November 2023

Message to Our Membership

Dear Members,

Thanks to everyone who attended the Forum's Octoberfest event last month. It was nice to see so many of you and it was a wonderful afternoon!

We have a number of great events coming up including a visit from U.S. Congresswoman Lucy McBath, who will speak on "Guns, Congress & More" (this Sunday, November 12); followed by a Membership Meeting next Thursday (November 16) featuring our Mayor and the Superintendent of schools speaking about the State of our Village/District. Please stay tuned to the Forum Focus and Mini Focus for all of our exciting 2024 events and speakers.

During this month of gratitude, I would like to take a moment to let you know just how much I appreciate you: your membership, your participation and your dedication to the Forum. Your continued enthusiasm, energy, and commitment ensure the Forum's continuity and success. I feel proud and honored to be part of this organization and am thankful for each and every one of you. 

To our Board of Directors: Thank you for the work you do to make the Forum great. Without your commitment, creativity, and high standards we would not be the great organization that we are.

If your membership has lapsed, please renew or rejoin (link below in the newsletter). If you are a new member and would like to join our work and activities, we welcome you!

Wishing you and your families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving filled with peace.


Sarah Bell, President

Save These Dates

THIS SUNDAY, November 12: U.S. Congresswoman Lucy McBath is our special guest at the Forum's

Sunday Speaker Program, 3:30 PM at the Scarsdale Library. For in person and live streaming attendance Register HERE (contact if you have login issues)

Thursday, November 16 Membership Meeting: "State of the Village and Schools" featuring Mayor Justin Arest and School District Superintendent Dr. Drew Patrick. 7:30 PM refreshments, program begins at 8:00 PM at Scarsdale Library, Scott Room. Register HERE (Contact if you have login issues)


Veterans Day, the annual Federal Holiday on Saturday, November 11, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, honoring those who serve and those who have served. Schools are closed today, Friday, November 10 in observance.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING on Thursday, November 23, with best wishes to all.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Citizens Nominating Committee Election. Vote for your neighborhood representatives who will nominate or re-nominate new Village trustees in January 2024 to stand for election in March. Last year's amendment to the system's Non-Partisan Resolution revised the definition of “qualified voter” to permit non-U.S. citizen residents of Scarsdale to participate on the CNC, effective for the first time in 2023. The Election Brochure with mail-in ballot is available now on the Procedure Committee/CNC website. In person voting will be held at the Scarsdale Library Scott Room, 7:00-9:30am and 2:00-9:00pm.


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

Downtown Revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is advancing on several fronts. The Freightway working group, led by Seth Ross, met on October 30 to discuss an action plan for collecting data from multiple sources, including parking, schools, and the impacts of multi-unit apartments in other communities. Other projects include further study on creating a Business Improvement District in the downtown, and feedback on the Dine the 'Dale tent. For further information or to participate we encourage Forum members to join the Committee and assist with these projects and any others of interest. Contact Chair Susan Douglass,


The Education Committee is working on a draft report regarding the Scarsdale School District's initiative, "Profile of a SHS Graduate." The Committee plans to involve stakeholders in the report's development, including current and former students, current and former teachers, parents and empty nesters.The Committee also plans to focus on Curriculum as another major topic of interest for further study. Contact Chairs Barry Meiselman,; Art Rublin,; Christine Weston,

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 Board passed the 2023-24 Village budget which was estimated to increase Village taxes on the average home by 3.17%. Click on ClearGov for details. The Committee prepared a comprehensive Report commenting on the Tentative 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

Municipal Services

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 (until a signal is installed by New York State); recommendations for improvements to existing signals to help protect pedestrians and prevent logjams along Village Center corridors; and speeding and enforcement, all 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. 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 of 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. Please contact Chair Madelaine Eppenstein,


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. 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. 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., 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: further research on the potential for establishing a Business Improvement District in the Village center in collaboration with the Downtown Revitalization group; 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,

County Fiscal Affairs

The County Fiscal Affairs Committee is getting ready to quickly review and analyze the County budget and its implications for our property taxes. The County Executive is expected to release his draft budget this month. The County Board of Legislators will review, revise, and ultimately pass the budget in early December, as required by the County Charter. Before they do, our Committee will have the chance to weigh in on the projected income and expenses, which represent about 18% of our property tax bills in Scarsdale, but also on many of the County's initiatives for the year. Past reports have offered comments and suggestions on issues including infrastructure (including sewer and water), school safety, climate sustainability, human rights, health care, and housing. A representative of our Committee testifies each year at the County Board of Legislators' budget public comment session. If you're interested in being part of our Committee and helping to produce our Committee's report, please contact Chair Tim Foley at

Community Events, News & Resources

Both the Program Committee and the Hospitality/ Special Events Committee invite new members to help organize speaking and social events for the Forum and the Scarsdale community. Contact Program co-chairs Eli Mattioli and BK Munguia and Hospitality/Special Events co-chairs Kristen Zakierski and BK Munguia:;;

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.

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.        

Annual Membership RENEWAL Start Date: was May 1, 2023

All memberships run from May 1st of each year and end on April 30th of the following year. Your annual $50 individual membership fee is tax-deductible.

You may pay in two ways:

  • Online by credit card or PayPal by "joining" or "renewing"
  • Payment may also be made by check payable to Scarsdale Forum, Inc. mailed to Scarsdale Forum, P.O. Box 86, Scarsdale, New York 10583.

You are also invited to make a tax-deductible gift to the Scarsdale Forum. Please contact the Forum’s Treasurer, Matt Martin, at (917) 697-2747 or by email at if you have any questions.

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!

2023-2024 Officers

Sarah Bell, President

Omer Wiczyk, First Vice President

Jeanne-Marie Castiello, Vice President

Matthew Martin, Treasurer

Rebecca (Becky) Chase - 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