YONKERS, NY – July 30, 2014 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano has taken a bold and necessary move in appointing Dennis Robertson to Liaison between the Executive and Legislative branches of Yonkers government, that is, the Office of the Mayor of Yonkers and the Yonkers City Council. The title is somewhat nebulous. It does not fully explain the purpose of the responsibility and role Robertson is to insinuate into the equation as liaison. In speaking to Mr Robertson today, his role is to infuse purpose and understanding in issues that require approval and/or disapproval by the two branches of government. The underlying purpose is to focus final outcome for the benefit of Yonkersites.
In a sense, Robertson will infuse his role in serving the public interest balanced against his resume of service in Yonkers as a past member of the board of the Yonkers IDA and as a member of the Yonkers City Council. Robertson understands the process. The only concern is whether he will gain the respect he has long had for his service to the city or will he be diminished and dismissed by either one branch or the other. His role can be regarded as that of a government watchdog if the common denominator is understood by all facets of government and will eventually be divulged for the rationale it brings into the issues discussed.
The issues are many. In economic development, Robertson can express the need for projects to abide by timelines for beginning a project, as well as and end date. He can validate promises of job creation for Yonkersites first. He can assure that green technology is prudent for development purposes. He can oversee community funding be spent according to statute and by legislative conduct. He can only do these things if he persuades the elected representatives that there is a better way to serve the public interest.
He will hopefully maintain his resolve to serve Yonkersites first and lucidly and rationally so as to persuade with facts, merit, and experience both branches of government to deliver constituent service by legislation. Big task indeed!
Simple in purpose, grand in potential outcome, but a humongous effort will need to be undertaken by Robertson himself to move outcome for the benefit of Yonkersites. Can he do it? Yes, but only if each side intends to serve the present and future of Yonkers today. Time frame: I give this effort 10-12 months for results and outcome to be distilled from better understanding of the constituents, their needs, the ability of Yonkers to deliver, and the vision yet o be shared.
Dennis Robertson will take office on August 4, 2014.
Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin upon learning that we wee aware of the appointment sai “This is the Mayor’s choice and the Mayor’s hire. Former Councilmember Robertson is well qualified, and if he can help collaborate between the two branches of government, then it is well worth it.”