April 20, 2018

Dear Scarsdale Friends and Neighbors,

It looks like spring may finally be here!! Please write to the Mayor and Board of Trustees and encourage them to make decisions that are good for all of Scarsdale.

Mayor Hochvert and the Board of Trustees did not reappoint a talented Scarsdale resident to the Board of Assessment Review (BAR), the important group of residents that determines our tax grievances. Together, these volunteers decided over 1,800 property tax grievances and quietly fixed problems of over-assessment. Your neighbor or you probably benefited from their years of expertise in real estate valuation and tireless volunteer hours reviewing cases. When terms of two members expired, the Village Board only reappointed one, but never told the other that she would not return. Should the Village summarily dismiss one of its most capable and dedicated volunteers without an explanation ? Residents have been writing Mayor Hochvert and the Board of Trustees to demand accountability for their actions and to reinstate one of the most effective volunteers you may not have known was working on your behalf. Please add your voice and ask that talented volunteers be treated fairly!

Unfortunately, the Mayor and Board of Trustees are also not explaining to residents why they are insisting on giving discounts to residents who use an excess amount of water. The new proposed water rate makes almost 90% of residents bear more of the burden than the remaining 10%.

Additionally, the Mayor and BOT are still insisting on passing a punitive tree ordinance that will make it more expensive for homeowners to remove trees that they are concerned may pose a danger to their homes or properties even if they are not dead, dying, diseased or imminently hazardous. The ordinance infringes on our property rights, but will not impede developers from clearcutting. Please come to the Tree Ordinance Hearing on April 24 at 8pm at Village Hall and have your views known!

Feel free to forward our newsletter to other residents. We welcome them to sign-up by emailing us.

Shabbat Shalom and Have a Good Weekend!

More than Half of Your Water Bill Increase Will Subsidize
a Cut to the Excess Rate, Not Capital Projects

By increasing the base water rate from 2017 and lowering the excess rate, the Mayor and Trustees are asking almost 90% of Scarsdale residents to subsidize the remaining 10%. The cost of the excess rate cut is actually greater than the amount raised for capital improvements.

Silence of the Mayor and Trustees is Deafening

 The Board of Trustees’ decision on April 10 not to reappoint a highly qualified and experienced member of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has raised serious questions about appropriate policies and procedures. I understand many of the challenges that you face as Board members. However, I do not respect your silence on the issue of your decision not to reappoint Ms. Curley, a willing volunteer, to the BAR. Your silent message is deafening.

Why are the Mayor and Trustees Mistreating a Talented Volunteer?

Kudos to The Scarsdale Inquirer for pointing out the refusal of the Village Board to renominate resident volunteer extraordinaire Jane Curley to the Board of Assessment Review ("BAR").  Jane is among the most qualified members we’ve ever had — she’s been a licensed New York State real estate appraiser, a licensed New York State real estate agent, and professionally she works for one of the world’s largest banks, validating financial models.  

Scarsdale Must Have a More Reliable Power Grid
Recently, the Scarsdale community sustained significant damage to trees, infrastructure, houses, and power supply, as well as the high cost of emergency response. I respectfully recommend that Village Hall takes immediate steps to lead us in initiating a near-term, broad, and future focused program to improve reliability of our power grid. For better resource use and better service, we need to move quickly to develop and implement a sustainable long-term plan.

The Scarsdale Forum is Not Living Up to Its Promise

 In the last two years that I have been on the Forum Board, I have witnessed numerous conflicts of interest and questionable ethical practices.  I am making the painful decision to resign from the Forum Board . I want to volunteer in organizations where leadership respects research, new chairs are not running Borgia vendettas against people with whom they disagree, no one is hiding survey results, or writing reports to whitewash the painful effects of the Ryan property revaluation. Read more
Tree Ordinance Hearing, Tuesday April 24 8:00pm

The Mayor and Board of Trustees are holding a hearing about the proposed Tree Ordinance this Tuesday, April 24 at 8pm at Village Hall. All residents are welcome to attend and participate in public comment.

The proposed tree ordinance is here . Pages 68-124 have the proposed ordinance, Village memos and comments by residents who spoke against the proposed tree code in March. This link leads you to a Frequently Asked Questions page and other relevant documents.

Village Hall Priorities

The Mayor and Trustees will present Village Hall priorities for 2018-19 this Tuesday, April 24, at 6pm on the second floor of Village Hall.

We believe that the Scarsdale Mayor and Board of Trustees need to solicit community input to establish short- and long-term priorities. Because Scarsdale does not have a long-term financial model and plan, it is imperative that Village Hall create a long-term financial model in order to test the fiscal stability of our municipality in times of financial market and economic downturns.

Scarsdale Schools

2018-2019 School Budget

The Board of Education approved the 2018-2019 school budget on Monday, April 16 with a vote of 6-1. All budget documents are on the Scarsdale schools website .

School Board Election on May 15 is Contested

The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale is holding a candidate forum on April 30
7:30 - 9:30pm at Village Hall . School board elections are different than Village elections. Candidates run for specific seats. Alison Singer is running uncontested for one seat. Woody Crouch and Pam Fuehrer are running for the other seat.

The Board of Education election and budget vote are May 15 at the Scarsdale Middle School. The polls are open from 6am -9pm.

School Calendar

The calendar for 2018-2019 has been finalized. This school year, winter break is two full weeks from December 24 to January 4.
Your Comments Are Requested

Scarsdale Village

The Village would like to hear from you if you experienced any problems during the two big winter storms. You may write to Storm Stories ; this email automatically forwards to the NY State Public Service Commission. There is a State Assembly Task Force being formed to find solutions outside of ConEd responses.

Procedure Committee

The Procedure Committee invites voters' input on amendments to the Non-Partisan Resolution and reforms to the Citizens Nominating Committee processes. Here is the press release with all the details. Please send your comments to Chair Madelaine Eppenstein by May 1, 2018.
Save Scarsdale Forever

A resident of 26 years, Lika L. Levi, has been advocating for good governance and the preservation of Scarsdale's village in the park image since 2013. Her latest blog is about very large houses being built in Scarsdale.

Have Your Voice Heard!

Please take a look at the calendar to see the dates for upcoming Village meetings. If you cannot attend meetings, please write to the mayor and to the Village clerk with any of your questions or concerns.
Out and About

Westchester Family has an events calendar with lots of fun activities this weekend for the family. NY Metro Parents Westchester also has an exciting line-up of events listed for April and May.