The election for village offices in Scarsdale takes place on March 16 at the Congregational Church. I encourage all resident citizens to cast a ballot in order to show an interest in our electoral process. Participation is important to give the democratic process legitimacy. The right to vote to express approval or disapproval of candidates is perhaps our most precious privilege in this country, for local as much as national offices.
This year the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party has offered us a strong slate of candidates for village offices. They are people of serious commitment, interest and experience. Each of them has participated in our official village life in some way and demonstrated a serious commitment of time to village affairs. From personal experience, I can say that serving on the board is a very demanding job; it requires a great deal of time and patience to attend all the committee meetings, read the briefing documents and hear the citizens before making an informed judgment.
I am particularly acquainted with Jonathan Lewis, whom I have known for nearly 20 years. He participates in my book club and, as an author in his own right, offers unusual insight into many of the texts we read. He has eclectic interests. Jonathan has served on the school board and is completing his first term on the village board. I would also note the time and money he committed to mounting a somewhat quixotic challenge against Eliot Engel, an incumbent representative to Congress, over an issue of principle to him and his family, that of taking money from big Pharma. Just as every auction requires an underbidder to demonstrate a fair price, every political system runs best with opposition to test the views of the winner and, in that race, Jonathan provided us that under-appreciated service.
Jane Veron, who leads this slate as the candidate for mayor, in addition to serving four years on the village board of trustees, served five years on our most demanding and difficult village volunteer board, the planning board. Land use issues have been difficult and controversial in the village and she balanced the often conflicting interests in the community with grace and balanced judgment.
Sameer Ahuja has devoted his recent time to the Advisory Committee on Communications and Karen Brew has been involved with our schools, from the PTA and the School Board Nominating Committee to the raising of scholarship funds for students.
Each of these four candidates has more extensive résumés than I can here describe. More complete descriptions of their civic and professional experiences as well as brief statements from each of the candidates are posted online at ScarsdaleCitizens.org — a convenient place to inform yourself of their qualifications. In addition to the leadership each as shown in the endeavors he or she has undertaken, the candidates all hold MBA degrees, and therefore they should be able to read a balance sheet. However, more than the ability to balance spreadsheets, they offer us balance in judgment.
Former village trustee, 2004-08