Forum Focus
December 2020

Message to Our Membership
Dear Members,

As we look back on this most challenging of years for our families, the nation, and the global community, there is still much to be grateful for, and to hope for better times ahead.

With best wishes for the season's holidays and the New Year,
Madelaine Eppenstein
December Programs

*The last Membership Meeting of 2020 is scheduled for Thursday, December 10 featuring Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, followed by Q&A. Register here.
All Forum meetings and events will take place over Zoom beginning at 8:00 pm until further notice, a virtual format that keeps us well connected with each other on the issues of importance to our community. Registration required, log in information will be made available.


We are grateful for your contribution, which is tax-deductible over and above your membership dues. You can make a donation online now. Any amount is greatly appreciated because your donations support our educational programming and the important advocacy of our committees to promote civic dialogue on the issues that directly affect you and village life.

We encourage every Scarsdale Forum member to engage with and keep informed about the work of our committees. By doing so you help us advocate for safer village streets. You help us encourage wider participation of all stakeholders in decision making for our schools. You help us curtail use of pesticides in village green spaces. You help us re-imagine a more vibrant Village Center. And you help us to critically review Village and County budgets.

We are grateful to our members and the public, and thank you for all you do to support the work of the Scarsdale Forum.


A Conversation with NY State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

On Thursday, December 10 at 8:00 pm via Zoom, the Scarsdale Forum presents Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who will shed light on legislation in this extraordinary time and the forecast for 2021, followed by Q&A.

All members of the public are welcome. Registration required here.
Committee Updates
County Fiscal Affairs

The County Fiscal Affairs Committee met virtually with Gregory Casciato, Director of Fiscal Affairs, Westchester Board of Legislators Fiscal Staff, who graciously responded to questions from Committee members on the proposed 2021 County Budget. The Committee is in the process of drafting its annual report, offering an informed review of the upcoming County budget. Please contact Chair Richard Pinto,
Downtown Revitalization

The Committee met on November 17 to discuss a range of issues pertaining to the Village Center, noting that two new retail establishments recently opened: a Japanese restaurant on Spencer Place, and a home aroma store on Harwood Circle. With the change of seasons, the Spencer Place dining tent was removed. It brought in business to the area but the rental was costly. The tables/benches will remain without the tent through December. The Committee reviewed a design sketch for redesigning Boniface Circle that included space for a smaller dining tent and movable tables and chairs. Ideas were shared with the village for incorporation in an RFP for a potential Boniface project, but much of the funding would have to be raised through private donors. With so many residents working from home, commuter parking has been substantially reduced at Christie Place and Freightway garages. The Committee discussed how the Village could encourage merchants and their employees to use these spaces rather than feeding the meters nearest to their stores. The next Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 17 at 8:00 pm via Zoom. please contact Chair Susan Douglass,

The Committee Chair, following Scarsdale Forum follow-up protocol, reached out to the Board of Education to suggest ways that recommendations in the Committee's recently released report could be applied as short term solutions to achieve more diverse stakeholder participation and improvements in their communications. This subject is expected to be discussed at the next BOE Community Engagement Committee meeting. See the reportA Proposal for the Formation of a School Community Communications Committee. Please contact Chair Barry Meiselman,

Fiscal Affairs

Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale members met by Zoom on November 11, 2020. The review of the current fiscal year budget presented at the Village Board's October 27, 2020 Work Session did not include any discussion of austerity measures the community had been told were implemented for the current year, or a report on actual or projected expenditures.  The Committee sent a budget information request on November 13, 2020 to the Board and the Village Manager to obtain this information, and received a partial response on November 14.  The committee needs the requested information to understand the revisions made to the current adopted budget, and to be able to respond to calls from Trustees to weigh in on the 2021-22 budget. The Committee is preparing a follow up request and will continue its efforts to arrange a meeting with the new Village Treasurer.  For more information please contact Chair Anne Hintermeister,


The Membership Committee and Scarsdale Forum invite members of the community to join the Forum and participate in our committees and events. Please contact Chair Gabrielle Wise,

Municipal Services

The Municipal Services Committee is planning a meeting in January 2021 for follow up on its traffic safety report recommendations to the Village Board, including installing more visible traffic calming signage and signals, enacting a lower, 25 mph speed limit on certain linear segments of roads, continuing work with legislators on area speed limit amendments, and increasing enforcement. Contact Madelaine

Nominating Committee

Deadline December 1: The Nominating Committee is requesting members to suggest the names of nominees to fill Scarsdale Forum officer and director-at-large positions. Your input should be submitted no later than Tuesday, December 1, so that the committee has ample time to recommend candidates at the February 11, 2021 Membership Meeting. Please forward suggestions to Chair Tim Foley, tim@commanderfoley.comor one of the other committee members: Laura Liu, Jon Mark, Richard Pinto, and Karen Smith.

Sustainability, Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale, and Municipal Services

The Sustainability, Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale, and Municipal Services Committees are revisiting Village fall leaf collection and advocating for switching from vacuuming loose piles of leaves from the streets to collection of bagged leaves (as is required 10 months of the year), as recommended in a 2014 Scarsdale Forum Sustainability Committee report. The public safety and budgetary reasons for enacting sensible, environmentally sound best practices is more compelling than ever. The review will examine the success of leaf-bagging and leaf mulch mowing initiatives in neighboring communities, public safety and environmental issues, and budget considerations. Please contact FAS Chair Anne Hintermeister,
Community Events
Scarsdale Village: Interactive Virtual Holiday Celebration, Friday December 4th at 6:00 PM, NO REGISTRATION NECESSARY, VISIT HERE TO PARTICIPATE

HOLIDAY SHOP & DINE THE 'DALE through December 31st. Scarsdale Business Alliance: Raffle to support the SBA and local businesses, more information HERE.
Scarsdale Forum Inc.

Scarsdale Forum Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, it has contributed meaningfully to village affairs through written reports, public speaker events and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents, regardless of citizenship status. 

Forum Focus generally is distributed to Scarsdale Forum members in the first week of each month. Story ideas should be sent to one week prior to be included in the coming issue.

Media Contact
Madelaine Eppenstein