In May, Scarsdale Village celebrated the centennial year of its incorporation. Residents passed a resolution to incorporate in 1915, in order to ward off an attempt by White Plains to annex Greenacres!
To mark Scarsdale’s 100th year, the Village staff wrote the following resolution which was approved by the Village Board of Trustees. At the June 9, 2015 meeting of the Village Board, Mayor Jon Mark made the following statement and then read the resolution below which retells the history of Scarsdale.
Approximately 100 years ago, in May 1915, residents of Scarsdale voted to incorporate as a Village. Up to that time, Scarsdale had been a town. As such its borders could be changed by an act of the New York State legislature. Residents were concerned that the legislature would change Scarsdale’s borders and make it part of White Plains. By incorporating as a Village, Scarsdale’s borders could thereafter only be changed by a referendum vote of the residents. The first Village Board met on June 26, 1915. The Village we enjoy today is part of the legacy left to us by the residents who took those steps in 1915.
FROM MANOR TO TOWN; FROM TOWN AND VILLAGE TO MERGED VILLAGE AND TOWN
WHEREAS, Scarsdale has had a long, and storied history since the time Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609 and the rising of Scarsdale Manor in 1701 with a population of twelve; the evolution to a town during the revolutionary war with a population of about 260, but yet not convening the first town meeting until 1783; the incorporation as a Village in 1915 with a population of less than 3,000 managed by separate and distinct Town and Village governing bodies until the merger of the coterminous Town/Village of Scarsdale in 1930 with a single elected board governing and convening as both a Village and a Town; and
WHEREAS, subsequent to the incorporation as a Village on May 24, 1915 and stimulated by a movement in White Plains and certain interests in the New York State Legislature to annex the northwest area of the town of Scarsdale, known as Greenacres, to the grand city to the north, an annexation bill was ominously adopted by the New State Legislature, which with good fortune and personal attentiveness, was vetoed by Governor Charles Evans Hughes; and
WHEREAS, although the desire and appetite for swallowing Scarsdale continued unabated, the issue was finally put to rest in an election on May 24, 1915 when civic leaders and residents voted 142 to 39 in favor of incorporating as a Village, said action and result insulating the Town of Scarsdale under the rule of law from annexation, as the incorporation as a Village protected its independence, sovereignty and home rule authority which could not be taken by another community; and
WHEREAS, it was not until 1930 that the Village and Town merged and became a jurisdiction governed as both a Town and Village with a single elected body comprised of the same officials which convened as separate Town and Village Boards to conduct the business and oversee both Village and Town functions under the statutory realm of an incorporated Village under New York State Law; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that it is considered important, proper and relevant for the Village Board of the Village of Scarsdale to recall and recognize the history of Scarsdale and its evolution from a Manor, to a Town, to a Town and Village and finally a combined Village/Town with a reform structure of government which has been nurtured and cared for by a committed and civic minded resident population.
Submitted by: Village Manager