YONKERS, NY — March 20, 2014 — Yonkers Tribune has learned that New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has endorsed Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s request of him to permit the transformation of the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) into a Department of the City of Yonkers (CoY). The clout the NYS Assembly Speaker has lent to Mayor Spano’s interest in making the YBoE a Department of CoY consolidates the YBoE and Yonkers City Hall into one entity promoted toward that end to save money, bringing about greater transparency of the money allocated, and a humongous bastion for future patronage, and control of the most important aspect of the soon to be former YBoE, that is, the beginning of resurrecting a school buildings infrastructure, best known as the Public Private Partnership for Education (P3forE), that two years ago was valued at $2.7 billion. By such standards, the 2014 figure should likely hover closer to $5 billion.
Despite all that was at stake, and despite that no vision for fiscal restraint and scrutiny is mentioned, no legal mechanisms have been formalized.
The silence among students, parents, teachers, politicians, among other stakeholders have been mum. The lack of discussion is tantamount to submitting the deal is correct for CoY. The Yonkers Tribune will not hold its breath for fiscal solvency to take place. We advised last week that the deal would go through. It will be announced within hours despite the protestations of the Albany Delegation.
The losers are NYS Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS Senator George Latimer, NYS Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, and NYS Assemblymember Shelley Mayer. The Yonkers City Council Democratic Caucus, especially the Democratic Minority Leader Michael Sabatino whose intent to speak to the issue at news Tuesdays’s, March 26, 2014th Yonkers City Council is too little, too late. When the dust settles, Yonkersites will also realize they have been hoodwinked again.
The winners are Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, former NYS Senator and lobbyist Nick Spano, NYS Assemblyspeaker Sheldon Silver, and the P3forE concept moving forward. The Republican Majority Caucus of the Yonkers City Council may think themselves winners, but they will soon learn it is only the Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin who will earn a share of the wealth.