As 2020 rolls in, The Scarsdale Inquirer continues its tradition of assessing the year just past with an array of gifts and prizes.

Superlatives

Most Scrutinized Public Property: The village selected two finalists to present reimaginings for Freightway parking garage based on their interpretations of the shared community vision for the site. Residents opposed to the proposed mixed-use concepts voiced their concerns at public meetings and launched a petition to “Halt Freightway Redevelopment to Protect Our Schools and Taxpayers.”

Most Anticipated Grand Opening: Scarsdale Public Library continued its multimillion-dollar renovation to bring its facility at 54 Olmsted Road up to 21st century standards, with a grand opening planned in late summer of 2020.

Most Dramatic Improvement: Classrooms at 100-year-old Greenacres Elementary School were reconfigured for 21st century interactive and project-based learning.  

Most Inspired Assembly: As the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit convened in September, Scarsdale High School students gathered in support of government legislation to protect the planet. The goal of the SHS assembly was to stand in solidarity with those participating in the Global Youth Climate Strike, as well as to inform the Scarsdale community of the issues at stake.

Fastest Revolving Doors: 1) The village attorney’s office after Wayne Esannason retired in 2018 and Angela Sapienza-Martin moved up but then got moved aside to be replaced by a White Plains-based firm on a retainer; and 2) the village assessor’s office as Nanette Albanese left after 20 years and Jane Lawrence was appointed as acting assessor and then she stayed on because the person the village hired decided not to take the job. The search to find a permanent assessor continues.

Most surely to be missed: 1) Lange’s of Scarsdale, a favorite lunchtime destination for generations, closed after nearly 50 years. 2) Amazing Afternoons program, in which Scarsdale volunteers provided enrichment for Mount Vernon school children, closed after two decades.

Awards

The Golden NIMBY Award to opponents of the plan to install permanent LED lights at Butler Field.

The Voting Rights Award to the residents of Scarsdale and Edgemont who took advantage of the new early-voting option in the November election.

The John Muir Conservation Award to the Scarsdale Forum for creating a new Climate Resilience Committee to push the village even further in its response to climate change.

The Party of the Year Award to Scarsdale Business Alliance and its partners for hosting the all-day Scarsdale Music Festival that attracted thousands to the village center and raised funds for local charities.

The David vs. Goliath Award to Edgemont resident Lucas Cioffi for challenging 28-year incumbent Paul Feiner in the race for the Greenburgh Town Supervisor’s seat. Feiner bested Cioffi 2-1 at the polls.

Sisyphus Citation for Prodigious Effort Toward an Elusive Goal to Edgemont Incorporation proponents who filed a second petition to separate from Greenburgh but faced a tough road ahead after Town Supervisor Paul Feiner deemed it “legally insufficient.”

Gifts

A gold-plated piggy bank for residents and merchants who use the new Pango app instead of hoarding coins for parking.

A cloak of invisibility to scofflaws hoping to elude Scarsdale’s new license plate reader technology.

A Saint Christopher pendant for all Edgemont/Hartsdale travelers as residents push for more sidewalks and safer crosswalks.

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