2020 was a shock, or more appropriately, a series of shocks to our community, as it was across the country. Over the past year, we have faced a pandemic, a lockdown, an economic downturn, racial injustice, a major tropical storm, a tumultuous national election and a constitutional crisis. We have been tested in many ways.

In Scarsdale, we are fortunate that our village continues to perform at a high level, though it certainly hasn’t been easy. Our manager-form of government continues to serve us well with part-time volunteer elected officials with term limits and a professional staff often with long-term tenures that bring experience and professionalism to the day-to-day management of village operations. Over the past year, staff’s experience in managing varied emergencies, coupled with our history of conservative fiscal stewardship, laid the groundwork for Scarsdale to be in a favorable position to weather this series of storms.

Your village government and professional staff quickly responded to each of the crises that arose in the village and to shift operations and fiscal management to responsibly address the rapid onset of each of these emergencies. On behalf of our community, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to our village staff — from extremely capable Village Manager Steve Pappalardo, who steered us through each crisis with skill, poise and professionalism, to our janitors who had radical shifts in their jobs, rolled up their sleeves and helped protect residents and staff with new, more extensive cleaning protocols, and to our sanitation engineers who continued trash collection in spite of risks they never imagined they would face.

There were so many examples of heroism that were never expected and are seldom seen by residents. I could share dozens of stories of how village staff members went well above and beyond the call of duty to face a new unseen threat with expanded job responsibilities. Staff rose to the challenge with grace and professionalism. Make no mistake, there have been, and remain, real strains that staff are under. I offer my sincere gratitude to each village employee. Their work is important, and they have shown their dedication to Scarsdale and its residents. We are clearly a better place because our village staff is part of our community.

Please have patience and understanding when dealing with staff as they continue to endure the ongoing strains of working remotely or potentially in understaffed offices. I also ask that you join me in thanking staff when you interact with them. Village government is here to serve you and Scarsdale is very fortunate to have an exceptional group of employees at the service of our community.

As we begin this new year filled with its new offerings and responsibilities, let us draw strength from our extraordinary community and use our own strength to bolster and support one another.

MARC SAMWICK

Scarsdale Village mayor

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