Monday, Jan 30th

serafinaIn a sign that happier times are ahead, we’ve noticed some new restaurants opening around town. After so many eateries closed their doors during the pandemic, it’s great to see this infusion of new dining options in Scarsdale.

Serafina

First we noticed that Serafina, a local favorite for pizzas and pastas, will open in the Vernon Hill Shopping Center this summer, in the large space formerly occupied by Fig and Olive. The menu is already posted online and includes chicken, veal and fish along with antipasti and salads. Their website says they will be set up for online ordering and delivery too.

Here’s a link to the menu.

The new Serafina will be located at 696 White Plains Road, Scarsdale. They will initially be open daily for dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm with lunch and brunch hours to be added in the future. Phone, 914-247-0500. Email: info@serafinarestaurant.com.

Aperiti Mediterranean Wine Baraperiti

Another welcome addition is a wine bar and Mediterranean kitchen on Garth Road called Aperiti Mediterranean Wine Bar. It is run by the owner of Café Alaia, which relocated further up the street in the former location of Cooked and Co. The high top tables and stools spilling onto the sidewalk look like an inviting spot for a glass of wine and light summer dinner. Their post says, “Casual small bites, great wine list. Perfect for an impromptu night out with friends.”

The menu is small but filled with tempting options. For appetizers there’s baby octopus stew, baccala croquettes, lamb meatballs, fish and steak skewers, oven baked bread topped with prosciutto fresh tomato and manchego and more. There are salads, sandwiches and full entrees including grilled chicken paillard and paella. And of course, there’s plenty of wine to choose from.

Stop by 66 Garth Road, Sunday – Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 5 pm until dinner wraps up. Phone: 914-713-4080.

Nonno’s Restaurant

empanadasJust a few doors down at 62 Garth Road is another new kitchen offering take out or meals at a few tables inside and out. The cooks at Nonno’s are Argentinian and there are delicious chicken and beef empanadas to eat in or take out. On the menu are pastas like Pasta Paolo, rolled pasta stuffed with spinach and cheese in marinara sauce, Linguine alla Vongole with clams and Homemade Gnocchi with broccoli rabe and sausage. Find Chicken Capri, a pan seared cutlet topped with mixed greens and Chicken Cardinale, a sautéed breast topped with prosciutto, eggplant and mozzarella. There are veal entrees, paellas, and grilled steaks, chops and seafood.

Also call for their daily specials at 914, 713-3947. Open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 11:30 am.

FDPappalardoThe Scarsdale Board of Trustees bid a bittersweet farewell to longtime Village Manager Steve Pappalardo, who has tirelessly served our local government for 33 years at their June 22, 2021 meeting which marked Pappalardo’s last meeting.

During Mayor’s Comments, Mayor Veron had many wonderful things to say about Pappalardo’s dedication, work ethic, and love for the village. Below is an excerpt of her words:

“Steve, over the past 33 years, you have given every bit of your heart and soul to Scarsdale. There is no part of Scarsdale Village operations you haven’t touched, and with your care, made that much better. You have risen through Scarsdale Village government to the pinnacle, serving as our Village Manager for these past six years. Throughout you have never missed a beat, working day and night to ensure that our residents and your staff are well cared for. Your work ethic is beyond compare, and you dive into the details to make everything right. From the very beginning of your tenure, no issue is too big nor too small for you to address. With sincerity and concern, you listen, support, and work to make things better. You are the true embodiment of public service.”

Trustee Crandall followed and said she was “at a loss for words. [Steve has] been in Village Hall for the entirety of my volunteer career, close to 20 years… his work ethic is beyond compare. He works weekends, if there is any type of emergency, he is on it. He instructed our police chief to call him in the middle of the night if there is ever anything unusual… I thank you for all your hard work, your dedication, your service.” Trustee Arest praised Pappalardo as a “dedicated and loyal public servant… a steadfast leader in times of crisis, a friend and mentor to many, and an invaluable source of knowledge.”

Next up was Trustee Whitestone who commented that his deep appreciation for Pappalardo’s work was “never more evident than during the last 15 months of unforeseen and unimaginable stress on the village… Steve maintained his firm stewardship of operations, the facts, and the finances which had to change on the fly, displaying throughout his signature calm and reasonable professionalism.” He added that, “for Steve, this was not a five day a week job… he was always on the job. Ready to be present in the best sense of those words… I thank his family for letting us have so much of Steve’s time.” s

Trustee Lewis concluded the Board farewells and thanked Pappalardo “for the high standards you set for hard work, your dedication to our community, your humor, and most importantly for making our community a better place.” Several residents, including Deb Pekareck, Max Grudin, Bob Harrison, and Michael Levine, also joined the meeting to recognize and thank Pappalardo for his work over the years.

Pappalardo thanked the Board for their kind words. Below is an excerpt from his parting words:

“Scarsdale has been a big part of my life… I only know one way to do this job, and you have to be all in. The job is not easy but it’s so rewarding… by my calculations, after 33 years and 4 months… this will be my 800th regularly scheduled village board meeting, and I’m fixing to make it the best… Scarsdale is a special community… the residents, the heartbeat of this place, the caring about their village. It’s an incredible place, people give so much of themselves and their time, and they are engaged and thoughtful on all important government matters. You couldn’t help as a public official but to meet that, and to work as hard as they were working… I’ve always expected the best from our professional staff because of the standard you’ve set as volunteers… Thank you again for the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling career in local government and public service.”

golfchampsTeam celebrates Section 1 Championship: From left to right: Steven Lee, Aaron Zoland and Charlie Berridge. For the sixth time in the past seven years, Scarsdale has won the Section 1 team golf championship at Fenway Golf Club.

Scarsdale now finishes the season not only with a section championship, but also an undefeated record of 16-0, including 6-0 in league matches. The team had plenty of tough matches this season, including a tie-breaker win vs. Bronxville.

Scarsdale finished the day with a score of 190, beating John Jay, who finished 10 shots behind with 200.

Seniors Charlie Berridge and Steven Lee, who have committed to play golf at the University of California, Berkley and University of Pennsylvania, respectively, led the way for Scarsdale’s victory. Berridge shot a team best 32; Lee was just behind him with a score of 36.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances with Covid, we still pulled together a great season,” stated Lee.

“It was a fun season and I’m looking forward to running it back next year,” said first time varsity athlete Jack Spitalny.

“It was a great season,” added Matt Silver, also a first time varsity athlete. “We went undefeated en route to a section title. There’s not much more you could ask for.”

Scarsdale enjoyed a dominant 2021 season and looks to continue its success in 2022 and beyond.

2021Team Members:

Charlie Berridge
Steven Lee
Archie Fanning
Brian Nicholas
Justin Liu
Sajiv Mehta
Matthew Steuerman
Charlie Schulhof
Leo Rosenstadt
Ethan Hersch
Jack Spitalny
Matt Silver
Ryan Gerson

scarsdalepoolFrom the kiddie pool to the high dive to the snack bar, the Scarsdale Pool has always been a cherished facility in the village. In recent years however, the pool’s membership has dramatically declined, and its aging infrastructure has become increasingly expensive to maintain and repair.

During a recent Work Session, the Board of Trustees debated the best way to increase membership and close the pool’s financial deficit. Working with village staff, the Board drafted a Request for Proposal (RFP) so companies can bid on the project and make necessary improvements to the facility.

As of June 15, 2021, the pool sold 920 family resident passes, 97 family nonresident passes, and 113 individual passes. In total, all passes sold have accrued $755,042 in revenue, which is a distinctly lower number than in previous years. In 2011, the pool sold 1,766 family resident passes and this figure has steadily declined every year since. Given this year’s figure, the village estimates a deficit of $117,958.

To address the deficit, the Board debated issuing an additional 50 nonresident passes to supplement the dip in resident sales. Sales at this point in the summer are often strongly affected by weather; several weeks ago, during the 90-degree heatwave, 384 permits were sold in just six days. While Scarsdale residents may continue to buy passes, the Board was hopeful that the strong demand for nonresident permits will close the deficit gap.

Trustee Whitestone, skeptical about issues of overcrowding, asked Village staff if they could present yearly attendance or percent capacity rates on peak days. He wanted to investigate further how an additional 50 passes would affect these figures. Superintendent Gray said that could find these numbers, but they will likely be inaccurate because typically only one family member will swipe their pass. Trustee Ahuja added that he does not think a little more data will change the debate at this point, and because time is of the essence, they should decide with the figures they have now.

Trustee Arest was also concerned with overcrowding, primarily because even if the pool is not nearing peak capacity, visitors tend to gather in the same areas, which intensifies the perception of a crowded facility. Superintendent Gray commented that the pool does start to feel crowded when it hits 1,300 attendees because they gravitate towards the most popular seating areas.

Mayor Veron added that kids leave for camp at the end of June, which could be an optimal time to open more pass sales. Trustee Whitestone emphasized the July 4th is a key marker, and it is important that the Board reach a consensus soon to capitalize on these holiday sales. Trustee Crandall agreed and said “the time is now” because if the Board waits too long, they cannot justify selling passes at full price.

Trustee Crandall declared that she would be in favor of selling an additional 50 nonresident passes, and Trustee Lewis agreed. He acknowledged that overcrowding is a potential issue, but said that the “numbers speak for themselves,” and that the pool is not nearly at peak capacity with the number of permits sold this year. He noted that the Village must sell 200 resident family passes at $600 each to close the deficit and proposed a “simple and straightforward” plan that “keeps our eyes on the prize”: Lewis suggesting that the Village adopt an aggressive marketing campaign to sell as many residents permits as possible in June. Then, starting in July, the Board could authorize as many nonresident family passes as it would take to bridge the financial gap. Trustee Lewis also added that if Scarsdale finds interested nonresidents, and given the context of this past year, “we should be welcoming to everyone.”

In response to this proposal, Mayor Veron and others agreed that Scarsdale should adopt a robust marketing campaign for the remainder of June. Trustee Brew, in response to Trustee Lewis’ proposal, was worried that selling more passes could have ripple effects in the following years. She asked what the Village would do if they had to revoke nonresident pass sales in the future, and how that change will impact public sentiment towards Scarsdale. Trustee Whitestone added that if people have the perception that the pool is crowded this summer, it could drive resident sales down in subsequent years.

Mayor Veron acknowledged that it is important not to let short-term revenue gain outweigh long-term impacts. She also pushed back on Trustee Lewis’ feelings towards overcrowding by saying that the data doesn’t show what residents see as the value proposition in their pass; is the value in being able to swim every weekday, or is the value in getting a prime spot next to the kiddie pool on a Saturday? While the pool is not close to peak capacity, Mayor Veron was wary that some residents may see less value in their pass if they cannot find space in the popular seating areas during peak hours.

Two residents provided the Board with their perspectives. John Schwarz asked the Village to consider the implications on parking capacity in addition to poolside crowding with new nonresident passes. He also suggested that the pool may be losing revenue because people have an increased desire to join clubs with multiple offerings. He recommended that during the renovations, staff consider making a joint pass with Crossway tennis courts. Finally, Mr. Schwarz suggested that the Board offer nonresidents pass holders the right of first refusal next year to preserve goodwill.

Resident Bob Harrison chastised the board, saying, “you’ve discussed this too much, it’s simple… you’ve wasted a lot of time… don’t worry about next year. Let’s worry about today, let’s close the gap.” He stated that his family has been pool members for 40 years, and they go to the pool every weekend in the summer. Mr. Harrison said that he spoke with pool staff last summer who reported that the facility never had more than 1,100 attendees at once. He went on to say that over the years, the pool has reached 2,600 memberships, and yet there were no overcrowding issues even then. He urged the Board to sell more passes and move on to other matters.

Suggesting a compromise to Trustee Lewis’ proposal, Mayor Veron proposed selling 25 nonresident family permits starting July 1 and another 25 individual passes. The trustees all agreed to the mayor’s suggestion, and she authorized Village staff to sell these passes. The trustees also agreed to revisit the topic at the next meeting, evaluate how quickly the passes sold, and potentially authorize additional sales. Also, while nonresident senior citizens originally could purchase passes with the standard 50% discount, the Board agreed that going forward these passes will be sold at full price.

Local resident Bob Harrison sent in the following letter concerning pool memberships:

Harken ! Scarsdale residents, young and old, our beautiful '" GEM " of our outdoor pool complex needs you to join with your pool membership of choice NOW. The Rec Dept has an excellent choice of various memberships to meet our resident needs.

The pool complex has over seven beautiful acres of grass with 4 pools for all. The grounds are NOT overcrowded !!! Ten years ago the pool had over 2,600 +members. Today the membership is around 1,500. with an operating deficit.

We need 100+ new memberships or old members to rejoin the pool now.

We need Scarsdale residents to support our pool complex with some form of membership. The pool is a beautiful facility to support and preserve for our Scarsdale community.

You can register with the Rec Dept by phone at 722-1160 or online at www.scarsdale.com .

Contact Bob Harrison at 914 646-4054 cell phone or by email at proscars@aol.com to discuss the outdoor pool and the opportunity for various memberships including seniors .

Bob Harrison, Chairman
Scarsdale Taxpayer Alert

RobelenFProm goers were required to wear masks.County Executive George Latimer continued to track the virus and vaccination statistics at his briefing on Monday June 9, where he reported only 328 active cases in Westchester, down from 11,500 in January. 30 remain hospitalized and there were two COVID deaths in the past week. Of the 3,000 COVID tests administered this week, only 19 were positive, which is less than half of one percent.

On the vaccine front, 421,000 vaccines have been administered in the county. 53% of all Westchester residents are fully vaccinated and 61% of residents have received at least one dose. Teens ages 12-16 who are eligible are getting the vaccines.

Appointments are no longer required to get vaccinated at the County Center. If you want to walk-in to the county center, those without an appointment will get the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and those with an appointment will get the Pfizer vaccine.

As the COVID crisis is on the decline, Latimer changed his briefing schedule to once, rather than twice per week.

Masks

Latimer emphasized that the county government does not make the school mask policy. These decisions are made by the state of New York. However the county does implements state policy and local recreation programs follow the school policies.

Currently, for village and municipal recreation programs, you can be unmasked when playing the sport. When you are not playing or watching from the sidelines, vaccinated people do not need a mask, while those who are not vaccinated are required to wear a mask.

Also this week, Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman announced that masks no longer need to be worn outside on school property but do need to be worn inside. On Monday June 7 he wrote, “Starting tomorrow, students will no longer be required to wear masks outside. Students who would like to continue to use masks while outdoors are encouraged to do so. In the coming days, we will clarify our requirements for mask-wearing at sporting events and end-of-year ceremonies after consultation with our District Physician and the Department of Health. Masks must continue to be worn on busses.”

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