November 2021

Message to Our Membership
Dear Members,

My best wishes to all for happy and healthy times in the shorter and colder days ahead this month. We have many good things to contemplate, and joyful festivities to look forward to with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, November 25. 

Until then, the Scarsdale Forum’s Sunday Speaker Series kicks off on Sunday, November 7 at 3:00 pm, when longtime Scarsdale resident, lawyer, and award-winning author Sandor Frankel will present an interesting Zoom talk about his recently published, popular book, “The Accidental Philanthropist.”

Next on our schedule is the Forum’s Membership Meeting on November 18 at 8:00 pm, to be held simultaneously at the Scarsdale Public Library and on Zoom, featuring the annual State of the Schools presentation by Board of Education President Karen Ceske and Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hagerman.

I urge all members to attend both of these wonderful Forum events and to encourage your friends to participate too. I look forward to seeing you.

Eli Mattioli,
Notes from the Board of Directors
Scarsdale Forum committee chairs and co-chairs invite you to Join us as we tackle the subjects described in more detail below in the Committee Update section. Members may consider joining any one, several or all Scarsdale Forum committees listed on the website. No prior experience with the subject matter is required, so Join here.

PLEASE SAVE THESE DATES: venue and Zoom login to be announced, including registration for public membership meetings and events. Look for updates soon on our website EVENT page.

The next Sunday Speaker Series event: scheduled for this Sunday, November 7 , 2021 at 3:00 pm, featuring Scarsdale resident Sandor Frankel, author of "The Accidental Philanthropist," about how he became one of the trustees of billionaire Leona Helmsley's charitable trust. Register HERE for login.

The next Forum Board Meeting (Board members only): on Zoom Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 8:00 pm.

The next Membership Meeting, STATE OF THE SCHOOLS, featuring Board of Education President Karen Ceske and Superintendent Thomas Hagerman: Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm in the Scarsdale Library Scott Room, 54 Olmsted Road. Doors open at 7:30 pm. In-person attendance requires wearing a mask at the Library. You may choose instead to attend virtually via Zoom by registering HERE. Event begins at 8:00 pm.

Downtown Revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is working on a survey concerning Chase Park; organized a co-sponsorship of Scarsdale Forum with the Scarsdale Parks, Recreation & Conservation department's pre-Halloween concert performed by Hoff-Barthelson Music School students; and participated in the Forum's cannabis Report recommending village opt-out as the prudent course since no state regulations have been passed and no income would likely be received until 2023 even if local sales were permitted. The report was considered by the Village Board and was reported by the Scarsdale Inquirer and Scarsdale10583. Please contact Chair Susan Douglass,


The Education Committee, following its Report on collaborative communications among school stakeholders, continues work on major topics that have emerged over the last several years, including Civics Education on Election Issues, and Media Literacy, Disinformation and Critical Thinking in Relation to Civic Participation. Among other issues under consideration for the agenda are SSEM (Safety, Security, Emergency Management); committee analysis of the district budget; DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) initiatives; student mental health (social and emotional), and learning gaps and how to mend them; addressing stresses on teachers; and voter turnout and sourcing candidates for school board elections. Please Contact Chair Barry Meiselman,

The Recreation Committee has initiated study on the condition of the playing fields, the Pool Complex, and bicyclist safety, among other recreation issues of importance to the community. Please contact Chair Jeremy Gans,
Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale

The Committee continues its focus on Village budget issues, including those related to the Scarsdale Forum's recent Report recommendations for the Village to opt out of an irrevocable commitment to have a cannabis dispensary and/or on site consumption lounge at this time. Our understanding is that public budget discussions in December will follow internal budget discussions among staff and Board members that began in October, and that some of the “preliminary priorities" identified and also "some of the current year projections for the budget and other financials" may be shared with the public. The Committee is looking forward to the level of transparency, public access to complete financial information, and the opportunity to comment and request information that has served the community and the Village well in the past. The Committee will meet to discuss areas of interest for both the current (2021-22) and the 2022-23 budget process. Please contact Chair Anne Hintermeister, if you would like to join the committee.
Municipal Services

Municipal Services members look forward to participating in Village Board work sessions and hearings on Scarsdale's Complete Streets initiative, and on the critically important recommendations made in the recent joint Forum committee Report on "Whether Scarsdale Should Opt Out of Public Cannabis Retail Dispensaries and/or On-Site Adult Consumption Establishments" and the Village's proposed local legislation on smoking in public. The committee is continuing efforts on recommendations made in its Report on "Gas Leaf Blowers, Leaf Vacuuming, and Leaf Mulching" and in the most recent Municipal Services Report on traffic safety and implementation of complete streets and safe routes to schools policy and design. Please contact Chair Madelaine Eppenstein,

Our Committee focuses on preparing for and mitigating the effects of climate change. We work toward an environmentally sustainable and healthy Scarsdale that will provide quality and quantity of life for village residents. We recognize the absolute interdependency between the health of our environment and our own health, both present and future.

Current initiatives focus on: landscape management including the promotion of mulch mowing and grass recycling over leaf blowing and vacuuming; a ban on the use of gas blowers and the elimination of non-organic and environmentally harmful pesticide use; and year-round containerized pick-up of yard waste and excess leaves, rather than the environmentally counterproductive practice of leaf vacuuming, which has served our neighboring communities well. Our committee promotes all recycling including composting food scraps other organic waste.

Many of these and other areas of work have successfully partnered with other Forum committees such as Municipal Services, Downtown Revitalization and Fiscal Affairs including the recent Forum Report which recommended banning smoking on outdoor village property as well as opting out of Village cannabis sales until state regulations and local enforcement can offer assurances that (primarily) our youth are safe from harms related to local recreational distribution and consumption. Future areas of input for our Committee are expected to intersect with these and potentially other committees, e.g. sustainable input on zoning in regard to ensuring adequate storm drainage and other severe storm preparedness issues. Green energy is also a key area of inter-committee interest. Contact Sustainability Chair Darlene LeFrancois Haber,
Zoning and Planning

The scope of the Zoning and Planning Committee is zoning issues generally and in the context of future development. Any member interested in chairing the committee should contact President Eli Mattioli,
Community Events, News & Resources

Veterans Day, Federal Holiday Thursday November 11

Thanksgiving, Thursday November 25

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 (General Election Day): In person. Find your polling place HERE

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, Citizens Nominating Committee Election. In person voting at Scarsdale Library, 7am to 9pm, or by Mail-In Ballot available with instructions to mail early HERE

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Note re Village Board Hearings and Work Sessions: Members of the public wishing to participate in Village Board meetings are welcome to do so at Village Hall or via Zoom webinar at, or call into the meeting using 1-929-436-2866 and entering the Meeting ID 931 8370 3358. Zoom login uses same ID.

Dine and Shop the 'DALE
Scarsdale Forum Inc.

Scarsdale Forum Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, it has contributed meaningfully to village affairs through written reports, public speaker events and committee discussions. Membership is open to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents, regardless of citizenship status. 

Forum Focus is distributed to Scarsdale Forum members generally in the first week of each month. Story ideas should be sent to one week prior to publication to be included in the coming issue.

The Scarsdale Forum Yearbook is available here. Report corrections by email to Media Contact below.

Media Contact
Madelaine Eppenstein