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Scarsdale Procedure Committee Discussing Amendments To Non-Partisan Resolution

2012 Chairman David M. Brodsky commented on recent actions by the committee.

The following is a statement from 2012 Chairman David M. Brodsky:

The Scarsdale Procedure Committee, of which I am the 2012 Chair and Eli Mattioli is the Vice-Chair, have had three meetings in May and June, and have discussed various proposed Amendments to the Non-Partisan Resolution, of which three have been adopted to date and others are still being discussed.

First, we propose to amend Article V to make open to the public major portions of the first, or Organizational, Meeting of the 2012-13 Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) meeting. The amendment is designed to inform the public of the roles of the Mayor and Trustees, as viewed by incumbents not standing for reelection, and all of the ground rules by which the CNC finds and interviews candidates and conducts due diligence.  The amendment, if adopted, should, we hope, go a long way to dispel the suspicions voiced by some in the past about such proceedings.

What will continue to remain confidential are the names of any proposed candidates, the due diligence collected about them, the discussions held by members of the CNC leading to the vote, and the actual votes themselves. Candidates may, as some have chosen to do in the past, reveal to the public their candidacies.  

The text of the proposed amendment is as follows:

Article V, Section 5A (Organization Meeting). To be added to end of the existing language. "The Chairperson of the Citizens Nominating Committee shall submit for publication in the two issues of the official Scarsdale newspaper to be published immediately preceding the Organization Meeting and shall make public by internet posting on one or more reasonably available websites, including the website of The Procedure Committee, a notice inviting Scarsdale residents and other interested persons to observe the portions of the Organization Meeting relating to the following: 
*such presentations or statements by and discussions with the Mayor and Trustees; *discussion with respect to and voting upon its rules of procedure (including best practices with respect to due diligence); *review of the responsibilities of the Citizens Nominating Committee; and *such other portions as the Chairperson shall deem appropriate; "provided, that there shall occur only in closed or executive session the identification of, and comments, discussion, other furnishing of information and vote with respect to, each person who has been previously considered (other than the identity of persons previously selected), or who might be solicited or has expressed interest to be considered, for a Village office or position;  "provided, further, that the Chairperson may, upon the determination of the Chairperson (unless such determination of the Chairperson is overruled by two-thirds of the voting members present), or the determination of the Citizens Nominating by vote of the majority of the voting members present, in either case in extraordinary circumstances, to preserve order or other reason, close the meeting of the Citizens Nominating Committee to the public or go into executive session, without the observation of the public. "While such portions of the Organization Meeting are open for observation by the public, they are not open to public participation."

Second, we propose to further amend Article V by adding a codification of the method of voting for candidates by the CNC: Article V, Section 6 (Voting Procedure). To be added as the new antepenultimate (third to last) sentence.  "The election for each open office or position will be conducted separately, without reference to the name of the current occupant of an office or position, by separate successive vote for each open office or position until a person is selected for such office or position."

Third, we propose to amend the Resolution to extend the deadline for voting by mail-in ballot to the day of the election from the day now set, the day before. This will provide an extra full day for eligible residents to vote by mail if for some reason they cannot vote in person

Finally, as will be reflected in the Minutes of our last meeting on June 18, when posted on our website, representatives of the League of Women Voters spoke to our membership and there was extensive discussion of their recommendations regarding the Non-Partisan System and the process by which the leadership of the CNC is chosen.  

Although there was not a consensus to adopt the League's proposal at this time, we continue to discuss this important issue and various alternative proposals. 

We intend to hold public meetings on all of these proposals and issues in September and October before making formal proposals to the voters in early October.

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