Friday, Apr 12th

Your Letters: In Support of the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party Slate

Justin ArestJustin Arest is on the ballot to be the next Mayor of ScarsdaleThe election for Village Mayor, Village Trustees and Village Justice will be held at Scarsdale Public Library on Tuesday March 21. Below find letters in support of the candidates you’ll find on the ballot nominated by the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party.

To the Editor,

It is my honor and privilege to write this letter to share my unequivocal support of Dara Gruenberg for Village Trustee.

Dara and I met nine years ago through our mutual connection with Westchester Reform Temple. The attribute that struck me most in our first encounter is the same one that she still exudes today: she is a changemaker. She embodies empathy and commitment and she seems to have an endless supply of energy to devote to the causes she champions. Throughout the near decade of our friendship, I have watched her advocate passionately for the widest array of institutions, ranging from White Plains Hospital to Feeding Westchester. Her drive and enthusiasm are contagious and her earnest love of volunteerism enables her to recruit volunteers to work alongside her, supporting and benefitting local nonprofits. As one of her recruits, I can honestly say that her dedication to service is inspiring.

Dara and I have worked closely together over the past six years on the executive committee of the Friends of the Scarsdale Library. As the FOSL President, Dara had a clear vision of what a reimagined library could offer to our community and she had the fortitude to make her vision become a reality. In her role, she initiated and spearheaded many improvements to the FOSL Board and its processes; perhaps the most meaningful development was to double the size of our Board. She believed it was essential that the Board represent the voices of the diverse constituencies within Scarsdale. Throughout the entire process of renovating and expanding the Library, Dara was committed to the idea that the Library should be a site of learning, connection, and exploration for everyone.

I can attest that the quality that makes Dara’s leadership so remarkable is her ability to both energize and collaborate with a wide range of Karen BrewKaren Brew is running for her second term as Village Trusteepeople and perspectives. She solicits the opinions of others, listens deeply and actively, and values finding consensus above all else. She genuinely cares about our Village and its residents and as Trustee she would work tirelessly with other Board members to make thoughtful, well-reasoned, and forward-thinking decisions. Dara would be a dedicated, effective and impactful Trustee and I urge everyone to vote for her on March 21.

Jamie Kefer
Chesterfield Road

Letter to the Editor:


In good proportions. Taking everything into account; fairly judged or presented.

Similar: fair, equitable, just, unbiased, unprejudiced, objective, impartial

This is truly a balanced slate and I am delighted to support Justin Arest for Mayor; Sameer Ahuja and Karen Brew for their second terms as Village Trustees; Dara Gruenberg for her first term as a Village Trustee; and Cynthia Dunne for Village Justice.

With these diverse, collaborative and respectful leaders ready to steward our expectations and represent our needs, there will be an entry point for any resident to feel heard.

Justin, Sameer, Karen, Dara and Cindy have each been nominated by CNC. They will bring a combined 85 years of Scarsdale residency to the offices for which they are nominated, and which will empower a deep understanding of our community values. They each have unique backgrounds, extensive local experiences, and impressive credentials that will together serve our community fairly, thoroughly and honorably. You can look up their impressive CVs at

As an active volunteer in Scarsdale, I have had the great privilege of working directly with all five nominees, across a range of activities, including supporting Scarsdale Public Library, the Scarsdale League of Women Voters, the PTC, the Advisory Council on Communications, on the Scarsdale Forum, and in countless other endeavors. I share no single unifying platform with these individual nominees, and I have at times disagreed with different positions over the years, but I always respect each nominee because of their true commitment to our beautiful community. I respect them because they are each lovely people, kind, funny and smart, the type of neighbors and friends we can all objectively rely on.

Sameer AhujaSameer Ahuja is running for a second term as Village TrusteeHere is a little of what I know about each candidate:

• Justin brings a serious, comprehensive intellect and quiet competence, with a thirst for improvement and efficiency we can trust.
• Sameer offers strong communications skills and an eye for practical solutions, with wit and wisdom.
• Karen is always mindful of economies and focuses on ensuring that our dollars are working hard for us.
• Dara can get more done in an afternoon than most in a year, but also brings creative strategies and detailed research to help set and achieve long-term project goals.
• And Cindy brings integrity, intelligence and a fair judicial temperament that belongs on any bench, luckily its ours.

They are all decent, dedicated and delightful – this is a dream team! CNC did a great job presenting such a qualified slate.

Please join me on Tuesday, March 21st at Scarsdale Public Library (6am – 9pm) to vote for Arest, Ahuja, Brew, Gruenberg and Dunne and vote for Scarsdale at its best.

Warm regards,
Diane Greenwald
Oak Lane

To the Editor:

Justin Arest and Dara Gruenberg deserve your vote for Mayor and Village Trustee, respectively. They certainly will get mine. I have come to know both Justin and Dara during the course of my volunteer work over the years. I worked with Justin on Village related projects and watched him in action during his four years on the Village Board. He has consistently impressed me with his ability to express his views clearly and to work with his fellow Board members in a constructive manner. In addition, his high level of commitment leaves me with no doubt that he will devote himself to the extent required to discharge his duties as Mayor.Dara GruenbergDara Gruenberg is running for her first term as Village Trustee

Dara and I have served together on other boards for which we volunteer. I have seen her during meetings of those organizations – confident in expressing her well thought out views, willing to listen to others having differing opinions and able to find a way to reach consensus on difficult issues. Having seen Dara at work, her level of commitment to the tasks for which she volunteers is unmatched. I have no doubt she will bring that level of dedication to her service as a Village Trustee.

In my view, Scarsdale is fortunate to have individuals of Justin’s and Dara’s youth, quality and commitment willing to devote a significant amount of their time for the good of us all. I urge all eligible residents to participate in this year’s Village election and cast their votes for Justin and Dara and in doing so, elect two fine candidates and affirm the community’s support of a non-partisan system that has served our Village well for over 100 years.


Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road

To the Editor,

As one of the Heathcote representatives on the Citizens Nominating Committee and the rising Chair of the Procedure Committee respectively, we enthusiastically support all the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party’s (SCNPP) candidates for Trustee and Mayor. Moreover, we write this letter in strong support of Justin Arest’s election as Mayor.

In our more than 5 years of knowing Justin, we have been impressed with his unyielding commitment to our community and relentless pursuit to Scarsdale’s continuous improvement.

Justin possesses all the critical technical and interpersonal skills that will allow him to best lead, represent, and partner with our community. In addition to his baseline qualifications as a lawyer, real estate investment, development and management professional, and his in-depth familiarity with the inner workings of Scarsdale, Justin has a lengthy and successful track record of prior meaningful civic contributions. Some notable qualities that underscore Justin’s integrity include:

Dedication and strong work ethic: Justin put extraordinary time and energy into his civic work as evidenced through his two terms as Trustee and deputy Mayor. He goes above and beyond what is required to serve our community effectively as evidence during the August 2020 extended power outages in Scarsdale. During this challenging time, Justin worked around the clock to ensure that all members of the community received Village updates and at-least daily status updates not only through traditional emails but through various social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. Justin had shown an intense dedication and work ethic in the most challenging of times to Scarsdale.

Intelligence, pragmatism, and open-mindedness: Justin is deliberative and recognizes the value of being fully informed about the issues. He does his homework, including independent research, ask 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 adversity. The structure, clarity and leadership he showed as the deputy mayor and Trustee during the unprecedented challenges of COVID is a testament of his strong ability to lead. Among other things, he was able to successfully tackle the budgetary challenges of COVID to the village of Scarsdale in an effective and productive manner, helping the village to avoid the many harsh fiscal consequences of COVID that many other towns faced.

Justin is the type of person we should all feel lucky to have as our next Mayor. His wisdom and strength of character combined with his fierce dedication to continuously improving our community will benefit every citizen of Scarsdale should he be elected as our mayor.

Rachel Schwartz (Lincoln Road) and Peri Zelig (Lakin Road)

Dear Editor:

My strong endorsement of Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate for Mayor and three Trustee positions is based upon my four years serving as a Village Trustee and my interactions with each of them. The candidates, Justin Arest for Mayor; Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Dara Gruenberg for Trustees will work well together to tackle tough topics like the future of the pool complex, your Village property tax bill, as well other difficult issues.

Dara has a comprehensive understanding of the workings of our municipal government from her countless hours volunteering as Chair of the Village's Advisory Council on Communications, President of the Friends of the Library, and Co-Chair of the Library's Capital Campaign. I am impressed with Dara's ability to bring the Village's professional staff, Board and residents together to impact our community positively. Most importantly, she has been paying attention: During my term as Trustee, Dara attended many work sessions and Board meetings.

Trustee Ahuja will continue to bring an enlightened, informed view to matters of technology; economic development; and diversity, equity and inclusion affecting the Village. I appreciate his public acknowledgments of everyone's efforts, notably that of Village staff. Government works best when there is collaboration between elected officials and those who deliver municipal services every day.

Trustee Brew and I served together on the working groups, aka “Pillars,” for public safety, sustainability/municipal services and quality of life. Most notably, we were charged with studying marijuana dispensaries and lounges. Karen knew how to focus our research and how to properly structure the public work sessions on the tax considerations, impacts on youth and local commerce. I appreciated how she listened to my views, as well as the results of my due diligence from visiting places with established dispensaries. Thanks to Karen’s business approach, we accomplished our task and presented relevant information to the rest of the Board and the public so that an informed decision could be made.

Justin Arest will make a great Mayor. He was a hardworking Trustee who always arrived prepared and often presented additional information from his own research. I'm pleased that he will continue, and perhaps improve, the Pillar structure that has made it possible for Trustees and staff to get into the details of various issues. Most importantly, I know that Justin is flexible enough to change his mind once relevant facts and considerations are presented. That's an important quality for all public servants and the hallmark of our non-partisan system where candidates are chosen to serve the public, and not a political party.

If you’re unfamiliar with how Scarsdale strives to keep politics out of local government, take a look at and go to the “Tradition” tab. And, remember to vote on Tuesday, March 21st at the Scarsdale Library for Arest, Ahuja, Brew and Gruenberg.

Lena Crandall
227 Fox Meadow Road

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