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Mayor Pledges to Address Quality of Life and Traffic Concerns and Invites You to Java with Jane

Veron2021The Scarsdale Board of Trustees is off to a running start, thanks in large part to the dedicated and passionate leadership of Mayor Jane Veron. During the May 11, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Veron began her remarks by discussing how her new strategic plan and model for government enables the board to tackle the widest possible variety of issues and anticipate any “surprises” that may arise. While the goal is to avoid unexpected issues, she admits that "of course, we all know the unforeseen happens, and we will swiftly respond, but in the general course of business, we want to be ahead of the curve."

Mayor Veron gave a status update on some major pillars that comprise her government model: Strategic and Financial Planning, Quality of Life, Infrastructure / Municipal Services & Sustainability, and Public Safety.

On the Financial Planning side, Trustees Arest and Lewis have been working with the mayor and Village administration to “identify opportunities for immediate process improvements… [and] the board endorsed [the staff’s] recommendation to implement enhanced technology functionality. The goal is to create efficiencies by eliminating paper dependency and to streamline and systematize processes for cost-effectiveness.”

Addressing some of the Quality-of-Life concerns, Mayor Veron spoke about the newly reopened library, which is a “crown jewel” for the Village. Next, the Mayor spoke to some of the public safety concerns raised by many about the increased traffic during school drop-off and pick-up. Mayor Veron stated that she attends the monthly SNAP meetings with individual neighborhood association presidents, and they will work to “find creative solutions…. It’s not going to be easy with the huge increase in volume of cars headed to the same place at the same time, but we are hoping that working together will make things a bit better.”

During her remarks, Mayor Veron also announced that the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps is stepping in to assist with vaccination efforts for children aged 16 and 17. The Corps will also play a role in vaccinating Scarsdale’s younger students once the FDA approves vaccinations for children aged 12 and up.

Finally, the Mayor publicized her first Java With Jane event, which will be held on Wednesday, May 19. Starting at 5:45 pm in the Dine the ‘Dale tent in the Village center, Mayor Veron will be available to speak with residents about any concerns they would like to address.

Next, Village Manager Pappalardo reported on three items: the presentation of this year’s stormwater annual report, an update to the gas-powered leaf blower ban, and information on funding for the Middle School Comfort Station. Village Engineer Goessl reported the bulk of the stormwater annual report and stated that Scarsdale met all necessary standards and expectations this year even with the additional challenges posed by COVID-19. Addressing the leaf-blower ban, Manager Pappalardo announced that property owners will be held equally responsible as the landscaping companies for enforcing the new rule. Starting this month, warnings will be issued, and repeat violators will be issued a summons. To report a violation between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, residents can call the Scarsdale Building Department (914-722-1140). At any other time, violations can be called into the non-emergency number at the police station (914-722-1200). At this time, the Village has filled the role of a temporary daily enforcement officer who will be managing the ban and leading the enforcement efforts.

Finally, Manager Pappalardo updated the community on the Middle School Comfort station. Months ago, the administration applied for a grant with New York State to offset some of the costs of the project. While the grant application has not been approved yet, Manager Pappalardo announced that if approved in the future, project expenses will be eligible for reimbursement from the date the application was completed and accepted. For this project, that date is January 25, 2021. Because of this rule, project construction can commence as scheduled this summer before the grant is approved by New York State.

Next, the Board held a Public Hearing to solicit community input on potential projects to submit for funding through the Westchester Community Development Block Grant program. Mayor Veron announced that the Board endorses a plan to use these funds to update the Girl Scout House and make improvements to the parking lot. Resident Deb Pekarek spoke in support of this plan and stated that this will help improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities who use this facility often. Trustee Crandall spoke on behalf of the Scarsdale Senior Advisory Council and the Scarsdale Chinese Association Senior Group to voice these groups’ support for the project.

Next, Trustee Lewis introduced a resolution to accept a gift from the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) in honor of John Auerbacher. The gift consists of $730 and will authorize the planting of a red oak tree and accompanying commemorative plaque at Aspen Park for John Auerbacher, who will be dearly missed on the CAC. The resolution was passed unanimously, and CAC member Michelle Sterling later added how much she appreciates the Board’s passage of this resolution, and how much the CAC will miss John’s contributions and presence on the council.

Finally, before the Board moved into Executive Session, Village Treasurer Scaglione reported an update on tax collection. As of April 30, 2021, 94.22% of the county tax levy has been received, which is slightly higher than the 5-year collection average. The school tax collection is at 99.14%, which is slightly lower than the 5-year average. So far, the interest and penalties received on these taxes total over $700,000.

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