Blue Truth and the Political Hezitorial
CLSA President Sapienza focused on the outcome to diminish the YFT membership on their past decision in support of the Khader candidacy, Sapienza remained silent when two captains and one lieutenant position from the payroll were removed. Similarly, Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) President Keith Olson watched in silence as 10 Police Officers positions were gutted from the budget.
The Yonkers City Council has immersed itself in evaluating the efficacy of Mayor Mike Spano’s Proposed FY2017-2018 Budget. They began the process last week, intending to complete the findings this week. The premise by which to deduce appropriateness rests on facts proven rather than on opinions espoused. The very fact that assaults, robberies, shootings, killings, among other offenses are waning is extolled as if valid. Words to pacify concern and fear are maintained with false pronouncements and for the City of Yonkers (CoY) being lauded for being the safest city of its population size in the nation. The reality is different.
When the Yonkers Police Department (YPD) is demanded to create a false narrative, accomplished by transforming a robbery into a larceny, a larceny into criminal mischief, consistently defining those caught in illegal conduct or outcome in an ever sliding downward scale to create a non-existent reality Yonkersites know it to be fake and anathema to CoY’s reality.
The manipulation and condescension suffered by those in elected and nominated office holders have had to suffer the plots and ploys and threats that have caused so many to cower before those “in charge”, not only to them and those they are sworn to protect, but to the public at large who suffer the vacillating political winds that blow in varying intensity in and about the City of Hills. Were Yonkers to nurture the city’s truth among its residents, a plan to ameliorate concerns with the vision and reality for CoY could be engaged with logic, purpose, integrity, and respect for ourselves, and each other. Though not an easy task, it is doable.
Yonkers need not invent the wheel for doing right by its citizenry. Whether CoY emulates result successfully revealed in another locale, or distill a nuanced version of success from elsewhere. Is there anyone who still clings to the promised swill too many seemingly swallow in order to maintain the limited options and prospects for ourselves, our families, and our progeny. Delving into the narrative further, let’s look at the most recent budget hearings.
Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants Association (CLSA) President Det. Lt. Christopher Sapienza was charged to assist former CLSA President Thomas Phelan’s wife Alyce Phelan in her effort to become the successor to Yonkers Federation of Teachers (YFT) President Pat Puleo who had declared last year that she would be stepping down at the end of this school year. As promised, YFT President Puleo did not stand for re-election.
Rather than focusing on serving the CLSA membership in his capacity as CLSA President, Det. Lt. Sapienza chose to instead insinuate himself on behalf of former CLSA President Thomas Phelan’s wife Alyce in support of her effort to become the next president of the YFT. Toward that end, Sapienza sends an email on CLSA stationery to stress the importance of taking care of one’s own, that is, to take over the YFT and cause it to renege on the YFT endorsement of Yonkers City Council President candidate Mike Khader’s candidacy. The Khader endorsement over that of incumbent Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, who was outed to the Yonkers Tribune by people in the know, advised us that McLaughlin refused for many months to bring Yonkers City Hall’s and the YFT agreement before the Yonkers City Council unless the YFT would endorse McLaughlin’s re-election bid over that for Khader. Push back against the political extortion of the YFT failed to bring YFT President Puleo to acquiesce to the political pressure. The YFT membership won the day by focus and resolve by President Puleo. The long expired contractual agreement would after many delays eventually come before the Yonkers City Council for a vote. the agreement was authorized by the legislative branch of government. The YFT membership gave the Mike Khader candidacy effort his first political endorsement, which has since been the catalyst that has won Khader support among other unions.
Why is this telling of importance? Simply because as Sapienza focused on the outcome to diminish the YFT membership on their past decision in support of the Khader candidacy, CLSA President Sapienza remained silent when two captains and one lieutenant position from the payroll were removed. Similarly, Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) President Keith Olson watched in silence as 10 Police Officers positions were gutted from the budget.
It cannot be fair or even rational to save jobs which will place even greater burden on a city that has suffered deficits and insolvency in the past as CoY is again saddled with similar fiscal constraints today. If that is a given, and I believe it is, at issue is whether the people who stand before the electorate are indeed capable of delivering Yonkersites’ aspiration for a better city. Can our elected officials, as well as those who challenge to serve Yonkersites, willing to create a template that serves the public interest within the confines of fiscal prudence, planning, speaking with integrity to facts, sharpened with focus and attention to do all possible with the lot CoY has been bequeathed to this day?
It is time for Yonkersites to take on the day. Smiles and kissing babies are fun, but a plan will deliver us collectively to a better day. To that end, each has an opportunity to win the ultimate prize by serving the City of Yonkers toward a better outcome. It requires resolve, drive, and capacity of mind, and a team that can and will facilitate action to serve the public interest.