November 2022

Message to Our Membership

Dear Members,

While we love to conduct research and write reports, we truly enjoy a good party! We had a terrific turnout, delightful weather, and loads of fun at our 13th annual Forum Members' Party on October 29 held at the Scarsdale Woman's Club. Kudos to our co-chairs of the Events and Hospitality committees, Lena Crandall and BK Munguia. The "Octoberfest" theme featured Bruce Wells' craft beers to compliment a range of delicious food offerings. There were fun activities for everyone. Special thanks to the Hoff-Barthelson jazz band for providing entertainment; to our local Scarsdale merchants who provided raffle prizes; and to our fire department, ambulance corps and police who arrived in their official vehicles (or in the case of the fire department, their 1926 vintage fire truck). Thanks to committee member Susan Lee, who organized fun lawn games for the kids (and grown-ups), face painting and crafts. Forum member Cynthia Roberts (also a member of Friends of the Scarsdale Parks) led a tour of the heritage and other magnificent trees on the grounds. Local politicians were on hand to mingle with the members, and Darlene LeFrancois Haber ensured that our Octoberfest was a zero-waste event.

Best wishes,

Susan Douglass, President

Notes from the Board of Directors


(in person and on Zoom unless noted)

  • The next Board Meeting is on the third floor at Village Hall and on Zoom this Thursday, NOVEMBER 3 at 8 pm
  • The next Membership Meeting on the State of the Schools is at the Scarsdale Library and on Zoom Thursday, NOVEMBER 10 at 7:30 pm, featuring Amber Yusuf, President, Board of Education and Drew Patrick, Acting Superintendent of Schools

  • The next Member Program with guest speaker Mayor Jane Veron is at the Scarsdale Library and on Zoom Thursday, DECEMBER 8 at 7:30pm


The Committee will be working on the development of a strategic plan, with goals, objectives, and actions designed to ensure that the Forum continues to carry out its mission and purposes well into the future. Forum members interested in participating are welcome to join us, and should contact Committee Co-Chairs Barry Meiselman at and Ed Morgan at

Downtown Revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is following the progress of Village consultant FHI Studio and its plan for placemaking and mobility in the Village Center. The October 25 public meeting was originally scheduled for the presentation of the final plan. However, FHI had not yet completed the plan so its team instead presented ideas for implementation. The emphasis was on an incremental approach called "tactical urbanism," whereby ideas can be tested on a small scale at minimal cost to assess their impact and acceptance before investing in major changes. Our committee emphasized walkability, parking and parking enforcement, beautification, and safety. The committee will continue to review and report on FHI's proposal as it works its way through the process. If you would like to participate please join us. Contact Chair Susan Douglass,


The Education Committee is working on a critically important report focused on mental health and well-being in the school district. Recommendations and areas for further study will be proposed and shared with district administrators and the Board of Education. See the committee's seminal Report on modalities of collaborative communication among school stakeholders. Contact Chair Barry Meiselman,


The Recreation Committee is busy moving full steam ahead, evaluating current conditions and usage of our parks, fields, paths, green spaces and recreational facilities. We still have a few locations that are not spoken for. All Forum members are welcome to participate in this comprehensive neighborhood undertaking. Our goal is to provide timely feedback to the village so that it may budget accordingly. In addition, our committee is committed to partnering with the Scarsdale Fiscal Affairs and Municipal Services groups on the Pool Complex Project. We hope Forum members from all neighborhoods will join this dynamic and active group and provide feedback. If you would like to participate, please contact Chair Erin Rudensky,

Scarsdale Fiscal Affairs

Committee members attended recent “pre-budget” work sessions about the Public Works “Fleet Replacement Program” and pricing of Rec Department programs and are eagerly awaiting the 2023-24 budget meeting schedule. We expect the Pool Complex Project to be the most important budget issue. The pool pillar Village Board members, staff and consultants are meeting to review assumptions, understand financial details and consider design options. The committee wants to evaluate the claim that pool revenue will cover operating expenses in any project and urges the Board to share with the public the basis for assumptions about future membership, revenues and expenses associated with various options being considered. Work session materials assume a 30-year bond to pay for the project (estimated to cost up to $50 million), requiring a property tax levy increase of up to 6.4%. The committee intends to explore whether pool project costs can be paid partly by private fund-raising and will urge public discussion of these and other alternative funding sources. This is a great time to join the committee. Have a say in how the Board should prioritize competing financial needs and wants and how to pay for them. Contact Chair Anne Hintermeister,

Municipal Services

The Municipal Services, Recreation, and Scarsdale Fiscal Affairs committees will be joining forces to study and report on possible alternatives for the Village Pool Complex. Anyone interested in taking part in this joint committee project should contact Municipal Services Chair Madelaine Eppenstein or Scarsdale Fiscal Affairs Chair Anne Hintermeister or Recreation Chair Erin Rudensky. Updated information about the Village Pool Complex project is on the Village website here.

In the News: NYS has enacted legislation first introduced by Scarsdale Assemblywoman Amy Paulin which enables municipalities, including Scarsdale, to lower the village-wide speed limit on local roads to 25 mph. Our committee has been a supporter of this initiative since our first report on traffic safety in 2015. In the Village Board's October 25, 2022 Agenda, the 25 mph Resolution and related materials (pdf pages 79-133) include our committee's 2020 traffic safety report update at pdf pages 90-133 here, with the following explanation: "Note: 2020 Scarsdale Forum report included for added context surrounding need for 25 mph area speed limit in Scarsdale."  The Village Board is holding a Public Hearing on Monday, November 7 at 8:00 pm on several Resolutions, including an amendment to the village code to lower the village-wide speed limit to 25 mph. Committee members are encouraged to attend the public hearing and offer public comments in support of the amendment (in person or live streaming on Zoom, instructions below).

Municipal Services has begun a study of the traffic issues on the Post Road consistent with our committee's prior recommendations made in the most recent Municipal Services Report on village-wide traffic safety and implementation of complete streets and safe routes to schools policy and design.

The committee also plans on follow up with the Sustainability group and the Conservation Advisory Council regarding the status of: Scarsdale's participation in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program; prior Forum recommendations on further restriction of gas leaf blowers; fall leaf collection; and the degradation of the Village tree canopy despite recent code regulations meant to preserve it. Chair Madelaine Eppenstein,


The Committee supports initiatives for an environmentally sustainable and healthy environment that provides quality of life for village residents. Related to Committee Reports in 2018 and 2019, we need your voice at a public hearing in support of a code amendment covering "Pesticide Use on Village Property" on Monday, November 7, 2022 at 8:00 pm to be held in person at Rutherford Hall in Village Hall, and via Zoom video conferencing. The new local law would ban chemical pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, etc. on Village properties and allow only organic landscape practices. Please speak during the public comment phase of the hearing on November 7 either in person at Rutherford Hall or by zoom at, or by calling in and using 1-929-436-2866 and entering the Meeting ID, 931 8370 3358.

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. A recent 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. Contact Chair Darlene Le Francois Haber, M.D.,

Zoning and Planning

The Committee's focus continues to be on supporting 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. Topics currently being prioritized include: 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 such as Municipal Services, Downtown Revitalization, and Sustainability. Anyone interested in joining the Zoning and Planning Committee or learning more please contact Chair David Fenigstein,

County Fiscal Affairs

This is the most important month for the County Fiscal Affairs Committee. In mid-October, the County Executive released the proposed capital budget, which makes investments in environmental conservation, flood mitigation, the County Parks System, and affordable housing. On November 10, he will release the operating budget, which will go into detail on the various programs and services the County provides and how they'll pay for it through sales tax, property tax, and other revenue. Those draft plans will be handed over to the Board of Legislators who must amend and pass them by early December. Our committee report will come together by the end of November so we can make our public comments to the legislators. If you'd like to be part of the committee discussing, analyzing, and opining on the County budget during this critical stretch, please reach out to Chair Tim Foley at

Community Events, News & Resources


Veterans Day, the annual Federal Holiday on Friday, November 11, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, honoring those who serve and those who have served.

Thanksgiving this year is on Thursday, November 24, with best wishes to all.


General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The ballot includes PROPOSITION 1: ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE BONDS MEASURE. Find your Election day polling place here.

Early voting now through November 6.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022, Citizens Nominating Committee Election. Vote for your neighborhood representatives and amendments to the Non-Partisan Resolution. The major amendment on the ballot: The definition of “qualified voter” is revised to permit non-U.S. citizen

Scarsdale residents to participate on the CNC, effective in 2023. The Election Brochure is available now on the Procedure Committee/CNC website. In person voting at the Scarsdale Library Scott Room, 7:00-9:30am and 2:00-9:00pm, or by Mail-In Ballot available with instructions to mail early HERE.

SCARSDALE FORUM committee chairs and co-chairs invite 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 Scarsdale Forum committees listed on the website. No prior experience with the subject matter is required, so Join here.

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.

Scarsdale Forum Inc.

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. Media Contact: