LWVS Board Issues Second Statement at BOE Meeting re Open Meetings Law

At the BOE meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2021, LWVS President Alissa Baum issued a Statement re Open Meetings Law on behalf of the LWVS Board urging the BOE to reconsider its decision to deny the public the opportunity to comment at meetings virtually. Among other points, the statement cited New York State’s Committee on Open Government which indicated that “the Open Meetings Law does not prohibit a public body from permitting invited guests (i.e., anyone who is not a member of the public body, but who has been asked to actively participate in the meeting) to speak or testify using a remote access platform.”

Upcoming Public Hearing on Redistricting

NY State Independent Commission Public Hearing on Redistricting for the Mid-Hudson Valley Region
Monday, August 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm, Virtual Format

You have a voice in how our state and federal legislative districts are drawn!
Register online to attend the meeting and/or testify.
Deadline: Sunday, August 1, 2021, by 2:00 pm

Under federal law, redistricting must occur every ten years, following the census, to ensure that legislative districts are roughly equal in population. Redistricting influences who appears on your ballot, where you can vote, and how communities are represented in government. The composition of a district determines the issues elected officials may choose to pursue and the issues they choose to ignore. 

New York State has established a brand new Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to draw district lines. The IRC is seeking public input to help identify communities of interest, so that it can draw lines fairly. Eight public hearings will be held virtually around the state between July and August. The public hearing for the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Scarsdale, is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Monday, August 2, 2021.  Participants must register no later than 2:00 pm on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

Providing testimony at this redistricting hearing is a way to influence our community’s district maps for the next decade.

For more information, please visit the New York State Redistricting Commission website.

LWVS Board Celebrates Passage of County Redistricting Legislation

At the Scarsdale Public Library on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, LWVS President Alissa Baum spoke at a press conference to celebrate the recent passage of legislation (A.229c/S.5160b) which requires all counties in the state of New York to follow the same redistricting rules when drawing legislative districts. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by Governor Cuomo in the coming days.

Renee Baylor, Alissa Baum, Kitt Rosenthal

Prior to the passage of this legislation, counties that operate under a charter (such as Westchester) did not have to follow the usual redistricting standards which required, among other things, that municipalities remain intact and not be divided into separate districts. As a result, in 1991, the town of Scarsdale was divided into two separate county legislative districts — diminishing the collective power of voters to elect a candidate focused on their specific community interests. 

Bill Co-sponsors NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (left) and NYS Senator James Skoufis (right) being congratulated by Scarsdale Mayor Jane Veron (center)

After a long-fought battle in the courts and then on the legislative floor, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, first through her work with the League of Women Voters and then as a member of the NY State Assembly, passed legislation amending county redistricting standards. From now on, county legislative districts must be drawn respecting municipal boundaries, and in such a manner that districts do not favor a particular party, are compact and contiguous, and do not deny the equal opportunity of racial or language minority groups to participate in the political process.

This law ensures a more just redistricting process for Scarsdale residents and all New Yorkers.

LWVS Board Issues Statement at BOE Meeting re Open Meetings Law

At the BOE meeting on Monday, June 21, 2021, LWVS President Alissa Baum issued a Statement re Open Meetings Law on behalf of the LWVS Board urging the BOE to revisit the issue of whether the BOE will allow virtual public comment after the expiration of the pandemic-related executive order suspending the in-person requirements of the Open Meetings Law.

Upcoming Democratic Primary for County Clerk

Democratic Primary for County Clerk
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
In-person voting only at your designated polling location

Saturday, June 12, 2021 through Sunday, June 20, 2021
Early voting at any of 23 designated locations

Democratic voters in Scarsdale will be able to vote in a County-wide Democratic Party Primary for the position of County Clerk. No Republican Party Primary is scheduled.  

Absentee Ballot Information

All New York State voters may still apply to vote by absentee ballot using the temporary illness clause, which now includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021: Last day to postmark an application for absentee ballot by mail or submit an application via email, fax, or electronically through the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Portal.  See the Westchester Board of Elections website for additional details.

Monday, June 21, 2021:  Last day to apply in person at the Westchester Board of Elections for an absentee ballot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021: Last day to postmark a completed absentee ballot (must be received by June 29) or to submit an absentee ballot in person to the Westchester Board of Elections.

In Person Voting

Saturday, June 12, 2021 through Sunday, June 20, 2021: Early voting at any of the 23 early primary voting polling locations and times in Westchester County.   

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (Primary Election Day): In person voting only at your assigned polling location.

For additional questions, please contact the LWVS Voter Service Chairs.

Upcoming School Budget Vote and Board of Education Election

School Budget Vote and School Board Election
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
In-person voting from 7 am to 9 pm
Scarsdale Congregational Church
1 Heathcote Road, in Dyckman Hall


All COVID-19 protocols set forth by the CDC for polling locations will be followed.

The proposed 2021-22 school budget will be subject to a vote and the names of all four individuals who have successfully filed timely completed candidate petitions will be on the ballot for election to the two open School Board positions.

School Budget Information

The 2021 LWVS School Budget Consensus Statement was presented at the Community Budget Forum on Monday, March 22, 2021. Follow these links to view the proposed 2021-22 School Budget and to view the LWVS School Budget Information Session.

School Board Candidate Information

The four candidates whose names will appear on the ballot for the two open seats in the upcoming School Board Election, Jim Dugan, Irin Israel, Jessica Resnick-Ault, and Alison Tepper Singer, all participated in the LWVS Candidate Forum for Board of Education on Sunday, May 2, 2021. The two School Board seats will go to the two highest vote recipients in the May 18, 2021, election.

Absentee Ballot Information

Absentee ballot applications are available for download. Completed absentee ballot applications may be submitted in person, by mail, or via email to the District Clerk, Honore Adams, Scarsdale School District, 2 Brewster Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583, (914) 721-2410, hadams@scarsdaleschools.orgAll voters can still apply to vote by absentee ballot using the temporary illness clause if there is a risk of contracting a disease (such as COVID-19).

Tuesday, May 11, 2021:  Last day for the District Clerk to receive a completed absentee ballot application if the voter requests that the absentee ballot be sent to the voter via mail.

Monday, May 17, 2021:  Last day for the voter to appear in person before the District Clerk (by 5 pm by appointment only) to submit a completed absentee ballot application and be provided the actual absentee ballot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (School Election Day): Last day for the District Clerk to receive completed absentee ballots by mail or in person by 5 pm by appointment only.

Follow this link to the District Clerk’s Voter Information page.

For additional questions regarding the School Budget Vote and School Board Election, please contact the LWVS Voter Service Chairs.

Upcoming Event — Annual Meeting

Friday, May 7, 2021
9:30 am via Zoom
Meeting ID: 880 8597 7845
Password: 741583

Though we will not be gathering for a spring luncheon this year, we will be holding our annual meeting. Members are cordially invited to join us via Zoom to formally adopt our budget and local program and to elect and install our officers, directors, and nominating committee for the next fiscal year. Follow this link to view the Annual Meeting Agenda.

Upcoming Event — School Board Candidate Forum

Sunday, May 2, 2021
7:30 pm via Zoom Webinar

LWVS is holding a virtual candidate forum in anticipation of the upcoming May 18, 2021, contested school board election. Candidates appearing will have the opportunity to answer questions in a timed format, moderated by a trained LWV of Westchester representative from outside of Scarsdale. The four candidates whose names will appear on the ballot for the two open seats in the upcoming School Board Election, James Dugan, Irin Israel, Jessica Resnick-Ault, and Alison Tepper Singer, have all been invited to participate as panelists.

The candidate forum is open to the public. Please follow the link to Register to Attend. Zoom will automatically send an email (subject line: LWVS Candidate Forum for Scarsdale School Board Election Confirmation) with the webinar link. Registrants will also receive an automated email reminder shortly before the event.

Follow this link to Submit Audience Questions for anonymous use at the Candidate Forum. Guidelines for audience questions are set forth on the form.

Additional information may be found on our visit our School Budget Vote/School Board Election Voter Information page and our Scarsdale BOE Candidate Forum page.

Questions regarding the Candidate Forum or the School Budget Vote and School Board Election should be directed to Alissa Baum and Beatrice Sevcik, the LWVS Voter Service Chairs.

Recent LWVS Consensus Statements (2020-21)

Please view our Local Program and Positions webpage for current and historical folders containing annual and topical LWVS Consensus Statements. Follow this link to view written reports and, when available, video recordings of this year’s Information Sessions.


Village Budget
On Thursday, March 26, 2021, LWVS held its annual general membership information session regarding the proposed Village budget for 2021-22 . Village Manager Stephen Pappalardo, Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole, Village Treasurer Ann Scaglione, then-Mayor Marc Samwick, Deputy Mayor Justin Arest, and Trustee Randall Whitestone, presented and answered questions. Follow this link to view the LWVS Information Session Questions and Village Responses as well as the tentative 2021-22 Village Budget. The LWVS Village Budget Consensus Statement was presented at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.


School Budget
On Thursday, March 11, 2021, LWVS held its annual general membership information session regarding the proposed school budget for 2021-22. Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman, Assistant Superintendent for Business Stuart Mattey, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Drew Patrick, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Edgar McIntosh, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services Eric Rauschenbach, Director of Instructional Technology Jerry Crisci, and Board of Education President Pam Fuehrer were present to answer questions. Follow these links to the LWVS Questions and District Responses from March 10, 2021, the LWVS Budget Questions and District Responses from the November 18, 2020, Budget Forum. as well as the proposed 2021-22 School Budget. The 2021 LWVS School Budget Consensus Statement was presented at the Community Budget Forum on Monday, March 22, 2021.

Upcoming Book Discussion

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 7pm via Zoom
Meeting ID: 837 1875 0796
Passcode: 191004

Please RSVP to let us know you will be participating.

Joining us via Zoom will be Richard Westmoreland, retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and former F/A-18 pilot, mentioned in the book for his participation in the Confederate monument debate in New Orleans from 2015 to 2017 as a vocal proponent of removal. Before the murders in South Carolina brought national attention to the issue, Westmoreland had been writing to local government and media and appearing on local radio and television about the “historical lie” that Confederate monuments and street names perpetuated, calling them “an affront to the truth and an affront to decency.” Westmoreland will share his experience of speaking at the New Orleans City Council and the frightening aftermath.

Upcoming Event — Village Budget Information Session and Consensus Meeting

Friday, March 26, 2021
9 am via Zoom
Meeting ID: 885 8801 9183
Password: 496419

LWVS will hold its annual general membership information session regarding the tentative 2021-22 Village Budget. Village Manager Stephen Pappalardo, Village Treasurer Ann Scaglione, Mayor Marc Samwick, and Trustee Justin Arest will be present to answer questions. The Information session is open to the public. A consensus discussion will immediately follow for LWVS members only.

Follow this link to view the LWVS Information Session Questions and Village Responses as well as the Tentative 2021-22 Village Budget. Follow this link to the LWVS Consensus Questions to be discussed following the presentation and Q&A. For purposes of the Zoom presentation and discussion, attendees are strongly encouraged to review these materials in advance.

For more information, please contact Diane Gurden, LWVS Village Budget Chair, at LWVS.villagebudget@gmail.com.

Upcoming Event — School Budget Information Session and Consensus Meeting

Thursday, March 11, 2021
9 am via Zoom
Meeting ID: 839 5437 9665
Password: 985514

LWVS will hold its annual general membership information session regarding the preliminary 2021-22 Scarsdale School District Budget. Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman, Assistant Superintendent for Business Stuart Mattey, Board of Education President Pam Fuehrer, and other members of the cabinet and school board will be present to answer questions. The Information session is open to the public. A consensus discussion will immediately follow for LWVS members only.

Follow these links to the LWVS Questions and District Responses (March 10, 2021) and to the LWVS Consensus Questions for the meeting that follows the information session. Follow this link to the LWVS Budget Questions and District Responses from the November 18, 2020, Budget Forum. For purposes of the Zoom presentation and discussion, attendees are strongly encouraged to review these materials in advance.

For more information, please contact Suzie Hahn, LWVS School Budget Chair, at LWVSschoolbudget@gmail.com.

Upcoming Village Election

Village Election
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
In-person voting from 6 am to 9 pm
Scarsdale Congregational Church
1 Heathcote Road, in Dyckman Hall


All COVID-19 protocols set forth by the CDC for polling locations will be followed.

On the ballot are one candidate running for Mayor and three candidates running for three Village Trustee positions.

Absentee Ballot Information

Voters may obtain an absentee ballot application online, request one by phone or mail from the Village Clerk, or attain one at the Village Clerk’s Office in Village Hall.  Note: All voters can still apply to vote by absentee ballot using the temporary illness clause if there is a risk of contracting a disease (such as COVID-19).

Tuesday, March 9, 2021:  Last day for the Village Clerk to receive a completed absentee ballot application if the voter requests in that application that the absentee ballot be delivered to the voter via mail.

Monday, March 15, 2021: Last day for an applicant or applicant’s agent to appear in person before the Village Clerk (by 5 pm) to submit a completed absentee ballot application and be provided the actual absentee ballot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 (Village Election Day): Last day for the Village Clerk to receive completed absentee ballots by mail, by drop box outside Village Hall, or by in person delivery. Completed absentee ballots may also be submitted to an election inspector at Scarsdale Congregational Church during polling hours.

Reminders: After completing the absentee ballot, insert it into the tan-colored official absentee ballot envelope you were provided and seal the envelope. The VOTER must then sign and date the outside of the envelope where indicated. A WITNESS signature on the envelope is required ONLY if the voter cannot physically sign their own name.

Follow this link to the Village Clerk’s Election Information page.

For additional questions regarding the Village Mayor and Board of Trustees Election, please contact the LWVS Voter Service Chairs.

Upcoming Author Visit

Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb
Sunday, March 7, 2021
3 pm via Zoom

Register to Attend the Webinar

Join us for a conversation with author Robert Marchant to hear about his new book, Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb. This live virtual event will provide an informative and lively dialogue on Westchester’s fascinating and often surprising past, moderated by Jordan Copeland. Marchant’s book examines four centuries of development in Westchester, uncovering “a complex and often surprising narrative of slavery, anti-Semitism, immigration, Jim Crow, silent film stars, suffragettes, gangland violence, political riots, eccentric millionaires, industry and aviation, man-made disasters and assassinations.”

Recent LWVS Consensus Statements (2020-21)

Please view our Local Program and Positions webpage for current and historical folders containing annual and topical LWVS Consensus Statements. Follow this link to view written reports and, when available, video recordings of this year’s Information Sessions.


Village Election System
On Monday, December 7, 2020, LWVS held its annual general membership information session regarding this year’s Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) election. Procedure Committee Chair Sarit Kessel Fuchs presented and answered questions with the assistance of Procedure Committee member and past chair Madelaine Eppenstein. Follow this link to the Information Session Agenda with Procedure Committee Written Responses and the LWVS 2020 CNC Election Consensus Statement.


School Election System
On Monday, January 25, 2021, LWVS held its annual general membership information session regarding this year’s School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) election. Kathy Gray, current SBNC Administrative Committee Election Chair, was present to answer questions. Follow this link to the SBNC Administrative Committee Election Chair’s Written Report and the LWVS 2020 SBNC Election Consensus Statement.


Proposed Update to the LWVNYS Position on Healthcare
On Monday, February 8, 2021, at 10 am, LWVS held a concurrence meeting for the purpose of considering updates to two LWVNYS Healthcare Positions. Follow this link to the LWVUS Update Materials and Participant Guide. Follow this link to the LWVS Response.


Local, County, and State Programming for 2021-22
On Monday, February 8, 2021, at 10 am, LWVS held a consensus meeting for the purpose of considering updates to the local, county, and state programs. Follow this link to the LWVS Proposed Local Program for 2021-22 to be presented for adoption at the annual meeting in May. Follow this link to the LWVS Comments to LWVW re the County Program for 2021-22. Follow this link for the LWVNYS Program Planning Packet for 2021-23 and the LWVS Recommendations to LWVNYS.

Upcoming Event — LWVNYS Healthcare Position Update Concurrence; Local, County & State Program Consensus Meeting

Monday, February 8, 2021
10 a.m. via
Zoom
Meeting ID: 897 2174 0190
Passcode: 308216

LWVS will hold a concurrence meeting for the purpose of considering updates to two LWVNYS Healthcare Positions, followed by the annual consensus meeting to update the local, county, and national programs. All members of the public are welcome to attend. Follow this link to the Concurrence and Consensus Meeting Agenda. For purposes of the Zoom presentation and discussion, attendees are strongly encouraged to review these materials in advance.

The concurrence questions to be addressed are:

  • Do you accept the new position on Healthcare?
  • Do you accept the new position on Financing of Healthcare?

An answer of “no” to either question retains the current position; “yes” accepts the proposed new position.

Follow these links to view materials for use in the consensus meeting for the local, county, and state programs:

Upcoming Event — School Election System Information Session and Consensus Meeting

Monday, January 25, 2021
9 a.m. via
Zoom
Meeting ID: 840 4430 3105
Passcode: 309140

LWVS will hold its annual general membership information session regarding this year’s School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) election. Kathy Gray, current SBNC Administrative Committee Election Chair, will be present to answer questions. The Information session is open to the public. Follow this link to the SBNC Administrative Committee Election Chair’s Written Report. For purposes of the Zoom presentation and discussion, attendees are strongly encouraged to review these materials in advance.

The SBNC Administrative Committee is the body that solicits candidates for SBNC, proposes amendments to the SBNC Resolution, and runs the SBNC election and referendum on the amendments, if any. The SBNC is the body that vets applicants and nominates a proposed slate of trustees for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education. The SBNC Resolution is the document that governs the school non-partisan election system.

A consensus discussion will immediately follow the information session for purposes of making recommendations to the SBNC Administrative Committee. Only League members may participate. Follow this link to the Consensus Questions.

For more information, please contact Jyoti Ruta, LWVS School Election System Chair, at LWVS.ses@gmail.com.

Upcoming Centennial Speaker Event — 100 Years of Progress: Women in New York Politics

In honor of LWVS’s 100th year, this special program features an all-female panel of elected officials in a discussion to be moderated by LWVS member and immediate past president Janice Starr.

Sunday, January 24, 2021
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm via Zoom

Register to Attend the Webinar

Please use this form to Submit Questions for any of our speakers.

Meet our Panelists (links open to their professional bios):

Upcoming SBNC Election

School Board Nominating Committee Election
Ballots must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Please note: Election Is Mail-In Ballot Only (no in-person voting)

The SBNC is the body of 30 residents serving staggered 3-year terms that vets applicants and nominates a proposed non-partisan slate of trustees for the Scarsdale Board of Education. Each year, voters elect new representatives from their neighborhood to fill spots vacated by those who have completed their SBNC service.

The deadline for Procedure Committee receipt of mail-in ballots at P.O. Box 172H in the Golden Horseshoe Post Office is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Please visit the SBNC website to download and print the mail-in ballots and for the instructions on how to complete them. 

As a voter service reminder, please remember that each ballot must be sealed within its own unmarked privacy envelope. The unmarked envelope must be placed inside an outer mailing envelope that identifies your name and return address. The voter must sign the outer mailing envelope across the seal. Multiple ballots within a single envelope will render all such ballots invalid.

Upcoming Event — Village Election System Information Session and Consensus Meeting

Monday, December 7, 2020
10 a.m. via
Zoom
Meeting ID: 853 5580 0070
Passcode: 881967

LWVS will hold its annual general membership information session regarding this year’s Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) election. Procedure Committee Chair Sarit Kessel Fuchs and Vice Chair Becky Bach will be present to answer questions. All members of the public are welcome to attend. Follow this link to the Information Session Agenda with Procedure Committee Written Responses. For purposes of the Zoom presentation and discussion, attendees are strongly encouraged to review these materials in advance.

The Procedure Committee is the body that solicits candidates for CNC, proposes amendments to the Resolution, and runs the CNC election and referendum on the amendments, if any. The CNC is the body that vets applicants and nominates the proposed slate for the Village Board of Trustees, including Mayor. The Non-Partisan Resolution is the document that governs the Village’s non-partisan election system.

A consensus discussion will immediately follow the information session for purposes of making recommendations to the Procedure Committee. Only League members may be present for the consensus discussion. Follow this link to the Consensus Questions.

For more information, please contact Diane Baylor, LWVS Village Election System Chair, at LWVS.ves@gmail.com.

Upcoming Food for Thought Speaker Event

Action Civics: Empowering Students to be Engaged in our Democracy
Featuring: DeNora Getachew*
Additional Panelists: Martin Mintz** (current New York Program Director of Generation Citizen), John Harrison (SHS Social Studies Department Chair), Steven Goodman (SMS Social Studies Teacher), and student representatives from the SHS School Government
Thursday, November 12, 2020
7:30 pm to 9 pm via Zoom

Register to Attend the Webinar

In this moment, when citizen and voter participation in our democracy is essential, how may we best equip our youth to carry that awareness through their lives? Learn how experiential civics education can enable and prepare our students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions for lifelong civic participation in our 21st century democracy. 

Educating and empowering youth about how democracy works is vital to maintaining a strong, inclusive democracy, and the League of Women Voters supports programs that provide students with the information, motivation, and skills to become informed voters and engaged citizens.

Upcoming CNC Election

Citizens’ Nominating Committee Election
Ballots must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Please note: Election Is Mail-In Ballot Only (no in-person voting)

The CNC is the body of 30 residents serving staggered 3-year terms that vets applicants and nominates the proposed non-partisan slate for the Village Board of Trustees, including Mayor. Each year, voters elect new representatives from their neighborhood to fill spots vacated by those who have completed their CNC service.

The deadline for Procedure Committee receipt of mail-in ballots at P.O. Box 284 in the Chase Road Post Office is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Please visit the Procedure Committee website to download and print the mail-in ballots and for the instructions on how to complete them. 

As a voter service reminder, please remember that each ballot must be sealed within its own unmarked privacy envelope. The unmarked envelope must be placed inside an outer mailing envelope that identifies your name, full return address, and elementary school district. The voter must sign the outer mailing envelope across the seal. Multiple ballots within a single envelope will render all such ballots invalid.