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Monday, January 30, 2017

Government in Scarsdale

Here, as I see it are the problems with our town:

1. The Non-Partisan system that is the underlying mechanism, is old. Needs to be modernized to fit our  needs and our lives in 2017. Just like our Mayor drives a 10 year old Volvo, and not a 40 year old Volvo. We need a better car to navigate. ( Of course to navigate our streets we need an SUV, but let us not go there for now).

2. The system depends on resident, volunteer participation to run it as well as to oversee it. This does not work any more. Nobody has that kind of time any more.

3. The system is a "volunteer" based system. Volunteers "serve"... They do not get paid. When people are not monetarily compensated, question marks arise as to possible motivations. The door is left ajar for possible allegations, wrongdoing.  The basis for Article 78 proceeding on the Ryan revaluation. There is no free lunch, once again. As always.

4. The system is further laced with secrecy at a couple of levels:

      a. The Village Board holds open meetings, but you are not permitted to talk, they hold open meetings but they go into executive session. So, once again closed doors policy. Secrecy leads to speculation to question marks to murky waters. The resident feels stifled. There is no chance to talk, to communicate. We are supposedly "heard" at Village meetings, but there is no conversation, no dialogue. Just a soliloquy of the aggrieved resident. Not pretty ! Not democratic !

     b. The underlying mechanisms, the Forum, the CNC and the Procedure Committee's ways of conducting business are again secrets. Why ? Because they cannot get anybody to serve. Because these organizations are falling apart and they do not want to admit it publicly. Because there is in-breeding, one feeds to another. The husband on the Village Board, the wife on the Procedure Committee or vice versa or any other combination thereof among interested parties with some kind of monetary or legal connection that leads to speculation...

       Inbreeding does not produce healthy off spring. It does not here either. You need fresh, diverse DNA in your gene pool, as well as in the individuals who serve.

    These individuals do not want to reveal how precarious their situation truly is. They want to hold on to the secrecy to make it seem like... They are afraid to reveal anything. They hold on to the little power they have like a life jacket. Inspite of years of criticism, they are still not revealing. They had promised major changes in the Procedure Committee and such, only to buy time until the next election. Who are you fooling ?...

       Who are the  Procedure Committeee members ? But they somehow get tree-hugger Lena Crandall to be their president...So, she advances their case. Lena serves. They hide. Use and abuse. Familiar theme, anyone ?...

P.S. If you are now questioning my motive, in doing so without compensation, here is the answer: I am not doing this without compensation. For me, it is payback time to  the country that gave me back my life and to so many of you who made that life possible. I am, among others, thanking the consular official in Istanbul, who for one last time stamped that visa on my passport and like a defibrillator gave me life again.

   Of course, I am also selfish. I think those huge houses on tiny lots are unsightly, if not ugly. I think it is a shame that those beautiful, old houses with such character are being demolished instead of being lovingly taken care of. Many residents agree. They do not have the time or the energy to deal with this. Right now for a little while, I do.

   On another level, having studied nature all my life, I cannot bear to witness such flagrant abuse and do nothing.

   Let me leave you with an example of nature's beauty:

Ranunculus, from my home in Scarsdale, this morning.

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