Remarks from Incoming Scarsdale Forum President ML Perlman
Public Forum and Annual Membership Meeting
May 18th 2017
Members, Board, and Guests -
It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to acknowledge and thank our outgoing President Lena Crandall. Lena and I have worked closely together the last year and I am therefore uniquely qualified to speak about the outstanding dedication she has shown this organization and our community through her tireless efforts and enthusiasm.
Lena’s care and attention to the smallest details – while simultaneously having the broad vision to oversee the implementation of the Forum’s new communication strategy shows the depth of both Lena’s engagement with – and value to the Forum.
Through our many conversations I learned that Lena is a champion of important values within our community; specifically the inclusiveness of our organization in that we accept all residents as members regardless of citizenship; Lena values respectful – but vigorous - debate that allows all points of view to be expressed and considered; and finally Lena values the simple act of saying “yes” – that when someone has an idea, Lena is there to say “let’s go for it!” With Lena as President, we were always talking about what more we could do and what more was possible.
And more we did. This year the Forum as an organization through its public meetings, committee discussions, written reports, and community engagement touched upon just about every important issue within the Village; whether the Library Renovation and Expansion upon which the Municipal Services Committee authored two reports and issued the Forum’s first community wide survey, or the Sustainability Committee’s incubation of the food scrap recycling pilot program – which has evolved today into Westchester County’s first food scrap recycling drop off program. Bravo. – or the Education Committee’s reports on the 2017-18 budget, the Greenacres School, and recommended Strategy for Long-Term Fiscal Planning. In addition to committee study and discussion, the Program Committee of the Forum has brought the community together for meaningful engagement such as the experience we all had here tonight – this past year’s programs have included distinguished guests such as Mayor Jon Mark, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, Lee Maude, County Legislator Ben Boykin, Congressman Elliot Engel, Former Scarsdale Inquirer Editor Linda Leveatt, Extreme Weather Scientist and Scarsdale High School graduate Anton Seimon, the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter, and of course our guests tonight from the Scarsdale Community Support Council just to name a few.
While the accomplishments of our organization belong to our members and committees and our Chairs and Co-Chairs, one cannot deny that Lena has for the last year brought our organization together collaboratively and productively. The immense respect Lena has - both from me personally and from our organization - is well earned and deserved.
As I assume the position of President of this organization, I am humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to give back to a community from which I have gained so much. When I moved to Scarsdale two years ago, the Forum was a place of engagement, learning, and acquaintances. In such a short time I have forged meaningful friendships and collegial ties to so many wonderful people I have met here. As President, I hope to establish a mentorship process for new members so that as many people as possible can find the support and encouragement I find here and from all of you everyday.
Before closing, I would like to note my sincerest thanks to Jon Mark for volunteering to be Vice President. I will be relying heavily on his knowledge, guidance, and support in the coming year – and I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work together. I know that our organization will be all the better for Jon’s leadership and involvement.
Finally to our members: Thank you for your involvement. Thank you for your ideas. Thank you for your opinions. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Thank you all and good evening.
Scarsdale Forum President (2017-2018)