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Letter to the Editor: Don't Take Excellent Governance for Granted

GruenbergDara GruenbergThis letter was sent to us from Dara Gruenberg, Campaign Co-Chair for the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party:

During these daunting times, some may overlook the excellent management of our Village. It is easy to take for granted that while in lockdown all Village services continued seamlessly: garbage was collected; water infrastructure maintained; first responders arrived quickly when called. The only service change impacted was food-scrap pick up which has already resumed. It’s a tribute to our Village management that this was all accomplished operating with a governor-mandated significantly reduced staff. The Mayor and Village Board consistently updated the community with important information and with inspiring messages of togetherness. The Village Board and staff worked tirelessly to care for us, Scarsdale’s residents.

In April, the Board passed the Village budget (19% of total property taxes) under precarious circumstances. They considered significant revenue shortfalls and devised effective solutions to ensure preparedness. With rigorous deliberation, they preserved our short-term fiscal health while maintaining important services. Due to years of careful fiscal management, the Village remains financially strong with continued Board oversight. They also worked with state and county representatives to find tax relief and, with community input, devised a split-payment option and delayed penalties.

In June, when parking permits are normally sold, the Village decided to delay renewals until September recognizing the hardship presently faced by residents and that many were not parking downtown.

As our country grapples with a crisis of conscience and systemic racial injustice, the Village was there to ensure a peaceful vigil in Chase Park. The Board then moved expeditiously to create an ad hoc council to Combat Racism and Bias finding new volunteers and new voices to help Scarsdale confront its own shortcomings and to create a more inclusive and anti-racist community.

When Westchester moved into Phase 3, the Village Board, staff and SBA collaborated to erect a dining tent and modified zoning laws so merchants could sell on the sidewalks to bring life to our Village Center.

The Village opened the pool safely as a place of respite for all. They also onboarded and hired an Assessor and a Village Planner.

Confronted with the most recent storm, the Village provided constant communication to residents and is strenuously advocating on our behalf to rectify ConEdison’s and the cable companies’ gross negligence.

These are scary times. The upcoming contested Village election provides a stark choice. It requires little effort to criticize; actual governing is hard work. The opposition claims we need change, ignoring all proven competence, saying this Board and Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate is “the Establishment.” If that means our government is led by smart, collaborative volunteers who ensure that the Village is well-run and responsive, a group that represents the shared vision of our community, then Scarsdale is fortunate to have an established record of excellent governance.

Support the SCNPP candidates, each vetted and nominated by a dynamic group of your neighbors, on September 15th (or before by absentee ballot). We need strong and effective volunteers to lead. Vote Row B – Trustee Justin Arest, Trustee Lena Crandall, and Randall Whitestone.

Dara Gruenberg
SCNPP Campaign Co-Chair

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