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K9 Unit(Updated May 28) Police launched an extensive search of Scarsdale on Wednesday afternoon May 27 around 3:30. Residents reported many police cars patrolling Murray Hill Road and Mamaroneck Road. According to a press release from the Village, there was an active investigation going on involving a stolen vehicle.  Helicoptors were overhead and police dogs were actively searching.

Here is an eyewitness report of the incident from an observer on Murray Hill Road.

A man driving a stolen car pulled into the driveway of a home on Murray Hill Road and exited the car. At the time, a dog was missing in the area and a resident was searching for his lost dog. Thinking that the man in the car had something to do with the missing dog, a young boy exited the house on Murray Hill Road and spoke to the suspect, who was described as having dreadlocks.

As the two were talking police drove up and the suspect fled on foot behind the house, running toward Birchall Drive and the Scarsdale Middle School.

At that point, police converged on Murray Hill Road, an aviation unit was summoned and a canine unit was called to search for the man. Residents reported helicoptors swarming overhead.

At 5:58 pm, Scarsdale Police Chief Andrew Matturo confirmed that the suspect was caught on Morris Lane and turned over to County Police. Matturro does not know where the car was stolen from but assured the community that he was the only suspect and there was no danger.

An earlier press release from the Scarsdale Police said, "Both Scarsdale and Westchester County Police are on-scene, including a canine unit and helicopter support, aiding in location of the suspect, now on-foot. Area residents are requested to immediately report any suspicious person or activity by dialing 911, or 914-722-1200 if calling by cell phone.

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.

, 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

MaskedRiderBikers, runners and walkers welcomed the opening of Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway on Sunday May 3, one Westchester tradition that was not cancelled due to the COVID crisis. 

County Executive George Latimer made the call to continue this tradition to give residents an outlet and opportunity for recreation after they have been homebound for so many weeks.This year was marked by a change in the route at the north end and by the requirement that cyclists wear masks. Rather than turn around in front of the County Center at the intersection with Route 119, cyclists  had to take the exit ramp off the parkway, cross on the overpass and return to the parkway on the entrance ramp on the opposite side.

Participants were also asked to wear masks and maintain social distance, and most complied. 

We rode the parkway and saw everyone from serious cyclists, to walkers and families outside enjoying the warm weather and the open road.

Commenting on the event, and the opening of four county golf courses, George Latimer said, “People need a legitimate place to go and if we provide them with opportunities they will be much more likely to follow the rules. Latimer said that the steady drop in the number of active cases and hospitalizations shows that the county’s policies are working.

There was a large police presence and many signs posted to remind cyclists of the rules. Though participants were clearly enjoying the chance to get outside, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner made his objections known.Mask Sign

Feiner has convened a Medical Advisory Committee made up of “prestigious local doctors” that recommended that the county delay the start of Bicycle Sundays and hold more in the fall. He quoted the Governor’s order that says, “Outdoor recreational activities where individuals come in close contact with each other should be avoided” and cited studies that said that “virus-laden droplets could travel 26 feet and that more than six feet of space is necessary for social distancing.”

After Bicycle Sunday Feiner published photos showing violations of social distancing rules and pictures of people not wearing masks and suggested that the route be shortened to prevent riders from bunching up at two points on the ride.

Asked about Feiner’s objections Latimer said, “I believe he is dead wrong. It was well-managed and people were following the rules…. he has a right to his opinion but if the situation gets out of control, we will shut it down.” Latimer called Feiner’s comments an “effort to get headlines…. Paul does not believe you should have parks open and I believe that is misguided.” The County Executive continued, “It is more of a battle between ideologies.”

Latimer commeneted, “I think the Town Supervisor should work on things that are in his domain. He can work on Central Avenue or Route 119 and enforce the social distancing laws there.”

Bicycle Sundays will continue on May 10, 17 and 31 and on June 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 10 am to 2 pm.


letter to the editorTo the Editor: The 2020 School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) proudly presents Amber Yusuf and Robert Klein for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education.

Amber Yusuf
Amber is an 11-year resident of Scarsdale with a dynamic volunteer resume demonstrating successful leadership and civic trust. Amber is currently, a member of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee, a volunteer consultant at TAP (The Accelerated Project,) co-chair of PTA-sponsored STEAM Day, and a previous member of the Citizens Nominating Committee. Amber was a a board member on The League of Women Voters, PTCouncil President, Heathcote PTA President, chair of After School Club and many more roles.

An engineer, an MBA and a working parent, Amber is able to sift through loads of information and extract the important and fine details. She makes the most complex issues digestible to everyone making her a unique and ideal candidate for our school board. Amber and her husband have 2 children who attend Scarsdale Middle School.AmberAmber Yusuf

Robert Klein
A retired architect, Bob has been a resident of Scarsdale for 36 years. He and his wife raised two children who graduated from Scarsdale High School and are now raising families of their own. In his career, Bob focused on the “pre-planning” end of the business, helping clients articulate and frame their strategic vision. Trained as a careful listener and armed with knowledge about the built environment, Bob is sure to be a unique asset to the district.

Committed to service, Bob currently serves as a board member of the Neighbors for Refugees and Clay Arts Center. An ‘empty nester’ and a lifelong learner, Bob remains devoted to student success and will serve the community with his valuable perspective.

BobKleintjpgBob KleinNon Partisan Process
The SBNC is a dynamic committee of 30 citizens -- each serving one 3-year term, in staggered classes -- for the purpose of nominating candidates to fill vacancies on the Scarsdale Board of Education. Eligible residents are welcomed to present themselves to the SBNC in a confidential evaluation forum, answering several predetermined questions about their candidacy. All candidates are then carefully vetted in respectful and thorough deliberations and are nominated for their community experience, character, integrity, and commitment to educational values.

SBNC’s non-partisan system:
-Promotes town harmony by avoiding divisive and costly campaigns;
-Encourages potentially excellent board members to run, who might otherwise not subject themselves to a political campaigns;
-Ensures that board members’ approach issues impartially because they have not committed themselves on issues during an election campaign;
-Ascribes to the philosophy that better school board governance results in a better education for our children.

For the last 96 years, the non-partisan system has served the Scarsdale community and will continue to do so for many more to come.

Amber Yusuf and Robert Klein are highly qualified candidates bringing different backgrounds and experiences to serve the community but share a deep commitment to maintaining the excellence of the Scarsdale schools with integrity.

Look for your ballots in the mail shortly – and mail back by June 9.

Amy Lewis
2020 SBNC Chair

letter(This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Diane Greenwald)
Scarsdale Friends: I want to offer public thanks to Mayor Marc Samwick and Trustees Justin Arest, Lena Crandall, Seth Ross, Rochelle Waldman and Jane Veron for executing on a hard decision last night and passing the Village budget, one that includes a relatively small increase but also a promise of regular review for future relief.

As we all know, COVID-19 interrupted everything, including the village budget process. This budget, supported by the LWVS and the Scarsdale Forum, offers several important features, including a quick pivot by the Village to austerity operations; creation of a COVID emergency contingency fund; and immediate reductions to taxpayers generated from the Library reopening delay. It has more to go, but I am grateful this deciding body did not make rash or dangerous cuts out of panic.

I am not a finance professional but after years of community involvement, I have come to understand the Village budget. Truth is, it’s just not that complicated. Expenses, revenues, savings. The end! What gets complicated are the values that connect to our taxes and the collective priorities that can never be perfect but must respect and reflect our community ethos. Our taxes are the cost of a civil society and must be weighed very carefully.

Some in Scarsdale (the political party, the VCP) circulated a petition seeking immediate and drastic cuts to the proposed Village budget, and while I can understand the instinct, the devil is in the details. We all seek relief; no one is immune, but in truth, we have little discretion over our local budgets, which are heavily mandated by the State, and we have to be careful not to cut off our noses to spite our faces.

The VCP petition suggested cutting amounts largely from our fire and police departments, which illuminates just how tightly formed our Village budget really is. Cutting the funds of first responders (local heroes) during a pandemic is not low hanging fruit. This is not belt tightening -- it’s dangerous.

Thankfully, the Village Trustees did not act on these ill-advised recommendations. Taking into account the long-term health of our Village finances and our community profile, they acted reasonably. Our neighbors in towns like Pelham, Bronxville and Mt. Kisco, also approved budget increases; each of those towns and several other peer communities passed higher percentage increases than our own.

Moving forward, we should not frame future budget discussions in a way that pits neighbor against neighbor. We should not make sweeping assumptions about other peoples’ capacity and resources. And we should not suggest that those supporting iterative, careful, data-driven budgeting are out of touch and out to harm our more vulnerable.

In fact, our more vulnerable community members may rely on our tax-supported services most. Government provides for our collective health, our community safety and various services that improve and save our lives. This is the Scarsdale brand and impacts our investment here, the value of our homes.

We should be protective of our staff. Cuts that hurt village professionals also impact our local economy, our broader ecosystem. Beyond the mandates and legal contracts, we have some duty out of self-interest and as decent people to support our workforce – first responders and others. I want to thank all of Scarsdale’s exceptional employees who support us during these difficult times. We are with you.

I applaud our Village leaders for both their action – passing a careful budget – and for their intention – to continue to work on the budget to find the economies with careful reflection, which the law thankfully permits. As Budget Chair Justin Arest noted, “Unlike previous years, this vote… is not the culmination of our work, it is something of a beginning.”

Good luck going forward safely and thank you for your service.

Diane Greenwald

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