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Letter to the Community Regarding History of Non-Partisan Committee

May 3, 2023

To the Bronxville Community - 

Many residents, both new and long-time residents, have asked why the Bronxville Non-Partisan Committee exists and why the term “Non-Partisan” is used.  During the election season, sometimes rumors and misinformation get traded, so I wanted the opportunity to correct the record.

The Bronxville NPC was created because New York State law mandates that school board elections are conducted on a nonpartisan basis, i.e., party affiliations are not listed on the ballot. In 1936, residents of Bronxville created this committee with 21 elected representatives to ensure qualified candidates would run for the school board election.  

Neighboring towns, ScarsdaleEdgemont and Pelham have similar elected volunteer committees, and have found that identifying and ensuring qualified candidates run in school board elections is beneficial to their communities.  

In this context, the Bronxville NPC Plan requires that this committee seek “qualified” candidates to run in the school board election without regard to political affiliations, and solely based on qualifications. Therefore, we do not ask applicants about their political affiliation, nor does any applicants’ political affiliation in and of itself disqualify any individual from seeking or receiving the NPC nomination. (The same is true for the NPC members, though our rules exclude officers of any political party from serving on the NPC.)  

This year, four truly outstanding individuals applied to receive the NPC nomination.  All the volunteers of this Committee have great admiration and appreciation for the applicants who raised their hands to serve our school district, this year and in past years.  As chair of the committee this year, I can assure you that our process was conducted according to NPC rules and that all applicants were treated with the utmost respect and consideration.  As always, we invite anyone who feels differently to let us know and give us feedback. We hope to incorporate any actionable suggestions into our Plan or our Rules of Procedure following the election. 

We have selected two exceptional individuals - Christina Skinner and Sara Kenny - to run for school board trustee.  We hope that all the residents of this community will take the time to learn about them and vote on May 16th at the school.  More information can be found at our website www.bronxvillenpc.org.  

Finally, residents have asked us about why candidates have to run for specific seats in our district and how the current petition on the ballot to change that rule affects the NPC process.

In short, that is the default under New York state law, and changing to “at large” elections will have no effect on the NPC, since our mandate is simply to select as many nominees as seats are open each year.  Accordingly, the NPC takes no position on this ballot petition. 

Notably, Scarsdale recently voted in 2019 to change its school board elections from “specific seat” to “at-large” and the Scarsdale nominating committee continues to operate in the same manner.  For those who may be interested, the NPC compiled recent election vote counts that may be relevant to this question at https://www.bronxvillenpc.org/election-vote-counts-info 


Wendy Halley, Chair of Bronxville NPC 2022-23



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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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