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Scarsdale, New York

History of the Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association

The Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association, Inc. (FMNA) is one of several similar civic organizations in Scarsdale, which plays an important part in the life and operation of the town. The manner in which these groups came into being, and the role they play, is an interesting story.

Scarsdale is peculiar in that, although the land it occupies was acquired from the Indians in 1660, and later sold to Caleb Heathcote who was granted a patent from William III in 1701, it was not until 1788 that the present township was organized. This form of government was found to be adequate until 1915, during which time the population had slowly risen from the original 281 to almost 3000. In the year 1915, the threat of annexation by the neighboring city of White Plains caused the citizens to look at the possibilities of preventing this from happening. As a town, ScarsdaleĀ’s boundaries could be changed by action of the State Legislature. A village, on the other hand, could not be absorbed by another community without a referendum vote. The envious looks which White Plains had cast at the north end of Greenacres gave citizens the necessary impetus and urgency to look at the advantages of incorporating as a village, in order to block such a move by White Plains and to maintain the autonomy of Scarsdale. Many residents discussed this at a Town Meeting and voted in favor of it. When a referendum was held, on March 24, 1915, the majority voted for incorporation. The result was certified to the Secretary of State of New York, and on May 24, 1915, Scarsdale became an incorporated village. By taking into its boundaries all the land of the town, the village obtained control of all its rural areas, and was able to avoid duplication of administration and uneven development. At the same time, the few remaining obligations of the town were taken over by the village.

The smallest unit of civic organization in Scarsdale is the neighborhood association, formed originally by the property owners in a limited area to watch over their immediate interests. Since the well being of the entire community affected their own, the associations soon became part of the democratic process by means of which anyone may speak up on village affairs.

The FMNA, one of the older associations, was founded in 1928 and incorporated in 1947. It has a twelve-member board of governors, of whom four are named annually for three-year terms. The Association meets regularly to discuss taxation, education, safety, public services and all other matters affecting the interests of the residents of the area. Since 1946, it, in common with the other similar associations, has played an important role in the Non-Partisan Procedure for the election of village officials.

It is hoped that the members of the FMNA will be alert and bring to the attention of the board of governors matters, which they feel need consideration. It is also hoped that members will be willing and will volunteer to serve on the various committees that have been established to carry out the work of the Association. In this manner, the interests of all within the area will be protected, and the community as a whole will be benefited.