Forum Focus
October 2019

Message to Our Membership
Dear Neighbors,

Who could have predicted the dramatic and bewildering moment we now find ourselves in nationally? Fortunately, for Scarsdale Forum members and their guests, our first membership meeting and Sunday Speaker Series feature guests ideally positioned to provide perspective on the issues facing the United States Congress as it begins work on an impeachment inquiry.

The membership meeting is this Thursday, October 3, with Congressman Eliot Engel as our featured speaker; the Sunday Speaker Series event is scheduled for Sunday, October 20 and will feature NBC and MSNBC News Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah. Read on for more information.

Please consider inviting your friends and neighbors to attend each meeting to help them make some sense of the unusual and historic times we're living in.

Finally, we will hold a number of membership votes this Thursday night. You may wish to login to (with your email address) to ensure you are current with your dues and, therefore, eligible to vote.

L’shana tovah to all who celebrate, and I l ook forward to seeing many of you Thursday.

Tim Foley

October Programs
October Membership Meeting

We invite you to join us on  Thursday, October 3, to hear Congressman Eliot Engel discuss issues currently facing the U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, and the nation at large. Representative Engel, a member of the House since 1989, has represented Scarsdale and neighboring communities since 2013, after new congressional districts were drawn following the 2010 Census. He currently serves as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The meeting will be held at the Scarsdale Woman's Club, 37 Drake Road. Refreshments will be available at 7:30 pm and the program will begin at 8:00 pm; all members of the public are welcome.

A Conversation With Mimi Rocah

The Scarsdale Forum, League of Women Voters Scarsdale, and the Scarsdale Public Library will present a special program on Sunday, October 20, featuring Mimi Rocah.

Rocah is a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, the current Distinguished Fellow of Criminal Justice at Pace University Law School, and a former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. She'll provide her perspective, insight, and opinions on many of the questions surrounding the rule of law, criminal investigations, equal justice, and the U.S. Constitution that dominate the national news stories week after week. Rocah lives in Scarsdale with her husband and two children.

This event is part of the Scarsdale Forum's Sunday Speaker Series, and will be held at the Scarsdale Woman's Club, 37 Drake Road, beginning at 3:00 pm.  All members of the public are welcome.

Committee Updates
The Audit Committee, along with Treasurer Randy Guggenheimer , worked throughout the summer to ensure that the Scarsdale Forum's books are fairly stated and supported by proper documentation.  A draft report was provided to the board of directors prior to its September meeting, and the final report will be issued at this week's membership meeting.

Climate Resilience Committee

The new Climate Resilience Committee has worked hard this summer, partnering with members of Scarsdale High School's Project Green Club to research sources of state funding and logistical support that can be leveraged to help the village, school district, and residents curb greenhouse gas emissions and take pro-active steps to mitigate harm related to future extreme weather events.

The committee is developing proposals for the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees to join the New York State Climate Smart Communities program, and to host a public education day highlighting what Scarsdale and its residents already have done to promote sustainability and eco-friendly activities. It also continues to work on a comprehensive survey of residents to learn their priorities with regard to climate action and improve our community's climate resilience.

The committee will meet on Tuesday, October 29 at 8:00 pm at village hall. Contact co-chairs Madelaine Eppenstein ( ), Tim Foley ( m ), and/or Darlene LeFrancois-Haber ( ) if you'd like more information or wish to attend.

County Fiscal Affairs

After reviewing last year's report with last year's chair, Mark Lewis, Chair Richard Pinto is looking toward producing the 2020 report, and invites all Scarsdale Forum members and Scarsdale residents to notify the Fiscal Affairs Committee of any issues of particular concern that should be included in the committee's work. A list of important dates for budget releases, committee meetings, and report deadlines will be circulated shortly.

In addition, the group will review its current member list to determine the number needed for a majority vote. Please contact Richard at  if you’re listed but do not wish to be active, or if you wish to join the committee in its efforts.


The Education Committee will meet on Thursday, October 10 at 8:00 pm at 45 Woods Lane to plan its agenda for the coming year. Current and prospective members are welcome. Contact either co-chair, Nan Berke ( or Jordan Copeland (, if you plan to attend or wish to learn more.

Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale

The Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale Committee soon will study and comment on the Scarsdale Village Tentative Budget for 2020-21. The budgeting process will begin next month, and it is expected that the tentative budget will be discussed at a series of public work sessions beginning in January.

Committee members have begun discussing various budget issues, including 1) property tax relief from the county sales tax increase “windfall;” 2) the possibility of a genuine real estate market problem in Scarsdale and whether the village should take any action; and 3) services residents want and/or would be willing to do without. There is plenty of time for committee members to weigh in on village spending and potential cost savings opportunities. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts or contributing to the group's efforts, contact Chair Anne Hintermeister ( ).


The Nominating Committee is asking our members for suggestions for nominees to fill Scarsdale Forum officer and director at large positions. Any input should be submitted no later than Sunday, December 1, so that the committee has ample time to recommended candidates at the February 13, 2020 meeting. Please forward suggestions to Jon Mark, Nominating Committee chair, at, or one of the other committee members: Susan Douglass Eli Mattioli , ML Perlman , and Michelle Sterling .

Community Events
County Officials to Host "Coffee and Conversation"

Scarsdale residents are invited to attend a casual conversation over coffee with local representatives, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Westchester County Legislator Ben Boykin, on Saturday, October 5. The event will be held at Scarsdale Village Hall, from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

No RSVP is required and all members of the public are welcome to ask questions and discuss current issues of interest. For more information, call 914-995-2818.

Library User Survey

As library staff look forward to opening the refurbished library facility at Olmstead Road (anticipated in summer 2020), they are working on how to make the new space most useful for the community.

Of course, offering traditional library services is at the heart of the library's mission, but the revamped facility will be able to offer enhanced opportunities to residents, such as increased public programming, and group study, collaboration, and meeting possibilities. As most of you know, the new space also will feature a cafe, where visitors may connect for coffee or grab a quick snack. Above all, it will foster learning, interaction, and exploration for all Scarsdale residents.

Now it's your turn. Library staff are asking the public for its input in the planning process to help ensure users' needs and requests are considered. All are invited to provide personal feedback via an online survey -- This is a great opportunity to indicate how you use the library and what you'd like to see there in the future.
 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.

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Diane Greenwald

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Laura Halligan