Monday, Jul 04th

Letter to the Editor: Scarsdale’s Political System is Quirky. In Fact, it’s Downright Confusing.

letter to the editorTo the Editor: Scarsdale’s political system is quirky. In fact, it’s downright confusing.

For example, when a pre-selected individual runs “unopposed” for a position in our town we call it an election. This is not “electing”. It is acquiescing.

When multiple individuals vie for a position, we call it a “contested election” – which is redundant to the point of being comical.

It is part of our nonpartisan system, designed to “attract the best people” while minimizing the more unpleasant elements of politics.

This is why:

This approach has pros and cons.

It is worth noting, however, that we have created an entire level of democratic representation to vet/select School Board members, but intentionally impeded its ability to gather information.

I asked why that is to person familiar with the process. The answer: “Being allowed to ask questions is controversial.” I invite you to reflect on that sentence.

There are undoubtedly scenarios in which “being allowed to ask questions” is controversial, but determining who will represent you in government should not be among them.

On January 11th at Scarsdale Middle School there will be an election for SBNC – i.e., to “choose the choosers”. (Full disclosure, I am on the ballot.) But more importantly, in my opinion, there is a resolution that will allow the choosers to ask more questions.

This resolution is called Proposed Amendment No. 4 - Article III, Section C.2(a,b,c).  It stipulates that the SBNC must determine an agreed upon process, but would allow SBNC members more latitude in what, when and how much they may ask.

If you favor enabling the committee to make more informed decisions on your behalf, you can do so by voting “yes” on Proposed Amendment 4.

Of course, I think you should be asking more questions of people running for the SBNC as well. After all, if you’re not choosing the choosers, then who is really choosing the chosen?

But one quirk at a time.

Frank Murtha
Jefferson Road
Scarsdale High School Class of 1988

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