I write in strong support of Justin Arest’s candidacy for mayor of Scarsdale. In the course of my own community service, most recently as village trustee from 2017 to 2021, I have been privileged to work with Justin and to get to know him. Like all Scarsdale residents, I have benefited from the excellent work he has already done for the community, and it is important to me that he have the opportunity to continue his service and to do so at an even higher level.
Mayor of Scarsdale has always been a very demanding job, and we’ve been blessed to have outstanding people in that role. The job has grown even more challenging in recent years, so it’s become increasingly important that we select our mayors carefully. To begin with, of course, we need someone who has the intelligence, work ethic, moral sense, organizational abilities and interpersonal skills to serve the public effectively. But we also need a mayor who understands the range of issues we face, both in Scarsdale specifically and in our society as a whole, and the variety of possible approaches to those issues. Justin is up to the job.
The village of Scarsdale faces a number of ongoing challenges. The annual budgeting process requires balancing the provision of services and the maintenance and updating of infrastructure and amenities with the need to keep costs under control. Questions of land use, which entail ascertaining what our residents want and need and reconciling those wants and needs with the demands of our society as a whole (as embodied most clearly in the Housing Compact proposal by the governor that has the potential to effect fundamental changes in communities like ours), are growing increasingly complicated. The need to provide the human resources to facilitate the functioning of our village government (for example, by moving from an in-house village attorney to an outside firm to meet our legal needs, which was done when Justin and I served on the village board) is crucial. The importance of effective communication with our residents (as to which great strides have been made in recent years, in significant part due to Justin’s efforts) is obvious. These are just some of the things our next mayor will have to deal with. In every one of these areas, Justin has made major contributions, but much remains to be done. Justin is both eager and exceedingly well qualified to continue to deal with the challenges. We should give him the opportunity to do so in a position that will afford him the maximum impact.
I look forward to voting for Justin and to having him as Scarsdale’s next mayor, and I believe that other residents who are aware of his extraordinary record of service to our community feel the same. I urge all of my fellow Scarsdale residents to join me in voting for him.
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