Web based journal created to document environmental and architectural conditions in Scarsdale. Read articles Scarsdale10583.com or the local newspaper The Scarsdale Inquirer will not publish! Come to Scarsdale New York, see what a beautiful town this is. Now, we need your help. Funds or time, whatever you can, whenever you can will be appreciated. See the PayPal icon below or email me at Lika@Save-Scarsdale.org. Thank you.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Old Houses, VB Emails

The e-mail below has been edited to further protect our Village. If you would like to know more about this, you can identify yourself and call me at : (914) 725-9119 and I will be happy to elaborate.

On Feb 6, 2017, at 6:17 AM, Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org> wrote:

Mr. Pappalardo and the Village Board,

Item numbers below refer to your numbers in your e-mail of February 2, below:

      1. In Turkish we have the following saying:

     “The one who got on his ( her)  horse is already in Uskudar”,  a municipality on the Asian side of Istanbul.  Istanbul is the only city in the world on two continents: Europe and Asia.

       At the time, coming from someone on the European side of Istanbul, where most commerce was and is still conducted, ( since there is the Bosphorous strait with the Marmara sea, in the middle separating the two parts of town ) this meant the guy ( or gal )  you were trying to pursue or emulate is already gone and has galloped far, far away. Meaning you were too slow to react. This was of course almost impossible, since you could not cross the strait on horseback, at the time there were no bridges connecting the two sides. Hence not only accomplishing the impossible but doing it very quickly to boot. ( Today there are three bridges connecting the two continents.)

        This emphasized once again the Turkish skill to circumvent difficulties and to react fast, not to be stuck in the mud of bureaucracy or too much democracy or protocol. In other words “get it done” philosophy. ( I know you are hearing too much about Turkey, but that is where I am from…)

    I understand here there is due process and democracy as such, but if you cannot react fast enough, then at least impose a moratorium. Stop this “grab all” comic theater or tragedy depending on your view-point…

   No, you do not do that either. You leave the playing field wide open. That is not acceptable. The developer is hungry for any and all. The architect with no imagination is looking for easy prey. The lawyer does not have any clients…Scarsdale with a non-reacting volunteer government becomes easy prey. 


       So, our dear Board has to be the Board and the developer, the smart consultant, the smart lawyer and the resident all in one package. But the primary responsibility of the VB is its fiduciary responsibility to the resident. Not the resident who is the developer or the attorney or the applicant. As I have said so many times in the past , you have to think of the resident who is not showing up at Village Hall. The resident who cannot follow any of this, like I could not for the first 20 years or so of our lives here. Our system is so convoluted, so obscure, so unique, so user averse, that no one other than the skilled lawyer dare approach it. Let alone understand, critique or follow.

      But you constantly have to think of the resident.This is who you have to think of all the time, no matter what, when or where. No, you loose sight. You bow to the applicant who is pleading with you, who is there in front of you at Village Hall that Tuesday evening. You listen to him or her, because this is his or her life savings and he has to be able to sell the house to the developer who wants to demolish it, etc,. etc.

     Enough already ! No, not, any more. You are not protecting one resident, you are protecting 17,000 residentsThat is why you got elected. You have fiduciary responsibilities that cannot be taken lightly. And this is how you are going to react. How you should react, how you should respond to that retired man or woman expecting to cash on the nest egg.  If we protect your home now, you are going to say, it will be worth so much more that we will all be amazed. Not only that, our Village will look so much better, will be so unique among all villages in the US that people the world all over will want to come here, visit here. It will take  time, all good things do. It will be worth so much more, you will not believe it, nor will your heirs. Just visit Carmel, CA. See how magical it is.

     No, you get intimidated by articles in the Inquirer, or Scarsdale 10583.com, or the two or three residents who come and plea their case to you, and when speaker after speaker comes in front of you and talks ad nauseam, you are tired, you give up. You say “Yes”and you bow. 

      Enough, have courage. Legislate, do what you are elected to do. Do what you have to do for allNot just the few you see in Village Hall.

      In English we have the expression to “play the devil’s advocate”. You have to be the devil all the time, or else he/she gets ahead.

     Here, the Board, the management is being too slow. All these houses demolished is already too much. I do not want to get upset any more by adding up all the houses demolished since these laws came into effect. True, some were so ugly we all could not wait until they  were gone. One such example is 19 Tisdale. In an area of beautiful houses it was sticking out like a sore thumb. But, what is going to come in its place cannot look like 10 Ogden or 7  Ogden…These are both on my website Save-Scarsdale.org for you to “admire"…

     Just like we cannot drive on the highway at 80 mph even if we would like to, for the common good and safety of all, as well as ours, there are speed limits in place. Here, the resident is like a euphoric teen-ager getting drunk. He/she cannot believe the value of his or her house. One such person was our Village Historian himself Irving Sloan. Who cared what happened to history as long as he got 20 times what his parents paid or whatever. Well, this is flawed reasoning and a very short sighted view of things. It also showed he really did not understand history too well. Histroy is about cumulative effect, not instantaneous gain…

      History here is preserving for preserving sake. We have so much to learn from studying history. You know the saying those who do not know their history are bound to repeat it. As it happens over and over again.

     If we preserve our Village with its beautiful streets, with their unique character with the unique beautiful houses, our houses will gain much more value than any of us can imagine now. But we have to take the long term approach and not be short term gluttons. Good things take time. Wonderful things a little longer.

   Mr. Pappalardo,

        2. You have left my e-mail request question unanswered. I do not understand why. Surely no personal matters or national security matters were being discussed in those… Please have all e-mails posted on the website just like you are having my e-mails posted. My original request required these e-mails be put up by February 7th. Tomorrow is February 7th.So , have all e-mails between the VB and staff up. All emails between VB and staff since January 31st, when you first heard about my request, even will be fine. 

    Full transparency, full accountabilty. Anything else is heresy.

       3. I will let you deal with Ms. Kirkendall-Rodriguez’s requests.
       4. Why endeavor below, Mr. Pappalardo ? What happened to “can do, will do” philosophy ? This is not climbing the Everest, I hope. I suppose all it would take is an e-mailto the Building department. Right ?

       5. Where are the amendments to Village Code 182 ? What is the new amended version ? Please send link and the amended version. At the last CHP meeting, the Chair was still reading the old code with the dilapidated “criteria”.

       6. I think there are also a few links you were going to send me from previous e-mails. I am waiting. ( NYS Freedom of Information link ) 
  Thank you very much for your quick and efficient answers to my e-mails. Finally a competent manager at Village Hall !

    Lika L. Levi
 Office: (914) 722-0004
 Fax: (914) 722-0005
 Home: (914) 725-9119

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