The recent Nor’easter was a cautionary tale of the dangerous folly that the Scarsdale Board of Trustees is about to commit with the proposed ordinance to severely restrict and punish tree removal by residents.
The storm lasted for more than 36 hours and felled numerous trees, toppled power lines, closed streets and cut off electricity to more than one-quarter of Scarsdale’s homes. The Village deemed the Nor’easter sufficiently perilous to proclaim a state of emergency to ban all non-emergency vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Yet, even with the visual evidence all over the Village of the dangers to public safety from too many old, diseased, dead, dying and large healthy trees falling due to high winds, the Board of Trustees is still determined to place new fees and red tape on residents who want to remove trees from their properties.
Trustees have had four meetings but it’s pretty clear that they are not really interested in input from residents: the current version is more restrictive and punitive than the first. Community concerns were rejected.
What’s wrong? Groupthink occurs when conformity is forced upon a group through social or political pressure and almost always results in poor and sometimes irrational decisions. Groupthink currently afflicts the Village Board. And it’s not just the proposed tree ordinance. There are other recent occasions when the Trustees ignored the opinions and concerns of residents. The 2016 Ryan Reval, for one.
Scarsdale residents should vote to end the stranglehold of enforced political conformity and elect an individual who has repeatedly demonstrated his independence, good judgment and professional knowledge of Village affairs. That person is Robert Berg, running for the Voters Choice Party.
Any law that affects public safety, property rights and the pocket books of Scarsdale residents should have broad-based community support. The public hearing on the proposed restrictive tree ordinance is March 13 at 8 pm at Village Hall. Be there.
The Village election is Tuesday, March 20. Time to break groupthink.
Linda R. Killian