There was a time, years ago, when people signed in with a time card to advise of their arriving at work; they also signed out when they departed. Eventually this protocol lost favor. Eventually, no checks or balances to what was written onto the time-sheets and documentation to validate those assertions were ever made. The “system” was based on people’s word. If you said you attended a neighborhood association meeting, it was taken for granted that you had. No one checked such “facts”. No one checked if you were at your desk. Most times, when arriving at City Hall’s 4th Floor, you could not find a councilmembers’ Aide at his/her desk. Few were to be found at 9 a.m., possibly another 1 or 2 at 10:30 a.m., but not every day. In time no one signed in or out. The Aides had maligned the system for the benefit of their councilmembers, and at the councilmembers behest. Those that participated for one rationale or another, campaigning, attending school, attending a meeting, going shopping, what have you, outsmarted the system that had only an honor system imposed for every Aide to abide to assert legitimate times on their time-sheets. Cheating, lying, expanding time spent could only have been accomplished if all councilmembers turned a blind eye as they encouraged the Aides to outsmart the “system” that was intentioned to afford everyone the respect of being believed without question.
Times change. Few can be trusted; even fewer should be trusted. The betrayal of the public trust has been operating for many years. The Yonkers Tribune now knows that this conduct has been permitted at least from the time of former Mayor Phil Amicone. It continues to this day. Some people assert that members of one party have engaged in this conduct more so than the other. What is certain is that every member of the Yonkers City Council is aware of these outrageous thefts of services. The Yonkers City Council leadership, consisting of Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, Majority Leader Jon Larkin, and Minority Leader Michael Sabatino are aware of it. Aides Keisha Skipper is engaged in this scam. So is Ivy Reeves. Constance Braun knows that this conduct has and continues to takes place.
Former Human Resources Commissioner Paula Redd Zeeman used the same ploy for her personal behalf. In fact, under Paula Redd-Zeeman’s watch this illegal conduct was permitted to thrive.
Keisha Skipper claimed she was undergoing radiation treatment; so did Paula Redd-Zeeman. I would not contest such contentions. But they cannot prove their assertions on their ‘approved’ time-sheets. The old adage that “birds of a feather flock together” is an understatement. How can you be too sick to attend the responsibilities of the Yonkers City Council and that of your Councilperson and still attend to election and re-election efforts, NAACP meetings, community organization meeting, the YWCA, Aquehung, etc., and still claim nee to recuperate? If you can’t perform for whatever reason, take a sabbatical.
Too many people claiming to serve the public are instead serving themselves. When will corrections be made? How many more years must it take for these people and others to conduct themselves with respect to Yonkersites or be jailed. I suggest every Aide check in with Corporation Council every day. Let the 3rd floor keep tabs on these people’s hours at work. No telephone check-ins. They must sign in with an electronic stamping time clock. First pick up the time card, have it signed by the person who presents the card to the Aide in order to identy the persone signing in is the Aide, then have the Aide stamp it, and then return it to the person at the front desk at Yonkers Corporation Counsel. And the person at the front desk must be different every day. And because of the extra time it costs to ascertain and validate the time worked, the Aides should be charged for this daily routine. Perhaps the penalty and the shame will have them abide in deference to the taxpayer’s money and earn their salary rather than steal from the Pubic Trust. Seems draconian and made fr a child to learn respect of a system that demands respect of the taxpayer’s money. The taxpayer’s money trumps all these sorry-@ss tales of woe.
City Hall is admonished to get this done right; no loop holes, no special “wink, wink” allowances. Get it done within the next three months. Have Corporation Counsel draw up the papers, make everyone sign the documents, and present it as part of the Yonkers City Charter. Anything and everything else is a sham. Yonkersites have had enough. If this annoying pattern of City Hall approved theft is permitted o continue, who would be surprised to have U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara ringing the doorbell at 40 South Broadway.
Once mitigated, Yonkers can celebrate a job well done. Instead of a ribbon cutting, I suggest a party. Pizza anyone? But only the best… from Yonkers, of course.