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CNCGraphicOn Thursday January 20, 2022, the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) announced the candidates it selected for the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate for the following Village offices:

-Randy Whitestone of 94 Sprague Road, a Village Resident for 26 years, Trustee

-Ken Mazer of 47 Church Lane, a Village Resident for 25 years, TrusteewhitestoneRandy Whitestone has been nominated for a second term as Village Trustee.

-Jeremy Gans of 45 Harvest Drive, a Village Resident for 14 years, Trustee

Whitestone is currently a Village Trustee serving his first term and has been renominated for a second term while Mazer and Gans will be new to the Village Board if elected. Village Trustees Justin Arest and Lena Crandall will both complete two terms as Village Trustee in April.

Commenting on his renomination, Whitestone said, "Amid the challenges of the past two years, we’ve made significant strides in aligning the strategic direction of Scarsdale Village government to the needs of our residents. We have more to do to complete important budgeting, quality of life, and infrastructure initiatives, and I look forward to seeing them through."

Gans introduced himself saying, "I have lived in Scarsdale since 2006 and have served in a number of volunteer roles in the Village. I joined the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2016, and have served on that board for nearly 5 years. I also serve on the Executive Committee of the Scarsdale Forum and I am a member of the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund Committee. From 2016-2019, I was President of Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club. Professionally, I worked as a corporate lawyer for seven years and currently serve as President of JDJ Capital Management Company."

"I am honored that the CNC has nominated me to serve as Trustee and I thank them for their service. If elected, I look forward to collaborating with the Board and Village staff so that I can continue serving my community. I expect that we will work together to find the most effective ways to improve our village and maintain the level of excellence residents expect."

The General Village Election will take place Tuesday, March 15, 2022. The Election will be held at the Scarsdale Public Library, 54 Olmsted Road in the Scott Room. Voting hours will be from 6:00 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Jill Spielberg served as Chair and Jon Krisbergh served as Vice Chair of the CNC. In addition to the candidates for Village office, the CNC selected Omer Wiczyk as Chair and Janet Han-Youm as Vice Chair for next year’s CNC. The CNC also elected Michelle Sterling to serve as Chair and Peri Zelig to serve as Vice Chair of the Procedure Committee.JeremyGansJeremy Gans“Starting in late November 2021, the CNC searched for potential candidates and then conducted extensive diligence. While deliberations and reference conversations are not shared publicly, the CNC considered and carefully researched the background, experience, and qualifications of each trustee candidate and engaged in significant deliberation,” stated Jill Spielberg, Chair of the CNC. “We thank the CNC Members for their hard work and diligence in selecting this strong slate of candidates,” she continued.
KenMazerKen Mazer

Veron2021Here are remarks delivered by Scarsdale Mayor Jane Veron at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday January 11, 2022:

Happy New Year, Scarsdale! I hope the holidays offered you time to enjoy family and friends and to take a well-earned break from some of life’s daily demands. I know the recent COVID surge has added further stress, and I wish a speedy recovery to so many of our residents and employees and their extended families who are fighting the virus. The good news is that this strain is not as virulent as others, and I remain optimistic that we will get through this challenge and see normalcy soon return.

I want to give a special shout out to the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps who has rallied to provide vaccinations, boosters, tests, and masks to the community. Please remember, they are volunteers, supported by your philanthropy, and motivated by a fierce allegiance to public health and safety. They have been working nonstop, and we are enormously grateful and lucky to have this resource in our backyard.

Now let’s look ahead. As we embark on 2022, I want to reiterate the Board’s commitment to evolving Village government into a model for the 21st century, adopting best practices, embracing innovation, and preparing soundly for the future.

Over these past several months, we’ve experienced a transformation at Village Hall that is unlike any we’ve seen in the recent past. With a new strategic and financial planning framework, a new Village Manager, our extraordinary tenured staff who have been joined by several new professionals, Scarsdale government is poised to lead us forward.

You’ve heard us describe the push to digitize, and you will experience the beginning of this evolution in our re-engineered budget process. We invite you to our budget kick off next Tuesday, January 18, at 6 pm. This newly conceived meeting will offer insight into debt policy, give updates from the water rate study and then set the stage for the budget discussion with goals, objectives, and KPIs as well as fee schedule proposals. This budget cycle, we will bridge past practices with new approaches. The goal is to offer more time to deliberate with public involvement and greater ease and accessibility. Our Village Manager will detail the schedule in his remarks.

You’ve heard us speak about our desire to invest in the future. With the Pool Complex Study and the Complete Streets, Village Center Mobility and Placemaking study, we’re doing just that. Both projects are in the works, and we will provide updates along the way. Be on the lookout for opportunities for public engagement. They’ll be coming in Q1.

You’ve heard us dig into the long standing infrastructure and quality of life needs, and our work session this evening exemplified our focus on making necessary improvements. For those not in attendance, Planning and DPW staff reviewed tangible next steps on Scarsdale’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and Tropical Depression Ida’s After Action Report. It was an incredibly thorough and informative discussion and I encourage you to watch the video.

And finally, you’ve heard us describe our wish to work in tandem with the schools on multiple overlapping issues. Tonight is a perfect example of progress in the Village School partnership. On our agenda is a resolution that ensures smooth linkage in public safety matters.

Change takes time, and we won’t get everything perfectly right at the first go. But please know our intentions are pure, the commitment is there, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.

DaraKassDr. Dara Kass, has experienced some big life changes in the past year. Formerly an emergency room physician at Columbia University, last month President Biden announced her appointment as the Regional Director of Region 2 of the US Department of Health and Human Services including New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. What more? This summer she moved her family of three children, ages 14, 12 and 9 to Scarsdale.

Here Dr. Kass shares her thoughts on the pandemic, affordable health care and adjusting to life in the suburbs. Find out more about your new neighbor here:

What are the biggest challenges facing the department now?

Combatting COVID-19, making health insurance coverage more accessible and affordable, and improving health equity are three major priorities of the Administration. As a physician, it is hard to overstate the impact that COVID-19 has had on Americans- claiming 750,000 lives, and creating hardships for many more. Combating the pandemic is closely linked with health equity, as we know that communities of color are suffering the greatest impact from the virus. Fortunately, as numbers are starting to show – the Administration is making huge strides when it comes to reducing disparities in health access. As of this fall, 73% of Latinos and 70% of Black Americans have now gotten at least their first shot, compared to 71% of white Americans. But we still have more work to do, to ensure vaccination numbers continue to rise.

The pandemic has also made it abundantly clear that Americans want and need access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage. We know this because 2.8 million people took advantage of lower health insurance premiums during this year’s Marketplace Special Enrollment Period and received coverage. It is more in reach than ever – currently 4 in 5 Americans can access quality coverage for less than $10 a month. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan we are better positioned to protect our most vulnerable populations.

What are some of your personal goals in your new role?

I am proud of the work that the Administration has done to improve Americans’ health and wellbeing. Working firsthand in the Emergency Room magnifies both the tremendous successes we’ve realized and the need for greater access to care for all of us. In my new role, I will work to amplify the messages of the Administration so that more Americans in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can gain access to the healthier outcomes they deserve.

What do you anticipate will be the major differences for you between working at medical institutions and serving in your new role in the government?

First and foremost, the schedule should be a bit kinder to my aging body! Emergency departments are open 24/7 and I have worked overnights and weekends since I became a doctor. I am looking forward to a more “normal” schedule where I sleep when other people sleep.

I am also looking forward to having a different impact on the delivery of healthcare. The work I did at Columbia University Medical Center was incredible, and I was a well-known figure nationally in my field, but nothing compares to the ability to support good government and the work it does. This administration has already passed landmark legislation to help guide us out of this pandemic and with the Build Back Better Act, they are on target to affect even more lives. The opportunity to support the implementation of those resources locally is an honor and a privilege.

And about Scarsdale…

How long have you lived here and what drew you to Scarsdale?

We just moved to Scarsdale over the summer. We had never really thought about living in the suburbs, but over the past year we realized we wanted to get our kids into one school system as opposed to the hodgepodge of public and private schools we were at in the city. Once you try to find a community with exceptional schools, reasonable commute to the city and beautiful neighborhoods, the decision becomes rather clear. So here we are!

How old are your children and how have they adjusted?

We have three children. Our daughter Hannah is 14 and a freshman at Scarsdale High School. Charlie is 12. He is a 6th grader at Scarsdale Middle School and Sammy is 9 and in the 4th grade at Fox Meadow. So we are still in different schools, but at least it’s the same school system! They have adjusted well. I think coming here just as everyone was emerging from their pandemic education was a good time for a move, socially and academically.

What do you like about living here?

I really love the sense of belonging in Scarsdale. We came from a tight knit community in Park Slope. We were active in our schools and at our temple. I was a bit worried that we weren’t going to be able to recreate that easily here, but thankfully that is not the case. We have already made great friends and reconnected with others that we knew from college or graduate school. Personally, I love how many physician women live in this town, we must have more per capita than almost any other town in Westchester. Lastly, we joined Shaarei Tikvah, the temple right around the corner from our house and that has been wonderful, not just for religious education for our children, but for an anchor for our whole family.

What (if any) are your favorite places to go?

So as new suburbanites, my daughter and I have been going to the Westchester quite a bit. It may not seem like a big deal to other people but malls and parking are totally novel to us and we love to pop over and walk around.

We love Akai in town and are very grateful to have excellent sushi so close to our house. My boys learned to ride bikes just so they could ride the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays, another totally new experience for us. Overall, our move to Scarsdale has exceeded all of our expectations and we look forward to living here for many years to come.

penThis letter to the editor was submitted by Alex Wolf of Harvest Drive, candidate for the School Board Nominating Committee:

To the Editor,

Vote “No” on SBNC (School Board Nominating Committee) Amendment number 5 codifying the procedure to contact references not provided by each candidate. The SBNC is a committee comprised of volunteers who, in the tradition of non-partisanship, seek to vet candidates for our school board. These candidates for the school board are themselves volunteers contributing their time and talents to serve our schools. While it is entirely consistent with the SBNC’s vetting process to contact references given by school board candidates, I contend that it is unneighborly and inconsistent with the Scarsdale spirit when the SBNC’s vetting process strays from the legitimate role of evaluating candidates to investigating them. Scarsdale does not suffer from a surfeit of individuals desiring to devote their time to serving the community. In point of fact, a number of the open positions on the SBNC are uncontested. That the SBNC, a number of whose members will have been elected by default in uncontested elections, would investigate school board candidates by contacting individuals not provided by these candidates as references seems inappropriate at best and, at worst, a mechanism for injecting personal bias into the process. It should be enough that a member of our community who wants to give freely of their time and talents can provide references who can speak to their character and capabilities. Let us recall that even Abraham Lincoln had his detractors.

Full disclosure, I am running for the SBNC from Quaker Ridge. I work as a real estate attorney and educator. My wife, Tracy Tang, is very active in the community both professionally and as a volunteer. I have two boys, one at SHS in the 9th grade and the other at SMS in the 7th grade. We, like so many, feel privileged to have our children attend the Scarsdale schools. I welcome the opportunity to share my perspective in selecting candidates for our school board. Anyone with questions about my candidacy may feel free to email me at awolf@wolflawyer.com.

The 2022 SBNC Election will take place on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 7–10 a.m. and 2–9 p.m. in the Scarsdale Middle School Auditorium Lobby at 134 Mamaroneck Road.

Alex Wolf
Harvest Drive

GenocideAwarenessScarsdale High School students Jedd Fryman and Ben Hyman are seeking to raise awareness of past and current genocides, with the hope that increased awareness will help bring an end to the seemingly never-ending occurrence of genocidal violence. Their work with other genocide-awareness student groups around the world has led them to contribute their families’ personal stories connected to genocide to the recent publication Genocide Know More, which can be viewed here. Assemblymember Amy Paulin has collaborated with them in order to help give their publication a broader platform.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly established December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. The 9th of December was chosen as it is the anniversary of the adoption of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

In honor of Genocide Awareness Day 2021 Fryman and Hyman ask you to practice being an upstander. Sociologists report that people who were rescued during the Holocaust often reported that altruistic actions were normal to their everyday lives. Build this habit into your life by doing something kind for someone else daily. An act of kindness each day is an honorable goal.

Pictured at top: Scarsdale High School students Jedd Fryman and Ben Hyman

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