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Letter from Marc Greenwald: Support the School Board Candidates Selected by the Non-Partisan Committee

marcgreenwaldThis letter was submitted by Marc Greenwald
To the Editor - I understand that Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez is now running for Scarsdale Board of Education. I write to make sure the community is aware that in 2017 Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez spearheaded a group that sued the Village because of her view about the fairness of the 2016 Village-wide property tax revaluation. Because she represented to the court that she spoke for “all Scarsdale taxpayers,” another group of residents who thought the lawsuit was misguided sought to intervene and support the Village in having the lawsuit dismissed. My law firm represented those residents pro bono. The court did allow these Scarsdale residents to intervene, and then dismissed Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez’s lawsuit for lack of merit. All the pleadings in the lawsuit and the court’s dismissal are publicly available under the Index No. 50542/2017, and I urge Scarsdale voters to review these papers when considering Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez’s candidacy.

Four points about the suit: 

First, the suit was filled with baseless insinuation of corruption designed to inflame and sow discord.

Second, the Village spent large sums on legal counsel to defend this meritless suit. And those expenditures continue because Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez has appealed the dismissal.

Third if Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez actually obtains the relief she seeks in the lawsuit, that result could bankrupt both the Village and the Scarsdale School District because of the refunds she and her group are seeking back to 2016.

Fourth
, home sales since the 2016 reval have shown that it was, in the end, more accurate than the prior reval. But Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez continues her claims that the 2016 reval was unfair.


Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriquez chose to sue our Village, but there were less harmful options to effect change. Any individual taxpayer should grieve an unfair assessment. The Village has since hired a new Village assessor and I hope we can move forward, focusing on process improvements to ensure fair tax valuation for all, a community goal.

During these already tumultuous times, the community would be wise to consider candidates for school board prepared to serve with positive, inclusive approaches. This year’s SBNC process generated two great candidates for the open seats: Amber Yusuf and Bob Klein. Nominated for their temperament, integrity, and experience, Ms. Yusuf and Mr. Klein will continue the tradition of excellent leadership of the Board of Education.

My wife Diane and I support Scarsdale’s non-partisan system because we see first-hand how it promotes good government and dynamic participation. I served 3 years on the CNC and then chaired this year’s committee as a non-voting administrator. Diane this year served her third and final year on SBNC as a voting member. It is a deliberative and respectful process that nominates candidates absent individual agenda – it works.

In addition, the current school board has proposed a sober and responsible budget for these unprecedented times. I urge the community to reject divisiveness and an “only I can fix things” approach. Vote “Yes” on the budget and for Amber Yusuf and Bob Klein for school board on June 9.

Marc Greenwald
Oak Lane

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