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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meeting with the CHP and Agenda Meeting of the VB, June 11 2013

I am still trying to come to terms with the two meetings I attended Tuesday night and that is not even all the meetings at Village Hall on Tuesday evening. I left at about 8 p.m. as the Board of Trustees regular meeting was starting and the Lenox Place neighbors were pouring in, including of course Mr. Soldatenko, the Macklers and all...

Mayor Steves, Trustees and members of the CHP

First the meeting with the CHP: A certain lady, who up until then seemed very nice and sweet had the following words full of compassion about the residents who attend their meetings:

" We listen to their canned speeches... We are the first body they encounter, so we have to listen to them ".... So much tender loving care, my eyes teared up... She followed with her description of what had happened at 45 Cushman, or may be comments about 45 Cushman were fist... I will not print that description here. Unlike the NYTimes, I draw a line where acceptable language is concerned.

She had so much pent up anger, I could not believe it... At one point Trustee Brodsky and her seemed just bursting at one another...So much emotion, so many feelings that obviously were not aired till then.

She thought the home had been "b------'ed".... Not words I would have associated with this lady. Looks can be deceiving...What did she think, a home 103 years old would have survived as is ? Look at the pyramids in Egypt or the library in Ephesus... or a lady of a certain age. We all acquire patina. It is called "aging" or character... Lucky her, maybe she does not know what that means, yet....

Then talk about Grand Central Station versus Penn Station in Manhattan and what one preferred. The trustees ducked that one quickly... This question they did not even want to address. They want more and more building, it seems to me...And other comments... Age cannot be the only criteria... 100 years is too long. There are buildings 30 years old that should not be demolished....

The inadequacy of the CHP criteria, the BAR criteria, the way the CHP's ruling was overriden in the 45 Cushman application...And in the meanwhile more in the pipeline waiting for the guillotine as it were, when all this can and should be stopped... Why wait to administer CPR to this very sick patient ?

Why not stop reviewing more applications until our laws, our criteria for preservation is revised to everyone's satisfaction and in a just and right manner ? Why continue suffering and be frustrated when this can be stopped ? Why aren't they seeing the green light ? We have to stop this. Too many wrong decisions, too many times. Now, we all realize the criteria is " murky ", subjective and unjust.

Time to revise.

Why do residents volunteer on the Committee for Historic Preservation when all they want is new, new and new ? It seems very counter productive and very deceiving...Sit on the preservation committee and vote to demolish week after week... No wonder, they all needed some therapy Tuesday night.

As we were leaving the third floor meeting room, I uttered the following to to Trustee Lee: " You should meet like this every day for the next 6 months "... I felt there was so much back log,  so much communication they had to do... I am glad meetings like this started happening. Once this back log is dealt with, it would be nice if such meetings occurred periodically... They are the ones who have direct contact with the aggrieved resident first hand. They know best what is happening and are best suited to administer the right " medicine " or refer them to the trustees. For a good relationship of any sort communication is key. It seems this has been lacking in our Village for a very long time.

Trustee Brodsky said "We are struggling "... over and over again. "We do not know ", etc., etc.
It was like this was a new and novel topic...It is true I had never seen them listening like this before... But Trustee Brosdsky has been a resident for a long time and a trustee for a long time as well... Reports, e-mails of this nature have been coming their way for decades now... So many reports, so many e-mails, letters... Over and over again I hear residents say "our complaints fall on deaf ears"...Why ? It seems they are choosing to do so. For them to prove I am wrong.

The Saltzman report, and how inadequate it is, saving 68 homes out of 6,000 homes. A predetermined report to justify the end to the means like the Village Center report... Not acceptable, inadequate, incompetent, inconsiderate, insensitive from start to finish.

All this is cruel and unjust I thought as I saw my bunny this afternoon in the backyard. No, I thought further: Arbitrary and capricious...Not acceptable. Hard to believe this is what I am witnessing in America in Scarsdale in 2013. On CNN Istanbul is burning, my heart is aching. I turn off the tv.

Is this humanity ? Where are we going ?... Time to stop, think, take a good look...

Everything is money but money is not every thing. Therein lies the mystery.... What a sorry bunch we would be, if we all thought and acted for monetary gain only.

The Trustee's Agenda Meeting:

Next was the Trustee's agenda meeting. I was the only resident in attendance. Maybe they did not know I was there, I do not know. But this is what I heard:

Trustee Brodsky offered the following:

" Let us put it down on the agenda as a personnel meeting, that way no one will show up...( They are allowed to have closed door personnel discussions...)

Al wants to take us on a three hour bus trip...Trustee Eisenman uttered. It will be June 17th or 18th...Can we have a meeting on the bus ? They were scrambling to find some common time to meet altogether...

I came home wondering what this bus trip was about. Trustee Mark answered. You'll see it below.

Why have this bus trip as a concealed item on the agenda ? Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the public see what the trustees are seeing ? Will they drive on enough of pot holes to realise our roads need repair ? Will they drive through enough new development to see what is going on in our beloved Scarsdale ?   The hollow homes,  bare streets with no character, no trees,  no life to them...Just the developer's greed echoing back through space, the space of the former residents' lives: altered, obliterated forever. You can cover, but you cannot hide, syndrome !

Harvest Drive, Archer Lane, Stratton Road, Spruce Lane, Ardmore Road...  some of the few streets that I was able to spot on  my short study thus far.

As of this writing at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the Village Calendar does not show a personnel meeting on June 17th or 18th...

Later Trustee Brodsky mentioned she wanted to hold a meeting on 2-4 Weaver Street to explore other uses ( I am hearing a park, of course ) for that area... Hurray Trustee Brodsky !!!

Here is my e-mail to Trustee Brodsky and Trustee Mark and Trustee Mark's answer:

-----Original Message-----
From: Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org>
To: staceybrodsky@verizon.net Brodsky <staceybrodsky@verizon.net>
Cc: Jon Mark <jmark58@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 9:10 pm
Subject: Three hour bus trip...

Trustee Brodsky,

Sorry, I heard it and now I can't stop wandering and that was a public meeting...

Where is Mr. Gatta taking you on a bus trip for three and a half hours, and you do not want the public to know ?...


Lika L. Levi

Founder, Save Scarsdale (a non-profit in formation)
21 Lockwood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5301

Office: (914) 722-0004

On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM, Jon Mark ‪<jmark58@aol.com> wrote:

from: Jon Mark <jmark58@aol.com>
to: lika@save-scarsdale.org,
cc: bobsteves@cloud9.net,
date: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Dear Ms. Levi-- Every year relatively soon after a new Board of Trustees is constituted, the Village Staff takes the Board on a tour of the Village so we can observe first hand the physical plant.  This year I expect we will tour such venues as George Field Park, the Public Safety Building, one or more of the fire stations, the public garage and other such sites.  The trip is for purposes of observation only so that during the year when places and projects in the Village are discussed the Board will have some sense of the places involved.  The tour is helpful to all Board members, but particularly the new members who may not be familar with some parts of the Village.

Best regards, Jon Mark

Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


I was sorry I could not attend the meeting Wednesday afternoon of the Law and Land Use Committees of our board. The system, as in my system finally crashed... It is too bad there is no way for us to know what transpired at that meeting until we read about it in the Inquirer. I hope Ilene Nechamkin was there and we'll read her excellent reporting in this Friday's Inquirer and maybe be even next week's.

That's why I wish the Trustees would have a web site and would post updates and kept us abreast of all happening. Wouldn't that be nice ? Maybe, hopefully soon.

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