Candidate Ken Mazer: community service is in his DNA
Category: On our radar
Posted: Monday February 28th, 2022 11:54 AM
Ken Mazer was nominated by the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party to become administrator of the village of Scarsdale. The election will take place at the Scarsdale Library on Olmsted Road on Tuesday March 15 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Meet Ken below and see why he’s eager to serve Scarsdale.
Why do you want to become a village administrator?
Engaging in community service has always been a priority in my life – it’s part of my DNA. Contributing to organizations bigger and more important than me is extremely satisfying. Now I see the chance to give back to my city that has done so much for me and my family over the past 26 years as an incredible opportunity.
What do you do in your professional life?
I have worked in the textile industry since graduating from business school at NYU over 30 years ago. In 2005, my partner and I started Global Textile Partners, which produces and imports textile products from Asia. With sourcing offices in China and Korea and customers in a wide range of industries, from advertising banner fabrics to automotive interior fabrics, our business has many moving parts, which makes it very interesting and satisfying. .
What skills do you bring to the Board?
I believe my experience in business and the non-profit sector has enhanced my approach to problem solving which emphasizes objectivity, curiosity, creative thinking, consensus building, empathy and asking good questions. I expect to bring this approach to my service on the board.
You have an impressive volunteer service resume. Tell us about some of your roles.
For 28 years I was president of a grant-making foundation at the UJA Federation of New York that funded programs in the United States, Israel, and the former Soviet Union to address a wide range of issues, such as food insecurity, violence, substance abuse, women’s empowerment, social justice and educational enrichment.
I also served 15 years as a board member, 3 years as president, of the New York Association of New Americans, a New York-based agency that sought to provide one-stop services to refugees, including assistance with housing, health care, English classes, citizenship applications and job training.
For the past 22 years I have been a member of the Scarsdale Volunteer Fire Department, Company #2. During that time I was a Lieutenant for 12 years and elected President for 8 years.
What do you like and appreciate about living in Scarsdale?
I like the people of Scarsdale the most. Our community is made up of motivated and engaged residents who are passionate about creating the best environment in which to raise a family. They devote countless hours of service to the PTA, sports teams, various civic committees and non-profit organizations to improve the lives of all. And the work they do is mostly out of the spotlight and from the heart. We should all be proud that we and our neighbors care so much about our community.
How do you think your children benefit from growing up here – if they are?
Like most residents, I hope my children will benefit from the exceptional educational resources that Scarsdale offers. But I also hope they will learn by example by observing how community members engage in volunteering and improving the world around them.
As a firefighter, have you seen anything more the Village could do to keep firefighters or residents safe?
During my volunteer tenure, I was fully equipped with modern equipment and received extensive training in firefighting techniques and strategies. In my opinion, residents are in good hands with the professionals and volunteers of our fire department. I must also point out that having career professionals leading the training protocols and decision making at the fire scene has made me completely confident that the volunteers are deployed with our complete and total safety at the scene. ‘spirit.
As a volunteer firefighter, however, I have no visibility on the administrative interactions between the firefighters and the village. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about this process as a board member.
As a resident, what do you think the Village could do better?
I have always been impressed by the dedicated and collaborative way in which the village council has discharged its responsibilities. I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the continuation of this process.
What do you think are the main challenges facing the village committee?
The main challenges of the village committee are twofold. First, it must continually reach out to the community at large to learn about the priorities and concerns of the people who live here. And second, it must reconcile and balance the competing interests and goals that are bound to emerge from any important subject.
For example, the board will need to consider expensive infrastructure projects, such as updating the pool complex or the Freightway parking lot, while mitigating the impact on our tax rates and debt levels. It will also need to consider quality of life issues such as leaf blowing orders and the implementation of historic preservation initiatives that will have vocal support from all sides of the issues.
I look forward, if elected, to working with the other council members and experienced village staff to address the issues facing the town in a fair and sensitive manner.