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 is the better choice for Scarsdale Mayor in this election. Dan, I love you man, but I just think the times call for Bob at the helm.
Broadly speaking, I feel that the existing system has lost its connection with the public. Village Board meetings are often filled with angry, aggrieved citizens who feel let down by their representatives. Calls for more accountability have been treated unsympathetically, and now the CNC proposes more candidates with the same policies to fill these seats. In my head and my gut, I think we need SOME course correction. The fact that a full second slate of bona-fide candidates is now on the official election ballot ought to be a clarion call to all citizens that the status quo is inadequate. It’s time for a change and I trust Bob Berg to lead that.
On fiscal matters, I have been disappointed that the Village Board does not produce budget growth closer to inflation or the tax cap. With no public referendum on Village budgets or bonds, and no way to get an understanding of proposed candidates’ views on spending via the CNC process, I do not feel the Village Board has been attentive enough to fiscal concerns and high taxes. I think some more fiscally conservative perspectives would be helpful. Bob will bring those to the table.
In 2013, Bob heard the voice of the people with regards to elevated school budgets. His brave and ethical stance for greater fiscal responsibility was met with a groundswell of voter support in the budget referendum. To this day, the school budget has never broken the tax cap, yet the district continues to provide world class programming and graduates. We have Bob to thank for that. His efforts have saved the citizens millions of dollars.
I believe Bob and his team hear a similar voice now, and I am hopeful they can achieve a similar result with the Village. With my vote and yours, we can choose to try something new.