THE HEZITORIAL ANALYSIS: Larry Schwartz’s Trojan Horse Succeeds in Transforming the YBoE Into a Department of City Hall in Fact BY HEZI ARIS

Hezi Aris Hezitorial 13 Comments

Hezitorial characatureThe Numbers Herein.

YONKERS, NY — March 30, 2014 — The script regarding the transformation of the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) into a department of the City of Yonkers (CoY) was orchestrated and smartly shepherded by Larry Schwartz, confidante and Secretary to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano did his part, especially waiting out the clock while having grade B actors take up the deflective drama vignettes that consumed Yonkersites with fear, dread, foreboding, and tragically silence. Mayor Mike Spano also marginalized the Yonkers Delegation, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator George Latimer, Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, and Assemblymember Shelley Mayer. Yonkersites were also dismissed from knowing what was happening. The Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees did their part in formulating and repeating a soothing message of continuity and transparency after Bernard Pierorazio’s departure and the appointment of Interim Yonkers Public School Superintendent Dr. Michal Yazurlo. The accession of Dr Yazurlo to the helm of the Yonkers Public School District brought an intended sigh of relief to all interested and watching. Yet more was happening behind the scenes.

As reported in the Yonkers Tribune weeks ago, Mayor Mike Spano directed MIS Director Robert Cacace (Internet technology), Human Resources Commissioner Paula Redd Zeeman, DPW Commissioner Thomas Meier, Parks and Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Yvette Hartsfied, and Finance Commissioner John Liszewski to stealthily review the YBoE for any savings that may be extracted from its present function for the future. In fact, Yonkers Federation of teachers (YFT) President Pat Puleo last week revealed she was demanded to at first pare $18 million from the YFT personnel; it was last upped to $24 million. The task and conduct demanded of Ms Puleo is proof that Yonkers City Hall knew and worked within the planned takeover of the YBoE despite the protestations made by Mayor Mike Spano this past fortnight (two weeks) to having given up the fight to make the YBoE a department of CoY. The Yonkers City Council’s resolution to present a majority 4-3 vote attesting to solid Republican support for taking over the YBoE and morph it into a department under city direction reveals the Republican entourage to be part of the outcome. When Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Proposed FY2014-2015 Budget is voted upon, likely meeting the deadline of April 1, 2014, the mastery of subsuming the YBoE without a derisive assault on the final outcome will have become moot. The YBoE has for all intent now become a department in structure, if not by name. For that alone, whether in agreement or not, as postulated by the Yonkers Tribune, Mayor Mike Spano has won the battle and the “war”. The semblance of any independence of the YBoE from direction by Mayor Mike Spano is an open joke from now onward.

All decisions with respect to the “new” YBoE will be controlled by Yonkers City Hall except for education concerns. Finances, construction, consolidation, Internet, legal services, etc., will be governed by and from City Hall.

The most important unanswered question regarding the final overspending has yet to be divulged. Is a shortfall of $120 million noted selectively among an esoteric few is yet to be asserted on the record. The additional $50 to $80 million shortfall on the city side of the financial ledger is also being hidden. Why? And most importantly, from what account(s) was CoY able to function financially when City Hall has noticed sheepishly that CoY was able to satisfy all employees, vendors, contracts, and more, without constraint despite the funds not being in the city coffers. Where did the money come from? How did Commissioner Liszewski access the largesse of such an account and what banking institution is the money to be found? Is there a fee that has been imposed for use of that money? How much is it? How much is left in that account? Are her more such accounts? What is the amount presently hidden from Yonkersites that hey have the right to know? It is their money!

Considering the alleged fiscal severity encountered by CoY, how do the numbers in the State budget, expected to be approved, meet the needs of CoY for the upcoming fiscal year?

A figure permitting CoY to bond specifically to reduce the debt by  $45 million to cover the initial figure revealed as the “shortfall” was the rationale for the dismissal of Yonkers BoE Chief Financial Officer Joseph Brachitta and YPS Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio as one aspect of the “deal” to be approved to be part of the budget proposal.

The State of New York Municipal Bond bank agency will authorize $28 million to CoY to support public schools in the city.

A 5 percent increase, an amount to which that percentage equates to is still undetermined, will also be gained by CoY.

A state fund will permit CoY to request funds that will go toward capital improvement projects, specifically in building, or when prudent, to renovate school buildings and infrastructure. That sum is also presently kept under wraps.

Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) is expected for be $108 million for Yonkers.

A tip of the hat to Mayor Mike Spano’s conduct in outwitting all Yonkersites and elected officials to the “plan” that has come to pass. Mayor Mike Spano has chosen and succeeded in bringing about this outcome. He will also be responsible to righting all that has been wrong at the YBoE. We can only wish him success the outcome, but his backroom antics bring to question his finesse in the process. Mayor Mike Spano has proven he can be a player when directed. He must now prove he is a leader where it matters, that is in Yonkers on issues such as, economic development, ethical governance, benevolence, and so much more.  The Astorino campaign effort to challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo for the office of NYS Governor will find Mayor Mike Spano making Yonkers a safe harbor for the Astorino entourage. Again, the issue will be when will Mayor Mike Spano’s “so-called” concern and hoped for benevolence by him with respect to Yonkersites takes hold? And will Mayor Mike Spano be able to mend the schism he created among the Albany Delegation for their efforts that Mayor Mike Spano has yet to acknowledge?

More numbers will continue to come out of Albany over the next few days.

Ahem, let’s keep this telling hush, hush! City hall doesn’t want anyone to know.

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Hezi ArisTHE HEZITORIAL ANALYSIS: Larry Schwartz’s Trojan Horse Succeeds in Transforming the YBoE Into a Department of City Hall in Fact BY HEZI ARIS

Comments 13

  1. Only In Yonkers

    Who decides what is educational, the mayor? Why should we trust City Hall to do a better job, then education professionals. City Hall just keeps hiring and hiring, no civil service tests, no experience necessary. They haven’t even released their audit – what are they hiding? Now you have Spano bringing back all the old corrupt and anti public school politicians with promises of jobs, does anyone over there give a damn about what the kids really need? Even DeSantis couldn’t find the supposed hidden money everyone accused the BOE of having. Get real, this is the end of the school system………….

  2. Duggan

    The City has no money, yet the IDA still making deals offering property tax abatement on new development! It’s right on the city website. REALLY…REALLY the games continue from Amicone days. Hey, businessmen love these deals and will continue to stoke cityhall and ultimately us taxpayers.

  3. CUOMO

    The “GEA” was not a hidden accounting scam. It was agreed upon openly by NYS lawmakers and now Supt Pierarazio was the scapegoat. Nobody is asking questions and they do what they want…..

  4. Analyze

    I am all for consolidation and savings if it works, but since the BOE and city departments have been separate entities for the past hundred years each with their own equipment, supplies, and protocol will their actually be any savings? If both the BOE and city are currently staffed properly, and assuming both are working at 40 hrs per week, then how can consolidation help. The work still needs to get done, benefits and salary still need to get paid so other than eliminating a manager or two I don’t see how consolidation will save anything. You also have two separate labor unions or more with different pay scales. Serious thought must go into consolidation.

  5. The Leveler

    There needs to be an elected BoE and when this is done, the whole City can be vested in the system. When you put any politician in charge of anything it either turns into a patronage mill or goes to shit or both.
    If SpaNO is going to take it over, how much per year are we going to save in consolidation and layoffs. If this is not going to happen then why bother? Dollar amounts and layoff numbers plus a spread sheet of savings.

    Not another dime should be thrown at the YBoE unless there are considerable increases in the grades and college acceptance rates.

  6. sad

    Moves worthy of the “Kingfish” Huey Long. How else do you explain the slimy way Mike has slithered his way through his first term. Now, he has total control of our education system; more slime to come. Then there is a convicted felon who hosts a fund raiser for the Governor??? All we need now is some wide lapelled suits and fedoras. We already have the smoky back room.

  7. threesidesto truth

    “you cant beat this” has it right. How do you allow this to continue financially?
    Don’t like mayor spano, like him, it does not matter.
    The BOE and super. get terms and contracts and then do their own bidding.
    If the City and council have control, you can vote them out if you don’t like the outcome.
    How do you get rid of a multi year contracted super or a board member who’s term exceeds the mayors, and once appointed reportable to who?
    Currently the BOE and super. told us their accountants had everything in control, no need for the city to poke around in their finances (the very nerve makes you want to jail someone).
    Then this 55 mill. going on for two budgets comes forward.
    So who is to blame for this wanting to change the system, you got it, the BOE is being hoist by their own petard.

  8. CUOMO

    It’s a long planned NYS agenda that players are now acting on with NO parental hearings ,where is the lady of the hour Stewart-sins, A JOKE to her constituents and her indifferent flock, The real reason YO kids will never get a proper education. PARENTAL INDIFFERENCE

  9. You can't beat this

    What should he do? Sit around and let the abuses at the Board of Education keep going? They cannot account for their money but Spano is supposed to just let it keep happening?

    Listen, I don’t love Mike Spano but I don’t blame him for this mess.

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