May 2024

Message to Our Membership

Dear Forum Members:

It's hard to believe an entire year has passed since I first wrote to you as the Forum President and that my term will come to an end in less than a month. But we had a great year and I'm delighted with the progress we have made.

One of our main priorities for this past year was inclusive engagement. To that end, last year we recruited 8 new board members; this coming year, in addition to retaining those new Board members, I'm delighted to share that we have recruited 4 additional new board members. We have created a path to retain Forum officers who are no longer able to maintain officer positions and increased our membership roster. I'm delighted that we have drawn Scarsdale residents - who previously had not been involved in the Forum - to Forum events through the planning of diverse and engaging events, such as a presentation by Congresswoman Lucy McBath; and an evening with our Mayor and Superintendent. 

When I stood before you last Spring, I also promised that we would begin to engage our children and we did just that. Late last Spring, the Forum passed a Resolution which formed the Scarsdale Forum Youth Advisory Council. The purpose of the SFYAC is to engage and empower the youth of the Village of Scarsdale to participate in Village, local, county, state and/or national civic affairs. Over the course of this school year, we engaged our first class of SFYAC members - six Scarsdale High students who are interesting, interested and engaged. 

Finally, we are improving our communication. This past year we published the first ever Mini Focus - a condensed - and indeed "mini" version of the Forum Focus. The Mini Focus was the most opened Forum publication in 5 years. 

While my term is ending in a few weeks, I couldn't be more excited for the future of this great organization. My friend Omer Wiczyk will become the next Forum president and under his leadership, the future of the Forum is bright. 

Please remember to renew your Forum membership! May is Membership Month - so please renew, enroll, and tell all of your friends and family members to do the same. 

I am honored to have had the privilege to serve the Scarsdale Forum and look forward to seeing you all at one of our events soon. 



Save These Dates and Reminders

SCARSDALE FORUM ANNUAL MEETING: Thursday MAY 23, Special Speakers NYS Senator Shelley Mayer and NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, at Scarsdale Library 7:30-9:00 PM and live streaming on Zoom.

SUNDAY SPEAKER EVENT: Special Appearance June 9, 2024 3:00-5:00 PM at Scarsdale Library: Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize winning author and Op-ed columnist for The New York Times. His latest book, Chasing Hope, will be available for sale by Bronx River Books and signed by the author.

Stay in touch for additional information or changes


Renewing or lapsed members may sign up and pay here:

Residents who wish to join should go here:

Your support of the activities of the Forum is greatly appreciated!


Scarsdale Youth Advisory Council (SFYAC)

Seeking members!

The Forum has created the SFYAC to empower the youth of the Village of Scarsdale to actively participate in community dialogue, to express personal views, and to become involved in addressing the civic issues, choices and solutions that directly impact them. Opportunities for students may include meetings with Village, County, State, and Federal government officials; and will include conversations concerning Village and Scarsdale School District (the “District”) issues; and opportunities to provide feedback concerning Village and District issues. SFYAC members must be Scarsdale residents who are under the age of 18. To join, please submit a short letter explaining interest to

County Fiscal Affairs

The County Fiscal Affairs Committee released its Report

analyzing the 2024 County budget and its implications for our property taxes. The Committee was represented at the Westchester County Board of Legislators hearing on December 6, 2023 to testify on the findings in our report. If you are interested in being part of our Committee and helping to fine tune our Committee's reports, please contact Chair Tim Foley at

Downtown Revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is advancing on several fronts. The Freightway working group, led by Seth Ross, will be meeting on Monday, May 6 to continue work on a report addressing proposed uses of the Freightway Garage. Rob Mawson is leading a working group to draft proposals for a Business Improvement District in the downtown. The BID working group presented an update of its report to the Village board on March 5. For further information or to participate please join the Committee and assist with these projects and any others of interest. Contact Chair Susan Douglass,


Since its last update, the Committee has shared a draft of its report on the School District's initiative, "Profile of a SHS Graduate,” with district executives and the Board of Education. The committee is awaiting comments before submitting a final report for Forum approval. Contact Chairs Barry Meiselman,; Art Rublin,; Christine Weston,

Municipal Services

See the most recent Joint Report with the Sustainability Committee on saving our tree canopy.

Municipal Services is continuing work on a study of the range of traffic issues on the Post Road that includes the yet to be signaled crosswalk at Edgewood Road (awaiting New York State installation); recommendations for improvements to existing signals to help protect pedestrians and prevent logjams along Village Center corridors; and speeding and enforcement. This work is consistent with recommendations made in the most recent Municipal Services Report on Village-wide traffic safety and implementation of complete streets, Zero Vision, and safe routes to schools policy and design by the Village. We look forward to community input. Other follow-up includes collaboration with the Sustainability group and input from the Conservation Advisory Council regarding the status of Scarsdale's participation in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program; further restriction relating to gas leaf blowers and fall leaf collection; and degradation of the Village tree canopy despite Code amendments meant to preserve it. Education of the public on the dangers of widespread pesticide use on private property is another issue of continuing focus together with the Sustainability Committee, in view of the recently amended Village Code's broad pesticide ban on public property. We hope you have an interest in being part of our team. Please contact Chair Madelaine Eppenstein,

Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Recreation Committee continues to evaluate current conditions and usage of our parks, fields, paths, green spaces and recreational facilities. Forum member and wider community input is welcome. Issues include the Pool Complex project; girls’ athletics participation; pickle ball courts; and a Village initiated field study. Contact Parks Chair Erin Rudensky, and/or Recreation Chair Omer Wiczyk,

Scarsdale Fiscal Affairs

The Committee prepared a comprehensive Report commenting on the prior Village budget before it was passed, and recommended how the Board should prioritize competing financial needs and wants and how to pay for them. For more information Contact


See the most recent Joint Report with the Municipal Services Committee on saving our tree canopy.

The Sustainability Committee supports initiatives for an environmentally sustainable and healthy environment and climate that provide quality of life for Village residents. Related to Committee Reports in 2018 and 2019, we supported the recent Village Code amendment covering "Pesticide Use on Village Property." The new local law bans chemical pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, etc. on Village properties and allows only organic landscape practices. Recognizing the absolute inter-dependency between the health of our environment and our own health, the Committee continues to support a number of potential green initiatives including, but not limited to, those geared toward recycling, green energy, storm preparedness, and NY State's Climate Smart Community initiative. Another Report focuses on the promotion of mulch mowing, the elimination of street leaf pile vacuuming, and a total ban on the use of gas blowers. The Sustainability Committee also invites old and new members to join local efforts in vine cutting. Vines are an important cause of Scarsdale's diminishing tree canopy. Cynthia Roberts, of Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, will be helping to train and organize volunteers. Please contact Committee chair Darlene LeFrancois Haber, M.D. at if you are interested in helping our community save its trees or participate in other Sustainability projects.

Zoning and Planning

The Zoning and Planning Committee's focus is the long term growth and development of our Village to improve quality of life and sustainability by providing thoughtful analysis and recommendations for existing and proposed codes. Priority topics include: assessment of the recent Village moratorium, further research on the potential for establishing a Business Improvement District; elevation of structures in flood prone areas; requirements for new buildings to utilize heat pumps; installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations downtown and at other locations; and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The Committee has a supporting role working closely with other Forum committees including Municipal Services, Downtown Revitalization, and Sustainability. Contact Chair Jill Spielberg,

Community Events, News & Resources


SEFC ANNUAL GALA: May 16, 2024 at

Scarsdale Golf Club 6:30 pm, honoring Rising Star recipient Megan Simon. More information here.

Special Sunday Speaker Presentation JUNE 9, 2024 3:00-5:00 PM at Scarsdale Library: Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize winning author and Op-ed columnist for The New York Times. His latest book, Chasing Hope, will be available for sale by Bronx River Books and signed by the author at the event.

Scarsdale Foundation Scholarship Program for eligible Scarsdale students More information here.

SCARSDALE FORUM invites you to join us as we tackle the subjects described in more detail in the Committee Update section. Members may consider joining any one, several or all of the Scarsdale Forum committees listed on the website. No prior experience with the subject matter is required. The Scarsdale Forum offers programs, activities, and events to support community quality of life, social engagement, and dialogue with village government.

VILLAGE BOARD MEETINGS and WORK SESSIONS: Village Board meetings are regularly open to the public at Village Hall or via Zoom webinar at, or call in using 1-929-436-2866 and entering the Meeting ID 931 8370 3358. The Zoom login uses the same ID. Sign up for updates here. Check the Village Board calendar here.


The SBNC Board of Education candidates, along with any other candidates who may choose to run, will stand for public election Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at the same time as the school budget vote.

Board of Education meetings are regularly open to the public at the Scarsdale High School or via Zoom webinar. Information relating to BOE Meetings, Calendars, Documents, Policies, Events, Strategic Goals, Board Members, and more can be accessed here.

Scarsdale Forum Inc. is the 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, Scarsdale Forum has contributed meaningfully to village affairs through written reports, prominent speaker programs, social gatherings and other public events. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents, regardless of citizenship status.  The Forum Focus newsletter is distributed to Scarsdale Forum members generally during the first week of each month. Pertinent information should be sent to one week prior to publication to be included in the coming issue.        

2023-2024 Officers

Sarah Bell, President

Omer Wiczyk, First Vice President

Jeanne-Marie Castiello, Vice President

Matthew Martin, Treasurer

Christine Weston - Secretary

2023-2024 Committee Chairs

Communications - Madelaine Eppenstein & David Fenigstein

County Fiscal Affairs - Tim Foley

Downtown Revitalization - Susan Douglass

Education - Barry Meiselman & Art Rublin & Christine Weston

Hospitality & Special Events - BK Munguia & Kristen Zakierski

Membership - Jeanne-Marie Castiello

Municipal Services - Madelaine Eppenstein

Program and Speaker Series - Eli Mattioli & BK Munguia

Parks - Erin Rudensky

Policy - Jonathan Mark

Recreation - Omer Wiczyk

Sustainability - Darlene LeFrancois Haber

Zoning and Planning - Jill Spielberg


​2024 Sylvia T. Dundon, Elaine Weir, Rob Mawson

2025 Purnima Srivastava, Peri Zelig, Han Zhou

2026 Alexandra Vargo, Seth Ross, Dan Kovel