne has shown she is fully capable to perform as Village Justice and has earned your support to be elected to that post.
We all are grateful for Scarsdale and the community we live in. We believe in the non-partisan system because it is effective, efficient and produces outstanding community engagement. We hope you agree these candidates will do the best job for you, your family and our special town.
We enthusiastically support the CNC’s slate, Justin Arest for Mayor, Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Dara Gruenberg for Village Trustees and Cynthia Dunne as Village Justice and hope our Scarsdale neighbors come out to show their support by voting on March 21.
CNC Vice Chair