Your Letters: In Support of the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party Candidates
- Category: The Goods
- Published: Thursday, 04 March 2021 12:50
- Joanne Wallenstein
Below find letters in support of the candidates running for Village Mayor and Village Trustee on the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party slate. The election will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
February 27, 2021
While many of our lives have slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jane Veron’s life has never been busier with a never-ending cycle of new problems to solve. This is nothing new for Jane. In the 16 years that I’ve known Jane, she has always managed a full plate of initiatives to improve others’ lives. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges which Jane recognized necessitated immediate intervention. As Deputy Mayor, Jane was the driving force in putting together a cross functional task force to reopen and support Scarsdale’s business community, championing the “Dine the ‘Dale” tent in the village benefiting both residents and Scarsdale small businesses. Additionally, as the CEO of The Acceleration Project (“TAP”), Jane was instrumental in helping other small businesses adapt and survive this past year with assistance in financial management, access to capital and strategic planning. As one of TAP’s first consultants, I can attest to the professionalism and selflessness with which Jane approaches this work. With over 32,000 hours donated by dozens of volunteers both businesses and consultants have been enriched.
I often laugh that I follow Jane, from Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association to the League of Women Voters to the Scarsdale Boards and Councils and TAP. I find myself working on initiatives with Jane because a) it’s very hard to say “no” to Jane and b) because if Jane is involved, you know that it will be worth your time and effort. Without exception, Jane leaves a legacy of tangible and concrete improvements. From the early days of getting a neighborhood playground installed to the most recent library renovation, village communications and Shop/Dine-the-Dale initiatives, no effort has been too large or too small if it improves the daily life of the community.
What many may not know, is that Jane is also a fierce competitor on the tennis and paddle court. As a partner, I can always count on Jane’s integrity with line calls, grit in chasing down every ball and positive fighting spirit, even when we are down love-40. On and off the court, Jane is a team player. She governs like she plays tennis, with transparency, integrity, toughness, empathy and with hard work. She believes in our community and in the resourcefulness of individuals working together for a common purpose. As Mayor, I believe that Jane will set a high bar for both our village professional staff as well as the board of trustees. I am confident that under her leadership, our village will be in very competent hands.
March 2, 2021
To the Editor,
It is my distinct pleasure to write in support of the candidacy of Sameer Ahuja for Village Trustee. Sameer’s passion for the Scarsdale community has its roots in his family’s experience of being welcomed here as immigrants. When I first met him as a newcomer myself seven years ago, we were fellow parents of kindergarteners, and his warm welcome and friendship helped our family to feel quicky at home. Sameer has a profound feeling for the sense of place that Scarsdale affords its residents, and his commitments as parent, neighbor, and coach inform his desire to serve the Village. As Scarsdale becomes a more diverse community, Sameer is well-positioned to work to bring warmth, welcome, and inclusivity to all its residents.
Sameer has a distinguished academic and professional background that spans technology, finance, and public-private partnerships. He has a love for complex analytics, and a great ability to apply it to his passion for civic and public matters. His brilliant mind and work ethic, in combination with his warm heart, kindness, and personable nature, add up to a person of rare ability. Sameer has already demonstrated the depth of his commitment and gifts in his work as a volunteer in Village matters, especially in redesigning the Village website as a member of the Advisory Council on Communications. As a Trustee, his contribution to the life of our community would be profound.
Along with his fellow candidates of the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party, Jane Veron, Karen Brew, and Jonathan Lewis, Sameer Ahuja is an excellent choice for Village Trustee in the March 16 election. His election would formalize the many years of devoted service he has already brought to Scarsdale.
To the Editor:
I have known Karen Brew as a friend and worked alongside her as a volunteer here in Scarsdale for the past 11 years, and I endorse her for Scarsdale Village Trustee enthusiastically and unreservedly.
Karen and I have worked together on various boards and committees for many Scarsdale organizations, including: the Scarsdale Parent Teacher Council; the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee; the Scarsdale Bowl Committee; the Scarsdale League of Women Voters; and the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund. Regardless of the group or activity, I always found Karen to be a hard-working, caring, creative and respectful team member. She takes the commitments she makes very seriously and works collaboratively with the people around her. She has a plain-spoken, no-nonsense style that co-workers and constituents alike will find refreshing and productive, and she doesn’t stop working a problem until she finds a solution that considers all stakeholders.
Karen already has invested a tremendous amount of her time and energy into making our schools and community better for everyone who lives in Scarsdale, and I’m so pleased she is willing to continue that legacy by serving as a Village Trustee.
Best of luck to Karen Brew and the other candidates on the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party ticket: Sameer Ahuja, Jonathan Lewis and Jane Veron.
March 1, 2021
Elections for village offices in Scarsdale take place on March 16 at the Congregational church. I would encourage all resident citizens to participate and cast a ballot in order to show an interest in our electoral process. Participation is important to give the democratic process legitimacy. The right to vote, to express approval or disapproval of candidates, is perhaps our most precious privileges in this country, for local as much as national offices.
This year the Non Partisan Citizens Party has offered us a strong slate of candidates for Village offices. They are people of serious commitment, interest and experience. Each of them has participated in our official Village life in some way and demonstrated a serious commitment of time to Village affairs. From personal experience, I can say that serving on the Board is a very demanding job; it requires a great deal of time and patience to attend all the committee meetings, read the briefing documents, and hear the citizens before making an informed judgement.
I am particularly acquainted with Jonathan Lewis, whom I have known for nearly twenty years. He participates in my book club and, as an author in his own right, offers unusual insight into many of the texts which we read. He has eclectic interests. Jonathan has served on the school board in addition to his first term on the Village Board. I would also note the time and money which he committed to mounting a somewhat quixotic challenge against an incumbent representative to Congress over an issue of principle to him and his family, that of taking money from big Pharma. Just as every auction requires an underbidder to demonstrate a fair price, every political system runs best with opposition to test the views of the winner, and in this race, Jonathan provided us that under-appreciated service.
Jane Veron, who leads this slate as the candidate for mayor, in addition to serving for four years on the Village Board of Trustees, served five years on our most demanding and difficult Village volunteer board, the Planning Board. Land use issues have been difficult and controversial since the beginning of time in the Village and she balanced the often conflicting interests in the community with grace and balanced judgement.
Sameer Ahuja has devoted his recent time to the advisory committee on Communications and Karen Brew has been involved with our schools, from the PTA and the SBNC, the committee which selects our school board candidates, to the raising of scholarship funds for students.
Each of these four candidates has more extensive resumes than I can here describe. You can find more complete descriptions of their prior service in the Village and professional experiences on the Non-Partisan Committee's website, "www.ScarsdaleCitizens.org". The site is easy to use and is complete with brief statements from each of the candidates in their own words. It is a convenient place to inform yourself of their qualifications. They manifest leadership in the endeavors which they have undertaken. I note amongst the information on the site that they all share MBA degrees amongst their academic credentials; therefore they should be able to read a balance sheet, despite the fact that their professional experiences have taken different paths. However, more than the ability to balance spread sheets, they offer us balance in judgement.
Turn out on Tuesday, the 16th.
2 Circle Road
February 27, 2021
I’ve known Jane Veron for the better part of 20 years. In that period she served as President of the Scarsdale League of Women Voters, Chair of the Village’s Planning Board and an extended term as a Trustee on the Village Board. As a member of those three bodies while she served Scarsdalians, I had a firsthand opportunity to appreciate her skill and hard work to support decisions that made life in Scarsdale better, and then still even better than that.
When she and I were on the Village Board together, we worked together between Board meetings to learn what the people we served wanted. We either explained why the Board’s decision in support of the request would cause a downside for Scarsdale or we would vigorously pursue the decision requested.
Although Jane may not be opposed, please take a few minutes to vote for her to show how much you appreciate Jane’s willingness to serve you.
To the Editor,
As second year Heathcote representatives on the Citizens Nominating Committee, we fully support all three of the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNPP) candidates for election as Village Trustee. We are proud to participate in the comprehensive nominating process that recruits and puts forward dedicated, qualified volunteers to represent and serve our community. Each year, many hours are spent recruiting and meeting potential candidates, exploring their experience and leadership qualities, completing extensive diligence, and engaging in group discussion and debate. This year, we are excited to have selected a committed and diverse slate of outstanding candidates to represent and guide us in our community affairs.
In particular, we are pleased to write this letter in support of Sameer Ahuja for Village Trustee. Since we have gotten to know Sameer over the past several years, we have been impressed by his appreciation for and desire to give back to the Scarsdale community, his kind and inclusive spirt, and his intelligence and strong work ethic, all of which make him an exemplary candidate for Trustee. A Scarsdale resident for a combined 21 years, Sameer knew he wanted to raise his children in the town that had welcomed him and his family when they moved here as immigrants, and he is eager to be an inclusive, thoughtful, and open-minded trustee for our increasingly diverse community. Down-to-earth and approachable, Sameer has a natural ability to engage with and listen to others, making him a well-liked friend, neighbor, coach, and colleague. He has a distinguished academic and professional entrepreneurial background and is a demonstrated analytical thinker and problem solver (one of our favorite examples of this is when, as a softball coach, he developed an algorithm for ensuring that the kids received equitable playing time and experience during games, which he gladly shared and was used by other coaches). His positive energy is contagious and will benefit the Board and community especially during times of disagreement and when difficult choices are necessary.
Motivated by a genuine desire to help the community, Sameer joined the Advisory Council on Communications last year and was tasked with redesigning the Village’s website. He has worked closely with Village staff, trustees, and other volunteers and experts to provide updated content that is more readily accessible and navigable as well as a refreshed overall look and feel for the site that will reflect Scarsdale’s special community.
Sameer has already proven himself to be an asset to our community and we are confident that he will approach his role as Village Trustee with the same inclusive and generous spirt, inspired work ethic, and dedication.
To the Editor:
I write in support of the Jane Veron I came to know. Jane is now the candidate for mayor. My knowledge came about from sitting to the right of her at Village Board of Trustees meetings for the better part of four years. I offer my impressions through observing Jane at the meetings and other public hearings.
A style is not something you learn so much as something you synthesize – (a creative impulse).
This idea closely resembles “the seven habits of highly effective people #6 – synergize – combine the strength of people through positive teamwork so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.”
How did Jane learn this? Through the ABCs of a successful businesswoman: academic credentials, business sense and commitment to community.
Let’s look at each of these elements that made her what she is.
Academic credentials: BA Art History Yale University, magna cum laude, MBA Harvard University, Honors. I will offer a closer look at these credentials. The Yale Art History studies leads to her creative abilities (a broader view of life). The MBA offered her a way to inject her creative abilities into her business. The Acceleration Project where she is the Founder and CEO is a non-profit business with a national scope concentrating on small minority owned businesses. By the way, at Harvard she was Founder and President of the Non-Profit Business and Government Club.
So what exactly is Jane’s style? Firm, warm, reflective, gracious – qualities derived from her academic studies and life experience. She knows what is expected of her: impartiality, independence, collegiality and courage.
Business sense: “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate that vision, passionately own that vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” She has done this with The Acceleration Project and several other Scarsdale projects. She will do this for us.
Commitment to Community: “Success starts with a dream and discovers the future” (anonymous). Jane found her dream by unlocking her creative impulse honed by her academic endeavors and business sense. She took that dream to Scarsdale and literally lit up the ‘Dale – and, she has only just begun. Jane found a place to grow and we are lucky she found Scarsdale.
Jane’s commitment to Scarsdale, her contributions to Scarsdale – too numerous to mention – President, League of Women Voters Scarsdale, Chairperson, Planning Board and President of the Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association, just to mention a few. In addition, she served two terms as a Village Trustee which were extended to almost four and a half years when Village elections were postponed due to the pandemic.
Jane fully realizes the precious inheritance she is about to receive-- the stewardship of the public good and welfare of Scarsdale. She has successfully been able to broker her life’s experiences into the wider world and I have every reason to believe she will continue to do so as Scarsdale’s mayor for the benefit of the whole community.
49 Carman Road
We urge you to vote for Mayoral candidate Jane Veron and trustee candidates Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew, and Jonathan Lewis in the upcoming village election.
Veron exemplifies what is best about our community. Her dedication to civic service in Scarsdale is unparalleled. She dutifully served more than four years as a trustee. She impressed her colleagues with her dedication, thoughtfulness and drive. She founded The Acceleration Project (TAP), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and fostering small businesses owned by women and people of color. She has been an invaluable member to many community organizations. Her focus has always been making Scarsdale a better place. The word most commonly associated with Veron is “dynamo.”
Ahuja, a Scarsdale High School graduate, returned here to raise a family. Sameer has been integral member of the village’s Advisory Council on Communications, chairing the website redesign process and working alongside staff and volunteers. His love for our village, combined with his intelligence, drive and creativity, will be an asset to the village board.
Brew has been an active and committed Scarsdale volunteer. She served on the board of the League of Women Voters Scarsdale for six years and has spent five years working on the executive committee of the Scarsdale High School Scholarship Fund as well as volunteering for numerous other civic activities. Her colleagues have described her as thoughtful, insightful and committed, qualities that will serve our village board well.
Lewis has distinguished himself in two years as a trustee and has demonstrated his commitment to furthering the well-being of our residents and the municipal professionals on whom we rely. He is respected for being open-minded, deliberate and kind. His colleagues trust him, and we have been fortunate to have benefitted from his two years of service.
These candidates embody civic experience, passion, kindness and tolerance. They care about our village, its people and our future. They reflect the benefits of the nonpartisan approach to Village government. Your elected body of 30 representatives vets candidates, seeking those who demonstrate a willingness and ability to listen to various points of view on municipal matters and arrive at solutions using good judgment and open-mindedness, as well as civic experience. It’s a rigorous process, and in our opinion, preferable to the division and gridlock that is too often the result of partisan politics. Our non-partisan approach has served out village well for over 100 years and has made a significant contribution to creating a village in which people wish to live and raise their families.
Jane Veron, Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Jonathan Lewis have been selected by the elected Citizens Nominating Committee members because they have shown the temperament, experience and commitment that our village expects and deserves in its mayor and board of trustees.
Please vote on Tuesday, March 16 or by absentee/mail-in ballot and show your support our nonpartisan system. Learn more about our candidates and voting options here: https://www.scarsdalecitizens.org.
Omer Wiczyk and Jared Stern
Co-Chairs, SCNPP Campaign Committee