Around this time every year, one of the orders of business for the Scarsdale Board of Trustees is recruiting a raft of volunteers for village boards, councils and committees.
It’s important for citizens to know that people, beyond members of the most visible boards, are working in all the different areas that concern local government. But there’s another message to take away from these annual member changes: the opportunity for more diverse citizen participation across a wide swath of village life. If you want to get involved, the trustees’ Personnel Committee needs you.
The committee is currently reaching out to residents to promote applicants for open positions on boards and councils. We encourage citizens of all backgrounds and interests to consider volunteering because the village needs more people involved who are passionate, capable, determined, and most importantly, committed to their community.
Answering the call to serve means your voice can be heard, your creativity and skills put to use to make a difference in our community. Scarsdale is fortunate to have a wealth of talent among its residents. We all have something to contribute. Imagine what could be accomplished if more of us shared our talents to enhance this community. Change often starts at the committee level; municipal committees and councils can be incubators for the ideas that drive the village board agenda and guide trustees’ decisions. Local government benefits from greater citizen engagement, leading to an infusion of new participants who bring fresh perspectives and a shared commitment to the community. By getting involved, you can put your expertise to use, weigh in on issues that matter to you, and contribute skills to help others forge policy. Whatever your skill set, there should be a seat for you at the table.
And we’re told it’s not a huge time commitment. Terms are typically two to five years, and meetings are held once a month to once a year. You might have to spend several hours each month, but maybe you will be a catalyst for really significant change.
For the past year, Zoom has allowed us to participate in public life from the comfort of our own home. Though we don’t know how much longer Zoom will play a role in our lives, we hope it will continue, because it certainly makes it easier to get involved. And these days, with people spending so much more time at home, community matters more than ever. Serving on a committee can help us connect with our community, communicate with our neighbors and maybe even make some new friends.
So, take the leap. Help make our village committees more robust. Bring a different viewpoint, bring new ideas while you will connect with other residents and work to make your community a better place.
For perspective of what it’s like to solve issues that local governments tackle every day — from conservation to public safety to recreation —you can tune in to the Scarsdale Forum meeting on Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. to hear Mayor Marc Samwick discuss the issues currently facing the village.
This month we will be writing about some of the boards and councils that are seeking volunteers in Scarsdale. This week you’ll read about the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council and the Committee for Historic Preservation. There are many other vacancies to be filled; check scarsdale.com for more information about these positions, including the length of terms and how to apply.
This is a great opportunity for residents to get involved and have a positive and direct effect on the quality of life and economic vitality of Scarsdale. So take a moment to assess your interests and consider putting your skills to work for your community.
As Scarsdale Village Trustee Rochelle Waldman said, “The more people get involved, the more people who have a voice, the more [of our town] will be represented … [and] the community will be better for everybody.”