Forum Focus
September 2017

Message to Our Membership
Happy Labor Day to all. The Forum has a busy calendar ahead, beginning with the Education Committee meeting this coming Thursday, September 7 , and our first board meeting of the fall on Wednesday, September 13 . Updates on other important work appear below.

We look forward to working with you in the coming year and doing what we can to help foster a robust, civil debate on a variety of community issues, consistent with the Forum's mission for more than 100 years.

ML Perlman
Scarsdale Forum President

Jon Mark
Scarsdale Forum Communications Chair

Upcoming Events

Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond

The Scarsdale community is invited to attend Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond on  Thursday, September 7 at 7:30pm at Rutherford Hall. The event will feature a panel of Scarsdale residents speaking about education in Scarsdale. The Education Committee also will conduct live polling to learn what attendees want for Scarsdale schools now and in years to come.

This is the first time the Forum is hosting such an innovative, interactive event. Please help us encourage the public to join in this important discussion by forwarding this newsletter to your friends and neighbors. The event is open and free to residents of Scarsdale and the Mamaroneck Strip, students and alumni, as well as staff, teachers and administrators of Scarsdale schools and village. All are asked to please bring smart phones, laptops or other electronic devices to participate in the polling. The program will be on Scarsdale Public TV and livestreamed. For more information, see recent articles in and Scarsdale's HamletHub .
 Youth Sports Jamboree
The Scarsdale Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, along with the Independent Sports Organizations and Neighborhood Athletic Associations, will host the fourth annual Youth Sports Jamboree on Saturday, September 9 at Crossway Field, from 10:00am to 1:00pm. This fun youth sports day is designed to showcase the large variety of youth sport options available to the Scarsdale community. Don’t miss out, as the event will feature a variety of sports options and games for all ages, music, food, large inflatable amusements, giveaways and much more. Onsite registration also will be available for all recreation programs.

The Scarsdale Forum will be at the jamboree as well, providing information about our work and programs. All members are invited to stop by, introduce themselves and be on hand to invite residents who are not members to join us.
September Board of Directors Meeting

Our September 2017 board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13 at 8:00pm at Village Hall. It was moved from the usual Thursday night to accommodate board members who need to attend school events on Thursday night.

Committee Updates

The Communications Committee has developed formal procedures for drafting, review and release of newsletters, press releases and other written materials (other than formal Forum reports, which are governed by Article VI of Forum bylaws and related guidelines). To learn more about our new policies, you are invited to read the new Forum Communications Protocol .

Part of this process included updating our newsletter, Forum Focus. This monthly report, now edited by Laura Halligan ( ), follows a formal editorial timeline, and features a more dynamic look and feel. For additional information about these initiatives or to provide feedback, contact Jon Mark at .
Downtown Revitalization  
The Committee's Consumer Survey is well underway and has yielded a great response rate. Thus far, over 1100 people have participated. The Committee now is seeking to obtain more input from Garth Road residents.

The Merchants Survey is being finalized and formatted for approval. Committee members will personally administer the poll to the approximately 170 merchants in Village Center, as well as on Garth Road and Scarsdale Avenue. The effort will provide merchants with the opportunity to answer our questions and freely comment on issues of concern to them.

A Farmers' Market is coming to Scarsdale, starting Thursday, September 7 , and will be open from noon to 7:00pm at Boniface Circle. This is a pilot program, lasting for approximately six to eight weeks, to gauge residents' interest. The committee will publicize the event, and invites the community to visit the market and provide feedback. Specifically, the organizers are looking for comments about the types and quality of products offered, location (which may be changed in subsequent weeks) and any other ideas that would support the market's success. Without community support, this project will not be continued, so we strongly encourage residents' participation and patronage.

For more details on these initiatives, or to join the Downtown Revitalization Committee, contact Susan Douglass ( ).

In addition to organizing the September 7 event at Village Hall, the Education Committee has begun work on a long-term financial plan model for Scarsdale schools. The analysis will focus on how different macroeconomic and local factors may affect the finances of the school district. It also incorporates a base case, and makes estimates for best and worst cases.

The Education Committee also is pleased to announce that it will work with Maggie Favretti's SHS City 2.0 class during this coming school year. A group of her students will become members of the committee, and work with Forum members in conducting focus groups and learning community views about education priorities.

To become part of the Education Committee's efforts, contact Carlos Ramírez ( ) or Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez ( ).
Fiscal Affairs
Committee members will receive emails shortly in order to coordinate a meeting date. Please keep an eye out. 

Anyone who is not on the Fiscal Affairs Committee but has a suggestion, or wishes to learn more about the Scarsdale budget and/or budget process, is invited to join us. Send an email to Justin Arest ( ) for details.

The Program Committee is working to develop a full slate of meetings and presentations for the Forum’s 2017-18 program year. The following events are scheduled or under consideration:

Forum Meetings

Thursday, October 5 : Mayor Dan Hochvert will speak on the State of the Village, covering current developments and future plans for Scarsdale. During the second half of the program, the Downtown Revitalization Committee will discuss its work on developing a plan to rejuvenate our village center, and present results of its recent surveys of residents and other stakeholders.

Thursday, November 16 : Scarsdale School Board President Bill Natbony and Scarsdale School Superintendent Thomas Hagerman will present the State of the Schools , and provide updates on current and future planning for the district. Additional members of the administration also may participate to highlight specific programs.

Thursday, February 15 : Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino tentatively has been scheduled to discuss news and information on topics of interest at the Westchester County level.

Thursday, March 15 : State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is scheduled tentatively to speak on recent developments in Albany from her viewpoint as a state senator.

Sunday Speaker Series

Fall 2017 : Television writer, actor and comedian Peter Grosz, SHS class of 1992, has agreed to participate in our Sunday Speakers Series this fall. Among other accomplishments, Peter served for several years as a writer for The Colbert Report and, more recently, Late Night with Seth Meyers .

Two other SHS 1992 alumni, Jacob Appel and Dan O’Brien, are expected to present a joint literary program on a Sunday to be determined. Jacob is a psychiatrist and professional bioethicist who also writes essays and fiction, particularly short stories. Two years ago, he participated in a very informative Forum discussion on ethical dilemmas in modern medicine. Dan is a playwright, poet and librettist, whose recent play, The Body of an American , has won several awards and prizes. One of his books of poetry, entitled Scarsdale , is based on his experience growing up in our village. Jacob and Dan plan to share their experiences as writers and read selections from their works.

The Program Committee is considering other speaker possibilities, expecting to present three programs during the our 2017-18 program year.

Programming and speaker suggestions are always welcome. Please contact David Irwin ( ) and Barry Meiselman ( ) for more details.
The Scarsdale Forum

The Scarsdale Forum is a 501(c)(3) civic organization dedicated to discussion and analysis of all issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, the Forum 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 on the first Monday of each month. Story ideas and information should be forwarded to one week prior (last Monday of each month) to be included in the coming issue.

Media Contact/Communications Chair
Jon Mark 

Forum Focus Editor
Laura Halligan