Teachers Stand United in Our Call on Albany to Halt Mayoral Control of The Yonkers Public Schools By PAT PULEO

Hezi Aris Governance 8 Comments

Puleo_PatYONKERS, NY – March 24, 2014 — “The State Senate Majority Coalition, made up of Republicans and Independent Democrats, have betrayed the children of Yonkers in calling for “Mayoral Control” of the Yonkers Public Schools.

The elected Senators from Yonkers were not consulted. The many PTA and Town Hall meetings held by our representatives, attended by our parents, our teachers and our community members, repeatedly sent a clear message of “leave politics out of our schools”.

Our politicians in Albany should be informed by the voters/parents affected that the Majority Coalition at no time met with our state representatives or community leaders before their obvious political over-reach and betrayed our students.

The Mayor of Yonkers calls for action. Where was the action when year after year Yonkers City Hall placed all deficits on the school side of the budget? Where was the action in 2009 when the City demanded $1,000,000 from the school district be transferred to the city, and never repaid the “loan”?

While the Yonkers Federation of Teachers has great respect for Mayor Spano, different mayors over the years have taken money out of the school budget to fill holes in the city’s budget. In early 2000, as New York State sent down many millions of dollars in a settlement with the city, the then Mayor of Yonkers repeatedly reduced the funding to the schools of Yonkers. The City never replaced the $30 million in cuts during those years. City Hall should spend time solving our financial problems and not complicate education with more politics.

We stand with the many parents who have publicly stated that they want educators, not politicians, running our schools. Every school district in Westchester has an elected Board of Education. Why doesn’t Yonkers?”

Editor’s Note: The Yonkers Tribune learned of this document on March 24, 2014, but the press release was dated March 14, 2014.

Pat Puleo is president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers (YFT).

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Hezi ArisTeachers Stand United in Our Call on Albany to Halt Mayoral Control of The Yonkers Public Schools By PAT PULEO

Comments 8

  1. harvey

    pat how come you are not in albany helping to get more money for us. You know how we are understaffed in our schools. Meanwhile you are being hoodwinked into a fight about mayoral control. We need more teachers, aides and guidance counselors. Why isnt yft standing up for us ??????

  2. Pat Wake Up

    Pat ,I thought you were the head of the Teachers Union …… Who is trying to take control of the School end of the budget ? Who is trying to hurt the kids of the COY for his own benefit ? Who gave us a shit contract, Mike (Nicky) Spano did and you say.. “While the Yonkers Federation of Teachers has great respect for Mayor Spano”….. WTF grow some balls and say it the way it is… I was brutally raped last night but ” I have great respect for the rapist”……….?????
    MIKE SPANO IS TRYING TO ROB OUR KIDS MONEY TO GIVE OUT MORE JOBS TO THE FRIENDS OF THE SPANO CLAN ……I WENT TO SCHOOL AND SPENT A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY TO GET WERE I AM AN THE MAYOR W HIS GED HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION GIVES OUT MORE 100K a year jobs…. and now he wants to get his hands on that fat $500 million dollar Piggy Bank….

  3. Service

    Puelo you are not even a Yonkers resident-anybody that has ever heard you talk must wonder if you ever took a speech class in college.

  4. CUOMO

    Puleo,
    A little late to the game AS USUAL. What a reactive group of misfits in the YPS. First, Pierarazio is ousted with no noise and now they’re about to take the house away and you’re screaming at the eviction notice.
    If you got your head out of the sand and see this was ALWAYS on the table upstate because of the yearly deficit plugging. Lesnick is gone and carrot head and cannoli mayor, along with Cuomo and legislature, will love to have a say in the matter, unfortunate for YPS. Enjoy the ride and ALL the double talk Puleo!

  5. NO more spaNO

    Who said all political roads in Westchester eventually lead to Yonkers? Maybe I said it.

    But here is an addendum: All roads in Yonkers lead to Nick Spano, the jovial, back-slapping lobbyist and former Republican state senator who is the older brother of the mayor, Mike Spano.

    Last summer Nick was released from federal prison after serving 10 months for income tax fraud — and ever since he’s been working hard to resurrect his business, Empire Strategic Planning, a lobbying concern with many clients in Yonkers.

    Anonymous grumblers love to say that Nick is really running the city. That may be an exaggeration, but questions about the extent of his involvement in day to day decision making are always out there. For when it comes to Yonkers, it’s all in the family for Nick.

    Things big and small don’t just happen by accident in Yonkers. The city works on connections, relationships, the granting of favors and the dispensing of jobs — many of which go to members of the vast Spano family and their cronies.

    Putting together a comprehensive Spano flow chart would be a daunting task.

    It would obviously include City Clerk Vincent Spano, Nick and Mike’s kid brother, who last week married Jaime McGill, the executive director of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency. McGill was given the $85,000-a-year job after serving in 2013 as the campaign manager for City Council President Liam McLaughlin.

    Then there’s Kelly Olson Chiarella, the sister of Yonkers PBA president Keith Olson. In January, Chiarella was named assistant to the mayor, constituent services, for the Office of the Aging. The $90,000 job amounted to a promotion and a boost in pay for Chiarella who worked for Gail Burns, the former head of the Westchester Conservative Party and a longtime aide to Nick.

    Chiarella’s promotion followed the city’s contract negotiations with the police, which resulted in a 23.5 percent pay raise spread over 10 years retroactive to 2009. Was this merely a coincidence?

    Back to Gail Burns for a second. After she was ousted from her party chairmanship in a 2011 coup, the Westchester County Board of Legislators under then-chairman Ken Jenkins gave her a three-month job of dubious importance for $15,000. In January of this year, the Spano machine made Jenkins president of the IDA, a part-time gig that pays $60,000 in addition to his other part-time job as a $49,200-a-year Yonkers legislator.

    Connecting the political dots in Yonkers is a fun pastime. Somebody should turn it into a Milton Bradley board game — one that includes a get-out-of-jail card.

    Speaking of jail, two months after he was freed from federal bondage, Nick received judicial permission to socialize with Paul Adler, the former chairman of the Rockland Democratic Party. The two men worked together at a real estate company after Nick left the state Senate. That’s not all they had in common. In 2002, Adler pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion and served 17 months in prison.

    Since his release in 2004, Adler has done much to rehabilitate his public image. He has performed numerous acts of charity and became vice president of Rand Commercial Services, a large and distinguished real estate firm.

    Last year, Yonkers put the 87-year-old former city jail on the riverfront on the market for $2.5 million with the idea that it would be re-purposed for commercial use. The dilapidated building was sold for $1 million to Daniel Wolf, an art and photography dealer who enlisted his wife, the renowned artist and architect Maya Lin, to design the space.

    Rand Commercial Services brokered the sale, which was approved by the Yonkers City Council in December.

    Neither Nick nor Adler were directly involved in the property negotiations. They didn’t show up for the photo-ops when the deal was done. Call the whole thing a coincidence if you like — or not. Just remember where all the roads go in Yonkers.

    But the blogosphere has linked them in another important way. Both have reportedly emailed invitations to “friends” to next week’s election fundraiser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown. Tickets to the event start at $1,000, but go as high as $25,000.

    This is rich sauce indeed for a man who was sipping prison gruel less than a year ago. It looked like Nick was on a road to perdition.

    Ah, but see what happened? Nick took a fork in the road, which led back to where the favors are doled out and the chits called in.

  6. Inside info

    I hope it doesn’t happen, that’s all we need is the mayor dipping in our pocket books,I believe with the new superintendent there will be more transparency and this can actually hurt mike when he runs for reelection……………

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