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HandsUpThe School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) is seeking candidates to participate in Scarsdale’s vital nonpartisan process. The SBNC is a committee of citizens elected from across the Village for the important role of recruiting, vetting, and nominating candidates to fill vacancies on the Scarsdale Board of Education.

All residents who are qualified voters and interested in maintaining the excellence of Scarsdale schools are strongly urged to consider running for an SBNC position. Each year, two members are elected from each of the five elementary school districts to serve a term of three years on the Nominating Committee, followed by two additional years on the Administrative Committee. Terms begin in January 2021.

The deadline for candidates to submit materials is Monday, November 16, 2020. If you are interested in running for the SBNC, please visit our website for more information and biographical and petition forms:

Questions can be directed to Kathy Gray via email at

letter to the editorTo the Candidates and Supporters of Row A

Chances are you moved to Scarsdale because of its effective and honest municipal services and its excellent school system. All this has been achieved through the long-standing non-partisan system of governance in effect here for 90 years.

If you consider how quickly a house can be demolished and how long it takes to rebuild, with a result that is often newer but not better, attacking the system which has served Scarsdale so well for so many years seems a foolish exercise. The visual and verbal pollution of partisan politics is also not welcome.

Please join the rest of the community in strengthening the non-partisan system and save the ad hominem insults and divisive techniques for another place.

Elizabeth Pforzheimer
Tompkins Road

Foley1This letter was written by Tim Foley:

To the Editor:

As a professional political organizer and government staffer, I’ve seen the up-close workings of many state and local governments, large and small, across seven states and in numerous communities here in Westchester. Year in and year out, Scarsdale can boast of an embarrassment of riches. Scarsdale has generally been able to boast of “work horses, not show horses” for its elected officials at all levels of government, from federal to local.

The non-partisan system that successive generations of Scarsdalians have developed for ourselves is an unusual break from the way politics is done elsewhere. The “non-partisan” part in which neither the Democrats nor the Republicans put up candidates is surprisingly common in municipal elections. But more notable is the emphasis the 30 elected volunteers who make up the Citizens Nominating Committee each year place on a candidate’s temperament, record of volunteer service, willingness to listen to all sides, and commitment to roll up his or her sleeves and get to work. That focus de-emphasizes particular policy pledges and produces Village Trustees who take office understanding their job is to represent not their own reflexive leanings or an inflexible platform, but the whole village.

I’ll admit, as an advocate more used to the partisan parry-and-thrust, it’s not the style of politics where I personally feel most comfortable, but it fits Scarsdale like a glove. It’s hard to argue with results. This year, the CNC put forth as candidates for the Village Board Justin Arest, Lena Crandall, and Randy Whitestone – dedicated volunteers with exactly the temperaments and the skills we need.

In his years on the Board, Justin has developed a well-earned reputation of digging into the nuts-and-bolts of governance, wrestling with the best outcome and best process to achieve that outcome. He hasn’t been shy about disagreeing with his peers when he’s unpersuaded or grabbing a good idea to help this community no matter its source. Throughout the pandemic, he has been tireless in his efforts to get good, usable updates and information out to the community.

I’ve known that Lena has a matchless ability to invite others to join the dialogue, pitch in, and challenge our community to make it better. After all, she literally walked up to me in the middle of the street one day to encourage me successfully to get more involved myself. I’ve seen her quiet, calm, and unrelenting ability to prompt the best out of others and find the teachable moments, even within a crisis.

It’s clear that Randy’s “black belt in communications” will be valuable for a Board that will continue to face unknowable challenges in the months and years ahead. His openness to innovation and emphasis on inclusion are traits that so many other great Scarsdale leaders have possessed and will serve us well now.

We’re still in the early innings of dealing with this pandemic and economic downturn, but we can take pride in the fact that Scarsdale has done as well or better than neighboring communities in keeping the Village moving forward during uncertain times. Crisis reveals character. Justin, Lena, and Randy have been revealed to be the steady hands and the “work horses” our village needs now. Vote Row B to elect them this year.

Tim Foley
73 Brown Road

From Jeff Blatt

JeffBlattIn recent ads, the VCP candidates — Berg, Cohen and Selvaggio — take credit for a long-considered split tax-payment plan recently enacted by the Village Trustees intended to help residents with their cash flow management. The idea of split tax payments, as old or older than the Magna Carta, was carefully considered by the Trustees, who weighed community input, including some resistance, and then, working with village professionals, delivered this option (not the VCP, who have no authority over policy).

To be clear, though this small policy provides a one time cash flow benefit, it ultimately costs taxpayers, as any foregone interest the village would have earned on the delayed cash receipts will need to be made up in the form of future taxation or budget cuts. The option to pay in two installments does not provide tax relief and the VCP should not present this as some panacea. The Village Board certainly has not. Furthermore, Berg calls state-mandated Village fees for late payment of taxes “extortion,” which is trumped up nonsense. We’re all aware that late payments have consequences in all walks of life And any revenue earned from fees goes back to taxpayers in the form of municipal public services or lower taxation than would otherwise be needed to fund the budget.

Community members should be concerned with Berg’s preferred tactics. Petitions instead of suggestions. Hyperbole instead of reason. Blame instead of collaboration. And a lot of personal grand-standing. This all seems predicated on the VCP’s absurd fundamental notion that all those currently serving — and likely who have ever served — are incompetent and corrupt. It is a sweeping insult to the decent volunteers who serve our community.

The VCP’s other main theme, if we can call this a platform, is to describe affluent Scarsdale as a place divided and they seek to fuel the flames of resentments between these mysterious factions. For example, Berg recently identified ownership of a generator as the “us vs. them” wealth line. This distorted assumption is disconnected from the realities of our hardworking, grateful and often risk-averse community. More nonsense.

Bob Berg has a very long history of challenging even the smallest of public expenditures. When I was on the Board of Education in the 2004-2010 period, Berg would pride himself on searching for every last dime that he thought was unnecessary in a $100 million+ budget. He’d find 100-200 people who would greatly admire him for his appearance of frugality, but his suggestions were often disconnected from student needs or community values. As the School Board would consider the details with care, Berg would only be happy with less. Berg ignored the fact that our proposed school budgets consistently pass with 75%+ public support, often more. Regardless, he knew best.

Regarding Village taxes, community members are consistently willing to pay for the many services that we value. It should be concerning that Berg assumes empty nesters (like me) only seek reductions. His calls for cuts would impact our first responders, or health and safety, and enjoyment of this beautiful Village.

Like most in Scarsdale, I moved here for the schools, but I stay here for the community. In the upcoming years which are sure to be challenging, we need prudent, balanced consideration — decidedly not the VCP brand. Vote for Arest, Crandall, and Whitestone, Row B, nominated for their open-minds and good judgement.

Jeff Blatt
Walworth Avenue

From Janet Han and Peri Zelig

To the Editor,

As Heathcote representatives on the Citizens Nominating Committee, we enthusiastically support all three of the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party’s (SCNPP) candidates for election as Village Trustee and are proud to have been part of the robust, thoughtful, deliberative nominating process that put forward the SCNPP slate. Moreover, we enthusiastically write this letter in support of Justin Arest’s reelection as Trustee.

Since moving to Scarsdale and meeting Justin, we have been impressed with his unyielding commitment to our community. He is eager to engage both new and long-term residents in conversation about civic affairs and to encourage us all to give back to the community.

Some qualities that we look for in our leaders and that we think Justin exemplifies as Trustee:

Dedication and strong work ethic: Justin puts extraordinary time and energy into his work as Trustee. He goes above and beyond what is required in order to serve our community effectively, which is particularly striking given his other work and family commitments. A recent example of his dedication to serving the community was during August’s extended power outage, when Justin worked around the clock to ensure that all members of the community received Village updates and at-least-daily notifications not only through traditional emails, but through innovative social media, including Twitter and Facebook.

Intelligence, pragmatism, and open-mindedness: Justin is deliberative and believes in being fully informed about the issues. He does his homework, including independent research, asks questions, and is an active listener. He is fair and strives to take differing viewpoints into account before coming to his own opinion on a given issue, all while remaining respectful of others.

Steady temperament and patience: Justin has demonstrated a keen ability to maintain a calm, respectful temperament, even in the face of loud (and personal) attacks. He is unflappable and believes that civil discussion and debate help promote a shared sense of community even/especially when there is disagreement on an issue.

This is the type of person we want as Village Trustee. Often, competent leadership is taken for granted. Justin will continue to work on behalf of the community and he will not let you down if reelected for another term. He is committed to making Scarsdale the best it can be for all of us.

Peri Zelig (Lakin Road) and Janet Han (Lawrence Road)

letter to the editorLetter from Eli Mattioli

In Support of Electing the SCNPP’s Slate for Village Trustees on Sept. 15th

To the Editor: Earlier in this year of extended elections, Scarsdale10583’s Publisher endorsed Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randy Whitestone, the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party candidates for Village Trustees (“Why I Support the Non-Partisan Party Slate,” Mar. 13, 2020), noting their experience, their passion and hard work for the Village, their willingness to engage with neighbors, and their ability to listen to and work well with others.

Much more recently, the Scarsdale Inquirer also endorsed Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randy Whitestone for election as Village Trustees (“Steady as we go,” Sept.4, 2020), stressing the promise of their ability to continue Scarsdale’s measured approach to local governance through fair, open and honest communications.

In stark contrast, the “Voters’ Choice Party” offers a slate of candidates who have repeatedly and consistently demonstrated a strong tendency to address matters of importance to Scarsdale residents through fear-mongering, abusive and divisive rhetoric, and unwarranted ridicule of the admirable performance our Mayor and Board of Trustees have rendered both before and after the onset of challenges presented by COVID-19.

The VCP approach should have no place in Scarsdale’s electoral process or our local governance. It is actually inimical to our democratic values. It is an approach that, unless summarily rejected by Scarsdale voters, in time may very well discourage capable residents from seeking local elected office for fear of being verbally attacked and defamed.

As a member of the SCNPP’s Campaign Committee, I express thanks for the Scarsdale10583’s and the Inquirer’s endorsements of Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randy Whitestone, and I urge all eligible Scarsdale residents to vote for these outstanding candidates in the Village Trustees election which is now set for September 15th at Scarsdale Congregational Church. Residents can vote absentee if they are uncomfortable voting in person at the SCC on account of concern about COVID-19; they can obtain and submit an absentee ballot on a quick stop at Village Hall through Monday September 14th. I believe it is important that the Scarsdale10583 and Inquirer endorsed SCNPP candidates be elected, and I hope Scarsdale voters take the small bit of time required to vote for them in this critical election.

Eli R. Mattioli
Drake Road

Letter from Svati Shashank

In Support of Lena Crandall

I am writing to support the candidature of Lena Crandall for village trustee. Lena has over the years, made invaluable and innumerable contributions to the Scarsdale community, especially her work towards creating green spaces in Scarsdale. In this letter, however, want to focus on my personal experience with Lena and the qualities that make her an excellent trustee.

Lena was in fact the first person I knew in Scarsdale village. I was an associate at a New York City law firm and worked with Lena's husband, Jeff, who was a partner there. I knew Jeff lived in Scarsdale, so when we were considering a move to Scarsdale, I spoke to him. Jeff put me in touch with Lena and that wonderful conversation with Lena was my first experience with Scarsdale.

Lena was welcoming, kind and reassuring. She is a kind, helpful and extremely inclusive person. I had concerns about moving to Scarsdale, a predominantly Caucasian community, being a South Asian immigrant. Lena not just assured me that Scarsdale was an inclusive community, but also put me in touch with other South Asian families so that I would have necessary resources. I had concerns about Scarsdale being a high powered community and the fact that both my husband and I were at that time associates at a law firm, and both of us had jobs in the city and no support system here. Once again, Lena provided a tremendous amount of reassurance and suggestions on how to navigate the various systems (school, rec services etc.).

Lena is a throughly fair-minded person and extremely committed to democracy. I do not say this lightly. We have often found ourselves at different ends of the political spectrum, but Lena unfailing ensures that everyone gets a voice and everyone gets a vote. She ensured that all impacted families were kept in the loop and given an opportunity to speak up when there were plans to build a pathway by the Bronx River Parkway which would run directly behind some of our backyards. She was, as I recall, in favor of the pathway, but felt that it would be undemocratic to not to allow everyone a voice. Coming from a family of immigrants from Eastern Europe during communist days, Lena deeply values freedom, democracy and the need for all voices to be heard. In her work as village trustee, I have full confidence that she does and will continue to prioritize the needs of the community, regardless of her own interest and ideas, to ensure that we continue to grow in a positive direction.

I supported Lena in the last election, and plan to do so in the upcoming election.

Yours sincerely,
Svati Kania Shashank

Letter from Michelle SterlingSterling

Please Vote Row B - Arest, Crandall and Whitestone

I strongly support the slate of Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Randy Whitestone. As a local volunteer myself, I have seen Arest and Crandall in action over the past two years on the Board of Trustees, and even before as local volunteers active in numerous town volunteer positions. Randy Whitestone has also been an active town volunteer over his many years as a resident. Arest, Crandall and Whitestone 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 have had the pleasure of working with both of these trustees on several sustainability initiatives such as the implementation of Scarsdale’s Food Scrap Recycling Program, the LED streetlight conversion and our ongoing project of working to ensure that our Village properties are maintained organically and without toxic chemicals. Working with Trustees Crandall and Arest, 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.

This year’s election is contested. So it is important that our residents vote, and know who they are voting for and how they got there. Thankfully our town has a non-partisan system, which means that we nominate candidates not based on political affiliation or personal agendas, but based on who they are as people and how they will represent our entire community. Arest and Crandall have shown us great character and achievements during the last two years and I am confident that the entire Row B slate of candidates will continue to do so going forward.
Please Vote for Row B - Arest, Crandall, and Whitestone - on September 15 at the Scarsdale Congregational Church.

Michelle Sterling
Brayton Road

3trusteesRandy Whitestone, Lena Crandall and Justin Arest are running for Scarsdale Village Trustee.My colleagues Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and nominee Randy Whitestone are the right choice for Village Trustee. Our community is navigating uncertain times, and we need proven, steady leadership.
We will benefit enormously from the experience and insight Justin and Lena bring as returning Trustees. The learning curve is steep, and they have gained invaluable perspective. Their grasp of the complexities of municipal government will afford better decision-making for our residents. Justin and Lena prepare, ask tough questions, and challenge conventional wisdom. They also demonstrate an abiding respect of others and care deeply for our residents. Randy, too, has shown his commitment to our Village. He was a regular in our lengthy budget meetings pre-COVID and has been zooming in and weighing in on Board deliberations thereafter. Randy listens intently and offers constructive feedback.

We are in a unique moment in Scarsdale’s history. Government must move swiftly, thoughtfully, and cooperatively to protect our health, safety and welfare. The Village Board and staff are working in partnership to prepare for the worst, both operationally and fiscally. At the very same time, Board and staff are coming together to innovate, to enable the very best. There is a “can do” attitude that permeates, and Justin, Lena and Randy embody that ethos.

I am optimistic about our future, and I am confident that Justin, Lena and Randy will lead the way.

Jane Veron
Tompkins Road

To the Editor and all Concerned Citizens of Scarsdale:

I strongly urge all Scarsdale voters to support ROW B, the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate of Randy Whitestone, Lena Crandall, and Justin Arest for Trustee and Jack Alemany for Village Justice in the Village election on Tuesday, September 15.

I am a lifelong Scarsdale resident, SHS 1976, and a homeowner since 1992. I served 1 term on the Citizens Nominating Committee about 10 years ago.

I feel strongly that we have 2 critically important elections coming up that will determine the future stability and quality of life in our Village, State, and Country. I will leave the race between Trump and Biden for another day. Our local contest is just as important and possibly just as historic.

The next few years will challenge our Village as never before. Pandemic response. Economic recovery. Social justice. Climate change. Infrastructure replacement and repair. We need the best citizen leaders available. The right choice is to choose Row B, the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate.

Whitestone, Crandall, Arest, and Alemany were vetted and nominated by a committee drawn from every Scarsdale neighborhood. Their challengers are self-appointed and running on narrow personal interests and grievances.

Whitestone, Crandall, Arest, and Alemany are running on lengthy records of service to all of Scarsdale. Indeed, Lena Crandall, and Justin Arest are seeking second terms as Trustees and Judge Alemany is currently our acting Village Justice.

Randy Whitestone is a close friend of mine for over 20 years. He is deeply versed in history, politics, and social movements. Randy can communicate the nuances of a problem and a solution better than anyone I know. I believe him unreservedly when he says, “I take seriously the stewardship of this great community. I want to continue to give back and now I offer myself as someone who I'd like to think can help make a difference. I look forward -- by listening, asking the right questions, and providing a voice for the community -- to helping tackle the tough issues and concerns facing the village."

Time is short. Do research. Be heard. Make your vote count. Don’t risk our future. I trust you will agree with me and Vote Row B - Randy Whitestone, Lena Crandall, and Justin Arest for Trustee and Jack Alemany for Village Justice.

Important information:
9/4: Last day to register to vote.

9/8: Last day an application for an absentee ballot can be received by mail & be processed. COVID-19 is a permissible reason for voting absentee. Check the temporary illness box on the application.

9/14: Last day an applicant or an applicant’s agent may submit an application for an absentee ballot in person & receive a ballot from the Village Clerk at Village Hall.

9/15: ELECTION DAY! VOTE ROW B! Voting in person: 6 AM - 9 PM @ Scarsdale Congregational Church, 1 Heathcote Rd. All election districts | 6 AM to 9 PM. Also, last date Village Clerk can accept absentee ballots in person or by mail.

William McInerney
5 Edgewood Road

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