All of New York Should Worry about Westchester’s Slowing Home Sales

Recent news that home sales in Westchester County declined by 18% the second quarter in 2018 in comparison to the same period in 2017, should have not only local elected municipal officials very concerned, but also those at the New York state level. This is the fourth consecutive quarterly decline… Read more

Scarsdale Mayor and Trustees Should Stop Tilting at Windmills

It seems that Village government preoccupation with inflicting tree ordinances on our residents has not subsided and now some in government are stoking hysteria about gun shops and vape shops that have shown no interest in situating themselves in Scarsdale to begin with. I have to ask, “why are you… Read more

Scarsdale Mayor Should Stop Wasting Our Taxes to Suppress Our Free Speech

Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees is spending our tax dollars to suppress our First Amendment right to free speech in a federal law suit. Earlier this year, lawn signs supporting the school bond began disappearing from our front lawns. When residents reported these as having been stolen, they learned that… Read more

Need Research and Conversation about Distributed Antennae Systems

Tonight, I would like to discuss my concerns regarding the installation of distributed antenna systems around our town. I was disappointed to learn that when a I was told that a current Scarsdale resident communicated with Mayor Hochvert to express her concerns associated with the biological safety of this wireless… Read more

Why Scarsdale Village’s Tax Scheme Will Not Work

The Village Board’s 95% tax evasion scheme hasn’t a ghost of a chance of passing muster with the US Treasury. No reasonable person believes that curbside collection of table scraps or intermittent repair of our roads really qualify as charitable endeavors, or that property tax payments have ever been a… Read more

Losing and Winning with Tax Reform

My informal and unscientific polling leads me to conclude that Scarsdale residents believe that our village, county and school property taxes should be deductible from our state and federal income taxes. We as a group feel that the same income should not be taxed multiple times, and that it is… Read more

Fixing Scarsdale Roads is a Critical Safety Issue

Hi, my name is Jonathan Gruen, I have been a resident of Scarsdale for 16 years. As a 19-year-old who loves mountain biking more than anything else, political affairs rarely cross my mind. However, there are some issues, that cannot be ignored. I have come to this town hall meeting… Read more

What are Scarsdale Residents’ Priorities?

After over a year into his administration, Mayor Hochvert met with the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, May 16, at 6pm to discuss Scarsdale’s long-term list of priorities. Seeing as this gathering was not recorded and not transcribed, only those that could physically attend the meeting, the eight Board of… Read more

Why municipalities need to create long-term financial plans

Market signals are showing that anyone invested in municipal bonds should be looking at this market very carefully. The Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index dropped 1.1% in the first three months of 2018. While the decrease may seem small, this is the biggest first-quarter decline in 15 years. Additionally, investors… Read more

Math and Empathy Should be at the Center of Scarsdale Governance

The Scarsdale School district has been spending a lot of time in the last few years emphasizing math and empathy. I urge you Mr. Mayor and trustees to also make math and empathy the cornerstone of good governance at Village Hall. Since I accidentally stumbled into the disastrous Ryan reval… Read more

Let the Sun Shine in at Scarsdale Village Hall

The myth is that our Scarsdale Village government is transparent, responsive to our residents, forthcoming, and open and honest in its dealings with the public. The reality, sadly, is otherwise. This is perhaps best exemplified by the Village Board’s continuing unexplained refusal to reappoint the eminently qualified and hard-working volunteer,… Read more

Where is the Spring in the Spring Scarsdale Housing Market?

At the beginning of every new year, buyers and sellers, in Scarsdale and throughout the area, start thinking about their personal real estate goals. Sellers purge clutter and polish their homes preparing to bring their properties to market and buyers assess their housing needs and polish their financing plans. In… Read more

Scarsdale Mayor Denies 90% of Scarsdale Subsidizes 10%

On March 14th, Scarsdale Village sent a letter stating the new proposed water rates. The base rate went up over 12% and the excess rate was cut by almost 4%. When a number of us wrote the mayor and the village about the reasons why the excess rate was cut,… Read more

Scarsdale Officials are Ignoring Board of Assessment Review

Good evening. I spoke to you two weeks ago on behalf of the three then sitting members of the Town of Scarsdale Board of Assessment Review. Earlier that day, that independent Town Board sent you an urgent letter chiding you for failing to renominate resident volunteer extraordinaire Jane Curley to… Read more

Scarsdale Does Not Have Anti-Nepotism Policies

Last year, the night that the over a century year old Citizens Non-Partisan Party defeated a nascent seven-week party, I approached Seth Ross to congratulate him. He smiled and said ‘the funny thing is, that I now work for you.’ Trustee Ross, one year later, I ask you, and in… Read more

When Trees Fall in Scarsdale, Do Trustees Hear Them Or Us?

Are you perplexed about this tree thing? There seems to have been a lot of heat (but not much light) generated by Scarsdale government in crafting a new tree ordinance – drafts and re-drafts, and comments from unaffiliated members of the public during Village meetings that seemed to have been… Read more

Scarsdale Budget Does Not Address 800 Pound Gorilla

The first tentative Village of Scarsdale Budget published after federal tax reform eliminated all but $10,000 of state and tax deductions has been published. Given that that the programs, services and payrolls my wife and I pay for every year are now 30%-40% more expensive than they were last year… Read more

Scarsdale Water Rates Provide Discount for Excess Water Use

Scarsdale has prided itself in taking at least small steps toward improved sustainability and environmental stewardship through introduction of the county’s first food scrap recycling program, a pilot program for LED lighting on village roads and proactive tree replacement for fallen trees along the village right of way. Individuals in… Read more

The Scarsdale Citizens Nominating Committee Needs Serious Reform

Imagine that you wanted to be on the board of a Fortune 500 corporation. One day, the chair of a 30-person committee of that prestigious corporation emails you and invites you to come in and give a brief presentation. You, the candidate, get to choose what you want to highlight… Read more

Nepotism & Patronage Appointments in Scarsdale Should End

I write to express my incredible disappointment at the way you all have treated Ms. Jane Curley. I find it incomprehensible that you did not ask her if she wanted to return to the Town Board of Assessment Review (BAR). You have not responded to her email. You did not… Read more

More than Half of Your Water Bill Increase Will Subsidize a Cut to the Excess Rate, Not Capital Projects

By increasing the base water rate from 2017 and lowering the excess rate, the Mayor and Trustees are asking almost 90% of Scarsdale residents to subsidize the remaining 10%.The cost of the excess rate cut is actually greater than the amount raised for capital improvements.   Read more Read more

Silence of the Mayor and Trustees is Deafening

The Board of Trustees’ decision on April 10 not to reappoint a highly qualified and experienced member of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has raised serious questions about appropriate policies and procedures. I understand many of the challenges that you face as Board members. However, I do not respect your silence… Read more

Why are the Mayor and Trustees Mistreating a Talented Volunteer?

Kudos to The Scarsdale Inquirer for pointing out the refusal of the Village Board to renominate resident volunteer extraordinaire Jane Curley to the Board of Assessment Review (“BAR”).  Jane is among the most qualified members we’ve ever had — she’s been a licensed New York State real estate appraiser, a licensed… Read more

Scarsdale Must Have a More Reliable Power Grid

Recently, the Scarsdale community sustained significant damage to trees, infrastructure, houses, and power supply, as well as the high cost of emergency response. I respectfully recommend that Village Hall takes immediate steps to lead us in initiating a near-term, broad, and future focused program to improve reliability of our power grid. For… Read more

The Scarsdale Forum is Not Living Up to Its Promise

In the last two years that I have been on the Forum Board, I have witnessed numerous conflicts of interest and questionable ethical practices.  I am making the painful decision to resign from the Forum Board . I want to volunteer in organizations where leadership respects research, new chairs are not running Borgia vendettas… Read more

VCP Letter to Scarsdale Residents

Voters Choice Party “After 106 years of one-party rule in Scarsdale, you have a choice on March 21st!”  Vote Row B- Voters Choice Party Bob Berg for Mayor,  Brice Kirkendall-Rodríguez, Carlos Ramírez, Bob Selvaggio for Trustees March 15, 2017 Dear Scarsdale Neighbor, Can you continue to afford to live in… Read more

Row B for Better Government

by Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez When I started working at JPMorgan on the emerging markets trading desk in London, my French-Tunisian boss took me out to dinner to discuss whether I should be a trader or an analyst who gives market recommendations. She said “Mayra, if you are the kind of woman… Read more

Ryan Reval: “Pendulum” is an Understatement

by Brice Kirkendall-Rodríguez  July 14, 2016 Last week the Village of Scarsdale released a distribution chart on its website that showed percent change in total assessed value as stratified by neighborhood. In aggregate it appeared to show only modest differences in the valuation changes by neighborhood. However, that approach masked the… Read more

We Will Vote for the VCP

by Howard and Frieda Weitz Change. Why does that word send shivers down the spine of so many people? But change is inevitable. People’s views change, social values change, and governance necessarily adjusts to these changes. So why is it so shocking to many people in Scarsdale that four extremely… Read more

Why We Are Supporting the Voters Choice Party

by Phyllis and Melvin Leitner We have been residents of Scarsdale for over 42 years and plan on staying in this wonderful community that has brought us and our family much happiness and pride, despite the fact that our taxes remain one of the highest in the country. When our… Read more

Why We Support the VCP

By Linda R. Killian and Mary Beth Gose As long-time residents of Scarsdale, we cannot recall such impairment in the functioning of municipal government. Due to a loss of faith in the Board of Trustees, Scarsdale faces critical questions of governance that must be openly discussed before we can return… Read more

Evolution, Not Revolution

by Michael Otten As a ‘retired’ School Board Member and President, who served two terms under the ‘old’ Nominating Committee based tradition, I believe the current challenge is consistent with our non-partisan tradition, although a shift in process.  In my view, proposing an alternate slate of candidates can be quite non-partisan,… Read more

We Can Choose To Try Something New

by John Bensche Over the past ten years, I have had the pleasure to serve on various boards and committees with both Bob Berg and Dan Hochvert, and have seen their operating styles up close. In my judgement, Bob Berg has more relevant experience, more energy, and stronger leadership qualities, and… Read more

Why I’m Voting for The VCP Slate

by Dan Shefter Scarsdale is fortunate to have a large pool of talented individuals willing to volunteer their time to serve in local government and on various community organizations. Although I have been a Scarsdale resident for six years, this year’s contested mayoral and trustee election has for the first time… Read more

Why I am Voting a Straight VCP Ticket

by Jane Curley My children once came home from school outraged that a classmate lied to manipulate the outcome of a high stakes, competitive school contest. But when questioned, my sons revealed that they had no actual evidence their cutthroat classmate had lied. That didn’t go over well. Because you… Read more

Next Tuesday, Vote Row B

By Robert Harrison Next Tuesday at the Scarsdale Library, Scarsdale voters and taxpayers will have a choice in a contested election for Mayor and three Village Board Trustees. We think our voters should cast their votes based on the issues facing Scarsdale and how each candidate would address these issues.… Read more

The Time Has Come For A Clean Sweep!

by Greg Soldatenko It’s time for a breath of fresh air. The Village of Scarsdale is a wonderful place full of talented, professional residents. The Voters’ Choice Party slate of candidates for Mayor and Trustees bring precisely the skills and experience needed to usher Scarsdale Village government into the 21st… Read more

Informed Choice is Good for Democracy

by Geetha and Sunil Subbakrishna Kudos to the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale for hosting the Village Trustee debates. We were very encouraged by the turnout, the discussion, and the atmosphere of the event. It was useful to directly hear from the candidates. Hopefully such forums will encourage more… Read more

What is this election really about?

by Phil Maresco What is this election really about? Is it a referendum on Ryan? What about the Village government? How about development? Well, they’re interconnected and there’s an 800 lb. Gorilla in the room. First some facts, and I’m not talking “alternate facts”! Before it was done, the Ryan revaluation… Read more

Say No to Ryan Reval Revisionism

by Josh Frankel With distance growing from the Ryan revaluation, and in the midst of our political season, there seems to be some revisionist history sprouting up about how the Ryan reval wasn’t all that bad after all. It might be instructive to recall how we got here. Let’s start… Read more

Carlos Ramírez “C” the difference!

by Deborah Skolnik Carlos Ramírez “C” the difference! Committed… Conscientious… Civic-Minded… “WE ARE FACEBOOK FRIENDS, AND NOW WE ARE REAL FRIENDS, TOO!” the man said, grinning and shaking my hand. It was December of 2015, and I was hosting a launch party for my poetry book, Gentle Scarsdale Satire. Even before… Read more

Perlman’s attack on VCP slate unwarranted and inaccurate: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Bob Selvaggio To the Editor, So much for nonpartisanship. In the Friday, March 3, Scarsdale Inquirer, nonpartisan party partisan Andrew Perlman compares my running mates and me to the late communist dictator Hugo Chavez and” ups- the ante with a sophomoric dig at President Trump, likening us to that… Read more

Allegedly flawed filing is not reason enough: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Frank Murtha To the Editor, Governance in Scarsdale has come into question intensely of late. And for good reason; the handling of the recent property revaluation is practically a case study in failed leadership. Effective leadership requires good judgment, courage and accountability, qualities that were in short supply when our… Read more

Scarsdalians should have a choice: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Michele Braun To the Editor, I am puzzled by a letter in the March 3,2017, Inquirer titled “Beware of alternative facts….” I have questions: Why oppose citizens having choices as to who will represent them? If an objective of Scarsdale’s nonpartisan system is to avoid divisive politics, why invoke… Read more

VCP’s Kirkendall-Rodriguez: It’s not just about the reval: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Catherine Ferris The name Brice Kirkendal-Rodriguez may already ring a bell in some residents’ minds, as he was one of the resident professionals who analyzed the 2016 property revaluation update conducted by Massachusetts- based J.F. Ryan Associates. Now, spinning out of that experience, he’s a candidate for trustee as… Read more

It’s time for Bob Berg as Scarsdale mayor: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Kamal Mehta To the Editor, For the last several years, I have observed Bob Berg and the other members of the Voters Choice Party stand up for the citizens of the village of Scarsdale. They boldly voice concerns on people’s minds and they do the heavy lifting for the… Read more

Berg ready to serve: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Chris Morin To the Editor, Bob Berg will bring an insider’s wealth of experience and an outsider’s fresh perspective to village hall. His deep involvement in civic affairs fully qualifies him for mayor. That he has not served as a trustee makes him eve[ more suitable to lead the village… Read more

Open to hearing from all candidates: Scarsdale Inquirer

by Maryellen Saenger To the Editor, I will never take for granted the hard work and dedication of those who serve the Scarsdale community, particularly in governance. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Citizens Nominating Committee in soliciting and screening candidates for these vital managerial roles. That said, I… Read more

VCP’s Bob Berg: From public comment to public policy? Scarsdale Inquirer

by Catherine Ferris To those who concern themselves with village affairs, be they school or government related, the name Bob Berg may ring a bell. The 59-year-old Tisdale Road resident has made time for his volunteer work as president of the Scarsdale Forum in 2015116, president of the Crane Berkley… Read more

Challenge to the Non-Partisan System Increases Civic Engagement at Candidates’ Forum: Scarsdale10583

by Joanne Wallenstein At the end of the League of Women Voters of Scardale Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, moderator Karen Schatzel paid Scarsdale a big compliment, saying, “The level of civility tonight has restored my faith in the American system.” This year, a test of Scarsdale’s Non-Partisan system has increased… Read more

Disillusion, Democracy, and Choice: Patch.com

by Michele Braun I welcome the alternative that the Scarsdale Voters’ Choice party offers to Scarsdale’s status quo. Here’s why: We are entitled to choose representatives. Shortly after we moved to Scarsdale, we voted in our first local election. It seemed unusual that none of the positions were contested but… Read more

From Lima, Peru to Scarsdale, New York: Patch.com

by Carlos Ramírez I am Carlos Ramírez, an immigrant, and a very lucky man. I am blessed with a caring and loving family. I have a smart and beautiful wife, Betty, and I am the proud father of Ryan Ramírez, a Scarsdale High School Graduate ‘16, now attending SUNY Purchase as… Read more

Proper Model Validation Could Have Avoided 2016 Reval Mess: patch.com

By Robert Selvaggio Kudos to The Scarsdale Inquirer for keeping our Village informed of the many problems with the Ryan revaluation and our Village Government’s feckless response to it. It is important that Scarsdale voters understand how this crisis could have been avoided at its outset and how it should… Read more

Scarsdale – A Beautiful Community at a Crossroads: patch.com

by Robert Berg Scarsdale is a very special community, but it is at an important crossroads. Many residents have lost confidence in Village government, Village administrators and staff, and the judgment and leadership of the Mayor and Trustees, especially following the disastrous 2016 JF Ryan property tax revaluation. Empty nesters,… Read more

Voters’ Choice Party Town Hall Meeting – Scarsdale’s Hamlethub

by Voters’ Choice Party The Voters’ Choice Party candidates, Mayoral Candidate Robert J. Berg and Trustee Candidates, Brice Kirkendall-Rodríguez, Carlos Ramírez, and Robert Selvaggio, are pleased to invite you to a Town Hall Meeting on March 15, 2017, 7:15-9:15pm at the Scarsdale Congregational Church in the Boynton Room, 1 Heathcoate… Read more

Ready to Serve Scarsdale Residents: Patch.com

By Brice Kirkendall-Rodriguez My experience with community involvement and leadership began in childhood growing up in New Rochelle. I learned a lot about civic engagement on my way to earning the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts and as the son of an active father who led an advisory committee… Read more

Letter to the Editor: My Problems With the Non-Partisan System: Scarsdale’s Hamlethub

by Jack Greenspan Here in Scarsdale, we have a unique non-partisan party that dominates our politics. They nominate candidates with their elected nominating board (CNC), and then put them up for usually uncontested elections. They believe that taking all of the politicking out of running for village office will make… Read more

An Interview with Voters’ Choice Party Candidate Robert Selvaggio

by Joanne Wallenstein Bob Selvaggio is running for Village Trustee on the slate of the newly formed Scardale Voters’ Choice Party. To find out where he stands on village issues, we asked him a series of questions and received the answers below: How long have you lived in Scarsdale and… Read more

Voters Choice Party Challenges Non-Partisan Party Slate for Scarsdale Mayor and Trustees, Scarsdale10583.com

by Joanne Wallenstein An independent slate of candidates for Scarsdale Mayor and Scarsdale Village Trustee have filed a petition to challenge the candidates selected by Scarsdale’s Citizen’s Nominating Committee in the March 2017 election for the Board of Trustees of Scarsdale Village. The slate is led by Robert Berg who… Read more

Giving Scarsdale Voters a Choice, Hamlethub

by Robert Selvaggio Why am I stepping up to serve the residents of Scarsdale? My personal and professional lives are already full and fulfilling. I am the co-owner of a small, but thriving financial consulting business, Rutter Associates in mid-town Manhattan, a Metro North commuter, a busy husband and dad,… Read more

Scarsdale Voters’ Choice Party Files Hundreds of Signatures – Scarsdale Patch

by Joanne Wallenstein Scarsdale mayoral candidate filed hundreds of signatures to enable the Voters’ Choice Party to be on the election ballot March 21, 2017. Read More Read more

Bringing Grassroots Democracy Back to Scarsdale

by Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez Scarsdale, New York.  For the first time in almost twenty years, Scarsdale Village voters will have a choice of a full slate of outstanding candidates for Mayor and Village Trustees on March 21, 2017 to challenge the candidates selected by the Citizens Nominating Committee in its closed-door, secret… Read more