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Bronxville Government and History

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Westchester County Legislator Ruth Walter Thanks Voters And Sets Forth Priorities PDF Print Email


By Ruth Walter, Westchester County Legislator for District 15

Jan. 15, 2020:  As I begin my first term as Westchester County Legislator for District 15, I am so grateful for the trust that voters have placed in me, resoundingly in Bronxville, where I earned 64% of the vote.

Elsewhere in the district, we also were extremely successful, with Yonkers Ward 12 results even higher (65%) and four other Wards decisively voting Team Ruth. What an extremely thrilling campaign and so many of you working by my side to effect real and positive change!

Turnout for this election was up 74% from the comparable election in 2015. Voters are paying attention!

I campaigned on improving the environment, promoting small businesses, and increasing safety in our schools, homes, and businesses.

I will be proposing County-wide initiatives in these areas as well as working collaboratively with federal, state, and local officials to bring attention to our local problems like flooding on the Bronx River Parkway and along the Saw Mill River.

I will also transform our office into a robust constituent services operation that will help residents navigate the different levels of their government.

I want residents to feel ownership of the laws and the departments of Westchester County and to be newly energized to participate as voters, citizens, and neighbors.

I promise to represent Yonkers and Bronxville with integrity, diligence, and responsiveness.

Thank you again for your support!

Please sign up for my e-newsletter by clicking here. 

You are most welcome at any of our weekly committee meetings or at the bi-monthly Board meetings (click here to check the calendar).

I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Pictured:  Ruth Walter

Photo courtesy Ruth Walter

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Events this Week in Bronxville: Wednesday. January 15 to Wednesday, January 22, 2020 PDF Print Email


By Staff 

Jan. 15, 2020: Below are events that will take place in and around Bronxville from Wednesday, January 15, 2020, to Wednesday, January 22, 2020. For the Village of Bronxville calendar, click here. For events at the Bronxville Public Library, click here. For the Bronxville school district calendar, click here

January 15-17: Friends of Sarah Lawrence College Mini-Course: Bach, Beethoven, and The Beatles: This free mini-course is open to Friends of the College only; learn more about and join the Friends at here to learn more.

January 15-17:  Friends of Sarah Lawrence College Three-Day Mini-Course: Relating in the Digital Age:  Students will explore the impact of social media and digital devices on identity, relationships, and reality.This free mini-course is open to Friends of the College only; learn more about and join the Friends at here to learn more.

January 15:  Gramatan Village:  Techy Teens! Technology Workshop Reservations Required.  Click here to see the Gramatan Village January Calendar.

January 16, 7 PM: Bronxville School Board of Education Meeting, Bronxville School, 177 Pondfield Road.

January 18:  Junior Professional Job Search Workshop at the Bronxville Library.  We’ll cover how to build a resume (based on experience if any, education and skill), search for a part-time job, and establish professional rapport with perspective and current employers. This seminar will also provide attendees with interview techniques and guidance for part-time/summer jobs, as well as more permanent positions.  Registration required.  Click here to learn more.

January 22: Blood Drive Day at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital.  Click here to learn more.

Photo by A. Warner


Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes notices about meetings of village government, the Bronxville Board of Education, and the board of trustees of the Bronxville Public Library. MyhometownBronxville does not independently research other events but will, at its discretion, consider including a notice of an event that will occur in Bronxville if information about the event is received by MyhometownBronxville (Sarah Thornton Clifford at  CLOAKING ) by noon on the Sunday before the subsequent Wednesday publication. These notices must not be advertisements; please send any requests for advertisements to Sarah Thornton Clifford at  CLOAKING .



Bronxville Historical Conservancy Presents 2019 Preservation Award to Olinda and John Simon For Restoration of Elm Rock Road Home PDF Print Email


Nancy Vittorini, Sarah Chapin, Olinda Simon, John Simon, Marilynn Hill

By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member of the Board, Bronxville HIstorical Conservancy

Jan. 15, 2020:  More than 130 members and their guests attended the Bronxville Historical Conservancy’s Annual Meeting and Holiday Party on December 11 at the Bronxville Field Club. 

The evening’s celebration included recognition of the outgoing co-chair, Judy Foley, and board members Tom Welling, Nick Stephens, Jim Hudson, Stafford Meyer,and Jane Staunton.  It also included the welcoming of new board members Mark Wood, Rick Shearer, Bill Fredericks, Saskia Martin, Mike Heraty, and Maggie Marrone. 


New Board Memebrs: Mark Wood, Mike Heraty, Saskia Martin, Maggie Marrone, Bill Fredericks and Rick Shearer  

Co-chair Bill Zambelli gave special thanks to the party’s organizers, Board members Lisa Rao and Judy Foley, before turning to the highlight of the evening: the presentation of the 2019 Preservation Award to Olinda and John Simon for the historic restoration of their Elm Rock Road home.


Board Member Lisa Rao and outgoing Co-Chair Judy Foley 

Zambelli thanked his fellow Preservation Award Committee members Erin Saluti, Marilynn Hill, Corky Frost, and Maureen Hackett.  The committee received several impressive nominations for consideration. 

In her nomination of the Simon residence, Vicki Ford wrote, “The house represents a point in time in Bronxville village development when spacious large homes were surrounded by gardens…as a community it is important we recognize and demonstrate appreciation for extraordinary accomplishments in restoring historic property.”  Nancy Vittorini helped Ford create the portfolio for the project’s submission.

Erin Salutu presented the award to the Simons on behalf of her committee and the Conservancy echoing Ford’s remarks, “The residence stands as a paragon for architectural restoration within the village.” 

Saluti shared the home’s noteworthy history: Built in 1904, on the site of one of Bronxville’s early farms, this large stone and shingle Dutch Colonial was originally home to T. Channing Moore, who served as President of the village from 1916 -1919 and went on to serve as a NY State assemblyman for several terms. The Moores inhabited the home for 55 years, until it’s next residents, US Senator Charles Goodell and his wife Jean and family (including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell).


Following the Goodells, the home was purchased by His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco, who used the property as a dependency for the Pondfield Road residence of his daughter, Princess Lalla Meryem. 12 Elm Rock then became home to many members of the royal family and their staff.  In 1992, John and Olinda Simon purchased the home where they raised their family.

On August 2, 2016, the unthinkable occurred. A massive fire broke out in the master bedroom, destroying major portions of the Simons’ historic home. But rather than become discouraged, the Simons turned this disaster into an opportunity to restore the home as closely as possible to the original 1904 design.  Relying on the resources of the history center and the Conservancy, and employing a carefully selected team of professionals, over two-and-a-half years the Simons painstakingly restored what had been lost in the fire, as well as what had been changed in the years prior to their ownership. 

In the interior, the Simons reintroduced the original bedroom layout (the king had reconfigured these spaces into connecting suites to accommodate his nieces - who were attending Sarah Lawrence - and their live-in chaperones).  They reinstated the original large pocket doors in the keystone arched room entrances, reproduced the design details of the fireplace mantles, replicated the original oak floors with border, and rebuilt the balconied grand staircase - three times - before it was restored to satisfaction. 

On the exterior, the team reinstated the third-floor dormers as close to the original as today’s code would allow, and rebuilt a previously unknown rear dormer, that the fire revealed had originally existed. They removed a 1950’s bomb shelter, restored an original hitching post on the side of the veranda, and rejected the front entrance door design twice before finally accepting it as accurate. 


Olinda and John accepted the award with thanks to the Conservancy and their project’s restoration team: Architects Michael Bolster, Dean Davis, and Roger Blaho; Contractor Paul Fontana, Cum Laude Group; and Interior Designer Sarah Chapin, Chapin Interiors. 

Commenting on their desire to restore the house, Olinda said, “Bronxville is a special place.  We are lucky to live in this village with so many talented and dedicated people who truly care about supporting and preserving Bronxville’s rich history and unique character.”

The Conservancy accepts nominations for the Preservation Award January 1 through November 30 each year.  Award categories include: Architectural Restoration; Conservation of Architectural Elements; Renovations and Additions; Garden and Landscape Design; Craftsmanship and Fine Art; Preservation of the Historical Record; and Stewardship and Advocacy.  Projects must be complete at the time of submission.  Self-nominations are welcome.

For more information about the Preservation Award and other programs and events sponsored by The Bronxville Historical Conservancy, please go to:  

Photos of home courtesy Bronxville Historical Conservancy

Other photos by Peter North

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

From The Mayor: Major Bills Passed By NY State Legislature PDF Print Email


By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Jan.15, 2020: In a record-setting year, the New York State legislature passed 935 bills, many of which will have a direct impact on the residents of Bronxville.

The following is a list of the major bills passed and signed by Governor Cuomo into law:

-All farm workers must be paid time and a half if they work more than 60 hours a week, and they must also receive a mandatory weekly rest day.
-Adoptees will now have unrestricted access to their birth certificate upon reaching the age of 18. Prior to this law, an adoptee had to petition the court and receive permission from both biological parents in order to unseal the record.
-Lawmakers voted to end the states’ “religious exemption” for vaccinations that are required to attend school, which allowed parents to avoid vaccinating their children by claiming it violated their religious beliefs.
-The state’s strict statute of limitations on sexual crimes against children was relaxed considerably, and there will soon be a one-year window open to anyone to revive a sexual abuse claim no matter how old.
-A bill will now require employers to pay their workers equally if they perform substantially similar work regardless of their sex or gender, and employers will also be banned from requesting a prospective employee’s salary history when setting pay rates.
-Undocumented immigrants may now apply for driver’s licenses by using valid foreign documents such as passports to prove their identity and age instead of requiring a Social Security number.
-Under a new gun law, police, family members, and some school officials will be able to seek a court order to remove guns deemed a harm to themselves or others. In addition, teachers are now legally prohibited from carrying guns in schools.
-Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children are now eligible for college tuition aid from New York State if they attended high school in the state. This includes tuition assistance programs, including TAP and the Excelsior Scholarship.
-The New York property tax cap, which limits annual increases to the lesser of 2% or the rate of inflation on local tax bills, was made permanent nullifying next year’s expiration date.
-Abortion protections were bolstered by incorporating Roe v Wade rights into state law and removing penalties from the state penal code.
-New York did not fully legalize marijuana, but the legislature further reduced penalties for marijuana possession, limiting them to no more than a violation and a $200 fine for possessing less than two ounces of the drug.
-Teenagers 16 and 17 years old will now be able to pre-register to vote and then be automatically registered when they turn 18 years old.
-Starting this fall, each county will be required to open some polling places nine days before an election making New York the 38th state to offer early voting.
-Lawmakers also unified the state’s primary day in June. In recent years, New York’s federal and state primaries had been on different days.
-New York will install some of the nation’s most ambitious goals to combat climate change into law, requiring the state to cut 85% of its greenhouse gas emission levels of 1990 by 2015.
-The legislature passed GENDA, which adds gender identity and expression to New York’s anti-discrimination laws. Another law on conversion therapy will prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts.
-A new law mandates expanded coverage by health insurers for mental health and addiction services. The same insurers will also be required to cover in vitro fertilization services.
-As of March 1, plastic carry out bags will no longer be available at any business that is required to pay New York State taxes.
-Minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour in Westchester County.
-The legislature undid any connection between teacher evaluations and student test scores as a new law will no longer require schools to use test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation, instead making it optional for districts and subject to collective bargaining
-Individuals born after January 1, 1993 now must complete a boater safety course before operating any motorized watercraft.
-I wrote in depth a few weeks ago about the changes to bail, discovery, and speedy trial laws, which will clearly have the most impact on the village both in safety and financial concerns. I will share more information going forward in consultation with the police chief as we see how the changes play out in our village

As a comparison, the following were laws taken up by other states in the same legislative session.

-Our neighbors in Connecticut raised the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 and banned ghost guns (those assembled from parts purchased separately and thus lacking a serial number) as well as plastic guns.
-Like New York, our other neighbor New Jersey ruled that employers can no longer screen applicants based on their salary history.
-Vermont now prohibits food scraps from going in any of their landfills, so there is mandatory composting with the requirement that all garbage pickup companies provide food scrap collection services.
-In Washington State, businesses will be prohibited from putting expiration dates on gift cards or for levying service charges for inactivity on cards.
-In Illinois, restaurants, stores, and any buildings with public restrooms must have at least one baby diaper changing station.
-Arkansas banned all public funding for human cloning and/or “destructive embryo” research.

I still can’t help to harken back to one of the Country’s most erudite skeptics, Mark Twain, who said, “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.


Photo by A. Warner


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Bronxville Police Blotter: January 1 - January 9, 2020 PDF Print Email

By Bronxville Police Department

Jan. 15, 2020: The following entries are from the Bronxville police blotter.

January 1, 2020,  3:25 am, Sagamore Road: Police responded to call of someone throwing unknown objects behind the building. An individual was interviewed by Officers. No crime appeared to be committed, no damage was observed or reported.

January 1, 2020, 
4:23 pm, Pondfield Road: A pedestrian reported that the door to a Pondfield Road business was left open. The owner was contacted and stated that it was an oversight.

January 4, 2020, 7
:54 pm Police Headquarters: Police Officers from the Mt. Vernon Police Department used the Village Datamaster machine to process a DWI arrest. Their machine was reportedly inoperable.

January 7, 2020
7:54 am Crows Nest Road: A 1998 Volvo S70 was stolen overnight. The vehicle was unlocked and the keys were left in the car. The incident is being investigated.

January 9, 2020, 8:24 am Police Headquarters: Officers received a complaint of Domestic Violence from a resident who walked into headquarters. A domestic incident report was completed.

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