Forum Focus
January 2019

Message to Our Membership
Happy 2019 to all. We start the year with a resolution to continue Scarsdale Forum's mission to provide a setting for matters of civic importance to be civilly debated, analyzed and reported.

First, our thanks to the members of various committees that issued reports last year: Assessment Revaluation, County Fiscal Affairs, Downtown Revitalization, Municipal Services and Sustainability. Second, we thank the Program Committee for organizing a terrific series of presentations that will extend into 2019, and expanding our reach by partnering with the League of Women Voters Scarsdale, Scarsdale PT Council, Scarsdale Public Library, Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale High School's PTA to present programs that appeal to residents throughout the village. In addition, we are grateful to our Communications Committee, which has worked to improve the appearance and functionality of our website, and Lisa Van Gundy, chair of the Hospitality Committee, for providing refreshments at our membership and board meetings.

Looking ahead, our January and February will be busy:

  • On Thursday, January 10, at 8:00 pm, we will partner with the League of Women Voters Scarsdale to host a panel discussion on how Scarsdale Village spends our tax dollars; 

  • On Saturday, February 2, beginning at 7:00 pm, the Special Events Committee will host Winterfest 2019, which promises to be a wonderful midwinter celebration for our community; 

  • On Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 pm, County Executive George Latimer will speak to us on the "State of the County;"

  • On Sunday, February 10, at 3:00 pm, our Sunday Speaker Series will feature the film, JFK: The Last Speech, an event co-sponsored by the Scarsdale Public Library and the League of Women Voters Scarsdale; and

  • We'll end February with a presentation by Dr. Arthur Levine, a scholar known for his work on topics focused on the preparation of school leaders, teachers and education researchers. The event, scheduled for Thursday, February 28, at 7:30 pm, will be co-sponsored by the Scarsdale PT Council and SHS PTA.

We also remember our members who passed away in 2018: Robert H. Arnow, Charles Cohen, John H. Galloway, III, Lois E. Garwin, Hildegard Keane, Howard Nadel, Eric Rothschild, Beverley Sved and Irwin Underweiser . Our community will miss them.

We wish you all the best for the new year, and hope to see you at the meetings and events we have planned.

Jon Mark

Committee Updates
Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale and Program

The Fiscal Affairs and Program Committees, along with the League of Women Voters Scarsdale, will host a panel discussion, “Where Your Village Property Tax Dollars Go: An Overview,” on Thursday, January 10 in Scarsdale Village Hall at 8:00 pm. A number of senior village officials will participate, including Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo, Scarsdale Village Treasurer Mary Lou McClure, Scarsdale Police Chief Andrew Matturro, Scarsdale Fire Chief James Seymour and Scarsdale Superintendent of Public Works Benny Salanitro. 
The event is an important opportunity for residents to learn more about how local taxes are allocated, the scope of services that Scarsdale Village provides, and how our taxes and spending compare to other municipalities in Westchester. The panel will be moderated by Paul Schwarz, of the League of Women Voters, and will be followed by a question and answer session with residents.
Janice Starr, co-president of the League of Women Voters Scarsdale said, “We are pleased to offer the community an opportunity to learn more about how the village works. This event is part of our larger efforts to promote civic education, and provide citizens with the knowledge they need to protect and support our democracy.” 

For more details, email Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale Committee Chair Steve Pass ( ) or Program Committee Co-Chair Dara Gruenberg ( ).

Special Events

Be sure to mark your calendar for Winterfest 2019. We invite you to chase away the winter blues with a festive evening of food, drink and lively conversation with your neighbors.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 2 at the Scarsdale Woman's Club, beginning at 7:00 pm. Highlights of the evening will include a buffet dinner prepared by Plates, a variety of musical entertainment, desserts prepared by members, and home brewed beers created by Bruce Wells, both served in the club's beautifully appointed music room.
The cost is $50 per person, and limited to members and their guests. Due to the popularity of Winterfest, reservations are encouraged. You may easily register and pay via the Scarsdale Forum website ( Winterfest page ) by Monday, January 28 . If you wish to assist in planning for the event, or contribute your favorite dessert, please sign in on our website to access the Winterfest volunteer page , or contact Linda Blair ( ).


The Membership Committee will meet on Monday, January 7 at 8:00 pm in Scarsdale Village Hall. The group will discuss correspondence used to welcome new and renewing members, as well as social media marketing and outreach, and conclude its review of membership dues.

Not a member of the committee, but interested in helping spread the word? No problem. Contact Bruce Wells ( ) or Tim Foley ( to learn more.

 Municipal Services and Sustainability

The Municipal Services Committee and Sustainability Committee continue to follow up on their recommendations to Scarsdale Village with regard to ending use of toxic pesticides on Scarsdale Village properties. Many municipalities have adopted this approach, which complies with New York State law prohibiting their use on school properties. So far, it appears that the village is not interested in taking action on the committees' science-based suggestions, but members continue to advocate. 

Contact Madelaine Eppenstein at for more information.

County Fiscal Affairs

Last month, the County Fiscal Affairs Committee submitted its analysis of the proposed county budget to the Westchester County Board of Legislators and New York State representatives. Several legislators commended the committee for the thoroughness of its report, which is available via our website .

For more details, contact the committee chair, Mark Lewis ( ).

  Community Event
Freightway Redevelopment Examination

On Tuesday, January 22 at 6:30 pm , the Scarsdale Village Board Committee of the Whole will convene to continue its discussion and examination of Freightway redevelopment possibilities. The meeting will be held in Rutherford Hall at Scarsdale Village Hall.

Currently, the Freightway site provides commuter and visitor parking in an open five-story structure, and on surrounding open lots adjacent to the Metro North train tracks. It has been the subject of a number of redevelopment studies; the most recent was a 2017 visioning studying that led to a 2018 report and recommendations. This report and related information are available via the Scarsdale Planning Department portion of the village website, . Residents are urged to review the material, attend the meeting and voice their opinions on this important matter.
 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/Communications Chair
Tim Foley 

Forum Focus Editor
Laura Halligan