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CNCGraphicBelow find letters to the Editor from Madelaine Eppenstein and Eric Cheng

From Madelane Eppenstein
The nonpartisan Citizens Nominating Committee election will be held this Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Village Hall from 7 AM to 9 PM, when Scarsdale voters turn out to vote for their neighbors who wish to participate in the work of the CNC.

Later this month the CNC’s 30 voting members will engage in a rigorous vetting process to nominate a slate of nonpartisan candidates for village offices, including three village board trustees and the village judge. Next year the slate will include a candidate for mayor and trustees. The School Board Nominating Committee has adopted a similar nonpartisan process. As the League of Women Voters Scarsdale says on its website: “The intention of Scarsdale's nonpartisan system is to attract the best possible people to run for school board, village trustee and mayor while minimizing electioneering, money, partisan politics and agenda-driven candidates. Scarsdale's nonpartisan system allows the focus to be on bettering our community, rather than on running costly campaigns.”

These are the candidates who are running for open seats on the CNC this year:

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Qualified voters are welcome to vote regardless of their support for the nonpartisan process or political party affiliation. The village-wide election for the CNC’s nominees, and other candidates for village office who wish to run independently of the nonpartisan system, will be held later on, in spring 2020. For more information about the nonpartisan system and how it works, go to the Procedure Committee's website at www.scarsdaleprocedurecommittee.org.

Madelaine Eppenstein, Autenrieth Road

(Member of the 2019 Procedure Committee that administers the CNC election: Stephen Baer, Daniel Brown, Eric Cheng, Chair, Marie DiPalma, Madelaine Eppenstein, Sarit Kessel Fuchs, Vice Chair, Dan Gerardi, Judy Wenjing Kerr, Jon Leslie, Matt Martin, Barry Meiselman, BK Munguia, ML Perlman, Andrew Sereysky, Gregory Soldatenko, Peter Tesler, Amber Yusef, and Anne Zink.)

From Eric Cheng

To the Editor: As a resident of Scarsdale of twenty years and the chair of the Procedure Committee, I want to express my appreciation to my fellow residents and committee members. Scarsdale is wonderful place to live and have a family because the residents believe in the community and are willing to volunteer their time to the community. The CNC election in November is a testament to that enthusiasm and belief in the system. Countless hours were spent by volunteers in the procedure committee in the six month preceding the November 12 election to ensure qualified candidates are put up for the CNC election. On the 12th, many of the same volunteers will be at the voting station to make sure the election is run smoothly and will stay after to ensure the final tally are counted accurately and reported in a timely manner. To honor the effort that these volunteers has put in for the CNC election, I cordially invite all Scarsdale voters to join us on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at the Village Hall from 7 AM to 9 PM to cast your vote.

For more information about the nonpartisan system and how it works, go to the Procedure Committee's website here

Eric Cheng, Continental Road

DSC09018Michelle Lichtenberg with 2016 Bowl Honoree Susie Rush.The 2020 Scarsdale Bowl Committee will begin work at its first official meeting on December 8th to select the 2020 recipient of the Scarsdale Bowl award and is seeking recommendations from the community for a possible honoree.

The Scarsdale Bowl, under the sponsorship of the Scarsdale Foundation, has been awarded annually since 1943 to an individual (or in exceptional cases to a husband and wife) who has given “unselfishly of their time, energy, and effort to the civic welfare of the community.” The founding donors of the Bowl believed that “many who serve generously and voluntarily, without office, honor, or publicity, are those deserving of having their names permanently inscribed on the Scarsdale Bowl.” The recipient must be a Scarsdale resident who does not currently hold elective office.

Nancy Michaels is serving as chair of this year’s Scarsdale Bowl Committee. Members of the committee serve a staggered two-year term. The members of the newly appointed class of 2021 are: Matthew Martin, Dana Matsushita, Jeff Robelen, Andrea Seiden, Janice Starr, and Amber Yusuf. The continuing class of 2020 includes Farley Baker, Karen Ceske, John Clapp, Dorothy Finger, Melpo Fite, Dara Gruenberg, and Bob Miller. Seth Ross, Scarsdale Foundation trustee, will serve on the committee as liaison, and Abby Sroka is continuing as the Committee’s secretary/treasurer. Randy Guggenheimer, president of the Scarsdale Foundation, is an ex officio, non-voting member.MichaelsNancy Michaels, Chair of the 2020 Scarsdale Bowl

The Scarsdale Bowl will be awarded at a dinner on Wednesday, April 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase. The ceremony will pay tribute to the 2020 honoree and to the spirit of volunteerism, central to the civic life of Scarsdale and this year’s theme is “Shine On Scarsdale.”

The Bowl Committee welcomes community input for a possible honoree. Recommendations are requested by November 25th, but will be accepted any time before the December 8th meeting. Please contact Nancy Michaels at 725-8310 or NancyMichaels311@gmail.com or any committee member. A nominee recommendation form can be accessed here

flyerThe reality of domestic violence is that it can sometimes be lethal, even in Scarsdale. Less than four years ago, Dr. Robin Goldman was stabbed fatally by her husband as she prepared to divorce him. A Poughkeepsie woman was found murdered by the Bear Mountain Bridge this past weekend. She filed for divorce only three weeks ago. Separation is known to be the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence.

While it’s impossible to know what goes on in other people’s homes, learning to identify the risk factors that are correlated with domestic lethality, just may save a life. One in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact, sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking, with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, and the contracting of a sexually transmitted diseases. While not all domestic violence results in serious injury or death, domestic victimization is correlated with higher rates of depression and suicidal behavior.

The Safe Coalition: Children, Families, Community will be hosting a presentation titled “Behind Closed Doors” in an effort to raise awareness about the risk factors of lethality and to provide resources for those that might be in a potentially perilous situation. The program will be facilitated by Darlene Reda, Esq, Program Administrator for the Westchester County Office for Women. Ms. Reda will discuss the Five S’s, separation being one of them, as part of a countywide initiative to implement a lethality screening program and risk assessment protocol.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and accordingly the program will be held on October 29th at 9:30 am in the I-Lab of Scarsdale High School. I hope you will consider attending this free and informative presentation. For more information, please contact Safe Coalition Coordinator, Lauren Pomerantz, LCSW at lpomerantz@sfcsinc.org or 721-2468.

footballfriendsHere are a few photos of activities occurring around town this week.

Above is a picture of Scarsdale High School Juniors who have played football together since third grade. They celebrated their victory over Mamaroneck. From left to right: Noah Ebner-Borst, Ben Miller, Brendan Knopp, Eddie Eforo, Michael Jamesley and Sam Silverman.

footballseniornightThis photo was taken at Scarsdale Varsity Football's Senior night where there was a special half time presentation to the seniors with their parents.

vitalagingThe 4th Annual Vital Aging Fair was held on Monday October 21 at Scarsdale Congregational Church. Maryellen Saenger reports that it was the largest one yet, and very well attended. They had almost 40 vendors delivering free advice and consultations. Pictured at left are County Legislator David Tubiolo, Maryellen Saenger, Claudette Gassler (Library) and Kathy Hurwitz (Scarsdale Recreation).

assessor(Updated September 26) Earlier today Scarsdale10583 reported that the Scarsdale Village Board appointed a new Village Asessor at their meeting on September 24. Charles J. Zaba, who currently serves at the assessor in Haverstraw was selected after an extensive search. However, on the evening of September 26, Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo informed Scarsdale10583 that Zaba had a change of heart and has decided to stay in Haverstraw.

Pappalardo said, "I received a phone call from Charles Zaba, the Town of Haverstraw Assessor appointed by the Town Board on Tuesday night to fill the Scarsdale Assessor vacancy, informing me that he was backing out of the appointment and staying with Haverstraw. I am not speaking for him, but did ask him to provide me a formal letter to this effect which I will forward to you when and if received. The Village has interviewed other qualified candidates who are interested in the position and we will revisit these individuals and continue recruitment immediately. In the interim, Scarsdale’s Acting Assessor Jane Lawrence will continue in her current position."

(Original Report)

The Village Board has completed its search for a new town assessor, nearly six months after Nanette Albanese retired. Charles J. Zaba, who currently serves as assessor for the town of Haverstraw in Rockland County, will begin work at village hall on Monday, October 7.

During the recruitment process, the Scarsdale administration received 29 resumes, and seven individuals interviewed for the position, with four candidates meeting with the village board. “In the end, Charles Zaba was the best fit for the position,” according to Trustee Justin Arest, who spearheaded the process. Zaba is a New York State-certified assessor, with 15 years of experience in municipal assessor offices in both Westchester and Rockland. He’s worked as the sole assessor in Haverstraw for the past two-and-a-half years.

Zaba will relieve Jane Lawrence, who has served as acting assessor since the end of May. He’ll have his hands full rather quickly, with the impending rollout of new state assessment software, continuing calls for another property revaluation, and the ongoing debate about the effects of changes to the SALT deduction. Nonetheless, Zaba’s appointment provides an opportunity for the office to move on from past controversy and build public trust.

Property assessments and tax grievances remain hot button issues in Scarsdale, with hundreds of residents contesting their homes’ valuations every year. During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting, Robert Berg (Tisdale Road) addressed Mayor Marc Samwick’s position on postponing another revaluation until the real estate market stabilizes. Berg renewed his calls for another revaluation in the short-term, stating, “At the last meeting, the mayor noted that the Board of Assessment Review granted 118 grievance reductions, lowering assessed value by a cumulative $26 million. This amounted to about 19 percent of the grievances filed. A high percentage of filers who did provide us with independent appraisals or proof of recent sales received reductions. And, most tellingly, many of those reductions were very substantial.”

He continued, “My conclusion from working with the assessment roll this year… is that the current assessment roll is a mess. It doesn’t fairly and accurately reflect the values of many of our properties… I believe… (it) is overvalued, vis a vis the rest of the municipalities in the county, and I think we’re paying more than our fair share in county and sewer taxes as a result… To me, the only solution is to begin, now, the process of doing a new town-wide revaluation… If people disagree with their valuations, they are relegated to an expensive grievance process... It’s the village’s duty to keep the assessment roll fair, and equitable, and up to date… We can’t wait for the software… we’re going to have a new assessor… It’s really time to get started on this…. You can’t wait for the market to stabilize; who knows? This market is very dynamic. Who knew it would drop like this?”

Mayor Samwick responded, “We certainly share your view that having as accurate a roll and as equitable a roll as possible is our very clear objective… I wouldn’t underestimate the technology component of this, with both the Tyler and the Ryan revals. A substantial portion of the problems that were encountered was technologically related. To have the same system in place is not setting us up for success.” He went on, “It is a dynamic market, but it is event-driven… with the SALT tax limitation being the primary event that’s causing this. And, markets don’t react instantaneously… If we were to move forward and we’re still in the midst of a correction, then all we’re doing is ensuring that we’ll have to do a reval again.”

Michael Levine (Walworth Avenue) followed soon after, stating, “There should be ought to be some sort of quantitative proof or demonstration of a degree of unfairness that warrants a reval… I will agree with Robert that we have to keep thinking ahead on these things, but I think one way to think ahead is to start getting a consensus on how to determine what… is a material enough or important enough degree of inequity to warrant a reval and there’s no other way to solve it… If there is this kind of determination… the community has to hear that from the assessor.” He continued, “Finally, I’m not saying SALT is or is not a problem. I don’t think you can assume it’s the main driver of the real estate situation… Affluent taxpayers in 10583 were also under the AMT and, therefore, weren’t getting deduction anyway... It’s less affluent taxpayers who are not under the AMT that lost the deduction. If SALT was such an important factor, the less expensive communities would be seeing problems with sales… I just don’t think you can jump to the conclusion that SALT is that important.”

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